Is your voice heard, even when others disagree? Why is it important that everyone has an opportunity to be heard? How do you practice listening in your life? Meetings? Family? Work?

Concept 5 states “The rights of appeal and petition protect minorities and insure that they be heard.” Spencer and Eric share how this concept can be applied in our lives, as well as in our meetings.

  • Definitions.
    • “Listening intently is the ultimate form of love.”
    • Listen – give one’s attention to a sound; take notice of; act on what someone says; pay attention; take heed; take notice; be alert and ready to hear something.
    • Speaking out or up – express one’s feelings and opinions frankly and publicly
      • People in the rooms can take a long time to speak up, to feel safe to speak
      • It’s ok to have an opinion, even when it differs from others’
  • Two largest fears: 1. Public speaking. 2. Death (is second!)
  • Aspects of practicing Concept 5:
  • Balance
  • Listening
    • “Do we grant other people the time to say what they need to day, to clarify their thoughts, even to say things we don’t like to hear?” (HAW Chapter 14)
  • Respect
  • Open minded
  • Trust
  • A right to have a say
  • Speaking up
  • Saying what I feel
  • Letting go of my certainty that I am right!
  • My opinion does matter, but it is mine alone.
  • Am I speaking my opinion or trying to control others? “If we keep saying the same thing again and again, instead of saying it once and letting it go, we are probably attempting to control.” (How Al-Anon Works, Concept 5)
  • How do we use this concept in our group conscience meetings?
  • Slogans:
    • Listen and Learn
    • Keep an Open Mind
    • Think
    • “You may be right” (it *should* be a slogan!)
    • WAIT – “Why am I talking?” – pause!
  • The orange story – fully understanding each others’ needs can lead to a better solution.
  • Topics from Reaching for Personal Freedom
    • I have a voice
    • Finding the courage to speak
    • Learning to speak honestly
    • Seeing from a different angle
    • Understanding another point of view
    • The right to be heard

Readings and Links

We read from

Reaching for Personal Freedom

Upcoming topics

We are interested in your sharing on two topics

  • Being a man in Al-Anon.
  • Being a dual member (also known as “double winner.”)

How do you use your recovery tools and principles in your daily life? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Music from the Show

John Mayer – Say
Sarah McLachlan – Find Your Voice
Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb

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