Earlier today I read a blog--by my most favorite "tell-it-like-it-is" blogger Mary C regarding the sometimes seemingly unrelated practices to which some AA groups subscribe. I commented on her blog, then commenced to Email Mary, and tempt her into a more in-depth discourse. And THEN IT HAPPENED! I strolled into a meeting which is not on my 'regular' route, only to experience first-hand the following:
Friday at 630 PM I left a meeting (not my 'regular') shaking my head in wonderment. Two great speakers! One of the speakers however, opined that he could have never got sober in his home--Chicago--where, he claimed, the meetings are labeled "B.C." meaning "Before Crack"! I had not heard the term prior to this evening. I can only guess that he does not agree with AA's "Singleness of Purpose" doctrine (is it a doctrine?)...
The same meeting ended with a familiar 21-year sober gal intoning the reasons--in her opinion--we pray the Lord's Prayer after the meetings: "For the poor suffering alcoholic still out there, for the starving children in Africa, and for our fighting men around the world". Then she said, "Grab the hand of the one standing next to you, and hold on as if your life depended on it." WTF??? ( She did not say WTF!) AFTER the prayer, nearly everyone shouted, "It works if you work it!", "Keep coming back!" and while shaking held hands up and down, some other chosen words. Question: who chose? Answer: probably some well meaning, well-heeled treatment center gurus, trying to remake adults back into children. Is my frustration showing??? -grin!
MOMENT OF TRUTH?
But ya know...during the Lord's Prayer, I looked around at the room full of nearly 100 people--ALL SOBER, most happy, except for a few newcomers, and I wondered, "Why should I care, or be concerned even? After all, they are sober. And the meeting is REALLY OVER BEFORE the Lord's Prayer. The prayer is simply a tradition of sorts, it is certainly not required, it is certainly not AA, I do not have to participate. In fact, it certainly is not universally practiced. Bottom line: That prayer has absolutely nothing to do with my staying sober!
Also, we have a Tradition which applies, number TWO, which states: "For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience."
So, if I do not like what goes on, I can show up at the group business meeting, and voice my opinion, and maybe (surprising how frequently I/we can do this)...and just maybe help to change the group policy on such shenanigans. Hmmmmm? I think in that particular group, I'll just "Let Go And Let God" or whatever we say...
As important IS our Tradition Two, our Tradition ONE is before all else in our recovery from this dreaded, deadly disease, alcoholism. Tradition One states: "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. Unity."
Did I read that correctly? (MY) personal recovery DEPENDS on Tradition ONE--"our common welfare?"! Fancy THAT! AA Unity! NOTE: WITHOUT Tradition ONE , our program of recovery--our Twelve Steps--are eventually worthless. HA! So THAT'S the answer -grin! Well, NOW maybe I can let the whirling dervishes whirl, while I exist in the peaceful knowledge that In God's world all is as it should be...must be! And I am free to, rather, I am exhorted to share freely what I have learned here, what I have been freely given.
Thank you, whoever read this far down the page--for that you receive my wish and my prayer for God to bless you, and also MY love for you all! (Whether you want it or not!!!)