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

Archive for September, 2014

The Circle and the Triangle

The circle stands for the whole world of A.A., and the triangle stands for A.A.’s Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service. Within our wonderful new world, we have found freedom from our fatal obsession. ~ A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 139

Early in my A.A. life, I became employed in its services and I found the explanation of our society’s logo to be very appropriate. First, a circle of love and service with a well-balanced triangle inside, the base of which represents our Recovery through the Twelve Steps. Then the other two sides, representing Unity and Service, respectively. The three sides of the triangle are equal. As I grew in A.A. I soon identified myself with this symbol. I am the circle, and the sides of the triangle represent three aspects of my personality: physical, emotional sanity, spirituality, the latter forming the symbol’s base. Taken together, all three aspects of my personality translate into a sober and happy life. 

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Exactly Alike

Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 89

A man came to the meeting drunk, interrupted the speakers, stood up and took his shirt off, staggered loudly back and forth for coffee, demanded to talk, and eventually called the group’s secretary an unquotable name and walked out. I was glad he was there—once again I saw what I had been like. But I also saw what I still am, and what I still could be. I don’t have to be drunk to want to be the exception and the center of attention. I have often felt abused and responded abusively when I was simply being treated as a garden variety human being. The more the man tried to insist he was different, the more I realized that he and I were exactly alike. 

Love Without Strings

Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 89

Sponsorship held two surprises for me. First, that my sponsees cared about me. What I had thought was gratitude was more like love. They wanted me to be happy, to grow and remain sober. Knowing how they felt kept me from drinking more than once. Second, I discovered that I was able to love someone else responsibly, with respectful and genuine concern for that person’s growth. Before that time, I had thought that my ability to care sincerely about another’s well-being had atrophied from lack of use. To learn that I can love, without greed or anxiety, has been one of the deepest gifts the program has given me. Gratitude for that gift has kept me sober many times. 

Without Reservation

When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, . . . ~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37

While practicing service to others, if my successes give rise to grandiosity, I must reflect on what brought me to this point. What has been given joyfully, with love, must be passed on without reservation and without expectation. For as I grow, I find that no matter how much I give with love, I receive much more in spirit. 

Our Children

The alcoholic may find it hard to re-establish friendly relations with his children. . . . In time they will see that he is a new man and in their own way they will let him know it. . . . From that point on, progress will be rapid. Marvelous results often follow such a reunion. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 134

While on the road to recovery I received a gift that could not be purchased. It was a card from my son in college, saying, “Dad, you can’t imagine how glad I am that everything is okay. Happy Birthday, I love you.” My son had told me that he loved me before. It had been during the previous Christmas holidays, when he had said to me, while crying, “Dad, I love you! Can’t you see what you’re doing to yourself?” I couldn’t. Choked with emotion, I had cried, but this time, when I received my son’s card, my tears were tears of joy, not desperation.