Grapevine Quote

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Willingness and Action

I can tell if I have enough willingness because if I don't there's no action. If I do have willingness the action is sure to follow, no matter how difficult or easy it may turn out to be. If I need to, I ask HP for the willingness to be willing and it's always come to me. I pray for the willingness to let go of another addiction today, so that I can take action to stop it. Willingness is and always has been the key to the door that unlocks faith. Robbie R. 5/22/1981.

Robbie R.

I was moved by this. I came into recovery in 1982 and relapsed after a year and have been sober ever since january 1, 1984. The gift is that my brain was not so damaged that i could function somewhat in the world I have been on disability since 1995 but can still function thanks to being sober and also lead a somewhat happy life.

thanks for sharing

ive been to an out patient program as well as a relapse pervention groups and have also worked aa for a year and a half and will be sober from drugs for two years at the end of may and two years of no alcohol in mid july...i havent been to any meetings as of late..

thanks for letting me share

Joined: 2013-01-18

I really enjoy this daily quotation:"Willingness and action"although ,to me,it is redundant.It's an action program-pure and simple.I'm an alcoholic who has a lot of trouble being honest with myself.There are many more of us in AA than we like to admit.So the only way I truly know if I'm willing is if I do it.I was searching for a newcomer one night at a beginner's meeting when I heard a white chipper exclaim:"This isn't for people who want it,it's for people who do it!"I could have kissed that ugly,stinking drunk!....wcfrank

RE: Action

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who
want to stop drinking. (it). A lot of people in and out of
A.A. think that a alcoholic can be seated at a table with
a steps worksheet, given instructions/directions by an
advisor or sponsor and this will get them sober. Billions of dollars
are spent every year on this theory. They are most often
no more successful than no treatment at all.
But when the patient drinks again, they blame the patient,
saying they were just not honest, or any number of excuses.
The obvious truth is that the Program did not work. It
may seem that a few are helped. But those few probably
would have gotten sober without treatment.
You have pointed out another reason for the failure
of today's A.A. We have passed on way too much of the
real responsibility of A.A. to white chippers. ANONYMOUS

re re action

Your right. Nothing on this earth will work for a typical alcoholic who doesn’t want to recover from alcoholism. That’s why most alcoholics are doomed to an alcoholic death, jails, or asylums.
What about an alcoholic who has a desire to stop drinking? This alcoholic can be led to the 12 steps of AA and can find a happy, sober life as a result of those 12 actions. This is not my theory, this is a fact from my experience. Every single alcoholic I have met that has a desire to stop drinking and is willing to go to any lengths for sobriety has the willingness to practice AA’s twelve steps and has remained sober. The alcoholics that I have first hand knowledge of who I have seen slip or die from alcoholism over the years may have had a desire to stop drinking, but were unwilling to apply the 12 steps of AA to their lives. Like I said earlier, these are facts from my personal experience in AA over the years, not theory.

When I get to AA nobody asked

When I get to AA nobody asked me my financial situation, work or family. The only question I was asked was if I wanted to stop drinking, all I should do to a newcomer. When I get to AA was no problem that I was a transvestite or was Catholic. I was a member of the group from the moment you arrive and expressed my desire to stop drinking. I do not want to take the opportunity to stop drinking to anyone who wants to stop drinking, even to those who may be troubled, nor took away my chance to recover.
Fran S
Gijon, Spain

Thank you so much for your post

My name is Magdalena. I am a recovering alcoholic addict in San Francisco and I am actually bisexual and involved with Living Sober conference. Also it does not matter how much time you have I am finding out more and more. I have 29 yeara fo sobriety and I still am an alcoholic with a strong alcoholic personality. I am grateful to be in aa.

may god bless your sobriety and mine.

binge thinker

Really appreciate this quote.Even better than calling it"brain chatter".We alcoholics torture ourselves into picking up a drink with all kinds of "stinking thinking".I try to ignore "that guy" because "that guy" has done nothing but screw-up my life all my life.I try to use open-mindedness(the most neglected principle in AA).Hey,maybe I'm wrong.

