I often tap things into my iPod, during meetings, when I listen to speakers, etc.
I had no idea until quite recently that the program of Alcoholics Anonymous was based on the biblical book of James. Early AA’s would go into hospitals and present the book to suffering alcoholics. Upon further research I have found that our fundamentals also come from 1 Corinthians 13 and also Emmet Fox’s work “The Sermon on the Mount”. These were our ‘literature’ before our Big Book existed.
Fox’s secretary was the mother of a man who worked closely with Bill W. It was partly because of this connection that early AA groups went to hear Fox and also why his writing subsequently became so popular in AA.
The following notes are from Father Meletios Webber’s “The 12 Steps of Transformation.” Fr. Webber is an Eastern Orthodox Priest who is himself in recovery. I paraphrase wildly:
Yes, but means no. Everything I say after “but” negates what I said before. “I love you, but you make me angry” means only “you make me angry.”
Spiritually speaking, the most valuable thing a person can do is admit their brokenness. (Step One.)
We can tie God’s hands. (To me, this means I can pray that God show me his will but I will get in his way regardless. I put up the roadblocks. Where is God? Why isn’t he helping me? But all the while I am playing God.)
Step 1-I Can’t Step 2-You Can Step 3-Please Do
Moral=Honest (Step 4)
There is only one prayer to begin–Thy will be done
*A favorite* There are 3 criteria for talking: That it be TRUE, That it be NECESSARY, and That it be KIND
When I have spoken unkindly, my heart was not in front of my mouth.
On the subject of ego: The ego doesn’t actually exist. It’s just a collection of thoughts titled “Yes but what about me?” “How the world has let me down.”
Heard in meetings:
Pride keeps me sick.
Am I important enough for this power to care about. (Good for me to hear, as I suffer from low self-esteem.)
We fail forward. (I use this often with my sponsees.)
I didn’t come to AA because I saw the light, I came because I felt the heat. (not necessarily the law!)
Defenses of character (They are like our armor, aren’t they?)
I must turn over my knowledge of right and wrong to God. (What a tall order!)
If someone tells me something I’ll forget it, if someone shows me something I’ll remember it, if someone involves me in something I’ll understand it. (I have since learned that this is a Chinese proverb, and my experience shows this to be true.)
Fear is a dark room where negatives are developed. (Heard on a Searcy W. speaker tape.)
I conditionalize my happiness. This is because of my lack of acceptance. (Not me!)
Jump into the lap of God. (Yeah baby!)
Robbing people of their emotional sobriety. (Causing them worry, etc. I am an expert at this.)
The 12 steps are terms of surrender. They smash my ego. (But it rebuilds itself, that’s why I never stop working them.)
When I lay down at night and I go to sleep fairly fast I am doing well. (Relative.)
If the quality of your life diminishes faster than you can lower your morals, you might be an alcoholic!
Giving rather than getting will become the guiding principle. p.128 (I wrote this down because I can be such a GETTER!)