May 28: Care

Topic for the week: Care

I’m Sophie and I’m an alcoholic, here to lead our weekly topic meeting this week.

Thank you all who are here, to listen or share or be of service in anyway here or to another alcoholic or AA group.

Care, in the form of the loving care and loving kindness I’ve found in AA, is our topic this week. But you are of course welcome to share off topic also, the group just asks it be on matters relevant to an AA meeting and sobriety and alcoholism when sharing to the group.

I’m grateful this week to have celebrated a milestone and have been feeling the closeness of all my sponsor’s words and pearls of wisdom.

The idea of taking care of myself or trusting anything to the care of anyone else let alone a god I didn’t believe in, well those were alien concepts prior to being in AA and my sobriety.

A dear lady called Shirley was my sponsor in NZ for 4 years. She was a huge part of our NZ lives and my sobriety journey whilst there. A longtimer who found AA and got sober in her 50’s, found god eight years later on the surgeon’s operating table during her cancer surgery and died over 40 years sober a few months ago age 97 (she always said she didn’t want to live to 100, and I know she was peaceful and ready to be with her loving god and her dear departed husband). She was Kiwi-Nana to my son who was born in NZ. Her granddaughter was my age, born with a Learning Disability and opened my eyes to life as an adult with an LD. I now work with a group of adults with LD’s.

I wanted to share something Shirley talked about, that was a key to her peace and serenity and her long term sobriety. She showed me her god of loving kindness. The loving care of her god was in her veins. She was a living breathing example of turning each day over to the loving care of a loving god. Every day she thanked that loving god for another day of life and she lived it.

I learned so much from Shirley.

I never have known who or what is around the corner and seeing her live in the loving care of her god is one of the most beautiful eye openers for me in my sobriety.

I wonder what kind of loving care or loving kindness or loving god you may have experienced in your sobriety?

AA has pulled me close and wrapped me in the wings of angel’s when times have been bumpy. The little things; an offer of a cup of tea at a meeting, the offer of a chat over coffee afterwards, the phone call midweek, the emails of support or encouragement or thanks, the sharing with my gratitude gals, the demonstration of how a particular principle or step or page or paragraph from the book might help.

The big things; members walking with me through the really bumpy times, the women in my closer circle, the ones who’ve let me stay at their home when I had nowhere safe to be because I was in yet another destructive relationship but this time sober, the ones who’ve been at the end of the phone or email when I’ve really needed that… so many examples of loving kindness along the way.

If you’re out there somewhere in Grow and haven’t yet felt the loving care of AA I encourage you to be brave and reach out either individually or to the group.

I am constantly amazed at the love there is, I just have to remember to turn towards instead of turn away.

Turning has been a theme of my sobriety. Turning towards is my lifeline.

Loving care for me has been about finding the god of my understanding. And I’ve only found that and continue to find it because I’m sober and participating in AA.

Finding the silver linings, continuing to trust god’s got me no matter what, that the care of god will hold me and my needs will always be met no matter what.

Finding god in the detail, those incredible god-incidences.

The times when I’ve looked back and can see the footprints in the sand or feel that loving angel’s wing.

I’ve included below my favourite lines from our AA literature that to me demonstrate the power that loving care has in individual sobriety, the AA 12 Step program and in this incredible fellowship itself.

“Isn’t it true that in all matters touching upon alcohol, each of them has decided to turn his or her life over to the care, protection and guidance of Alcoholics Anonymous?” 12&12 Step Three p.35

“I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction.” BB Bill’s Story p.13

“the lawyer gave his life to the care and direction of his Creator, and said he was perfectly willing to do anything necessary.” BB A Vision For You p.158

“In fact, the effectiveness of the whole AA program will rest upon how well and how earnestly we have tried to come to “a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood him.”” 12&12 Step Three p.34-35

“If I keep on turning my life and my will over to the care of Something or Somebody else, what will become of me?” 12&12 Step Three p.36

“We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems.” BB Into Action p.87

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood him.”” 12&12 Step Three

“We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.” BB How It Works p.59

“We believe there isn’t a fellowship on earth which lavishes more devoted care upon it’s individual members; surely there is none which more jealously guards the individual’s right to think, talk and act as he wishes.” 12&12 Tradition One p.129

“Concept XII. The conference shall observe the spirit of AA tradition, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power, that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and, wherever possible, by substantial unanimity; that it’s actions be never personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the society it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action.” BB Appendix, Twelve Concepts short form p.575

Thank you for having me be of service today and this week.

When I got here I was the hole in the doughnut. I trusted enough to copy others in turning my will and life over to the care of god and today, whilst not always easy or smooth, the path lies before me and I get to walk it knowing and feeling I’m cared for and sending that care outwards and onwards to others.

The meeting is now open.