I think my peace comes from my good fortune.
How we define "good fortune" is a significant indicator of one's attitude. While winning the lottery might be judged as good fortune by all of us, virtually every other occurrence will be evaluated in a very individualistic way. What seems like a wonderful situation or opportunity to one might greatly frighten his or her neighbor.
Peacefulness is a feeling everyone deserves. Thank goodness it's attainable. Perhaps we're beginning to realize that it always was available even though it didn't seem within our grasp. The fault was never the result of external circumstances, even though that was where we laid the blame. Finally, we're becoming willing to see that we will have all the peace and good fortune we want by simply taking charge of how we interpret the experiences that trouble us.
We're never too old to develop a positive outlook on life. Some say, "I'm too old to change." But that's not true. Let's offer a good example to a friend who is still stuck in the chaos of a defeated perspective. Our demonstration of the attainment of peace may be all this person needs.
Peace can be enjoyed by me today, regardless of circumstances, if I shift my perception ever so slightly.
Healing The Wounded Little Boy Within
I was raised by an alcoholic grandfather and grandmother until I was five. I was then brought back to my family of origin and left to raise my brothers and sisters, with whom I had had little contact before then.
My parents were both alcoholics and dysfunctional “rage-a-holics”—fighting each other through their children, abandoning them as pawns in their drunken rages. However, they continued to excel at producing young ones for me to raise. By the time I was nine, I was the eldest of eight children and the proud surrogate father to my four younger sisters and three younger brothers.
Despite my best efforts to raise my siblings, I could never predict the source of either parent’s next drunken rage. I found some solace in academics and music, winning scholarships first to a prestigious secondary school and then to Harvard.
My paranoid necessity to control my environment—which stood me in good stead through high school, college, and my first job—completely turned on me when I moved cross-country and got turned down for a job. I just lost it.
I remember little other than the date of my first Al-Anon meeting. I cried all the way through it. Finally, there was a place where the scared, frightened, five-year-old Michael could actually come out and be loved and be supported. Everyone loved me and said “Keep Coming Back.”
Today, I know that I am not in control—and I am happy about it. My Higher Power is in charge. He knew that my harsh childhood would give me lots of empathy and patience. I have even been able to forgive my grandparents, my parents and most of all, the scared little kid inside me.
By Michael S., Washington April, 2011
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.