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Friday Steps and Traditions

May 19

 . Read the Twelve and Twelve on the AA.org web site:

http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/twelve-steps-and-twelve-traditions


When a newcomer is present, Link to Step-1 Reading: click here
"Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" copyrighted by AA World Services, Inc. and  reprinted with permission.

Raise your hand   !!    at anytime during the reading if you would like to share.


Step Five

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”


Lacking both practice and humility, they had deluded themselves and were able to justify the most arrant nonsense on the ground that this was what God had told them. It is worth noting that people of very high spiritual development almost always insist on checking with friends or spiritual advisers the guidance they feel they have received from God. Surely, then, a novice ought not lay himself open to the chance of making foolish, perhaps tragic, blunders in this fashion.

While the comment or advice of others may be by no means infallible, it is likely to be far more specific than any direct guidance we may receive while we are still so inexperienced in establishing contact with a Power greater than ourselves.

Our next problem will be to discover the person in whom we are to confide. Here we ought to take much care, remembering that prudence is a virtue which carries a high rating. Perhaps we shall need to share with this person facts about ourselves which no others ought to know.

We shall want to speak with someone who is experienced, who not only has stayed dry but has been able to surmount other serious difficulties. Difficulties, perhaps, like our own. This person may turn out to be one's sponsor, but not necessarily so. If you have developed a high confidence in him, and his temperament and problems are close to your own, then such a choice will be good. Besides, your sponsor already has the advantage of knowing something about your case.

Perhaps, though, your relation to him is such that you -would care to reveal only a part of your story. If this is the situation, by all means do so, for you ought to make a beginning as soon as you can. It may turn out, however, that you'll choose someone else for the more difficult and deeper revelations. This individual may be entirely outside of A.A.--for example, your clergyman or your doctor. For some of us, a complete stranger may prove the best bet.

The real tests of the situation are your own willingness to confide and your full confidence in the one with whom you share your first accurate self-survey. Even when you've found the person, it frequently takes great resolution to approach him or her. No one ought to say the A.A. program requires no willpower; here is one place you may require all you've got. Happily, though, the chances are that you will be in for a very pleasant surprise.

When your mission is carefully explained, and it is seen by the recipient of your confidence how helpful he can really be, the conversation will start easily and will soon become eager. Before long, your listener may well tell a story or two about himself which will place you even more at ease. Provided you hold back nothing, your sense of relief will mount from minute to minute. The dammed-up emotions of years break out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon as they are exposed.

As the pain subsides, a healing tranquility takes its place. And when humility and serenity are so combined, something else of great moment is apt to occur. Many an A.A., once agnostic or atheistic, tells us that it was during this stage of Step Five that he first actually felt the presence of God. And even those who had faith already often become conscious of God as they never were before.

This feeling of being at one with God and man, this emerging from isolation through the open and honest sharing of our terrible burden of guilt, brings us to a resting place where we may prepare ourselves for the following Steps toward a full and meaningful sobriety.

End Step-5

END of Reading

updated TM for  May 19





For month May- Step-05 / Tradition-05 are bellow for cut and paste above ... The Tradition is below the Step for the last Friday day of the month... large paragraphs should be broken down smaller, a few sentences, for the easy of reader during the meeting. Remember that some readers are slower than others. Scrolling up and down makes it almost impossible for a member to keep up during the meeting.

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BEGIN Monthly step ( I will setup step-6 next week, Todd )

END STEP FIVE


Tradition Five (for May 26)

"Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry it's message to the alcoholic who still suffers."

"Shoemaker, stick to thy last!" ... better do one thing supremely well than many badly. That is the central theme of this Tradition. Around it our Society gathers in unity. The very life of our Fellowship requires the preservation of this principle.

Alcoholics Anonymous can be likened to a group of physicians who might find a cure for cancer, and upon whose concerted work would depend the answer for sufferers of this disease. True, each physician in such a group might have his own specialty. Every doctor concerned would at times wish he could devote himself to his chosen field rather than work only with the group. But once these men had hit upon c cure, once it became apparent that only by their united effort could this be accomplished, then all of them would feel bound to devote themselves solely to the relief of cancer. In the radiance of such a miraculous discovery, any doctor would set his other ambitions aside, at whatever personal cost.

