Vocatus Atque non Vocatus Deus Aderit | Deo Duce, Ferro Comitante | Vox Populi, Vox Dei

The World Needs Less Junior Therapists and More Spiritual Mentors
Life is not Relative – There Are Absolute Rights, and Absolute Wrongs

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Deus Gratificavit Nos | 神があなたに彼女のグレースシェッドています | Dios ha Derramado Su Gracia en Ti | God Has Shed Her Grace on Thee

     If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life. What a man can be, he must be. This need we call self-actualization.

--Abraham Maslow

     AA can take you as far as your natural born talents and abilities will go, provided! 
You follow those few simple dictates.

--Jimmy Laffey, The Bay Ridge Group, circa 1994

     Your imagination will be fired.  Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your life lie ahead.

--Alcoholics Anonymous 152:2

     2-Sep-2015 | Happy Wednesday everyone!

     Today has me thinking about the bleak period in the beginning of my journey in AA.  12 and 12's were the order of the day;  Big Books were mentioned mostly as an optional relic of the past, the last refuge of 'the extreme'.  

     The Old Man used to say to me:  'never let anyone read your Big Book for you'.  Perhaps the greatest piece of wisdom he ever conveyed to me.  Why is this?

     One simple reason.  99% of everything I hear in a traditional AA meeting is flat-out wrong.  Somewhere in our history our society has been fairly over-run with group therapy guru's, rehab-speak, cross fellowship solution identification and a multitude of well-meaning non-alcoholics conveying possibly every 'solution' to alcoholism other  than the solution.  'Get a girlfriend', 'join the gym', 'don't get to hungry, angry, lonely, tired' are among of the few empty, meaningless one liners offered me as a spiritual program of action by a host of well meaning, non 'real' non-alcoholics.

     Perhaps the greatest lie of all, and I heard it again and again, was:  'the only thing that AA promises us if that we don't pick up the first drink we can't get drunk'.  This is so outrageously incorrect on so many levels we shall save it for another discussion.  Suffice it to say though that I wanted MORE! I sensed MORE!  I craved MORE!  There had to be more to life than suffering from one dreary dry day to another;  my white knuckles ached at the prospect of fighting that next drink one bleary day at a time - forever.

     Eventually I drank again, thank God I drank again!  Now, I can't blame the disease carriers;  surely somewhere along the way I heard the actual message of hope;  I just wasn't ready to hear it. However, beaten into the proverbial state of reasonableness, I 'became as willing to listen as only the dying can be.

     When I was fortunate enough to have a moment of Grace when what I pray was my last drink, the man that came to me didn't ask me how I felt about God, the program of AA, prayer - or anything at all for that matter.  He didn't ask because he knew all my attitudes and outlooks were soiled through the dark, dreary lens of alcoholism.   Because he was a man 'armed with the facts', he knew precisely how to treat my alcoholism, and rapidly at that.  He taught me about the 'two baskets'. He used to say:  'kid - put all your problems in a basket;  your homelessness, joblessness, loneliness, whatever, put it all in a basket;  now shove it to one side and forget about.  Don't talk about it, certainly not an AA meeting, just forget about it.  Now, put a second basket directly in front of you and fill it with all things AA:  meetings, stepwork, service, helping others, etc., and focus and work ONLY on that AA basket, and watch God magically empty your problems basket.

     Sounds insane, right?  Well, to the untreated alcoholic it does, to be sure.  But to my great surprise, the problems basket began to empty;  slowly at first, then rapidly, and always in direct proportion to the effort I put into my AA basket.

     Then after about five years of this an amazing thing happened;  whereas in my first five years problems seemed to keep showing up in my life for no real reason, now opportunity began to show up.  You see, I was to discover that when one puts all their energy into working the full AA basket which is nothing more really than helping God's kids, - following Her dictates - that she diverts so much POWER into our lives to help those kids that there is ALWAYS an abundance of it left over to start directing it - under Her loving gaze - into achieving all those positive, heretofore impossible goals in my life I had long ago given up on.

     Because of twenty one years of working my 'AA Basket', not only is my 'Problems Basket' COMPLETELY EMPTY, but I am fully actualized;  every dream and prayer I've ever had has come true;  I WANT FOR NOTHING.  Yet I still keep plugging away at that AA basket, trying to help God's kids, for I have learned perhaps the greatest of all lifes' truth, in and out of AA, which is:  I can only be happy if I am selflessly giving to others.  If I try to help you to get what you want, God makes sure I get what I want, provided my dreams are not selfish and self serving.

     What a wonderful life we have in AA!  I am so overpaid.  Thank you for my life.

     Yours in love and service,

--COG, 1st. Class | Megan D., Editor in Chief

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Welcome as a witness to a fools journey out of the darkness. I welcome all tidings - you are all my teachers on this path toward a meaningful and purposeful sobriety.

COG, 1st Cl.