May I always have the courage to engage with life in a meaningful way that is much deeper than just what is familiar, comfortable and convenient for me.
In the past, I often wanted to talk things through until I felt there was a resolution.
But the truth is… often things cannot be resolved within one conversation or within a given time frame.
I always thought that silence was a sign that someone didn’t care enough about me to “battle” it through.
I felt that silence was a sign that my feelings and thoughts were not worth talking about.
It seemed a punishment, a way to stonewall.
Today I know that silence is often the best choice when a situation is heated, or dismaying, and that time, and space often does bring a calmer conversation.
I have learned that when I hold my tongue, and wait, that often problems that seemed so looming and large are answered by just being quiet and letting things be.
If I catch myself trying to explain, trying to reason, trying to make a point, and yet not being understood… maybe it is time to take a step back, be silent, and allow the conversation to cool before approaching the topic again.
“Dear God, help me to remain calm. Help me to use silence to soothe a troubled moment instead of using words to fan the fire."
Before Al-Anon, I Was In "Rescue" Mode
I attended occasional Al‑Anon meetings through the years, but what brought me to Al‑Anon with a willingness to surrender was the realization that, despite several years in another Twelve Step program, I was again hopeless, helpless, and my life was out of control.
I had left my alcoholic husband years ago, in order to be free of the chaos caused by his drinking. Now I was experiencing the same type of relationship with our son. I was desperately trying to control him, trying to get him away from drugs and alcohol, and trying to get him to behave. If only he would, I would be okay. At least, that’s what I thought.
I also continued to seek out men with drinking problems who would use me. One even stole my car. I started going to Al‑Anon regularly and began applying the principles and Steps in my life. I was able to see more clearly how my need to control people, places, and things went back to when I was a child.
The day I knew Al‑Anon was really working in my life was the day my son was arrested. I didn’t lose my mind or my inner peace. I knew that I was powerless over my son and his choices, and that his mess was not for me to fix. I was amazed that although his life was in crisis, mine was not. My son, whom I believed could not survive without me, eventually worked through the legal problems he had created on his own. I had not taken his lesson to learn away from him. I did not lose a night’s sleep or a day’s work.
Today, I am in a loving relationship with a sober member of A.A. and I am able to love without losing myself. When I first heard about the “gifts” of Al‑Anon, I knew that was something I really wanted, but had no idea how to get. Today, I can be in relationship with others and still be me. I don’t feel it is my responsibility to rescue anyone else. I am truly grateful!
By Melody J., Georgia September, 2014
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA
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