|Posted on February 28, 2015 at 7:30 AM||comments (0)|
On Tradition Three
“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking."
Editorial by Bill W.
A.A. Grapevine, February, 1948
"Our membership ought to include all who suffer alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."
This is a sweeping statement indeed; it takes in a lot of territory. Some people might think it too idealistic to be practical. It tells every alcoholic in the world that he may become, and remain, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous so long as he says so. In short, Alcoholics Anonymous has no membership rule.
Why is this so? Our answer is simple and practical. Even in self protection, we do not wish to erect the slightest barrier between ourselves and the brother alcoholic who still suffers. We know that society has been demanding that he conform to its laws and conventions. But the essence of his alcoholic malady is the fact that he has been unable or unwilling to conform either to the laws of man or God. If he is anything, the sick alcoholic is a rebellious nonconformist. How well we understand that; every member of Alcoholics Anonymous was once a rebel himself. Hence we cannot offer to meet him at any half-way mark. We must enter the dark cave where he is and show him that we understand. We realize that he is altogether too weak and confused to jump hurdles. If we raise obstacles, he might stay away and perish. He might be denied his priceless opportunity.
So when he asks, "Are there any conditions?" we joyfully reply, "No, not a one." When skeptically he comes back saying, "But certainly there must be things that I have to do and believe," we quickly answer, "In Alcoholics Anonymous there are no musts." Cynically, perhaps, he then inquires, "What is this all going to cost me?" We are able to laugh and say, "Nothing at all, there are no fees and dues." Thus, in a brief hour, is our friend disarmed of his suspicion and rebellion. His eyes begin to open on a new world of friendship and understanding. Bankrupt idealist that he has been, his ideal is no longer a dream. After years of lonely search it now stands revealed. The reality of Alcoholics Anonymous bursts upon him. For Alcoholics Anonymous is saying,"We have something priceless to give, if only you will receive. That is all. But to our new friend, it is everything. Without more ado, he becomes one of us.
Our membership tradition does contain, however, one vitally important qualification. That qualification relates to the use of our name, Alcoholics Anonymous. We believe that any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. Here our purpose is clear and unequivocal. For obvious reasons we wish the name Alcoholics Anonymous to be used only in connection with straight A.A. activities. One can think of no A.A. member who would like, for example, to see the formation of "dry" A.A. groups, "wet" A.A. groups, Republican A.A. groups, Communist A.A. groups. Few, if any, would wish our groups to be designated by religious denominations. We cannot lend the A.A. name, even indirectly to other activities, however worthy. If we do so we shall become hopelessly compromised and divided. We think that A.A. should offer its experience to the whole world for whatever use can be made of it. But not its name. Nothing could be more certain.
Let us of A.A. therefore resolve that we shall always be inclusive, and never exclusive, offering all we have to all men save our title. May all barriers be thus leveled, may our unity thus be preserved. And may God grant us a long life --and a useful one!
The A.A. Grapevine, February, 1948
Isaiah 40:3-5 King James Version (KJV)
3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Luke 3:4-6 King James Version (KJV)
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
I Have a Dream
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside. Let freedom ring.
When we allow freedom to ring -- when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Great God a-mighty, we are free at last!
Martin Luther King, Jr.
|Posted on February 21, 2015 at 7:15 AM||comments (0)|
The AA 9" by 12" cards in the meetings are "Live and Let Live, Easy Does It, But For the Grace of God, think Think think, and First Things First, printed in Olde English calligraphy using red and black ink. They are familiar in AA rooms everywhere and part of literature kits for AA groups. Some groups arrange and display the cards in this order, making a sentence with the first words on each card; Live easy but think first. Sobriety or sober or recovery or recovered or AAized has alot to do with living and thinking... and gratitude too.
Occasionly, I have seen the think Think think card displayed upside down.., whadahay?
Where did the think THINK think come from? My searching Searching searching of origin of the slogan think Think think resulted in nothing certain.
I have found and heard this possible history of think Think think.
