When new to program, the idea that it was not possible, or even my place, to change another person's behavior to suit me, was one of the most difficult for me to grasp. I wanted. And when I wanted, I thought I could make another person give me what it was I wanted, through the use of manipulation, guile, reasoning, or demands, whatever I believed would work.
Letting go was so far beyond me that I first dismissed it as nonsense, then when I began dimly to understand that it was truly desirable, I despaired of ever understanding how to go about doing it. What did this mysterious "letting go" involve? How did I let go? What did letting go look like?
From the viewpoint of 29 years in Al-Anon as of this month, I can state that learning to let go was the best lesson that program has taught me. I don't have anything that consumes me anymore. Life is an easy, peaceful ride nowadays. Even a diagnosis of cancer wasn't able to unbalance me for more than a few weeks, before the knowledge and the understanding I've learned in Al-Anon reasserted itself, and my state of mind has come back around to one of joyful delight in life.
The cancer diagnosis caused me to revert for the first week to a fearful state of mind, but that passed fairly quickly, then I was angry for a few days or another week, then I let it all go.
This may sound a little strange, but I can't be bothered giving it any more head room. I don't want to be the person I once was, consumed with fear, anger, resentment, and self-pity. I'd rather be happy and serene, and the only way to achieve that, is to let go. Let everything go.
Apart from my deciding upon which treatments I am willing to undergo when and if they are offered to me, the cancer is completely beyond my control.
I like to be happy, and happiness is within my control. My partner is a source of delight and comfort, with his steadfast love, and wickedly funny sense of humour - I want to enjoy him with the same abandoned glee I did before the diagnosis, and I can, if I let go.
It's an easy choice.
I'm up to go to church this morning; the gathering of people, the minister's messages which always sound like 12-Step wisdom, and the glorious feeling of my Higher Power there with me, fill me to bursting with joy and serenity.
I wish for you, a day of letting go. It's an astounding feeling.