Bookmarks – November – The Jokester and the Wisdom in Our Literature
More than a few years ago, I bought Courage to Change (B-16) after a meeting. My husband had just come home from his.
We were in the living room, he was standing, I was seated. He picked up my book, opened it, looked down at a page and intoned like a preacher, “Your alcoholic is a gift from God.”
I nodded in agreement. Then I thought, Wait a minute. He just made that up!
Kidder that he is, he had just spun those words from thin air, and was pleased that he had almost pulled a fast one on me.
But the truth is, my alcoholic is a gift from God. I never would have known about Al-Anon without him. And I never would have encountered the wisdom to be found in our literature.
Over the years, I have purchased a small library of Conference Approved Literature. They give me the resources I need for a new perspective and/or to renew my spirit. Sometimes, with my three well-thumbed daily readers, I come upon a page and think—because the content strikes me as brand new—Did I ever read this before? Maybe yes, maybe no. But if I did read it before, perhaps I wasn’t ready to receive its full message at that time. Maybe I was at a different stage of recovery then. I find that the messages I receive do change as I progress toward serenity in my life.
My home group frequently taps into How Al-Anon Works (B-32) as a springboard for discussion. We also have multiple copies of different literature to buy or lend for meeting topics. Reaching for Personal Freedom (P-92) has become another touchstone for new viewpoints at our meetings. I find it helps expand my thinking about the Steps, Traditions and the Concepts of Service.
Our Conference Approved Literature is a gold mine for anyone interested in learning more about Al-Anon and searching for serenity. For me, even the “old” books can contain nuggets to dig out just as readily as the newer literature can give me a deeper understanding of this beautiful way of life called Al-Anon.
I confess to having been absent most of this year from my service as your Literature/Forum Coordinator.
But I found the push I needed during a recent online meeting of literature coordinators from throughout the United States and Canada. I even heard a real-time translation of a Spanish-speaking coordinator. (I’m not sure where she was from.) I listened to their journeys through service, and how they go about spreading the word about the wisdom to be found in our Conference Approved Literature. The meeting gave me a real appreciation for this wonderful worldwide fellowship.
So I approach this fall and winter with a renewed willingness to commit my time and effort to spreading the word about our literature and all the richness it holds.
Thanks for letting me share,