Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Take what you like...

And the rest of it to.

Where on earth did we get this "take what you like and leave the rest?"

OK, I think I will take the 1st step and maybe the 12th ... well at least the part about the spiritual awakening because then I can be some kind of guru ... and then I think I would like to carry this message (what message if you haven't done anything?) and I don't know what the principles are, so I don't think I will practice them. Well, except for the part where I have had a spiritual awakening and I can tell everyone about it. But all that other stuff about ego deflation and rigorous honesty? No, thanks.

That's what I would have taken if I was told I could slice and dice and take only the parts I wanted.

I have heard others say that this saying pertains to listening to people at meetings. Oh really? I think I will listen to the cute guy over there, he is hot! And maybe the lady who is "nice" to me. But that cranky ass old man who cusses and smokes - no thank you, he hasn't got a damn thing I want! And the fact that he has been sober 100 years, well, that doesn't matter one iota to me! I don't like what he says! And the newcomer? Well, they don't know anything, so I won't listen to them either.

Gee, this is great, I can pare it down to 2 steps and listening to 2 people whose message I like. I don't need to do those nasty steps where I face reality about myself and make amends. I don't need to listen to people who might be able to cast light into dark crannies of my soul.

And God? I don't need to worry about that antiquated issue either. Who needs to pray? That was in a couple of the steps I didn't like and therefore discarded.

And finally, staying sober? Well, that seemed like a good idea, but maybe not so much. I have learned so much, I think I can drink again. Because I don't think sobriety is something that is that much fun 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. It kind of hurts sometimes.

Forgive the sarcasm, I just can't believe the stuff that abounds out there.

For me, I will take what I like - and the rest of it too.
Because I want to stay sober.
I want a relationship with God -
and my "higher power" makes demands upon me.

All the steps are created equal - and I need to do them all.
Love and tolerance is our code.
I need to give it away in order to keep it.
It isn't fun all the time, but it is worthwhile. Sometimes it is just plain hard.


dAAve said...


uh oh

AnyEdge said...

When I hear the 'take what you need and leave the rest', it has always been applied to listening to people who are obviously not working the program, or are struggling with things that simply don't apply to me and I can't relate (I've never had a child in prison!).

I've never had anyone tell me that as if parts of the program were optional. And if they did, I'd probably just laugh sadly.

Syd said...

Take What You Like and Leave the Rest is one of the many Slogans used in Alanon. It is used to remind members that they have choices in the program. And by this, it means that I can take the information and tools that will work for me and leave (do not judge or condemn) that which I don't accept or understand.

Not everyone in the rooms is healthy. I have heard shares that go against the traditions. So there are some things that I hear in meetings that "ring true" for me and some things that do not. I can take the ones that do and I can just ignore the ones that don't.

This slogan allows for my growth and flexibility. Its not rigid or dogmatic. I cannot speak for AA but that is how I interpret it in Al-Anon.

And it can apply to people in every day life with whom I interact. I can like certain aspects of them (take what I like) and not completely discard them because they aren't who I think they should be. Once again flexibility.

Grace-WorkinProgress said...

It was important to me that the program was not rigid. I came from a family with very black and white religious standards and either you were in or out. Al-Anon gave me the choice. I could choose my own interpretation of how to work the program. This phrase kept me from focusing on the differences instead of the similarities when people shared. Each sharing is just one persons opinion. It gave me the freedom to find God in my own way in my own time.

Kim A. said...

For me, the "TWYLALTR" phrase can be misused, abused, and misconstrued by my sick mind unless I approach it with a serene and balanced view. For me, this phrase was applicable when I hear people share that their HP is the ONLY HP. This usually is followed by a religious declaration. I now know that this isn't something I want to "take". I'll "take" what our program suggests and continue in my relationship with an HP of my understanding. Just my experience..


Mary Christine said...

So it is an alanon thing. And I am sure it is perfectly appropriate for alanon.

At one meeting I have attended the format states: If you hear anything here that cannot be reconciled with the first 164 pages of the big book, we suggest you disregard it..

I think that is a lot different than suggesting that alcoholics dismiss the experience of others because it may be different than theirs.