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

Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category

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) 

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Active, Not Passive

Man is supposed to think, and act, He wasn’t made in God’s image to be an automaton. ~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 55

Before I joined A.A., I often did not think, and reacted to people and situations. When not reacting I acted in a mechanical fashion. After joining A. A., I started seeking daily guidance from a Power greater than myself, and learning to listen for that guidance. Then I began to make decisions and act on them, rather than react to them. The results have been constructive; I no longer allow others to make decisions for me and then criticize me for it.

Today—and every day—with a heart full of gratitude, and a desire for God’s will to be done through me, my life is worth sharing, especially with my fellow alcoholics! Above all, if I do not make a religion out of anything, even A.A., then I can be an open channel for God’s expression. 

No Ordinary Success Story

A.A. is no success story in the ordinary sense of the word. It is a story of suffering transmuted, under grace, into spiritual progress. ~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 35

Upon entering A.A. I listened to others talk about the reality of their drinking: loneliness, terror and pain. As I listened further, I soon heard a description of a very different kind—the reality of sobriety. It is a reality of freedom and happiness, of purpose and direction, and of serenity and peace with God, ourselves and others. By attending meetings I am reintroduced to that reality, over and over. I see it in the eyes and hear it in the voices of those around me. By working the program I find the direction and strength with which to make it mine. The joy of A.A. is that this new reality is available to me. 

The Challenge of Failure

In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is. ~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 31

How thankful I am today, to know that all my past failures were necessary for me to be where I am now. Through much pain came experience and, in suffering, I became obedient. When I sought God, as I understand Him, He shared His treasured gifts. Through experience and obedience, growth started, followed by gratitude. Yes, then came peace of mind—living in and sharing sobriety.

The Gift of Laughter

At this juncture, his A.A. sponsor usually laughs. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 26

Before my recovery from alcoholism began, laughter was one of the most painful sounds I knew. I never laughed and I felt that anyone else’s laughter was directed at me! My self-pity and anger denied me the simplest of pleasures or lightness of heart. By the end of my drinking not even alcohol could provoke a drunken giggle in me.

When my A.A. sponsor began to laugh and point out my self-pity and ego-feeding deceptions, I was annoyed and hurt, but it taught me to lighten up and focus on my recovery. I soon learned to laugh at myself and eventually I taught those I sponsor to laugh also. Every day I ask God to help me stop taking myself too seriously.