I have read and heard a couple versions of the Serenity Prayer, although for me, the prayer used today in meetings and other locations is the “true” version. Here is a brief summary of the “Origin of the Serenity Prayer” as printed from “Service Material from the General Service Office” of Alcoholics Anonymous: “This prayer has been credited to almost every theologian, philosopher and saint known to man. It was actually written around 1932 by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr of the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, as the ending to a longer prayer. In 1934, the doctor’s friend and neighbor, Dr. Howard Robbins, asked permission to use this part of the longer prayer in a compilation he was making at the time. It was published in that year in Dr. Robbins’ book of prayers. The prayer came to the attention of an early member of A.A. in 1940. He read it in an obituary in the New York Herald Tribune. He liked it so much be brought it to the G.S.O., then on Vesey Street, for Bill W. to read. When Bill and the staff read the little prayer they felt that it particularly suited the needs of A.A. Cards were printed and passed around. Thus has this simple little prayer become a part of the A.A. literature.” (From the July, 1961 A.A. Exchange Bulletin)The Serenity Prayer (this was written in 1964, the world has moved on since then)
I heard this in a movie, I can’t remember which one, but it was said by Sean Connery, I think it was a scene of the Knights of the Round Table: “May God grant us the wisdom to discover the right, the will to choose it, and the strength to make it endure.” Any way . . .I thought a little history might prove to be interesting today, the formation of the Fellowship can be revealing as to present day practices. 🙂
I awoke to see the sun shining today, I love the early spring weather – it’s cool in the morning and evening but the afternoons are perfect weather for sitting outside, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. I enjoy taking a few minutes to just sit quietly, focusing my mind on the God of my understanding, thanking God for all my blessings, or just breathing in and out as the sun warms both my body and my spirit. Sometimes I picture myself resting on a bench by the ocean where I can hear the waves crashing nearby, and the sounds of birds and other animals too. I envision the beauty of nature with all its quietness and peace. I find it refreshing to take these moments for myself.
I am 100% blessed today, and I can recognize that because of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’d like to hear some of YOUR blessings…..if you will?
I can certainly say that my life has changed since I first dared to claim my seat at the tables of A.A. Yes, there has been loss – in many ways. But, there has been much that can be called “gains.” I have gained new friends, and mourned the loss of old friends who were not able to make the changes needed in recovery. I have gained a true sense of peace and serenity through acceptance of myself and the world around me. I have gained a kind, strong, loving Higher Power who is so much more powerful than my disease. I have regained my sense of right and wrong, and no longer choose to minimize, justify and rationalize my behaviors; today I hold my behavior and actions up to the light of reality, and choose to live by the Spiritual Principles, to the best of my ability.
Today, I work towards becoming someone whose life is directed by gratitude, generosity of the heart, and gaining a true sense of what it means to be not only sober, but to live a life of recovery. I continue to grow, to change and to work towards that “Higher Path” that God has shown me. It’s truly been an amazing journey, and one that just keeps getting better and better. I pray that I might continue on this path towards serenity and that I might then be of service to others. I am grateful to A.A. for giving me the means to have a life with both purpose and direction. I am grateful to God for all my blessings; the Program, my sponsees, my friends and family and for Your continued faith in me!
I have to admit to isolating, on occasion. I allow myself to have a day or two to rest up, emotionally and spiritually. I have to be diligent with this tendency as it can get out of hand easily. When I look at my calendar I wonder how I ever have the time to isolate – and that’s a good thing, as I function better when I am involved in my life and in the Program. The past few days are an example of that. So my isolation is there, but in a limited form. I try not to let myself vegetate more than a day or two without meetings- I need people in my life, and most of the time I need other women alcoholics in my life.
I love my sponsees who help keep me from isolating, as do my various service positions. My family is a short distance away and I work towards being part of that group, despite our differences. I see some people who slide in late to meetings, sit in unobtrusive spots, and slide out as soon as possible. Fear of rejection was my strongest emotion when I was new to the Program, and I am so thankful for those intrepid members who remembered my name and sought me out after the meetings, just to say “How are you?” Now, I work to “return the favor” by acknowledging the newcomers, making sure they have phone numbers, and, when appropriate asking for their phone number. A little encouragement can go a long way with a newcomer. I shall always remain grateful for those who made me feel so welcomed in those early days. Isolation can be a retreat from reality, or it can be a respite that enables me to restore my energy so that I may give to others what has been so freely given to me.
Just a little RAILROAD 101 FYI….when you get off an engine, and you don’t need to shut down-you turn it to “ISOLATE”….so it will be ready to go without all the pre trip inspections and such….so, to isolate in this case is positive!!! 🙂
I vacillate when it comes to finding the balance between needing others “enough or too much.” I know I need others, and that receiving love is as important as giving love. I love many people, and I believe I am loved by others. I have a family that loves me, I have many friends that love me, and there are many in my life that I love, also. I focus on putting one foot in front of the other and who knows who I will meet on this path to a happy destiny. So far it has been quite a journey, and I look forward to continued progress in my recovery, that still remains my primary purpose.
Recovery requires a daily maintenance, and a rigorous honesty. Have you ever watched the movie “Leaving Las Vegas” with Nicolas Cage and Elizabeth Shue? It was hard for me to watch – but it is a strong message about acceptance. Sometimes with friends the very best we can do is to accept them as they are. I believe we continue to learn from each other – and that can mean learning from our mistakes as well as those things that make us feel good.
Willing participation in my recovery enables me to stay connected to the Program. I know this Program is the reason I am still on this good Earth. I know this Program has brought about a willingness that was never present in my life, before recovery. Staying alive is accomplished by staying sober – for me, to drink again is to die – I have no doubt of that. It is a fact of my life – and I totally accept that reality. I reach out my hand and my heart to my fellow sufferers that we may all find the willingness to survive one more day, one more time. I will focus on just this day and encourage my willingness to remain rigorously honest throughout the day.
Today was a BEAUTIFUL 1st day! If I was drunk, I’m certain I would’ve fallen off the train and been killed. Instead, the God of my understanding has brought me to another journey…..and it is AMAZING!!!
Recovery has changed my expectations in many ways, most of which I am grateful for. I used to live on the basis that the world owed me – what was not real clear, but the fact of the owing was clear, somehow. The world does not owe me anything – it is entirely up to me and to God’s plan for me, as to what I “get” in life. I have found that it is primarily up to my efforts to get whatever I may want – and then it is truly up to God as to whether I get my wants met, or not. I have learned to stop expecting – which means I get to be pleasantly surprised quite often, when I’m given a blessing of one sort or another.
It’s when my expectations get out of hand that my disappointments increase. I need to be as realistic as possible, particularly when it comes to those “pie-in-the-sky” desires. I will never be skinny, I will never be young again. But I’m okay with those things – for I have the opportunity to be happy, joyous and free – as long as I follow the Twelve Steps and maintain my spiritual condition. It primarily depends on my honesty, my openness and my willingness. I am grateful for those “eye-opening” lessons which I learned at the tables of A.A., and the continued messages I receive from my Higher Power! Here we go folks…the 26th is my ACTUAL 1st day-and I will try to sleep tonight, however, the excitement of that child on Christmas Day might creep in….LOL, and if it does….I will do as I always do…PRAY! Let’s do this!!!
-Thank you ALL for your prayers and thoughts and well wishes. We’ve DONE IT!!