Saturday, December 31, 2011
The idea of "twenty-four-hour living" applies primarily to
the emotional life of the individual. Emotionally speaking,
we must not live in yesterday, nor in tomorrow.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 284
A New Year: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours,
525,600 minutes—a time to consider directions, goals, and
actions. I must make some plans to live a normal life, but
also I must live emotionally within a twenty-four-hour
frame, for if I do, I don't have to make New Year's
resolutions! I can make every day a New Year's day! I can
decide, "Today I will do this . . . Today I will do that."
Each day I can measure my life by trying to do a little
better, by deciding to follow God's will and by making an
effort to put the principles of our A.A. program into action
Friday, December 30, 2011
Developing inner values is much like physical exercise. The more we train our abilities, the stronger they become. The difference is that, unlike the body, when it comes to training the mind, there is no limit to how far we can go.
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions,
ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 564
Tradition Twelve became important early in my sobriety
and, along with the Twelve Steps, it continues to be a must
in my recovery. I became aware after I joined the
Fellowship that I had personality problems, so that when I
first heard it, the Tradition's message was very clear: there
exists an immediate way for me to face, with others, my
alcoholism and attendant anger, defensiveness,
offensiveness. I saw Tradition Twelve as being a great egodeflator;
it relieved my anger and gave me a chance to
utilize the principles of the program. All of the Steps, and
this particular Tradition, have guided me over decades of
continuous sobriety. I am grateful to those who were here
when I needed them.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
In The Rooms Is a social network for people fighting addictions, they now have live AA and NA Video meetings everyday, The picture is a capture from tonight's meeting. Participate or just listen. Its a great format for sharing and learning!
THE JOY OF LIVING
. . . therefore the joy of good living is the theme of A.A.'s
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125
A.A. is a joyful program! Even so, I occasionally balk at
taking the necessary steps to move ahead, and find myself
resisting the very actions that could bring about the joy I
want. I would not resist if those actions did not touch some
vulnerable area of my life, an area that needs hope and
fulfillment. Repeated exposure to joyfulness has a way of
softening the hard, outer edges of my ego. Therein lies the
power of joyfulness to help all members of A.A.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
SUIT UP AND SHOW UP
In A.A. we aim not only for sobriety—we try again to
become citizens of the world that we rejected, and of the
world that once rejected us. This is the ultimate
demonstration toward which Twelfth Step work is the first
but not the final step.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 21
The old line says, "Suit up and show up." That action is so
important that I like to think of it as my motto. I can choose
each day to suit up and show up, or not. Showing up at
meetings starts me toward feeling a part of that meeting, for
then I can do what I say I'll do at meetings. I can talk with
newcomers, and I can share my experience; that's what
credibility, honesty, and courtesy really are. Suiting up and
showing up are the concrete actions I take in my ongoing
return to normal living.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
"Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual
principles would solve all my problems."
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 42
Through the recovery process described in the Big Book, I
have come to realize that the same instructions that work on
my alcoholism, work on much more. Whenever I am angry
or frustrated, I consider the matter a manifestation of the
main problem within me, alcoholism. As I "walk" through
the Steps, my difficulty is usually dealt with long before I
reach the Twelfth "suggestion," and those difficulties that
persist are remedied when I make an effort to carry the
message to someone else. These principles do solve my
problems! I have not encountered an exception, and I have
been brought to a way of living which is satisfying and
Monday, December 26, 2011
ACCEPTING SUCCESS OR FAILURE
Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming
failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either
without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness,
loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity?
Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet
sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter,
more glittering achievements are denied us?
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 112
After I found A.A. and stopped drinking, it took a while
before I understood why the First Step contained two parts:
my powerlessness over alcohol, and my life's
unmanageability. In the same way, I believed for a long
time that, in order to be in tune with the Twelve Steps, it
was enough for me "to carry this message to alcoholics."
That was rushing things. I was forgetting that there were a
total of Twelve Steps and that the Twelfth Step also had
more than one part. Eventually I learned that it was
necessary for me to "practice these principles" in all areas
of my life. In working all the Steps thoroughly, I not only
stay sober and help someone else to achieve sobriety, but
also I transform my difficulty with living into a joy of
Sunday, December 25, 2011
AT PEACE WITH LIFE
Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's
will into all of our activities "How can I best serve Thee—
Thy will (not mine) be done."
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85
I read this passage each morning, to start off my day,
because it is a continual reminder to "practice these
principles in all my affairs." When I keep God's will at the
forefront of my mind, I am able to do what I should be
doing, and that puts me at peace with life, with myself and
Saturday, December 24, 2011
A "SANE AND HAPPY USEFULNESS"
We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads
in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly
planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are,
and that is where our work must be done. These are the
realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible
between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane
and happy usefulness
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 130
All the prayer and meditation in the world will not help me
unless they are accompanied by action. Practicing the
principles in all my affairs shows me the care that God
takes in all parts of my life. God appears in my world when
I move aside, and allow Him to step into it.
