Addiction is one of the most bedeviling and ruinous torments of the human experience. And for millions of those trapped in addiction’s cycle of suffering, the famed 12-step program established by Alcoholics Anonymous and its many affiliated organizations has been an effective way out.
As a teen you followed your dream
landed a job at the world famous art museum
The only opening was in doggy daycare
The rich patrons would come
dripping jewelry and fur
Drop off their little sweeties
with designer bags full of treats
toys and elaborate letters explaining
complicated conditions and personality quirks
The hours you spent
painstakingly training each pup
to play dead
so that when Mummsie would return
the entire museum would be treated
with a holy shriek
an aria of grief
Then the magical moment
the holy miracle
That was the moment you fell in love with
that split second where no one knew
what anything was anymore
Spilled tears uncertain
before turning back into diamonds
even the furs unknowingly purred
for a brief loving swim
Then the stiffening realization
a mask hastily rearranged
a few quick kisses and suspicious glances
business as usual
The purpose of taking a moral inventory is to expose the noxious character traits of our alcoholic personalities, to eliminate them from the new personalities that with the help of the Alcoholics Anonymous program as a “way of life,” we now propose to develop.
The AA usage of the term “personality” deals with the development of new character traits necessary to our recovery from alcoholism.
We gauge AA personality by AA maturity that is evidenced in such qualities as: strength and understanding from a Power greater than ourselves, surrender of self-centeredness, honesty, sincerity, practice of the 12 Steps, creative thought, positive action in admitting wrongs and making amends, service to others and the example of a happy, sober life.
—The Little Red Book
FOURTEENTH DAILY REMINDER
Many of us have stumbled over the term “spiritual awakening.” By confusing AA with organized religion, we have encountered trouble with the spiritual angle. By trying to define God and to interpret AA according to religious creeds, we have experienced frustration and ineffectual AA living.
Are the objectives of AA and organized religion the same? Is our objective to save souls? Are there signs which identify a spiritual awakening?
AA offers a 24-hour program borrowed from medicine, religion and psychology by which we arrest alcoholism, an incurable illness. It utilizes physical, mental and spiritual help to maintain 24-hour periods of contented sobriety. It suggests a daily contact with God as we understand Him. AA is not a religion. We see in honesty, sobriety, forgiveness, amends, and love signs of a spiritual awakening.
Our Father, we recognize the latent spiritual power within us and ask Your help to develop it. Awaken us to our spiritual possibilities.
DAILY PHYSICAL AUDIT
There are no written tests to pass in AA. How we recover is a matter of our own choice. We may either sink or swim. But swimming requires good physical health. So does satisfactory recovery from alcoholism. We ought to recognize this fact and live to improve the quality of our health and thus enjoy life to its full capacity. AA members are most effective when in good physical condition.
(Remember, instead of our Father or God, substitute your name for your Higher Power)