Alanon 12 Steps Family – Daily Meditation
In the official “One Day at a Time in Al Anon” (Al Anon Family Group Headquarters 22nd 1987 edition, NYC), on page 115, under the entry for April 24, it says: “Today’s Reminder – I had never admitted to myself that I was wrong or at fault in anything that happened. It was something of a shock to learn that I am expected, as part of the Al-Anon programs, to search my own shortcomings. I must be honest with and about myself in order to start on the highroad to serenity. Will I be able to meet this challenge?”
The basic concept behind today’s meditation is the premise that Al Anon daily can really change the individual’s life, but brutal honesty is required for success of any of the Alanon 12 steps programs. It stands that as the family or friend of an addict, the individual must not fall into the pattern of behavior in which they blame their own short comings, failures or frustrations on the addict they’re interacting with. The idea instead, is to focus on the self. To not waist energy and upset one’s self passing judgment on another, in this case the addict, but rather to focus on changing the one thing any individual has the ability to correct, themselves.
My own personal experience is that the premise is very close to Buddhist and Taoist precepts in which everything outside the self can act as a distraction to detract the individual from working on their own spiritual cultivation. Likewise, in the Al Anon 12 steps programs, the individual must accept their circumstance and work on their own control rather than controlling the exterior environment that surrounds them.
It reminds me of an anecdote. My father is a good man but amongst other things, he is also someone who abuses substances. For years, since I cleaned up, I’ve tried to persuade him to do the same with no success. Often, it resulted in frustration, shouting and overall disgruntled feelings, which for any recovering addict can act as a trigger to consume.
Nonetheless, as I began to notice how I’d lose my center, after such altercations, and further read the Al Anon Blue Book, I began to understand that instead of pushing my expectations onto him, it was better that I internalized them and focused on my own recovery. Once I began doing this, I accepted my father’s position on the issue and didn’t argue or fight with him again about it. It helped over all, in recovery and as a person, for any control issues I encountered.