Wednesday, November 11, 2009



I was asked to prepare a topic for our Tuesday Al-Anon meeting. I chose a section from "Opening our Hearts - Transforming our Losses", the reader we use for this meeting.

I picked "Making use of the slogans", p. 148-149. A few sentences shouted out to me and gained my attention. Here are a few of them.

"...the simplicity of our slogans is what makes them so effective."

"If we are having a hard time focusing our attention, we can simply turn to the slogans."

"Al-Anon slogans and phrases are quick reminders for us to stop whatever we are doing and focus on some aspect of taking care of ourselves."

"When fears about the future bombard us, "One Day at a Time" and "Let Go and Let God" can help us focus on this day, this moment."

"Our slogans can help calm us when we are anxious."

The slogans serve me well when the s--t is hitting the fan and I am in crisis dealing with chaotic emotions and thoughts. These one-liners are often what come to mind when the head is swirling. The simplicity of the ideas they express make them manageable. Sometimes what I need to remember is to just KEEP IT SIMPLE or remind myself - EASY DOES IT!

Here are a few things I heard in this meeting.

The slogans aren't just bumpers stickers, they're butt-kickers.
The slogans aren't just slogans, they are profound advice.
Slogans are life savers - not concrete building blocks.

Even though these slogans are short, that is no indication that they are of lesser value.

We talked about LET IT BEGIN WITH ME. We needed to take responsibility for ourselves, for our own lives - that responsibility had to begin with each one of us.

I then thought about shortening this phrase to LET IT BE. I was thinking about how often I have to let things be what they are. If I am powerless and cannot control a situation or cure someone, then I need to let it be. (surrender) I can use the Serenity Prayer and ask God to grant me the courage to change anything I can and ask for the wisdom to know what that might be, but otherwise I need to accept it - LET IT BE.

I spent many years before recovery denying, distorting, ignoring my feelings. When I found recovery and had worked the 12 steps, I came to understand how important it was to feel my feelings. If I stuff them, they will corrupt me and make me sick. I also learned that if I allow my feelings expression, they will eventually pass.


Another one-liner that can help put things in perspective is HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?
Is it a lump in your oatmeal?
Is it a lump in your throat?
Is it a lump in your breast?

A non recovery one-liner that a lot of us heard from our mothers was:

Today, my response to this idea is that I don't have to lie in that bed. I can throw the bed out, sleep in a different bed, buy a new bed, or sleep on an inflatable mattress. I have learned new ways of dealing with life and I like it. :)

Prayer Girl


Just Another Sober Guy said...

The slogans for me in recovery were silly at first. I could not comprehend how a few words could be of such use.

As the fog lifted and my awareness rose I realized many of these very slogans were crossing my lips regularly and actually had a part in saving my life. Often a simple explanation is best. Nothing drives a point home like a few clear and well chosen words.

What you wrote in regard to 'How important is it?' really made sense to me. Thanks for sharing!

Steve E. said...

Yeah, I'll throw in 2 cents. Slogans are powerful tools. A seemingly trite slogan can be catalyst in holding together a political campaign, even electing a president!

And the number of times a few words kept one of us from drinking is legendary.

Even though I disagree with the lone concept, "Don't Drink, and go to Meetings", I must concede the GooooD forthcoming from slogans!

Love and Peace!

Tall Kay said...

I like the idea of Let it be. Of course, I'll let it be for way too long...and then I need a butt-kicker! Wonderfully simple solutions!

Shadow said...

oh, i love your attitude towards your bed! excellent! and simple is best, yes.

Madison said...

Great reminders to live in the moment, recognizing where your strength lies. If nothing else, you can change the way you think about something so the day isn't buried in worry. I don't mind admitting now that I'm powerless so God can move. He's the driver.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Slogans are good and I like

Boy when I first came in they pissed me off, I was irritated when people would use them at me, when I heard them bandied around and didn't understand what the heck the people were saying.

Today, I have looked at the deeper meaning, at the thoughts and ideas behind each, at the context of each and I see the love that is in them. The simple truth in them too. :)

Anonymous said...

great thoughts, and butt kickers. lol
I am all for the simple LIFE. simpliciity always effective

♥Shann♥ said...

well I can sure attest to those slogans and may others helping to remind me to let go of my POOP!
thanks for the reminders that the do help!
have a great day PG!

Gabriella Moonlight said...

I love the slogans, at first they seemed hokey...sort of cliche, but they really are life savers and they help me bring the focus where it needs to always be, not on me...

Great post!!!!
love you

Lou said...

I never heard that "how important is it." That is simply an eye opener! You are a true example of the program.

Your prayers mean so much to me. Especially thinking of my family when you have you own worries. I also continue to pray your daughter takes advantage of the chance she was given. They must realize what a gift sobriety is.

wolfie185 said...

The slogans are important to me as well. Like you they pop in the mind when something is going down as a quick reminder to chill out. Let it Be brought my mind back to the classic Beatle song, it is so true though, when I find myself in trouble, a Higher Power comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it Be.

Thanks PG

Anonymous said...

Thanks I need to try to remember this

Syd said...

I like Easy Does It and How Important Is it. The latter one I use a lot when people get worked up over some small thing. Great post.

Wanda's Wings said...

Great Post! It really made me think.Thanks for sharing this.