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

Enabling or Empowering? – Episode 261

How have you enabled your loved ones’ alcoholism? What is enabling, anyway? How do you know when you’re doing it and when you are empowering them, instead?

  • What does the dictionary say?
  • Merriam-Webster
    • 1 a : to provide with the means or opportunity: training that enables people to earn a living
    • b : to make possible, practical, or easy: a deal that would enable passage of a new law
    • c : to cause to operate: software that enables the keyboard
    • 2 : to give legal power, capacity, or sanction to: a law enabling admission of a state
  • From Urban Dictionary
    • Enabling
      Shielding a person from the consequences of a destructive behavior; Allowing a person's destructive behavior to persist by managing or minimizing the ill-effects of the behavior.”Enabling” vs. “Empowering”Enabling: supporting a person's behavior that (repeatedly/habitually) instigates a negative or destructive resultEmpowering: supporting a person's ability or effort in a positive or progressive endeavorEnabling can be as destructive as the behavior itself . . . a person enabling a destructive behavior is motivated by their need to do so and is gratified by reinforcing their superiority or control over that person; An “enabler” holds a person in an inferior state by denying them the motivation to change and therefore, the opportunity to grow.
  • What does enabling mean to you?  How does that relate to the definitions we just read?
  • Did you understand/head you heard of enabling before you came to Al-Anon?
  • What are some ways in which you have enabled others' dysfunction/addiction/behavior?
  • How can we (especially as parents) distinguish between supporting, helping, empowering, and enabling?
    • Can we look at our motivations, expectations, fears?
    • Slogans
      • Let Go and Let God
      • How Important is it?
      • WAIT
      • THINK
    • Boundaries
    • Detaching with love
    • Clarity: “mine or not mine?”
    • “When in doubt, don’t”
    • Serenity prayer (knowing the difference)
    • “Al-Anon pause”
  • What are healthy ways to be supportive without enabling?

We read from or discussed these resources:

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Enabling or Empowering? – Episode 261”

Perspective – Episode 258

What does it mean to “place our problem in its true perspective”? Can a change in perspective change everything?

    • Our suggested opening says “as we learn to place our problem in its true perspective, we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives”.
    • What is perspective?
      • From dictionary.com:
      • the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship: You have to live here a few years to see local conditions in perspective.
      • the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship: Your data is admirably detailed but it lacks perspective.
      • a mental view or prospect: the dismal perspective of terminally ill patients.
      • a way of regarding situations, facts, etc, and judging their relative importance
      • the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it; objectivity: try to get some perspective on your troubles
      • Scrabble points: 26
    • Perception and attitude: perception is how i see things. Attitude is how I react. (http://sarahtauber.com/interesting-words/perception-vs-attitude-difference/ )
    • How do I lose perspective?
      • (Over) reacting in the moment.
      • Dramatizing / awfulizing
      • Minimizing (denial)
      • Not looking at “the bigger picture”
    • What happens when I lose perspective?
    • How can I “put things in perspective” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anxiety-files/201702/putting-things-in-perspective)
      • Ask yourself what is the cost to you and others of your reaction?
      • Observe and describe rather than judging.
        • HALT (Am I hungry angry lonely, or tired?, WAIT (why am i talking), THINK (thoughtful, honest, intelligent, necessary, kind)
      • What can you still do? (Serenity prayer, first things first)
        • Pause
        • Serenity prayer
      • Ask how you will feel in a week? A month? A year?
        • Regret, shame, guilt? 8th step list?
        • How important will this seem in the future?
      • Consider it as an inconvenience instead of the “end of the world.”
      • “Rational” comes from “ratio” — consider proportion
    • Making crisis work for us (https://al-anon.org/blog/affairs-making-crises-work/ )
      • Breaking through denial
      • Slowly rising awareness
      • Sudden revelation
    • TED talk “transformative power of classical music”  — Story (from The Art of Possibility) about shoe salesmen in Africa, opportunity, and perspective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9LCwI5iErE\
    • Program tools
      • Serenity prayer
      • Let go and let God
      • How important is it?
    • Quotes: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/perspectives and https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/different_perspective

Readings

How Al-Anon Works:

  • Chapter 16: Tradition 1
  • Part 2, Chapter 16, “A Nun finds Spiritual Peace”
  • Part 2, chapter 31, “Letting Go of a Loved One’s Alcohol, Drug, and Money Problems”

Courage to Change

  • January 27, “sometimes dirty dishes are just dirty dishes” (How Important is it?)
  • June 24 — “It wasn’t much of a day for egg-laying, but it was a great day for music!”

