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One Day at a Time in Al-Anon:

Eventually, if I listen attentively enough at meetings, and read my Al-Anon literature with real concentration, I will absorb the new point of view I need. When I ask: “Why does he drink when he knows it damages him and his family?” I really mean: “How can he justify what he is doing?”, implying a condemnation I have no right to make. Al-Anon teaches me that the drinker knows no more about his compulsion than I do. I know he suffers from it, too. I will not waste time and energy trying to “figure out the alcoholic.” I will concentrate on figuring out why I do what I do.

Today’s Reminder:

Trying to analyze why another person persists in destructive behavior cannot help me out of my own difficulties. I can overcome them only by turning my thoughts inward, to face my own mistakes and to learn how to improve myself. The alcoholic is not my problem. My problem is me.

“Although all men have a common destiny, each individual also has to work out his personal salvation for himself… We can help one another find out the meaning of life… But in the last analysis, each is responsible for ‘finding himself’.”
— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

From the book “One Day at a Time in Al-Anon”. © Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1973