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Post Info TOPIC: October 22 - ODAT - Self-Understanding

~*Service Worker*~

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October 22 - ODAT - Self-Understanding

Today's writer shares that as we work the Al-Anon program to improve our peace of mind, we make an effort to understand our own drives and motivations, and to correct those that are hampering us. If we have the courage to face the emotions and behaviors that are hampering us, and we can do it without letting our guilt obscure our good qualities, we can get to the goal.

Today's Reminder: Taking my own inventory does not mean focusing on my short-comings until all the good is hidden from view. Recognizing the good is not an act of pride or conceit, as I may have feared. If I recognize my good qualities as God-given, I can do it with true humility.

Quote from Walt Whitman: "I am larger, better than I thought, I did not know I had so much goodness."


As my sponsor always says, defects are often coping mechanisms.

I have been blessed in working Step Four that my sponsor has really stressed listing my assets and giving myself credit for them.  After we talked about my assets -- we spent a few weeks on this -- she had me make a list of them before moving on to get into my defects.  So for me,  the personal inventory -- which sounded intimidating when I first heard about it -- has been a freeing experience. 

It has helped me understand and appreciate myself and to know that I have enough assets -- such as compassion and optimism -- to overcome my "coping mechanisms" such as fear, anger and judgment.

MIP friends, what are your thoughts about self-understanding?


~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks FT for your service and ESH. Seeing my flaws was easy, and seeing my assets was so difficult. My former sponsor worked on that with me for some time. Each day she had me list a step or slogan to work on, a gratitude, and an asset. I did that for a couple years. The asset part finally sunk in. When my deficits were often pointed out, first in my FOO and then with two spouses, that's all I thought I was=deficient. Some therapists helped along the way, but in this program I have been able to see my true self, both good and bad. If I couldn't see the bad, then I couldn't work on change. So the flaws give me opportunities to move forward and grow. All good.



Senior Member

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TGIF FT and Lyne, thank you FT for your service and today's reading and to you and Lyne for both your ESH!

Understanding myself enables me to be able to move forward because, I found, if I do not understand why I

function the way I do then I am unable to learn and move forward. I have learned that what I viewed as flaws

and set backs we actually necessary steps in order to learn and move forward. I wasted to much time feeling

bad (that old stinkin thinkin) instead of realizing that those flaws/set backs were learning experiences.



"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 2713

Thank you Freetime for your service and your ESH from the heart.

When I first met this program, I thought it wasn't needed, b/c I wasn't the one "in the wrong." Needless to say, I was very reluctant to see my part. Especially since my spouse and I had been seeing a marriage therapist for the better part of 10 years! I had been doing all the things that the therapist recommended, for Pete's sake! LOL!

It has taken 3 tries at Step 4 for me to finally understand myself, and where I "fit" in that puzzle. Each time working that Step was focused on different things - related, but different. Mind you, there was significant time between each working of this Step. Even though I was doing all the "right" things, I still lacked complete understanding and acceptance of myself!

My last sponsor had also drilled into me that many of my so-called "defects" were actually coping mechanisms. Good qualities gone rogue, if you will. It was freeing to learn and accept that. Knowing this fact has made it easier to see when something goes "rogue" and to reign it back in to proper proportions.

Happy Friday, y'all!   


"The wolf that thrives, is the one you feed." - Cherokee legend

"Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields... Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness."  Mary Oliver



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