When I get to AA, did not

When I get to AA, did not stop my income, my finances, my studies and my social status. Nobody asked me my religious views, even fewer policies; they only asked if I wanted to stop drinking, all that should the newcomer. I do not want to reject any candidate for membership in Alcoholics Anonymous, and neither did me. After knowing the worst bars in Gijón, I should not get decent and despise the newcomer, surely I did the same thing or worse.
I need the newcomer more than he needs me, but the newcomer would not have new experiences, and new servers, or anyone remind us who we are and where we come from.
Anyone who wants to join an AA group may do so, provided that as a group they have no other affiliation. I do not want to prevent anyone form an AA group actually formed a few years ago two in Gijón, where anyone can come and ask for help to be well received.
Fran S.
Gijón, Spain

Open Mind — Grapevine quote "Shadow of the butterfly net...."

I shared with my group my immediate thought, "An open mind flows both ways. 'Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas...'"
I'm also grateful to be reminded that I am not a butterfly!
Love, Craig

2-28-13 butterfly net


Joined: 2013-01-18
butterfly net

The butterfly net refers to the once popular image of men in white coats from the insane asylum chasing down and capturing the lunatic (for his own good).Many of us have said:"They were getting ready to throw a net over me when I came to AA."...When I told my sponsor of the distress from the voices in my head:brain chatter,he told me to ignore those lunatics and focus on the action program.Don't drink,Go to meetings,Read the Big Book(or other literature like the Grapevine),Say your prayers(or meditate),and Talk to your sponsor(or another alcoholic).I never met an alcoholic who could think himself sober.

butterfly net

This is an allusion to men in white coats chasing a lunatic for involuntary hospitalization.We used to say:"They were getting ready to throw a net over me when I came in to AA".In fact,after 20 white chips,I decided I'd try the desperate experiment of putting the 1st.step in my own words.This is what I came up with:"I admit I can't stop drinking and I'm crazy as an outhouse rodent."(To use polite language). Helped me a lot,still helps...wcfrank

How do we get sober?


Binge Thinker 26 Feb 13

What if I am still a "binge thinker". How does one work on eliminating that problem? I still feel as though I am a binge thinker. I have a wonderful sponsor with 33 years of sobriety, but this is a topic we have never discussed. I know the problem is out of hand, but I pray on it daily to my high power who is God. Great reading for today.

Very nice!

Just wanted you to know how I enjoyed reading your reply and what a wonderful thing it is, 33 years old. When I see such numbers I'm reminded how sweet life will be the longer I live. God bless and you just made mine with the flavor I enjoy the most.

Binge Thinker

I know for me prayer helps. I had a situation today that bothered me. i talked about it and prayed to have it lifted
magdalena with 20 years

Joined: 2013-01-30
Mr. RIGID.........2/16.

Your remarks have haunted my thinking since 2/16/13.( A "good" thing.)
What would Bill and Bob think of us now? Many of us old timers wonder about this often I think.I do..
Briefed up..Both might say that they knew change in all areas of society would happen.Styles,fads,social concerns,politics etc.All human living stuff. Were steps and later a "Big" book.and traditions enough ?
When A.A.was just formed so to speak,remember they worried about members joining the armed forces and surviving/sober/ 4 yrs. with out a meeting? Big,big worry at their time!
I know You already know that
A.A. is not a business like a grocery store or car manufacturer etc./ Inventories / profits etc.
.Success in a.a.I feel is accumulated days of sobriety back to back until we leave this earth.Being lived out by hopeless addicts/alchies, now armed with our 12 step A.A. program and all it entails.
In time all but us truly desperate folks fall by the wayside and disappear.
Everything except A.A. has rules.
A.A.has suggestions we had better follow. Quite a difference.
I think we must not concern ourselves with so called success rates,other meetings or shrinking or staying the same in numbers.Sobriety Is Success. I believe.
I also believe there are no musts or rules what so ever in a.a. and never were.And that it is free but
that we Must pay our own expenses.
we will never be "Safe".Our disease is patient.Hoping we'll pick up one more time and lose the whole ball game.Keep an open honest loving mind dear but unknown brother. c.k. Maine

