RARELY HAVE WE SEEN A PERSON FAIL
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Page 58 Big Book
The Program, as we call it as laid out in practice by the membership, was developed and used in the lives of early low-bottom drunk members before its exacting processes were written down in 1939 by Bill Wilson.
If you read the history of Alcoholics Anonymous, you may better understand why and how the organization developed through the years. Many books about AA history are available. The Good Old Timers and AA Comes of Age are a couple of good resources for studying our history.
The history of AA describes the melding together of particular principles as enumerated by a New York physician, Dr. William silk worth, and a Swiss psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung. The AA program's tenants attempted to re-create first-century Christianity, which Greek philosophy influenced in no small measure.
Knowing or understanding historical elements and the importance of their sequence will help unlock an understanding of the Program. It was the first time in recorded history that the alcoholic found relief from the misery and hopelessness of alcoholism and other drug addiction. Dr. Bob, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was also a drug addict, not just an alcoholic.
Bill Wilson prayed hard over what to put down in writing words to help free alcoholics from the dredges of horrible oppression. He said that when he wrote down the Steps, it was as if it was not he who was writing it. He suspected his Higher Power was pushing his pen for about 30 minutes.
To those that are Newcomers, we call The Program an "Action Program). So, go to the Big Book and read Dr. Silkworth's explanation about identifying a powerlessness problem (Step One). Then read Dr. Jung's description of a solution to that problem (Step Two). If you've done this already, you've already delved into Step Three, to turn over your will and life (the solution) to a power greater than yourself as a gateway to the rest of the Steps.
It doesn't make much sense to look good on the outside if you are still sick on the inside. We are only as sick as our secrets. Now we embark upon cleaning out those secrets from our lives. But to do so, we must first identify those secrets. This is why we do a Fourth-Step inventory. We examine our internal mental, emotional, and spiritual life to determine what caused (or causes) resentment or pain. Next, with Step Five, we show what we have found out loud to ourselves, God, and a fellow human being. After 100% honesty with Step 5, it is time to continue that scrupulousness alongside a willingness to (Let Go &) Let God remove all of the defects of character that you identified with your "fellow human being."
I did my Fifth Step with my Sponsor, who gave me tremendous insight into what I had shared. I experienced a 'welcome back to the human race' feeling. Step Six was one of the happiest days I've ever experienced in my life. I felt like I was walking in heaven and earth at the same time. It truly lightened my load to do Step Six.
Then we move to Step Seven. We humbly ask God to remove our defects of character. We are on God's timetable when character defects are removed, and only God can say what weakness of character is, what needs to be removed, and when. Perhaps our character defects are sometimes left in place to keep us humble?
So, we have just finished cleaning the inside cup of our lives. Now it's time to attend to the damage we've done to the outside "cup." With Step Eight, we make a written inventory of all the people we have harmed and become willing to make amends to them all. Being ready and willing to make amends to them all does not mean it is incumbent upon us to make amends to them all. This Step is about being willing to make amends to them all.
Step Nine is where we do something about cleaning the outside of our cup. We make direct amends to everyone we've harmed except when doing so would injure them or others. We don't have a right to purge ourselves of our pain or guilt haphazardly upon those we've already harmed. Sometimes we can only make indirect amends. For example, I drove under the influence and killed someone. I can't bring my victim back. I can't make direct amends to my victim, right? I can make indirect amends by speaking to those in danger of making the same tragic choices I made.
Before we are halfway done making our amends in Step Nine, we will experience a profound alteration in our reaction to life. We will be amazed before we are halfway through.
Now is where the most significant degree of peace will come back into your life on an ongoing basis. Step 10 keeps the muscles we've developed (integrity) to keep our gifts clean. Walking into Step 11 with a clear conscience is a beneficial thing indeed.
In a manner of speaking, Step 11 is like giving God a gift. First, make sure you've done Step 10 on an ongoing basis to the best of your ability. By so doing, the miracles that evolve from your working Step 11 will more readily materialize.
Step 11 is the tremendous preparatory clarifier for Step 12. The whole purpose of steps 1-11 is the acquisition of a Spiritual Awakening as a result of getting out of your own way to help another human being achieve sobriety (or somehow otherwise be fitted to serve our fellow human beings) as God would fit you.
I might be in the Minority Opinion on this one, but I don't think the Steps necessarily have to be worked in linear order. As we sit in a circle of Alcoholics Anonymous, so it is with the Steps. They are circular, not linear. Page 164 of the Big Book reads that we admit we know only a little. My Sponsor pressed me to do ninth step work early in my recovery.
A drunk driver killed my Sponsor's son, and it was strongly suggested that I start speaking to DWI audiences about the death that I caused. My Sponsor told the person who killed her son that she loved and forgave him. How could I say no to that?
My Sponsor was the perfect role model sent into my life. She said that she is a Christian and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and that both teach forgiveness. She said that no one has a right to be an obstacle to a fellow human being getting well if they want to get well. No one has a right to be a roadblock to someone's healing.
I carry on that Message of love and forgiveness. I'm immensely grateful to this day for my relationship with my Sponsor. May she rest in peace. I hope she's looking down from heaven with love.
From my experience and perception, I would say that love and forgiveness are what the 12 Steps blossom within our lives. We remember who we are by working the Steps and start acting like it. We don't grovel before anyone because we are, after all, children of God.
RBA Board of Trustees Minutes
Monday September 12th, 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., Roger B., Bill M., Cherisse K., Jeff S., Norton L., Kate M.
Jerry Z., Maintenance
2. Building & Maintenance Report (Jerry Z.):
Fixed leak in bathroom ceiling coming from vent adapter. Janitors need to do a better job of cleaning in the kitchen so Jerry will provide guidance. Need more urinal cakes.
3. Financial Report:
Paid our annual tax preparation fees during August, no additional unusual items on our financials. A final accounting on the picnic will be completed during September. August financials were approved.
4. Old Business:
The minutes from the August Board Meeting were approved. Ongoing items will be discussed in the following section.
5. New Business:
The Picnic that took place in August was discussed. Many raffle prize winners were repeat winners, so the current system will be reviewed before the next event. Final income and expense numbers will be provided in the next board meeting.
Jeff provided an update on the preparation for the upcoming Annual Meeting. Pledging members are asked to attend to ensure we have a quorum to make business official. We have four nominees to fill the five open board seats. An agenda has been created and distributed. Members should be encouraged to fill out pledge cards for the new pledge year in coming weeks and submit annual pledges.
Upcoming fellowship events were discussed. Squad 6G intends to hold the annual Thanksgiving Dinner on the afternoon of November 20th. The Fellowship Committee is discussing a Halloween Party. Squad 5A intends to have the annual Children’s Christmas Party indoors this year.
Our arrangement with Spruce Linen to provide overflow parking was discussed. RBA is welcome to use their parking lot until the property owner sells the building and grounds, which is estimated to be within the next 12 months.
The meeting adjourned at 7:41 with The Lord’s Prayer.