“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.”
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85
My first sponsor told me there were two things to say about prayer and meditation: first, I had to start and second, I had to continue. When I came to A.A. my spiritual life was bankrupt; if I considered God at all, He was to be called upon only when my self-will was incapable of a task or when overwhelming fears had eroded my ego.
Today I am grateful for a new life, one in which my prayers are those of thanksgiving. My prayer time is more for listening than for talking. I know today that if I cannot change the wind, I can adjust my sail. I know the difference between superstition and spirituality. I know there is a graceful way of being right, and many ways to be wrong.
How do I maintain my spiritual condition? For me it’s quite simple: on a daily basis I ask my Higher Power to grant me the gift of sobriety for that day! I have talked to many alcoholics who have gone back to drinking and I always ask them: “Did you pray for sobriety the day you took your first drink?” Not one of them said yes. As I practice Step Ten and try to keep my house in order on a daily basis, I have the knowledge that if I ask for a daily reprieve, it will be granted.
We will not accomplish our task any sooner, or any better, by performing it out of a sense of urgency, fear, anger, or sadness. Let go of unrest. Let peace fill the void. We do not have to forfeit our power, our God-given personal power – or our peace – to do the work as we are called upon to do today. We will be given all the power we need to do what we are meant to do, when it is time.
Let peace come first. Then proceed. The task will get done, naturally and on time.
Since recovery from alcoholism is life itself to us, it is imperative that we preserve in full strength our means of survival.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 177
The honesty expressed by the members of A.A. in meetings has the power to open my mind. Nothing can block the flow of energy that honesty carries with it. The only obstacle to this flow of energy is inebriation, but even then, no one will find a closed door if he or she has left and chooses to return. Once he or she has received the gift of sobriety, each A.A. member is challenged on a daily basis to accept a program of honesty. My Higher Power created me for a purpose in life. I ask him to accept my honest efforts to continue on my journey in the spiritual way of life. I call on Him for strength to know and seek His will.
One Ultimate Authority” helps us come to terms with differences of opinion, egoism which tells us that “we know best,” and how working within a group can benefit each of us and A.A., as a whole. We learn through the process of recovery what it means to be truly sober, and how to work with others for a common good. We each come to the rooms searching for a way out of the insanity of drinking and using. A.A. gives us the means of achieving this goal, if we work the Program, and have faith in our Higher Power. The basics are: don’t drink, pray and be of service (or a variation of the same). Heeding the suggestions of my Higher Power, God, is a full time job for me, as I want everything now – and have had to learn that each Step gets me closer to sobriety, and closer to the unity I desire. I work to remain faithful to the God of my understanding and to the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Daily, I work to abdicate my power and turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as He is my ultimate authority.”
The only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety. These legacies of suffering and of recovery are easily passed among alcoholics, one to the other. This is our gift from God, and its bestowal upon others like us is the one aim that today animates A.A.’s all around the globe.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151
The strength of Alcoholics Anonymous lies in the desire of each member and of each group around the world to share with other alcoholics their suffering and the steps taken to gain, and maintain, recovery. By keeping a conscious contact with my Higher Power, I make sure that I always nurture my desire to help other alcoholics, thus insuring the continuity of the wonderful fraternity of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Unrest, fear, anger, or sadness may motivate us. These feelings are sometimes intended to compel action. But our best work emerges after these feelings have been replaced by peace. We will not accomplish our task any sooner, or any better, by performing it out of a sense of urgency, fear, anger, or sadness. Let go of unrest. Let peace fill the void. We do not have to forfeit our power, our God-given personal power – or our peace – to do the work as we are called upon to do today. We will be given all the power we need to do what we are meant to do, when it is time. Let peace come first. Then proceed. The task will get done, naturally and on time.