Mr. Rigid....2/16

What would Bill and Bob think of us now? I believe that
both of our co-founders look down at today's AA in disgust
and despair. Look at them! They have become everything we
vowed to never be. We worked so hard on the traditions and
they have violated them all. Bill warned us about blunders
we might make. He could see some of them developing before
he left us. Most of the warnings are in his Grapevine
writings. We don't even read them. Our AA history is
of vital value, but most AA members have never read the
history book "AA Comes of Age."
Some A.A. members believe that AA has become so
successful that most alcoholics are cured. That is why our membership numbers are stagnant. We are "alive
and well". AA is doing just great. Believe that, and I
will sell you the George Washington Bridge. ANONYMOUS

binge thinker

One of the worst defects I have carried during my life is my way of thinking. I believe that some of my ideas are just like a virus that contaminates my interior. Know, as I work the AA program, I try to have my mind and beliefs in accordance with a superior power as I conceive it.

Soar with the eagles. I came

Soar with the eagles. I came to AA to save my rear end, not my face. AA has given me the freedom to do anything I want to do, be anything I want to be as long as I'm willing to pay the price -- give it all to God! In the eleventh step, I give my life to God on a daily basis and try to find ways to be of love and service to my fellows. I haven't been let down yet! If the price of trying to soar like an eagle is the possibility of looking like a turkey, then I'm willing to do that. (Anyone who thinks that's bad, has never been on a turkey hunt.) I have come to believe that God works through me and you and all of AA for our higher good, always. There are no mistakes.

jan 2013 article on why so rigid

I just read the article why so rigid in jan.grapevine.Interesting article,i agree but disagree with the author.I have been sober 20 years and really feel as tho there are not ENOUGH musts in the program today.I have had the same sponsor for 20 years and we have a good relationship.When i came in he was hard on me as where all the oldtimers.this is the point that this will be taken down off here because i know we have no opinions on outside issues.I am familiar with the traditions.Our success rate is at an all time low.Groups like celebrate recovery and rational recovery and smart groups have more attendance and better success rates the we do in a.a Why are there so many people leaving a.a to go to these groups?I believe it is because we do not have enough musts and we can not do the things we did 20 or 30 years ago in a.a too much of the world and its views have seeped into a.a.We are not able to carry the true real message that Bill and Bob carried because we cant hurt peoples feelings.My feelings where hurt alot the first 10 years i was sober.I was taught to grow up and look at my stuff and work the steps and change and get better,Too many people today want an easier softer way so they do not want to here truth and talk about God and accept themselves and grow so the run away to these other groups.I actually have not picked up a grapevine for a long time because I do not believe it is any longer what Bill envisioned it to be.I will leave it at that for now,i am curious to here what people think.

re rigid

We have brought back the big book and all the musts and directions to our AA group. The results are incredible. Alcoholics are coming and staying sober by practicing the 12 steps as outlined in the big book. the nonalcoholics no longer attend our group. they felt different as they should. Thank God for the other 200 12 step groups out there where these nonalcoholics can identify and recover.
Our groups meetings are of course smaller for now, but they are actual AA meetings and no longer group therapy for every problem. Alcoholics who could not stay sober in the discusion groups or meetings are getting sober in our big book group.
Can you believe it? An AA group of Alcoholics, chaired by alcoholics, participated in by alcoholics,using the book Alcoholics Anonymous, and 12th stepped by alcoholics!
It's great to practice our primary purpose so hopless alcoholics can find life.

why so rigid

i totally agree that it would me great if there was more emphasis on the musts in the big book. it says in how it works, if youwant what we have you will DO what we DID!
all the feely, touchy messages that have been slowly invading a.a. for many years now has watered down the message of the program.
i am considered an "old timer" and when i was getting sober
the "old Timers" told me to take the cotton out of my ears and put it into my mouth. my sponser told me she wasnt there to be my friend, but to help save my life.
dont drink, go to meetings and do (and live) the steps.
it has become increaseingly difficult to find meetings where i can hear the message and not how peoples feelings got hurt.
i understand how oldtimers look to start meetings with sobriety of 20 years and more.
however, i willnot let the disease of alcohol in and will continue to seek out people with the same meesage i was taught,,alot of musts.

