MANY OF YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT THE MANY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL SITES OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS.

I PLAN TO SHARE WITH YOU PHOTOS I HAVE TAKEN OF THEM AS WELL AS PHOTOS I HAVE TAKEN OF SPECIAL MEETING LOCATIONS THAT I HAVE VISITED.





Friday, 31 July 2020

JUL 31, 20 .. ACCEPTANCE


In both the Third (page 449) and Fourth (page 417) editions of the Big Book are writings about acceptance.

I partially quote :

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation - some fact of my life - unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
 
It took me a very long time before I could embrace the above philosophy.

The story of my accepting the above words began in late July of 1988 when I was in Akron, Ohio, visiting the home of Doctor Bob. At that time (it is no longer the case), on the dining room wall, were photographs of long time A.A. members. I asked one of the staff to point out the photo of the man who wrote the above words about acceptance. I was told that his photo was not posted because he was alive, and living in California. I mentally filed this information in my brain.

In March of 1990, I was attending a 'round up' in San Angelo, Texas. The key speakers at the 'round up' were from the Canyon Club in Laguna Beach, California. During the weekend, I casually said to one of the speakers, "I understand the man who wrote the story Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict (in the third edition of the Big Book) lives in California." He immediately replied,"His name is Doctor Paul. He and his wife Max (who is mentioned by name in the story Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict) live in the Laguna Beach area. Doctor Paul is a member of the Canyon Club along with several of us here this weekend. If you are ever at the Canyon Club on a Wednesday evening, you may see him as he is a regular attendee of that meeting."

Fast forward to June 1992. I was in a Friday night speaker meeting in San Francisco (where I was living at the time) and as is often the case in meetings, when attendees visiting the meeting were asked to identify themselves, one man said, "My name is Fred. I am from Laguna Beach, California."

After the meeting ended, I dashed through the crowd to find Fred and, as I introduced myself while shaking his hand I said to him, "Fred, The Canyon Club is in Laguna Beach and I have heard that the gentleman who wrote the story Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict is a member. Further I was told that if I was at a Wednesday night meeting I might have a chance to meet him."

I continued to hold his hand. He paused, and said to me as he gestured to a lady on his right, "And this is my wife Max!"

Because of his 'fame' within A.A., when he introduced himself, he used the alias Fred so as not to give-himself-away to the large crowd.

That is how I met Doctor Paul. As the fate of human-chemistry would have it, we two bonded and became friends. 

The first time I visited them in their home, I said to Doctor Paul, "I have a lot of trouble accepting what you wrote in the Big Book that acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today." 

Instantly he said to me :

"Acceptance does NOT MEAN APPROVAL ! "

"What is ... IS !  You very well may not like whatever you have an issue with but, if you are powerless to change it, until you accept it you will be unhappy and frustrated to no avail ! "

What a difference his words have made in my life as to acceptance.

Our Serenity Prayer states :

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And wisdom to know the difference.

What a gift being able to actively interact with Doctor Paul for approximately ten years was in my life.

"Acceptance does NOT MEAN APPROVAL ! "

Friday, 26 June 2020

JUN 26, 20 .. ANGER, RESENTMENT, 10th STEP .. WALK THE WALK .. DO THE DEAL

On page 90, under Step Ten, in the book The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditons, we are advised that even "justified" anger should be left to those better qualified to handle it.

In the Big Book on page 66 we are told : "If we were to live, we had to be free of anger."

Never forget that anger is one letter away from Danger. When I feel anger cropping up I immediately think DANGER! And try to immediately evaluate the situation.

Each and every time we read How It Works (Chapter 5) we are asked, "If you want what we have..".

What have we got here? A Design For Living. The A.A. Program offers us a way of life that will allow us to be happy, joyous and free.

On page 64 of the Big Book we are told that : Resentment is the "number one" offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.

Step 10 : "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it."

Therefore if we want to be happy, joyous and free then we can not harbor anger and resentment.

The bottom line here is this : We've got to Do The Deal, Walk The Walk and not Talk The Talk.

Day One.

While staying in a motel during a recent trip, I had occasion to go to the front office of the motel. As I walked out of my room and headed up the sidewalk towards the motel office (I did not see the lady in the doorway of the room next to mine) as I passed the next room this lady blew a large puff of cigarette smoke into my face.

Instant Anger. As this enormous puff of cigarette smoke hit my face, to clear the air, I instantly and visciously waved my arms and shook an ice bucket that I was carrying. 

She said : "I have a right to smoke."

I did the right thing. I kept walking. 

I did NOT engage her. I returned to my room another way circumventing passing her.

However my anger was then joined by feelings of resentment toward this  'crone' -  an old woman, disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner.

On-the-spot she took up (rent-free) space in my mind.

I did a Step 10 inventory. 

I concluded that I didn't think she deliberately blew smoke into my face. I also thought about having to be living beside this 'crone' for who-knows-how-long with my mind filled with anger and resentment.

Day Two.

The next morning, after seeing that she was again smoking in her doorway, I headed for the front office of the motel. As I passed my local 'crone' I said to her : "Ma'am, I am sorry if I was rude to you yesterday morning."

And I kept on walking. I did NOT engage with her. Again I returned to my room a back way circumventing further contact with her.

Day Three.

As I had done the previous day, after seeing her smoking in her doorway, I again walked past her saying : "Ma'am, I can see that you are handicapped. IF my wife and I can be of assistance to you, please knock on our door."

Again I kept walking and did not engage with her.

Day Four.

As we were getting into our truck, 'she' was in her doorway (smoking) and I said, "My name is and my wife's name is. Again IF we may be of assistance to you, please knock on our door."

She replied : "My name is Linda."

And?

That was that. Linda became our friend. She is handicapped and elderly and is basically living in her car staying in the motel when she has the money to do so.

And?

I had a choice. 

Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?

Do I really and truly want to be happy, joyous and free or not?

In my heart I feel that I made the 'right-call' on this.