Posted in Sharing

Old Timer’s Prayer

God, keep me from thinking I must share in every meeting, no matter the topic. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details and give me wings to get to the point. Remind me to guard confidences and to keep still when I feel it is necessary to speak up for someone’s own good.

Release me from the need to straighten out everybody else’s thinking and program. God, I ask for the grace to listen to newcomers. Please help me to remember the patience with which others listened to me when I was new.
Please seal my lips to giving advice, and help me to remember to share only my experience, strength, and hope.

Remind me that my purpose is to fit myself to be of maximum service to You and to the people around me. Help me to remain teachable. Teach me (again) the lesson that, occasionally, it is possible that I may be wrong; and remind me, please, of the freedom that I gain when I am able to promptly admit I am wrong and make amends where necessary.

Help me to remember the difference between making amends and just saying, I am sorry. Help me to be a worker among workers, a friend among friends. Please keep me from being a bleeding deacon, and help me to walk the path towards being an elder statesman/stateswoman. Keep me ever mindful that I cannot manage my own life through my own unaided will. I know that I am not a saint; please show me the way to seek You so that I may continue to grow along spiritual lines.

Remind me, please, of Rule 62 to not take myself so damn seriously. (It is so easy to take myself way too seriously.) Keep me free of gossip, character assassination, and judgment. Remind me that because I am not perfect, although I have humbly asked, my character defects and shortcomings still arise unexpectedly, to cause damage to others and to myself.

Help me to walk with faith and acceptance, to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people, and give me the grace to tell them so. Help me to see that You love each of Your children, and that You do not need my opinion of them or suggestions on what they might deserve.

Amen

Posted in Sharing

One Step Back

Progress, not perfection as is stated in our Book
Is what we must pursue; therefore, we need to take a look
At how we are progressing, use the 10th Step as our guide
Evaluate our actions to insure we don’t backslide

To backslide does not only mean we took another drink
More times than not it happens by the way we sometimes think
Our defects or our shortcomings we prayed to take away
Keep coming back when we relent, our old ways on display

When we attend a meeting, for that hour we’re secure
Surrounded by our fellowship, no hardships to endure
It’s when we travel out that door the challenge will begin
It may be from some stranger or perhaps our next of kin

We go to an appointment that was set to start at nine
It’s nearly 10 and we still sit, we feel we’ve been maligned
Our thoughts become unsettled; agitation now increased
We produce a verbal insult, old behavior’s been released

We’re asked to just be patient since the doctor we’re to see
Was tending to a patient with a real emergency
So, we sit down and start to think about the way we acted
And how we let the teachings from our Program get distracted

We took a small step backwards, did not think or did not care
To use a thing that we’d been taught, the first part of a prayer
To accept this thing we could not change, ‘twas out of our control
So, say the prayer and reconnect with patience as our goal

It matters not how long it’s been since last we had a drink
Impatience, aggravation still can change the way we think
It’s what we do when this occurs, a choice we have to make
One leads back to serenity, the other to mistakes

The one step back can not be change so what we need to do
To compensate for what we’ve done, we need not one but two
Two steps forward to get us back to where we need to be
Back on the journey we began towards our serenity

The first step is to recognize our part in what we did
Discard the though that we’d been wronged, stop acting like a kid
And once we’ve understood our part, our conscience to inspect
We need to take some action for this issue to correct

To promptly say that we were wrong is difficult to do
Ego tells us, “Don’t go there”, a childish point of view
Our program tells us that we must amend for our misdeeds
Acknowledge our misconduct and be willing to proceed

Apologize to those we have offended or aggrieved
Clear the air of tension that our actions had conceived
It takes both steps to rectify the prudence that we lack
Each time we let resentment let us take that one step back

Larry R.

Posted in Sharing

Bottom

Bottle in my left hand,
shovel in my right…
I’m digging perilous pit.
I’ve dug in so deep,
I don’t see the light…
Maybe it’s time that I quit?

Alone I sit in this piteous pit,
a decision I was to make…
Do I climb out from under,
or be buried in it?
How much more of this can I take?

A pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization…
There’s only but a few paths to follow.
I’ve been given the gift of desperation…
Admitting defeat’s hard to swallow.

I asked for His care and protection, soon a ladder appeared…
12 simple steps to make my connection,
it was time I faced all I feared.

I climbed the steps from this now propitious pit,
bottle and shovel I dropped…
You’ll know when it’s time when your bottom is hit,
the moment the digging has stopped.

Gordon R.

