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      I'm in my twenty fifth year of recovery I had to become as desperate as a dying person could be in order to accept and surrender to my disease, my attitude, and my concept of life as I knew it. Trying to build greater self-confidence and self-esteem, in recovery, I have been given the confidence, trust and unconditional love, that has helped me thru my pain, fear, anger, loneliness, hopelessness, and confusion of the past, apprehension of the holidays, and other special events, times of distress or agitation, turmoil, and physical craving to the allergy of alcohol. I have learned to accept God's love and hope for a prosperous future, to follow the A.A. principles, and traditions, and to practice consistency in my actions making me, honest, trustworthy, and responsible today.

      In the Co-founders Pamphlet Dr. Bob didn't think we could do anything well unless we practice it, including A.A. He said to do a good job in A.A. We should practice, acquiring the spirit of service. We should attempt to acquire some faith, which isn't easily done, But he thought faith could be acquired; it can be acquired slowly; it has to be cultivated. this is not easy. That's one reason why to some people our spiritual teaching is difficult. They don't want to find out to much about it, for various personal reasons. Another thing that is difficult is tolerance. We are all inclined to have closed minds, pretty tightly closed. But it's quite important that we do acquire tolerance towards the other fellow's ideas. also we need a lot of humility."

      It's only thru God's grace, and a lot of leg work, that we get sober, we should be very grateful that we have been given the privileged to stay sober. our strength and hope comes from Him, We all should have a very humble attitude for what He has given us we should never cease to be grateful for whatever blessings come our way.

      When it comes to living life on life's terms it doesn't make any difference whether we're drunk or whether we're sober. either way, we're all after the same things in life, love, happiness, security, peace of mind. The trouble was that as addicts we demanded more and more than we deserved. If we had taking time for God's way, we would have been given peace and happiness, that we could enjoy, anyone can get peace, happiness, and forgiveness, if they just trust in Him, this is the message of hope we can give to all who seek our help.

      I guess in 63 year's, we in A.A. haven't learned to much about humility, or tolerance, and especially about fear, primarily fear of changing what is considered different from the standards we hold dear to us, even if we could possibly be wrong, we must take a good look at these fears.

      We must change with the tide, and show the newcomers of today, their experiences must be shared in their own way. Dual addiction has always been with us and dual addiction is here to stay, we in the fellowship of A.A. must give these people the same kind of unconditional love, forgiveness, understanding and most importantly tolerance, the same things we received, when we arrived at the doors of this God given fellowship.

      Change is an absolute, growth is optional, but we must continue to grow or we will all parish, in a sea of drug addiction, Yes ! Addiction from the drug alcohol, as well as street drugs, or prescription drugs, we can not hide behind a screen and only look at part of the problem of today's world, after all we are not purist ! Are we?

      If you don't like what is being said at the podium, take your comments to your business meeting for a group conscience discussion, make a group statement reflecting the groups opinion, not your own.

      To tell someone, especially a newcomer, in an open forum like on the floor of a speaker meeting, or in an open discussion meeting, they don't belong can only add to their bewilderment frustration and self-esteem. To me as a member of A.A. for the past twenty four years, it is embarrassing and humiliating to have someone being ostracized because they are a little different than me.

      When I hear these comments at meetings "you don't belong here " or "I don't want to here about your drug addiction, find another program for that problem" or "were here to talk about alcohol not drugs" I can't even imagine how hopeless and despairing this could be if I was that person, suffering from the dual addiction of alcohol and drugs, thinking I was to be cast out, before I could even get to know who or what I was.

      Tradition one states "this we owe to Alcoholic Anonymous' future: To place our common welfare first; To keep our fellowship united,. for upon A.A. unity depend our lives, and the lives of all those who will come after us".

      Tradition two states "The "ultimate authority" is the spiritual concept of the "group conscience" It;s voice is heard when a well-informed group gathers to arrive at a group decision. Minority ideas should get thoughtful attention. Remember, the first and second tradition go along with the group conscience. The presence we newcomers felt in those rooms, was the same as the group conscience, and it was real when they welcomed us in, setting absolutely no barriers, rules or conditions...." this should hold true today, let's let everyone know it does.

      Tradition three shows us that we've thrown away all membership rules and regulations, that might keep you out. We want you to have the same chance for sobriety, that we had. "We aren't a bit afraid they'll harm us, never mind how twisted or violent they my be" we have decided to be " inclusive....never exclusive" In conclusion, I want to say that throughout A.A.'s history, most of our special purpose groups have accomplished very wonderful things There is great reason to believe that those A.A.'s who are now working in the grim regions of narcotics addiction will achieve equal success In A.A. ,, the group has strict limitations, (tradition three, what limitations ? we have no membership rules ) but the individual has scarcely any.'' (tradition three again non conformity to anything).

      The four absolutes, as we called them, were the only yardsticks we had in the early days, before the steps. I think the absolutes still hold good and can be extremely helpful. I have found at times that a question arises, and I want to do the right thing, but the answer is not obvious. Almost always if I measure my decision carefully by the yardstick of absolute honesty, absolute unselfishness, absolute purity, and absolute love, and it checks up pretty well with those four, then my answer can't be very far out of the way. If, however, I do that and I'm still not to satisfied with the answer, I usually consult with some friend whose judgment, in this particular case, would be very much better than mine. But usually the absolutes can help you to reach your own personal decision

12-01-97                      written by LT                     design by LT