At Thursday's noon meeting, one guy oozing piety used his
speaking time to offer a long, traditional prayer, something even
Jane knew was totally against the rules. Jane's own prayers were
mostly short, silent requests for insight.
Perry's presumption irritated her.
Still, she was new to AlAnon. She kept quiet.
Later, at home, Jane wondered about the protocol. Should she
have spoken up? Complained to the group facilitator? Said
something privately to Perry? She was so damned tired of being
In her journal, she experimented with things to say to Perry
next week. She wrote:
Perry, when you recite an entire prayer to us, it's like you're
forcing prayer on us. I find this invasive. In the future, could
you please not do this?
She read it over, decided she'd followed a good formula:
State the behavior; use "I" language; make a request.
Then she softened her message: You could make it available
afterwards, for those who want it.
She scratched out the last sentence, added some starch:
Your prayer offends my spiritual sensitivities.
Then: Don't subject me...
Before she knew it, Jane had spent forty-five minutes trying to
decide what to say to Perry next meeting.
Forty-five minutes! She wasn't even sure she'd go back. What a
dope she was, wasting her time, her effort. Idiot!
She felt exhausted.
"I'll just let it go," she thought.
She paused. Then heard her words, "Let it go."
She closed her journal, unexpectedly excited, her own prayer