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

Posts tagged ‘twelve steps and twelve traditions’

Listening Deeply

How persistently we claim the right to decide all by ourselves just what we shall think and just how we shall act. ~  TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 37

If I accept and act upon the advice of those who have made the program work for themselves, I have a chance to outgrow the limits of the past. Some problems will shrink to nothingness, while others may require patient, well-thought-out action. Listening deeply when others share can develop intuition in handling problems which arise unexpectedly. It is usually best for me to avoid impetuous action. Attending a meeting or calling a fellow A.A. member will usually reduce tension enough to bring relief to a desperate sufferer like me. Sharing problems at meetings with other alcoholics to whom I relate, or privately with my sponsor, can change aspects of the positions in which I find myself. Character defects are identified and I begin to see how they work against me. When I put my faith in the spiritual power of the program, when I trust others to teach me what I need to do to have a better life, I find that I can trust myself to do what is necessary. 

 

Advertisements

A Prayer for all Seasons

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courage to change the things we can. And wisdom to know the difference. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125

The power of this prayer is overwhelming in that its simple beauty parallels the A.A. Fellowship. There are times when I get stuck while reciting it, but if I examine the section which is troubling me, I find the answer to my problem. The first time this happened I was scared, but now I use it as a valuable tool. By accepting life as it is, I gain serenity. By taking action, I gain courage and I thank God for the ability to distinguish between those situations I can work on, and those I must turn over. All that I have now is a gift from God: my life, my usefulness, my contentment, and this program. The serenity enables me to continue walking forward. Alcoholics Anonymous is the easier, softer way. 

 

Anonymous Gifts of Kindness

As active alcoholics we were always looking for a handout in one way or another. ~ “THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ILLUSTRATED,” p. 14

The challenge of the Seventh Tradition is a personal challenge, reminding me to share and give of myself. Before sobriety the only thing I ever supported was my habit of drinking. Now my efforts are a smile, a kind word, and kindness.

I saw that I had to start carrying my own weight and to allow my new friends to walk with me because, through the practice of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, I’ve never had it so good. 

 

The “Worth” of Sobriety

Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 160

When I go shopping I look at the prices and if I need what I see, I buy it and pay. Now that I am supposed to be in rehabilitation, I have to straighten out my life. When I go to a meeting, I take a coffee with sugar and milk, sometimes more than one. But at the collection time, I am either too busy to take money out of my purse, or I do not have enough, but I am there because I need this meeting. I heard someone suggest dropping the price of a beer into the basket, and I thought, that’s too much! I almost never give one dollar. Like many others, I rely on the more generous members to finance the Fellowship. I forget that it takes money to rent the meeting room, buy my milk, sugar and cups. I will pay, without hesitation, ninety cents for a cup of coffee at a restaurant after the meeting; I always have money for that. So, how much is my sobriety and my inner peace worth? 

 

Shortcomings Removed

But now the words “Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works” began to carry bright promise and meaning. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 75

When I put the Seventh Step into action I must remember that there are no blanks to fill in. It doesn’t say, “Humbly asked Him to (fill in the blank) remove our shortcomings.” For years, I filled in the imaginary blank with “Help me!” “Give me the courage to,” and “Give me the strength,” etc. The Step says simply that God will remove my shortcomings. The only footwork I must do is “humbly ask,” which for me means asking with the knowledge that of myself I am nothing, the Father within “doeth the works.”