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

Archive for March, 2013

No One Denied Me Love

On the A. A. calendar it was Year Two. . . . A newcomer appeared at one of these groups. . . . He soon proved that his was a desperate case, and that above all he wanted to get well . . . [He said], “Since I am the victim of another addiction even worse stigmatized than alcoholism, you may not want me among you.” ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 141-42

I came to you—a wife, mother, woman who had walked out on her husband, children, family. I was a drunk, a pill-head, a nothing. Yet no one denied me love, caring, a sense of belonging. Today, by God’s grace and the love of a good sponsor and a home group, I can say that—through you in Alcoholics Anonymous—I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a woman. Sober. Free of pills. Responsible.

Without a Higher Power I found in the Fellowship, my life would be meaningless. I am full of gratitude to be a member of good standing in Alcoholics Anonymous. 

Advertisements

Our Group Conscience

“. . . sometimes the good is the enemy of the best” ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS COMES OF AGE  p. 101

I think these words apply to every area of A.A.’s Three Legacies: Recovery, Unity and Service! I want them etched in my mind and life as I “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164). These words, often spoken by co-founder Bill W., were appropriately said to him as the result of the group’s conscience. It brought home to Bill W. the essence of our Second Tradition: “Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.”

Just as Bill W. was originally urged to remember, I think that in our group discussions we should never settle for the “good,” but always strive to attain the “best.” These common strivings are yet another example of a loving God, as we understand Him, expressing Himself through the group conscience. Experiences such as these help me to stay on the proper path of recovery. I learn to combine initiative with humility, responsibility with thankfulness, and thus relish the joys of living my twenty-four hour program. 

Trusted Servants

They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless privilege of doing the group’s chores ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 134

In Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis describes an encounter between his principal character and an old man busily at work planting a tree. “What is it you are doing?” Zorba asks. The old man replies: “You can see very well what I’m doing, my son, I’m planting a tree.” “But why plant a tree,” Zorba asks, “if you won’t be able to see it bear fruit?” And the old man answers: “I, my son, live as though I were never going to die.” The response brings a faint smile to Zorba’s lips and, as he walks away, he exclaims with a note of irony: “How strange—I live as though I were going to die tomorrow!”

As a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have found that the Third Legacy is a fertile soil in which to plant the tree of my sobriety. The fruits I harvest are wonderful: peace, security, understanding and twenty-four hours of eternal fulfillment; and with the soundness of mind to listen to the voice of my conscience when, in silence, it gently speaks to me, saying: You must let go in service. There are others who must plant and harvest. 

 

Equality

Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 565

Prior to A.A., I often felt that I didn’t “fit in” with the people around me. Usually “they” had more/ less money than I did, and my points of view didn’t jibe with “theirs.” The amount of prejudice I had experienced in society only proved to me just how phony some self-righteous people were. After joining A. A., I found the way of life I had been searching for. In A.A. no member is better than any other member; we’re just alcoholics trying to recover from alcoholism. 

 

A.A.’s Freedoms

We trust that we already know what our several freedoms truly are; that no future generation of  AAs will ever feel compelled to limit them. Our AA freedoms create the soil in which genuine love can grow. . . . ~ LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 303

I craved freedom. First, freedom to drink; later, freedom from drink. The A.A. program of recovery rests on a foundation of free choice. There are no mandates, laws or commandments. A.A.’s spiritual program, as outlined in the Twelve Steps, and by which I am offered even greater freedoms, is only suggested. I can take it or leave it. Sponsorship is offered, not forced, and I come and go as I will. It is these and other freedoms that allow me to recapture the dignity that was crushed by the burden of drink, and which is so dearly needed to support an enduring sobriety.