Sometimes it is more loving to allow someone else to experience the natural consequences of thier actions, even when it is painful for both of us
- Heard in a meetings
To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life, and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.
Having too high expectations is a set-up for disappointment. Expectations that are high lend themselves to a fantasy life, and reality can never match our fantasies. When we get hooked on the fantasies, somehow thinking they are reality, or should be reality, we are vulnerable to the hurt that accompanies the emergence of "the real." Then we feel cheated - bitter: "Why did this have to happen to me?"
Having too high expectations was a familiar feeling before recovery. And it remains familiar to us, even now. Dreams and aspirations aren't wrong. In fact, they beckon us on to better and greater things. But dreams of what we can become through responsible choices are quite different from idle expectations of what will or should be.
Every moment of every day opens the way to my aspirations that enhance reality. I will be open and receptive to reality and its gifts.
Cancelled Wedding Was
A Lesson In Acceptance
It’s been three years since I walked into my first Al-Anon meeting. At the time I had two alcoholics in my life. My father was-and still is-actively drinking and I was becoming serous about my boyfriend, who had two and a half years in A.A. My boyfriend kept telling me I should try Al-Anon. I am so glad I finally listened.
The girl who walked into that first meeting was in search of a happiness that was always just out of her reach. She was full of anger and very naïve. Over the course of three years, I learned about the disease of alcoholism, but more importantly I learned a great deal about myself.
Slowly, I started forming friendships with the women in my group. I had always had a difficult time making friends, but somehow it was different with them. I felt they understood me and really wanted to be my friend. I tried to reciprocate and be a source of support for them. I was learning to reach out to people. I felt I could tell them almost anything and would never be judged. Growing up with an alcoholic father had left many emotional scars. Only recently was I able to reach a point in my relationship with my father where I no longer feared and hated him. This was a huge step for me-a direct result of working the program.
This victory, however, was soon overshadowed by heartbreak. My fiancé told me he wasn’t in love with me anymore and didn’t want to get married. We were four months away from the wedding date and many plans had already been made.
Shocked and saddened, I reached out to my Sponsor and another Al-Anon friend. With their love and support, I realized I needed to accept that I had been clinging to a very unhealthy relationship. Why was I willing to marry someone who had lied, manipulated, and verbally abused me on numerous occasions? What I came up with was one work, over and over: fear.
Al-Anon helped me to face everything and recover. These friends opened their arms to me. They became my saving grace. I knew I could trust them.
I started on a new journey, one in which I am no longer willing to place my trust in people who’d shown me that they were untrustworthy. I do not want the fear of being alone to rule my life. I am learning to stand on my own two feet and not jump back into a relationship. I see love as a choice-not just a feeling.
Serenity is no longer out of reach. It’s time for me now.
Lisa O., Georgia Spetember 2009
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.