Endigar 445 ~ Family Obligations

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

. . . a spiritual life which does not include. . . family obligations may not be so perfect after all.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 129)

I can be doing great in the program — applying it at meetings, at work, and in service activities — and find that things have gone to pieces at home. I expect my loved ones to understand, but they cannot. I expect them to see and value my progress, but they don’t — unless I show them. Do I neglect their needs and desires for my attention and concern? When I’m around them, am I irritable or boring? Are my “amends” a mumbled “Sorry,” or do they take the form of patience and tolerance? Do I preach to them, trying to reform or “fix” them? Have I ever really cleaned house with them? “The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83).



The quote from page 129 in the Big Book put into context is actually encouraging the family to be tolerate of the alcoholic’s lopsided focus on helping other alcoholics.   The authors suggest that the alcoholic’s spirituality will naturally balance as he matures with the family’s tolerate support.  They encourage the family to accept his spiritual intoxication because it will fend off his chemical one.  They say that it is more dangerous if he puts financial concerns ahead of the spiritual.

“For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 129)

“Though some of his manifestations are alarming and disagreeable, we think dad will be on a firmer foundation then the man who is placing business or professional success ahead of spiritual development.  He will be less likely to drink again, and anything is preferable to that.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 129 – 130)

I have heard it said that the family that has stayed with the alcoholic and endured the horrors of his disease will be sickened in their own right.  How could they not be?  So their expectations may be based on their role in hell, and they may be suspicious and uncomfortable with invitations to paradise.  They would do well to turn their attention to their own spiritual development in such programs as Al-Anon.

Alcoholics Anonymous gives me a new life and new family.  I must find my place and power within the AA family.  Once this is happening, all my other relationships have a better chance of sharing in the power of my sobriety rather than the curse of my alcoholism.

So I look at my relationship with my AA family and ask,  “Do I neglect their needs and desires for my attention and concern?”

If I can develop a spiritual life within the rooms of AA, it will echo on the outside in my family and work, as I seek to practice these principles in all my affairs.

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