In the 1940s, IBM was using the word THINK as a motto/slogan/logo for advertising and an AA member in New York decided to have Think printed at the bottom of some cards he was mailing to AA groups. When he received his order back from his printer the word Think was printed upside down three times on the cards. He liked the way the mistake looked and mailed the materials the way they were.
The slogan caught on. Think Think think was the AA slogan featured on the inside back cover of the February, 1957 Grapevine issue and became one of the 9" x 12" slogan cards in AA meetings.
All of this sounds plausible.
The Serenity Prayer was published in early Grapevine issues, which helped usher its use into the AA fellowship. The Serenity Prayer has been a regular part of the Grapevine magazine's format since July, 1967.
Coincidently, there is a story similar to the think Think think one above about the Serenity Prayer and it's AA origins at aa.org.
"Q. What are the origins of the Serenity Prayer?
A. It was debated for years who wrote the Serenity Prayer, and its origins are still somewhat murky, but it seems most likely to have been written by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, a well-known theologian who served for many years as Dean and Professor of Applied Christianity at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. G.S.O.’s Archives can provide more information about this prayer’s historical origins upon request.
Alcoholics Anonymous became aware of the Serenity Prayer in 1941, when it was discovered printed in the New York Tribune newspaper. Ruth Hock, AA’s first secretary and a non-alcoholic, was immediately taken with it. The headquarters staff thought of printing the prayer on a card to distribute to AA members.
On June 12, 1941, Ruth wrote Henry S., a Washington, D.C.-based AA member and printer by profession, saying:
“One of the boys up here got a clipping from a local newspaper which is so very much to the point and so much to their liking, that they have asked me to find out from you what it would cost to set it up on a small card, something like a visiting card, which can be carried in a wallet... here it is...would appreciate it if you would let me know right away.”
Henry answered back immediately and enthusiastically:
“...Your cards are on the way and my congratulations to the man who discovered that in the paper. I can’t recall any sentence that packs quite the wallop that that does and during the day shown it to the A.A.’s that dropped in and in each case have been asked for copies. I sent you 500 copies in as much as you didn’t say how many you wanted. If you need any more, let me know. Incidentally, I am only a heel when I’m drunk, I hope, so naturally there could be no charge for anything of this nature.”
Ruth responded again on June 17, and wrote:
“Your generous response to my request for the little cards is certainly much appreciated by us all up here. Glad so many of you down there liked it too, for it backs me up in my feeling that it really has ‘something.’"
As it turns out, the origin of the Serenity Prayer is also uncertain...
Back to the think Think think, right side up or upside down, what does it mean?
Here is an explanation that I like, by soberjulie. (located at a soberrecovery.com forum page)
"Have you ever sneaked a couple of thinks?
Im laffin like a crazy girl over here.
This slogan, for me is simple.
The first think(a small one on the slogan poster) is allowed for yesterday....I pull out that think and use it to help others, when I need a remember when, I dont go back and marinate in yesterday...but sometimes I 'need' a small think in that department, lest I forget what got me here.
The last think (also a small one on the slogan poster) is for tomorrow. Yeah, I live in the moment, just for today and all that....but I have a mortgage payment due on Friday. Its okay for me to think about that and make sure the money is there. It is totally ok to make plans and set goals for myself that are not in today.
The middle think (the biggest one on the slogan poster) is for today.
It reminds me to live in the moment.
Today is all I really know that I have.
Just my interpretation."
The Big Book, page 86, the second paragraph should also put the think Think think issue to rest.
It says, “On awakening let us think about the 24 hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonesty or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives." 1
"God.. Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and Wisdom to know the difference." Amen
1 from: ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS(The Big Book) The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered From Alcoholism - Third Edition - New York, 1976. Chapter 6 "Into Action", Page 86.
It's already better.
|Posted on February 14, 2015 at 7:25 AM||comments (0)|
The reason I make it to AA meetings is not to be around and involved with people. I came into AA with a fear of people as it says in the AA promises.
