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

Archive for April, 2016

A Great Paradox

These legacies of suffering and of recovery are easily passed among alcoholics, one to the other. This is our gift from God, and its bestowal upon others like us is the one aim that today animates A.A.’s all around the globe. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151

The great paradox of A.A. is that I know I cannot keep the precious gift of sobriety unless I give it away.

My primary purpose is to stay sober. In A.A. I have no other goal, and the importance of this is a matter of life or death for me. If I veer from this purpose I lose. But A.A. is not only for me; it is for the alcoholic who still suffers. The legions of recovering alcoholics stay sober by sharing with fellow alcoholics. The way to my recovery is to show others in A.A. that when I share with them, we both grow in the grace of the Higher Power, and both of us are on the road to a happy destiny.

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Group Autonomy

Some may think that we have carried the principle of group autonomy to extremes. For example, in its original “long form,” Tradition Four declares: “Any two or three gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that as a group they have no other affiliation. “* . . . But this ultra-liberty is not so risky as it looks. ~ A.A. COMES OF AGE PP 104-05

As an active alcoholic, I abused every liberty that life afforded. How could A.A. expect me to respect the “ultra-liberty” bestowed by Tradition Four? Learning respect has become a lifetime job.

A.A. has made me fully accept the necessity of discipline and that, if I do not assert it from within, then I will pay for it. This applies to groups too. Tradition Four points me in a spiritual direction, in spite of my alcoholic inclinations. 

Two “Magnificent Standards”

All A.A. progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words: humility and responsibility. Our whole spiritual development can be accurately measured by our degree of adherence to these magnificent standards. ~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 271

To acknowledge and respect the views, accomplishments and prerogatives of others and to accept being wrong shows me the way of humility. To practice the principles of A.A. in all my affairs guides me to be responsible. Honoring these precepts gives credence to Tradition Four—and to all other Traditions of the Fellowship. Alcoholics Anonymous has evolved a philosophy of life full of valid motivations, rich in highly relevant principles and ethical values, a view of life which can be extended beyond the confines of the alcoholic population. To honor these precepts I need only to pray, and care for my fellow man as if each one were my brother. 

Joyful Discoveries

We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 164

Sobriety is a journey of joyful discovery. Each day brings new experience, awareness, greater hope, deeper faith, broader tolerance. I must maintain these attributes or I will have nothing to pass on.

Great events for this recovering alcoholic are the normal everyday joys found in being able to live another day in God’s grace.

Happiness is not the Point

I don’t think happiness or unhappiness is the point. How do we meet the problems we face? How do we best learn from them and transmit what we have learned to others, if they would receive the knowledge? ~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 306

In my search “to be happy,” I changed jobs, married and divorced, took geographical cures, and ran myself into debt—financially, emotionally and spiritually. In A.A., I’m learning to grow up. Instead of demanding that people, places and things make me happy, I can ask God for self-acceptance. When a problem overwhelms me, A.A.’s Twelve Steps will help me grow through the pain. The knowledge I gain can be a gift to others who suffer with the same problem. As Bill said, “When pain comes, we are expected to learn from it willingly, and help others to learn. When happiness comes, we accept it as a gift, and thank God for it.” (As Bill Sees It, p. 306)