Sunday, June 13, 2010

Let It Begin With Me

I have been pummeled by this slogan lately, which is usually a sign I need to pay attention. But I can be a little slow on the uptake. Fortunately for me, my God is patient and persistent, and He has a sense of humor.

Here’s a brief recap of my recent history with this slogan. It was the topic of my meeting last Monday night. The next day my sponsor blogged about it. On Wednesday, the meeting topic was slogans, all of them. Participants were invited to talk about whichever slogan spoke to them. Guess what? One of them was “Let it Begin with Me.” Then, this morning, I picked up a current meeting list to give to a sponsee. The slogan on the cover? Well, you know. I don’t need to hit you over the head with it.

But God sometimes has to hit me over the head.

You see, I’ve been praying for some time about what to do about a key relationship in my life. I’ve been wondering if this relationship is still meeting my needs. I’ve been praying about it. Asking for guidance. Then I got it.

A program friend brought up a relationship she wasn’t sure was meeting her needs or her expectations. She had relationship envy. She had been observing the same relationship among some of her other program friends and those relationships seemed better and more satisfying.

Setting aside the problem of comparing her insides with another’s outsides, I reminded her that she was the one who had withdrawn from the relationship in question. I didn’t say “Let it Begin with Me,” but I could have.

Then it hit me. I had answered my own question. Since I wasn’t listening to all of the messages He had been sending me, God put the answer in my own mouth.

I was the one who had withdrawn from the relationship in question. If I didn’t like the current state of affairs, I had to “Let it Begin with Me.”

I looked up the slogan in “How Al-Anon Works” and found it full of fresh meaning. Ironically, I had highlighted the very phrases that were appropriate to my situation. But I’m a great forgetter. Sometimes I need to be reminded.

Here are a few things the book says:

“When we are tempted to blame others for our problems or to justify our own poor behavior by pointing to the poor behavior of others, this slogan reminds us where our focus rightfully belongs…. ‘Let it begin with me’ is a way to change the things we can—especially our own attitudes—instead of waiting for everyone else to change to suit us.

This is like going hungry while waiting for someone who doesn’t cook to make dinner. ‘Let it begin with me’ might suggest that we go ahead and cook for ourselves, go out for dinner, or make plans with someone who cooks. In short, we take responsibility for getting our own needs met.”

So today, I will “Let it Begin with Me.”

Thanks to all of you who left such thoughtful comments concerning memorable posts. I hope to catch up with all of you in the next couple of days.

13 comments:

  1. Thank you for this, Kathy. Today, I am putting off calling my father. I will be gone on father's day and so feel I should have him over before that, but I keep putting off calling him. There is such a sense of hopelessness about our relationship that I know I often do not do my part. Maybe it would not be quite so hopeless if I just picked up the phoneand stopped waiting for him to be someone he is not.

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  2. great message.Thank you for sharing it.

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  3. Kind of like two little kids, one complaining about something the other one said or did and the other one not acknowledging what the first one said but replies with yeah but you do it too. Nothing will be resolved or accomplished if it just keeps being passed back and forth. I like the picture of someone sitting there waiting for someone to cook something for them instead of taking out the food and pots and pans.

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  4. Something I needed to hear today. Thank you.

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  5. This is such a good reminder......that I can only control my part. I am always trying to ask myself "what is my part" and try to let the rest go.....
    Blessings,
    Tammy

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  6. This is a great slogan. I realize that no one is going to accomplish or make things change except me. I can either be frozen in place or make a move of action.

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  7. God has hit me over the head many times, duh! I like where you are coming from on this one Kathy. Great reminder. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. Let it begin with me..... awesome and novel idea! I read your post and apologized to my partner for being such a jerk to him. Thanks again for reminding us again what is important in life, and if we want change, we need to be it! You ROCK!

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  9. Guess what, I received my first issue of the Forum today and the very first article that I read was all about "let it begin with me". Love this, can't be reminded enough.

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  10. Ironically, I had that particular slogan all wrong in my head - and didn't like that slogan either - UNTIL I read that same book! Now I "get it" and love that slogan :)
    Thanks for sharing your experience!
    God bless.

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  11. Ah, let it begin with me, as well.

    I know I've said it before, at least...I know I've thought it, God sends me here to your blog so that I can hear what I need to hear.

    Thanks for continuing to post with such honesty and clarity. It means a lot to me.

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  12. Good stuff....“When we are tempted to blame others for our problems or to justify our own poor behavior by pointing to the poor behavior of others, this slogan reminds us where our focus rightfully belongs…. ‘Let it begin with me’ is a way to change the things we can—especially our own attitudes—instead of waiting for everyone else to change to suit us.

    Thank you for that reminder. I *always* need this reminder....because that is a character defect of mine. If only so and so would do blah blah blah....then I would be ok.

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  13. Exactly what I needed to hear right now in regards to the relationship/problems with my teen.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog earlier!

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