As Bill Sees It
Everyday Living, p. 233
The A.A. emphasis on personal inventory is heavy because a great
many of us have never really acquired the habit of accurate
Once this heavy practice has become a habit, it will prove so
interesting and profitable that the time it takes won't be missed. For
these minutes and often hours spent in self-examination are bound to
make all the other hours of our day better and happier. At length, our
inventories become a necessity of everyday living, rather than
something unusual or set apart.
12 & 12, pp. 89-90
Whose experience is important?
In the Twelve Step movement, we often feature outstanding speakers at large anniversary meetings. In some ways, this makes celebrities of them..... their personal stories seem to be deemed more important that those of others. We should accept such large meetings for what they are: Part entertainment, part socialization, and part celebration. The real work of our fellowship, however, lies in ordinary, continuous activity in the groups.
The most important experience to be shared is not the dramatic or
humorous account heard at the large meeting. What really works to
keep us sober is the experience we share with each other. This can
survive long after the powerful speech is forgotten.
I'll remember today that I can find help and growth in talking
with different people I meet at regular meetings.
It’s a rare person who wants to hear what we doesn’t want to hear.---Dick Cavett
We want only to hear good thins. That we’re nice people. That our loved ones are healthy.
That we did a good job. We don’t want to hear that anyone is angry with us, or that we made a mistake. We don’t want to hear about illness or troubles.
But life isn’t just happy news. Bad things happen. We can’t change that. As we live our recovery program, we learn to handle the addiction. We choose the path of life. We need to know all the news, good, and bad. Then we can deal with life as it really is.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me listen---even when I don't want to. Gently help me deal with both the good and bad. All the help I need is mine for the asking.
Action for the Day: I will ask my sponsor and three friends to tell me about my blind spots.
Each Day a New Beginning
We're only as sick as the secrets we keep. --Sue Atchley Ebaugh
Harboring parts of our inner selves, fearing what others would think if they knew, creates the barriers that keep us separate, feeling different, certain of our inadequacies.
Secrets are burdens, and they weigh heavily on us, so heavily. Carrying secrets makes impossible the attainment of serenity--that which we strive for daily. Abstinence alone is not enough. It must come first, but it's not enough by itself. It can't guarantee that we'll find the serenity we seek.
This program of recovery offers self-assurance, happiness, spiritual well-being, but there's work to be done. Many steps to be taken. And one of these is total self-disclosure. It's risky, it's humbling, and it's necessary.
When we tell others who we really are, it opens the door for them to share likewise. And when they do, we become bonded. We accept their imperfections and love them for them. And they love us for ours. Our struggles to be perfect, our self-denigration because we aren't, only exaggerates even more the secrets that keep us sick.
Our tarnished selves are lovable; secrets are great equalizers when shared. We need to feel our oneness, our sameness with other women.
Opportunities to share my secrets will present themselves today. I will be courageous.
Foreword To Second Edition
Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.
While the internal difficulties of our adolescent period were being ironed out, public acceptance of A.A. grew by leaps and bounds. For this there were two principal reasons: the large numbers of recoveries and reunited homes. These made their impressions everywhere. Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement. Other thousands came to a few A.A. meetings and at first decided they didn't want the program. But great numbers of these—about two out of three—began to return as time passed.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
Step Five - "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."
So intense, though, is our fear and reluctance to do this, that many A.A.'s at first try to bypass Step Five. We search for an easier way--which usually consists of the general and fairly painless admission that when drinking we were sometimes bad actors. Then, for good measure, we add dramatic descriptions of that part of our drinking behavior which our friends probably know about anyhow.
"Holding resentment is like eating poison and then waiting for the
other person to keel over." --Unknown
"Would you rather be right, or happy?"
--A Course in Miracles
"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden,
where the flowers are all dead. The consciousness of loving and being
loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring."
Ask a question and you're a fool for three minutes; do not ask a
question and you're a fool for the rest of your life.
Giving is the highest expression of our power.
What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared
to what lies within us.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes