Sept. 23 – Eye Opener (1950)
In Step Twelve, we learn that we should “try to carry this message to alcoholics” but only after we have “had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps.”
Notice, please, that it does not say that we have an “understanding,” but it says “spiritual awakening.” It takes no English scholar to know the meaning of every one of those two hundred words. A child of ten can grasp what the words actually say, but it is only when we have had this spiritual experience can we understand their full significance.
Only when we have this spiritual experience do we fully possess the Program, and unless we possess it, it is certain that we cannot give it away.
Sept 23 — Big Book Quote
“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks – drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is little hope of his recovery.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, PG. XXVIII
Walk In Dry Places — September 23
WHEN RESENTMENT RETURNS
It’s surprising and even humiliating to find an old resentment flaring up, sometimes years after we thought it had been put to rest. When that happens, we wonder how thorough we really were in releasing the resentment in the first place.
The secret of handling this problem is to turn the old resentment over to our Higher Power without wasting time wondering why it came up again. We need to deal with it as if it were a brand-new problem; and in a sense, it is.
As for questioning our past sincerity, that too is a waste of time. We are always trying to do our best with the understanding we have for each day. Being too hard on us does not make it easier to practice our program. Resentments can and do return, but they don’t have to destroy us.
“I’ll realize today that I’m always susceptible to any of my ongoing problems, including resentment. Fortunately, I have my program for dealing with them when they occur.”,/em>
Stools & Bottles — Day 23
Twenty-Third Daily Reminder —
The keys to AA success and service are found in the last eight words of Step 12, “to practice these principles in all our affairs.” It takes a lot of constructive thought, effort and courage to arrest our alcoholism — not the physical kind, but the moral courage to be honest with ourselves and live AA.
Daily Inventory —
Is there more to Step 12 than just “carrying the message”? What about “a spiritual awakening”? What is meant by “these principles”?
Suggested Meditation —
“These principles” cover all of the 12 Steps. “Carrying the message” to alcoholics is vital, indeed, but it is only a part of practicing “these principles in all our affairs.” Without their practice there could be no recovery. Without it we could have no examples of contented sobriety–no message to carry–no sponsorship–no AA. Let us never forget the significance of the last eight words of Step 12.
Spiritual Contact —
Our Father, awaken us spiritually. Allow us to “carry the message” to alcoholics. Help us to stay sober and to live the 12 Steps 24 hours a day.
Daily Physical Audit —
Medical science has long been interested in the relation of blood sugar to the physical condition of the alcoholic and his lack of craving after eating. Experience teaches is that compulsion to drink usually occurred when our stomachs were empty and our blood sugar low. We should remember this in AA and always try to maintain an adequate level of nutrition for defense against that first drink.