I CANNOT CHANGE THE WINDIt is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85My first sponsor told me there were two things to say about prayer and meditation: first, I had to start and second, I had to continue. When I came to A.A. my spiritual life was bankrupt; if I considered God at all, He was to be called upon only when my self-will was incapable of a task or when overwhelming fears had eroded my ego. Today I am grateful for a new life, one in which my prayers are those of thanksgiving. My prayer time is more for listening than for talking. I know today that if I cannot change the wind, I can adjust my sail. I know the difference between superstition and spirituality. I know there is a graceful way of being right, and many ways to be wrong.
The GSR Says!
General Service Report for November
We are closing in on the end of this year, and the end of this two year assignment as GSR. All of the officers in Area 07 will be done with their service commitments of the past two years. Some of them will be applying for new positions within the Area. Others will be focusing more on the local level of their Districts. And some will be stepping aside from General Service and applying themselves to some other variety of service.
Isn’t that what is great about AA? There is always plenty of ways for any of us to become more involved in our recovery and help our fellow alcoholics.
Just like in the meetings, there is always something to learn as long as we show up!
I found that committing myself to a two year service position was just what I needed to keep my program on track. It was not so much that I felt overwhelmed, but it was just enough to keep me honest. It was also helpful that within our District 24 I took on the position of recording secretary. What better way could there have been for me to “have to” show up once a month for 24 months. And it was the perfect job for me since a recording secretary’s job is to mostly shut up, listen, and write down what you hear. A far cry from my preferred role as the Big Shot with all the best ideas, and me being ready, willing, and eager to climb up on that soapbox and let it fly! I heard some really great ideas just listening and paying attention. I heard that we all have this disease in common but we all come from a wide variety of experiences. I heard that some people are frustrated with how AA is during this time, but that we are all dedicated to Sobriety for ourselves and others. So, in spite of our frustrations, our disagreements, we are trying to talk with each other. Talk–not argue! Listen–not talk! Allow for something known as “the minority opinion”. In fact, whenever a topic has been debated and discussed, and it is time for a final vote, there is always one final call for the minority opinion. Not surprisingly, there is usually at least one. And it is heard. And to a person, at the end of their time sharing, they always express gratitude for the opportunity to speak, regardless of the outcome of the issues at hand. That, to me, always gives me goosebumps. How often have we felt like the tiny voice that was too timid to have our say, or the booming voice that was too threatened by perceived challenges to our authority, our Big Shot-itis. How many years did we suffer under the stress and strain of those emotions? To experience an alternative to those extremes, for me, is such a relief!
Thank you for allowing me to be of service.
Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
- Do I sometimes promote AA so fanatically that I make it seem unattractive?
- Am I always careful to keep the confidences reposed in me as an AA member?
- Am I careful about throwing AA names around–even within the Fellowship?
- Am I ashamed of being a recovered, or recovering, alcoholic?
- What would AA be like if we were not guided by the ideas in Tradition Eleven? Where would I be?
- Is my AA sobriety attractive enough that a sick drunk would want such a quality for themselves?
The Traditions are neither rules, regulations, nor laws. No sanctions or punishments can be invoked for their infractions. Perhaps in no other area of society would these principles succeed. Yet in this Fellowship of alcoholics, the unenforceable Traditions carry a power greater than that of law.
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1960, “The Language of the Heart”, The Language of the Heart
November Birthdays… IF They Make It!
November 3rd… Jon B. celebrates 3 years
November 15th… Bob A. celebrates 36 years
November 23rd… Dick M. celebrates 8 years
November 26th… Josh W. celebrates 3 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.
Every Month, Every Day…Gratitude
The longstanding tradition of characterizing November as “Gratitude Month” is familiar to most of us. Giving thanks and reflecting on gratitude in this month of November is certainly appropriate.
Still, it would be impossible for us to overstate the thanks owed to the fellowship as an institution, even our individual members. I’ve often “pontificated” in a meeting (trying to sound soooo wise), that getting in touch or reflecting on my own gratitude should be a goal each time I sit down at a meeting. I can’t say I accomplish that 100% of the time.
That said, as I furnish an item for Editor Mark C., I am profoundly struck at how stable and secure my life is. I cannot recall how many many dozens, if not hundreds of times, I heard someone say something in meeting that inched me along. Inched me along through a thing I was stuck on or that I’ve recalled many times over just out of blue. Make no mistake, the voices I heard have been from seasoned AA vets (and friends) and brand “newcomers” alike.
The institution of Alcoholics Anonymous is the greatest thing many of us have ever stumbled into. The actual people that are in it, you, have been the lifeline to myself, my true self, for so many years. I am so profoundly grateful with my whole heart this November to you, all of you.
First Wednesday… November 3rd
Come join a review of Step 11 on November 3rd (First Wednesday). “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
John 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!
THE LITERARY CORNER:
“Oh you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY and they meet at”
― Drew Carrey
“A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober. An alcoholic, a real alcoholic, is not the same man at all. You can’t predict anything about him for sure except that he will be someone you never met before.”
― Raymond Chandler
“One key symptom of alcoholism is that the individual comes to need a drink for every mood–one to calm down, one to perk up, one to celebrate, one to deal with disappointment, and so on.”
― Phyllis A. Balch
“Alcoholism is a devastating, potentially fatal disease. The primary symptom of having it is telling everyone–including yourself–that you are not an alcoholic.”
― HERBERT L. GRAVITZ & JULIE D. BOWDEN
“Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.”
― Herman Melville
“The first step toward recovery from alcoholism is the recognition that a problem exists. Once the problem drinker breaks through denial and admits to having a problem, a range of treatment options become available.”
― Jeffrey S. Nevid
“Talking to a drunk person was like talking to an extremely happy, severely brain-damaged three-year-old.”
― John Green
Our Trusted Servants Continue to Be:
The current Step 2 Men’s Group meeting schedule is in-person Monday and Wednesday, online Tuesday and Friday, and “SaturDailyReflection” at the park.
- Monday: Tim C.
- Tuesday: Mark W.
- Wednesday: John M.
- Friday: Brad W.
- Saturday: David K.
Want to add your name to the “Back-up-Help-Substitute Secretary List”? Just contact Group GS, Tom W., Treasurer Mark W. or any of our Secretaries and let them know!
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!”
“The day that the alcoholic realizes that his enemy is within, that the tigers are largely creatures of his own design and lurk in his own unconscious, that is the day when for him AA becomes what I believe it’s founders meant it to be: a flight into reality.”
A Member’s Eye View of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 25 World Services Pamphlet
“We took stock honestly. First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure.”
Alcoholics Anonymous-Big Book, pg. 64 How It Works
“And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone, even alcohol.”
Alcoholics Anonymous – Big Book, pg.84 Into Action
Contributed by Dave Mc.
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 Mark W. for “Every Month, Every Day…Gratitude“. 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!