WILLINGNESS TO GROWIf more gifts are to be received, our awakening has to go on.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 8Sobriety fills the painful “hole in the soul” that my alcoholism created. Often I feel so physically well that I believe my work is done. However, joy is not just the absence of pain; it is the gift of continued spiritual awakening. Joy comes from ongoing and active study, as well as application of the principles of recovery in my everyday life, and from sharing that experience with others. My Higher Power presents many opportunities for deeper spiritual awakening. I need only to bring into my recovery the willingness to grow. Today I am ready to grow.
Problems From the Pitch
The Ninth Step. Simply put, I don’ t have to make all the amends in one day. I may have some I never make because of many different circumstances. It is something that I am committed to work on even if my end results are the same.
With that out of the way.
I direct you to some of the problems a General Secretary may have to face.
You know, I or anyone else in AA is not supposed to delve into political subjects but recently something came across my desk.
Immediately I was reminded of my days coaching young girls in soccer at a Grammar School. Wait, is that the right term? Has that been changed? It was a school with grades 1 through 8. I remember there were some parents who right away believed their kid was on track for a scholarship to play at Stanford. Other parents were just trying to get their kid to become more social, more confident in themselves, to be more assertive and get a little exercise.
Now we are faced with transgender integration. If a 9-year-old boy identifies as a girl, school teams are supposed to allow him to play on a girls team. The problem I see, is that it takes the kid whose parents are just trying to get their kid some exercise and social interaction out of participation.
This type of integration could bleed over into our meetings in AA. How are we going to deal with that? Or more accurately, how will the General Secretary deal with that when the time comes.
How would an alcoholic woman who identifies as a man fit in a Closed Men’s Group? Would she/he agree with the consensus of the Closed Men’s Group’s attitudes towards women as the wonderful, nurturing, beautiful force of nature women are? I could see a struggle. Perhaps that is why she is an alcoholic.
Conversely, I think of the alcoholic man who identifies as a woman, how would he/she adapt to the Women’s Group attitude towards Men and how they suck. What happens if he/she dares to defend men? Could an AA meeting devolve into violence?
Then there is the restroom thing. Would the Men remember to put the seat down? Would they be accurate in their aim or make silent protests by reading text messages while relieving oneself?
Lot of questions. I thought this assignment of General Secretary would be easy, but one can see how I struggle.
Speaking of struggling… it’s one thing to be General Secretary and its entirely something else when one is the General Secretary AND a profoundly popular columnist. The pressure. There are some months when I don’t have a clue what to write. Often are the times when I take a subject right off the top of my head and try to write 500 words. Can you believe that?
Good thing it’s practice and not perfection.
Contributed by John M.
September Birthdays… IF They Make It!
September 15th… Michael L. celebrates 10 years
September 18th… Jeff B. celebrates 5 years
September 25th… Mark S. celebrates his first year!
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.
A.A. member Dave Mc. curates a few selected readings from a variety of A.A. related publications each month.
Our sense of humor allows us to squeeze a positive attitude out of a negative self-image.
When we are able to laugh at ourselves, we lighten up a little. We do the work, but we also
learn to play. We see our defects, but we also see what there is to love about us. Balance in
our lives is dynamic, like walking on a tightrope. It only works when we are moving. We are constantly in motion—and so is the way we see ourselves.
Living Clean page 145
Contributed by Dave Mc.
“A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.”
“Each A.A. group needs the least possible organization. Rotating leadership is the best. The small group may elect its secretary, the large group its rotating committee, and the groups of a large metropolitan area their central or intergroup committee, which often employs a full-time secretary. The trustees of the General Service Board are, in effect, our A.A. General Service Committee. They are the custodians of our A.A. Tradition and the receivers of voluntary A.A. contributions by which we maintain our A.A. General Service Office at New York. They are authorized by the groups to handle our overall public relations and they guarantee the integrity of our principal newspaper, the A.A. Grapevine. All such representatives are to be guided in the spirit of service, for true leaders in A.A. are but trusted and experienced servants of the whole. They derive no real authority from their titles; they do not govern. Universal respect is the key to their usefulness.”
Organization and Service Aren’t Mutually Exclusive
In the beginning, our founders really felt like we didn’t need much organization and structure in the Fellowship, and then they went and created a bunch of it. “It is clear that we ought never to name boards to govern us, but it is equally clear that we shall always need to authorize workers to serve us. It is the difference between the spirit of vested authority and the spirit of service.” (12×12, Page 174)
One of the best examples of this is if you should ever find yourself needing to reach out to GSO for their ideas on a specific issue that your group, District or Area may be having; you can be relatively sure regardless of what you are asking about will garner a response that generally starts off with something like, “That’s a great question. Our shared experience in A.A. is….” and they will offer suggestions of solutions from those that have gone before us to help you with your concern. They cannot tell us what to do, but they can help us.
The organization of our Fellowship is crucial to our being able to carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic, but that structure is not there to govern, but to serve.
The first nine steps delivered us from the bondage of our past experiences with alcohol. We finally arrived at the place where we could say to ourselves, “I have totally faced my past. And there is nothing left in my past that I’m ashamed of. There’s nothing left that hurts anymore. There’s nothing left in my past that’s painful. There’s nothing left in my past I need to forgive or need to be forgiven for. I’m at total oneness and peace with my past.” Well, that’s a tremendous statement to be able to say. That’s an enormous statement for any person to be able to say about their life. And that’s what the first nine steps give us. And the ninth tradition assures me that once my ninth step amends have been made, I will be led to that profound place of peace I have always sought in my life: divine order.
The ninth tradition not only contains the secret of divine order but also contains the personal principle that will keep an alcoholic like me in divine order. It is so simple. I give up control. I stop organizing myself. I stop trying to organize God into my limited ideas of order.
How does this ninth tradition relate to the ninth step? My life gets unimpeded flow of divine love in a triangle consisting of you, myself and God. Whenever the divine order of that relationship is disturbed, I can restore order by making the unmade amend that put my life out of order. The ninth step poses the question, “After making amends, how do I stay reconciled with you today?” The ninth tradition answers that question by implying that I remain in the divine order by not organizing you, myself or God and spontaneously being of service to you and God.
From an idea by George T.
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!
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: Sean F.
- 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 General Secretary John M. for “Problems from the Pitch”, Dave Mc. for “Mouse’s Corner” 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!