“SUGGESTED” STEPSOur Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing all the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual awakening… A.A.’s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 106-07I remember my sponsor’s answer when I told him that the Steps were “suggested.” He replied that they are “suggested” in the same way that, if you were to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, it is “suggested” that you pull the ripcord to save your life. He pointed out that it was “suggested” I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save my life. So I try to remember daily that I have a whole program of recovery based on all Twelve of the “suggested” Steps.
Step 2 Men’s Group Business Meeting
November 4, 2022
On Friday, November 4, 2022, the Step 2 Men’s Group held their annual business meeting. This was an outdoor event located next to the Shepard Garden & Arts Center in beautiful McKinley Park. The meeting was kicked off with a mouthwatering lunch that was enjoyed by the large delegation of members. Delicious sandwiches from Roxie Deli & BBQ, chips, sodas, water, and fruit, were enjoyed by all. Brad W. couldn’t make it down from Oregon but he made sure we weren’t hurting for donuts!
During the food festivities, the following business items were shared:
- The Treasurer’s Report noted a balance of $4,308 beginning April 25, 2022. Minus $2,155 in expenses, the addition of $1,181 in collections and donations, the current balance as of November 4, 2022, is $3,334.
- Mark C. was the well-deserved recipient of the Grant Miller Award. This award is given annually to the Step 2 member best exemplifying Grant’s courage, grace, serenity, and sobriety. Congratulations Mark. Well deserved!
- John M. will continue with his General Secretary duties.
- Mark W. volunteered to continue his important role as the Step 2 Men’s Group Treasurer.
- Mark Q. is filling the gap left by George T. as GSR and will be responsible for taking meeting minutes and maintaining our library of AA related publications and literature.
- Lastly, John B. was presented with his 4-year birthday chip. Way to go John!
Following the conclusion of the business meeting, the Step 2 Men’s Group Friday meeting was held.
December Birthdays… IF They Make It!
December 1st… Tim K. celebrates 5 years
December 8th… Erik L. celebrates 3 years
December 25th… Tom W. celebrates 14 years
December 29th… Keith D. celebrates 10 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.
Reaching Out to a Star
I had this friend. A female friend. Once or twice, a couple of times for more than just coffee.
It seemed like things were going somewhere until one day, it was not. I know one issue between us was that I did not drink anymore, and she liked a cocktail or two. Sometimes three. Another issue was a high powered business consultant, or that is what he says. This dude laid down some serious money, said a lot of the right things, and before you know it she was telling me, “He completes me”.
Whatever the heck that means.
That was a little while ago. Fast forward to a party/get together I was invited to a few weeks ago and this woman was there. We said hello to each other, and that was about it.
I had cruised the food table a few times and the mini tamales were almost gone and the meatballs began to get that glaze on the sauce, the guacamole was getting brown around the edges. My second Diet Coke was not that appealing. I was ready to go. Looking for an excuse.
Suddenly, a woman I didn’t know walked out of the living room area and she was crying. Then I heard some decibel raised voices. I decided to say goodbye to the hosts. When I found them I saw that they were part of the discussion. I gave one of those cool people’s nods to the guy and semi-waved. I headed for the door.
A few days later, I called the hostess to formally thank her for the party and ask what went down. The short answer was that my friend had said something. The Power Broker boyfriend said something and suddenly all hell was breaking loose.
And the conclusion was, my female friend ……”She drinks too much”.
Now this is odd. When I first met this person she didn’t drink at all. I thought she told me a medical condition prevented her from doing so. For me, being in the first months of sobriety, this was a welcome relief. This was well before we started meeting for coffee.
A few years later, when I saw her at a Kings game, I noticed she was drinking a wine. Then we began to meet for coffee and she used to get a wine here and there. Then came some late night phone calls where she clearly had a few, and probably a few too many.
Now, she is still with Power Broker but … her friends are talking about how much she drinks. So….. What to do?
I certainly do not think we have obligations to reach out to everyone we know who may have a problem with addiction, alcohol or other drugs. However, when measured, if something is the right thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. In this case, I do not want a reconnection or rekindling of any affair, but if she needs to talk to someone about recovery, I want her to know she can talk to me.
So I did reach out and left a message. I didn’t hear back. Now I am not expecting to and am somewhat relieved. I feel bad that I feel that way but you know, sometimes AA is a selfish program. It’s like looking at a star. They look so pretty and shiny. But if you get close enough, they are white hot and can burn up not only Icarus’s wings but him too. I like to stay vigilant of that.
By John M.
Guess That Dog
(hint: recently moved to Idaho)
My First Meeting
Please be “of service.” If you’ve never contributed a “My First Meeting”, please help to keep this column going…we need you! What do you remember most of your first meeting? It can be one sentence; it can be up to two paragraphs. Could be funny, poignant or strictly “clinical”. Write what you want…you might have enjoy writing it!
“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
“And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all.”
Principles First – People Second
Why are we repeatedly asked in the Traditions to give up ourselves for the greater good? The answer is because any relationship we have that does not involve sacrifice is a relationship that likely will not endure. Each tradition straightens out a disastrous attitude we had about relationships. The twelfth tradition teaches us that a spirit of sacrifice (often times through anonymity) is vital to good relationships.
Giving up the expectation of rewards for doing good is difficult for most of us. It’s easy for us to give and then think, “Well, I’ll get a reward, even if I don’t get public recognition for what I did.” To remove that reward symbol from the back of our minds for whatever good we do is part of practicing anonymity. The next time you hear a speaker in A.A. whose personality is exciting from the platform, see if you can hear the principles behind their words? To which step, tradition, or concept can you relate their pitch? Setting ourselves aside and focusing on the principles of our program is a crucial component in the foundation we need for studying the Traditions and learning how to be in healthier relationships with our fellow A.A.’s and with those in the world around us.
The twelfth step poses the question, “What is a spiritual awakening?” I believe that the evidences of a spiritual awakening are found in a person who practices the twelfth tradition in all their affairs. Such a person sacrifices self in order to practice principles. Their motive in practicing all of the traditions is anonymity: they sacrifice to help others.
The twelfth tradition completes the twelfth step in the following way: I become spiritually awake when I carry the message by anonymously practicing sober principles.
From an idea by George T.
Our Trusted Servants Continue to Be:
The current Step 2 Men’s Group meeting schedule is Monday, Wednesday & Friday at Tim’s (3809 J St), Tuesday & Thursday online, Saturday in the park is “Daily Reflections” and Sunday is our Rogue meeting in the park. Each gathering is one hour. Great job men!
- Monday: Tim C.
- Tuesday: Mark W.
- Wednesday: John M.
- Thursday: Brad W.
- Friday: Jon B.
- Saturday: David K.
- Sunday: Mark C.
Want to add your name to the “Back-up-Help-Substitute Secretary List”? Just contact Group GS, John M., Treasurer Mark W. or any of our other Secretaries and let them know!
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’ John M. for “Reaching Out to a Star”, Mark Q. for the business meeting report, and our Treasurer Mark W. for all your contributions. 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!