Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Minding My Own Business.

I used to be a great one for stating my unsolicited opinion; I always knew exactly how other people should think, or behave. I would get enmeshed in the craziness of other people's lives, trying to "help."  I'd then become resentful and frustrated when they wouldn't take my advice.

Al-Anon has taught me to mind my own business. I can watch someone buying a ticket on a train to disaster, keep my mouth firmly closed, love them, and pray for them. This was a very difficult concept for me to grasp when I was new to program. Wasn't I being  a bad friend, if I didn't warn of what I might be able to see, and they not? If I had a bit more knowledge, foresight, or wisdom, wasn't I being selfish to keep that to myself?

In Al-Anon, I have learned that I cannot puncture someone else's denial. If I try, I become at best another irritant, at worst, the enemy - for pointing out what is too painful for them to accept at that time. When I detach from a friend's choices, and trust that their Higher Power is looking out for them, I can love without judgement.
I can be a source of support and encouragement, without in any way trying to steer or direct.

I have discovered that until we are ready to learn a lesson, we won't learn it. I've seen this truth in my life, and the lives of those around me. I may be unready because I have fear, or perhaps I'm stubbornly refusing to accept - it doesn't matter. My Higher Power will continue to offer me opportunities to learn that lesson, gently, and then more forcibly. I may accept the first delicate tap upon my arm, or keep stomping along in my willfulness until it reaches the "whack upside the head" stage before I accept - my choice. So it goes for each of us.
Actions have consequences.

From Hope for Today, page 39:

"Al-Anon teaches me that I cannot make life a fluffy bed for others."


  1. So true and so timely. Thank you.

  2. I here and read about those who feel so miserable because their family member is an alcoholic. Coming to the realization that I could not change their course, only mine was a key to my recovery.

  3. Thank you for sharing this, it really helps to mind my own business. Today I will focus on this principal.