This past weekend, I went down to Austin, TX was 4 other members of my home group to attend the 75th Texas State A.A. Convention. We heard some really great speakers who carried solid A.A. messages. As I often do at events like this, I took a bunch of notes of things said that really stood out to me. Here are some of the things I jotted down….
- “Hard time vs. easy time…”
- “Do I want to be Higher Powered or Medium Powered?”
- “All of you helps all of me…” (loved that one a lot)
- “Many people have never seen me drunk but they have CERTAINLY seen my alcoholism.”
- “I caught alcoholism when I came to A.A.” (Be on the lookout, I’m going to do a whole separate post on this one)
- “The 2nd Surrender” (this was around recognizing the additional letting go when it came time to surrendering more that just the bottle)
- “Recovery is much more about subtraction than it is addition.”
The one that hit the most and what I wanted to share on today is when the speaker, Beau B., Past A.A. General Service Board Trustee said…
“I Was Not Invite-able.”
He was talking about how grateful he was that the life A.A. has afforded him was so much different than the life he had before coming into the Fellowship. He said, “I continue to be blown away at the “conversations” I keep being invited into.” He talked about what had to take place for that kind of life change to occur. He alluded to the “personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism” that had occurred in him which brought him to a place where people wanted to hear his voice at the table.
I think the reason that hit me big time was because prior to coming to A.A., I, like so many others, lived a life where when people saw me coming, they turned the other direction and ran!!! (LOL) My defects of character were such that people just finally got to a point where they didn’t want to deal with me – couldn’t deal with me. I always had to be the smartest person in the room, I had to be the center of attention, I needed to be praised for my accomplishments, and the list goes on ad infinitum. And while three (3) decades of work in our Fellowship (with the Steps, Traditions, and Concepts) have certainly minimized that, it has in no way completely mitigated it. I can’t remain recovered today on yesterday’s actions any more than I can remain drunk today on yesterday’s alcohol.
Regardless of what service I’m privileged to provide to the Fellowship as service body’s continue to push me down the service triangle, I hope I never forget that I will only be fit to serve – IF – I’m continually working on that personality change (spiritual experience) required of me each and every day. I’ve witnessed far too many trusted servants who use service as their program and are not doing what they need to do to treat their untreated alcoholism. I’ve seen that approach drive many people away from the general service structure and I hope and pray I never become that person.
“The elder statesman is the one who sees the wisdom of the group’s decision, who holds no resentment over his reduced status, whose judgment, fortified by considerable experience, is sound, and who is willing to sit quietly on the sidelines patiently awaiting developments. They become the real and permanent leadership of A.A. Theirs is the quiet opinion, the sure knowledge and humble example that resolve a crisis. When sorely perplexed, the group inevitably turns to them for advice. They become the voice of the group conscience; in fact, these are the true voice of Alcoholics Anonymous. They do not drive by mandate; they lead by example. This is the experience which has led us to the conclusion that our group conscience, well-advised by its elders, will be in the long run wiser than any single leader.” – Excerpt From Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, AA World Services, Inc.
With God’s help, may I become an elder statesmen today so that I am invite-able as we all carry our message of hope to the still suffering alcoholic.