I then kept coming to the meetings regularly, every day for quite awhile. I was convinced there was a solution in the program because I was not drinking. My higher power was helping me accomplish what seemed extremely unlikely. I was not-drinking. It was getting easier day by day to not-drink. Without the meetings and the reminders of my alcoholic nature I struggle more. I start living a day at a time struggling to stay a step ahead of circumstances that could lead me to a drink.
There have been times when it seemed easy to just live life as it is and stay sober. There have also been times when I have felt overwhelmed by stress and circumstances and I am grateful to whatever means there are that have kept me sober through these times.
I have much less fear of people as I once had. I assumed that the promise "Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us." meant I would like people more. I have not found this to be true. I have found that sober, I am better able to stay one step ahead of the authorities. By that, I mean you people, my people and those people. I feel more confident that I can get by, that I can survive.
Occasionally, I find an acquaintence, companion or co-worker on this journey that is not one of those people. Those people that won't hold the elevator for a few seconds, those people that are constantly changing their tune to antagonistic, those people that demand.
As I am reminded of my alcoholic nature, I stay one step ahead of those authorities by accepting them, with serenity and love.
|Posted on February 7, 2015 at 5:05 AM||comments (0)|
Keep A-Goin'! by Frank Lebby Stanton
Ef you strike a thorn or rose, Keep a-goin'!
Ef it hails, or ef it snows, Keep a-goin'!
'Taint no use to sit an' whine,
When the fish ain't on yer line;
Bait yer hook an' keep a-tryin'—
When the weather kills yer crop, Keep a-goin'!
When you tumble from the top, Keep a-goin'!
S'pose you're out of every dime,
Bein' so ain't any crime;
Tell the world you're feelin' prime—
When it looks like all is up, Keep a-goin'!
Drain the sweetness from the cup, Keep a-goin'!
See the wild birds on the wing,
Hear the bells that sweetly ring,
When you feel like sighin' sing—
Keep a-goin'! -
I don't have to travel around the country to round-ups and conferences and conventions unless I really want to.
I don't have to move up the ranks of AA service hierarchy unless I really want to.
I don't have to go to four or five meetings a day unless I really want to.
I don't have to wear all sorts of AA clothing or jewelry or put AA slogans on my car bumper unless I really want to.
I don't have to put myself in stressful, depressing, unhealthy situations unless I really want to.
I don't really want to ever take the first drink. I don't really ever want to take the first drink, You know.
Some times it's hard to decide what I really want to do.
I am 100% sure that I do not really want to ever take that first drink.
|Posted on January 31, 2015 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
It just might be our core dilemma. We might be caught in our own individual Groundhog Day, repeatedly repeating the same habitual habits, asking ourselves, “What happened last night?” It seems that it takes a lot of repeated repetitions to begin to finally convince us that our search to reclaim some past euphoria is never, ever going to happen. We might be clenching and clinging to our old patterns with such tenacity because we believe that we are somehow normal in our drinking habits and that life would be unbearable without alcohol. Lacking any real connection to a Higher Power, self provides the only ground and the only hope we have. We don’t give up easily. Around we go on the wheel of life and death. In that situation, where is there any freedom, any real selfhood? We are desperate to get out of here. We try bad relationships, cars, trips, pills or potions to escape our doom. We might try sobriety, but are not able to handle the normal stresses of life while sober. Nothing seems to work because as they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Even so, as days and days and days go on, the insanity and the frustration begin to wear ourselves down and just giving up is a consideration. We can just surrender and begin to find freedom.
And the next morning Phil wakes up (once again) to Sonny and Cher, but now he is beginning to change.
"And the publican, standing at-a-distance, was not willing even to lift-up his eyes to heaven, but was striking his chest, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’"
Meetings For Saturday January 31, 2015
Almost Prefect Group
DRMC Hospital-East — Maple Ave. DuBois, PA
Open Discussion Meeting
Big Book Group handicap accessible
Grace Lutheran Church — 406 Pine Street Curwensville, PA
Big Book Study Meeting -
NOTE: From late spring till early fall this meeting is held at Bilgers Rocks.
