"The tools of the program"
Recently I had the opportunity to visit my country of origin where I travelled widely in order to catch up with many of my relatives. It still amazes me how rich my relationships have become, thanks to the tools of the program. Today I can see and feel the love of my alcoholic father and I no longer am triggered by nasty comments. Thankfully they are rare, while his efforts of self-aggrandising continue. but since learning to expect exactly that, all is well. I am grateful that I know both these behaviours to be symptoms of the disease. And yes - it does take discipline to commit to seeing the person behind that. The program encourages me to space my visit with him so that I can let it begin with me. In that way I can see the man age and struggle....it touches me. I see his good will! This is truly a miracle. Before coming to Al-anon I had lost respect for my father so soundly that my (as I later learned) unrealistic expectations of him had become my habit; my way of meeting him. It is a relief to know that we have both been corrupted by the disease of alcoholism and that nobody needs to be different to how they are in order for love to flow.