daily reflection: a unique program

Alcoholics Anonymous will never have a professional class. We have gained some understanding of the ancient words “Freely ye have received, freely give.” We have discovered that at the point of professionalism, money and spirituality do not mix.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 166

I believe that Alcoholics Anonymous stands alone in the treatment of alcoholism because it is based solely on the principle of one alcoholic sharing with another alcoholic. This is what makes the program unique. When I decided that I wanted to stay sober, I called a woman who I knew was a sober member of A.A., and she carried the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to me. She received no monetary compensation, but rather was paid by staying sober another day herself. Today I could ask for no payment other than another day free from alcohol, so in that respect, I am generously paid for my labor.

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repost: on the brink of everything

via Process not an Event comes this delightful and encouraging post as a reminder that life stays new to us so long as we remain on the healing journey.

Truly, the possibility in life today is on the brink of everything.  It does not matter whether I live for another six weeks, six months, or six years, the brink is still there.

It took robertifs at Process reading Parker J Palmer’s new book On The Brink of Everything to place “everything” in perspective, bringing his life into focus.

Sure… take a minute and read the whole thing. Good stuff.

daily reflection: the only requirement…

“At one time . . . every A.A. group had many membership rules. Everybody was scared witless that something or somebody would capsize the boat. . . .The total list was a mile long. If all those rules had been in effect everywhere, nobody could have possibly joined A.A. at all, . . .”

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 139-40

I’m grateful that the Third Tradition only requires of me a desire to stop drinking. I had been breaking promises for years. In the Fellowship I didn’t have to make promises, I didn’t have to concentrate. It only required my attending one meeting, in a foggy condition, to know I was home. I didn’t have to pledge undying love. Here, strangers hugged me. “It gets better,” they said, and “One day at a time, you can do it.” They were no longer strangers, but caring friends. I ask God to help me to reach out to people desiring sobriety, and to, please, keep me grateful!

daily reflection: i choose anonymity

We are sure that humility, expressed by anonymity, is the greatest safeguard that Alcoholics Anonymous can ever have.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 187

Since there are no rules in A.A. I place myself where I want to be, and so I choose anonymity. I want my God to use me, humbly, as one of His tools in this program. Sacrifice is the art of giving of myself freely, allowing humility to replace my ego. With sobriety, I suppress that urge to cry out to the world, “I am a member of A.A.” and I experience inner joy and peace. I let people see the changes in me and hope they will ask what happened to me. I place the principles of spirituality ahead of judging, fault-finding, and criticism. I want love and caring in my group, so I can grow.

daily reflection: lightening the burden

Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now. . . . the dark past is . . . the key to life and happiness for others.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 124

Since I have been sober, I have been healed of many pains: deceiving my partner, deserting my best friend, and spoiling my mother’s hopes for my life. In each case someone in the program told me of a similar problem, and I was able to share what happened to me. When my story was told, both of us got up with lighter hearts.

daily reflection: centering our thoughts

When World War II broke out, our A.A. dependence on a Higher Power had its first major test. A.A.’s entered the services and were scattered all over the world. Would they be able to take the discipline, stand up under fire, and endure . . . ?

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 200

I will center my thoughts on a Higher Power. I will surrender all to this power within me. I will become a soldier for this power, feeling the might of the spiritual army as it exists in my life today. I will allow a wave of spiritual union to connect me through my gratitude, obedience and discipline to this Higher Power. Let me allow this power to lead me through the orders of the day. May the steps I take today strengthen my words and deeds, may I know that the message I carry is mine to share, given freely by this power greater than myself.

daily reflection: giving it away

Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves for others.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 159

Those words, for me, refer to a transference of power, through which God, as I understand Him, enters my life. Through prayer and meditation, I open channels, then I establish and improve my conscious contact with God. Through action, I then receive the power I need to maintain my sobriety each day. By maintaining my spiritual condition, by giving away what has been so freely given to me, I am granted a daily reprieve.

daily reflection: the gift of bonding

Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 63

Many times in my alcoholic state, I drank to establish a bond between myself and others, but I succeeded only in establishing the bondage of alcoholic loneliness. Through the A.A. way of life, I have received the gift of bonding—with those who were there before me, with those who are there now, and with those yet to come. For this gracious gift from God, I am forever grateful.

daily reflection: a riddle that works

It may be possible to find explanations of spiritual experiences such as ours, but I have often tried to explain my own and have succeeded only in giving the story of it. I know the feeling it gave me and the results it has brought, but I realize I may never fully understand its deeper why and how.

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 313

I had a profound spiritual experience during an open A.A. meeting, which led me to blurt out, “I’m an alcoholic!” I have not had a drink since that day. I can tell you the words I heard just prior to my admission, and how those words affected me, but as to why it happened, I do not know. I believe a power greater than myself chose me to recover, yet I do not know why. I try not to worry or wonder about what I do not yet know; instead, I trust that if I continue to work the Steps, practice the A.A. principles in my life, and share my story, I will be guided lovingly toward a deep and mature spirituality in which more will be revealed to me. For the time being, it is a gift for me to trust God, work the Steps and help others.