RBA Man in the Mirror
OK, buckle up RBAers, because it’s time to throw ‘The G-Word’ around a bit, and even some ‘Non-Conference Approved’ quotations. My favorite chapter of the Big Book is the Chapter to the Agnostic. It’s the most spiritual chapter in the entire book, as I understand it.
"You cannot give to people what they are incapable of receiving." --Agatha Christie
A B C = Acceptance, Belief, Change.
It has been said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength. --Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Keep It Simple Stupid. If you are unoffendable, this Slogan is beautiful.
Take It Easy. HOW? Why bother? What does this even mean? Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around (for many of us, especially when we are looking in the mirror). We don’t have to like everybody, but we do have to care or at least allow the CARE OF God from Step 3 to handle it.
Stick with the Winners. Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. Friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly. I heard the definition of a friend is someone that takes the time to learn your song, and then sings it back to you when you’ve forgotten it. Every time I go to a meeting, someone says something that I needed to hear. We have a Fellowship of Friends in the Program, but always remember that there’s more power in the rooms than the number of people in it. One of our Traditions points out the we have no leaders, but rather a Group Conscience, with God expressing God’s will through that medium. We didn’t quit, we surrendered. Things do not change, we do. ---Henry David Thoreau
IF you have turned over your will and your life to the CARE OF GOD, how can YOU have any problems? Don’t ‘problems’, real or imagined, belong to God? If there is One who has all power, how can YOU have any power? Are you unwittingly ‘playing God’ from time to time? Practice acceptance in the beginning of every discomfort, “be still, and know…” that there is One who has all power. Remember in the Big Book where we read how, when we criticize (someone) are we not criticizing one of God’s Children? Pragmatically, consider this quote: "We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --Carlos Castenada
But if we don’t know we have a problem, how can we extricate ourselves from its’ grip?
No matter what mask resentment wears or how far down the scale our lives may have spiraled, burn it into the consciousness of everyone that they can get well, regardless of people, places, and things. "The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." --Theodore Rubin
In the rooms, I’ve heard talk about The Man or Woman in the Mirror. God as we understand God can be viewed in many ways; we are free to choose the God of our forebears or the One we create by projection. There’s no such thing as reality, there’s only perception. “We don’t see life as it is, we see it as we are.” Anais Nin. Or said differently, as I’ve heard countless times in meetings and from speakers, the Buddha quote, “When the student is ready, the Teacher appears.” The Teacher has always been there, but we didn’t know we were walking on water, and ironically, we were instead complaining about why so many ‘somethings’ in life suck. Clean your mirror, and the student will see the Teacher, for the answer is within you. Should most of us have died many times? How many among us had DWI’s without hitting anyone? How did we dodge so many metaphorical (or real) bullets in life?
I would like to personalize the Man in the Mirror paradigm, but only in the interest of helping share God’s power, Love & way of life.
Mirror Therapy, Self-Esteem & God-Esteem
MY SPIRITUAL ADVISER (AKA SPONSOR) ASKED ME TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR EVERY MORNING AND SAY, "TIMOTHY, I LOVE YOU". SHE KNEW I WAS STRUGGLING WITH SUICIDAL IDEATIONS AFTER PUBLICLY SPEAKING OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND KILLING A CHILD (the tragedy happened in 1977). I FELT HORRIBLE GUILT AND ‘SOBRIETY’ MEANT I HAD TO FEEL EVERYTHING WITH NOWHERE TO HIDE. I COULD NO LONGER ANESTHETIZE MYSELF WITH DRINK OR DRUG. WHILE I THOUGHT THE IDEA OF ‘MIRROR THERAPY’ SOUNDED RIDICULOUS, I RESPECTED HER AND AGREED TO TRY IT THE FOLLOWING MORNING.
The very next morning was the first time I ‘spoke to the man in the mirror’. After saying, ‘Timothy, I love you’, I immediately spewed expletives about how I truly felt about myself. I was shocked to discover that I hated myself! I felt like I was damaged goods for having been abused as a child. I felt that killing a child made me worthless. So, for 8 years, I looked in the mirror daily and told myself that I loved myself.
One day (yes, seriously, eight years trying this the first time), I finally meant it! I loved myself! My spirit face was shining and the old Timothy was nowhere to be found. Loving others as I love myself was finally possible (part of God Esteem)! I ran down to the Maplewood Alano Club to share my joy of not being able to see the "convicted felon" in the mirror anymore!
