I have come to understand that I have no power over the feelings of others. Nor do I have any power when it comes to my immediate reaction to suggestions – but today I know that I don’t have to take any action with reference to my feelings – they are just feelings. When I can place both my feelings and the feelings of others aside, I am thereby able to make better choices for me. And I am not alone, when I include the God of my understanding, I am more likely to trust in both my decisions and His “nudges.” Talking with others, and listening at meetings are other resources I can claim when faced with a decision. One other “tool” I use when faced with choices is to take time, time to understand, time to find the connection between the choice and my life, and time to ensure that the decision is based on reality. That both my feet are firmly planted on a firm bedrock of trust and recovery in the Program. Whatever decision or choice I need to make, I know that today I have many resources available to me.
There are those who do not like the idea of a newcomer attending a meeting, if they have been drinking. If it is their desire to attend a meeting and they do not disrupt the meeting in any way, I do not have a problem with them in a meeting. Not all of us arrive at the tables in excellent shape, and it’s good for us to remember our early days when we are “working” with a newcomer. Kindness, patience, and tolerance are but a few of the spiritual principles at play here. I do not adhere to the “tough love” approach to sponsoring – but the good news is that we each have the right to sponsor as we deem appropriate, and we each have the right to work our Program, as we see fit. There is no right or wrong way to travel the road to a “happy destiny.” We each have been given the gift of choice, and as it is with our primary purpose, the message of sobriety is one that continues to bless all who seek recovery.
Wisdom has little to do with our mental ability. With our Higher Power alongside us, we can achieve anything, even long-term recovery ONE DAT AT A TIME. In our Serenity Prayer, we ask God for wisdom and patience. It will come, as a result of treating our Program, the meetings, and the message as precious things that really matter. Wisdom comes to ordinary people like ourselves who try to live the program ONE DAY AT A TIME, not overnight, but as the accumulation of many 24 hours. Wisdom comes with practice, the practice of living a new way of life, a spiritual life resulting from our 12 Step Program.
Through the Program of A.A. I was introduced to my Higher Power, I choose to call mine God. Acceptance of the spiritual in the Program is essential to my recovery. I am no longer fighting this battle alone, I now have a power greater than me and greater than my disease. Part of that process is carrying the message to those that are still suffering. I have gained some knowledge about spiritual principles, what they are and how to put them into practice in my life. One of those principles is service – to fellow alcoholics, to the A.A. Program, to all those yet to come through the doors of A.A. We are all given the opportunity to be of service in a variety of ways, from pouring coffee to sponsoring, to supporting General Service, financially. Being of service to others helps to keep the doors to the Program open. Service is just one of three Legacy’s our Program is founded on, the other two are Recovery and Unity. Our lessons continue.
I have stated more than once that “when the time is right” I will do such and such. There is no “right time” for acceptance, surrender, honesty, or willingness – these are behavioral changes that we work on to improve our lives – on a daily basis. There is no right time for acceptance of others; other people, other ways of living, other methods to get and stay sober. Life is a series of on-going changes and growth. I’ve put off exercising – time and again – because it was “not a good time.” There is no perfect time, it is an on-going, daily, effort that gradually improves my behavior towards myself and others.
I always seem to end up in a corner, emotionally, where it’s one way or another. This has been a pattern in my life. It feels like I have to choose between one life style or another. This “all or nothing” attitude causes me great stress. I know I’m not the only one with family issues, some members of A.A. have to break ties with close relationships, and some are fortunate enough to re-establish close relationships with family members. Perhaps my expectations have been too great, perhaps I want more emotionally than is available to me – whatever the case, I am searching for some answers. My life style has changed in the process of getting sober, I am not the same person I was before. But those who were closest to me (family) are now more like the “old” me, instead of the “new” me. Just for today I will turn my life and my emotions over to the God of my understanding. Just for today I will allow myself some time for self-examination. Just for today I will place this problem in the hands of my Higher Power. Just for today.
My life is in the hands of the Master. When I am ready, God will provide – and in the meantime life goes on. I try to keep my life in the here and now, and that helps a lot when it comes to recovery. I’m not looking to solve the problems of the world, I look to take care of today, to do what’s in front of me to do, and to be of service to others wherever or whenever that need presents itself. My life has been a series of events, and continues to change and flow at will. Who knew that I would live this long, who knew that this would be the path I would take, and who knew that life would continue to surprise, challenge and bless me. . .my Higher Power did!!