Posted in Sharing

My AA Balance Sheet

In business it’s important that you know just where you stand
Your P & L will show you if you’ve chosen the right plan
Another tool you’ll need to use is called the balance sheet
It shows you what you have or owe, to add or to retreat

Step Ten is like a balance sheet; it makes us take a look
At what we’ve gained and what we’ve lost, as stated in the Book
It helps us to consider when another day’s complete
On what we’ve done, both good and bad, an AA balance sheet

Another way to think concerns what we have lost or gained
The asset is serenity, liability was pain
They’re both part of this gift we got by coming through that door
To learn to live a better way, that’s what AA‘s there for

Unlike the business balance sheet that’s known to all of us
Where one side has a minus sign, the other has a plus
My AA balance sheet has many plusses on one side
And not too many minuses since the Steps have been applied

When I was forced to finally look at both sides of my ledger
I saw that I had lost control, consumed with seeking pleasure
I tried my best to justify the things that I had done
I’m hurting no one but myself, I’m only having fun

Then came the time the fun ran out, was forced to face the fact
That alcohol controlled my life, a slave to its impact
I did not want to drink again, but knew not how to stop
My doctor said to try AA, “do it before you drop”

I did not really want to go; my ego had been bruised
But go I did, for after all, what did I have to lose
It took a while to get onboard, but when I finally tried
I saw a change within myself that could not be denied

Now when I work Step number Ten, my ledger’s been revised
The good stuff far outweighs the bad, it’s made me realize
That things that were a negative, today have been replaced
Like how I felt when I awoke, no longer in disgrace

Most nights as I recount my day, I’m pleased with what I find
It’s not because of some great deed that enters in my mind
My balance sheet is positive because I work these Steps
To smile and greet my fellow man and treat them with respect

And should I fail in this attempt, I need to recognize
Where I’d been wrong, in word or deed, been quick to criticize
I owe amends to those I’ve harmed, make it without delay
Then work to make sure this mistake does not get a replay

So, when I tally up my score by practicing Step Ten
I’m mindful how my life has changed as I consider when
My balance sheet looked awful at the end of every day
Today the norm is positive since I have found AA

Larry R.

Posted in Sharing

Prayer, Meditation & Self Examination

When first he came into the rooms, unsure of what he’d find
He heard the people say some things that never crossed his mind
Slogans written on the walls and lists that did suggest
Steps he’d need to follow for his need to drink divest

Prayer and meditation combined with self-examination
A member said were critical for building a foundation
A foundation that will help to fight against the urge to drink
The new man could not understand the way these people think

A lot of us were just the same, confused by all this talk
Hearing what they said to do caused some of us to balk
We had not prayed in many years, did not know how to start
Or even if we did believe that God should play a part

As for meditation, how could that help us abstain
This was a thing for Buddhist monks, repeating some refrain
And self-examination, well, there was no need for this
Why bring up all our defects, they were better left dismissed

But slowly some of these things did begin to take affect
The first was prayer to someone’s God, and hoped that we’d connect
We were unsure if this would work, but still gave it a go
It could not hurt and maybe something good would start to grow

We’d never tried to meditate; this concept was brand new
Yet said we’d give this thing a try, but knew not what to do
Close our eyes, sit very still and try to keep from thinking
But thoughts arose, we wondered what this had to do with drinking
This self-examination thing was not at all what we expected
A wallow in self-loathing was the thing we had suspected
But we were told, a balance sheet, was what we had to make
To view the good that we had done along with our mistakes

To start to pray a simple please and thank you is one way
So, thoughts of using alcohol, you pray, will stay away
And thank you in the evening for the spiritual assistance
That helped you do the next right thing, an aid to your resistance

Meditation may be difficult when you first give it a try
To free your mind from all those constant thoughts that wonder by
Begin with a few minutes, close your eyes and start to drift
Into a space of solitude as all tension start to lift

Bedtime is the perfect time for self-examination
For looking back upon your day for any indication
Of incidents that had occurred that led you to react
In such a way that made you wish that you could take it back

Step Eleven states that when these three things are united
A spiritual experience will soon start to be ignited
Each part alone will help you navigate through nasty weather
But the best results are felt when they are put to use together

Larry R.

Posted in Sharing

Surrender

Scratching and clawing to regain control. Sliding so deeply into that hole. The hole I’ve been trying to fill all along with people and booze and anything wrong.

So many days have passed into years, fighting to make myself normal, no fears. When finally that life had taken me down and scattered my dreams, smashed my hopes to the ground.

Then something that’s greater than me, jerked me up. Throw out the bottle, smashing the cup. Part of my soul knew that this was the way and you told me to fall to my knees and to pray.

That hole, it still beckons for ways to be filled, with people and money or my ego’s strong will. The key to a life free from fear and the self, it comes from that Power, not booze, sex, or wealth.

Daily I ask to be free from the self and pray that my day’s filled with calm, peace, and health. Turning things over again thru the day for the Power to fill.up.that hole, that, I pray…today…

Ginny A.

