I learned the importance of using our spiritual principles in all aspects of my program through my own journey of recovery. When I was a new Group Representative, I attended my first Assembly and I did not feel good about what I saw or what I felt in those rooms. I do not recall the issues or the topics being debated, but what transpired did not reflect the Al‑Anon program that I had experienced up to that point. I decided that in the future I would need to practice my Al‑Anon program in a safe environment so I could remain a member. I participated in a lot of service in Al‑Anon, but I never attended another Assembly for many years.
Today, I believe I have grown and evolved just as Al‑Anon has grown and evolved. In her welcome to the 1983 World Service Conference, Lois W. said, “Al‑Anon is a program of love.” We all share in the responsibility to make sure our program of help and hope is here for anyone who suffers from the effects of the family disease of alcoholism. When I practise our spiritual principles in all my affairs, I help create that safe place that encourages people to be willing to take on the role of trusted servant. Now when I walk into any Al‑Anon meeting, I try to remember the words that Annie S. spoke when she greeted the wives of those early alcoholics at her door—“Come in my dear. You’re with friends now—friends who understand” (Al-Anon ThenandNow,abriefhistory [AR-2], page 2). What a blessing to come together with our worldwide membership and share the love and growth we find in Al‑Anon through the practise of our spiritual principles.