Endigar 851

From Courage to Change of April 20;

In Al-Anon I’m learning that it is safe to be myself. Today I share with Al-Anon friends embarrassing secrets I once would have buried from sight. Sometimes I have to fight the old urge to keep quiet at all costs, but I have found that sharing is the key to healing.

For example, I was embarrassed about my physical appearance, especially my smile. Years of humiliating criticisms from alcoholic relatives had left me feeling very insecure. It seemed best to reveal as little about myself as possible, and I avoided smiling altogether. Unfortunately, I continued to believe the criticisms, so I thought very badly of myself.

By sharing honestly with people I can trust, I challenge the old, negative ideas. My Al-Anon friends assure me that the criticisms were exaggerated. Nobody seems to find me unworthy because of my smile. In Al-Anon I can come out of hiding. I’m even free to break into a grin.

Today’s Reminder

Even when I feel ashamed, someone in the fellowship can help me see my situation in a different light. With their help, if I’m willing to permit it, the truth will set me free.

“You get to the point where your demons, which are terrifying, get smaller and smaller and you get bigger and bigger.” ~ August Wilson

END OF QUOTE—————————————

I am back, and I am going to try this once more.

There are several reasons for me to keep quiet. When something is sacred to me, I keep it secret from the mindless masses. When something is the product of intimacy, discretion is advisable to protect the confidence of a trusting relationship. The defensive type of silence that I use to shield myself and my family from percieved catastrophe is where I run into trouble. When I am seeking to recover from the insanity that plays out in my own mind, such secrets can enslave me.

I whittle fear down to suspicion as I enter Al-Anon. I engage in meetings and with a sponsor while telling the judgmental voices in my head to shut up. I disengage from the multiplied public controversies out there and learn to detach from the false morality of family pride in here. I iconoclastically disrobe with the hope that I am in a room full of loving mirrors.

So far, such faith has been rewarded.

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