I have the gift of life. I am here. I am alive, with all of my senses and able to experience the magic of this incredible world. Whatever this day has in store for me – I am open to receive. I will act on my day and allow my day to act on me. I am open. I will take steps that I know will make my day feel good, productive and pleasurable, and then I will let the rest happen. Each day presents me with gifts and surprises, if I know how to unwrap the present – if I remember how to be pleased, moved and astonished by the wonders of this world.
Life itself is the gift
Living in the present moment affords me the opportunity to focus my full attention on the here and now. It helps to reduce my problems to “right now” and begs the question “what can I do?” If there is nothing that can be done, I then work on letting go of the problem. If there is something I can do, I work to do it. Or, if there is nothing I can do, right now, I work to bring my attention to what I can do in the present moment, and let the rest go, for now. Acceptance is key. I accept that God is in my life. I accept that God works to help me find solutions to my life problems. And I accept that nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.
I search for silver linings, for the deeper meaning of the events in my life. Life is my teacher if I can learn to read the subtle messages that are laced into the circumstances that I co-create around me. I will look for the lesson. When life offers up its inevitable challenges, I will try to understand what I am meant to see that I am not seeing, what I am meant to hear that I am not hearing, what I am meant to know that I am not knowing. There is always a silver lining if I look for it. Even if I don’t see it readily, I trust that it is there and that it will reveal itself to me over time. Life isn’t simple. One of the ways that I can grow from life’s adversities, is to see what is positive about a difficult situation, to look for the silver lining. I can grow in joy and in pain. It doesn’t need to be one or the other because pain can transform into joy. It can be the fire that clears the field for new and tender growth.
There is always a silver lining.
In the past, I tried to change myself by means of altering my behavior only to find that it was not enough, nor was it ever enough. I failed, time and again, and thought that I had not been strong when the truth was I had not been willing to Let Go and Let God. Today, I know that it takes several actions to achieve sobriety. I had to find my faith, I had to stop drinking, I had to change my behaviors, and I had to have faith in the Program, in God, and in myself. Alcoholics Anonymous is no overnight miracle. It is a day by day, step by step, and moment by moment process of change and growth. It is a restoration of my faith in a power greater than me and greater than my disease.
I believe that I need the fellowship to stay sober and I need to pass on what has been given to me as a means of staying sober. The Traditions enable me to keep my seat in the rooms of A.A. and are an excellent reminder of the Fellowship’s “primary purpose:” to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. Our Traditions enable us to place principles before personalities and therefore keep the doors open for those yet to come, and for all who claim their seats now. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. So simple, yet so profound. I pray for God’s grace and well being for all.
Commitment, discipline, and responsibility. I work on those three behaviors constantly. I have found improvement in my commitments to myself, to others, to the Program and always to my Higher Power. These improvements are the result of my efforts to work the Steps, and to enhance my connection to God, as I understand Him. Before recovery, I would readily make a commitment but rarely followed through with it. I have stepped up for service commitments in the Program, and for the most part have been able to fulfill those commitments. There have been times when I did not want to follow through, but did so, anyway. Today I am careful about what I commit to, and take my time about making any commitments.
I know I will not always make the “right” decisions, but now I know that I can learn from my mistakes, and turn negative into a positive. I believe I learn more from my errors than any other way. I do learn from others, as well, and want to remain open to the wisdom of others, as it applies to my life. But in the long-haul, it is truly through the lessons of the spirit that I learn what is best for me, and therefore best for my recovery. I strive to remain on the “higher path.” If I have any doubts about my own life course, I will endeavor to abide by God’s own words and His path, as I know it to be the right path, the path to sobriety and serenity.