ANONYMITY

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 562
 

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 562

Tradition Twelve became important early in my sobriety and, along with the Twelve Steps, it continues to be a must in my recovery. I became aware after I joined the Fellowship that I had personality problems, so that when I first heard it, the Tradition's message was very clear: there exists an immediate way for me to face, with others, my alcoholism and attendant anger, defensiveness, offensiveness. I saw Tradition Twelve as being a great ego-deflator; it relieved my anger and gave me a chance to utilize the principles of the program. All of the Steps, and this particular Tradition, have guided me over decades of continuous sobriety. I am grateful to those who were here when I needed them.

THE JOY OF LIVING

. . . therefore the joy of good living is the theme of A.A.'s Twelfth Step.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125
 

. . . therefore the joy of good living is the theme of A.A.'s Twelfth Step.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125

A.A. is a joyful program! Even so, I occasionally balk at taking the necessary steps to move ahead, and find myself resisting the very actions that could bring about the joy I want. I would not resist if those actions did not touch some vulnerable area of my life, an area that needs hope and fulfillment. Repeated exposure to joyfulness has a way of softening the hard, outer edges of my ego. Therein lies the power of joyfulness to help all members of A.A.

SUIT UP AND SHOW UP

In A.A. we aim not only for sobriety—we try again to become citizens of the world that we rejected, and of the world that once rejected us. This is the ultimate demonstration toward which Twelfth Step work is the first but not the final step.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 21
 

In A.A. we aim not only for sobriety—we try again to become citizens of the world that we rejected, and of the world that once rejected us. This is the ultimate demonstration toward which Twelfth Step work is the first but not the final step.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 21

The old line says, "Suit up and show up." That action is so important that I like to think of it as my motto. I can choose each day to suit up and show up, or not. Showing up at meetings starts me toward feeling a part of that meeting, for then I can do what I say I'll do at meetings. I can talk with newcomers, and I can share my experience; that's what credibility, honesty, and courtesy really are. Suiting up and showing up are the concrete actions I take in my ongoing return to normal living.

PROBLEM SOLVING

"Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems."

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 42

"Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems."

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 42

Through the recovery process described in the Big Book, I have come to realize that the same instructions that work on my alcoholism, work on much more. Whenever I am angry or frustrated, I consider the matter a manifestation of the main problem within me, alcoholism. As I "walk" through the Steps, my difficulty is usually dealt with long before I reach the Twelfth "suggestion," and those difficulties that persist are remedied when I make an effort to carry the message to someone else. These principles do solve my problems! I have not encountered an exception, and I have been brought to a way of living which is satisfying and useful.
 

ACCEPTING SUCCESS OR FAILURE

Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness, loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity? Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter, more glittering achievements are denied us?

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 112

Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness, loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity? Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter, more glittering achievements are denied us?

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 112

After I found A.A. and stopped drinking, it took a while before I understood why the First Step contained two parts: my powerlessness over alcohol, and my life's unmanageability. In the same way, I believed for a long time that, in order to be in tune with the Twelve Steps, it was enough for me "to carry this message to alcoholics." That was rushing things. I was forgetting that there were a total of Twelve Steps and that the Twelfth Step also had more than one part. Eventually I learned that it was necessary for me to "practice these principles" in all areas of my life. In working all the Steps thoroughly, I not only stay sober and help someone else to achieve sobriety, but also I transform my difficulty with living into a joy of living.

AT PEACE WITH LIFE

Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done."

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85

Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done."

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85

I read this passage each morning, to start off my day, because it is a continual reminder to "practice these principles in all my affairs." When I keep God's will at the forefront of my mind, I am able to do what I should be doing, and that puts me at peace with life, with myself and with God.

A "SANE AND HAPPY USEFULNESS"

We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 130

We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 130

All the prayer and meditation in the world will not help me unless they are accompanied by action. Practicing the principles in all my affairs shows me the care that God takes in all parts of my life. God appears in my world when I move aside, and allow Him to step into it.

RECOVERY, UNITY, SERVICE

Our Twelfth Step—carrying the message—is the basic service that AA's Fellowship gives; this is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence.

THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 160
 

Our Twelfth Step—carrying the message—is the basic service that AA's Fellowship gives; this is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence.

THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 160

I thank God for those who came before me, those who told me not to forget the Three Legacies: Recovery, Unity and Service. In my home group, the Three Legacies were described on a sign which said: "You take a three-legged stool, try to balance it on only one leg, or two. Our Three Legacies must be kept intact. In Recovery, we get sober together; in Unity, we work together for the good of our Steps and Traditions; and through Service—we give away freely what has been given to us."

One of the chief gifts of my life has been to know that I will have no message to give, unless I recover in unity with A.A. principles.

PRINCIPLES, NOT PERSONALITIES

The way our "worthy" alcoholics have sometimes tried to judge the "less worthy" is, as we look back on it, rather comical. Imagine, if you can, one alcoholic judging another!

THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 37

The way our "worthy" alcoholics have sometimes tried to judge the "less worthy" is, as we look back on it, rather comical. Imagine, if you can, one alcoholic judging another!

THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 37

Who am I to judge anyone? When I first entered the Fellowship I found that I liked everyone. After all, A.A. was going to help me to a better way of life without alcohol. The reality was that I couldn't possibly like everyone, nor they me. As I've grown in the Fellowship, I've learned to love everyone just from listening to what they had to say. That person over there, or the one right here, may be the one God has chosen to give me the message I need for today. I must always remember to place principles above personalities.

LISTEN, SHARE AND PRAY

When working with a man and his family, you should take care not to participate in their quarrels. You may spoil your chance of being helpful if you do.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 100

When working with a man and his family, you should take care not to participate in their quarrels. You may spoil your chance of being helpful if you do.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 100

When trying to help a fellow alcoholic, I've given in to an impulse to give advice, and perhaps that's inevitable. But allowing others the right to be wrong reaps its own benefits. The best I can do—and it sounds easier than it is to put into practice—is to listen, share personal experience, and pray for others.