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

Archive for August, 2014

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. 

 

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! 

 

I Chose 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. 

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. 

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.