Today Dear Friends, at 2:55 pm, Albert’s son, Aaron passed away. Let us remember Albert, Aaron and his family in our special prayers today as he is in no more pain. Albert, you have my number if you need to talk ANYTIME!! You have made great progress this year with your recovery. This is another step you must take and it’s the most difficult thing you will ever have to do!! Eternal rest grant unto Aaron, O Lord. and let perpetual light shine upon him….may he rest in peace-AMEN!
Today, I trust myself. Today I respect that I need to pay for what I get, and that the world does not “owe” me anything. I live within my budget and know that I am blessed to have enough money today to buy most of what I need, and the rest I hold myself responsible for. Financial amends – that was difficult to figure out, but I finally decided to make donations as an amends. I donate to different organizations – in addition to the money I put in the basket when it’s passed at meetings. I give where I can, and what I can. Today, I am responsible for me, financially, and the rest I leave in God’s capable hands. He takes care of me – and my job is to walk the straight and narrow. Through the Program I have made financial amends, I have learned to spend within limits and to appreciate and have a true sense of gratitude for all that I do have. I have truly been blessed in many ways – and have come to accept and believe that I am right where God wants me to be. Today, I can claim honesty, and work towards that spiritual principle every day.
The Legacy of Recovery is the basis for the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous, it’s how those who came before us got sober, it’s the Steps. The second legacy, Unity, is about keeping the “group” together, it’s the Traditions. And finally, we have Service – and that’s where the Twelve Concepts come in, both at the local level and at the global level. We are a world-wide organization, having been in existence for approximately 80 years.
I love the fact that the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous is not “run” by one individual, I also like the fact that as a program we are self-supporting and therefore are not obligated to any one person or organization in any fashion. All I know for sure, is that it works, and it has for many years. And like it is said, if it works – don’t fix it. I’m keeping it short and sweet as it was a WONDERFUL weekend which extended into a Monday Vacation Day!! I’ve never slept so much in such a LONG time. (by that I mean sleeping in till 6am…and one day till 9am!!LOL)
Quote is from “As Bill Sees It” page 134: “The Individual’s Rights”
We believe there isn’t a fellowship on earth which devotes more care to its individual members; surely there is none which more jealousy guards the individual’s right to think, talk, and act as they wish. No A.A. can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled. Our Twelve Steps to recovery are suggestions; the Twelve Traditions which guarantee A.A.’s unity contain not a single “Don’t.” They repeatedly say, “We ought . . . ” but never “You must!”
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Though it is tradition that our Fellowship may not coerce anyone, let us not suppose even for an instant that we are not under constraint. Indeed, we are under enormous coercion – the kind that comes in bottles. Our former tyrant, King Alcohol, always stands ready again to clutch us to him. “Therefore, freedom from alcohol is the great ‘must’ that has to be achieved, else we go mad or die.”
I have to ask myself, why put temptation in my face – I mean, who needs it? I love ice cream, but I have found that I can resist ice cream all the more when I do not have any in my home. If ice cream is to be found, I will find myself indulging, one more time. It is not good for me, for my health or even for my wallet when I get right down to it. But I do love my ice cream – so I have come to a place of compromise.
Temptation is more of a dangerous thing for this alcoholic. Temptation can lead me astray, temptation can set me off, back to that mental obsession and physical allergy, that I have come to understand as the basis for alcoholism. I do not need to have my “poison” in my face, I do not need to “test” myself. My past teaches me what happens when I am faced with temptation. Once started – impossible to stop; that defines my drinking pattern. My insanity will return and the possibility of death will return, in short order. I prefer the company of those in recovery, just as I am. I prefer a life of recovery, rather than a death of alcoholism. I prefer to surround myself with positive people, in positive places, with positive attitudes. Temptation can take a hike, as far as I am concerned. I prefer the safety of the fellowship, the company of those, like me, who are in the same “boat.” Together we are so much stronger than any temptation that may come our way. Divided we fall, together we stand strong against any and all temptations.
Thinking retrospectively about actions such as setting boundaries can cause me to wonder if I did the right thing – most of the time I come up with the same answer – it just takes a while for me to adjust to the idea that I have rights and one of those rights is the expectation that I can treat myself just as well as I treat others. Being honest and direct takes a little courage sometimes. Finding the right words is important, I don’t want to offend others, but I do want others to know that I expect others to honor my rights.
In recovery I have found that learning to be assertive is important, that learning to be direct with others is also important, and that I need to search out my feelings after I have worked to set a limit with others. My feelings are valid, they matter – just as much as the feelings of others. I can always make amends if I find that my words were not kind or they could have been “nicer.” I’m still learning what to say and how to say it when it comes to asserting myself. I’m still learning to stand up for myself, and that what I feel, what I say is just as important as what others say and feel. I matter too. 💜
I strongly urge others to sponsor those that ask for that direct help. I find that being a sponsor really bolsters my own recovery. For one thing it encourages me to “walk my talk.” I cannot expect those I sponsor to do what I am unwilling to do. If I am not “working” the Steps, how can I have any expectation of those I sponsor to work them? I cannot offer solutions to problems unless I have experienced those self-same solutions, and can therefore relate what my experience has been. After all, that’s really what sponsoring is all about – sharing my experience, strength and hope with others.
It is a very special relationship, and one that can last for years. It is more than being a “trudge buddy,” it is more than being a friend, and it is definitely more than being a “fellow” alcoholic. It is both an honor and a privilege to sponsor others. It can be frustrating at times, and it can be exceptionally rewarding at other times. As a sponsor I am a friend, a counselor, an advisor, a teacher, a fellow alcoholic, and a “fellow” traveler on this path to a higher destiny. And while all that is true the bottom line is that I am simply another woman in recovery sharing what I learn, what my experience has been, and how the Program has helped me to find a life of recovery and faith in a Higher Power, a power I choose to call God. A.A. has shown me the way of making good choices, the way of belief in a power greater than my disease, and has helped me to know that I have the power of free will, and that I can trust that power today, with the help of the God of my understanding.