Kindness: Loaning someone your strength instead of reminding them of their weakness. -Andy Stanley
Of all the negative emotions, resentment diminishes us the most. It brings unwarranted anger toward those who have something we want, and self-pity for ourselves. It drains us of the energy we need to change our lives and work toward goals. Resentment keeps us in a rigid judgment of who "should" and who "should not" achieve success; all "should" attitudes are pointless, breeding discontent and wasting time. Above all, resentment is ugly to see and even uglier to feel. When I'm resentful, I feel hatred toward others and myself.
Today, I ask for the humility to accept my limitations, without resenting others who have exceeded them. I ask for the courage to pursue my own goals, not comparing myself to others.
From Anger to Serenity:
Changing Myself, Understanding Others
I came to Al-Anon because I was very angry at a young alcoholic. He is the son of the woman I am dating and he is making her life and consequently mine-miserable. I wanted to learn how I could change him. I also wanted to understand what his mother was experiencing.
And because I wanted her to be happy, I needed to change her too.
To my surprise, I didn't learn how to cure the alcoholic in our lives. In fact, I was told I had no control over alcoholism. This was a shock. At the very least, a good kick in the pants should work! Not only could I not control his disease, I couldn't control my friend's reactions. What was I doing at this meeting?
Maybe it was the members' warmth and kindness or their insightful comments that kept me coming back. I attended an open A.A. meeting and read the al-Anon literature. Soon I found myself listening and learning from all the members of the group as I continued to participate.
Over time, my anger toward the alcoholic dissipated and an understanding of his mother's angst evolved. I now realize what has been happening. I was no longer trying to change or control other people. Although I am an unfinished work, I have been changing myself.
Al-Anon helps me with my daily life, whether in work situations, social interactions, or the painful experience of my brother's recent death. What Al-anon has brought me is a new outlook on life.
As I have worked on my self-improvement, I have also seen my friend improve. Each of us attends a meeting and when we get home, we telephone and discuss the insights we have gained. It is an important element that has led to a loving, supportive relationship.
On this, my first anniversary, I want to say that I admire all of you and I thank you for your thoughts, support, sharing, and courage. And yes, as the Suggested Closing says, I have come to love each of you in a very special way.
By John F., Indiana February, 2008
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA
Today's Hope is a Recovery themed site with a focus on Friends and Families of Alcoholics and problem drinkers. We are not affiliated with any 12 Step program. 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.