Friday, December 23, 2011
RECOVERY, UNITY, SERVICE
Our Twelfth Step—carrying the message—is the basic
service that AA's Fellowship gives; this is our principal aim
and the main reason for our existence.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 160
I thank God for those who came before me, those who told
me not to forget the Three Legacies: Recovery, Unity and
Service. In my home group, the Three Legacies were
described on a sign which said: "You take a three-legged
stool, try to balance it on only one leg, or two. Our Three
Legacies must be kept intact. In Recovery, we get sober
together; in Unity, we work together for the good of our
Steps and Traditions; and through Service—we give away
freely what has been given to us."
One of the chief gifts of my life has been to know that I
will have no message to give, unless I recover in unity with
Thursday, December 22, 2011
PRINCIPLES, NOT PERSONALITIES
The way our "worthy" alcoholics have sometimes tried to
judge the "less worthy" is, as we look back on it, rather
comical. Imagine, if you can, one alcoholic judging
THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 37
Who am I to judge anyone? When I first entered the
Fellowship I found that I liked everyone. After all, A.A.
was going to help me to a better way of life without
alcohol. The reality was that I couldn't possibly like
everyone, nor they me. As I've grown in the Fellowship,
I've learned to love everyone just from listening to what
they had to say. That person over there, or the one right
here, may be the one God has chosen to give me the
message I need for today. I must always remember to place
principles above personalities.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
LISTEN, SHARE AND PRAY
When working with a man and his family, you should take
care not to participate in their quarrels. You may spoil
your chance of being helpful if you do.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 100
When trying to help a fellow alcoholic, I've given in to an
impulse to give advice, and perhaps that's inevitable. But
allowing others the right to be wrong reaps its own
benefits. The best I can do— and it sounds easier than it is
to put into practice— is to listen, share personal
experience, and pray for others.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
THE REWARDS OF GIVING
This is indeed the kind of giving that actually demands
nothing. He does not expect his brother sufferer to pay him,
or even to love him. And then he discovers that by the
divine paradox of this kind of giving he has found his own
reward, whether his brother has yet received anything or
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 109
Through experience with Twelfth Step work, I came to
understand the rewards of giving that demands nothing in
return. At first I expected recovery in others, but I soon
learned that this did not happen. Once I acquired the
humility to accept the fact that every Twelfth Step call was
not going to result in a success, then I was open to receive
the rewards of selfless giving.
Monday, December 19, 2011
UNDERSTANDING THE MALADY
When dealing with an alcoholic, there may be a natural
annoyance that a man could be so weak, stupid and
irresponsible. Even when you understand the malady
better, you may feel this feeling rising.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 139
Having suffered from alcoholism, I should understand the
illness, but sometimes I feel annoyance, even contempt,
toward a person who cannot make it in A.A. When I feel
that way, I am satisfying my false sense of superiority and I
must remember, but for the grace of God, there go I.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
HONESTY WITH NEWCOMERS
Tell him exactly what happened to you. Stress the spiritual
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 93
The marvel of A.A. is that I tell only what happened to me.
I don't waste time offering advice to potential newcomers,
for if advice worked, nobody would get to A.A. All I have
to do is show what has brought me sobriety and what has
changed my life. If I fail to stress the spiritual feature of
A.A.'s program, I am being dishonest. The newcomer
should not be given a false impression of sobriety. I am
sober only through the grace of my Higher Power, and that
makes it possible for me to share with others.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
A PRICELESS REWARD
. . . work with other alcoholics. . . . It work when other
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 8
"Life will take on new meaning," as the Big Book says
(p.89). This promise has helped me to avow self-seeking
and self-pity. To watch others grow in this wonderful
program, to see them improve the quality of their lives, is a
priceless reward for my effort to help others. Selfexamination
is yet another reward for an ongoing recovery,
as are serenity, peace and contentment. The energy derived
from seeing others on a successful path, of sharing with
them the joys of the journey, gives to my life a new
Friday, December 16, 2011
PARTNERS IN RECOVERY
. . nothing will so much insure immunity from finking as
intensive work with other alcoholics. . . Both you and the
new man must walk day by ay in the path of spiritual
progress. . . . Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and
you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no
matter what your resent circumstances!
