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Drunken Rant Sparks Spiritual Insight
Spiritual awakenings can be large or small, subtle or dramatic. I've had several over the years, but the most dramatic, life-changing one happened when I was in the middle of an alcoholic tirade. I like to call that day's spiritual awakening my Al-Anon miracle.
Since I'd been in Al-Anon for a while, I was reading the literature, listening at meetings, working the Steps, and learning how to apply the program to my life. On this particular day, my alcoholic husband was yelling terrible things at me. He said I was unpleasant, had no friends, and would die alone. I tried not to aggravate the situation by yelling back. I also tried not to take his words personally.
Suddenly I felt as if I were standing behind a one-way mirror. I could see my husband clearly through the glass, but I realized the he could only see himself and he was yelling those terrible things at himself.
Because I was standing behind the glass, I knew that what he was saying wasn't really directed at me. For the first time, I was able to feel compassion for my husband who felt so badly about himself.
This was a major turning point for my growth in Al-Anon. I'd been trying so hard to understand and practice detachment -- and here it was, presented in the form of a picture.
I stand behind the glass. The angry words bounce off the glass because they are directed, not at me, but at my husband's reflection of himself.
I can see, love, and care about my husband who is on the other side of the glass because I am detached.
By Pat S., Minnesota
Published September, 2006