The Presbyterian Church — 106 East. Union Street Punxsutawney, PA 15767
Open Discussion Saturday, Big Book Study Wednesday
|Posted on January 24, 2015 at 6:30 AM||comments (0)|
Expectedly or unexpectedly, here comes the idea that it would be nice to have a drink of alcohol. The Idea is not a good idea. Taking a drink is an insane, terrible thing to do. The idea is a terrible idea. The idea goes away when I get to an AA meeting. That is why I like being at AA meetings. It is a good idea to get to an AA meeting. I must be vigilent about ideas.
The Big Book describes alcohol as a subtle foe.
"It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee - Thy will (not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.
Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further and that means more action.
Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn't be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly. It works, if we have the proper attitude and work at it. It would be easy to be vague about this matter. Yet, we believe we can make some definite and valuable suggestions.
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.
On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while."
Alcoholics Anonymous pp.85-86
|Posted on January 17, 2015 at 4:30 AM||comments (0)|
One popular European legend had it that a white stoat would die before allowing its pure white coat to be besmirched. When it was being chased by hunters, it would supposedly turn around and give itself up to the hunters rather than risk soiling itself.
Malo mori quam fcedari. Better die than be sullied was the motto on the ermine. The old fancy was that if an ermine were surrounded by mud it would rather suffer itself to die than defile it's fur.
Once, a long or short time ago, a hunter while hunting located the small hole opening of the den of the Stoat ermine. Being a smart hunter, he set his hounds on the scent trail of the white weasel and covered up the hole location with various manners of filth.
The ermine was out sunning himself on a rock when he heard hounds approaching. He scurried off to his lair as the hounds began to chase.
The weasel made it quickly to his doorway but stopped at once, encountering the filth and stench. Immediately the ermine turned and fought against the hounds to a vicious death. The ermine weasel chose death before letting his beautiful fur to be desecrated.
He was willing to remain pure at all costs. He went to any lengths.
|Posted on January 10, 2015 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
I was analyzing and picking apart AA one day and the thought came to me that since the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking and I'm already stopped that i don't need to belong to AA anymore. When I analyze and justify things, I'm told "call your sponsor." Working with others is in the book but not sponsorship, I analyze and justify that. I find that its all very simple if I simply take suggestions and follow directions. It's not about rocket surgery or brain science. It's all about staying sober, being a good person, not a disgusting wet drunk burden on society. I do not want to be that.
Anyone can belong in AA and anyone who worked on the steps and has willingness can sponsor others.
WHAT IS SPONSORSHIP?
AA began with sponsorship. When Bill W. was only a few months sober, he was stricken with a powerful urge to drink. This thought came to him: "You need another alcoholic just as much as he needs you." Bill W. found Dr Bob, who had been trying desperately and unsuccessfully to stop drinking, and out of their common need, A.A. was born. Dr. Bob in turn safeguarded his own sobriety by sponsoring countless other alcoholics. In AA the sponsor and sponsored meet as equals, just as Bill & Bob did. The process of sponsoring is this: An alcoholic who has made some progress in the recovery program shares his experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through AA. We need constant & close support as we begin to "live sober" lives.
HOW IS A SPONSOR CHOSEN?
We select an AA member with whom we feel comfortable about sharing our struggles and ask him to be our sponsor. This is generally someone further along in recovery and willing to help others. A good sponsor probably should be at least 6 months away from his last drink - & should be enjoying their sobriety. Our sobriety is greatly strengthened when we give it away. Men should choose men as sponsors & women should choose women.
WHAT DOES A SPONSOR DO?
The main activity of a sponsor is to help the newcomer to stay sober. They do this by sharing their own personal experience. They are not doctors or professionals. The sponsor will often suggest that the newcomer begin to work on the 12 steps of AA beginning with seeing that they are "powerless over alcohol" and that their lives are unmanageable. They can not stop drinking by their "own willpower". The sponsor encourages and helps the newcomer to attend many AA meetings and introduces them to other recovering alcoholics. They do not impose their personal views on the alcoholic. They may help the alcoholic understand triggers for their slips.