Sometimes ridgid is needed and most often this is true

I have 27 years sobriety and I truly think that taking the cotton out of my ears and putting it in my mouth as I was told to do by the then old timers is one of the reasons I'm alive today. Over the past 3 decades I've watch to many people die from this disease and their death weren't without great pain and anguish. Therefore I've come to believe that firmness and strict discipline are totally necessary for continued sobriety. We cannot soften the affects of active alcoholism, so what make some think that we should not use firmness with new comers and those who are struggling to help them in saving their own lives.


I want to just give a shout out to all of us old timers. I consider old timers having 20 or more years of sobriety. It is not always easy to stay sober after so many years. What really works for me is to have a sponsor, go to meetings and doing service. It works best for me. Magdalena here with over 29 years of sobriety. Sobriety birthday January 1, 1984 from San Francisco

Still Sober

Hi Magdalena, George here, just celeberated 36 yrs. (2-12-77 @ 7AM). We must have the same sponsor. I was taught with the old basics and stick to them, real simpel and it works. How Lucky Are We !!!!--God has a greatplan, all I have to do is ask for it every day. Not my plan but Gods plan. I try to live a life that will show respect for the program of AA. and will make god smile. It frightenes me when I hear people share--this is how I work "my" program---scary, scary, me,me,me!!How lucky are we to be guided by the steps & principals of the AA Felowship and not by ---"me".
Chillen in Costa Rica

Joined: 2013-01-30
This daily Grapevine quote --forum section....

I'm long sober and want you to know I love and appreciate deeply...this forum...Daily Grapevine quote pages remarks.
It's like a meeting that lasts as long as I want and am ready to sit through.
I find it strongly thought provoking.I am truly fond of it and hope it will go on for as long as I'm around.
c.k. Me. ( :\\~*


When I came into the program I had help from people who didn't judge me. They taught me the steps and the traditions. I was allowed to come to their meetings and share my story. I was even allowed to asked someone
at their meetings to be my sponsor. We worked the steps together the ones that needed more person to them. I had been in the program before but never had someone care enough to work the program with me. Eventually we both knew it was time for me to go be with of my peers. The (GLBT)

"Hope is tremendous progress for someone who once was 'hopeless.

This small quote speaks volumes to me. I had given up hope of ever living a "Normal" life. Alcohol had taken away not only my hope, but also my very will to live. Thanks to the program of AA, my sponsor and my higher power, I now have almost 6 months of sobriety, living one day at a time. I not only have "Hope" again, I can see in myself and those around me the positive aspects of life itself. --David B. (St. Louis, Missouri)

I am having a very hard time.

I am having a very hard time. My Drinking has left me isolated and very sad. I am starting to reach out a nd read daily. Thank you

Hard time?

1st of all if your not drinking,your miles ahead of where you've been...get to a meeting ...get involved , speak up, let them know what's going on...before long the laughter will return to your life...when I got here I was so depressed, I just knew I'd never have fun, was I many friends and so much to do...all,in a sober life style...I pray for you and wish you well....

Bill S.

Hard Times

Regardless how hard the times are in sobriety it is easier than being drunk.----I heard that 36 years ago and it is still true today. Hang in there and fight for your self, you are worth it. Keep AA in one hand and God in the other and you can make it. Please dont leave before the "merical" happens. I have seen it happen time and time again. It will work for you if you are willing to fight for it.

hard time

You broke the ice!You already have two elements in your program:reading and writing @ the Grapevine.DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED.Keep building your program-maybe to include meetings,the BigBook(p.86 Daily),a sponsor.These are only suggestions,but we all build our programs from suggestions.We put them into actions such as you have already taken,then we share them with others-that'sAA.Welcome aboard!


Hi i,am Freddy alcoholic.
I have a question I am 3 years sober now and still running away from it because the past whas real tuff but I also no that doing it will make me a better person.
Anyone can help me with a idea.

