LIGHTENING THE BURDEN

AUGUST 28

Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now. . . . the dark past is . . . the key to life and happiness for others.                                                                                                                                 ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 124

Since I have been sober, I have been healed of many pains: deceiving my partner, deserting my best friend, and spoiling my mother’s hopes for my life. In each case someone in the program told me of a similar problem, and I was able to share what happened to me. When my story was told, both of us got up with lighter hearts.

Alcoholics Anonymous World Service Inc.. Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members (Kindle Locations 1752-1756). A.A. World Services, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

My past has become just that. However, my past has also become my greatest asset. Not only for me, but for the people who have come behind me seeking to get well. Once again I have recovered from that hopelessness. The despair, the shame, the untruths, and the best part of it all is that I can be of use to others and all it takes is to share my experience, strength and hope. Those that get well will see how important their past is to help others someday. How they can help someone feel like their lives are worth living. When I used to get up and share at meetings, I was petrified. I knew though it was important to my sobriety and if I didn’t do it who knew might have happened. As I told my story (I told of how it used to be, and how it was now) and because it was my story it flowed. I could see men and women in the audience looking at me, they were shaking their heads up and down. I knew exactly what that meant – they related, they had gone through, felt and done, said all the same things I did. Wow, I wasn’t alone. I thought I was the only one!! I wasn’t! I was becoming useful. I remain useful today. I am honest about who and what I am and all that I had to get to get to where I am today. The key to my life today is that I am available to others that need my help. That is what makes me truly happy.

24 Hours A Day

A.A. Thought for the Day

“We must continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. We should grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter; it should continue for our life time. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We must not rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve, contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.” Am I checking my spiritual condition daily?

Meditation for the Day

Happiness cannot be sought directly; it is a by-product of love and service. Service is a law of our being. With love in your heart, there is always some service to your fellow-man. A life of power and joy and satisfaction is built on love and service. A man who hates or is too selfish is going against the law of his own being. He cuts himself off from God and his fellow-man. Little acts of love and encouragement, of service and help, erase the rough places of life and help to make the path smooth. If we do these things, we cannot help having our share of happiness.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may give my share of love and service. I pray that I may not grow weary in my attempts to do the right thing.

Anonymous. Twenty-Four Hours A Day (pp. 98-99). Martino Fine Books. Kindle Edition.

My Thought… If I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, I am checking my spiritual condition daily. Hard not to. I correct my mistakes as they happen, hate to live in pain and besides, misery is optional. My resentments and fears and selfishness crop up o me. I push one down, up pops another one…not every day but often enough. I am vigilant about asking God to remove any defects of character that rear their ugly heads. I can not “rest on my laurels”, it is an every day job to watch for signs of my alcoholism trying to beat me. It is not as hard today as it was in the beginning. That is because I have practiced the principles in my life for a while now. I can see things coming faster, and others also reminf=d me of when I am off the beam. I am NOT CURED OF ALCOHOLISM. I have a daily reprieve contingent on my activity in and around AA and the principles that have led me out of the hopelessness.

My Meditation…In the AA group I began my journey on Service was not going to be a choice. My home group was extremely service oriented. We held 3 meetings a week in our group (Big Book, Step Meeting and a Speakers Meeting). The other nights of the week we were out speaking or attending other meetings.  It was what I needed, and I had no idea. But the old timers did…..

My Prayer…I pray to continue to do the things I know will help me and my fellow-man. And, I never, ever tire of doing the right thing – which be USEFUL!!

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