Just as firmly bound by obligation are the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, who have demonstrated that they can help problem drinkers as others seldom can. The unique ability of each A.A. to identify himself with, and bring recovery to, the newcomer in no way depends upon his learning, eloquence, or on any special individual skills. the only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety. These legacies of suffering and of recovery are easily passed among alcoholics, one to the other. This is our gift from god, and its bestowal upon others like us is the one aim that today animates A.A.'s all around the globe.

There is another reason for this singleness of purpose. It is the great paradox of A.A. that we know we can seldom keep the precious gift of sobriety unless we give it away. If a group of doctors possessed a cancer cure, they might be conscience-stricken if they failed their mission through self-seeking. Yet such a failure wouldn't jeopardize their personal survival. for us, if we neglect those who are still sick, there is unremitting danger to our own lives and sanity. Under these compulsions of self-preservation, duty, and love, it is not strange that our Society has concluded that it has but one high mission - to carry the A.A. message to those who don't know there is a way out.

Highlighting the wisdom of A.A.'s single purpose, a member tells this story: "Restless one day, I felt I'd better do some Twelfth Step work. Maybe I should take out some insurance against a slip. But first I'd have to find a drunk to work on.

"So I hopped the subway to Towns Hospital, where I asked Dr. Silkworth if he had a prospect. `Nothing too promising,' the little doc said. `There's just one chap on the third floor who might be a possibility. But he's an awfully tough Irishman. I never saw a man so obstinate. He shouts that if his partner would treat him better, and his wife would leave him alone, he'd soon solve his alcohol problem. He's had a bad case of D.T.'s, he's pretty foggy, and he's very suspicious of everybody. Doesn't sound too good, does it? But working with him may do something for you, so why don't you have a go at it?'

"I was soon sitting beside a big hulk of a man. Decidedly unfriendly, he stared at me out of eyes which were slits in his red and swollen face. I had to agree with the doctor - he certainly didn't look god. But I told him my own story. I explained what a wonderful Fellowship we had, how well we understood each other. I bore down hard on the hopelessness of the drunk's dilemma. I insisted that few drunks could ever get well on their own steam, but that in our groups we could do together what we could not do separately. He interrupted to scoff at this and asserted he'd fix his wife, his partner, and his alcoholism by himself. Sarcastically he asked, `How much does your scheme cost?'
"I was thankful I could tell him, `Nothing at all.'
"His next question: `What are you getting out of it?'
"Of course, my answer was `My own sobriety and a mighty happy life.'
"Still dubious, he demanded, `Do you really mean the only reason you are here is to try and help me and to help yourself?'
"`Yes,' I said. `That's absolutely all there is to it. There's no angle.'

"Then, hesitantly, I ventured to talk about the spiritual side of our program. What a freeze that drunk gave me! I'd no sooner got the word `spiritual' out of my mouth than he pounced. `Oh!' he said. `Now I get it! You're proselytizing for some damn religious sect or other. Where do you get that "no angle" stuff? I belong to a great church that means everything to me. You've got a nerve to come in here talking religion!"

"Thank heaven I came up with the right answer for that one. It was based foursquare on the single purpose of A.A. `You have faith,' I said. `Perhaps far deeper faith than mine. No doubt you're better taught in religious matters than I. So I can't tell you anything about religion. I don't even want to try. I'll bet, too, that you could give me a letter-perfect definition of humility. But from what you've told me about yourself and your problems and how you propose to lock them, I think I know what's wrong.' "`Okay,' he said. `Give me the business.' "`Well,' I said, `I think you're just a conceited Irishman who thinks he can run the whole show.'

"This really rocked him. But as he calmed down, he began to listen while I tried to show him that humility was the main key to sobriety. Finally, he saw that I wasn't attempting to change his religious views, that I wanted him to find the grace in his own religion that would aid his recovery. From there on we got along fine.

"Now," concludes the oldtimer, "suppose I'd been obliged to talk to this man on religious grounds? Suppose my answer had to be that A.A. needed a lot of money; that A.A. went in for education, hospital, and rehabilitation? Suppose I'd suggested that I'd take a hand in his domestic and business affairs? Where would we have wound up? No place, of course."

Years later, this tough Irish customer liked to say, "my sponsor sold me one idea, and that was sobriety. At the time, I couldn't have bought anything else."


END Monthly Tradition

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