"SUGGESTED" STEPS

December 01

Our Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing all the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual awakening. . . . A.A.'s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 106-07

Our Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing all the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual awakening. . . . A.A.'s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 106-07

I remember my sponsor's answer when I told him that the Steps were "suggested." He replied that they are "suggested" in the same way that, if you were to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, it is "suggested" that you pull the ripcord to save your life. He pointed out that it was "suggested" I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save my life. So I try to remember daily that I have a whole program of recovery based on all Twelve of the "suggested" Steps.

PROTECTION FOR ALL

November 30

At the personal level, anonymity provides protection for all members from identification as alcoholics, a safeguard often of special importance to newcomers. At the level of press, radio, TV, and films, anonymity stresses the equality in the Fellowship of all members by putting the brake on those who might otherwise exploit their A.A. affiliation to achieve recognition, power, or personal gain.

"UNDERSTANDING ANONYMITY," p. 5

At the personal level, anonymity provides protection for all members from identification as alcoholics, a safeguard often of special importance to newcomers. At the level of press, radio, TV, and films, anonymity stresses the equality in the Fellowship of all members by putting the brake on those who might otherwise exploit their A.A. affiliation to achieve recognition, power, or personal gain.

"UNDERSTANDING ANONYMITY," p. 5

Attraction is the main force in the Fellowship of A.A. The miracle of continuous sobriety of alcoholics within A.A. confirms this fact every day. It would be harmful if the Fellowship promoted itself by publicizing, through the media of radio and TV, the sobriety of well-known public personalities who became members of A.A. If these personalities happened to have slips, outsiders would think our movement is not strong and they might question the veracity of the miracle of the century. Alcoholics Anonymous is not anonymous, but its members should be.

 

"ACTIVE GUARDIANS"

November 29

To us, however, it represents far more than a sound public relations policy. It is more than a denial of self-seeking. This Tradition is a constant and practical reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A. In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 183

To us, however, it represents far more than a sound public relations policy. It is more than a denial of self-seeking. This Tradition is a constant and practical reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A. In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 183

The basic concept of humility is expressed in the Eleventh Tradition: it allows me to participate completely in the program in such a simple, yet profound, manner; it fulfills my need to be an integral part of a significant whole. Humility brings me closer to the actual spirit of togetherness and oneness, without which I could not stay sober. In remembering that every member is an example of sobriety, each one living the Eleventh Tradition, I am able to experience freedom because each one of us is anonymous.

 

ATTRACTION, NOT PROMOTION

November 28

Through many painful experiences, we think we have arrived at what that policy ought to be. It is the opposite in many ways of usual promotional practice. We found that we had to rely upon the principle of attraction rather than of promotion.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 180-81

Through many painful experiences, we think we have arrived at what that policy ought to be. It is the opposite in many ways of usual promotional practice. We found that we had to rely upon the principle of attraction rather than of promotion.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 180-81

While I was drinking I reacted with anger, self-pity and defiance against anyone who wanted to change me. All I wanted then was to be accepted by another human simply as I was and, curiously, that is what I found in A.A. I became the custodian of this concept of attraction, which is the principle of our Fellowship's public relations. It is by attraction that I can best reach the alcoholic who still suffers.

I thank God for having given me the attraction of a well-planned and established program of Steps and Traditions. Through humility and the support of my fellow sober members, I have been able to practice the A.A. way of life through attraction, not promotion.

 

THE PERILS OF THE LIMELIGHT

November 27

In the beginning, the press could not understand our refusal of all personal publicity. They were genuinely baffled by our insistence upon anonymity. Then they got the point. Here was something rare in the world—a society which said it wished to publicize its principles and its work, but not its individual members. The press was delighted with this attitude. Ever since, these friends have reported A.A. with an enthusiasm which the most ardent members would find hard to match.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 182

In the beginning, the press could not understand our refusal of all personal publicity. They were genuinely baffled by our insistence upon anonymity. Then they got the point. Here was something rare in the world—a society which said it wished to publicize its principles and its work, but not its individual members. The press was delighted with this attitude. Ever since, these friends have reported A.A. with an enthusiasm which the most ardent members would find hard to match.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 182

It is essential for my personal survival and that of the Fellowship that I not use A.A. to put myself in the limelight. Anonymity is a way for me to work on my humility. Since pride is one of my most dangerous shortcomings, practicing humility is one of the best ways to overcome it. The Fellowship of A.A. gains worldwide recognition by its various methods of publicizing its principles and its work, not by its individual members advertising themselves. The attraction created by my changing attitudes and my altruism contributes much more to the welfare of A.A. than self-promotion.

