You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. —Florida Scott-Maxwell
The search is on. Everyone, everywhere, asks the question at some time, "Who am I?" Those in recovery like ourselves are fortunate to have this program. It shows us the way to self-discovery. It directs our steps to the celebration of self that is a gift of recovery. The events of our past may plague us, but they did contribute to the fullness we feel today. And for them, for their involvement in who we've become, we can be grateful.
Claiming ourselves, the good and the bad, is healing. It's taking responsibility--for where we were and where we're going. Claiming ourselves makes us the active participants in our lives. The choices are many and varied. Not actively participating in life is also a choice. Passivity may have been our dominant choice in years gone by. But now, today, we are choosing recovery. We are choosing action that is healing, and wholeness is the result.
Making myself mine, will exhilarate me. It will give me hope. It will prepare me for anything to come. I will know a new joy.
Changing My Attitude
My tendency is to try to impose order on things in my environment. If I’m no watching closely and paying attention, resentments can sneak up on me. At home in my bathroom closet I put the bath towels in one spot, the hand towels in another, and the washcloths where they belong. One day several washcloths were on top of the bath towels with a bath towel or two on top of the hand towels.
I stood there for a moment and began to get angry. I said to myself, “Why can’t my husband put these things in the right places?” It’s just the two of us, so I had no one else to blame. Then I proceeded to rearrange the items.
A couple of slogans came to mind. “How Important Is It?” and, “First Things First.” I began to realize that it only took me a few seconds to rearrange the towels. Then I asked myself, “Where is your gratitude?” I should be glad that my husband washes, dries, folds, and puts these things away. So I began to lose my anger and counted this as a lesson about changing my attitude.
I shared the story with my Al-Anon group. Later, when all of my anger and frustration were gone, I was able to relate it to my husband. When he realized this concerned me, he made more of an effort to put the towels in their proper places. As things have evolved, he doesn’t always get them there, and you know what? I don’t really care anymore if the closet is a little disheveled.
Through Al-Anon I have learned if I hang onto resentments they will grow and develop into larger ones. If I work through my resentments, I can get on with life and be present in the moment.
Theresa L., Georgia September 2003
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA