closer – a meditation

closer to perfection



I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.



I am a perfectionist. I want everything I do to be done perfectly. This is not a realistic attitude, it leads to disappointment, and sometimes even prevents me from starting on something because I can't do it perfectly.

I have learned a new way of living. The slogan “Progress, not perfection” reminds me that I will never be perfect, but that I can make progress and improve myself and my life. There are times when it seems that my life is still a wreck. If I take a moment and look back, I can see that, while it is still not everything I'd like it to be, my life is much better than it was in the past. I am not out of debt, but my debt is smaller, and I have a plan to make it smaller still. My belly is still rounder than I want it to be, but it's smaller than it was. I still sometimes react angrily to someone's actions, but not nearly as often as I did a few years ago.

I may not be “there” yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday. For this, I can be grateful.

A meditation for January 11, 2013.

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thinking – a meditation

“…there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” The slogan “First things first” helps me to avoid over-thinking.





“…there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

– Shakespeare



I can very easily over-think things. When I do that, I put my serenity at risk, particularly when I start projecting what might happen in the future. I can very easily descend into what a friend calls “awfulizing” or “catastrophizing”. When I do that, I become more and more sure that the worst will happen, and I bring unneeded fear and anxiety into my life. The program gives me some tools to help me out. One of these is the slogan “First things first”, which can also be expressed as “Do the next right thing.” It reminds me to stay in today, to think about what I need to do now, and to not get too far into the unknown future.

A meditation for January 10, 2013.

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the truth may vary – a meditation

Though the truth may vary,
This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore.

though the truth may vary, this ship will carry our bodies safe to shore



Though the truth may vary,
This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore.

Of Monsters and Men — Little Talks



Everyone has their own story, their own truth. In AlAnon, we share our truths, finding our commonalities, and building a ship that will carry us through the storm and chaos of our loved ones' addictions. Truly, “though the truth may vary”, the ship of the program will carry us safely to the shore of recovery.

A meditation for January 9, 2013.

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Love, strength, and courage – a meditation

Lao Tzu on love, strength, and courage: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”




Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

– Lao Tzu


In the suggested Al-Anon closing, it says “… although you may not like all of us, you'll love us in a very special way, the same way we already love you.” When I first heard this, I didn't know what to think. It seemed a bit corny. But I have found it to be quite true. This love was exhibited in my first meeting, when I mumbled something about my situation and cried, and everybody was silent, letting me say my little bit through my tears and sobs. It was shown by the members who offered me, a stranger, their phone numbers. We see it whenever one of us shares from our own heart, that another member may find a bit of solace and help. From this totally unexpected, unconditional love, came the strength to begin to do the work of the program. And, as I did that work, I found within myself the same love for others. I could feel it in the special peace and serenity that descended on me like a blanket, whenever I walked into a meeting. I could feel it as I identified with someone's sharing. And that love gave me courage. First, the courage of belief in the process. Courage to “change the things I can,” which is only myself. Courage to face those parts of me that I don't like so much. Courage to own them and to ask my Higher Power with acceptance and humility to remove them from me. And the courage to support others in the program through sponsorship. And as I do, my love comes back to me through them, completing the circle. Truly, we can keep it only by giving it away.

A meditation for January 8, 2013.

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Choices – Episode 5

Do we have choices in our lives? What kinds of choices do we have? How have we found choices in recovery? Kelli, Swetha, and Spencer discuss our experience, strength, and hope about finding and making choices in our lives, before and after we found recovery.

Kelli, Swetha, and Spencer talk about choices. In the past, we did not understand that we had choices. Much of the time, we felt that there was no choice. We may have thought that any decision must be black and white, good and bad, or that we must make a decision right away. Much of the time, we felt constrained by the decisions made by others, such as our parents. Spencer talks about making decisions such as what house to buy, where to go to school, with very little thought. He relates that, when he was early in Al-Anon, that he was told that he did not have to make a choice immediately, that he could wait. Swetha talks about feeling that any choice must be a permanent choice, that if she chose chocolate ice cream one day, she was committed to chocolate forever. When Kelli began to understand that she had choices, she found the idea scary.

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