It Takes Time

I was quite surprised to learn that A.A. was not a “class” whereby I would “graduate.” Nobody handed out certificates, but I did eventually earn a “chip.” I truly thought that once I could claim a certain amount of sobriety that I would no longer need to attend the meetings. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening but one that turned out to be in my favor. Alcoholics Anonymous is a program that lasts a lifetime, one day at a time. It’s a program of growth and change whereby understanding continues to embrace the spiritual principles. It’s not something that I learn once and then forget, not if I want to continue on the path to recovery. I’ve heard others talk about having a misconception about A.A. An open mind is one of the best things to have when approaching A.A. for the first time. It takes time to understand what’s happening, it takes time to grasp the importance of the spiritual aspect of the Program. But if AA doesn’t work for you, maybe there’s outside help,…or perhaps,…church. Whatever works, right?

Photo courtesy of ALBERT!
Photo courtesy of ALBERT!

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15 thoughts on “It Takes Time

  1. I have only been doing this program a short time. My sobriety date is 1,23, 87 and I’m sure I’ve had an open mind most of the time for I have seized on everything that came my way which I felt might enhance my sobriety.
    Right now I’m reading a wonderful little book entitled Breathing Under Water , available on Amazon and giving a Christian slant on the twelve steps. It is by Richard Rohr a highly respected Author.

    Here’s a sample from the book concerning the tenth step:

    Consciousness as Soul Itself Consciousness is the subtle and all-embracing mystery within and between Everything. It is like the air we breathe, take for granted, and do not appreciate. Consciousness is not the seeing but that which sees me seeing. It is not the knower but that which knows that I am knowing. It is not the observer but that which underlies and observes me observing. You must step back from your compulsiveness, and your attachment to yourself, to be truly conscious. Consciousness cannot be “just me” because it can watch “me” from a distance. Author and psychologist Ken Wilber describes it beautifully as “THE SIMPLE FEELING OF BEING” underneath all of our perceptions, and yet so simple and subtle and always there that it is hard to “feel,” I would add. Consciousness is as hard to describe as soul is hard to describe. Maybe because they are same thing?

    Rohr, Richard. Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps (p. 85). St. Anthony Messenger Press. Kindle Edition.

  2. These comments are a perfect example of why we have tradition 10 and should avoid sectarian religious issues. They also highlight what is the difference between sharing our spiritual journey and denigrating another’s beliefs.
    Harry shared his ESH by mentioning a book that is helping his sobriety. Jack shared links about whether the author of the book Harry mentioned is adhering to Catholic dogma. One of Jacks links asks
    “Do you know if his writings are orthodox and loyal to the Magisterium?”
    What does that have to do with staying sober and helping alcoholics achieve sobriety?
    Tradition 10
    Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
    No A.A. group or member should ever, in such way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside issues – particularly those of politics, alcohol reform or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever.

      • Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

        Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have decided to stick with love; Hate is too heavy a burden to bear.” Hate weighs down our hearts and hopes. It costs too much. Hate poisons the wellsprings of our hearts.”

        • Grapevine Quote

          February 19
          Drinking is no longer a problem, but my thinking sure is. Writing a gratitude list puts the brakes on negative thoughts, turns me back toward the light, and helps me to see the beauty in everyday life.”
          New York, N.Y., January 2006
          “Tools for Life,”
          Beginner’s Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

          • At the muezzin’s call for prayer,
            The kneeling faithful thronged the square,
            And on Pushkara’s lofty height
            The dark priest chanted Brahma’s might.
            Amid a monastery’s weeds
            An old Franciscan told his beads;
            While to the synagogue there came
            A Jew to praise Jehovah’s name.
            The one great God looked down and smiled
            And counted each His loving child;
            For Turk and Brahmin, monk and Jew
            Had reached(loved) Him through the gods they knew.
            Harry Romaine—Ad Cœlum. In Munsey’s Mag. Jan. 1895.

  3. Our book suggests we shouldn’t shy on this matter of prayer…so, within the contemplative tradition:

    Echoing stillness, infinite, welcomes us inwards…ancient wounds finally heal, exhausting myths at last exposed in moment’s radiant love.
    Praying to be still
    Praying to be quiet
    Praying to listen

    Grateful for the Gift

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