WHO CAN BE A SPONSOR?
An alcoholic that has remained sober for at least 6 months and has a desire to spend time and help a newcomer get started in AA and recovery. Generally it is someone who has worked through at least the first 5 steps of AA. They are volunteers who are not paid.
HOW DOES A SPONSOR HELP THE ALCOHOLIC?
They get together at least once a week, often before or after an AA meeting for tea and whenever there is a special need. The sponsor shares parts of their own story that will help the newcomer. The sponsor does not demand or control the newcomer. The single purpose is to help alcoholics with their drinking. It is not to develop social friendships and to do social things together. The sponsor does not lend money nor need to help the alcoholic to get a job. The sponsor does not impose their beliefs on the alcoholic.
Tea? This description of sponsorship suggests tea. 1.
Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world. T’ien Yiheng
A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards. A.A. Milne
There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea. ~Bernard-Paul Heroux
|Posted on January 3, 2015 at 7:10 AM||comments (0)|
In this state, the liquor stores were once called State Stores but are now called Wine and Spirits Shoppes. I notice these stores sometimes but I don't think I should even notice them or the Beer Stop at all. Why is liquor called "spirits"?. I don't really want to know why but this specific topic was discussed at the alcathon on Thursday.
A non-alcoholic person may figure that it is called that because it puts you in "high spirits" if you have just the right amount.
So what does the internet have to offer about the etymology of spirits this week?
Alcohol comes from the Arabic "al-kuhl" which was the name of a body-eating spirit. This is basically what is felt, a numbing of senses when drinking. And as you are being numbed, your insides are being eaten away slowly i.e, the name "rot-gut" for cheap liquor. "Al-ghawl" is the origin of ‘ghoul’ in English, said to be another word for spirit. Ghouls,(now called zombies) were also folkloric monsters that ate human flesh.
When Arab alchemists' ingested alcohol their senses deadened and they named the substance according to its "body-taking" qualities. Knowing this, European speakers who understood its etymology coined the use of the term "spirits" for alcohol. Alcohol is able to numb the body somewhat so that an olde-time doctor could amputate or remove a bullet after a patient took a long draw from a whiskey bottle. Alcohol can in greater quantities produce blackouts. That's when the control of your mind and body are completely taken away. Blacked out or not being able to recall anything that happened or what you did when you were drunk or why the bed was wet because your brain and body were out of control is the general unrecalled experience.
Then in a few years perhaps blood starts appearing in the bathroom without any apparent reason other than the fact that a solvent is eating away at your internal organs They are not reacting normally due to all the alcohol that youv'e poured down your throat for years and years.
Spirit comes from Latin ‘spiritus’ which means breath, then meant the essence or non-physical part. A distillation scientist might say it's called this because distilling mash into strong alcohol releases the "spirit" or essence of the beer or mash and condenses it into strong alcohol or spirits that evaporate if you leave the bottle open. When making spirits the fermented product is boiled because the ethyl alcohol (ethanol) boil at a lower temperature. This process separates it as a vapor. The process is repeated for liquor that's distilled multiple times till the desired alcohol by volume is reached.
What of the etymology for the word yeast? Yeast is from the Old English/Dutch/German (Saxon) word 'gist' or 'gyst'. Meaning 'visitor', and sometimes 'unseen visitor'. We also get the words ghost and gas from 'gyst'. The first beer and wine makers may have had no idea that the micro-organism yeast was the cause of fermentation and attributed the fermentation to ghosts and spirits rather than the wild yeast in the air that usually caused the desired results.
|Posted on December 31, 2014 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
Thankful People Are Happy People.
In the year 2003, there was a mental health experiment to determine whether grateful people are generally happier than people who are not; “Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation Of Gratitude And Subjective Well-Being In Daily Life.”
