Step 12 says “… we tried … to practice these principles in all our affairs“. It's easy to say but harder to do.
Al-Anon doesn't do me much good if I pick and choose where I'm going to put it into practice. Program works best when I embrace it wholeheartedly: give up my excuses, rationalizations, justifications, and work to make the principles a part of my daily, hourly, life. (…In All Our Affairs, Al-Anon Family Groups)
How do we take these things we talk about in here and try to learn from the meetings, and actually use / apply them to life, every day, in every way possible? Not just with our alcoholic or addicts, but with the line at the grocery store or the dreaded dmv, the person who insults or acts unkindly toward us, cuts us off in traffic, acts rudely or with hostility or anger, or takes advantage of us….?
I “carry” a “tool box” full of Alanon Slogans and sayings, and a spiritual canteen of positive past results experienced for times when I need refreshment or reminders of these results, in Life, not in the rooms. My tools are kept lubricated by prayer and meditation, calls to my sponsor and fellow members, reading, listening on phone meetings, participating in the program in various ways through service, attending meetings, and carrying the message to others by example and attraction.
Some things I do differently now:
- Asking for help.
- Taking responsibility for my actions. (Not blaming the cop for giving me a ticket.)
- Saying “no”.
- Doing my part and letting go of expectations of outcomes.
- Pause before I react. Slogans “THINK”, “How important is it?” are helpful.
- Using “neutral responses” such as “That’s Interesting”, “Let me think about that”, “I hear you”, “you don’t say”, “that’s one way to look at it”, or my favorite “Ah-Ha” or “Oh”
Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email email@example.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Music from the show
Brandon Heath: Give Me Your Eyes
Jason Mraz: Living in the Moment
Mavis Staples: You are not Alone
Eric sent me this photo of his page of “neutral responses”. May they be of use to you.