AA Introduces You To A Sponsor……

AA (NA or OA) introduces you to a sponsor……

Many a beginner has protested against the idea of getting a sponsor. They think that once they have put down their drug of choice, everything else will fall into place. What that don’t understand is that it is precisely because of their thinking while active that they ended up in unhealthy and often dangerous situations. Once they humbled themselves and committed to speaking with a sponsor they discovered just how convoluted their thinking was.

The sponsor introduces you to the Steps……

As we began to speak with our sponsor, we realized that he or she was not giving us random advice or opinion. Almost immediately they began to take us through the Steps. We began to discover more and more about ourselves as part of the process. Our sponsor also reminded us that a personal inventory needed to assess our strengths as well as our character defects.

The Steps introduce you to God……

As we worked the Steps there was a recognition that we could not successfully navigate sobriety without assistance. In the past, we had relied on drugs, alcohol, food, people, places and things to assist us. In step 2 we finally surrendered and “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

God introduces you to yourself…..

Over time as we called our sponsor, worked the Steps and called upon our Higher Power something miraculous began to happen. We began to change. Long held resentments were dropped. Owed amends were made. We began to experience the hand of God more and more in our life. Our Higher Power began to reveal to us the possibility of the man or woman we were meant to be.

Personal Reflection: Is more work needed for me to come to know myself?

I’m Not Going To Give Anyone Free Rent In My Head

All of us are familiar with the buttons on our clothes. When we were very young we lacked the manual dexterity to button clothes for ourselves. We were forced to turn to others to help us or to do it for us. That period of needing someone to help us open or close buttons was very short lived. For the vast majority of us it has been a very long time since someone touched our buttons. Well, that’s true at least on the physical level. Emotionally, many of us still allow people to “press our buttons”. There are just certain people that are able to really throw us off balance. They often have the ability to bring out negative attitudes and behaviors that we thought had been put to sleep a long time ago. Not only do they evoke a reaction from us; they seem to have the ability to cause us to enter into a state of rumination. Somehow, we can’t seem to get them out of our head. We find that we are repeatedly priming ourselves with resentments, fears, guilt and other characteristics that we really want to let go of.
Through the program we begin to cultivate acceptance of others. Over time we are not so easily hooked by people who press our buttons. When it does happen, we have a place to go to speak about it and let go of it.

Personal Reflection: Am I still renting space in my head?

I Pray For Longevity Because I Need Time To Correct My Character Defects

Membership in AA, NA or OA is not like being on an installment plan. It’s not as if we put in our months or years of not drinking or drugging and then are suddenly and magically cured. Just the opposite. We recognize that our commitment to the program must be a lifelong one. We say one day at a time regarding abstinence, but this accumulation of “days” must be until we breathe our last breathe. Any other course of action is a prescription for disaster. So many of our fellowship felt they could now handle that one drink, one toke or one sugar hit; and found to their dismay that they were right back where they started from.
Lucky for us this is the case. Since we are committed to working the program for a lifetime, we might actually have a chance of impacting some of our character defects. We have come to accept that defects like anger, fear, shame, guilt and resentment are deeply ingrained within us. To truly significantly alter any of these traits, all of the tools of the program must be utilized. When we falter, rather than giving up in discouragement we acknowledge the defect and make amends where necessary. May we all have a long life so that we can do the necessary personal transformative work.

Personal Reflection: Do I want health and longevity for the right reasons?

You Spot It; You Got It

There is an interesting aspect regarding people in 12 step programs. It seems that many of them are astute observers. You would think that this would be a blessing. Indeed it is, but not in the way you might think. Often what they observe are the failings of others. This one’s a chatterbox, that one is lazy and so on and so forth. Upon deeper analysis we often find an interesting phenomena. Frequently, they are correct in their observation of shortcoming in another. When they look a little deeper at themselves they often find that they exhibit the same weakness of character. Yes it’s true that she is a chatter box, but so is the person who made the observation. It’s almost as if they are impelled to judge those who exhibit the same weaknesses that they possess. This really can be a wonderful tool for self growth. If we do start judging others, we can use this as a signal for self introspection. For example, when I judge someone as a gossip, I can immediately examine myself to see if I possess this characteristic. Hopefully we can be as a good an observer of ourselves as we are of others. As we work this aspect of our program we can also expect a reduction in judgements in general.

Personal Reflection: What shortcomings do I frequently spot in others?