Being grounded in reality
Often times my head is so focused on future events that I forget to remain grounded in the present.
It seems sometimes that my life becomes a succession of: the next thing I have to do, the next big event, or a magical time when everything will be just as it should be.
Well, that isn't reality.
Reality is right here in front of me.
It is paying attention to my fingers on the keyboard as I type: focusing on putting my thoughts into words. It is me... here in the moment... savoring the time I have right now.
When I find myself living "up in my head" or thinking about numerous chores, commitments or events on my horizon...
I must center myself and maintain balance by bringing myself back into the present.
Note a cool breeze... a bird as it flies past... a neighbor waving hello....because this is life... and life moves quickly... and I must live for these moments... they may be the only ones I have.... I must find joy in the day-to-day.
"Dear God, help me to stay grounded in the present. Help me to be in the moment and cherish what joys I find there."
What I Found at my First Al-Anon Meeting
When I entered my first Al-Anon meeting, I was terrified, lost, and desperate, while at the same time hopeful.
I had been aware of AA meetings, but hadn't heard of Al-Anon until the week before, when my marriage counselor suggested it to me. I was unhappy in my marriage and felt my wife's drinking had been part of that. I hadn't yet realized that my life had become unmanageable.
I had been struggling for years to improve my relationship with my wife. I didn't know that there were others like me, that there was a support group for us, and that I was part of the problem.
When I walked into that first meeting, I saw unfamiliar, yet sympathetic faces. As I nervously settled into my chair, Anne began to read the opening statement, and her calm manner and soft voice soothed my nerves.
When she asked if there were any newcomers, I shyly raised my hand, and ws surprised that all she wanted to know as my first name. The resounding "Hellos" and "Welcomes" from the group were heartwarming.
The Steps seemed foreign to me as they were recited-with the exception of Step One. What a concept-acknowledging that I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable. I had felt powerless for years, and didn't know that it was OK to feel that way. I thought I was supposed to have all the answers. The meeting was a blur of people sharing. I couldn't absorb what was being said. I was too focused on my own pain.
After the meeting ended, I was approached by several members who gave me a warm smile and a firm handshake. They let me know that I was exactly where I needed to be. They encouraged me to come back, without prying into my situation. It took several meetings for me to draw up the courage to share.
Nearly two years later, I still remember that first meeting and how the meeting chair and those who came up to me afterwards eased me into my journey towards recovery.
Maurice W., May,2007
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA
Today's Hope is an Al-Anon themed site and is not affiliated with Al-Anon's World Service Office. The daily sharings contain a reading from Al-Anon's Conference Approved publication The Forum, an inspirational quote/saying and a recovery based reading/meditation. The intent of Today's Hope is to share experience, strength and hope. Please take what you like and leave the rest.