The quality of my faith has grown over the years, and I can honestly say that I believe in the Power of God today, I see it in the lives of others, and in my own life. I feel better about who I am and what I am, I feel better about what I do in my life on a daily basis. Living by the Spiritual Principles enables me to feel good about my behavior towards others. HP, and the Program of A.A. have given me the means I needed to change my actions. Instead of anger I have been blessed with serenity. Instead of harboring those negative behaviors of my past; such as lying, cheating and stealing, I now work towards honesty, morality, and generosity. It’s amazing how much better I feel about myself as the result of these changes. HP truly blesses me with a peace and acceptance I never knew existed.
Being real means that I speak my mind, I adhere to the Principles I believe in. Being authentic means I say what I mean, and mean what say. If I am to claim sobriety, if I am to claim the Spiritual Principles of A.A., I need to follow the guides given to me from those self-same Principles. God knows that when I work towards these goals, I will not do so perfectly – I will stumble, I will fail – on occasion. But together with the grace of God, the strength of a Higher Power, and the blessings of the A.A. Program, I will, once again, strive to grow, to work towards the acceptance of change, and remain willing to put one foot in front of the other – day after day.
Being optimistic is easier when I am clear-headed, sober, and living by the Spiritual Principles of the Program. Here we are at the end of November, at Step Eleven: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” The Spiritual Principle of Step Eleven is “Spiritual Awareness.” To that end I have spent 15 minutes a day in solitary communion with my Higher Power. That sounds easier than it is to do. I am one of those that has a hard time being still. I know that I usually come away from prayer and meditation with a restful, calm feeling of peace. I know that I will have a positive outcome from any prayer or meditation I attempt. I know a more positive life is available to me through God. God, I ask for your help and your guidance – keep me close to you, help me to open my mind and my heart to all Your many blessings. Happy Thanksgiving to all the trudgers who daily come to this24 for your spiritual food, or whatever reason you do come-What a journey this has been. New life, illness, death, and no matter what ….DO NOT DRINK!!! Big thanks to Jaybird for all your contributions and those that have in the past. Also, Paul D-thank you for forwarding the important stuff and keeping up with our Gmail account and everything you do for this24!!
It’s no longer the end of life as I know it when change presents itself. I know today that I need to give myself some time to process, some time to contemplate, and some time to accept this change. Today, I can consider a change in my life without it being the apocalypse all over again. I don’t have to move, I don’t have to give up my life style, I don’t have to alter my whole life because one change presented itself. I can take the time to consider, to pause long enough to process what the change truly indicates in my life. I may just need to recommit to sobriety, I may just need to talk to others in recovery before making rash decisions – or I may just need to remember that I have a Higher Power, I have a Program, I have friends who have dealt with similar changes – I have resources. I don’t have to make snap decisions any more. I am free to be human, and to allow myself to make errors – nothing in life is stagnant, change is always available. If one way does not work, I am free to try a different way. I am grateful for the process we call recovery, it makes acceptance much easier.
(Reflection courtesy of Paul D-GRIN)
Take this opportunity to celebrate not only the holidays, but also your new life of sobriety, which is something really worth celebrating. If you find yourself struggling during the holiday season, please remember that you are not alone. Help is only a phone call, e-mail, or meeting away! Here are some helpful and practical tips to make staying sober easier:1 Plan each and every day of your holiday season: Plan to spend the majority of your time with friends and family who are supportive of your recovery.
2 Find a meeting in your area: Many groups have special meetings during the holidays to share their experience, strength and hope. Check the local papers for a meeting in your area.
3 Ask for support from family and friends: Those who are truly supportive of your recovery will be happy to help you throughout the holidays.
4 Have a list of ten people you can call: Make a list and check it twice. Carry your cell phone and list of names at all times.
5 Don’t forget about regular exercise: Regular exercise is an essential component of any balanced recovery program.
6 Stay away from slippery places: There is absolutely no reason to ever check out your former favorite establishments.
7 Create new traditions to replace your old using patterns: Buy a new board game or take the family on a sleigh ride. Use your imagination, be creative, & have fun.
8 Write out a daily gratitude list: The quickest cure to get you out of the holiday blues is by counting your blessings and being grateful for what you have every morning.
9 Volunteer your services to a charitable organization: There are many people in your community who are less fortunate than you. You will be helping not only the needy but yourself!
10 Write a letter to yourself – “How I stayed sober over the holidays:” The act of writing your ideas on paper is very powerful. Write down all the activities and events that will help you have healthy, happy, and sober holiday season.
11 Avoid H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely , Tired): If you are hungry, get something to eat. If you are angry, talk to somebody about it. If you are lonely, go to a meeting or call a friend. If you are tired, get a good night’s sleep.
12 Live one day at a time and enjoy your sobriety: Stay in the moment and live one day at a time. Never mind about what happened or what could happen. Enjoy today. Live today. Celebrate your sobriety!
“Success is not final, and failure is not fatal” (Winston Churchill)
In a meeting it’s important to let the World deal with its own problems. I may have opinions about those problems, but it’s not appropriate to voice those opinions in a meeting. As a Secretary, it is important that the topic keeps on track, and should it get off track a brief reminder may be needed. One of the biggest issue that faces A.A. is trying to keep the focus on alcoholism – alone. A.A. is not a place to discuss the use of drugs, except as a reference to one’s experience. But the bottom line here is that what others do or what others think – is none of my business. My business is to work on my own recovery issues, and to keep on my side of the street. In other words I need to mind my own business, and I need to work to ensure that the “business” of A.A. remain consistent with the Steps and Traditions. I mean this Program has worked for years and years – it does not matter what happens outside of the rooms – what is important is what happens inside the rooms.