LIVE & LET LIVE
Sometimes we hear people say things that may make us squirm inside at meetings. Perhaps we've already heard them say it 50 times in a discussion and wonder why they're repeating it. Maybe we think they're prattling on about something and should shut up because we get it already. Maybe we relegate what they're saying as an egotistical, inappropriate rant, etc. Sometimes we don't share what we think because we are scared to get judged or look stupid.
I remember an old-timer who shared about a problem he was having in his life. After speaking, a Newcomer suggested the old-timer could follow a specific and program-based typical course of action to remedy the situation. The Old Timer responded, "Well, I know that!" The Newcomer looked like someone who had the wind taken out of their sails.
We have the saying that if you wanna keep it, you gotta give it away. If we prevent someone from giving away something we already have, we do them a disservice by removing from them an opportunity to keep what they are giving away. No one has a right to be an obstacle to a fellow human being getting well. Love and tolerance of others is our code.
I guess the point is that sometimes you might not need to hear it, but they might need to say it. If you are teachable, you might be surprised to hear something new (that you never guessed you had heard 50 times before and missed). Uncomfortable moments are no less than perfect opportunities for spiritual growth. Slow down and consider the following sentence: If you think someone is not asking you to be their Sponsor, you're probably not looking hard enough.
The bottom line of the 'profound alteration in our reaction to life' revolves around inside-out clarity, honesty, transparency, and our connection to our HP. If we wear our Step 3 God-Conscious eyeglasses or hearing aids, we will precisely see and hear what we need to.
You already know not to be fooled by the outer coating of reality or the outer layer of meaning in the Big Book (or the person talking about it) to see through the surface layer. My grandmother used to say never judge a book by its cover. Discerning or trying to penetrate more deeply into any given topic so the meaning becomes transparent (and something emerges that you hadn't seen before) requires humility. Humility deftly subjugates everything you think you know, and you are then making progress. That's the 'progress, not perfection' that we read about in How It Works.
Our voice and demeanor have a peculiar radiance; all the books about light, vision, and anything shining through, can't easily shine through unfinished business. Ignoring unfinished business is probably the key component of any given relapse.
Please indulge your sense of patience here.
Let's say we observe a glass from across the room. If the glass is transparent, we will be able to observe its contents. If the glass is not transparent, knowing its contents becomes more difficult. Is a glass holding water or orange juice? Is it half-empty or half-full? As outside observers, we won't know if the orange juice is a rancid or how the person (the metaphorical glass) discerns its own contents. If the person has worked the Steps, and if we have worked the Steps, we will both intuitively know things that used to baffle us. We know for sure that we don't shoot our wounded, notwithstanding the contents of the glass.
Read the following rephrased paragraph and see if you get something different from it this time than before:
See-through the surface layer. Don't be fooled by the outer coating of reality or the outer layer of meaning in written script. Try to penetrate more deeply until the text miraculously becomes more transparent, until something emerges that you hadn't seen before. When the reader becomes transparent, we can see the meaning beneath the words; we can see more profoundly (than the person's actions). Darkness in a manner of meaning is the most transparent of all essences because even the tiniest speck of light is visible, depending on the source of darkness. In context, bear in mind the quote from the Buddha, who said ‘When the student is ready, the teacher appears.’ I’m in charge of what I say. You are in charge of what you hear. I can say everything wrong and you’ll hear everything right if you’ve done Step 3 and then proceeded to clear out the wreckage of your past. If you haven’t cleared out the wreckage of your past, I can say everything perfectly and the likelihood of your understanding it is minimal. There’s no such thing as reality, there’s only perception.
To restore our original condition (what we were like before all the crazy stuff happened in our lives), AKA, 'restored to sanity,' fill up your gas tank with Step 3 and get your motor running on Steps 4 and 5. But remember that Step 6 is where the rubber meets the road. A return to innocence happens with Step 6, yet we have 'a daily reprieve contingent upon the maintenance of our spiritual condition.'
Step 5 is probably the epitome of the WE PROGRAM. WE are You, another person, and God as you understand God. As we pass through the fires of life, smoke covers our hearts until it becomes thick soot over time. It takes all three to clean off the soot from your heart so it can shine again. As we look across the room at a person who may have unfinished business, we can remember that we also had unfinished business once upon a time. We can see from experience and trust things that would otherwise be indiscernible to the naked eye.
A helpful slogan in recovery is Live and Let Live. We can put principles above personalities and not take anything personally through it.
Please consider the words of the poet WH Auden
The More Loving One
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn,
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
RBA Board of Trustees Minutes
Monday March 14th, 2022
Meeting Opened at 7:04pm
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., Roger B., Norton L., Rik L., Kate M., Trunette
Jerry Z., Maintenance
2. Building & Maintenance Report (Jerry Z.):
Jerry reported on the following maintenance items from the previous month: Water drainage by the back door was not a major issue this past winter. Jerry was planning to install gutters along the back of the building, but he no longer believes that is necessary. He has made small adjustments to the area surrounding the threshold, which has improved the opening and closing of the door. Jerry then updated the board on the coffee machine; this no longer leaks even when the power is off. He also scraped some paint off the deck area in the back of the building and may paint or seal this in coming months. Jerry and Pete A have been working on mapping power outlets to circuit breakers so we can prevent them from being overloaded. Lastly, Jerry repaired a seat in the women’s restroom and replaced a plunger.
3. Financial Report:
The financial report from February was reviewed and approved. No major unexpected expenses during the last month. A large check was deposited in the general account resulting from closing the separate library account; these funds were the reason for positive cash flow during February. RBA has been spending more on operating expenses than we have been receiving in donations for the past few months. This is to be expected knowing that annual pledges are typically received in the first few months of the pledge year, so our annual revenues are front loaded.
4. Old Business:
The board discussed a few points that carried over from the February meeting. First, we continue to seek a method to use for library purchases that will be efficient and cost effective. Our plan to have a debit card issued has changed to exploring use of a credit card. This will allow us to contest charges if needed, whereas debit purchases would be irrevocable. A credit card will allow us to pay for purchases online from suppliers who offer favorable terms. Joe R. was added as a signer on the bank account during February, so he plans to discuss credit card options with our bank rep in coming days.
The issue of pets was reviewed and discussed further. Signs were posted in February asking members to have their support animals on leash while inside the building. Board members reported that pets are still being allowed to run free, so additional steps will be taken. Signs will be revised to clarify the expectations, and one board member offered to discuss the issue with members involved.
The minutes from the February meeting were approved.
5. New Business:
The Gopher State Roundup, scheduled for the weekend of May 27-29, was discussed in detail. The board approved registration for our usual hospitality suite 216. We are asking squads or groups of members to take the lead on planning and executing this event. Pete A has already agreed to help with the food.
The Annual Banquet was also discussed at length. The board has decided to reserve the space at Creekside Community Center now that this venue has reopened. Creekside is a favored location due to the cost savings and accessibility. The banquet is scheduled for Saturday, May 21. Roger B. is coordinating volunteers to help with room setup and catering. Roger will have tickets available for in coming weeks – see any board rep for purchase of banquet or raffle tickets. Raffle prizes and food will be available much like our past banquets. Signup sheets will be distributed for honorees.
The St. Patrick’s Day party will be held as scheduled on Saturday, March 19th at 2:00pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:03pm following The Lord’s Prayer.
The Annual Banquet will be held on Saturday, May 21rst at the Creekside Community Center. See your board rep for banquet and raffle tickets. Signs have been posted around the club presenting the raffle prizes.
RBA has reserved hospitality suite 216 for the Gopher State Roundup taking place on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29. Stop by and say hi, or sign up to help with the event.