LIVING ITThe spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 83When new in the program, I couldn’t comprehend living the spiritual aspect of the program, but now that I’m sober, I can’t comprehend living without it. Spirituality was what I had been seeking. God, as I understand Him, has given me answers to the whys that kept me drinking for twenty years. By living a spiritual life, by asking God for help, I have learned to love, care for and feel compassion for all my fellow men, and to feel joy in a world where, before, I felt only fear.
GENERAL SERVICE REPORT
It has been fairly quiet around the old General Service Campfire these days as most people are off on their summer adventures. Groups are slowly transitioning back to meeting in person. Some groups are finding their old venues no longer available and are searching for alternatives. A significant amount of groups are holding both in person and on line meetings. No one is certain how long these dual options might exist. There are members who have found that for a variety of reasons they prefer attending the on line meetings. Many folks reported their meeting attendance had risen during the pandemic and they are enjoying the variety of meetings available on line. It certainly is an interesting time in AA!
Keep in mind that all General Service positions are for two years, and we are approaching the end of my second year.
And as much as I have benefited from serving as GSR, it is highly recommended that service positions are rotated and shared among active members. In addition to being a General Service Rep. , there are opportunities for service with the Public Information and Cooperating Professionals Committee (PI/CPC) as well as with Hospitals and Institutions (H&I) There is a committee, Bridging the Gap, that helps to connect alcoholics being released from recovery programs with temporary sponsors. And, of course, there is always telephone service and office volunteering at the Central Office. What holds in the “normal” world, that ten percent of the people do ninety percent of the work is fairly typical of Alcoholics Anonymous as well. It is always helpful for me to remember that “there is a solution” because people are willing to step up and be part of the solution that helps ensure the functioning of Alcoholics Anonymous on a daily basis. We are “self-supporting”. So, perhaps we might all ask ourselves in our daily meditations how we might be able to be both self and other supporting.
Thank you for allowing me to be of service!
How Things Change
This happened to me not too long ago.
I was out with the family at a medium high-priced restaurant. It was new. On the “Hot Spots” list. We
walk in and sit down at a table for 7.
I take a seat where my back is too the wall. I like to see the room and I am not going to get Bill Hickocked even if its someone just patting my shoulders to say hello. I want to see them coming.
Scanning the rooms, I see a table of 10 people and I know all of them. I don’t really want to see them but also realize when a couple glance my way, they don’t particularly want to see me. I can see their conversation has changed. It’s a lot more muted and they may or may not be talking about me when we politely acknowledge each other’s presence.
One of my first thoughts is asking myself, do I owe any of these people an amends? I know I didn’t steal from them. I know I have said things to them or about them back in the day that were none too kind, even if said of the spirit of being funny. But do I need to apologize for that now?
It got weird. If I was on my own, I would have left.
As the night wore on, their table got louder. One of the wives looked terribly drunk and there were some arguments going on, mixed in with raucous laughter. Did I really miss that, I asked myself?
Over our desserts and coffee one couple ventured over and said hello. Asked how we were doing. Fine, we said. Told us we all look so great. Yeah, you too, we said. Which was a lie all around. We all look older and fatter. Especially, me. And they did too. And then the uncomfortable pregnant pause, where we all look in each other eyes like gamblers at a table in Deadwood.
Okay, see you around. Not if I can help it.
I still have work to do in Step 8. My attitude towards it is lacking. I am the one who was a drunk, got arrested and after that was more more than less ostracized from the “group” or that strata of society. But I cannot bring myself to apologize for it. It just was the way it was. And today is the way it is.
The eighth month. August. The 8th Step. Coincidence? I think not.
August, The Dog Days of Summer. I made many amends in those first years of sobriety. Most to the people close to me and that I cared about, some to those uncomfortable ones. Now, I am too hot and probably too lazy to look for anymore beyond my immediate horizon.
My life is going okay. I am kinder. I am sober. I stay involved in AA to keep me there. The rest I think of like Congress. Off for the August recess and I wish they would stay that way.