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 89, 100
Doing the right things for the right reasons—this is my
way of controlling my selfishness and self-centeredness. I
realize that my dependency on a higher Power clears the
way for peace of mind, happiness and sobriety. I pray each
day that I will avoid my previous actions, so that I will be
helpful o others.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
DOING ANYTHING TO HELP
Offer him [the alcoholic] friendship and fellowship. Tell
him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 95
I remember how attracted I was to the two men from A.A.
who Twelfth-Stepped me. They said I could have what
they had, with no conditions attached, that all I had to do
was make my own decision to join them on the pathway to
recovery. When I start convincing a newcomer to do things
my way, I forget how helpful those two men were to me in
their open-minded generosity.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or
spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual looks for
his inspection. Show him how they worked with you.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 95
When I come into contact with a newcomer, do I have a
tendency to look at him from my perceived ingle of
success in A.A.? Do I compare him with the large number
of acquaintances I have made in the Fellowship? Do I
point out to him in a magisterial way the voice of A.A.?
What is my real attitude toward him? I must examine
myself whenever I meet a newcomer to make sure that I
am carrying the message with simplicity, humility and
generosity. The one who still suffers from the terrible disease
of alcoholism must find in me a friend who will allow
him to get to know the A.A. way, because I had such a
friend when I arrived in A.A. Today it is my turn to hold
out my hand, with love, to my sister or brother alcoholic,
and to show her or him the way to happiness.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
THINKING OF OTHERS
Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our
constant thought of others and how we may help meet their
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 20
Thinking of others has never come easily to me. Even when
I try to work the A.A. program, I'm prone to thinking,
"How do I feel today. Am I happy, joyous and free?"
The program tells me that my thoughts must reach out to
those around me: "Would that newcomer welcome
someone to talk to?" "That person looks a little unhappy
today, maybe I could cheer him up." It is only when I
forget my problems, and reach out to contribute something
to others that I can begin to attain the serenity and Godconsciousness
Monday, December 12, 2011
A COMMON SOLUTION
The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have
discovered a common solution. We have a way out on
which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can
join in brotherly and harmonious ac-ion. This is the great
news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 17
The most far-reaching Twelfth Step work was the
publication of our Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous. Few
can equal that book for carrying the message. My idea is to
get out of myself and simply do what I can. Even if I
haven't been asked to sponsor and my phone rarely rings, I
am still able to do Twelfth Step work. I get involved in
"brotherly and harmonious action." At meetings I show up
early to greet people and to help set up, and to share my
experience, strength and hope. I also do what I can with
service work. My Higher Power gives me exactly what He
wants me to do at any given point in my recovery and, if I
let Him, my willingness will bring Twelfth Step work
Sunday, December 11, 2011
"A GENUINE HUMILITY"
. . . we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This is
to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that
we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who
presides over us all.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 192
Experience has taught me that my alcoholic personality
tends to be grandiose. While having seemingly good
intentions, I can go off on tangents in pursuit of my
"causes." My ego takes over and I lose sight of my primary
purpose. I may even take credit for God's handiwork in my
life. Such an overstated feeling of my own importance is
dangerous to my sobriety and could cause great harm to
A.A. as a whole.
My safeguard, the Twelfth Tradition, serves to keep me
humble. I realize, both as an individual and as a member of
the Fellowship, that I cannot boast of my accomplishments,
and that "God is doing for us what we could not do for
Saturday, December 10, 2011
CARRYING THE MESSAGE
Now, what about the rest of the Twelfth Step? The
wonderful energy it releases and the eager action by which
it carries our message to the next suffering alcoholic and
which finally translates the Twelve Steps into action upon
all our affairs is the payoff, the magnificent reality, of
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 109
To renounce the alcoholic world is not to abandon it, but to
act upon principles I have come to love and cherish, and to
restore in others who still suffer the serenity I have come to
know. When I am truly committed to this purpose, it
matters little what clothes I wear or how I make a living.
My task is to carry the message, and to lead by example,
Friday, December 9, 2011
LOVE WITH NO PRICE TAG
When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication, it is
really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106
In order for me to start working the Twelfth Step, I had to
work on sincerity, honesty, and to learn to act with
humility. Carrying the message is a gift of myself, no
matter how many years of sobriety I may have
accumulated. My dreams can become reality. I solidify my
sobriety by sharing what I have received freely. As I look
back to that time when I began my recovery, there was
already a seed of hope that I could help another drunk pull
himself out of his alcoholic mire. My wish to help another
drunk is the key to my spiritual health. But I never forget
that God acts through me. I am only His instrument.
Even if the other person is not ready, there is success,
because my effort in his behalf has helped me to remain
sober and to become stronger. To act, to never grow weary
in my Twelfth Step work, is the key. If I am capable of
laughing today, let me not forget those days when I cried.
God reminds me that I can feel compassion!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Life will take on new meaning. To watch people re-over, to
see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a
fellowship grow up about you, to have host of friends—this
is an experience you must not miss. . . . Frequent contact
with newcomers and nth each other is the bright spot of
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 89
t is through service that the greatest rewards are to be
found. But to be in a position of offering true, useful and
effective service to others, I must first work on myself.