The researchers studied three subgroups of people in three different experiments. One third of the subgroups counted and listed their blessings. One third listed annoyances, and the other third wrote about life-neutral events.
Two experiments were conducted using university undergraduate students. The first experiment involved 201 original undergraduate participants (147 women and 54 men) enrolled in a health psychology class in a large university. Of these, nine were dropped from the analysis because of incomplete data, leaving a total of 192 participants. The second experiment involved 166 undergraduates (125 women and 41 men). Of these, nine were dropped from the analysis because of incomplete data, leaving a total of 157 participants.
The first two sets of experimentees were blessed by receiving credit for the experimental learning component of the course. A third experiment was conducted with 65 people (44 women and 21 men) with Neuro-Muscular Diseases. They were blessed with twenty dollars for filling out twenty one daily questionnaire forms and fifteen dollars for filling out less questionnaires. Virtually everyone in the third experiment filled out all twenty one questionnaire forms.
The researchers found that the subgroups that counted blessings (wrote from a grateful outlook) reported higher positive effect in psychological well-being and were more likely to pursue social relationships in all three experiments.
Those findings may explain why AA gratitude meetings are popular. When people talk about the blessings of sobriety they are reminded of their negative past. Going back to that alcoholic life is less likely when it is in the forefront of the mind. That is a blessing of the AA program.
Yes, the study found evidence that "counting one’s blessings” leads to enhanced psychological and physical functioning. After ten weeks of writing or completing the 21 questionnaires, the subgroups that wrote down blessings tended to be more optimistic about the coming week, had less physical symptoms of illness or depression, exercised more and had an overall better life as a whole than the subgroups that wrote down their neutral life events. The subgroups that wrote down their neutral life events, in turn tended to be more optimistic about the coming week, had less physical symptoms of illness or depression, exercised more and had an overall better life as a whole than the subgroups that wrote down their problems and annoyances.
It is therefore my conclusion that practicing an attitude of gratitude is good for health and happiness.
|Posted on December 20, 2014 at 5:35 AM||comments (0)|
Have you ever been to a "As Bill Sees It" meeting? In the "As Bill Sees It" meeting , the chair person chooses a topic and some pages to read in the "As Bill Sees It" book. Then we share and drink coffee. We take a break for the seventh tradition, then we share some more and close the meeting in a nice way. Before the meeting, I find a chair with a book that is not falling apart. The "As Bill Sees It" books that hold up better have a blue ribbon place holder string attached in the binding. On p. 51 of "As Bill Sees It" is a "As Bill Sees It" example for the topic of Faith. It can be found using the Alphabetic index under the topic of Aloneness, in the A section.
The Coming of Faith
In my own case, the foundation stone of freedom from fear is that of faith: a faith that, despite all worldly appearances to the contrary, causes me to believe that I live in a universe that makes sense.
To me, this means a belief in a Creator who is all power, justice, and love; a God who intends for me a purpose, a meaning, and a destiny to grow, however little and haltingly, toward His own likeness and image. Before the coming of faith I had lived as an alien in a cosmos that too often seemed both hostile and cruel. In it there could be no inner security for me.
<< << << >> >> >>
"When I was driven to my knees by alcohol, I was made ready to ask for the gift of faith. And all was changed. Never again, my pains and problems notwithstanding, would I experience my former desolation. I saw the universe to be lighted by God's love; I was alone no more."
1. GRAPEVINE, JANUARY 1962
2. LETTER, 1966
|Posted on December 13, 2014 at 6:25 AM||comments (0)|
We, of ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, know thousands of men and women who were once just as hopeless as Bill. Nearly all have recovered. They have solved the drink problem.
We are average Americans. All sections of this country and many of its occupations are represented, as well as many political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds. We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful. We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade the vessel from steerage to Captain's table. Unlike the feelings of the ship's passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined.
The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.
p. 17 ALCOHLICS ANONYMOUS
The common solution:
Remember that we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-that One is God. May you find Him now! Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him,praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
pp. 58-60 ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
The twelve steps are the common solution.