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Courage to Change:

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears,” say the Zen Buddhists. Or, as an Al-Anon speaker put it, “We each get here right on time.” To me, this is an important reason to have a public relations policy based on attraction rather than promotion, as the Eleventh Tradition suggests.

My own arrival in Al-Anon was right on schedule. I first heard about the program when I was a teenager; I attended my first meeting twenty years later. I don’t regret that lapse of time because I don’t think I would have been ready to come to Al-Anon any sooner — I spent those twenty years resenting any implication from well- meaning family members that I had been affected by alcoholism. Only after many years of living with the effects of the disease did I really become ready to get help. No amount of nagging would have hurried me along any faster.

Today’s Reminder:

There is no magic wand that can make others ready for Al-Anon. And it is presumptuous to assume that I have a better idea of their true path than they do. Let me help those who want help. When my life improves as a result of working the program myself, I do more to carry the message than I ever could by forcing it on others.

“Let me not dilute the effectiveness of the help I can give by letting it take the form of giving advice. I know I will never have enough insight into another’s life to tell that person what is best to do.”
– The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage

From the book “Courage to Change”. Copyright Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1992