Let us know your thoughts:

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“Here are thousands of men and women, worldly indeed. they flatly declare that since they have come to believe in a power greater than themselves, to take a certain attitude toward that power, and to do certain simple things, there has been a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking.” p. 50 BB

I’d like to hear how this passage in the Big Book works in your life today. I’m not feeling to well today, having stomach issues (Diverticulitis) so my brain isn’t working, well, I’m feeling the pain and that’s a good thing-but I’ve learned when I feel like this, it’s time to rest, regroup, and work the principle of patience!!

Photo Courtesy of Tom R

Photo Courtesy of Tom R

The Perspective of Faith

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Faith in God, and His ability to take care of me is paramount to my recovery.  Knowing and accepting that enables me to take care of my side of the street and let God work on His side of the street.  I am in a constant state of learning new life lessons.  Many lessons are learned retrospectively, after the fact – and some lessons need constant learning and re-learning.  The lessons keep repeating until the lesson is learned – and not just intellectually, but spiritually, mentally and physically, as well.  Many of my lessons revolve around relationships with others, be they family or friend.
This process of recovery affords me many opportunities to learn, to grow and to change.  When I learn to have patience at the local meeting level, I can carry those behaviors into other areas – with the hope and prayer that A.A. will continue to keep its doors open to all who seek help.  There are many Fellowships struggling to keep the doors open, and other financial struggles are going on at other levels in AA, hence the recent increase in the cost of AA approved literature.  What I learn from this level of service helps me in my one-on-one relationships that I may have with other members, friends, sponsees, and my sponsor.  There are many lessons in recovery, and there are many means of finding new ways of dealing with old problems.  I pray that I will continue to learn, continue to practice the Spiritual Principles and continue to grow in my relationships; particularly my relationship with my Higher Power, God.
Photo courtesy of MK

Photo courtesy of MK

Faith that Works

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The phrase “God as we understand him” is perhaps the most important expression to be found in our whole AA vocabulary.  Within the compass of these five significant words there can be included every kind and degree of faith, together with the positive assurance that each of us may choose his own.  Scarcely less valuable to us are those supplemental expressions – “a higher power” and “a power greater than ourselves.”  For all who deny, or seriously doubt a deity, these frame an open door over whose threshold the unbeliever can take his first easy step into a reality that is unknown to him – the realm of faith.

Faith is more than our greatest gift, its sharing with others is our greatest responsibility.  So may we of AA continually seek the wisdom and the willingness by which we may well fulfill that immense trust which the giver of all perfect gifts has placed in our hands.

the-little-train-that-could

You can see further in the dark than in the day!

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Looking back over our lives, we can often see patches of light and dark, clusters of events that we remember as good times or bad.  During the dark days we probably had little faith in silver linings, little belief that tragedy could yield unexpected blessings.  In fact, we may have been angry at anyone who suggested to us to look for the good side.  And when we were showered with blessings – even if they were right in our face – we probably couldn’t see them for what they were.  We simply didn’t have the tools.  All we could do was keep alert for the down side, and spend so much attention looking for pitfalls that we overlooked the good.
But today it’s different.  When we look back, the past is not so shadowy as it once was.  There were moments of clarity and focus, especially during the dark days.  One of those moments was probably the beginning of our recovery, the moment we began to realize we could no longer live like we had, the moment we began to choose life over death.  We are continuing to choose life every day in recovery, and by this choice we are creating a light even in our darkest days.
I took this last night. A little fuzzy...but there's a rainbow!!

I took this last night. A little fuzzy…but there’s a rainbow!!

The Concept of God

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I have come to accept that God does not expect me to be perfect, He knows that I come complete with shortcomings and character defects.  God knows that I am human and therefore flawed in many ways – but He also knows that I am capable of change and growth.  I love the idea of “a God of my understanding,” and have imbued my God with the characteristics that I strive for: kindness, tolerance, love, courage, honesty, humility and integrity to name a few.  I prefer and choose to be a believer rather than a non-believer – as I embrace this new concept of God, my life is better for it.   I find the peace and comfort that I have sought for so long.  I also find the assurance and understanding that faith brings – God loves me. . . what a blessing that is.

Accepting the A.A. concept of God  has been easier than trying to come to terms with the angry God of my youth.  I felt doomed in the religion I grew up in and finally just gave up trying to appease this angry God.  Today I feel that God and I are partners in my life and in my recovery.  God wants me to succeed in the changes that I work towards.  God is my ally, no longer my enemy.  I have faith today, faith in God, faith in the Program and faith in myself.  I am capable of change, I am capable of growth and I am capable of working the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous on a daily basis.  In looking back I am always amazed to find an image of myself that is quite different from the person I am today.  A power greater than myself was at work in my life on that fateful day of years gone by.  How can I not believe in God when I look at my todays as compared to my yesterdays – the “evidence” is there – I am new, again.  I am sober, again.  I am a better person, by God’s grace. I apologize if too much God talk offends anyone. :)

Photo Courtesy of Soto

Photo Courtesy of Soto

Your Thoughtfulness Welcome!

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“Surely this was the answer – self-knowledge. But it was not, for the frightful day came when I drank once more.” Page 7 – Bill’s Story.

“But the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge.” Page 39

These quotes have something in common – attempting to understand one’s illness is a long way from having a basic understanding about the AA Program of Action – our 12 Steps. Self knowledge is absolutely useless. But knowing how our program works is an obligation…not a “nice to have.” What are your thoughts on this…..a little change up on this MONDAY!!!

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Honesty, Hope and Faith

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There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterward, when you’ve worked on your own corner.
–Aldous Huxley

I could not pass this quote up.  Sometimes I need to  follow my own advice.  I sponsor some women, and recently I find that what I encourage in others is the very thing lacking in my own program.  Thank goodness for the Steps as they afford me a source for growth and change, and a place to “work” from.  Each Step is related to a Spiritual Principle, and each Principle is related to my behavior.  Just working the first three Spiritual Principles of Honesty, Hope and Faith can change my behavior to a point of growth.  Above all else I need to constantly search for my honesty within.  Honesty in all things – not just pocketbook honesty, but emotional honesty, spiritual honesty, and honesty about my feelings, thoughts and actions.  This is not always an easy task for me, it is something that I constantly work on.
I cannot give away what I do not possess – if I want change in my sponsees I first have to find that change in myself.  Dear God please help me to achieve the changes that are needed within me, by means of the Spiritual Principles of Honesty, Hope and Faith.
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