Thursday, January 28, 2010

An amends to Al-Anon

Today is bright and sunny.  I feel tired and not filled with much energy. I know that I would like to go home, get in bed with a good book, read until I'm sleepy and then take a long nap. Instead, I am going to my noon meeting.

Last week, I left the meeting before it was over.  There was so much cross talk and triple dipping that I decided to quietly get up and leave about ten minutes before the meeting was over. I thought that the meeting was being hi-jacked. I had a resentment and acted on it. Today I will go to the meeting and make an amends to the group.  Regardless of what is going on in a meeting, I can quietly wait until the meeting is over to make a comment if a tradition has been violated.  Or I can request that a group conscious meeting be held if there is something that I think needs to be addressed.

My judgmental attitude towards those who are in my meetings does nothing to help me or others.  I am only exercising my old pattern of thinking that I know a better way.

We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path. Paul Coelho.


  1. This is the second post today that make me think of those three fingers that point back at me. I hate eating crow which keeps my mouth shut 95% of the time. I am glad amends can heal the other 5%.

    I hope you get some rest, good, rest, deep sleep, no dreams rest tonite.


  2. I love that quote. When I let my old self do all my thinking I regress to "my way is the best or only" way.
    How grateful I am when I can catch myself. Thanks for your post today.

  3. Could be that the "triple dippers" are exercising a New Year's resolution to "speak up" more. And got carried away. Or not.

    Either way, I think your motivation to make amends is a perfect example of the program in action. I love that.

  4. Thank you for this post! What a great reminder that I do have a voice by suggesting a group conscience if I feel traditions aren't being followed.

    And, appropriate to read today as it's almost noon here, and I would rather not go to the meeting---there seem to be so many other important things today.

    You've helped me see my spiritual health is number one to whatever else i think i have going on.

    thank you!

    p.s. new reader, and really enjoy your blog! found you through Mary Christine's Being Sober blog @

  5. Some days I have more patience than others for extended "ramblings" in the form of sharing.

  6. That would be a tricky amends for me to make. If I didn't quite get it right, I could see my amends backfiring, and causing further hurt feelings. Or, managed well, I could imagine it leading to very fruitful group discussion and a new group conscience about sharing. I hope you'll share how you handle it.

  7. I could really relate to this post - judgement on my part may feel temporarily satisfying, but does nothing to help me in my program, or the others on my group.

  8. Syd - I certainly support anyone who makes a stand for their program so that it will be and remain solid for those who need it. I hope your efforts are/were appreciated by those around you as they are by me.

    Blessings and aloha...

  9. Amends is a good thing to do even if it means eating some crow.I've done it numerous times on my blog.

  10. I have been a fan of Paul Coelho many years. Lately I have found others who enjoy his work and it was awesome to see his quote in your post.

  11. I dont see how you harmed a group by leaving early?

    How did the group suffer as a result? I hope you are not being to self critical. You are allowed to not like what you area hearing in a meeting, and make a healthy choice to leave. I call that self care. :)

  12. I mentioned my clay feet and an amends to be made the other day in my blog. I see your clay feet and the humility to make an amends in this blog.

    What a wonderful example you set.


  13. HiSyd,

    You are a brave soul, and I think you may be a bit tough on yourself; however, I agree with you - in that -if something sits in my think-bank for more than an hour, I need to address the issue and figure my part in it. You expressed your resentment to the group at the unacceptability of the group's behavior.

    Brings to mind one of my groups - there was a newcomer who very proudly shared when it was her turn, that she had the opportunity to confront an individual she felt uncomfortable with, and responded to his flirty remark, '.... and I am Al-Anon, so leave me alone!' The group just roared at this experience, it was too funny. Even though this action does not quite equate with yours, it reminds me that I need not assume the job of 'Al-Anon police!' Now, with this, I hope you are laughing! The incident was brought up at the same meeting last week, after nearly a year - - - and it evoked the same hilarity!

    A group conscience may offer the opportunity for you and everyone else in that group to express your thoughts, and set up the autonomy of that group by listing the format items the group wishes to honor.

    Good luck! Question: How important is it?

    Anonymous #1

  14. I'm really not sure about your amends but you are you and know what you need to do. I wrote a couple weeks back about a mtg on the subject of Step 9 and one of the bothersome things to me were a couple people who mentioned still needing to make amends to abusive parents--lock the kids in the unlit damp cellar type of abusers.

    Some things are WRONG. If we recite the traditions and then violate them, that is WRONG. You voted with your feet, I'm not sure whether your amend is for taking an action or not taking an action or because you doubt your perceptions after the fact. You probably already have it figured out and God bless.

  15. I hear you -- to get up and walk out of a meeting leaves others feeling rebuked but unsure why you left and unable to engage with you, interact, right themselves. I have seen those prima donna exits fairly often in AA (sometimes very discreet but again leaving others uncertain and worried) and it is nearly always better to ask for a group conscience or request that the chair intervene.

  16. Keepin the street clean.
    Loved your honesty

  17. There are some terms I am not familar with: triple-dipping...for one. It will help me when you share your outcome, so that I can learn from your experience.

    I've always understood that in our meetings, we as individuals can speak from our own humility, right in the meeting, when a principle is violated. It can be done with tact and "I" statements. But I may be wrong on this, for your particular case. Because of terms that I could be misinterpreting.
    Best, Smitty

  18. It's funny (well not really), how we get about our meetings. My home group has decided to change its format and I was the only one who wanted it to remain the same. I got to share my opinion with the other two members and they went the way they went. That's how AA works.

    Sometimes it is very difficult to apply the principles OF our program TO our program.


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