In The Al-Anon 11th Step, We Seek to Include Prayer and Meditation in our Life
The Alanon Steps are intended to make us feel more at ease in our relationships with other people, as well as in our relationship with a Higher Power.
You have been working the 12 Steps of Alanon for some time if you have now reached the Eleventh Step. You have made a personal inventory, and tried to live a better life. You have made a list of everyone you harmed in the past, and did your best to apologize for those actions. Now, if the Eleventh Step, you are ready to make prayer and/or meditation an important part of your daily life. The Eleventh Step of Alanon is designed to help you keep a bit of balance in your life; to open you up to the possibility that God is working in your life.
When you are taking the Alanon Eleventh Step, you will use prayer and meditation to improve your conscious contact with the God of your understanding. In your prayers, you are instructed to ask only for knowledge of His will for you and the power to carry it out. This is such a simple, but powerful prayer. You no longer have to feel responsible for making all the decisions. You are asking God to show you what he wants from you, and give you the ability to do it. You're leaving the big decisions up to him. This is a very freeing prayer.
Over my years in Alanon, I have known people who have come to Alanon from different backgrounds and religious experiences. Alanon Family Groups exist throughout the world. What are some of the ways our members incorporate prayer and meditation into their daily lives?
For some people, prayer has always been a constant part of their lives. If this is true of you, continue to pray on a regular basis, just as you always have. However, take a few minutes to assess the content of your prayers. Are you asking God for the things that you want? The Eleventh Step suggests that you ask God to reveal His will for you, and that He give you the power to carry it out. This new way to pray may seem awkward, at first, especially if you have been praying for the health or success of someone other than yourself. However, as we begin to see God's hand working in the lives of others, we will come to understand that he sees and understands things that we can't possibly comprehend. Peace comes from accepting God's will in all things.
On the other hand, if you are not accustomed to praying at all, doing an Alanon Eleventh Step at all may seem strange and uncomfortable for you. The best way to become comfortable with prayer is to set up a regular time for your prayer and meditation. Each time you pray or meditate, focus on a problem or concern that you have. Then, ask God to give you knowledge of His will for you in dealing with this problem, and that He give you the ability to carry out His will. Don't expect a light bulb to go off, or to hear a voice from above. However, gradually, you will come to see a different way of tackling your problems. Slowly you'll see that every problem is eventually resolved, although it may not happen in the way you originally expected.
Finally, some people feel uncomfortable with prayer in any form, but prefer to meditate, instead. If this is your situation, then plan and organize your meditations in a meaningful way. You may prefer to have absolute silence, simply trying to keep your mind empty, as much as possible. Or, you may want to listen to soft music or a guided meditation tape. However you approach your time for meditation, you will still be able to use it as a way of fulfilling your Alanon Eleventh Step. Although you will be meditating, instead of praying, you will still ask the universe or the Higher Power in your life, to guide you in your actions. You, too, will see how the Eleventh Step meditation will begin to bring you peace, serenity and acceptance. You may not understand everything that happens in your life, but you will often see how your personal Higher Power is using it for good.
Don't believe in God? You can still do this step. All you need to do is accept that there are forces at work in the universe that are NOT YOU. Whatever those forces are, they are a power greater than you. Meditate on those forces and accept that they are at work in the lives of your loved one, as well as in your own life. Use meditation to accept that things will happen over which you have no control, and that is alright.
Would you like to learn more about Al-anon from the privacy of your home? You can use this direct Amazon link to Al-anon literature to buy official Alanon literature. Sometimes it helps to read a little about the program before going to your first meeting.
Practice making prayer and meditation a daily part of your life, and you will be surprised how much peace and serenity it will bring you.
To read more about Alanon, or to learn how you can get started meditating, you may want to read some of the articles listed below:
"How Al-Anon Works" - A Very Helpful Book
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