I have found that this is a program for living. I know that the more years I attend, the better I will be at living life on life's terms. I have seen great changes in others and can feel the changes within myself. I can go to a meeting and will hear exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. I learn the value of mistakes when I really start to listen to other people. When I sit at a meeting and share with others, I find myself admiring those people who can admit when they have problems and are seeking a solution. I see the courage that it takes to work this program. I find humility in myself and others. It isn't weakness or glumness, but simply our humanness.
This program of recovery has given so much to me. My sponsor has been there since the beginning. Now, I can give back what has been so freely given to me. And by being apart of this program, I give of myself, yet get back something far more valuable in return.
The consequence of coming, keeping and open mind, applying the steps, traditions, concepts, slogans, philosophy, literature and suggestions from my sponsor is that my life is much less reactive and more appropriately responsive to events that go on about and around me, in the rooms or not. If the truth is that those who have come from the disease and suffered the most have done so because of inappropriate and unacceptable choices and behaviors, then I don't need to have unreal expectations that they are going to immediately be okay because they are at a meeting.
Here are some things that I have decided to do in order to get what I need from meetings:
- Be the change I would like to see in the meeting.
- Keep the focus on myself
- Share my Experience, Strength and Hope and keep an open mind.
- Let go of expectations and Let God.
- Adhere to the Traditions myself
- Be of maximum service
My wish for those who are new is that this program can be what you make it. Like most things in life, I get out of something what I put into it. I have found that what I put into Al-Anon recovery, I gain ten fold in return. My hope for those who find their way to a meeting is that they take away what they like and leave the rest, honor themselves on this journey, and be fully present on the path to recovery. Some may find another path to spiritual growth. No one says that any one method is the answer. But so far for me, I have found that the lessons I have learned in Al-Anon are enormously useful.