Faith, to be sure, is necessary, but faith alone can avail nothing. We can have faith, yet keep God out of our lives. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 34
As a child I constantly questioned the existence of God. To a “scientific thinker” like me, no answer could withstand a thorough dissection, until a very patient woman finally said to me, “You must have faith.” With that simple statement, the seeds of my recovery were sown! Today, as I practice my recovery—cutting back the weeds of alcoholism—slowly I am letting those early seeds of faith grow and bloom. Each day of recovery, of ardent gardening, brings the Higher Power of my understanding more fully into my life. My God has always been with me through faith, but it is my responsibility to have the willingness to accept His presence. I ask God to grant me the willingness to do His will.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Service Inc.. Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members (Kindle Locations 1577-1581). A.A. World Services, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I had Faith. I went to Sunday school every Sunday as a kid. I believed. I prayed…all the way through my teen years and as a young adult. Where and when did I stop? Not sure I ever did, just think I started using prayer in a different way. I believed and prayed but did not honestly believe, if that makes any sense. So when I came into the program of AA and started to truly want to get “weller” I had no problem in the God thing or praying. This made things somewhat easier, I didn’t have that struggle I watched so many people go through. The saying that echoes in my head today from back then and to this day, “Don’t drink, go to meetings and pray!” Today it is mostly PRAY, the obsession to drink has left me. Day by day I have learned and continue to learn and grow understanding God has always been with me and continues to be with me EVERY Day of my life. I accepted God and was able to continue on getting “weller” by continuing with the AA programme. Simply put, I was told, “just continue on with what you have been doing.” However, in order to do God’s will at this point I had to get well myself, and remain well in order to help others, which is God’s will for me. I also started using the Serenity Pray, also a big part of my day now. I was taught I could start my day over anytime.
24 Hours a Day
Thought for the Day
We in A.A. are offering a kind of psychological programme as well as a spiritual one. First, a man must be mentally able to receive it. He must have made up his mind that he wants to quit drinking and he must be willing to do something about it. His confidence must be obtained. We must show him that we are his friends and really desire to help him. When we have his confidence, he will listen to us. Then, the A.A. fellowship is a kind of group therapy. A newcomer needs the fellowship of other alcoholics who understand his problem, because they have had it themselves. The individual must learn to re-educate his mind. He must learn to think differently. Do I do my best to give mental help?
Meditation for the Day
“And this is life eternal, that they may know Thee.” It is the flow of the life eternal through spirit, mind and body that cleanses, heals, restores and renews. Seek conscious contact with God more and more each day. Make God an abiding presence during the day. Be conscious of His spirit helping you. All that is done without God’s spirit is passing. All that is done with God’s spirit is life eternal.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be in the stream of eternal life. I pray that I may be cleansed and healed by the Eternal Spirit.
Anonymous. Twenty-Four Hours A Day (p. 88). Martino Fine Books. Kindle Edition.
The psychological aspect of my recovery was simple. I had a mind that would not and could not function right. My way of thinking was and at times can still be referred to as “stinking thinking.” Everyone experiences “stinking thinking” occasionally, but if it occurs too regularly it will be harmful. In the beginning for me it was the only way I knew how to think, not it is when I may at times revert back to old patterns of my way of thinking. I had made up my mind to stop drinking, wasn’t that enough? Nope. I had to learn how to change my way of thinking and that meant I was going to have to learn how to live a whole different way. I became willing to do something, don’t drink and go to meetings. Also become active in a group and listen to what they had to offer, their experience, strength and hope. In time they gained my confidence, and in turn because I did what they did, I was able to gain the confidence of newcomers because I was no longer where they where, but knew exactly hoe they felt because I used to be just like them.
Sometimes people have said to me about my AA experience, you have been “brain washed.”
I look at them and say, “why not the brain I was working with was no good anyway, it needed a washing.”
really won’t pretend to say I meditated with the exact words that are in each meditation section. My meditation as a newcomer consisted of sitting somewhere alone for a few minutes and trying to connect with God, my Higher Power. I would challenge myself to sit quietly and not veer off thinking about all the “stuff” that was in my mind at any particular moment. I tried to clear my mind. Much of my meditating in my earlier years was repetition of the Serenity Pray. Today I am able to meditate much more effectively. I can focus my mind much better to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. I have learned how to sit quietly, in fact I prefer sitting in the morning in silence and even sometimes I go outside and sit and just listen. Amazing how I have been able to change that aspect of my life. Far cry from being told, “go home and try to sit still and do absolutely nothing for a few minutes.” A few minutes is about all I could handle.
An easy prayer. Just said it and let it go. God heard me, he knew I was trying….