How can we best grasp the program principles and use them to solve our problems? Perhaps it is a matter of allowing ourselves room for courage, and facing our difficulties, not allowing them to fester in a dark corner of our minds, where they only serve to feed spiritual sickness.
Maybe we think we know the full nature of our problems, but have not realized the power in writing things out in detail. Once we make the daily commitment to write our minds out on paper, we can look clearly at the whole nature of our situation. Putting it into words can help us address our problems, and correct ourselves as our attitudes change.
Our writing is not a list of grievances against ourselves or others, but only an effort to "state the problem honestly." Such discernment allows us to see that not all our difficulties were created by someone else; we too played a part.
By listing the positives and negatives of my life situation, I can begin to make changes that create resolution. In this effort, I learn to change the one person that is in my power to change, and that helps us more than my previous efforts to change by blaming...
It is through complete honesty that brings me self-understanding. This is why I pray that my Higher Power will protect me from self-deception.
ODAT April 14
What is wonderful about our programs is that they stress the importance of seeing ourselves as we really are. And sharing that openly.
Our program encourages us to bravely acknowledge our faults. With courage and honesty, we examine our good traits and our not-so-good traits. For those of us who choose to follow the path of self-knowledge, we find that we build on the good and whittle away at those traits that don't serve us so well, until bit by bit we shed our self-deceptions. We begin to grow into the people we have always wanted to be.
So let me ask myself: what do I want EA to do for me? Let me begin today to put my intentions and my problems on paper where I can better see them.
We have so many tools at our disposal, from the Twelve Steps and Traditions, to Slogans and the Serenity Prayer, and the Promises. The glue of the program are the people whose loving concern is like water after a long drought. Let me cooperate fully with one of these today. As I recover the me I am meant to be, my job is to "study and practice the program, to meditate and pray, to attend meetings and help others to understand and adapt the program to meet their needs.
"They that dwell in the land of the shadow...upon them the light shine.." the Bible
ODAT, April 26
Do you believe that everything people do has a selfish motive? Is it so that the originators of our Twelve Steps said theirs was a selfish program? What makes me ever question this, is the fact that at every meeting we read Step Twelve: we tried to carry this message to others...
We observe how offering our program to others who need its reassurance, its comfort and our personal concern... makes bigger people of US. And so our service to the group is constructive selfishness. Maybe this is the selfishness our founders meant.
So let us reconsider our thinking on a "much maligned" word. Let us rembember "the highest form of selfishness is to give of ourselves, so that our understanding and confidence in the program are broadened and deepened. The richest reward is to give without need of receiving anything in return.
In our program we learn a spiritual truth that changes lives--we cannot truly receive until we have given freely.
When we are reluctant to serve the group, or shy away too much from sharing ourselves with those in need,we may find ourselves frustrated in using the program in a way that benefits us.
"There are those who have little and give it all. They are the believers in life and their coffers are never empty." Kahlil Gibran
ODAT April 30
There is a story of a man who dedicated his life to recovery from emotional illnesses.
He was once invited to address a group several hundred miles from his home. But he lost his wife a short time before the event.
Many thought he had every reason to cancel his speaking engagement, but he did not.
When one member expressed her sympathy, he shared a story with her: "Let me tell you the story of an Englishwoman at the time of the Blitz in the Second World War. Her husbanad had met sudden death, and her minister went to break the news to her. When she greeted him she asked, "Are you bringing me bad news that you come at this time of day?" "I'm afraid so," the minister answered. "Is it about my husband? Is he dead?" "Yes, I'm sorry to bring you such tidings."
She interrupted him to say, "Come in and let me make you a cup of tea." At his astonished look, she explained, "My mother taught me when I was a little girl, that when anything really dreadful happens, I must think of what I sould be doing if it had not happened, and then do that."
He gave a moving and inspiring talk to the assembled audience. While everyone was taken by his ability to rise above his personal sorrow, only a few realized how he had distilled his grief nto inspiration for us.
ODAT May 3