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Back to the WOTY


Off by a day or two, but still, three posts in a week… a-MAH-zing!

I wanted to get back to my choice for WOTY (Word of the Year).  I’ve been participating in this challenge for a few years now, with mixed results.  Two years ago I picked the word energy, and felt… well, energized by it!  Last year, I selected the word calm as my word for the year, and I would call that one a giant bust.  2016 was just about anything but calm!

This year I want to go in a different direction, and select an action word rather than a feeling.  I selected the word service:

    the action of helping or doing work for someone.
    “millions are involved in voluntary service”
    synonyms: favor, kindness, good turn, helping hand; More

    Why do I want to go with such a lofty word?  Because to me, service sounds somewhat sanctimonious.  But I don’t mean it that way at all.

    One of the greatest lessons I learned through my participation in a 12-step program is the value of getting out of my own head.  In fact, the final step in the 12-step process is just that… to pass along what you’ve learned to another person in need of recovery.

    And of course that specific type of service is a wonderful thing, but my word choice is a whole lot broader than that.  Here’s what I mean by service…

    Josie’s Definition of Service:

    Considering the perspective of another before my own.  Understanding rather than being understood.   Leaving people better than I found them.


    It’s really that simple, although as I consider the past few months, that would be quite a shift.  In sitting around and moping about my foot and unfulfilled career aspirations, I wasn’t sparing a whole lot of energy for the wants and needs of others.

    And either path, self-centeredness or service, is the kind which builds upon itself.  When I’m wallowing in self-pity, I can sink deeper and deeper.  Likewise, when I have the mindset of consideration and thoughtfulness, that tends to be contagious as well.   The question is:  which mindset provides the most benefit?

    Because that’s the truly amazing thing about service… that while the intention is to help another, you wind up helping yourself in the process.  So even if I sound all saintly by choosing the word service, really I’m just cultivating positive self-growth!


    So there you have it… let’s try to make 2017 the year to give back.  Hopefully I’ll be better about checking in on the progress throughout the year!

    Today’s Miracle:

    The positive boost that comes from embarking on a new goal!


Monday Meeting Miracles: 12/16

Today is the third Monday of the month, so today’s meeting format is a step meeting.  Because it is December, we read the first half of step 12 from the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions:

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

Step 12 is a long one, so it is traditionally spread out over two meetings, we will read the second half next week.

Today’s meeting was a great one, well attended (13 total) and lots of meaningful interaction, both throughout the meeting, as well as before and after.  One of the reasons this meeting is so special to me is that, as the chairperson, I share first, and often (though certainly not always) the content of my “share” becomes the springboard for others.  So, today, as I read along with step 12, I attempted to relate it to what is going on in my life, and make the information meaningful for me personally, and I will share with the group the relationship between the reading and my life.

A quick synopsis of Step 12 for those unfamiliar with the 12 steps of recovery.  Step 12 is the final step, and is often described as three-pronged.  The first is the presumption that a spiritual awakening has occurred.  For me, there was no lightning bolt moment where the heavens opened and a lightning bolt sizzled.  It was more of a slow realization.  In looking back, the closest I came to a “moment” was when I fully realized that the steps that had worked so well in keeping me sober could also be applied to all areas of my life.  When I had that “a-ha” moment, and I started using the steps for more than just staying sober, was when I felt my spiritual awakening, and I believe that awakening is a life-long process.

The second prong of Step 12 is carrying the message to another alcoholic, and of course there are myriad ways for someone in recovery to give back what has been freely given to them.  From making coffee at a meeting, to raising your hand and sharing your experience, to showing another the 12 steps of recovery, and countless ways in between, carrying the message is something that anyone with even a day of sobriety can do.

The third prong of Step 12 is practicing the principles of the 12 steps in all our affairs.  This is the part that can often be the toughest, because it is so all-encompassing, but it is the part that brings the most serenity in my life when I am doing it to the best of my ability.

Where I am at in my life currently, it is the last prong of this step that is causing me difficulty.  Specifically speaking, I am finding it difficult to practice these principles when it comes to parenting, and of course I have written of these issues frequently.  As it happened, I had another encounter of the frustrating sort this very morning, and so it was about this subject that I shared.  I spoke about my frustrations in raising a child who can’t seem to learn from mistakes, and I feel like I’m out of options in terms of teaching.

Here’s what it boils down to for me:  who better than me to understand what it is like to repeatedly make the same mistake?  The fact that I assume the title “Recovering” implies that at some point in time, I was guilty of the exact same thing:  making a mistake, apologizing for it, then turning around and making the exact same mistake.  I should have all the empathy in the world, yet, over and over, I find myself reacting in frustration, and thus perpetuating the cycle.  Spinning my wheels, basically.

So the miracle of the meeting today is the feedback I received from the group.  From the Moms in the group who have been there, done that, I received empathy, and the feeling that I am not alone.  From the older gentleman in the group I received wisdom, and perspective.  And from absolutely everyone in the group, I received acceptance, which gives me the strength and courage to keep going.

Step 12 work at its finest!

Today’s Miracle:

After a morning of frustration, having a place to go and dump all of my problems, and turn my day around in 60 minutes, is an absolute miracle!

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