Out of all of the slogans I’ve heard around the Al-Anon tables, my two favorites are:
“Bring the body and the mind will follow.”
“If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.”
Each of these slogans, or sayings, for me has to do with determination.
The first one I hung onto when I didn’t really understand the program and thought I was there to CURE the alcoholic. I thought I was there to get the alcoholic in my life sober, and after that, my life would be just perfect. Oh, how wrong I can be. But Al-Anon folks don’t tell you you’re wrong straight out. They don’t even judge. They just smile, give a hug, and say “Keep coming back.” So I did. That was me, being the tortoise, putting one foot in front of the other, reading the literature and trying so hard to get my loved one sober. 🙂 I thought I was doing the right thing.
But I so wanted the peace and serenity of the other members at the tables. Some of them had alcoholics in their lives who were still drinking or worse, in jail. And they were AT PEACE. I wanted that.
I just kept bringing my body to the meetings. Eventually my mind caught up with the rest and – it CLICKED. I learned the three C’s: I didn’t cause it, can’t cure it, and can’t control the alcoholic. Slowly I brought the focus off others in my life and onto myself. That’s enough to deal with right there! I’m certainly not perfect, and I still work on this.
When I’ve come to crises in my program, the second slogan kicks in, and I learn that I’m not alone. For all my determination, I’m not a LONE tortoise out there running a marathon. My higher power, whom I choose to call God, is not only my cheerleader, He is my legs, and my arms. He is the wind propelling me forward when I can’t take another step.
What does determination look like for you?