Often, posting a quote can express a topic. Below are some favorite topic passages. Topics at 12StepMe are to be solution based, not problem-focused.
Chairpersons should never allow someone in the room to set the topic, but take it upon themselves to ensure that a message of hope is delivered. The meeting is not group therapy. It’s a place for members to share their experience, strength, and hope. Experience with sobriety, strength with God, and hope along their spiritual path. Most newcomers cannot offer such a message.
When selecting a topic, scan the list below, get an inspiration, then post the topic and supporting quotes to the room. You can post it all at once or some at a time.
Another topic technique is to do nothing. Simply open the meeting, then open mouth (okay…keyboard) and see what comes out. That’s the ultimate exercise in being and demonstrating God dependence. Just make sure it’s solution-based. How could it not be when trusting God?
· AA doesn’t say “you must choose a sponsor who has a year”
· AA doesn’t say “your sponsor must be the same gender”
· AA doesn’t say “no relationships in the first year”
· AA doesn’t say “you can’t be on medication”
· AA doesn’t say “go slow, go far”
· AA doesn’t say “don’t drink and go to meetings”
· AA doesn’t say “meeting makers make it”
· AA doesn’t say “don’t drink under any and all circumstances”
· AA isn’t group therapy
· AA isn’t your dumping station or your barf bag
· AA isn’t a whinery
There are people in AA with very good intentions who insist that we never recover, but that we are always recovering. But the first sentence in the Foreword to the First Edition of the book Alcoholics Anonymous states (capitalization is from the original):
We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book.
Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. What does this mean to you?
· Does this mean we should have meetings that can only be attended by women?
· Does this mean we should have meetings where we study books?
· Does this mean we should make sponsees ask us to sponsor them?
· Does this mean we should continually go through the steps ourselves, again and again?
What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.
Why sit with a long face in places where there is drinking, sighing about the good old days. If it is a happy occasion, try to increase the pleasure of those there; if a business occasion, go and attend to your business enthusiastically. If you are with a person who wants to eat in a bar, by all means go along. Let your friends know they are not to change their habits on your account. At a proper time and place explain to all your friends why alcohol disagrees with you. If you do this thoroughly, few people will ask you to drink. While you were drinking, you were withdrawing from life little by little. Now you are getting back into the social life of this world. Don't start to withdraw again just because your friends drink liquor.
Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful. You should not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on earth on such an errand. Keep on the firing line of life with these motives and God will keep you unharmed.
His faults are not discussed. We stick to our own. If our manner is calm, frank, and open, we will be gratified with the result.
(As a second piece to the topic, you can continue with the following)
While the passage on page 78 deals with making our amends and is perfectly accurate, people in AA will often say that you shouldn’t take the inventory of another and this simply isn’t true. You should absolutely take inventory of persons you may be thinking about bringing into your life in some way. We should never take the inventory of someone whose existence doesn’t affect us.
…a spiritual awakening as THE result of these steps.
The steps aren’t designed to turn us back into good people, though that often occurs. They’re not designed to make us stop feeling guilt, though that often occurs. They’re designed to clear a channel to God that has always been there.
If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it-then you are ready to take certain steps.
Many people come to AA insisting they’re ready to get sober. The truth is that most of them simply have a WISH to be sober, but aren’t willing to do whatever it takes. They may WISH that wanted to get sober or they THINK they should want to get sober because of the consequences they’re experiencing, but simply and honestly do not WANT to. There is a belief that you cannot say the wrong thing to someone who is ready, and you cannot say the right thing to someone who is not. If someone is throwing up roadblocks at every comment you make, turn to someone who is more willing.
This must be God as YOU understand Him. Not God as your parents understand Him. Not God as your church understands Him. If you don’t “get” God, then it’s because you’re trying to trust in someone else’s understanding of God, and not your own. Get your own.
There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and branch. I have not had a drink since.
That is Bill Wilson’s experience. It is also the experience of many AAers. We put our trust in God and never drink again.
A sponsor once said that Faith is when you are at the circus and you believe the guy is going make it across the high wire on the bicycle with a basket. Trust is getting in the basket.
See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.
Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress. If you persist, remarkable things will happen.
We should help our sponsees to become sponsors.
We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
This is instruction for those who have COMPLETED the steps.
If the man be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that he does not have to agree with your conception of God. He can choose any conception he likes, provided it makes sense to him. The main thing is that he be willing to believe in a Power greater than himself and that he live by spiritual principles.
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