“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.
December Birthdays… IF They Make It!
December 1st… Tim K. celebrates 6 years
December 8th… Erik L. celebrates 4 years
December 25th… Tom W. celebrates 15 years
December 29th… Keith D. celebrates 11 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.
From the Office of the President
I like to keep things in perspective.
This is the time of year where I ponder what to write for this column. On the one hand, I would
like to say, overall, this group had a good year. Lot of diversity and challenges but a lot of
accomplishments as well. It was a full year out of the cloud of Covid. Thanks to Tim C. Mark C.
Tom, Dave and Dave, Mark W. and Mr. T I felt we established the group into a good routine. I
am sure there is someone I missed, but…..ya know, that’s showbusiness. For me, I would like to
thank all of you, new members and old timers, I am very proud that you’re nuts enough to keep
me on as the General Secretary of the Group. Thank you all very much.
Now to the task at hand.
I think carrying the message of AA is a delicate conversation.
We were talking about relationships the other day at a meeting. I forgot or had put an
experience behind me that in retrospect was significant.
I had this friend. She moved here from Oklahoma and into the building where I live. I met her
eight or nine years ago. Most of the time we were just friends. When I first met her, she told
me she did not drink because she was on some kind of medication and never was a big drinker.
Then if you recall, a few years back, I was gone for almost a month. I went to Europe with my
family and in laws. I got back proud of myself. A month with my family and in laws and I stayed
sober. A couple of meetings I found along the way helped me out.
When I got back the first time, I got together with my friend I noticed she was drinking. A
couple of Cosmopolitans. No big deal. Until a few weeks later. Then it was. She showed up late
one night after being out and she was drunk. I appreciated the affection, but I could not take
the smell of her breath. I had to ask her to leave.
This went on for about a year. She wasn’t drunk all the time, but it began to get more frequent.
This time last year, we reached a pinnacle. I told her she was drunk more often than sober.
My own alcoholism and drug use was installed, I said. It wasn’t that I got drunk, and I loved it, I
did not. I knew I should not be doing it but there was a thrill to it. ”I constantly test myself”, I
told myself and others.
Anyways, because of her drinking I stopped hanging out with her altogether. Couple of weeks
ago, I saw her “best friend forever”, except they are not friends anymore. My old friend has a
new boyfriend. He drinks too and loves cocaine. You can imagine where this went. The new
boyfriend said something rude, the two girls got in an irreparable fight.
I am glad there are nights I stay home.
The BFF said something about an intervention. I am skeptical on many levels, but we will see.
The point is, sometimes, I can care about someone. Quite a bit, but when alcohol becomes the
demon it can be, I am out. Is it because I am a cold-hearted SOB? In part yes, but aside from
that I must protect my sobriety.
Now with this parable on the mount. Go forth and carry the message of AA. However, if the
situation looks dire, I think it’s okay to bolt out of there to protect yourself.
Contributed by John M.
“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 our friend George T.
Brought to you by Mark Q.
A.A. member Dave Mc. curates a few selected readings from a variety of A.A. related publications each month.
Some of these have become our most respected and best loved. Some have remained to try our patience, sober nevertheless. Others have drifted away. We have begun to regard the troublesome ones not as menaces, but rather as our teachers. They oblige us to cultivate patience, tolerance, and humility. We finally see that they are only people sicker than the rest of us, that we who condemn them are the Pharisees whose false rightousness does our group the deeper spiritual damage.
As Bill sees it page 28
We are the only ones whose recovery we have any control over. We can only amend what is ours. The rest is out of our hands, and we practice letting go.
Living clean page 179
Contributed by Dave Mc.
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 McKinley 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: Chuck S.
- Wednesday: John M.
- Thursday: Sean F.
- Friday: Jon B.
- Saturday: Dave M.
- 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!
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!
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 “Office of the President”, Dave Mc. for “Mouse’s Corner”, our GSR Mark Q, 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!