from "Daily Reflections" by A.A. Members for A.A. Members

Listening Deeply

How persistently we claim the right to decide all by ourselves just what we shall think and just how we shall act. ~  TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 37

If I accept and act upon the advice of those who have made the program work for themselves, I have a chance to outgrow the limits of the past. Some problems will shrink to nothingness, while others may require patient, well-thought-out action. Listening deeply when others share can develop intuition in handling problems which arise unexpectedly. It is usually best for me to avoid impetuous action. Attending a meeting or calling a fellow A.A. member will usually reduce tension enough to bring relief to a desperate sufferer like me. Sharing problems at meetings with other alcoholics to whom I relate, or privately with my sponsor, can change aspects of the positions in which I find myself. Character defects are identified and I begin to see how they work against me. When I put my faith in the spiritual power of the program, when I trust others to teach me what I need to do to have a better life, I find that I can trust myself to do what is necessary. 

 

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Seeds of Faith

Faith, to be sure, is necessary, but faith alone can avail nothing. We can have faith, yet keep God out of our lives. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 34

As a child I constantly questioned the existence of God. To a “scientific thinker” like me, no answer could withstand a thorough dissection, until a very patient woman finally said to me, “You must have faith.” With that simple statement, the seeds of my recovery were sown!

Today, as I practice my recovery—cutting back the weeds of alcoholism—slowly I am letting those early seeds of faith grow and bloom. Each day of recovery, of ardent gardening, brings the Higher Power of my understanding more fully into my life. My God has always been with me through faith, but it is my responsibility to have the willingness to accept His presence.

I ask God to grant me the willingness to do His will. 

 

Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 77

It is clear that God’s plan for me is expressed through love. God loved me enough to take me from alleys and jails so that I could be made a useful participant in His world. My response is to love all of His children through service and by example. I ask God to help me imitate His love for me through my love for others. 

 

At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 77

How easily I can become misdirected in approaching the Eighth Step! I wish to be free, somehow transformed by my Sixth and Seventh Step work. Now, more than ever, I am vulnerable to my own self-interest and hidden agenda. I am careful to remember that self-satisfaction, which sometimes comes through the spoken forgiveness of those I have harmed, is not my true objective. I become willing to make amends, knowing that through this process I am mended and made fit to move forward, to know and desire God’s will for me. 

 

Living It

The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 83

When new in the program, I couldn’t comprehend living the spiritual aspect of the program, but now that I’m sober, I can’t comprehend living without it. Spirituality was what I had been seeking. God, as I understand Him, has given me answers to the whys that kept me drinking for twenty years. By living a spiritual life, by asking God for help, I have learned to love, care for and feel compassion for all my fellow men, and to feel joy in a world where, before, I felt only fear.