Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wednesday 9/16/09 - "REACTIONS"


"I will try to overcome my tendency to react to what people say or do. I can't know why they do it, because I cannot understand their inner unhappiness and compulsions, any more than they can understand mine. When I react, I put the control of my peace of mind in the hands of others. My serenity is under my control, and I will not relinquish it for trivial occurrences."

"I pray for the tolerance and the wisdom to
avoid reacting to what other people say and do."
(From "One Day At A Time In Al-Anon" , Sept. 15, p. 259)

Oh how I love the Al-Anon program. It is teaching me such wonderful living skills. My life used to be characterized too often by volatile emotional reactions to what others around me said or did. These reactions did not always serve me well and caused more problems than they resolved.

I was raised in what is now termed a dysfunctional family. My brother was an out-of-control alcoholic from an early age and I discovered the effect that had on me 45 years later. This was followed by marrying a functioning alcoholic who drank for the 20 years I was married to him.

I had no idea how crazy that made me until I found recovery, first in Alcoholics Anonymous 24 years ago and then in Al-Anon 5 years ago. The 12 steps allowed me to become aware of myself and to understand how others affected me and my reactions to them. I discovered that I frequently put my peace of mind and serenity in the hands of sick people and I was sick myself.

Today, I don't have to act crazy as the result of someone else's compulsive behaviors, problems, or imbalances. As the quote from the ODAT says, I can choose my reactions - the when, the where, and the how of them, and even if I will react.

Some of the ways I keep the serenity I have found and cherish are:

I THINK before I react - before I speak, make a sudden decision, or jump with my mind into the future.

I heard the following from a woman who chairs a weekly beginner's meeting. She says when someone says or does something that causes excessive emotion, before I take any action, I should GIVE IT A WEEK AND A DAY.

Writing in a journal, writing letters that are never mailed, are all wonderful ways to prevent overreaction.

Allow TIME to pass between a sudden, strong feeling and a decision about whether to take action and if action is to be taken, what type.

Remembering that God exists and is in charge helps put a current situation in perspective.

Peace and serenity to you and yours,

Prayer Girl


Steve E. said...

Funny, I never heard anything like that in the 3 Alanon meetings I attended. Maybe it was the cotton-in-ears thing?

Good blog.

Just Be Real said...

Oh I love this! I love the pictures you display along with your excellent post PG!

I try and be very sensitive to people's feelings and try not to show displeasure, but more of compassion. Now, it may be hard when they react to me about something, but like you say give it a couple of days, write in a journal, think it out!

Blessings dear one!

Shadow said...

'act, don't react' a very valuable skill to learn.

Dulce said...

Yes think twice before... keep serenity. Hard work so many times, though...

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Allowing the passing of time always puts things into perspective for me. What I am glad of now is that I can allow because God is working in me... I remember when I first started to try all of these things, and how miserable I was because I couldn't make it all come, stop, wait, dissapear, move...

Much of the wording of the Alanon program had me in a pretzel of emotions and thoughts until I did the steps and realized God's presence was the key to my being able to take time, make time, choose and function.

Your blog and comments always help me, I always receive nuggets and am pushed to question my ideas and meditate for better understanding.


Thank you Anna!

Tall Kay said...

Beautiful words of wisdom here. One of my favorite sayings that I heard in Alanon years ago and never forgot..."The important things are rarely urgent, and the urgent things are rarely important"

wolfie185 said...

Thanks PG, for me it is how fast I react that cause the problems, I have gotten myself in more trouble jumping into things without taking time to reflect on the big picture. When I do have to make a snap decision that is when I have to trust God in guilding my words and if I am in fit spiritual condition God does this, if I make a mistake then I have the 10th step.
Nice post!!

Syd said...

Great post. I feel pretty unreactive most of the time which indicates that something good is working in my life. This program, God, meetings, sponsoring are all working for me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I just read this quote yesterday, and it's exactly what I needed right now.

"I pray for the tolerance and the wisdom to
avoid reacting to what other people say and do."
(From "One Day At A Time In Al-Anon" , Sept. 15, p. 259)

Paula said...

The pics are great. I try hard not shooting from the hips anymore. getting better :-))

Wanda's Wings said...

Great thoughts to live by.

Anonymous said...

This is the best post I've read all week. Thank you.

Cindy said...

Wonderful! Oh, tell that guy Steve E. who first commented...that in Al Anon...we hope that you try 6 meetings before you decide whether or not Al Anon if for you! Hugs.