Okay, so I was chairing a Zoom AA meeting just a little bit ago and the topic was May 19th’s Daily Reflection:
Giving Without Strings… Basically, being of service without expectations of being served.
Hmmmm…. I have a MONSTEROUS ego! Just how in the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks am I supposed to be of service without wanting to be noticed? That’s a pretty tall order! At least, it used to be. This time around in my recovery, I am able to do things for others without thinking about what they can do for me, with the help of God. (God is WITHIN me now, not just AROUND me. That’s the difference this go around in recovery for me, I think.) It’s a VERY foreign concept to me, but I seem to be doing it A LOT and not even thinking about it! It’s almost like booze to me….as if I get DRUNK off of doing good deeds these days! I’m not even kidding. It’s quite addicting. Sometimes, when I’m doing my morning routine I find myself plotting little things I can do, anonymously, throughout the day, for other people. (again, I do these things because God is WITHIN me, NOT just AROUND me!) But that’s not the topic of today’s post….
The H.O.W. of Recovery is: Honesty, Open-Mindedness and Willingness. Without these three things, we can NOT maintain sobriety. I know this because I have tried with vast amounts of self-will and without ALL three simultaneously, I WILL GET DRUNK. I have proven that fact to myself countless times. I MUST have all three H.O.W.’s of the AA program every day or consuming alcohol is a guarantee for this “closeted southern bell”! But, once again, something new happened to me this go around in recovery. I discovered yet ANOTHER acronym! There is more than just the H.O.W. of Recovery. The H.O.W. tells us how to stay sober. But we really need to grasp that spirituality. Without a firm foundation in spirituality, we flop like fish out of water. I learned this….
The word SPIRITUAL contains the word “ritual” within it. When I Google’d the definition of RITUAL, I found the following: “An act or series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner.” Hmmmm…. Okay, I reread that a few times and realized that it resembled the definition of STRUCTURE. That being said, if STRUCTURE is the same as RITUAL, then having STRUCTURE in my Recovery program helps my spirituality stay in fit condition. All of this came about with the faith of a mustard seed! Color me “Mind Blown”.
If I take it a step further, on page 55 of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, in the chapter We Agnostics it says, “Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, in the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there.” Then, if we jump WAAYYYY to the back of the 4th Edition of the Big Book to page 568, Appendix II, Spiritual Experience, last paragraph, it reads, “We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, Honesty and Open-mindedness are the essentials of Recovery. But these are indispensable.” Why would I pick out these two quotes? They are so far apart in the book and one talks directly about GOD, the other talks directly about SPIRITUALITY?!?!
Well, since the first time I darkened the doors of Keystone Treatment Center in Canton, South Dakota, in June, 1996, I’ve heard about the H.O.W. of the AA Recovery program. But just a little bit ago during my go around this time in Recovery, God saw fit to reveal Himself to me as the W.H.O. of the AA Recovery program. “Willingness, Honesty and Open-mindedness”… Bill was telling us in Appendix II, Spiritual Experience, that the W.H.O. of Recovery is GOD! And just as I stated at the beginning about the H.O.W. of Recovery, unless I have ALL three, I WILL NOT STAY SOBER!
So, there you have it, folks. For this little girl (at least right now, in my tired brain, I am a little girl!), I know that I MUST follow the H.O.W. of my Recovery program to stay sober today and I MUST have the W.H.O. of my Recovery program in my heart and do His will today, not my own and rely on Him, not myself, to battle my disease of alcoholism. If I can stay in the frame of mine today and wake up tomorrow and rinse and repeat, then I might just have a sneaky chance at long term, happy, joyous and free sobriety. I hope to see you as we ALL trudge the road OF happy destiny!
WHAT A LIFE!
Much love to All!