“As long as (we) try, with all (our) heart and soul, to pass along to others what has been passed along to (us), and do not demand anything in return, life is good to (us). Before entering the program (we were) never able to give without demanding anything in return. Little did (we) know that, once (we) began to give freely of (ourselves), (we) would begin to recieve, without ever expecting or demanding anything at all. What (we) recieve today is the gift of ‘stability’; ‘stability’ in (our) program, within (ourselves), but most of all, in (our) relationship with (our) Higher Power.” p. 242 Daily Reflections
obviously i have paraphrased the above excerpt…i hope that’s not too annoying, it just sounded better to me in the third person…plus, i removed a couple of phrases, in order to include all of my friends here…i have been quoting a lot of AA literature lately, and for that i apologize…i promise to get back to more of the NA stuff soon
it’s been a few days since i have written a new note…a few items have come up for me recently, and i have attended some good meetings, met some good people, and had a really good talk with my sponsor…what, at first, was an extremely stressful situation, has simmered down and began to mend…and for that i am truly grateful
but, back to the passage above…this was read a few days ago in a meeting i attended out of town…it’s what i really needed to hear, and i wanted to share with you what i said in the meeting.
i found that i can still be more ‘demanding or gracious’, whatever the case may be, today…i truly believe i have recovered from that hopeless state of mind and body…i not longer suffer from active alcoholism and drug addiction….however, my character defects are still with me…it isn’t unusual for me to fall into that place where i again feel entitled to something, or think i deserve to be treated a certain way…on the other hand, i can become grateful to the extreme, as well…making a huge mistake or hurting someone’s feelings, i become all too glad and gracious when i am forgiven….i know i have dodged a large bullet
humility is not an easy thing to come by…as a matter of fact, i have been humiliated more times than humbled in this life…it isn’t often that i find myself in that ‘position of nuetrality, safe and protected’…the serenity our prayers speak about…it usually comes as a surprise when i am able to handle a situation that formally would have ended in disastor…it is in looking at the past that i am able to unlock the future…what i am trying to say here, is that i am no saint…and when i strive for perfection, the result is progress…i had to be reminded that i am only human lately…have i said that before?
it is also not easy for me to approach new people…i find it hard to break the ice and spark conversation…occasionally i am able to connect with someone, and i consider it a blessing…there have been times when i have shared in a meeting, and a person thanks me, because they needed to hear it…but, i try not to take any credit for that sort of thing….not a lot of what i share is really original…in trying to carry the message, it’s all been said before, it some form or fashion…besides, i truly believe that God works through his people…i never know what i say or do, and how that is going to affect someone…that is why it is essential i pay attention to how i am treating others today
i also find myself still expecting things in return when i do good deeds for people…not that i expect payment or good deeds back…that is rarely what i expect anymore…but, i do find myself expecting someone to stay sober, or start working the steps, and put my suggestions into practical use…and that rarely ever happens…it is my hope that it plants a seed, tho…in Sunday School several months back, we were talking about giving money to the needy, hanging out on street corners…one person piped up and said, ‘i don’t like giving them money…all they are going to do is get drunk with it, so i give them a sandwich or Bag of Grace.’…another peson answered her saying, ‘it’s not what they do with the money…that is there decision to make…we have done a good deed, and that is all that counts in God’s world…it is not our responsibility what they do with the money.’…i really liked that…and it is so true
this is a long blog, but i have to share one more thing before i go…when i first asked my sponsor to work with me, i did so because he approached me…we had known each other from before…i’m sure he remembers the first time i started coming around, when i was eighteen years old…when we first started working together, i wanted what he had…he had 23 years sober…he had an awesome job and career…he had a Harley and a house, with a family…when i called him with an issue a few days ago, stressed out to the max, not knowing what to do, or where to go from there…he had answers…he had suggestions, and valuable advice…and that’s what i find wanting from him today…emotional stability and sobriety…with that, i always feel secure