quick and dirty

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?
User avatar
Blue Moon
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3676
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: quick and dirty

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:15 am

Peter.H. wrote: I suggested that the word repent means to 'change'
Or are you suggesting that it is better to use another word for repent/repentance because it may offend somebody. If so, what other word would you suggest?
How about "change"?

I don't think I have ever heard the word "repent" outside of a religious context.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 2071
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: quick and dirty

Post by ezdzit247 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:48 am

Tosh wrote:
Peter.H. wrote:(after all, the 12 step program is about repentance).
No it is not! Serious.
re·pent·ance
noun
1. deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like.
2. regret for any past action.
I don't stay sober by self-flagellation. Dr Bob boiled it down to love and service.
The word "repentance" and its application to the 12 Step program of recovery from alcoholism would make an excellent separate discussion topic.

I have to agree with Peter H's observation that the 12 Step program of AA is about repentance.

The majority of alcoholics are already self-flagellating, mainly over their drinking, over their repeated failures to control their drinking, over the messes their drinking has made of their careers, relationships, and lives...and so on ad infinitum. Jim Burrells description of the "Vicious Cycle" is a good example. Just feeling remorse over what our drinking has done to ourselves and the people in our lives is a "half-measure" that will keep us stuck in a vicious cycle of self-punishment, i.e. self-flagellation, and lead us back to drinking and into insanity or death. The only way out of this vicious cycle of self-flagellation for alcoholics is to stop drinking and repent all the things we did wrong during our drinking careers using the process outlined in Steps 1 thru 9 to burn our bridges and then using Steps 10 thru 12 to makes sure our bridges stay burned.

BTW the concept of repentance was first introduced by the ancient Vedic scholars beginning about 6,000 years ago as the first step to enlightenment. From that point it then diffused over the centuries into all other cultural, spiritual and religious traditions.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 2071
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: quick and dirty

Post by ezdzit247 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:05 pm

Blue Moon wrote:
Peter.H. wrote: I suggested that the word repent means to 'change'
Or are you suggesting that it is better to use another word for repent/repentance because it may offend somebody. If so, what other word would you suggest?
How about "change"?

I don't think I have ever heard the word "repent" outside of a religious context.
The word "change" is a word that describes one of the effects of "repentance".

How about another word that describes the cause of this effect?
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
Brock
Trusted Servant
Posts: 4075
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: quick and dirty

Post by Brock » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:25 pm

Peter.H. wrote: Now I feel restricted in word use for expressing my sobriety on this forum.
I pray that no one else, especially a newcomer, will be moderated so unfairly.

I think it is unfortunate that Peter feels as though he is being unfairly treated, especially since he has made some very good contributions on this site, including an excellent comment on the “Another Sponsor Story” thread. We can’t be too thin skinned when someone suggests we use a different word, or sometimes someone may suggest that an entire post is unsuitable, for whatever reason, it happens. Most regular users have said things for which they have publicly apologized, this is not one of those, it is a small matter. They may be one or two contributors who will never admit they are wrong, even when they misquote the books and someone points it out, they just plod on as if it never happened, we love them anyway.

The topic was started by a thumper who pretty well said if it’s not in the book we won’t do it, and although I am a religious person who may use the word repent privately, I agree absolutely that it is normally used in a religious context, it’s not in the book for a reason and I wouldn’t use it publicly. As for the idea of the AA program being one which we live with regret, or have to make any repentance beyond that in 8 & 9, this sort of talk would have had me as a newcomer running for the hills.
ezdizt said - The majority of alcoholics are already self-flagellating, mainly over their drinking, over their repeated failures to control their drinking, over the messes their drinking has made of their careers, relationships, and lives...and so on ad infinitum.
The often quoted passage from the book says -
If we are painstaking about this phase of our
development, we will be amazed before we are half
way through. We are going to know a new freedom
and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor
wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the
word serenity and we will know peace.


People who live like she suggested have not done the same program I did, and I feel sorry for them.

Brock.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3743
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: quick and dirty

Post by Tosh » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:38 pm

ezdzit247 wrote: BTW the concept of repentance was first introduced by the ancient Vedic scholars beginning about 6,000 years ago as the first step to enlightenment. From that point it then diffused over the centuries into all other cultural, spiritual and religious traditions.
I would've thought a 'rock bottom' aka 'a Dark Night of the Soul' aka a 'spiritual death' (prior to the 'spiritual resurrection'), aka plenty of plain good-old-fashioned pain and suffering would've been the first step towards Enlightenment. Our rock bottoms are very special things.

From the 12 x 12:
Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress.
I plan to be Enlightened by Christmas, a day at a time (of course), so I take an interest in such matters. :lol:
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)

Jaywalker Steve
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 514
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:36 pm

Re: quick and dirty

Post by Jaywalker Steve » Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:06 pm

Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got. 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.

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.

May God bless you and keep you - until then.

-page 164 Alcoholics Anonymous
If the Pioneers and co-authors of our book 'only knew a little' (read practiced humility and open-mindedness), then those of us who have be blessed with it's contents should follow their lead.
Every group has men and women who put too much thought and effort into their daily sobriety and not enough of themselves into their daily living. - Ed B., Akron, OH

User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 2071
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: quick and dirty

Post by ezdzit247 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:47 pm

Tosh wrote:
ezdzit247 wrote: BTW the concept of repentance was first introduced by the ancient Vedic scholars beginning about 6,000 years ago as the first step to enlightenment. From that point it then diffused over the centuries into all other cultural, spiritual and religious traditions.
I would've thought a 'rock bottom' aka 'a Dark Night of the Soul' aka a 'spiritual death' (prior to the 'spiritual resurrection'), aka plenty of plain good-old-fashioned pain and suffering would've been the first step towards Enlightenment. Our rock bottoms are very special things.

