Recovery Meditations ~ Service ~ One Day at a Time ~ January 24, 2011

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The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.

Albert Schweitzer
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In my first few 12 step meetings, I was

so angry. On one hand, I didn't think I

needed to be there, although deep

inside, I knew I did. People were nice

enough, greeted me, made me feel

welcome, but I kept myself apart with my

anger. I was angry that there seemed to

be a small core group of members who

attended weekly and obviously knew each

other well. I didn't think they'd let me

in their inner group; I didn't get


Next, I tried to get the program without

working the Steps. That inner group

talked about the Steps all the time. I'd

show them how good I was; I'd get the

program, get the recovery they'd gotten,

by taking a shorter route. The Steps

were for dummies, and I wasn't dumb. I

quickly found out the Steps are the only

way to get the 12 step program, hence

its name.

I struggled for a long time. Then I

started giving service to my group. It

started off by simply straightening up

the room because I always got there

early. I asked for a key so I could put

out the books. I started greeting

newcomers, who usually showed up

early. When the person who'd signed on

to do the topic didn't make it one week,

I agreed to lead the meeting.

To my shock, I was giving service. In

looking back at my first weeks in the

program, I realized that the "inner

core" of my home group had become my

very good friends. When had I been asked

in? Never. I joined when I began to give

service and became one of them, the

service-givers to the group. I learned

why they seemed to have such effortless

growth-- it came from giving

service. With service I always get back

much more than I put in.


I will remember to give of myself. I will remember that giving service in the program gives me so many gifts in return.