From the Daily Reflections of February 27;
Where does A.A. get its direction? . . . These practical folk then read Tradition Two, and learn that the sole authority in A.A. is a loving God as He may express Himself in the group conscience. . . . 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. (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pages 132 and 135).
Into the fabric of recovery from alcoholism are woven the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions. As my recovery progressed, I realized that the new mantle was tailor-made for me. The elders of the group gently offered suggestions when change seemed impossible. Everyone’s shared experiences became the substance for treasured friendships. I know that the Fellowship is ready and equipped to aid each suffering alcoholic at all crossroads in life. In a world beset by many problems, I find this assurance a unique stability. I cherish the gift of sobriety. I offer God my gratitude for the strength I receive in a Fellowship that truly exists for the good of all members.
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The idea that my Twelve Step network is always ready to help the suffering alcoholic is an ideal that I embrace. The thing about ideals is that they push us forward to their fulfillment. There may be times when a suffering alcoholic reaches out and a member of the Fellowship responds inappropriately or in a way that is either not helpful or enabling. We fall short from time to time. Then we turn to our ideals preserved in the Steps and Traditions and try again. The stability comes to us in our persistence to meet, to connect when we can, to serve, to work to produce better more durable versions of ourselves. When others in my network stay sober and prosper, it benefits and encourages me. When I stay sober and prosper, I look forward to the opportunity to be of use to my others. It is a good life and I am grateful.