December 2 AA Daily Reflection. If you follow the steps you to can have a spiritual awakening!
2 December: SERENITY
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, . . .
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106
As I continued to go to meetings and work the Steps, something began to happento me. I felt confused because I wasn’t sure what it was that I was feeling, and then I realized I was experiencing serenity. It was a good feeling, but where had it come from? Then I realized it had come “. . . as the result of these steps.” The program may not always be easy to practice, but I had to acknowledge that my serenity had come to me after working the Steps. As I work the Steps in everything I do, practicing these principles in all my affairs, now I find that I am awake to God, to others, and to myself. The spiritual awakening I have enjoyed as the result of working the Steps is the awareness that I am no longer alone.
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.
Thanksgiving is the day where most people come together to eat a lot of food, drink a lot of alcohol, and go around the table saying what they are grateful for. Thanksgiving is a good reminder to be grateful for the little things in life. I need that reminder everyday because I am an addict.
Today, I can say I am grateful for being an addict. Addiction is hard and can be a daily struggle. God doesn’t choose just anyone to be an addict, but he chose me. Why would God give me such an awful and debilitating illness? God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. God gave the disease of addiction to me because my higher power knew I was up for the challenge and that I could manage my addiction. That is why I am grateful today. I am thankful that my God has so much confidence in me to overcome my addiction. Now it is time I help others overcome this terrible, but manageable disease.
So I guess it is safe to say I have Thanksgiving everyday minus all the food and alcohol!
Lord, make me a channel for thy peace—that where there is hatred, I may bring love—that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness—that where there is discord, I may bring harmony—that where there is error, I may bring truth—that where there is doubt, I may bring faith—that where there is despair, I may bring hope—that where there are shadows, I may bring light—that where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted—to understand, than to be understood—to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 99
No matter where I am in my spiritual growth, the St. Francis prayer helps me improve my conscious contact with the God of my understanding. I think that one of the great advantages of my faith in God is that I do not understand Him, or Her, or It. It may be that my relationship with my Higher Power is so fruitful that I do not have to understand. All that I am certain of is that if I work the Eleventh Step regularly, as best I can, I will continue to improve my conscious contact, I will know His will for me, and I will have the power to carry it out.
-“Striving to become the best version of myself, one day at a time.”
When I started recovery I was told to get into a routine. Every morning I would wake up make my bed, pray, and then write a gratitude list. Everyday I write down 5 things I am grateful for. The next day I write down five new things I am grateful for, trying not to repeat from the day before. This helped me realize and appreciate the little things in life. Such as having a place to rest your head at night or being able to eat everyday. These are things I took for granted growing up, but after living with alcoholism I now know nothing should be taken for granted and for me, being grateful for the little things is what helped me build my recovery foundation.
They have apps you can use to write your gratitude list, or you can just go old school with pen and paper. I like being able to go back and reread my gratitude lists. This helps me recognize patterns good or bad that I might need to address.
As I sit on an airplane headed to Vegas, for work, I have so much to be grateful for. I am grateful for my health, my loving family, having food to eat, a place to stay, and a job. I am also grateful for being an addict. The disease has torn me down, but I have been able to slowly rebuild my life. That is something I never thought I’d end up saying over a year later.
If you feel like giving up, do it tomorrow, because today we can do great things if we put our mind to it!