4th step

Hay Freddy alcololic, George alcoholic here.
My 4th step was the most dificult to accomplish. Its all due to-- Fear-Fear-Fear.
Took me 5 years to get started on it then I toutoured myself for another 18 mos. Although I heard it thousands of times in meetings that what I had done was "the worst" the truth is someone has done what I did before me many many times, I did not invent the evil in me there were many just like me and worse however I did need the 4th & 5th to chase the evil out of me. When I completed 4 & 5 in the same weekend there was a tremdious relief and a GIANT LOAD off my sholders. I also felt very much more part of AA, I had accomplished it!!!
If someone else did to me what I did to my self I would have them arrested. In the past I would shoot them or throw gasoline on them and light them of fire or throw acid in there face. (see the change)
Keep God and AA with you and you can accomplish your 4th and all the other steps and get ready for a sober life that will take you to places never imagined.
Sober and chillen in Costa Rica

Hi Freddy, Have you worked

Hi Freddy,

Have you worked all the steps with a sponsor? If so, did you complete a thorough 4, 5 and 6th step? I am re-working the steps again. I hope this helps. Jan

Joined: 2012-08-16
4/11/13 post from Freddy: RE- 4th Step...

I'm Robbie. I'm an alcoholic and drug addict. My sobriety date is 5/22/1981. Sorry for the long post, but Freddy asked for help.

Dearest Freddy, I know from experience it's possible to stay clean and sober in spite of unknowingly continuing to run from the past. Some things in my own past stayed hidden in my brain for a long time. One of note didn't finally reveal itself until I was 18 years clean, fairly serene, and absolutely sober! So it was not my conscious running.

But The way I found out was that when I shared at a meeting about it (I thought I'd dealt with it in a 4th and 5th step) a dear friend unknowingly got me upset after the meeting by joking with me about that part of my chair. I had to then take the 4th (aka the 10th when practicing the maintenance steps: 10, 11, & 12) on my resentment against him. For a time I was in denial he had really sparked a resentment, I thought he was just "being childish". He honestly didn't know he was being hurtful. I finally forgave him, and was able to get back to being fairy serene and happy. That's one reason we take the steps, right? Also to be SOBER, "happy, joyous, and FREE". Notice I capitalized SOBER? The book tells us if we skip over this step (any of them really, but specifically the 4th step) then we WILL GET DRUNK! It's true! I've witnessed it happen in AA firsthand. I thank God for my sobriety in spite of my inability to be totally "fearless and thorough" all the time. We do the best we can, one day at a time, and don't pickup the 1st one!

So why needlessley torture yourself with your past? You appear to want sobriety, and if you don't take especially the 4th step, you will very likely GET DRUNK! Don't do that! Pray to your HP for the willingness to do it. REVIEW your 3rd step. Did you not turn your "will and your life over to the care of" your own HP? I'll finish by saying: if you don't have a SPONSOR you can talk to about the steps and issues in your past (and present life) then GET ONE and USE YOUR SPONSOR. We don't have to do this alone, and if you haven't done the steps,.the guidance a sponsor provides is invaluable. Above all, the one on one contact with a human being will always be more effective (and actually easier) than trying to do it online. The 4th &5th step content will want to, and should be, kept private. No one has to know what you write in your 4th step. Hide it, gaurd it, that's OK. The 5th step is another separate step. You do it after 4. Then IF directions are followed ( the 5th taken a person who can hold a confidence) it will never be public if you don't tell it yourself. One day you might! To help someone else! Take care. Call your sponsor. Go to a meeting. Read the Big Book. And above all: don't drink, NO MATTER what happens! I'm praying for you Freddy.


Well I know for sure the answer for you and many others in a like position.I have witnessed it and cried and got depressed & felt desperate & panicy with others over it in A.A. for 45 years. Very easy, one day at a time.
Well this is "IT".
#1. Give to your still abusing loved person/people,your own personal living example of pretty-happy,stable, drug free living. That's #1..
#2. It doesn't help anybody much by offering loving or angry,"anti-using",lectures or attempting to manipulate with "If you loved me" speeches & tactics & statictics. These offerings can barely break through a users mind.They are generally stalemates and moot.
Users are not stupid or bad people. Pill,drug,alcohol,abusers, are not usually amoral nor of a low I-Q.
Users are people running blind on instincts even unknown to themselves! They are living with the irretractable inborn hidden powerful addict genes.
Our/your/,loving,well intended charity such as "helping" them with even a little money,or a warm place to crash,or transportation etc.kills them even quicker.
Definitely quicker.Begin to stop it today.
If you want to help a seeming "alchie" in your family and your "in" A.A. already; success increases when you treat them just like you treat newcomers entering the program.
Know. We are not our illness!
This is not a dress rehersal. Yesterday and tomorrow are but dreamed puffs of fog only...
c.k. One of them. Now responsible for my own sober living. Me.

