M(3), 5/26: What Dreams May Come
Happy Memorial Day to everyone, and a heartfelt thanks to all who protect and serve this country, I appreciate your service!
Today’s meeting was small in quantity (6 attendees), but huge in quality. I have written, on more than one occasion, of the concept “the magic of the meeting.” It’s when you go to a meeting, and something amazing happens that makes you realize there is a power greater than yourself, and that power is at work in our lives. Today was such a meeting for me.
This is the fourth Monday of the month, and so theoretically I would be continuing in a series of readings I started last month. The problem that I realized yesterday was that my week had been busier than usual and so I did not adequately prepare for this reading. I resolved the issue by deciding I would bring the book with me, and poll the group (in my Fellowship this is called asking for a “group conscience” decision): should we do the reading and just pass the book around, or switch with next week’s Big Book meeting, thereby allowing me the time I need to prepare the copies for next week? I could roll with it either way, so I went about my day on Sunday.
That night I had a vivid, lucid dream, the kind I seldom have. In it, I asked the group the question, they decided to switch the weeks, and insisted on the always popular chapter from the personal stories section of the Big Book entitled “Acceptance Was The Answer,” and insisted I start with the very famous paragraph on page 417. I have written before of the significance of this story in my life (please read here for more details), and so I was very excited. From there, the dream became more annoyingly dream-like, and no matter what I did I could not successfully open the book to page 417. I woke up and thought, “Hmmm… maybe I need to read that story again!”
Fast forward to the meeting, and the group was open to either option, so of course I chose the story “Acceptance Was The Answer.” The story is always significant, but today it helped me in a new way. Here is the section of the story that stood out for me:
A.A. and acceptance have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us; that we are all children of God and we each have a right to be here. When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God’s handiwork. I am saying I know better than God.
So I’m better off if I don’t give advice, don’t figure I know what’s best, and accept life on life’s terms, as it is today- especially my own life, as it actually is.
-pgs. 417-418, Alcoholics Anonymous
I have been doing quite a bit of complaining about one of God’s children lately, the one that faces me in the mirror each day. Another famous part of this story talks about when you focus on the problem, the problem increases, but when you focus on the solution, the solution increases. Guess where my focus has been of late when it comes to myself?
Any other time I have read this story I have related it to my judgment of other people, my assumption I know what’s best for the rest of the world, and my general treatment of my fellow human beings. Today I was able to read it from the perspective of how I treat myself, and it was illuminating… I walked out of the meeting feeling better than I have in weeks!
And that wasn’t the end of the magic, either. A newcomer to the meeting was teary-eyed as she shared, she was so overcome by the significance of that story for her. She is dealing with a family situation that is uncomfortable and difficult. She believed herself to have been handling it in the least judgmental way possible, but reading this story made her realize that she needs to look more closely at her actions and the effect her actions are having on her loved ones. She seemed really grateful to have been at this meeting to hear this story.
Some magical meeting stuff for this beautiful Memorial Day! Hope you are finding the holiday to be a relaxing one (unless you are my friends from Canada, or New Zealand, or Australia, or anywhere else… I hope all of you are having a Magical Monday!).
A personal holiday as well… this day, 14 years ago, my husband and I became parents for the first time… happy birthday to my beautiful daughter!
Posted on May 26, 2014, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged 12 step program, 12 steps, AA, Addiction, Alcoholic Anonymous, Alcoholism, Big Book, God, Higher Power, Meeting, Miracle, Monday, Recovery, Sobriety, Substance Abuse, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.