Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Twelfth Step: Can't Give Away That Which You Don't Have

The Twelfth Step Can't Give Away That which You don't Have

          The 12th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous is, "Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."  This step clearly places a responsibility upon us, as sponsors  - but we cannot give away that which we don't have.  The "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous states, "We have recovered and been given the power to help others."  The power to help others is a direct result of the spiritual awakening received in Step Twelve. Until one such spiritual awakening has occurred it is impossible for it to occur in other alcoholics that we may be helping. Furthermore, once the Spirit has been awakened within us we cannot be in the will of God without helping others.  Both in and out of the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.

           We are gifted the power to carry the message to other alcoholics not only through our words but by incorporating the principles of the Alcoholics Anonymous program (the Twelve Steps) right into our lives, displaying them through our behavior.  Once the spirit has been awakened in those we help then they themselves can lead a recovered life.  These recovered alcoholics will then have the power to help others in the way  necessary, so that still others may recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. Your gift can be a gift to others.

Written by Armand

Monday, September 17, 2018

I don't Know If It's A Good Thing I don't Know If It's A Bad Thing

I Don't Know If It Is A Good Thing I Don't Know If It Is A Bad Thing

                 Many centuries ago there was a kingdom and in this kingdom there lived a farmer and this farmer had a beautiful white stallion.  The king of the kingdom desired the farmer's beautiful white stallion.  So the king sent an emissary to the farmer who offered the farmer  a quarter of the kings kingdom for the beautiful white stallion.  The farmer, he said no as I love my beautiful white stallion.   The very next day the beautiful white stallion ran away.  So all the people from the village come running out to the farmer and say that is a bad thing that happened to you  You could have had a quarter of the kings kingdom and now your beautiful white stallion has run away.  The farmer he says, I don't know If It's a good thing I don't know If It's a bad thing all I know is my beautiful white stallion has run away.  The very next day the farmer is in his field and he looks up on the hill and what does he see?  He sees his beautiful white stallion and behind his beautiful white stallion are four more white stallions just as beautiful as his.  So all the people from the village come running out to the farmer and they say.  It's a good thing you didn't trade your beautiful white stallion for a quarter of the king'  kingdom as now you have five beautiful white stallions.  You can probably get half of the kings kingdom!  The farmer he says, I don't know if it's a good thing I don't know if it's a bad thing all I know is I have five beautiful white stallions.  The very next day the farmers son is breaking one of the wild white stallions.  He is thrown from the stallion and breaks both his legs.  So all the people from the village come running out to the farmer and say that is a bad thing that happened to you.  You need your son to work in the fields and now he can't as he has two broken legs.  The farmer he says, I don't know if it's a good thing I don't know if it's a bad thing all I know is my son has two broken legs.  The very next day the kingdom goes to war and all the able bodied men are being drafted into the army and thy will go to the front and they will surely die but the farmers son he can't go as he has two broken legs.  So all the people from the village come running out to the farmer and they say that is a good thing that your son was thrown from the wild white stallion and broke both his legs as your son would have been drafted into the army, he would have gone to the front and he would have surely died.  The farmer he says, I don't know if it's a good thing I don't know if it's a bad thing all I know is my son can't go as he has two broken legs.
                  The moral of the story is that we are not to judge what is occurring in our life as good or bad but to have faith and to trust in God praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry it out.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Powerlessness Understood - Step 10

      So much has been accomplished and a good portion of the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous has been completed, but now  the personal relationship with and the dependence upon God takes on a  much deeper and all encompassing meaning.
     In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous in the Chapter HOW IT WORKS it says, "we are in the world to play the role God assigns."  I have learned through the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous that this may be accomplished through the practice of all the Twelve Steps and specifically by integrating Step 11 Into my life.   But it is in the TENTH STEP, through daily examination, we uncover that our character  defects continue to manifest themselves in our behavior even though this reaction to life is not what we want.  It is here in the conflict of not wanting to manifest my character defects in my behavior but POWERLESS not too that I am thrown back into Step One. When this occurs I see clearly that I am not only POWERLESS over my use of alcohol but POWERLESS over every aspect of my  human existence.  I had previously learned  that all my life must be given to the care and direction of God, but now through experience I perceive this with more clarity and at a much deeper level.
     It is initially in the taking of a daily inventory which then expands into all of our waking moments that we begin to fully understand the pervasiveness of our character defects that are encoded in our human nature.  To overcome the manifestation of our character defects in our behavior we must subrogate our human nature, and abandon ourselves utterly, to God - for it is in the infinite power and love of God that we are healed.

