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

Archive for May, 2013

Readiness to Serve Others

. . . our Society has concluded that it has but one high mission—to carry the A.A. message to those who don’t know there’s a way out. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151

The “Light” to freedom shines bright on my fellow alcoholics as each one of us challenges the other to grow. The “Steps” to self-improvement have small beginnings, but each Step builds the “ladder” out of the pit of despair to new hope. Honesty becomes my “tool” to unfurl the “chains” which bound me. A sponsor, who is a caring listener, can help me to truly hear the message guiding me to freedom.

I ask God for the courage to live in such a way that the Fellowship may be a testimony to His favor. This mission frees me to share my gifts of wellness through a spirit of readiness to serve others. 

 

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Our Primary Purpose

The more A.A. sticks to its primary purpose, the greater will be its helpful influence everywhere. ~ A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 109

It is with gratitude that I reflect on the early days of our Fellowship and those wise and loving “foresteppers” who proclaimed that we should not be diverted from our primary purpose, that of carrying the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

I desire to impart respect to those who labor in the field of alcoholism, being ever mindful that A.A. endorses no causes other than its own. I must remember that A.A. has no monopoly on miracle-making and I remain humbly grateful to a loving God who made A.A. possible. 

 

True Tolerance

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 139

I first heard the short form of the Third Tradition in the Preamble. When I came to A.A. I could not accept myself, my alcoholism, or a Higher Power. If there had been any physical, mental, moral, or religious requirements for membership, I would be dead today. Bill W. said in his tape on the Traditions that the Third Tradition is a charter for individual freedom. The most impressive thing to me was the feeling of acceptance from members who were practicing the Third Tradition by tolerating and accepting me. I feel acceptance is love and love is God’s will for us. 

 

Equal Rights

At one time or another most A.A. groups go on rule making benders. . . . After a time fear and intolerance subside, [and we realize]. We do not wish to deny anyone his chance to recover from alcoholism. We wish to be just as inclusive as we can, never exclusive. ~ “A.A. TRADITION: HOW IT DEVELOPED,” pp. 10, 11, 12

A.A. offered me complete freedom and accepted me into the Fellowship for myself. Membership did not depend upon conformity, financial success or education and I am so grateful for that. I often ask myself if I extend the same equality to others or if I deny them the freedom to be different. Today I try to replace my fear and intolerance with faith, patience, love and acceptance. I can bring these strengths to my A.A. group, my home and my office. I make an effort to bring my positive attitude everywhere that I go.

I have neither the right, nor the responsibility, to judge others. Depending on my attitude I can view newcomers to A.A., family members and friends as menaces or as teachers. When I think of some of my past judgments, it is clear how my self-righteousness caused me spiritual harm. 

No Maudlin Guilt

Day by day, we try to move a little toward God’s perfection. So we need not be consumed by maudlin guilt. . . . ~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 15

When I first discovered that there is not a single “don’t” in the Twelve Steps of A.A., I was disturbed because this discovery swung open a giant portal. Only then was I able to realize what A.A. is for me:

A.A. is not a program of “don’ts, but of “do’s.” A.A. is not martial law; it is freedom. A.A. is not tears over defects, but sweat over fixing them. A.A. is not penitence; it is salvation. A.A. is not “Woe to me” for my sins, past and present. A.A. is “Praise God” for the progress I am making today.