Parents Drunks

There is not a lot you can do for you parents and brother only try and have a chat with them and leave a big book in their house and they might decide for themselves


my parents & my brother are drunks but they deny they are one so what can I do

Dear Parents

I understand why you would want to help your parents and brother, but that is an HP job.

I came home after 2 years of sobriety to help my parents, as they both were diagnosed with Cancer. I arrived to my childhood home and realized how sick my family was.(very helpful in understanding my disease, and realize how much work I still had to do) It broke my heart to see my dad stuck in his denial, and my mom enabling him. I wanted so much for them to see how great my life had become because of sobriety.

The reality is all I could do was not act the same way I use to and be an example of what sobriety looked like, even in the mist of death, hospice and sadness. My father actually blew pot smoke in my face when I was telling him I was celebrating my 3 years of sobriety. To say the least I wished that they would have found sobriety and the freedom that comes with it...but they both died this year.

I guess this long story is to say the only thing you can do is...have some acceptance, live your program, and give them to God/HP. I know its hard and they don't understand, but deep in side they are proud of you and wished they could have what you have. Fear is a strong foe.

Good luck, and let the serenity prayer be your guide when your around them.

I have been sober 2 weeks due

I have been sober 2 weeks due to AA. You have to love them and not judge then. For me I thank GOD for AA. The happiest I have been in years, but 1 day at a time for me. Go to meetings 7 days a week to keep me strong.

Maybe leave a big book lying

Maybe leave a big book lying around and they might decide for themselves if they have a problem

Joined: 2012-08-16
February 5 quote: removing character defects

It's true. A lot of my "indexes of maladjustments" are not always removed but they're converted to assets, if I'm willing to let go of them! Robbie R. ECF


The 12 Steps can be described as a way of life.So can the Drill:Don't Drink,Go to Meetings,Read the Big Book,Say your Prayers(or Meditate),Talk to your Sponsor(or another Alcoholic).But honestly,they are principally a means toward an end.If they are not about not drinking,then I've been in the wrong place for the past 20 years.

12 Steps A Way of Life, not a Results Oriented Formula

Amen re toda's Grapevine quote! We often forget that the 12 steps are not the aim of AA. The aim, called "AA as such" in Tradition Nine short form, is to carry the message. Bill says so one way or the other 62 times in the first 164 pp of the BB, which is where the program part of AA is. Too often nowadays we hear something like, " I came in, put the plug in the jug, was taken through the Steps by my sponsor, and now I'm just so very happy." Bill and Dr. Bob did not have the 12 steps and yet they were able to stay sober. When we compare AA in its unadulterated form, the form that got 75% sober at the writing of the second edition and the form that gets 80% sober and teaches them to retain it with the Wasingtonians, then it is clear: it is identification and letting go of ego (anonymity). terminal uniqueness (my case is different and therefore what you in AA do won't work for me), and the obsession with self satisfaction (getting credfit, being a better speaker, being a BB or 12 Step Thumper and on and on) thal is the door to sobriety. And then as we work with our AA fellows in a group (not just a meeting) to provide service with love, we graduallly experience a spirtual awakening within reality that replaces the chemical delusions in fantasy that alcohol gave us.
The 12 Steps help us be able to achieve that, they are means to an end, not an end in themselves. And they don't care how you work them or why: they work if you work them.
Great quote

re rest of article

I thought you might like to read the rest of the article:

ATHEISTIC, arrogant, egotistical and intolerant as I was, and further, armed with a few years certain knowledge of the fact that I am an alcoholic, made my surrender, after a practical --drunken --raging --drunken --cunning --drunken --methodical --drunken --hopeless battle with alcohol, all the more totally abject.

