This reading insight came from a post published last year…the insights are still the same…the reading was for March 12th in one of three Al-Anon books that I consistently read for intellectual parts of this program.
There are three things that in this reading strike me, first is our Higher Power and Pride, 2nd is control and ego, and 3rd is enabling and care “taking”.
Pride kept me where I was, thinking I could save another human being. Love does not say to us, “make each other or each others problems a God”. To the degree that we think we can “help” or “save” another human being is the degree of our obsession with their obsession. This is not love. Alcohol becomes an alcoholic’s higher power, they run to it in fear, in confusion, in need, when they feel life is out of control, they feel a constant craving for it. They exclude all life for a Higher Power that does damage to all relationships in particular the relationship with their own Higher Power and themselves, their 1st neighbour. It becomes a need that they are dependent on. I have said that addiction trains us well to have a higher power, and it does. When we make saving them our priority, inadvertently their higher power becomes ours. We can not help them or ourselves from that place.
Through pride our ego becomes large and we believe that we as mere mortals can do something to control their addiction. And we do in bits and pieces but our control is as only as much as our addiction to them lives. This is care taking…you know that thing that grave keepers do. Caregiving is not the same.
I watch now as others have taken over “my role” willingly and in error thinking this role signifies love. The alcoholic is so devious, they set things up perfectly to maintain their illness and codependents continue this. Such a vicious cycle. The next codependent or unsuspecting convert falls for all the same things we did. And though sometimes hard to do, we must also have compassion for them. The sad thing is, they think they are truly helping them. The sad thing was before working this program everyday, I thought I was too. I forgive myself for that, because in doing that I allow myself to grow and change.
It takes us all a while to figure this out, how deeply twisted the disease is. It takes us even longer if we don’t learn the facts about the disease. I know many who think they know it because they’ve lived it. What they know is their “coping” strategies they don’t know the facts of it. I routinely have to remind myself of the facts of it even now and always keep up to date on new. I have a new perspective on the division between living in it and experiencing it and knowing the facts of it. I accept the facts and admit to my perceptions being skewed. The facts are an active alcoholic or addict will continue to be an active alcoholic or addict until they are not. Whether by force of courts of law or courts of Heaven. Once they break the physical addiction the work remains just as important. Without it they will be no different than we were when we came to this program. We know that regardless of whether it’s AA or Al-Anon the honest core parts of its program must remain in order to continue
Allow yourself forgiveness because it allows you to recognize and change it, mid stream. It allows you clear vision in what is happening in your world.
There have been lots of words out there lately bashing 12 Step programs. It is NOT the ONLY program that works. But even psychologists will tell you we are 3 fold beings. So take what you like, leave the rest. Remember a program that charges money will always see a free program as a threat. The principles of AA are sound. Sometimes I think that they could do with some updating to keep up with the times but the core principals are sound.