 

THE HAZARDS OF PUBLICITY

November 26

People who symbolize causes and ideas fill a deep human need. We of A.A. do not question that. But we do have to soberly face the fact that being in the public eye is hazardous, especially for us.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 181

People who symbolize causes and ideas fill a deep human need. We of A.A. do not question that. But we do have to soberly face the fact that being in the public eye is hazardous, especially for us.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 181

As a recovered alcoholic I must make an effort to put into practice the principles of the A.A. program, which are founded on honesty, truth and humility. While I was drinking I was constantly trying to be in the limelight. Now that I am conscious of my mistakes and of my former lack of integrity, it would not be honest to seek prestige, even for the justifiable purpose of promoting the A.A. message of recovery. Is the publicity that centers around the A.A. Fellowship and the miracles it produces not worth much more? Why not let the people around us appreciate by themselves the changes that A.A. has brought in us, for that will be a far better recommendation for the Fellowship than any I could make.

 

A POWERFUL TRADITION

November 25

In the years before the publication of the book, "Alcoholics Anonymous," we had no name. . . . By a narrow majority the verdict was for naming our book "The Way Out." . . . One of our early lone members . . . found exactly twelve books already titled "The Way Out.". . . So "Alcoholics Anonymous" became first choice. That's how we got a name for our book of experience, a name for our movement and, as we are now beginning to see, a tradition of the greatest spiritual import.

"A.A. TRADITION: HOW IT DEVELOPED," pp. 35-36

In the years before the publication of the book, "Alcoholics Anonymous," we had no name. . . . By a narrow majority the verdict was for naming our book "The Way Out." . . . One of our early lone members . . . found exactly twelve books already titled "The Way Out.". . . So "Alcoholics Anonymous" became first choice. That's how we got a name for our book of experience, a name for our movement and, as we are now beginning to see, a tradition of the greatest spiritual import.

"A.A. TRADITION: HOW IT DEVELOPED," pp. 35-36

Beginning with Bill's momentous decision in Akron to make a telephone call rather than a visit to the hotel bar, how often has a Higher Power made itself felt at crucial moments in our history! The eventual importance that the principle of anonymity would acquire was but dimly perceived, if at all, in those early days. There seems to have been an element of chance even in the choice of a name for our Fellowship.

God is no stranger to anonymity and often appears in human affairs in the guises of "luck," "chance," or "coincidence." If anonymity, somewhat fortuitously, became the spiritual basis for all of our Traditions, perhaps God was acting anonymously on our behalf.

 

A UNIVERSAL SEARCH

November 24

Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 87

Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 87

I do not claim to have all the answers in spiritual matters, any more than I claim to have all the answers about alcoholism. There are others who are also engaged in a spiritual search. If I keep an open mind about what others have to say, I have much to gain. My sobriety is greatly enriched, and my practice of the Eleventh Step more fruitful, when I use both the literature and practices of my Judeo-Christian tradition, and the resources of other religions. Thus, I receive support from many sources in staying away from the first drink.

 

"HOLD YOUR FACE TO THE LIGHT"

November 23

Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though for the moment you do not see.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 3

Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though for the moment you do not see.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 3

One Sunday in October, during my morning meditation, I glanced out the window at the ash tree in our front yard. At once I was overwhelmed by its magnificent, golden color! As I stared in awe at God's work of art, the leaves began to fall and, within minutes, the branches were bare. Sadness came over me as I thought of the winter months ahead, but just as I was reflecting on autumn's annual process, God's message came through. Like the trees, stripped of their leaves in the fall, sprout new blossoms in the spring, I had had my compulsive, selfish ways removed by God in order for me to blossom into a sober, joyful member of A.A. Thank you, God, for the changing seasons and for my ever-changing life.

 

ONLY TWO SINS

November 22

. . . there are only two sins; the first is to interfere with the growth of another human being, and the second is to interfere with one's own growth.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 542 (Third Edition)

. . . there are only two sins; the first is to interfere with the growth of another human being, and the second is to interfere with one's own growth.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 542 (Third Edition)

 

Happiness is such an elusive state. How often do my "prayers" for others involve "hidden" prayers for my own agenda? How often is my search for happiness a boulder in the path of growth for another, or even myself? Seeking growth through humility and acceptance brings things that appear to be anything but good, wholesome and vital. Yet in looking back, I can see that pain, struggles and setbacks have all contributed eventually to serenity through growth in the program.

I ask my Higher Power to help me not cause another's lack of growth today—or my own.