It is being constantly revealed, as mankind studies the material world, that its outward appearance is not inward reality at all. The prosaic steel girder is a mass of electrons whirling around each other at incredible speed, and these tiny bodies are governed by precise laws. Science tells us so. We have no reason to doubt it.
When, however, the perfectly logical assumption is to suggest that, infinitely beyond the material world as we see it, there is an all powerful, guiding, creative Intelligence, our perverse streak comes to the surface and we set out to convince ourselves that this isn't so. Were our contention true, it would follow that life originated out of nothing, means nothing, and proceeds nowhere.
As Bill Sees It - p260 - Alcoholics Anonymous - p48+49 (AA)
"Fearless and Searching"
My self-analysis has frequently been faulty. Sometimes I've failed to share my defects with the right people; at other times, I've confessed their defects, rather than my own; and at s till other times, my confession of defects has been more in the nature of loud complaints about my circumstances and my problems.
When A.A. suggests a fearless moral inventory, it must seem to every newcomer that more is being asked of them than he can do. Every time he tries to look withing himself, Pride says, "You need not pass this way," and Fear says, "You dare not look!"
But pride and fear of this sort turn out to be bogymen, nothing else. Once we have a complete willingness to take inventory, and exert ourselves to do the job thoroughly, a wonderful light falls upon this foggy scene. As we persist, a brand-new kind of confidence is born, and the sense of relief at finally facing ourselves is indescribable.
As Bill Sees It - p261 - Grapevine from June 1958 - Twelve STeps and Twelve Traditions - p49+50 (AA)
We Stand - Or Fall - Together
. . . no society of men and women ever had a more urgent need for continuous effectiveness and permanent unity. We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together, else most of us will finally die alone.
Alcoholics Anonymous - p561 - from Daily Reflections (AA)
Freedom From Fear
When, with God's help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too. We found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions - p122 - from Daily Reflections (AA)
Emotional balance is one of the first results of meditation, and our experience bears this out.
Commentary: Though each of us defines "emotional balance" a little differently, all of us must find it. Emotional balance can mean finding and maintaining a positive outlook on life, regardless of what may be happening around us. To some, it might mean an understanding of our emotions that allows us to responds, not react, to our feelings. It can mean that we experience our feelings as intensely as we can while also moderating their excessive expression.
Emotional balance comes with practice in prayer and meditation. We get quiet and share our thoughts and hopes and concerns with the God of our understanding. Then we list for guidance, awaiting the power to act on that direction.
Eventually, our skills in maintaining near-balance get better, and the wild up-and-down emotional swings we used to experience begin to settle. We develop an ability to let others feel their feelings; we have no need to judge them. And we fully embrace our own personal range of emotions.
Just For Today: Through regular prayers and meditation, I will discover what emotional balance means to me.
Just For Today - September 16th (NA)
Going Beyond Step Five
We may think that we have done enough by writing about our past. We cannot afford this mistake.
Commentary: Some of us aren't too keen on writing out our Fourth Step; others take it to obsessive extreme. To our [sponsor's] growing dismay, we inventory ourselves again and again. We discover everything there is to know about why were were the way we were. We have the idea that thinking, writing, and talking about our past is enough. We hear none of our [sponsor's] suggestions to become entirely ready to have our defects removed or make amends for the harm we've caused. We simply write more about those defects and delightedly share our fresh insights. Finally, our worn-out [sponsor] withdraws from us in self-defense.
Extreme as this scenario may seem, many of us have found ourselves in just such a situation. Thinking, writing, and talking about what was wrong with us made us feel like we had it all under control. Sooner or later, however, we realized we were stuck in our problems, the solutions nowhere in sight. We knew that, if we wanted to live differently, we would have to move on beyond Step Five in our program. We began to seek the willingness to have a Higher Power remove the character defects of which we'd become so intensely aware. We made amends for the destruction we had caused others in acting out on those defects. Only then did we begin to experience the freedom of an awakening spirit. Today, we're no longer victims; we are free to move on in our recovery.
Just For Today: Although necessary, Step Four and Five alone will not bring about emotional and spiritual recovery. I will take them, and then I will act on them.
Just For Today - September 17th (NA)
Where's My Rewards?
Am I strong enough? Am I willing to commit my life and my heart at an even deeper level to doing whatever it takes to keep moving forward?
Grapevine - North Hollywood, Calif., September 2005 (AA)
We Came Of Age
Though all alone out there, an AA from the Marshall Islands still claimed his group had three members, to wit: ‘God, the book Alcoholics Anonymous, and me
Grapevine - AA Co-Founder, Bill W., September 1950 (AA)
I wonder how Bill W would react to the Persona game series nowadays were he alive now, since it's all about facing your own faults and accept them in order to become a better person, not shunning them or pretending they aren't there, often with a difficult realization in front of your friends that yes, you have thought this before, but your friends agree it just makes you human like them. At least some ideas are universal.
I looked up the Marshall Islands and wow, given where it is and what little accesses it regularly, I doubt that poor guy's AA group has grown much since the 50s, or if that man has gone, if there's been much that's picked it up. Unfortunately, I can't find any information right now about any groups, active or not, on the islands using the internet, but I can only hope it's continued on. It's a beautiful place and it deserves recovery as anywhere else does. I know plenty of stories now since AA's conception of travelers who leave behind literature in libraries and such just in case someone native needs it to kickstart their own groups there at home. Some have even gone back to their surprise that yes, not only did people find it and start a meeting, it's still very much thriving and they can meet the person who so graciously donated the goods. That has to be an amazing connection. I wonder where in the world I could drop off something like that someday and get someone the acceptance I've had.
Though it goes to show that really, anything is a meeting. The two common sayings are that all you need for a meeting are two alcoholics talking, or all you need is a place with a book in it. This guy surely was a prime example of the latter, as I am now here in my little digital chapel of sorts, seeing if or what may come through my doors wanting to talk.
We may be one big world, but we all are closer to each other than we may ever realize.