Grapevine Online Exclusive

Gold Is Where You Find It

He realized that every meeting had a message worth hearing

As I approach the end of my fifth year of sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous, I find that I probably need to revisit my attitude and my approach to AA Meetings. Attending meetings on a regular basis is critical to my continuing recovery and I cannot afford to take these meetings casually or become comfortable with my level of knowledge. After all, it was my sense of "self" and ego that conveniently masked my fears and laid the cornerstone for my alcoholism.

First and foremost, I have to remind myself that these meetings aren't held for my personal benefit alone and I am not the director. I already know what happens when I do things my way—I have a lifetime of research in that area. Everyone is at the meeting for essentially the same reason and every person who is sharing will inevitably bring a helpful thought or idea for me provided I'm willing to listen and be receptive. I also have to learn to leave "John the Critic" and "John the Cynic" at home—they have been my lifelong companions but they really have no place in my new life … besides, they never approved of AA anyway.

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