From The Forum, October, 2014:
“Before I came to Al-Anon, when I was figuring out if I was okay, I had a mental checklist: is my daughter okay, is my son okay, and is my husband okay? If I could answer yes to all of those, then I knew I was okay. When I could no longer deny that my teenage son had a big problem with alcohol and drugs, I was no longer able to feel okay, because he wasn’t okay. I had it backwards.
In Al-Anon, I’m learning how to be okay without first checking in with my loved ones to see if they are okay, If they aren’t, maybe I can say or do something helpful; maybe not. I will still be okay. The action I take is much more likely to be effective if I am acting or speaking from a place of serenity. And with serenity I can begin to let go of the outcome, knowing I have done all I can and that I am powerless over the rest.”
All I can add to these wise words is another saying I’ve picked up along the way: “deal from strength.” So often in life our actions, and more often reactions, are born out of fear. When Angie robbed me, I was afraid that if I had her arrested she would be scarred forever, when in fact it might have taught her a valuable lesson about consequences. This is an example of enabling at its worst. My fear governed that very poor decision. Now, through the wisdom I have learned in the rooms, I do things differently. I can let go of outcomes and be at peace with myself.