The topic at last night's meeting was how to make amends to ourselves. Not unlike the alcoholic, I came into Al-Anon with a lot of baggage. I was unhappy, emotionally bankrupt, and fed up with so many things, most of all the alcoholic. I was ready to leave my marriage.
Gradually, in baby steps, I began to see that instead of blaming my problems on alcoholism, I needed to look at what I was doing. So by turning the magnifying glass on myself and working the steps of the program, I came to realize that I needed to acknowledge my own role in things. It would have been easy to get stuck in my own self-flagellation about what a bad person I am and how selfish and dishonest I had been in the marriage.
Instead, I learned that for all those character defects that I had, I had a lot of positive assets as well. I also learned that by talking to my sponsor and to my Higher Power, I could share those things that had been rotting my soul. It was a major step towards forgiving myself and letting go of the past.
So through the program, I've come to realize that the things I've done are human things, and that beating myself up over the past keeps me stuck in self-pity. I've learned that my Higher Power isn't vengeful but understanding. And that if I trust, have willingness, faith and humility, then I can move forward to the present and leave the baggage of the past behind. That's how I learned to make amends to myself.