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One Day at a Time in Al-Anon:

I will take a long and thoughtful look at the concept of silence. Used in times of reflection and meditation, it is a blessing. But it has other uses not so beneficent. We hear it said in Al-Anon meetings: “Try not to scold or reproach the alcoholic. Don’t react with angry words to his guilt-laden ravings.” This good counsel is sometimes misinterpreted. A member, thinking she has learned this lesson, will say with pride: “I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t answer him.” A grim and furious silence can be more crushing and wounding than harsh words. Such a silence is motivated by the desire to punish. It is the fruit of bitterness and resentment.

Today’s Reminder:

Silence can be a two-edged weapon. It will hurt me if I use it to hurt someone else. Silence can also be a blessing, if I enter into it serenely to take stock of myself and meditate on how I can improve.

“God help me to know that silence, like speech, can reflect my inner feelings. Help me to use it, not as a cork to keep my anger bottled up, but to express a healing quiet of the spirit.”

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