Posted in Sharing

10 Principles for Peace of Mind

  1. Do Not Interfere In Other’s Business Unless Asked:

Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others’ affairs.
We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, our direction.
This thinking denies the existence of individuality and consequently the existence of God.
God has created each one of us in a unique way.

No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way.
All men or women act the way they do because God within them prompts them that way.
Mind your own business and you will keep your peace.

  1. Forgive And Forget:

This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind.
We often develop ill feelings inside our hearts for the person who insults us or harms us.
We nurture grievances.
This in turn results in loss of sleep, development of stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure.
This insult or injury was done once, but the nourishing of grievance goes on forever by constantly remembering it.
Get over this bad habit.
Life is too short to waste in such trifles.
Forgive & Forget, and march on.
Love flourishes in giving and forgiving.

  1. Do Not Crave For Recognition:

This world is full of selfish people.
They seldom praise anybody without selfish motives.
They may praise you today because you are in power, but no sooner than you are powerless, they will forget your achievement and will start finding faults in you.
Why do you wish to kill yourself in striving for their recognition?
Their recognition is not worth the aggravation.
Do your duties ethically and sincerely.

  1. Do Not Be Jealous:

We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind.
You know that you work harder than your colleagues in the office, but sometimes they get promotions; you do not.
You started a business several years ago, but you are not as successful as your neighbor whose business is only one year old.
There are several examples like these in everyday life.
Should you be jealous?
No.

  1. Change Yourself According To The Environment:

If you try to change the environment single-handedly, the chances are you will fail.
Instead, change yourself to suit your environment.
As you do this, even the environment, which has been unfriendly to you, will mysteriously change and seem congenial and harmonious.

  1. Endure What Cannot Be Cured:

This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage.
Every day we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations, and accidents that are beyond our control.
If we cannot control them or change them, we must learn to put up with these things.
We must learn to endure them cheerfully.
Believe in yourself and you will gain in terms of patience, inner strength, and willpower.

  1. Do Not Bite Off More Than You Can Chew:

This maxim needs to be remembered constantly.
We often tend to take on more responsibilities than we are capable of carrying out.
Know your limitations. . Why take on additional loads that may create more worries?
You cannot gain peace of mind by expanding your external activities.
Reduce your material engagements and spend time in prayer, introspection, and
meditation. This will reduce those thoughts in your mind that make you restless.
An uncluttered mind will produce greater peace of mind.

  1. Meditate Regularly:

Meditation calms the mind and gets rid of disturbing thoughts.
This is the highest state of peace of mind.
Try and experience it yourself.
If you meditate earnestly for half an hour every day, your mind will tend to become peaceful during the remaining twenty-three and half hours.
Your mind will not be easily disturbed as it was before.

You would benefit by gradually increasing the period of daily meditation.
You may think that this will interfere with your daily work.
On the contrary, this will increase your efficiency and you will be able to produce better results in less time.

  1. Never Leave The Mind Vacant:

An empty mind is the devil’s workshop.
All evil actions start in the vacant mind.
Keep your mind occupied with something positive, something worthwhile.
Actively follow a hobby.
Do something that holds your interest.
You must decide what you value more: money or peace of mind.
Your hobby, like social work or religious work, may not always earn you more money, but you will have a sense of fulfillment and achievement.
Even when you are resting physically, occupy yourself in healthy reading or mental chanting of God’s name.

  1. Do Not Procrastinate And Never Regret:

Do not waste time in protracted wondering ” Should I or shouldn’t I?”
Days, weeks, months, and years may be wasted in that futile mental debating.
You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate all future happenings.
Value your time and do the things that need to be done.

It does not matter if you fail the first time.
You can learn from your mistakes and succeed the next time.
Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing.
Learn from your mistakes, but do not brood over the past.

DO NOT REGRET.
Why cry over spilt milk?

Anonymous

Posted in Sharing

Secrets…

We’re only as sick, as the secrets we keep…
Abandon the burden you bare.
Into our spirit our secrets will seep…
Deep in the bowels of our soul they will lair.

Surrender your shame,
be purged of the pain,
of the secrets that still taunt you…
Begone of the blame,
rise to reclaim…
Freedom from the ghosts of the past, that still haunt you.

Dispose of all your dark and deepest,
your soul is where your secret lies…
It is unwise to harbor secrets,
for secrets tend to turn to lies.

Do not carry to the grave,
the secrets you hold deep…
Don’t let yourself become a slave,
to the secrets that you keep.

Do you have a secret, that you need to tell?
Is there something lurking at the bottom of your well?
Do you hold a secret, that tears you up inside?
Are you fettered by fear that festers, from secrets that you hide?

Obsessed and oppressed,
by secrets we’re hiding…
Secrets we’ve suppressed,
are emotions we’re denying.
Restless, irritable, and discontented, are the fruits our secrets reap…
We’re only as sick, as the secrets we keep.

Gordon R