Written By Armand 

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Eighth Step - Another Chance To Pray For And Forgive

          As I began the fourth step of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous I faced the four column inventory of my resentments, my fears and my sexual conduct.  My sponsor suggested that I begin TO PRAY FOR AND FORGIVE all of those on all of my lists.  In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous there is a prayer for each of these lists - three prayers in total.
          The Eighth Step of Alcoholics Anonymous,  "Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all" is yet ANOTHER CHANCE to pray for and forgive all those on my lists and to begin doing the same with any new situations that may arise.  We are already in possession of an Eighth Step list - extracted from our Fourth Step inventory.  As we begin to pray for and forgive we are also indeed making a beginning on Steps Eleven and Twelve.
          Prayer and forgiveness are essential tools if we are to recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body  We learned in the Fourth Step that resentments toward others is the number one offender to a relationship with God, as we are called to love all, although we are never to be accepting of evil.
          The Eighth Step provides for us ANOTHER CHANCE TO PRAY FOR AND TO FORGIVE all those on our lists. This is necessary in order to bring the Spirit into our Ninth Step amends,     

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Giving


At first, I had no idea that to possess the qualities that many of the members of Alcoholics Anonymous had took a degree of humility - a characteristic I had not a scrap of. I was extremely prideful, but I began longing for this trait of humility as I made my way through the program.
          In the book Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, in the historic visit to Bill W. from his boarding school pal Ebby T. (a man nearly committed for alcoholic insanity), Ebby outlined the precepts of the Oxford Group. One of the precepts applies to this notion of humility. Practicing the giving of oneself to another is a true act of humility. Ebby told Bill W. to practice giving, as in, the giving of himself to somebody.
          Personally I have learned that it is true humility which unlocks the door to the grace of God.  In order to grow in humility I must begin to let go of my selfish desires and begin to have a faith in God. This eventually blossoms into a complete trust in God. Trust in God was difficult initially, as through the entire course of my life I had used my instincts and my intellect to propel me through. But, when I was faced with a self-imposed crisis that I could not overcome with my human power, I had to rely on a higher power.
          As the Big Book states, "We trust in infinite God rather than finite self." Today, in this day and in this time, I trust in God. The development of this trust in God leads to a caring of others that was impossible for me before.  An alcoholic who is humble enough to trust in God knows that the GIVING of self to the helping of others is a crucial tool of recovery.

Written by Armand

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Main Problem

    The "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous says, "But what about the real alcoholic? He may start off as a moderate drinker; he may or may not become a continuous hard drinker; but at some stage of his drinking career he begins to lose all control of his liquor consumption, once he starts to drink. We know that while the alcoholic keeps away from drink... he reacts much like other men. We are equally positive that once he takes any alcohol whatever into his system, something happens, both in the bodily and mental sense, which makes it virtually impossible for him to stop.  The experience of any alcoholic will abundantly confirm this.  These observations would be academic and pointless if the alcoholic never took the first drink thereby setting the terrible cycle in motion.  Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather then in his body." 

        If the problem centers in our minds and we use our reasoning power in an attempt to solve our problem, than we are trying to solve our problem with our problem.  This will never work, as many of our own experiences prove.  We continued to drink alcoholically even though we knew we shouldn't and  certainly did not want to.  Lack of power - that is our dilemma. We must find a new source of power to propel our thoughts.  Our thought process can no longer be propelled by our human instincts but rather by the will of God through inspiration.
       Once we find that source of power - that is God.  We have subrogated our thought process to  His will and we are now at peace.  Our prayer, at this and each moment, is that anyone who suffers from addiction, whether actively or not, may find God as the very chief source of their power.

Written by Armand

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Experience The Third Step Prayer

            Having admitted complete defeat; having admitted to our innermost self that we were alcoholic; having come to the understanding that human power could not overcome our alcoholism; having begun to trust in God as a solution to our problem -- we were now at Step Three.  Step Three occurs when we decide, (a final choice), to turn our will (which is our thoughts) and our life (which is our behavior) over to the care of God.  We decide that our thought process will no longer be propelled by our human instinct but rather by the will of God. 
          We get down on our knees and bow our heads praying, "God I offer myself to thee - To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"
          This is an important and critical step for the beginning of the transformation of our thought process, which is essential and must occur, if we are to recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.  However, this is only the beginning.  Now that we have taken a Third Step we must complete the remaining steps so that the transformation of our thought process is complete.  Once completed, we can receive the full benefits of the Third Step Prayer. We can trust in God for not only   a solution to our addiction but as a solution to all of our problems.

Written by Armand