en·thu·si·asm

When I came into Al-Anon, I came kicking & screaming. But after a period of ‘thawing out’, the program began to work in my life. Soon, I began to look forward to attending my meetings. Actually, that is not honest…the truth is, I couldn’t wait to go to my meetings! Here I am today, many years later and still excited when I walk through the doors at my meetings.

That is enthusiasm.

I see that same feeling reflected in others at my meetings. Their eyes seem to sparkle and they have smiles on their faces. I have seen them go up to newcomers and offer an encouraging word. They offer hope to the rest of us by sharing their difficulties and how the program helps them overcome them. They have an aura around them–an inner glow.

That is enthusiasm.

I have even felt that excitement when I walk into an assembly or an Area World Service Committee meeting. There is energy there, a connection with other Al-Anons at a different level. There is an exchange of information and ideas that I can take back and share with my group. I remember one time I left an assembly so full of ideas that when I got home; I immediately put the creative energy to use by cutting out large cardboard footsteps and wrote slogans and program sayings on them. I brought them to my group, laid them out on the floor from the front door of the church to the meeting room. Then I watched members as they arrived. They were looking down with their heads halfcocked, reading the message on each foot as they slowly traveled to the meeting room. Every one of them had a smile on their face by the time they arrived. They liked it so much that the footsteps were laid out at every meeting.

That is enthusiasm.

Every time I hear laughter at a meeting, every time I get to hear a newcomer share how they were able to use the program for the first time, every time I see members hug after a meeting, or when someone shares a painful struggle and at the end of the conversation says, “I feel better”, my enthusiasm for the power of this program is renewed.

It was not until someone close to me mentioned the dictionary term of enthusiasm that its significance in my life was solidified. Here it is the definition given:

An ecstasy of mind, as if from inspiration or possession by a spiritual influence; hence a belief or conceit of being divinely inspired, or of being possessed of a private revelation of the divine. (From the Greek terms entheous meaning possessed by a god and en, meaning in)

It became clear to me that whenever I feel enthusiastic, I know my Higher Power is working in my life and that I am following His will. How many times had I looked for a burning bush to get an answer when I was feeling it all along! Perhaps those other sparkly-eyed Al-Anons understood the power of their enthusiasm, but for me, it took that dictionary definition to relate the feeling to a greater sense of a Higher Power in my life.

Yes, I am an enthusiastic Al-Anon. Despite kicking and screaming when I got here, my Higher Power knew better and put me on a path where I can experience joy, love and peace. I am so grateful for the feeling of enthusiasm and any time I see it in others.

May 2016 pave your road with an abundance of enthusiasm in your service journey.

NIAFG Delegate
Illinois North, Panel 55

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