I went to a noon day Al-Anon meeting. I sat there with my mouth closed and I prayed.
I have been doing a lot of praying lately. I have never been a pray-er before Al-Anon.
About a year and a half ago a therapist my wife and I were seeing, told me to go to Al-Anon. My wife had stormed out of the meeting - she was drunk and neither the therapist nor me recognized that she was blitzed until 40 minutes into the session.
He said - "Are you a spiritual person?" My thoughts were: Are you freaking crazy???!! I have a wife who drives around town drunk with children in the car. Are you asking me to worship some sort of thing?!
I had no clue what spiritual meant. I think about this now as I type this. You see I forgot about this - and the question the therapist asked me. And I forgot how the question triggered in me a sense of - "Are you for freakin' real???"
The Al-Anon Meeting - Letting Go
But this post is about letting go. The topic was Progress not Perfection and Letting Go. Everyone commented on Progress. I don't think I am a perfection addict. I would like to be seen as brilliant - is that perfection? Maybe.
My Burning Issue of the Week
I sat in the room and listened - but I prayed to "let go." I was obsessing over my wife's comments from the morning before - she said the counsellor at school was very disturbed about my daughter's comments about me and she - the counselor - was going to call the state's Family and Child Protective Services on me. Now, you talk about fear? I left the conversation with my wife with so much fear - I was calling everyone. I finally got hold of the school counsellor and she said, "What? I have no thoughts about calling them. What I can tell is you are providing consequences for your child's bad behavior." I have taken her cell phone away for a day or two at a time, taken away computer privileges and one time - no - two times sent her to her room. I could not be seen as an oger or some weirdo that needs the state to be brought in. But the alcoholic - or the alcoholism - will lie. It will outfox the most brilliant. And it has staying power. Just when you let your guard down - BAMM! You are on the ropes.
Letting Go and Compassion
Anyway - I am letting go. Or trying to. I find that if I can feel compassion for my wife - the anger dissipates. Look, she is ill. She is stressed about the divorce as well. Yes, she has plenty of money. Yes, she chooses not to work. Yes, she is mad at me. All of these things are none of my business and - I don't need to think about them - (but I do!). She does what I call "mean things." Yep - mean equals setting me up about this calling the state Child Protective Services. Yep. And I think she is manipulating our child. Yep. But what can I do? She is - frankly - sick.
So, I feel compassion for her - when I want to heal. Yes, is compassion for her - or is it for me? I used to think it was for the alcoholic. But in reality, it is for me. Because I can let go by using or thinking with compassion. It may be the best tool I have - for me!
I am - in recovery - and damn proud of it. If I obsess or get into her head - is that going to help me or hurt me? I know the answer; it's going to hurt me. It will loop me back to old behavior. My ego is addicted to the old behavior and wants me to go back there.
Letting go is knowing I have no control of the past, nor what others are doing or saying.
A Couple of Quotes
I have a couple of quotes from Robert Anthony here. I hope they help you today;
- Everything you have not cleared up from the past is running your life now.
- What you have today is the result of your ideas yesterday.
- You limit yourself in being stuck in your possessions and accomplishments.
- The decisions we made in order to survive when we were 8 years old are the decisions we allow to run our lives now.
- We learn to be happy by healing our fears.
- The "art of release" can be very healing in that we learn to let of that which does not belong to us.
- Actually, we don't own anything. Everything in our lives tend to circulate in and out of our experience.
Letting go of the past. Especially the things we used to survive. And we don't own anything. If I can hold onto those two thoughts forever, I feel some consolation? Is that the right word?
I came into the world with nothing and I will leave the world with nothing.
I don't need to be anything for anyone. I just need to be. Be me.
Hope you are well