This means that I have to abandon myself to God,
admitting my faults and clearing away the wreckage of my
past. Work on myself has aught me how to find the
necessary peace and serenity to successfully merge
inspiration and experience. I have learned how to be, in the
truest sense, in open channel of sobriety.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition
is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under
the grace of God.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 124-25
During my drinking years, my one and only concern was to
have my fellow man think highly of me. My ambition in
everything I did was to have the power to be at the top. My
inner self kept telling me something else but I couldn't
accept it. I didn't even allow myself to realize that I wore a
mask continually. Finally, when the mask came off and I
cried out to the only God I could conceive, the Fellowship
of A.A., my group and the Twelve Steps were there. I
learned how to change resentments into acceptance, fear
into hope and anger into love. I have learned also, through
loving without undue expectations, through sharing my
concerns and caring for my fellow man, that each day can
be joyous and fruitful. I begin and end my day with thanks
to God, who has so generously shed His grace on me.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN
When we developed still more, we discovered the best
possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself.
We found that dependence upon His perfect justice,
forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work
where nothing else would. If we really depended upon God,
we couldn't very well play God to our fellows nor would we
feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection and care.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 116
It has been my experience that, when all human resources
appear to have failed, there is always One who will never
desert me. Moreover, He is always there to share my joy,
to steer me down the right path, and to confide in when no
one else will do. While my well-being and happiness can
be added to, or diminished, by human efforts, only God can
provide the loving nourishment upon which I depend for
my daily spiritual health.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Dalai Lama’s 18 rules for living
At the start of the new millennium the Dalai Lama apparently issued eighteen rules for living.
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:
1. Respect for self
2. Respect for others
3. Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
A NEW STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of
consciousness and being.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 107
Many of us in AA. puzzle over what is a spiritual
awakening. I tended to look for a miracle, something
dramatic and earth-shattering. But what usually happens is
that a sense of well-being, a feeling of peace, transforms us
into a new level of awareness. That's what happened to me.
My insanity and inner turmoil disappeared and I entered
into a new dimension of hope, love and peace. I think the
degree to which I continue to experience this new dimension
is in direct proportion to the sincerity, depth and
devotion with which I practice the Twelve Steps of A.A.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
A. A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of
alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we
ourselves can wither and those who haven't been given the
truth may die.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 13
I desperately wanted to live, but if I was to succeed, I had to
become active in our God-given program. I joined what
became my group, where I opened the hall, made coffee,
and cleaned up. I had been sober about three months when
an oldtimer told me I was doing Twelfth-Step work. What a
satisfying realization that was! I felt I was really
accomplishing something. God had given me a second
chance, A.A. had shown me the way, and these gifts were
not only free—they were also priceless! Now the joy of
seeing newcomers grow reminds me of where I have come
from, where I am now, and the limitless possibilities that he
ahead. I need to attend meetings because they recharge my
batteries so that I have light when it's needed. I'm still a
beginner in service work, but already I am receiving more
than I'm giving. I can't keep it unless I give it away. I am
responsible when another reaches out for help. I want to be
Saturday, December 3, 2011
IN ALL OUR AFFAIRS
. . . we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to
practice these principles in all our affairs.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106
I find that carrying the message of recovery to other
alcoholics is easy because it helps me to stay sober and it
provides me with a sense of well-being about my own
recovery. The hard part is practicing these principles in all
my affairs. It is important that I share the benefits I receive
from A.A., especially at home. Doesn't my family deserve
the same patience, tolerance and understanding I so readily
give to the alcoholic? When reviewing my day I try to ask,
"Did I have a chance to be a friend today and miss it?" "Did
I have a chance to rise above a nasty situation and avoid
it?" "Did I have a chance to say 'I'm sorry,' and refuse to?"
Just as I ask God for help with my alcoholism each day,
I ask for help in extending my recovery to include all
situations and all people!
Friday, December 2, 2011
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106
As I continued to go to meetings and work the Steps, something
began to happen to me. I felt confused because I wasn't sure
what it was that I was feeling, and then I realized I was
experiencing serenity. It was a good feeling, but where had it
come from? Then I realized it had come " . . . as the result of
these steps." The program may not always be easy to practice,
but I had to acknowledge that my serenity had come to me after
working the Steps. As I work the Steps in everything I do, practicing
these principles in all my affairs, now I find that I am
awake to God, to others, and to myself. The spiritual awakening
I have enjoyed as the result of working the Steps is the
awareness that I am no longer alone.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Our Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing all
the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual
awakening. . . . A. A.'s manner of making ready to receive
this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 106-07
I remember my sponsor's answer when I told him that the
Steps were "suggested." He replied that they are
"suggested" in the same way that, if you were to jump out
of an airplane with a parachute, it is "suggested" that you
pull the ripcord to save your life. He pointed out that it was
"suggested" I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save
my life. So I try to remember daily that I have a whole
program of recovery based on all Twelve of the