Given that this is election season, you will see many people advertising their favorite candidate on the bumpers of their cars. In fact, there are many other bumper sticker categories. Some advertise a particular point of view on a controversial political position. Others through pictorial representation show how many family members and pets are in the family of the car being viewed. Then of course we have humorous bumper stickers about family and life situations. Cars even get their own category with a bumper sticker announcing that the car has climbed a particular mountain road.
On occasion you will also see a 12 step bumper sticker like, “easy does it” or “let go and let G-d”. The driver wants you to know that they are a member of a 12 step program, or perhaps just likes the sentiment of the slogan. For those of us in the program, we think it would be wiser to place the sticker on the dashboard as well. Because we are never cured of our addictive tendencies, it would serve us well to have a constant reminder of a piece of wisdom from the program. Spreading the word about the fellowship is a wonderful sentiment. However, we must always remember that we have a daily reprieve and must do everything in our power to maintain our sobriety.
Personal Reflection: What do I do to keep it green?
Many philosophers say that we are born with a blank slate. By this they mean that our lives are not pre-determined. This gives us the opportunity to craft the life that we want. What a fantastic notion. We can live a life that allows us to fulfill a destiny unlike any other. There is also a down side to being born with that blank slate. Our lives do not come with an instruction manual. Those pages were left out of the birth and growth process. Without that manual, some of us turned to alcohol, drugs or food to solve the daily challenges of life. When we final gave up on that solution, we turned to the fellowship. Luckily for us, we now do have an instruction manual. It is called “The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous”. Within its pages are guidelines for living a sober, productive and happy life. As many of us have discovered, reading the book is not enough. It’s critical that we put into practice all of it’s instructions and principles. When we find that our life is not working for us, we need to go back to that manual for direction. A good starting point is to find a step or a slogan that we can utilize to deal with our current problem.
Personal Reflection: what step or slogan do I turn to most often?
Walk into any 12 step room and you are almost guaranteed to see a collection of small signs. This is true for every single branch of the fellowship; AA to NA to OA to DA et. al. Go to a meeting anywhere in the world and you will see the same signs. They might be in French or Dutch or Hebrew or Japanese; but they all carry the same messages. Some of these include, One Day At A Time; Easy Does It and Think (upside down of course).
When we first came into the program these signs were a perfect prescription of information and wisdom. Quite frankly, for many of us, we had been talked to death by well intentioned friends and family members. At that point in our lives, we needed to keep it simple. Short aphorisms were easy to remember when we needed to draw upon them. As we gained some time; we noticed that the signs were still in the rooms, and that their messages had become part of our vocabulary. More importantly, they had become part of our belief systems. They were a compass which guided us through some of our more difficult days. They invariably helped us find true north and to find our correct path.
Personal Reflection: Which slogan gives me the most sustenance?