According to Bill

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?
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saved1
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According to Bill

Post by saved1 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:24 am

:D
Last edited by saved1 on Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Moved.

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leejosepho
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Re: According to Bill

Post by leejosepho » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:21 am

Overall, the idea here is really a simple one: Learning to think correctly, and we do that by allowing someone else to impose actions over our current thinking so we can experience the benefit of actually acting rightly even when we might still just happen to think there is yet a better way coming from within us ...

... and thus do we learn to live our ways into a new way of thinking:

"Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. 'How can I best serve Thee [rather than me] - Thy will (not mine) be done.' These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will." (page 85)
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: According to Bill

Post by Steven F » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:46 am

Sometimes I feel Bill was just complicating things in trying to explain them... To me, part of the programme is to be accountable to others. That means that, when in doubt (or even when not in doubt), I will run things by fellow alcoholics. They will ask a question, make a remark, give me pause, so to speak.

I don't use just a sponsor for that, or a spiritual mentor. Any recovered alcoholic will do. They kind of know what trouble we can get ourselves into, and have great imagination when it comes to possible hidden motives :-).

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Re: According to Bill

Post by happycamper » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:49 pm

Great discussion and sharing.

I had a wonderful sponsor , her name was Mary . She died a few weeks ago and I miss her terribly. Her esh helped me thru many, many ruff spots. I can only pray now that I remember everything she taught me, cuz she was a very good teacher!
Faith without works is dead

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Tosh
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Re: According to Bill

Post by Tosh » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:10 pm

I'm sorry about your sponsor, Happycamper, I feel quite touched about that for some reason.

My sponsor is a bit of an enigma to me; he helps a lot of guys and is a great example to follow and a great teacher too. Sometimes I think he's a bit black 'n' white, but we're not all perfect are we.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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PaigeB
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Re: According to Bill

Post by PaigeB » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:29 pm

Good thread! All I can add is: aint it great that we all have the right to be wrong?
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Re: According to Bill

Post by parmm » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:18 am

We learn from our own mistakes, besides, who the heck made sponsors geniuses. They may be smart and experienced but I don't think Bill W. or Dr. Bob ever intended them to run our lifes for us.

And Happy Camper, feel for you. I just lost the best one I ever had. He was a real friend and a elder statesman. Hard to find someone to fill his shoes.

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Re: According to Bill

Post by happycamper » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:01 pm

Thanks Parmm,
Yeah, no one will ever be able to fill Mary's shoes, for sure. She was 20 yrs sober and not only my sponsor, but best friend like no other Ive ever had. God put us in each others paths and I will continue to trudge this road, cuz I know its what she would want me to do. I must honor her teachings, and save my own life :D
Faith without works is dead

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leejosepho
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Re: According to Bill

Post by leejosepho » Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:48 pm

parmm wrote:We learn from our own mistakes, besides, who the heck made sponsors geniuses. They may be smart and experienced but I don't think Bill W. or Dr. Bob ever intended them to run our lifes for us.
So true, and we also need to carefully discern the great differences between a sponsor and a quip-quoting philosopher.

A sponsor is responsible for making sure we have whatever help we need in taking the Steps, and I have yet to ever meet one who could have ever managed either his life or mine any better than either of us ever had!
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

parmm
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Re: According to Bill

Post by parmm » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:51 am

happycamper wrote:Thanks Parmm,
Yeah, no one will ever be able to fill Mary's shoes, for sure. She was 20 yrs sober and not only my sponsor, but best friend like no other Ive ever had. God put us in each others paths and I will continue to trudge this road, cuz I know its what she would want me to do. I must honor her teachings, and save my own life :D
But find another sponsor or spiritical guide to walk the path with you. And in the meantime, remember that Mary will always be there beside you with the things she has taught you.

And just maybe we will meet up someday. If you ever see a older Foretravel pull in, look on the back for the triangle.

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Re: According to Bill

Post by Blast » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:44 pm

saved1 wrote:Bill Wilson often said that you cannot trust your own mind, and must have your sponsor censor your thinking. It was in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, where he stated that in both confessing our moral wrongs and in receiving Guidance from God, we cannot trust our own thinking:

... if all our lives we had more or less fooled ourselves, how could we now be so sure that we weren't still self-deceived? How could we be certain we had made a true catalog of our defects and had really admitted them, even to ourselves?
... what comes to us alone may be garbled by our own rationalization and wishful thinking. The benefit of talking to another person is that we can get his direct comment and counsel on our situation, and there can be no doubt in our minds what that advice is. Going it alone in spiritual matters is dangerous. How many times have we heard well-intentioned people claim the guidance of God when it was all too plain that they were sorely mistaken. 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 advisors 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 is 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.

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, pages 59-60.

With all this stated, does that mean that we cannot make our choices? No, it simply means that a mentor with experience, strength and hope to share is highly recommended. It is also recommended that we use that in conjunction with our Higher Power. Free Will, it is our choice to do as we please. I choice to use most of my sponsor’s suggestions, and to listen to all of them. Never hurts to have mentor for any reason.
That book also says, just to the extent that we DO as we think He (God) would have us, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.

Harry
For man, there is no greater burden than potential

December 16, 1986 is my day of Grace

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