I quickly approached about a dozen people who were smoking a cigarette outside the club before the meeting. I loudly announced my accomplishment & joy. In a very excited tone, I said, "Check out this shi_! You're gonna love this shi_! I looked in the mirror this morning and said, "Timothy, I LOVE you!" and I MEANT it!"
HA! I probably sounded like Joel Olsteen or something. Everyone looked at me a little weird, but said nothing. Then a female friend of mine took a hit off of her cigarette, blew smoke into the air and then said sarcastically, "What! You gonna kiss yourself, too?!"
Well, she didn't know what mirror therapy was. I did not feel hurt over her response. I had paid some serious dues to heal and I was not about to let a flippant answer undo my spiritual progress. I knew she simply did not know any better.
Guess what? A couple of years later, she came to me and apologized for her comment. She had come to a point in her life of self-forgiveness. Truth is, she didn't owe me an apology, She MIGHT have owed herself one, though.
Spiritual progress is an inside job. Go make friends with your mirror, then pay it forward.
OK, a few more random ideas to tie together the threads in the tapestry. The Divine Surprises of Life are grander than you could have imagined. Don’t quit before the miracle happens! Throw yourself into My (God’s) arms; Trust God, Clean House, and Help Others until we are One and the Same. It’s a WE PROGRAM.
Had I imagined receiving all that I 'wanted' in life, I would have limited a better life as God imagines within me. I would have cheated myself out of a better ride.
REPEAT, LATHER, RINSE. Repetition is the Mother of All Learning. The Divine Surprises of Life are grander than you could have imagined. Throw yourself into My arms; Trust God, Clean House, and Help Others until we are One and the Same.
Echoes of Divinity, we sing each other’s song, for we become friends as we trudge the happy road of destiny
When God measures a person, God puts the tape around the heart instead of the head.
RBA Board of Trustees Minutes
Monday June 13th, 2022
Meeting Opened at 7:03pm
Opened with the Serenity Prayer and AA Traditions One and Two. Our mission is to manage the property, finances and 501C3 for the RBA.
1. Members Present:
Joe R., Bill M., Cherisse K., Jeff S., Norton L., Kate M., Trunette
2. Building & Maintenance Report (Jerry Z.):
Jerry discussed many of the projects he completed over the past month. He painted the deck, back door, and the molding in the rear entry way. Jerry fixed and painted the wood paneling in the interior of the building. He also took steps to exterminate ants throughout the club. Jerry fixed the kitchen fan because it was loud. He cleaned and organized the maintenance room as well. Jerry intends to install a heater in the women’s bathroom in coming months.
3. Financial Report:
The May financials were discussed. The board is confident we will recover all the money spent on the banquet through ticket sales, but the final analysis will be completed for the June board meeting. The board stayed within budget for the Gopher State event but ended up spending $700 more than what was contributed. Board members will encourage squads to pass a second basket to recover this difference. No extraordinary expenses were incurred during May. The financials were approved.
4. Old Business:
The board discussed discontinuing the answering service provided by Minneapolis Intergroup during the May meeting. At that time, we decided to discuss the issue with members and representatives from Intergroup. We found that this is not a pressing issue, so no changes will be made to the current arrangement.
The minutes from the May meeting were approved.
5. New Business:
The board discussed the role of board members in resolving behavioral issues at the club. We all agreed it is the board’s duty to provide a safe and comfortable atmosphere for members and newcomers. All board members on our current email distribution list will receive notification of behavior complaints going forward. They will then have a reasonable amount of time to provide input before the issue is addressed.
The annual banquet was a huge success once again. Thank you to Roger and his team for all the planning and execution. As mentioned, the board is confident we will break even on the event.
Gopher State was also a success. RBA spent a net of $700 on the hospitality suite, and we hope to recover a portion of this in coming months. Many members attended the event and enjoyed the food and fellowship offered by the RBA suite. RBA also had an opportunity to share information about our club to others who visited our hospitality suite.
The summer picnic was briefly discussed. Squad 7G has already placed a deposit and reserved the venue for August 13th. The club is holding $893 to utilize for the event, but additional donations will be collected.
The board has been monitoring the growth of the shrubs that were planted to create a barrier in the front of the building. It has been decided we have done our due diligence and no additional action is needed at this time. We will continue to water them weekly. The board has made a decision to turn the lives and the will of the shrubs over to a power greater than us all.
The meeting adjourned at 7:49 with The Lord’s Prayer.