M(3), 12/21/15: The Collective Boo Hoo
Posted by themiracleisaroundthecorner
And just like that, we are here at Christmas week.
Another packed meeting today, 20 attendees! For the record we read from the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Because it is the 12th month, we read step 12:
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Because this is a long step, with an equally long reading associated with it, we read the first half today; we’ll read the second half next week.
Which turns out to be quite convenient, since we talked but little about this step in today’s meeting. As it happens, the group had some venting to do!
I shared first, and I was able to keep my share in context with the reading. I have written this before, and I’m sure I’ll write this again: when it comes to which of the steps had the most transformational effect on my life, step twelve is tied for first.
Step three is the other, in case you were curious.
My best guess for why both 3 and 12 are so important is that they have the greatest universal application: anyone, anywhere, anytime can benefit from putting into action the suggestions in steps 3 and 12.
Which means that when I choose to use the spiritual awakening I was granted to help another, when I choose to practice the very basic suggestions given to me by this 12-step program everywhere in my life, not just within the confines of my recovery, then my life is exponentially better. The moment I choose to get out of my own head in order to give assistance to someone else, my life improves.
It’s that simple, but its simplicity belies the profundity of its impact.
That was my take on the reading, but we took a major turn when I finished. I’m not sure what it is about the holidays and family, but things were haywire with the group, at least with the portion of the group who shared. Feelings of being misunderstood, familial expectations that lead to feelings of entrapment, confusion and resentment regarding the decisions of loved ones all permeated the room this morning.
A lot of people started their sharing with variations of the theme: “I anxiously anticipate the end of the holiday season.”
You might think that I’m complaining, or perhaps resentful that this group of sad sacks pricked a hole in my balloon of optimism. Far from it! Every single person, by the conclusion of sharing their troubles, felt better for having shared it. Not only did they state this to be true, it was visibly apparent… smiles replaced tears, countenances brightened, tones of voice evened out. It’s like watching little miracles, one after the other.
Besides the actual act of sharing, the other element of improving each person’s mental state seemed to be absorbing the message within the reading this morning. Now that the troubles are aired, each person remembered what they needed to do: get out of their own heads, and be there for someone else. And in so doing each seemed to take back some of the peace that this season promises.
And it brought me a lot of the magic this season promises!
Having this magnificent platform to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!
Posted on December 21, 2015, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged AA, Addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Carrying the Message, Christmas chaos, family turmoil, Holidays, Miracle, Recovery, Service, sharing, Sobriety, Step 12, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.