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Perspective – Episode 258”

Freedom – Episode 241

What does freedom mean to you? What freedom have you found in recovery?

Eric suggested this topic, and we were loosely guided in our conversation by this outline.

  • Definition of freedom? Many definitions…
  • Do I believe that freedom only comes from being in control of my life?
  • What does it mean to me (now) that “freedom can only come from acceptance”?
  • The blog “Through an Al-Anon Filter” says
    If I want peace, I must give my program away to others. If I want growth, I must give up my belief in my own “rightness.” If I want serenity, I must give up self-will, and be open to my Higher Power. If I want freedom, I must give up my need to control.

    If I want real, lasting change, I must give up my safe misery.
  • (How) do I understand this in my life?
  • Concept Three 
The Right of Decision makes effective leadership possible.
    • We have the right to decide, to make choices. This is a powerful idea and one that many of us may have lost sight of growing up in families that were dysfunctional.
    • “When I began studying Concept Three, I found the answer. It wasn’t alcoholism that bothered me. It was someone taking away my right of decision.” Reaching for Personal Freedom p. 132
  • What freedom(s) have I found in recovery?
    • Free to live my life. I don’t have to follow the whims and wishes of my loved one (I can choose to do so, but I don’t have to.)
    • Free to take care of myself (instead of my loved one).
    • Free to grow.
    • Free to laugh.
    • Free to make choices.
    • Free to know myself.
    • Free to let go of the past (but not wish to shut the door on it).
    • Free to find gratitude in the little (and the big) things, even when some part of my life sucks.
    • I am becoming Free FROM;
      • Despair
      • Sadness
      • Loneliness
      • Isolation
      • Anxiety
      • Blame
      • Resentments
      • Feeling trapped
      • Fear
      • Anger
      • Guilt
      • Shame
      • Dependence (on others)
      • Expectations (of others)
    • I am become FREE TO;
      • Live and Let Live
      • Let It Go
      • Surrender without giving up
      • Say No (and feel good about it)
      • Detach, with love
      • Set boundaries
      • Allow consequences to happen
      • Love, not need
      • Walk away
      • Feel, without fear
      • Say what I mean
      • Go slow
      • Enjoy solitude
      • Be happy
      • Have choices
      • Take risks
      • To be wrong
      • Trust
      • Laugh more (Promise 12)
    • Who knew!?  (as my sponsor said yesterday when I read him my list… 😊)
  • We want to be “happy, joyous, and free”

Upcoming topics include is talking to young children about recovery. Also parenting in all its aspects. And, violence by the “Al-Anon” in a relationship. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Freedom – Episode 241”

Slogans part 2 – Episode 235

How do you use slogans? Do you “let it begin with me”? When do you ask yourself “Is it worth my serenity?” How do you “Live and let live”?

  • 3 slogans for today.
    • Let it begin with me.
    • Is it worth my serenity?
    • First things first.
  • For each slogan: How do I understand the slogan?
  • What did I think when I first heard each slogan?
  • Has my understanding changed?
  • How have I applied the slogan in the past? Now?
  • The “Al-Anon declaration” includes the words “Let it begin with me” twice. Why?
    • LET IT BEGIN WITH ME—When anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, let the hand of Al‑Anon and Alateen always be there and LET IT BEGIN WITH ME
  • Do I use “Let it begin with me” to remind me that my recovery comes first?
    • Sort of like the “oxygen mask” metaphor?
    • “Isms” and “if you spot it, you got it”
  • What happens when I ask “Is it worth my serenity?” How does it change the way I react to situations?
  • Do I use “first things first”
    • To reduce frustration, fear, or uncertainty?
    • To help me move forward one step towards a goal I don’t know how to reach?
    • To help me choose from several “next steps”?

Our topic for next week is new topic. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Readings

We opened with a reading from Chapter 9 of How Al-Anon Works, Slogans.

Later, we read from Courage to Change, April 18 and December 2.

Continue reading “Slogans part 2 – Episode 235”