We all carry it within us: supreme strength, the fullness of wisdom, unquenchable joy. It is never thwarted and cannot be destroyed. But it is hidden deep, which is what makes life a problem. —Huston Smith
How does a man lose touch with his strength, his wisdom, his joy? Perhaps it is in the nature of humanity. Our most profound qualities are hidden deep. They never go away, but we cannot always find them. There may be nothing wrong with ourselves as men when we lose touch. It doesn't have to mean that we are "bad guys" for getting depressed or for feeling inadequate. Who doesn't have that problem? It is the nature of life that we sometimes feel this way. This program helps us unearth the resources hidden within us.
When we cannot find those reassuring feelings of strength and wisdom and joy, we may think they are gone forever. We even doubt we ever had them or could have them again. But they are still there. They cannot be destroyed. And when we regain contact we know they have been with us all along.
I will have faith that the innermost places in me can never be destroyed.
From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©
Walk in Dry Places
Identify, don’t compare
There’s always danger in comparing ourselves with others. If we use behavior and drinking as yardsticks, such comparisons can lead us to believe that we might not really be alcoholics. This mistaken conclusion has been the undoing of some alcoholics.
The better course is to identify with the problems others have in common with us. Thought drinking patterns and habits may vary between two people, individuals may at least share the fears and delusions that drinking brought.
Other common factors that bind alcoholics together are emotional immaturity, a misplaced faith that alcohol solves problems, loneliness, and a tendency toward resentments. These also make good discussion topics for meetings.
At the very beginning of AA, the founders had trouble coming up with a real definition of alcoholism. Since then, we’ve done very well be letting members “Diagnose” themselves. It’s best to leave it this way: “If your drinking is a problem in your life, AA has an answer for you.
Action for the Day: Today I will not waste time comparing myself with others. Having accepted my alcoholism, I’ll devote my attention to the things that enhance sobriety.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 132
Thought to Ponder . . .
Service puts feet on my prayers.
AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering Together.
A MEMBER SHARES:
I'm Jane, an alcoholic. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering "we are trusted servants we do not govern; universal respect is the key to our usefulness," because it is really easy for me to slip out of a spiritual mind and judge people, or get caught in materialism. In those moments, I am not only less useful to others and myself, but I am also unable to experience joy. It seems to me that I have the greatest joy when I am involved in selfless service. I really have to pray and work at it to stay there, too. I literally have to get on my knees and pray in the morning for God's/The Universe's help to remember to be of service and less caught up in my thoughts. And the days that I do that, it's easier. Those are my easiest days -- yet somehow I often forget that simple step that makes my personal program better. Everyone does it differently, and no one is anyone else's boss here but if I stick around and listen, I get a lot of suggestions to try, and taking that action and following those suggestions more times than not, brings me peace and then I am helpful to others and myself.