Do you Believe? – Episode 270

Do you believe all things happen for a reason?
Do you believe that God can do for us things that we can’t do for ourselves?
Do you believe in coincidence, or that there is no such thing as coincidence?

What “higher power moments” have you experienced? (Step 2 moments)
What happens when you view them as miracles rather than coincidences?
When have you said “I have no idea how that happened?” (and were grateful for it!)

Today, we're talking about miracles, coincidences, and belief. We share some of our own and some of yours. We might follow this outline:

  • Definitions of “miracle”
    • a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
    • a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.
  • Definitions of “coincidence”
    • a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection
    • Scrabble points: 18
  • What miracles have you experienced in your life?
  • In your recovery (if different).
  • When you view a positive, unexplained event as a miracle instead of a coincidence, how does that change your experience?
  • How does it change you?
  • “When I seek, I find; when I look, I notice.”

Readings and links

Music and video clips

Miracle on 34th Street: clip “Susie Believes”

The Polar Express

The Loving Spoonful: Do You Believe in Magic

Gratitude 2018 – Episode 269

What are you grateful for in 2018?

Sure, I can write a gratitude list. I am grateful for those of you who sent in your expressions of gratitude.


I read from One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, May 5.

Kelly recommended a book, Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, by Lindsay C. Gibson.

Cristianne ordered Knock Knock Okay Fine, I'm Grateful! Inner-Truth Journal.

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Gratitude 2018 – Episode 269”

Mary Pearl T on Step 4 – Episode 268

As promised, here is a presentation by Mary Pearl T on Step 4, “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.


What about Gratitude – Episode 267

What about gratitude? How do you practice gratitude? Or, do you more often forget?

At two meetings this week, I was reminded of the importance of practicing gratitude in my life. Saturday morning, we were working from the Al-Anon 4th Step workbook, Blueprint for Progress. Once a month, we read a few questions from this book and each share our own responses. This month, in the chapter titled Character Traits, we examined our responses to the questions under the heading of Thankful / Ungrateful. The questions are:

  • Am I thankful for present blessings?
  • Have I ever made a list of things I am grateful for?
  • Do I take time to express my thanks to my Higher Power?

These questions made me stop and think, because I realized that I had fallen away from a daily practice of gratitude.
Some gems from the sharing: Gratitude jar, “Gratitude is an antidote to fear”

And then, Sunday night, we read from One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, the November 4th reading. (read it) For me, this reading highlights an opposite trait to gratitude. When I focus on the things that I am dissatisfied with, I find myself in a self-reinforcing attitude. Al-Anon gives me tools to move out of that place, if I choose to use them.

As we move into November, and the US season of Thanksgiving, my thoughts eventually turn to the things I am thankful for.

What are you thankful for? Are you thankful for present blessings? Do you make lists of thinkgs you are grateful for? Do you take time to express your gratitude to your Higher Power? Call or write us with your responses, and your sharing will be included in a Thanksgiving episode Gratitude 2018.

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here. Or visit our contact page for all the ways you can share in our conversation.


Singleness of Purpose – Episode 266

Why do we gather in Al-Anon groups? How do we maintain our singleness of purpose?

It’s been hard this week not to lose hope and to give in to despair about the divisiveness and even hate that seems to be the norm for society today. It’s brought me to reflect again on how amazing this program of recovery is. We come together in Al-Anon for one purpose: to recover from the effects of someone’s drinking or addiction on our own lives. This is the only reason we are here, and somehow we manage to keep the disagreements and debates out. How does this work?

Al-Anon has 12 traditions that help to guide us in how we conduct our meetings and ourselves in reaching for recovery. Several of these relate to this concept of “singleness of purpose.” These are:

Tradition 5, which defines that purpose: “Each Al-Anon Family Group has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics.”

Tradition 3 says that this is our only reason for coming together: “The relatives of alcoholics, when gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an Al-Anon Family Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.”

Traditions 6, 8, and 10 set some boundaries on how we express our singleness of purpose.

6: Our Al-Anon Family Groups ought never endorse, finance, or lend our name to any outside enterprise, lest problems … divert us from our primary spiritual aim.

8: Al-Anon Twelfth-Step work should remain forever nonprofessional…

10: The Al-Anon Family Groups have no opinion on outside issues…

Let’s look at some these, guided by questions from the book Paths to Recovery.

Tradition 5

  • How do I describe our primary purpose?
  • How can I guide [newcomers] to focus on the alcohol-related aspects of [their] problems?
  • What does comfort mean to me? How can I extend that to another person?

Tradition 3

  • Do I welcome all who attend our meeting even if they are different from me…?
  • Do I treat each member and potential member with unconditional love?
  • How can my group welcome members of other programs and maintain our Al-Anon focus?
  • Do I leave my other affiliations and interests outside the doors of Al-Anon?
  • How can I treat others with tolerance, acceptance and love?

Tradition 6:

  • Why do we not “endorse, finance or lend our name to any outside enterprise”?
  • How can I discourage members, without embarrassing them, from bring outside enterprises into our meetings.

Tradition 8:

  • Do I willingly share my ESH with those who are suffering from the family disease of alcoholism?
  • How can I share with others without trying to fix them?
  • At meetings to I speak as an export or as a fellow member?

Tradition 10:

  • How do I concentrate on our common bonds rather than on our differences?
  • If someone does bring up what I think is an outside issue, how can I gently bring discussion back to our Al-Anon approach?
  • Am I defensive because someone doesn’t agree with me?  How do I respond?

Readings and links

I read from Courage to Change, February 21.

I mentioned Anne Lamott's book Help, Thanks, Wow, which I also talked about in episode 111, Prayer.

A correspondent talked about how helpful the book Choosing to Forgive by Diane DeLong Clark had been for her.


An upcoming topic is about miracles or coincidences. Maybe you call them a “Step 2 experience”.How have you experienced miracles or coincidences as messages from your higher power? Big or small? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.