Contributed by John M.
“It is tradition among us that the individual has the unlimited right to his own opinion on any subject under the sun.
He is compelled to agree with no one; if he likes, he can disagree with everyone.”
Bill W., September 1944, “Comments on Wylie Ideas”, The Language of the Heart
THURSDAY ‘Book & Step Study’
Tom W. takes us through a selection of AA literature to start the meeting every Thursday. Each missive is packed with fine prose, fascinating insights and challenging reading. Following the read (about 20 minutes)…the floor is open to everyone’s thoughts on how they may have been influenced or impacted by that writing. It’s really fun to be a part of and members are enjoying it.
Get on in here and show Tom support and contribute something to the newcomer. Every Thursday at 11:30.
We’ll try to make readings available ahead of time on the website.
August Birthdays… IF They Make It!
August 6th… Steve B. celebrates 15 years
August 9th… Ryan F. celebrates 5 years
August 9th… Mike D. celebrates 4 years
August 12th… Jeff E. celebrates 36 years
August 25th… Craig G. N. celebrates 6 years
August 27th… Rudy R. celebrates 18 years
If your birthday has been missed…. fill out the birthday form.
We really want to celebrate your AA anniversary because your birthday made ours possible!
Thanks everybody and apologies to you if you were missed or incorrectly noted.
THE LITERARY CORNER:
“I feel bad for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”
― Frank Sinatra
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
― Ernest Hemingway
“A drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts.”
― Steve Fergosi
“Acceptance: Letting go of all hope for a better past.”
― Definitely not Mark C.
“24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?”
― Steven Wright
When a man is a man
And he drinks till he’s canned
He can drop to the floor, he can weep; we won’t ask the price
A man is a man
He can fall, he can stand
We won’t love him more if he keeps his soul on the ice
I know a man who’s a man
― “A Man is a Man” Pete Townshend
First Wednesday… August 4th
Come join a review of Step 8 on August 4th (First Wednesday). “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
John M. reviews the step corresponding to the number of that month on each first Wednesday. It’s a rewarding meeting with John outlining the step of the month, how he was challenged by it and how we tackle it ourselves, with and without success! Look for his monthly contribution in this edition!
A.A. member Dave Mc. curates a few selected readings from a variety of A.A. related publications each month. Dave is a life long friend of the editor and has been sober 34 years. His childhood nickname was “Mouse!”
“I spend a good deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want it and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:
1) Sense of duty.
2) It is a pleasure.
3) Because in doing so I am paying my debt to the man who took the time to pass it on to me.
4) Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.”
Contributed by Dave Mc.
Monday, August 2nd marks our 500th Pandemic Meeting
July, 2021 Meeting Data
Here’s the connection info for joining the meeting, in case anyone missed it.
Contributed by Mark C.
Step 2 Men’s Group Believes…
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
We’d never presume that the 12 Steps are not clear. Nor would we imply that they need ‘improvement’. However…for purposes of assisting to keep the meeting pointed in an important direction each day, the ‘Step 2 Men’s Group statement is read as follows:
Step 2 Men’s Group is founded on the belief that spirituality is essential to our sobriety. Our group is non-religious, but we do not oppose anyone’s religious beliefs. We believe that respect for others and their beliefs is essential to our spiritual development. Accordingly we ask that avoid criticism of others or of their religion or lack of religion, their race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, physical appearance, trade or profession, length of sobriety, or personal beliefs. Our goal is to further our spirituality, our sobriety and our personal development, not to confront or belittle others. Always remember to be kind to others.
Extra Special Thanks Dept:
Thanks to our ‘GSR’ George T. for “The GSR Says” and thank you John M. for “How Things Change”, and thank you Mark W. for your commitment to recovery humor! Thanks to Dave Mc. for “Mouse’s Corner.” Thank you Anthony S. for the ‘Joke Box’. We’re still waiting for YOU gentle reader…Why don’t YOU contribute a short “something?” Any length, most any AA related topic. Reply now and it will get included next month!