Wednesday, March 13, 2024


 We made a quick trip this past weekend to visit the in-laws, always a joy, especially seeing the little ones grow up in just the short time since our last visit, as well as being able to share and express love with my husband's elderly and ailing (though healing remarkably) step-dad. These connections are precious. I am so grateful to be a part of the family.

Always, one of the highlights of our visits is seeing our AA family, attending our home-away-from-home group with a laughter-filled coffee date after. Again, precious connections over time and space.

The speaker-discussion meeting we attended provided much food for thought with the speaker talking about the inner peace that comes when we can accept all of life as being what it is. As he described it, we often start out focused on school, career, partnership, etc, but that true serenity comes when we understand that we are OK, regardless of what is going on in our world. As the Big Book says, "job or no job, wife or no wife."  I won't find inner peace as long as I attached my mood to my outer circumstances. OK, so obviously, I'm impacted by what is happening to and around me, and if I'm able to take a step back, I know I'm ok no matter what. 

That seems particularly relevant today, literally one year from my surgery for breast cancer. Oh man, I was scared, never having had surgery before, wavering between trust and fear. At the time, my sponsor encouraged me to go into the process with curiosity, an "Isn't this interesting?" mind set. That was helpful and brought me back to the here and now several times. A good reminder, still, as I think about the disruption to my routines that felt like forever.  And, here we are, a year later and all is well. (I knew it was time to discontinue physical therapy when I realized it didn't hurt when someone hugged me).

I did send a "thank you" message to the cancer counselor who helped me walk through the scary days, including giving me "permission" to be freaked out, even though my situation was fairly straightforward. I can still tell myself that I shouldn't be feeling what I feel, since so many others have it worse. True, and it is more helpful to acknowledge my emotions and let them pass through than to scold myself.

Being a union household, we generally take a cab to the airport, and I'm always curious about where the drivers come from. One of the trips this week was with a man from Ethiopia, who described tribal conflicts that prompted his father to immigrate. We made a comment about things in the US being in a bit of a state at the moment, to which he just chuckled, saying he was grateful that here one can express an opinion without worrying about being turned in by the neighbors and being carted away in the night. I can complain about our national dysfunction and am reminded that other places do not have the freedoms we do. The question to myself is always, "Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?"

Both the in-person meeting last Friday, and a regular zoom group last week, touched on the idea of actually practicing the principles vs dialing it in, along with the importance of being honest with oneself. On one hand, I no longer view myself as broken, as needing to be fixed, and, I am aware of the human tendency at rationalization. Let me be honest, with you and with me, aware of when I'm simply going through the motions and when I'm truly connected to my heart, and to yours.

Where are you on the acceptance continuum today? How do you detach from people, places and things in order to dwell in serenity? What in your past serves as a reminder that all is well, even when it doesn't feel good in the moment? How are you part of the solution today?

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Ready for an inventory or small group discussion? Check out my workbook "I've Been Sober a Long Time - Now What?" with 78 pages of topics, member's views, and processing questions. (See the Jan 13, 2023 post for a sample.) Available in PDF format ($12.95) for those of you outside the US (or who prefer that format) or hardcopy ($19.95 mailed to you). Email me at with questions.  You can order from the WEB VERSION of this page, payment link on top right. Note that the workbook is also available at Portland Area Intergroup at 825 NE 20th 

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