Once we have spoken our minds, however, the 9th tradition tells us to relax and let our Higher Power take charge of the meeting. We find that we cannot force our will on the AA group, no matter how right it may seem to us. ~ AA wisdom
Some person wiser than me once counseled me to let go of my expectations of the program as a whole, meetings, and the AA structure as a whole. She told me that it is not responsibility to make AA last or survive the many changes and people that come through those doors. Bend with the breeze, or be broken by it. From time to time, I have to be reminded of this. If you have been around as long or longer than me, you will have noticed that new people bring in new ideas. Not all ideas are right.
I remember one gal came in and immediately campaigned and won her right to change the wording of the How It Works! Guess what: she went back to drinking and the group recovered and prospered via the experience. Over the next few days, I will submit some tradition #9 questions for consideration that you may want to use in your meetings:
- Does our meeting support our leaders and service providers?
- Are we critical of those who are giving service and suspicious of their motives?
- Are we mature enough to take responsibility for the well-being of AA and our own recovery programs. Take some time to survey your groups and help others embrace the traditions as that glue that binds us to each other and to AA.
Each group is autonomous, but they cannot thrive and grow without the assistance of their intergroup, district or world service offices. It reminds me of the old phrase: no man is an island. We are social creatures who need the support and compassion of others to help us feel a part of something bigger than our own unsteady willpower. We need their guidance. We need their resources. We need their experience, strength and hope. Otherwise we are ships in the night that may run aground or bump into each other.
Today, our intergroup is meeting at 1 PM at the AA Central Office 1620 Pleasant Street http://www.aadesmoines.org/contact.htm.
The District meets at 3 PM at the White House, 1400 Penn Avenue. http://whitehouseaa.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
There are many service opportunities to be fulfilled. Once you become involved, your circle of spiritual support opens up and widens. There is no reason to wrestle the tiger by yourself. Your meeting needs to have a vote on how AA functions. If it has no representative, then I encourage you to step into those empty shoes, register as a rep today, and bring home the information imparted, so that your group can grow and blossom. Be the voice of recovery that the next newcomers need to hear. Be the peace and sanity you wish in this world. It begins with you.
It’s not easy to find happiness in ourselves,
and it is not possible to find it elsewhere. ~ Agnes Repple
In using tradition #7 we can be more autonomous, each voice counts equally, and no one person or outside group can control how the meeting or service group functions. We are truly free. When one person or an outside entity seeks to control by running the purse strings, we all suffer. It is very much like booze. We bring booze into our lives as the answer to all of our problems and as a house guest. Pretty soon the guest becomes the not welcomed, demanding occupant. It soon becomes the head of household, followed quickly as the lord and master. Pretty soon, we are out of hearth and home with nothing left to call our own.
We lose our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by allowing any person, thing, entity, or outside institution/group to run our lives and our meetings and control our proverbial pocketbook. In order to be autonomous in thought and act, we need to have an equal stake in what is decided, be an equal in what we contribute, and give as much service as the next person. Without this autonomy, it is impossible to be completely free. We are now adults, so the victim game is no longer needed. This program is a program of freedom and choice. Choose autonomy and thereby choose freedom.