PREVIOUS : Sayings (Part 3)
SITEs : The 3 Legacies of AL-ANON
✿ 1,500 year old history of the 12 Steps (of Humility) – Written by a hermit mystic monk in 520 AD
✿ Al-Anon is for anyone affected by someone else’s addiction.
This usually means alcohol, but can include drugs & gambling, as well as unhealthy use of food, exercise, money, raging or sex, in an addictive way.
Even without active alcoholism, any Al-Anon members grew up in families with these & other severe stressors (beating, incest, mental illness, severe narcissism….) & so are also ACoAs.
At first (1960s, 70s) most 12 Step fellowships believed we couldn’t look at parental behaviors without falling into blame, rage & self-pity. As a member of AA, who also attended Al-Anon, Tony A. disagreed. He realized we can’t find clarity or peace until we identify what our family system has handed down to us – but without blame & shame.
The unhealthy beliefs & behaviors we absorbed as children became deeply embedded in our spirit, & the defenses we had to form were so much a pair of us that we assumed that’s just the way we were. Not so.
Al-Anon shows us that with much support, we can take a blameless, honest inventory of our parents & ourselves (4th Step). It allows us to separate who we are from who they were, so we can move beyond our programming, & freely choose what’s best for ourselves.
Tony’s Steps focus on gentleness, self-love, self-forgiveness & healing – in safety. They were included in his 1991 book, The Laundry List: The ACoA Experience, after years of refining.
NEXT: Sayings #5