In Step *8, pg. 82 of the 12 X 12 it promises this: “It is the beginning of the end of our isolation from our fellows and G.O.D”. I came into the program as an proud, card carrying agnostic. It took several years and some very strong sponsorship that insisted on G.O.D. = good orderly direction (like praying, meditating, meetings, eating breakfast, getting to bed at a reasonable hour, service, etc.) to set me on a spiritual path. I do believe now in a power greater than myself. It is Mother Nature or the universe. Those are constants that preexisted me and will be here in some shape or form far past when I depart. There is a rhyme and a rhythm that I can depend on, and a concreteness that I can understand.
As a loner, I appreciate my alone time, but I do depend on fellowship and G.O.D. when I get stuck or cannot move beyond a certain issue or personal conflict. I like to call my sponsor daily or text, just to hear another human being. I usually call someone new in AA and an older timer daily. Service is my main thing in recovery. I like to keep my mouth and hands busy in productive things. I do a daily 10-12, pray, and meditate (an active form) daily. My recovery pace is as active (if not more) now than it ever was. In long term recovery, it is essential to keep up our efforts, lest we become complacent. Keep doing daily those things that got you sober in the first place.
There is plenty to do and much needs to be done. Here is the link to some service positions:
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ~ Gandhi
If you are wondering how you can be self-supporting on a limited budget, let me introduce you to the wonderful concept of service to others. Service is the rent we pay to dwell on this earth. Each time you give service, you open your spiritual world to growth potential a little bit more. It also widens your spiritual community.
I would not have met all the wonderful people in AA from all over the world and from backgrounds and religions completely unlike my own. Service can be as simple as making coffee, putting out the literature, leading a meeting, or just staying late to help clean up. It is all that easy and simple. Each hour spent in service is one more hour of sobriety. Give freely what you were freely given and do service.
The key word for tradition #7 is responsibility. With responsibility comes freedom. We give back freely that which we were given freely. In my experience, the alcoholics who stay in AA are those who get involved in service on day #1. Service can be as simple as making coffee, putting out literature, greeting others, or speaking at the meetings. Service keeps our minds, hands, and mouths busy; so we cannot find time to self-destruct or to be destructive toward others. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea? Through the steps and traditions, we are promise a life of sane and useful purposefulness.
I will take that any day in exchange for feeling depressed, anxious, undeserving, useless, and self-pitying. Most alcoholics come in with a whole lifetime of not belonging; and feeling useless and not trusted. We learn quickly this stuff that includes being apart of, unconditional love and acceptance, and trust. Heck, people offer us their phone numbers when most of our closest relatives won’t take our calls. Isn’t that something? Recovering people in AA offer us solace, love, and compassion when most of us have been disowned or kicked out of society. What a gift this program offers. What a deal. And, all we have to do is stay sober and give back freely what we were given freely. Such a deal!
In tradition 7 it suggests that we are self-supporting. We are asked to contribute; not to save AA or make AA richer, rather to help meetings will stay strong and stay opened for the next generations of desperate drunks who are seeking recovery. We give back freely, what we were freely given. That brings up the matter of how we can contribute when we have a limit on resources.
One thing that some of you may share in common with me is a limited financial capability. We are concerned that we cannot afford the literature, or that we do not give as much as others do. We wonder if we are equal to others. We fear that perhaps those who contribute more should have more say so. Fear not, service is another way to contribute. We may not have a lot of cash to give, but being of service is of equal value. Someone needs to lead meetings, make coffee, set up chairs/tables, speak, help new people, etc. There is plenty of work to do. The next time you go to your meeting, show up early and greet people, and ask what you can do for the group. Believe me, you will be freer and more equal. Be apart of not apart from.
WHO: Everyone who is interested in service work, fellowship, fun AND helping our DSM Intergroup & Central Office!! Come one, come all!
WHAT: Intergroup Banquet Planning Committee Meeting
WHERE: Central Office 1620 Pleasant St Des Moines
WHEN: Sunday, June 11 @ 11:00am – noon
WHY: Great service opportunity to help plan & participate in the Banquet. It is the single annual fundraiser event for our Des Moines Intergroup & Central Office!!
QUESTIONS: Call Vicky 515-360-1071
Service is the rent we pay to be on this Earth!
We give back freely what we were freely given.