There is plenty to do and much needs to be done. Here is the link to some service positions:
When we first get dried out, we will experience dreams where we are drinking or feeling extremely blasted beyond control. This is normal. I used to have dreams that I was being forced to drink that which I did not want. I know! Even in my dreams, I wasn’t responsible, and I was the victim! I am sure you can relate! I consider these dreams freebies: all the memories and thrills; but none of the guilt, shame, or remorse. So, relax. It is just your subconscious in overtime.
Sometimes, we can learn from these dreams as well. They can be wake up calls to get more active in AA, to do more service work, or perhaps let up on caffeinated beverages by noon, so that we can sleep better at night. I have also been able to recall things for my 4th and 5th step inventory that in real time and when wide awake, I could not recall. That was due to black out drinking. The brain has a funny way to tease things out, that we would rather not remember having done. So, be kind and gentle with yourself. Enjoy the freebie, but try to learn from what is revealed.
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.
It is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar. ~Anais Nin
I have been told, and I am sure most new people in AA have been told this as well, that all I have to change is just only little thing: myself! The seventh step encourages us to draw closer to our original, genuine self…the untarnished, sober, and in your face self. The trick is to figure out who we are as individuals. The being that came into this earth came in naked and alone. It is a soul searching journey to figure out who, what, why, etc. while we are here. And, guess what. We leave the same way we came in: naked and alone.
Meantime, being sober gives us a unique opportunity that many folks never get. While others a busy living their lives, stuck in the same old rut, and trying to make a living; we get to examine and improve ourselves and our lives. We get to figure out why we are here, whether or not we believe in G.O.D., trust something bigger than ourselves, let go of that which we cannot handle alone, clean out our old heavy garbage, assess who we are and what we are willing to change, make amends so we can live without regret, keep our side of the street clean, pray and meditate for guidance, and work with others. What a deal! It is a small price to pay; and just one little thing that will pay off for the rest of our years.
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!
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.
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.