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Daily thought/discussion post for 09/15/16

Servant, Not Master

In A.A., we found that it did not matter too much what our material condition was, but it mattered greatly what our spiritual condition was. As we improved our spiritual outlook, money gradually became our servant and not our master. It became a means of exchanging love and service with those about us.


One of the A.A.'s Loners is an Australian sheepman who lives two thousand miles from the nearest town, where yearly he sells his wool. In order to be paid the best prices he has to get to town during a certain month. But when he heard that big regional A.A. meeting was to be held at a later date when wool prices would have fallen, he gladly took a heavy financial loss in order to make his journey then. That's how much an A.A. meeting means to him.

As Bill Sees It - p259 - Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions - p122 - A.A. Comes Of Age - p31 (AA)

A New Life

Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. . . . Life will mean something at last.

Alcoholics Anonymous - p152 - from Daily Reflections (AA)
Commentary Here

Filling The Emptiness
...we think that if we can just get enough food, enough sex, or enough money, we'll be satisfied and everything will be alright.

Commentary: In our [addiction], we could never get enough drugs, or money, or sex, or something else. Even too much was never enough! There was a spiritual emptiness inside us. Though we tried as hard as we could to fill that emptiness ourselves, we never succeeded. In the end, we realized that we lacked the power to fill it; it would take a Power greater than ourselves to do that.

So we stopped [using], and we stopped trying to fill that emptiness in our gut with things. We turned to our Higher Power, asking for its care, strength, and direction. We surrendered and made way for that Power to begin the process of filling our inner void. We stopped grabbing things and started receiving the free gift of love our Higher Power had for us. Slowly, our inner emptiness was being filled.

Now that we've been given our Higher Power's gift of love, what do we do with it? If we clasp that gift tightly to ourselves, we will smother it. We must remember that love grows only when it is shared. We can only keep this gift by freely giving it away. The world of [addiction] is a world of taking and being taken; the world of recovery is a world of giving and being given. In which world do we choose to live?

Just For Today: I choose to live in the fullness of recovery. I will celebrate my conscious contact with the god of my understanding by freely sharing with other that which has been freely shared with me.

Just For Today - September 15th (NA)

Got Pain In Your Feelings?

The next time you feel hurt, outraged, bitter or resentful – the beginning of many a slip as attested to by AA speakers – try to remember quickly that you haven’t been mortally harmed. In nearly all cases, it’s just a pain in your feelings!

Grapevine - Elmhurst, N.Y., March 1950 (AA)

Atma's Thoughts

Well, I surely achieve #3's goal every day, and not Just For Today. That's a wonderful feeling that someone in need someday may Google recovery or AA or NA terms and stumble upon me and use me as sort of a digital chapel in which they can confess and receive mercy instead of judgment from. I may not be perfect but I will never judge another alcoholic or addict or anyone seeking any kind of recovery or good word to boost them along one more day as I understand that we all never asked for this to begin with, but we can ask to have it taken from us, which can be quite the daunting task.

Though none can be quite as daunting sometimes as seeking this help. The internet has made it so much easier for us to deliver and offer recovery in a multitude of ways. Unless you're a dyed in the wool luddite, almost everyone who runs these kinds of programs gladly embraces change and technology like this that lets us access people who couldn't get it regularly before or in ways that help those with certain disabilities more and in a myriad of formats for anyone who wants to read or maybe those who'd rather listen while working. It's a wonderful educational tool if you know how to use it. Granted, there are things out there and programs I feel inferior to this that make it their job to mock ours despite the fact we never mock their methods and believe only in making "normal" alcoholics and the like out of full blown ones (knowing this isn't possible now, I have to wonder what their genuine success rates are and if they're truly happy that they couldn't bear to live without a single drop. I can accept this before I turned 30 and I may live past 100, what's their excuse? Again, I can't judge their condition, but their methods have me concerned for their genuine well-being.) It goes back to #3 and the first part of #1 - are they genuinely happy and do they have a genuine spirituality or something to believe in, even if it's just believing that someone else believes? If anyone is a glum lot, I'd cast it them, but that's their choice to make.

Loners is an AA term for those that either choose to not attend group meetings or simply cannot attend one regularly, usually due to extreme isolation and/or lack of funds and resources or places to host one. As you can guess, it usually encompasses those like the shepherd up there or those in immense frozen plains like those found in the northernmost Alaska or Russia. More and more territory is covered, especially digitally, that fewer spots on Earth now exist without a regular meeting at a decent pace away than those that do have one, and thank whatever's above for that! In the past, Loners usually would write to the main offices now and again and request people from around the world send them letters that they could make meetings out of reading those, but with the internet, if they can get it, anything is possible. Maybe someday that shepherd can see another recovered human's face more than once or twice a year or at least see their stories and words. Isn't that wonderful? I think it is.

And that person who stumbles upon this someday looking for help online? Who knows where they'll be from. All I know is that they're already welcome here, and I'll listen and speak back at them as much as they need. It could be the word they need to save their lives.

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