Totally and abjectly surrendering to the fact that I was powerless over alcohol and that the persistent and stubborn belief that I--I--I did have, had brought my life to a state of unmanageable chaos, I came to believe, thru the testimony of those happy and contented people who told me of "the way," that there existed a power that could relieve me of this senseless urge to destruction. The fact that, to me, this power was ethereal in that I could neither feel, taste, hear, smell nor see it, meant nothing, in the light of the mass of concrete and irrefutable evidence, but further proof of inadequacy in me. Therefore, humbly, if regretfully, accepting the truth of this inadequacy, I decided to find, by conscientious adherence to the directives of those who were living proof of the benevolent potency of this power, a means of knowing His nebular quality, I would follow His dictates with the hope of eventual understanding of and communion with Him.

Impasse! To this point, humbly accepting facts, I had come with dawning hope and eagerness. Now after a keyed-up, fervent and conscientious execution of the directives, I was, in all honesty, not a bit nearer to a conception of this power's will for me. Desperate queries brought only calm admonishment to "take it easy" and "it will come."

Very well, a calm and thoughtful recapitulation of the directives was in order. Point by point I checked them until I came to one that I had missed its full significance. "Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps. . ." If I was to continue my reasoning on the premise that these folks were right, and the proof was still as evident as ever that they were, then the key was in these Twelve Steps.

Reason--I was told by some that reasoning could be of no use in the search. This called for an analysis of the righteousness of this power. First, last, and eternally, this power would be just. Having endowed man, above all living things, with the power to reason, any debate us to its efficacy would be pointless. Justice--it became self-evident that any human being born into this world with the power to reason, regardless of mental range and capacity, would have equal and inherent faculties for the recognition of the will and desires of this power. Therefore this faculty had to be of a simplicity that would be part of everyday life regardless of locality, race or color. I realized that my unconscious assumption that I was looking for something alien to my life could have caused me to look too high and too far away.

A new start was made on the directives, this one to be exhaustively thorough. "A searching and fearless moral inventory." Exhaustively thorough--the thought struck me, "I have been wrong in so many things maybe I don't know right from wrong." Surprise! I found that the instinctive supposition that we are taught what is right and wrong is erroneous. We are taught, if we are lucky, the advantages of doing right, or the disadvantages of doing wrong. A component part of every human being is an inherent and abiding sense of right and wrong. This sense was the root and cause of law which in its intricate ramifications today is no more than a means to force all to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. To those that triumphantly cry "the Ten Commandments"--Justice--countless humans neither read nor write and thru no fault of their own, live and die with no slightest knowledge of the Bible. Further--strict adherence to this one rule makes nine of the commandments superfluous and non-essential.

What pulled the trigger on a deed and branded it right or wrong? An analysis of the deeds on the wrong side of the ledger in our inventory revealed that only the flouting of this basic law caused that feeling called hurt conscience. Simple and logical--if a harm to a fellow man causes a disagreeable reaction, it certainly implies negation, so inversely a good to a fellow man causes an agreeable reaction hence positive. Here was a law of cause and effect common to all. Finally I had a definite "yes" and "no." Now to bring this conscience out of depths from where it had been shoved every time that it had raised its head. This is, to me, the sounding board of the power. I realized that all consultations with my conscience would be an open book to His omniscient eye--that the cunning contrivances of my mind would gain only what they merited--that the sincerity and honesty with which I interpreted His will and carried it out would be the measure of the benefits that I would receive.

Many months had elapsed in arriving at these simple conclusions. One day I caught myself feeling pity for a man whom I had, in the past, despised with virulent hatred despite all efforts to the contrary. Gradually, with quiet and thankful wonder I realized that I had been experiencing a spiritual awakening for many months, in fact from the time that I had called for help that dark and dismal night.

It was then that I realized fully that the Twelve Steps are not steps to take progressively in order to arrive at a conclusion, but a code for living--the constitution of a way of life.

Three years have passed. Three years of growth--growth in the capacity for growth. The calm certainty that if I live today by these precepts I need have no fear for tomorrow.

Peace--Freedom from fear--Freedom from want--Contentment. Gosh! Ain't Life Wonderful!!!

O. B.
Alva, Oklahoma


A way of Life

Good message. I would have ended it this way: And they
don't care how you work them or why: Rarely have we seen
them fail. (We ought to offer them without adding conditions). ANONYMOUS

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