Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Gift of Al Anon – Unexpectedly Leading a Meeting on Tradition Seven


The Gift of Al Anon – Unexpectedly Leading a Meeting

Throughout my years as a member of Al Anon, I’ve had the privilege of leading numerous meeting including a speaker meeting where I shared my story. Leading an open meeting or a group meeting involving any of the 12 Steps falls well within my comfort zone.  But, until this evening, I’d managed to evade leading a meeting on any of the 12 Traditions of Al Anon.  Despite having read the 12 Traditions, which afford suggestions as to how the An Anon groups should guide themselves, I’d never really thought about the 12 Traditions speaking to me personally.

Since the member who had originally volunteered to lead the meeting was unable to attend, I was asked to step in. So I picked up a copy of the book, Paths To Recovery, knowing I would find inspiration, and found just what I needed for the meeting and for myself. Although Paths To Recovery is  a book I not only own, but have read, it was not until this evening, in the midst of sharing during a meeting about Traditions 7, 8, and 9 that it dawned on my how these Traditions actually apply to me personally on a daily basis.

In particular,  Tradition 7 resonated with me today: “Every group ought to be self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” This had always meant, to me, that the group was financially self –supporting. It also meant that as an individual, I should be financially self-supporting. But, the readings in Paths To Recovery lead me to a new and deeper understanding of my role within the group and my role in my everyday life.

Essentially, my readings and sharing reinforced what I’d already learned in Al Anon but had never associated with a Tradition – I cannot depend on another person for my happiness. My attitude, my happiness, my sense of peace and serenity is up to me. I need to depend on what lies within me for my spiritual, emotional, mental, physical and social wellbeing. If somebody disagrees or is angry with me – it is not my problem and I do not have to react or respond. I do not have to give them any power over me, my moods, my thoughts, my attitude, my sense of self or let them occupy my head or spirit. Al Anon has given me the tools to get my life together, accept my blessings, let go of resentments and the trash of the past, and move forward, one day at a time, with inner peace and serenity.   
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