From Courage to Change of February 02;
I used to live my life as if I were on a ladder. Everyone was either above me — to be feared and envied — or below me — to be pitied. God was way, way at the top, beyond my view. That was a hard, lonely way to live, because no two people can stand comfortably on the same rung for very long.
When I came to Al-Anon, I found a lot of people who had decided to climb down from their ladders in the circle of fellowship. In the circle we were all on equal terms, and God was right in the center, easily accessible. When newcomers arrived we didn’t worry about rearranging everyone’s position, we simply widened the circle.
Today I no longer look up to some people and down on others. I can look each person in the eye, squarely and honestly. Today, being humble means climbing down from the ladder of judgment of myself and others, and taking my rightful place in a worldwide circle of love and support.
My thoughts are my teachers. Are they teaching me to love and appreciate myself and others, or are they teaching me to practice isolation? Today I will chose my teachers with greater care.
“‘Live and Let Live’ sets us free from the compulsion to criticize, judge, condemn, and retaliate . . .[which] can damage us far more than those against whom we use such weapons. Al-Anon helps us to learn tolerance rooted in love.”
~ This is Al-Anon
END OF QUOTE—————————————-
I had a dream when I was a child of elementary school age. The dream was vivid and stayed with me after I awoke. I flew and when I was awake, I knew there was a certain feeling or inner awareness that would allow me to do it again. My nephew and playmate came over that day, and I took him and our younger siblings outside to the backyard swing set. I was excited about the prospect of duplicating the flight of inner awareness and the followed. I climbed up the on it and searched my memory for that dream feeling, and then leaped into the air. I hit the ground. Soon all of us were climbing and jumping and rolling about on the ground. That was not what I had wanted to achieve, but everyone was laughing and happy. I was able to let go and move on with the adventures of being a child with blood friends.
I never forgot that time and always cherished the flying dreams that came back over the years. I found that my desire to climb ladders was only to find the best place to jump off. Maybe this time…
And that is my childhood fever. It comes back occasionally.
Often I would stay on the ladder to appear to be normal, stable, and a rock for those I love. The 12 Step ladder has given me a safe place to practice jumping in expectation of spirit flight again. And a new group of blood friends on the ground.
Maybe this time . . .