This episode was inspired by the book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brené Brown. The gifts of imperfection, according to Brown, are courage, compassion, and connection. And with them, we can begin to live whole-heartedly.
Think back to your first meeting. How did you find the courage to walk in? How do you now find the courage to openly speak of what is happening in your heart and soul? We practice courage every day, and with it we can begin to embrace our imperfection.
I found compassion for myself as I worked the steps, and in particular as I worked the steps in the company of others. I was able to see my wholeness, to see that I was not uniquely flawed, and to start to accept myself as I was and to find compassion for myself as an imperfect person. And in finding compassion for myself, I could more easily “suffer with” (have compassion for) others.
And the last is not least: connection was the first thing I found in Al-Anon. At the end of my first meeting, I was no longer alone in my struggle and fear and desperation. I found connection, soul-deep connection, with others who were walking my journey. This connection, more than anything, kept me coming back.
What blocks us from living with a whole heart? Brown suggests 10 “guideposts”, each described as a positive attribute, and also described in term of letting go. This resonates strongly with me, because the first slogan I adopted from Al-Anon was “Let Go”. (“Let God” came later.) What are these guideposts?
- Authenticity (Letting go of what people think)
- Self-Compassion (Letting go of Perfectionism)
- Resilient Spirit (Letting go of numbing and powerlessness)
- Gratitude and Joy (Letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark)
- Intuition and Faith (Letting go of the need for certainty)
- Creativity (Letting go of comparison)
- Play and Rest (Letting go of exhaustion=status and productivity=self-worth)
- Calm and Stillness (Letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle)
- Meaningful work (Letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to”)
- Laughter, Song and Dance (Letting go of being cool and in control)
Upcoming topics include some more Concepts of service, and Al-Anon Dreams. A reader wrote in asking about intervention. If you have had experience with doing an intervention with a loved one, and you would like to share that experience, please call or email. I would love to put together an episode of The Recovery Show on intervention. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Akilah wrote to us:
Over on Recovery Radio Network, there’s a speaker who covers the Concepts of Service and what they mean/how to apply them to Al-Anon and our daily lives. I believe the speaker is the director of the WSO, but I may be misremembering his exact title. I found it really helpful. Here are links to the feeds, or you can access them through the podcast:
Also, the first 15 minutes or so of part 1 has some housekeeping stuff in it, just in case you’re wondering just when he’s going to start already.
Music from the show
Pink – F**kin’ Perfect
Amanda Falk – Endless
Saving Jane – Imperfection