When I think of the many service roles I was encouraged to stand for during my volunteer years, I am reminded of this quote from When I Got Busy, I Got Better (P-78): “I am not encouraged to identify myself with any of the roles I try on, and I am encouraged to pass the job on after a fairly definite period of time. Al‑Anon calls this arrangement ‘rotation of leadership,’ and I find in this concept the encouragement to participate without exerting control and to let go without worrying that others might not step forward to carry on” (p. 50). This idea helped me to identify and accept my service roles and opportunities in Al‑Anon—and to pass them along when the time came.

As a previous Sponsor once told me, new experiences, should we accept them, come into our lives to teach us something about ourselves. I have learned that my willingness to accept a new experience when presented gives me the courage to release control of the outcome. After all, I am reminded, I took on a service role or job that someone before me decided to let go. So, it may be time for me to do the same in order to experience a new opportunity that has been placed before me.

As we come to the end of this year, hopefully many Areas have had members step forward to fill vacant positions and embark upon exciting new opportunities in service. Here at the World Service Office, we are excited that members have applied for and accepted positions that will help our continuing efforts to disseminate current information to those seeking our support.

I am grateful that we in our fellowship practice rotation of leadership. And because of this practice, we have learned, or are learning, that embracing new service opportunities—as well as passing them on to the next trusted servant—ultimately supports those seeking our Al‑Anon message of hope.

By Marsha W., Director of Programs Emeritus

The Forum, December 2021

Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.