The Seventh Tradition says that we are self-supporting through our own contributions. I understand the financial aspect of that as it relates to meetings and every day life. But there are some other aspects of being self-supporting that are worth considering.
Being fully self-supporting means that I take care of myself. It is not taking care of another nor expecting others to take care of me. Assuming responsibilities for others robs them of their dignity and self-respect. To depend on another to fulfill my needs or carry out my responsibilities invites disappointment and resentment.
I have conceded that the troubles that I've had in relationships are of my own making. If I didn't accept that, then I would be saying that the things that happened to me were caused by other people or things. And the corollary to that fallacy would be that I would have to get the people or things to change if I were to get better. I know though that I'm powerless over others. So I don't put myself in the victim and self-pity mode much anymore. That way of thinking brings with it depression and a grinding, oppressive sense of defeat.
Being emotionally self-supporting was not the easiest thing to grasp. After years of relying on outside opinions to feel good about myself, it was hard to believe in myself. I would think that if only my wife would stop drinking and be happy, I would be okay. If only my father weren't so critical, then I would be okay. If only...if only....
I have wasted a lot of years taking care of others' business, especially that of the alcoholic in my life. I gave and gave, martyring myself, and then building a resentment when what I had done wasn't appreciated or acknowledged.
No one ever did anything to me that I didn't let happen. And I've had to come to terms with the fact that the things I let the people I love the most do to me were those things that I would never have tolerated in a colleague or casual acquaintance. So one of my solutions is to be wary of those who are toxic for me. Not every one can be a true friend. But I can't run everyone off because my spirit is one that has a desire to be with others.
I've often thought that it would be nice to not need others and to truly be fully self-supporting. But in the long run, the words "No man is an island" comes to mind. I know that I do need others in my life and that isolation for me isn't a healthy thing. It is okay to let the drawbridge down and allow others to enter my domain. I can just be a bit choosy about who I let in. What I have to remember is that the support that I receive that is the most dependable is from my Higher Power and those within the Al-Anon fellowship.
So in the long run, I am fully self-supporting with a few caveats: 1) I need others in my life but can not impose my expectations on them; 2) I need a Higher Power in my life because it is my soul and spirit that support me; and 3) I am part of a whole--I don't need to be everything without asking for anything. I can ask for what I need and in doing so, I become apart of and not separated from.
Al-Anon has helped me see how deficient I was in being emotionally self supporting. I realize now that my life doesn't depend on anyone's approval. I need for my life to depend on my own emotional support, and God's help. Sure, there are slips. But all in all, I'm realizing that I have the right to be happy and responsible for my own emotional welfare.