. . . . we know that the pains of drinking had to come
before sobriety, and emotional turmoil before serenity.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 94
I love spending time in my garden feeding and pruning my
beautiful flowers. One day, as I was busily snipping away,
a neighbor stopped by. She commented, "Oh! Your plants are
so beautiful, it seems such a shame to cut them back." I
replied, "I know how you feel, but the excess must be
removed so they can grow stronger and healthier." Later I
thought that perhaps my plants feel pain, but God and I
know it's part of the plan and I've seen the results. I
was quickly reminded of my precious A.A. program and how
we all grow through pain. I ask God to prune me when it's
time, so I can grow.
Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that
pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress. How heartily
we A.A.'s can agree with him. . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p p. 93-94
When on the roller coaster of emotional turmoil, I remember that
growth is often painful. My evolution in the A.A. program has
taught me that I must experience the inner change, however painful,
that eventually guides me from selfishness to selflessness. If I
am to have serenity, I must STEP my way past emotional turmoil and
its subsequent hangover, and be grateful for continuing spiritual