My Program Comes First

Material success provides momentary pleasures but doesn’t leave us with lasting happiness… I will measure my success today by …” – In God’s Care

How do I measure success? Well, I love nice things; I always have. A few years after graduating college, I found myself sober, in a very respectable job, wearing a three piece suit, driving a convertible Mercedes 230SL, owning a condo, and with at least a couple hundred dollars in my pocket at all times. Guess what? I was miserable. True story! It wasn’t until after I came into the program, lost all those material things and then built a new life on a foundation of kindness, love and service that I finally found true peace of mind and happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I still love nice things. The difference is that now I put the principles of the program first. That way, whether or not the material stuff follows, I’m still at peace and happy. I’ve discovered that as long as I make sure I work my program first, get to meetings regularly, and stay in constant contact with my Higher Power … ILML! 

– JamieQ

Placing Problems into the Al-Anon Perspective

“Help me remember that my problems are temporary…” — The Language of Letting Go 

Actually, the reason I am able to transition through problems, not get bogged down in them, see them as opportunities, let them go when I’m powerless over them, and not react and create more drama is because of Alanon. The reading at the beginning of each meeting alone is enough to affect a profound change in me  I look forward to hearing it often, especially theses words:

“… you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy… in Al-Anon we discover that no situation is really hopeless… our program… has helped many of us find solutions that lead to serenity. So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learn to place our problem in it’s true perspective, we find it loses it’s power to dominate our thoughts and our lives… Our thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions and we become irritable and unreasonable without knowing it… The loving interchange of help among members and daily reading of Al-Anon literature thus make us ready to receive the priceless gift of serenity… we feel free to say what is in our minds and hearts… in Al-Anon.

When I go to Al-Anon meetings, share recovery with others and work the program each day… ILML! 

— JamieQ

An Amazing Way to Live Life

“I will receive from this day exactly what I give to it… as I love, I will be loved… without thought of failure of the past or anxieties for the future… I will have no regrets… thank you, my Higher Power…” — 12 Step Prayer Book 

What an amazing way to live life. Like I’ve heard so often in the rooms, “simple but not easy.” I want to feel abundance, happiness, joy, success, peace, serenity, and love.  In order to get it I must believe I already have it (which is true, I do), and then share it with others. I’m going to do just that today, because whenever I live life with that kind of attitude… ILML! 

– JamieQ

How I Change The Channel on My Internal Dialogue 

“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is! – Anonymous

Sometimes things are so overwhelming they feel beyond our control, but my attitude is NEVER beyond my control. By changing my internal dialogue (switching the radio station), I regain a sense of peace that, moments ago, I had lost. Just this morning I was thinking, “I’ve got so much to do I’m overwhelmed and don’t know how I’ll handle it all”. (This is after my prayers and affirmations, lol). 

Because I’ve been practicing self-awareness of my thoughts for a long time, I realized instantly that I needed to change them up. So I said to myself:

 “Today is filled with a ton of challenging things to do and I’m gonna kill it! I won’t procrastinate! I’m going to jump right in and get so much done! It’s gonna feel great being super productive!” 

After that I turned on B52’s Rock Lobster, got into the shower, sang, danced, washed up, dressed, made my bed, cleaned my house, and headed here to Starbucks to get inspired for the amazing day I’m about to participate in.  

When I shift my response, not just towards others but also to any negative thinking I may be engaging in, ILML! 

– JamieQ

Revoking my Membership in The Crappy Club

“So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learn to place our problem in it’s true perspective, we find it loses it’s power to dominate our thoughts and our lives..” – Suggested Ala-Anon/Alateen Welcome

Sometimes I actually think that EVERYTHING depends upon my attitude. 

I used to believe that I got a crappy attitude because things weren’t going my way, or people didn’t treat me the way I deserved to be treated. In Al-Anon, I’ve discovered that exactly the opposite was happening: my attitude was crappy and I was inviting crappiness into my life (without even realizing it). Al-Anon taught me how to change my attitude so that I’m no longer a member of The Crappy Club. 

By using the tools I’ve been given to practice the program on a daily basis, and by strengthening my friendship with my Higher Power, I learn to surrender my expectations, focus on the present (gratitude), and show up to be of service to myself and others (without resentment or self-pity). 

Today I can have a life of serenity, peace and happiness—provided I dedicate the time required to thoroughly work my program. I’ve discovered (the hard way) that when I am diligent, consistent and persistent about doing my inspirational rituals, and fellowshipping with those who put their program first, instead of feeling crappy… ILML! 

– JamieQ

Thanks & Gratitude = Prayer & Meditation

“… we recoiled from meditation and prayer as obstinately as the scientist who refused to perform a certain experiment lest it prove his pet theory wrong.” – Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, Page 97

I feel like I’ve been rehashing the same concept over and over again in several of my inspirational texts, but I’m just cracking open the books. I was a non-believer until I was 30, and after 10 years of refuting the existence of God, watching others who seemed at peace and happier believing in what surely couldn’t be real, I relented and joined the other team—the one that had faith.

Tough? Oh yeah. My intellect yelled “What are you doing?!!!! Don’t believe the imaginary fairy tale!!!!” But I decided to believe anyway. And guess what? I LOVE believing in God! Call me a religionist, fanatic, convert, or anything you want. I’m ok with that, because my connection to my Higher Power rocks my world!

And when I thank the universe (pray) and spend time in gratitude (meditate)… ILML! 

– JamieQ

Overwhelming Abundance

“Life is an adventure in forgiveness… we can be insensitive… walls come down when we become vulnerable and say I’m sorry, please forgive me.” – In God’s World 

This page talks about the need to forgive others, forgive ourselves, and ask for forgiveness. It also makes a great point in saying that, although we have learned all about the Golden Rule (Do as to others…), and know it’s a great one to live by, we aren’t perfect. And neither are others. But the more we practice the three types of forgiveness I mentioned above, along with our continued attempts to live by the Golden Rule, the better we get along with others, and the happier our lives become. 

I’m so grateful that I’m constantly getting inspired by the wonderful books in my spiritual backpack. As always, when I take time to do those things that help me remember that I’m blessed beyond words and my life is infused with overwhelming abundance… ILML! 

– JamieQ