Tradition Eight Checklist

September 4, 2007

From the http://www.aagrapevine.org/stepsTrads/checklist.php website:

“Do I sometimes try and get some reward-even if not money- for my personal AA efforts?”

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Tradition Nine

September 4, 2007

AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

In The Language of the Heart pg 88 Is a writing of Bill W.s on the Ninth Tradition.  I find it amazing how often I latch on to the parts I think I should.  When I re-read this today, It took on a different meaning…

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Concept 8

August 20, 2007

Reads:

“The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of over-all policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities.”

This concept means simply that the trustees are ones responsible for the oversight of the AAWS and the Grapevine and how contributions can be applied.  For example, the Grapevine has been operating at a loss for several years now.  In order to “keep their doors open”, the trustees have excersized their power to take money received by group and individual contributions to cover the expenses of the Grapevine.

I’m hoping to get some comments on this one…

I belong to a rather small group, about 14 regular members.  We always celebrate varying years of sobriety on the last Sunday of the month.  During the summer months, some of our members prepare food and we invite friends, spouses and loved ones to come along, eat, then listen to a speaker.  We always ask someone from outside our group to come and tell their story, and afterwards we recognize the birthdays for that month.

On the first of each month, we get the phone list and write the members names’ and sobriety birthday for each member having a birthday that month, along with how many years of sobriety they have.  When I saw this month’s tally in years of sobriety my jaw dropped and I was almost overwhelmed with gratitude to be a part of something so wonderful.

The magic number was 54!

The time I finally worked through steps 4 through 9, my sponsor had me follow a “5th step guide” that had been put together by a sober priest that had heard many, many 5th steps.  I wouldn’t recommend everyone taking the path I took, because the outline of how to do your 4th and 5th step is much simpler in the Big Book.  Working my 4th step from a “guide” wasn’t the only thing I did differently either.  After I finished my 5th step with my sponsor, I threw the thing away!

Looking back, I realize this doesn’t exactly fall into the instructions laid out in the big book, but something must have happened because I’ve managed to stay sober all this time.  It just took some extra work to get that 8th step list re-created.  My sponser at the time told me this: “There are always some people on your 4th step list that don’t need to be on your 8th.  And there are people that NEED to be on your 8th that never showed up on your 4th.  So take the time and search your heart and past once more to create this list.  It’s going to be an inevitable experience that you will run into someone later on that you will need to make amends to that you haven’t thought of at all.”

He believed the most important part of all this was to teach me the process.  Once you recognize your wrong, ask god for the strength and the opportunity to make it right.  Because I’m human, I’m going to continue to make mistakes that will require action on my part to try and set them straight.  The process outlined in the book is very much the same way.  We don’t drag our feet and we keep an open mind.  If you use the list you made during the 4th step, it makes the process a little faster and will cover most all of the amends you need to make.

“If we havent’ the will to do this, we ask until it comes.  Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.”  -Alcoholics Anonymous Pg 76 

Heard in a meeting…

August 17, 2007

After reading a post by Mark W on his blog A Dozen Steps, I decided to rekindle this blog site and create this “Heard in a Meeting” as a topic all it’s own.  Mark has been a really great inspiration and really instrumental in taking a closer look at the program that’s been saving lives for over 70 years now.

To kick off this new topic, I’ll start with something I heard last night that was put so simply and so right on, it deserves to the be first installment.

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Gratitude

August 17, 2007

There is almost nothing that gives as much gratitude than feeling the trembling hand of the new man through the Lords Prayer at the close of a meeting…

I often get caught up in my daily routines, I forget where I came from, I forget that where I’m at doesn’t look a THING like where I was.  Everything I have today I owe to Alcoholics Anonymous.

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