“As psychiatrists have often observed, defiance is the outstanding characteristic of many an alcoholic. So it’s not strange that lots of us have had our day at defying God Himself. Sometimes it’s because God has not delivered us the good things of life which we specified, as a greedy child makes an impossible list for Santa Claus. More often, though, we had met up with some major calamity, and to our way of thinking lost out because God deserted us. The girl we wanted to marry had other notions; we prayed God that she’d change her mind, but she didn’t. We prayed for healthy children, and were presented with sick ones, or none at all. We prayed for promotions at business, and none came. Loved ones, upon who we heartily depended, were taken from us by so-called acts of God. Then we became drunkards, and asked God to stop that. But nothing happened. This was the unkindest cut of all. ‘Damn this faith business!’ we said.
“When we encountered A.A., the fallacy of our defiance was revealed. At no time had we asked what God’s will was for us; instead we had been telling Him what it ought to be. No man, we saw, could believe in God and defy Him, too. Belief meant reliance, not defiance. In A.A. we saw the fruits of this belief: men and women spared from alcohol’s final catastrophe. We saw them meet and transcend their other pains and trials. We saw them calmly accept impossible situations, seeking neither to run nor to recriminate. This was not only faith; it was faith that worked under all conditions. We soon concluded that whatever price in humility we must pay, we would pay.”
Reprinted from the book “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions,” page 31, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Copyright © 1952, 1953, 1981 by The A.A. Grapevine, Inc. and Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing (now known as Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.)
A LIST OF BLESSINGS
One exercise that I practice is to try for a full inventory of my blessings…
—As Bill Sees It, p. 37
What did I have to be grateful for? I shut myself up and started listing the blessings for which I was in no way responsible, beginning with having been born of sound mind and body. I went through seventy-four years of living right up to the present moment. The list ran to two pages, and took two hours to compile; I included health, family, money, A.A.—the whole gamut.
Every day in my prayers, I ask God to help me remember my list, and to be grateful for it throughout the day. When I remember my gratitude list, it’s very hard to conclude that God is picking on me.
Reprinted from the book “Daily Reflections,” page 150, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
*~*^As Bill Sees It^*~*
We do not relate intimate experiences of another member unless we are sure he would approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own stories. A man may criticize or laugh at himself and it will affect others favorably, but criticism or ridicule aimed at someone else often produces the contrary effect.
« « « » » »
A continous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow by this means are necessities for us. We alcoholics have learned this the hard way. More experienced people, of course, in all times and places have practiced unsparing self-survey and criticism.
1. Alcoholics Anonymous, P. 125
2. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, P. 88
Reprinted from the book “As Bill Sees It,” page 161, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Copyright © 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
*~*^Big Book Quote^*~*
Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.
Reprinted from the book “Alcoholics Anonymous,” page 127, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Copyright © 1939, 1955, 1976, 2001 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.