Looking Back, Looking Ahead – Episode 101

peace at sunsetHave you made New Year resolutions? How has that worked for you in the past? Is there a way to use our program tools instead?

This is the time of year when we look back at the year gone by and forward at the year to come. Spencer talks about his process of “looking back, looking ahead” at this beginning of the new year and end of the old.

  • How do I do this?
  • I can ask myself, how are my actions in alignment with my values?
    • There is discomfort in the gap that spurs me to want to change
  • The program gives me tools for this: Steps 4–7.
  • What are my values? When I state my values as aspirations of the way I want to act, I can more clearly see the alignment (or not) of my actions with them.
    • Integrity: I act in all things according to my true self. I state my beliefs honestly and openly.
    • Commitment: I do not make commitments I cannot keep, and I keep the commitments I make.
    • Acceptance: When I disagree with someone, I may argue my position, but I will not diminish their personhood.
    • Love: I express my love openly and appropriately.
  • How have my actions this year aligned, or not, with my values?
    • Acceptance is hard. I react emotionally to some people, and let those reactions color my interactions.  On the plus side: I am more aware of this when it happens, and more likely to modify my response.
    • I can “go along” with something I don’t agree with, because it is too uncomfortable to disagree. This happens less often than it used to.
    • I can express my desires and needs when they are important to me.
    • I sometimes overcommit and under-deliver.
    • I find it difficult at times to express my true feelings to my wife.
    • I have openly stated and explained my spiritual beliefs and practices, even when I don’t know they will be accepted by those to whom I am speaking.
  • What can I let go of, that is no longer of use to me?
    • What holds me back?
    • Stuff! Clothes I haven’t worn in a decade.
  • What do I want to bring into my life (more) in the coming year?
    • Self-care: physical and spiritual (I do OK on the mental front)
    • Family: I will spend more “quality” time with my family
    • Money: I will work to be more attentive to our financial status.

Next week’s topic will be the first of a series on Al-Anon’s concepts of service, focusing on Concepts 1 and 2. These say

  1. The Ultimate Responsibility and Authority for Al-Anon World Services Belongs to the Al-Anon Groups.
  2. The Al-Anon Family Groups Have Delegated Complete Administrative and Operational Authority to their Conference and its Service Arms.

In my experience, many Al-Anon members are not at all familiar with the Concepts, and that includes me. We will explore not only what these concepts mean for Al-Anon as a whole, but perhaps more importantly, how we can use them in our day to day lives. These two raise an interesting question in my mind: What is the difference between “Ultimate responsibility and authority” versus “administrative and operational authority”? What might these phrases mean in my family life? my work life?

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.

Music from the show

KT Tunstall – Through the Dark

Danny Gokey – My Best Days are in Front of Me

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