From the 12 x 12:
Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress.
I plan to be Enlightened by Christmas, a day at a time (of course), so I take an interest in such matters. :lol:
Doesn't sound like we're on the same page, Tosh.

I don't disagree that lots of people, especially alcoholics, have a lot of emotional baggage they're still carrying around regarding religion or that various words used by religions, like "sin", "repentance", "redemption", 'etc. can trigger knee jerk reactions from some people that cause them to circle the wagons and just shut down, ending any possibility of a productive discussion about how the AA 12 Step program can help them recover from alcoholism. I get it. And I don't use that word. What I'm saying in this thread regarding this discussion is a rose is a rose is a rose...and calling a rose by any other name doesn't change the fact that it's a rose. That goes for repentance as well.

If I've violated another one of those unwritten don't-ask-don't-tell rules for this forum, throw me in the briar patch. I was born in a briar patch and I jes loves me a briar patch :lol:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3743
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: quick and dirty

Post by Tosh » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:13 pm

ezdzit247 wrote:What I'm saying in this thread regarding this discussion is a rose is a rose is a rose...and calling a rose by any other name doesn't change the fact that it's a rose. That goes for repentance as well.
Yeh, I get it. I said a few posts back that Peter gave me the proper understanding of the word repentance; prior to which I thought it was self flagellation; guilt. Not-God by Ernest Kurtz speaks about A.A.'s uneasy relationship with religion; I guess I still have it.
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)

User avatar
Blue Moon
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3676
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: quick and dirty

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:44 pm

Frankly, what I think of a word is irrelevant. The real question is, what would most likely get through to the average agnostic newcomer? For the book-thumpers amongst us, even that suggests we ought to use everyday language when trying to work with others.

So.... do I want to be right, or do I want to be useful?
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 2071
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: quick and dirty

Post by ezdzit247 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:17 pm

Blue Moon wrote:Frankly, what I think of a word is irrelevant. The real question is, what would most likely get through to the average agnostic newcomer? For the book-thumpers amongst us, even that suggests we ought to use everyday language when trying to work with others.

So.... do I want to be right, or do I want to be useful?
I'm fairly sure we all prefer to be to be useful. So, if the "R" word is offensive to some, like Bob Dylan says, "Gimme another word for it"....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
Blue Moon
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3676
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: quick and dirty

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:19 pm

ezdzit247 wrote: I'm fairly sure we all prefer to be to be useful. So, if the "R" word is offensive to some, like Bob Dylan says, "Gimme another word for it"....
Whenever I'm feeling verbally challenged, the online dictionary and thesaurus are good tools.

Also, there are regional language barriers. For example, "pissed" has a very different meaning in USA than it does in the UK.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 2071
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: quick and dirty

Post by ezdzit247 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:57 pm

Blue Moon wrote:Whenever I'm feeling verbally challenged, the online dictionary and thesaurus are good tools.
Is that your suggestion for verbally challenged newcomers?
Blue Moon wrote:Also, there are regional language barriers. For example, "pissed" has a very different meaning in USA than it does in the UK.
This is true. For example, "tosser" has a very different meaning in the USA than it does in the UK as well.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
Blue Moon
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3676
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: quick and dirty

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:39 pm

ezdzit247 wrote:
Blue Moon wrote:Whenever I'm feeling verbally challenged, the online dictionary and thesaurus are good tools.
Is that your suggestion for verbally challenged newcomers?
No, it's for the verbally challenged person trying to help them. Once again, the book suggests we communicate at the audience's level, not that they should have to get a dictionary and thesaurus in order to understand what we really mean.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

User avatar
Peter.H.
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:18 am

Re: quick and dirty

Post by Peter.H. » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:34 pm

I remember my first sponsor asking me to read the first paragraph of Chapter 3, 'More About Alcoholism'.
I read it but did not retain anything about what I read. He got me to just read the first sentence, but still no retention.
I tried three times but to no avail. I cried because I thought I was brain damaged.
After he left, I tried over and over again to grasp what I was reading. I even prayed for help.
Then I was able to grasp the meaning of those sentences, one by one, in a slow fashion.

Soon I had to read allowed at the Big Book study meetings. Everybody was so understanding and patient.
They had a dictionary too, and I thumbed it often. I even for checked words I know but my self-confidence created doubt.
I found the Big Book had many words I never heard of.
But after using the dictionary and thesaurus, I soon realized that the word they used was the only one that clarified exactly what was needed to be conveyed.
I learnt that to articulate correct meaning of things, it is better to use the right words.
"...unless this person can experience an entire psyche change there is very little hope of his recovery" - Dr. Silkworth. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Ed, p xxix.]

User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 7938
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: quick and dirty

Post by ann2 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:58 am

Peter.H. wrote:I read it but did not retain anything about what I read. He got me to just read the first sentence, but still no retention.
I tried three times but to no avail. I cried because I thought I was brain damaged.
I had a similar experience, and I believe I hear (read) others who share about this phenomena, including newcomers.
Peter.H. wrote: I found the Big Book had many words I never heard of.
But after using the dictionary and thesaurus, I soon realized that the word they used was the only one that clarified exactly what was needed to be conveyed..
A dictionary is sometimes absolutely necessary in conjunction with the Big Book. This is why I believe the use of the word "study" is very accurate in our sobriety work.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

Post Reply