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This is a collection of Recovery Goodies that has been assembled over the years. They include Step Workshop manuals, Step workshops handouts, inventory forms for most need possible. What better way to keep something than to give it away!
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SAMPLES OF CATEGORY CONTENT
Quick-Inventory from Clancy I.
Use as much paper as is necessary to answer these questions—don’t be shy and don’t hold back!
1) In looking back over your life–which memories are still painful? (guilt, remorse, bitterness, angry, shamed and any others that fit)
2) In what ways do you feel inadequate as a person today?
3) WHO do you resent and WHY? (Be as specific and nasty as you can)
4) What do you see as the on-going problems in your life today with your human relationships? (Those things that keeps re-occurring)
5) What do you consider to be your defects of character today–as you see them?
6) What would you say are your goals in life?–whether realistic or not!
7) How do you think AA can help you start and approach any of these goals?
The next frontier: Emotional Sobriety by Bill Wilson, from Language of the Heart published by the A.A. Grapevine (c)
“I think that many oldsters who have put our AA “booze cure” to severe but successful tests still find they often lack emotional sobriety. Perhaps they will be the spearhead for the next major development in AA, the development of much more real maturity and balance (which is to say, humility) in our relations with ourselves, with our fellows, and with God.
Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for top approval, perfect security, and perfect romance, urges quite appropriate to age seventeen, prove to be an impossible way of life when we are at age forty-seven and fifty-seven.
Since AA began, I’ve taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up emotionally and spiritually. My God, how painful it is to keep demanding the impossible, and how very painful to discover, finally, that all along we have had the cart before the horse. Then comes the final agony of seeing how awfully wrong we have been, but still finding ourselves unable to get off the emotional merry-go-round.
How to translate a right mental conviction into a right emotional result, and so into easy, happy and good living. Well, that’s not only the neurotic’s problem, it’s the problem of life itself for all of us who have got to the point of real willingness to hew to right principles in all of our affairs.
Even then, as we hew away, peace and joy may still elude us. That’s the place so many of us AA oldsters have come to. And it’s a hell of a spot, literally. How shall our unconscious, from which so many of our fears, compulsions and phoney aspirations still stream, be brought into line with what we actually believe, know and want! How to convince our dumb, raging and hidden Mr. Hyde’ becomes our main task.
I’ve recently come to believe that this can be achieved. I believe so because I begin to see many benighted ones, folks like you and me, commencing to get results.
Last autumn, depression, having no really rational cause at all, almost took me to the cleaners. I began to be scared that I was in for another long chronic spell. Considering the grief I’ve had with depressions, it wasn’t a bright prospect.
I kept asking myself “Why can’t the twelve steps work to release depression?” By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer … “it’s better to comfort than to be comforted”. Here was the formula, all right, but why didn’t it work?
Suddenly, I realized what the matter was. My basic flaw had always been dependence, almost absolute dependence, on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security, and the like. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and specifications, I had fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.
There wasn’t a chance of making the outgoing love of St. Francis a workable and joyous way of life until these fatal and almost absolute dependencies were cut away.
Because I had over the years undergone a little spiritual development, the absolute quality of these frightful dependencies had never before been so starkly revealed.
Reinforced by what grace I could secure in prayer, I found I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people, upon AA, indeed, upon any act of circumstance whatsoever.
Then only could I be free to love as Francis did. Emotional and Instinctual satisfactions, I saw, were really the extra dividends of having love, offering love, and expressing love appropriate to each relation of life.
Plainly, I could not avail myself to God’s love until I was able to offer it back to HIM by loving others as HE would have me. And I couldn’t possibly do that so long as I was victimized by false dependencies.
For my dependence meant demand, a demand for the possession and control of the people and the conditions surrounding me. While those words “absolute dependence” may look like a gimmick, they were the ones that helped to trigger my release into my present degree of stability and quietness of mind, qualities which I am now trying to consolidate by offering love to others regardless of the return to me.
This seems to be the primary healing circuit: an outgoing love of God’s creation and His people, by means of which we avail ourselves of His love for us. It is most clear that the real current can’t flow until our paralyzing dependencies are broken, and broken at depth. Only then can we possibly have a glimmer of what adult love really is.
If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependence and its consequent demand. Let us, with God’s help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love: we may then be able to gain emotional sobriety.
Of course, I haven’t offered you a really new idea only a gimmick that has started to unhook several of my own hexes’ at depth. Nowadays, my brain no longer races compulsively in either elation, grandiosity or depression. I have been given a quiet place in bright sunshine”
“Grapevine” January, 1953.
Emotional Sobriety – Defined
1. I am free of resentments, jealousy, and envy–and free to forgive quickly.
2. My emotions are not so violent that they cause me to go or be on a dry drunk.
3. I am able to make normal everyday decisions without my vision being unduly influenced by my emotions.
4. I am able to identify & live by my personal values without compromise to emotional pressure.
5. I am able to enjoy life as spiritual principles would dictate –such as being properly revolted by ugliness, sin and suffering, and positively rewarded by happenings of love, beauty and principle.
6. I am happy when others do things better or quicker than I have done them.
7. My emotions are in sync with my intellect and both are in synch with God’s Will.
8. I can live freely without being emotionally subservient to another human being.
9. I can move freely between the emotional states of child, adult and parent.
10. I derive genuine, healthy pleasure from helping others without thought of reward, money, prestige or station.
Fifth Step Promises: Big Book of AA – Page 75
We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past.
Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted.
We can look the world in the eye.
We can be alone at perfect peace and ease.
Our fears fall from us.
We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator.
We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience.
The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly.
We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.
May you lie down in peace my friend, May you rise up full of wonder.
Wrap yourself in the One morning after morning, O refresh your weary soul,
Your only one, perfect and pure.
If you do not keep your own soul alive, how will you welcome the morning light?
How will you welcome the morning?
Listen to the One, the song of the morning stars,
Let the One open your heart.
– Medieval Jewish Poem
Although the Voice for God is always present and available, God will not speak to us until we have invited Him/Her to enter our awareness. This is the first step in aligning ourselves with our spiritual power. It is the only step that we must take on our own, in that it is the step of inviting and calling upon the Holy Spirit, Voice for God, or Universal Mind.
Your personal relationship with God, although in essence similar to mine, has different characteristics, which make it an entirely loving one for you. For this reason, you may adopt some religious symbols to represent the communication with God within you. Or, you may have found that over the years the character, the essence of God, speaks to you in a way beyond and outside of any structured previous educational or religious experience. Or, you may find that there is a blend for you of the two.
For us to truly feel ready to get beyond plaguing thoughts of fears, anticipations, worries, and concerns, our first step here is to recognize and appreciate how God is always with us, always walking by our side. How do you know when God is speaking to you? Actually, if you reflect back on the most awesome and intense experiences of your life, you will recall the feeling, the essence, and the tenor of your communication with God. For many of us, we learned what this experience was like when we turned to God only during a time of special importance, such as an emergency. Can you remember your first true awareness of God’s voice? It may have been a moment of remarkable clarity in an instantaneous discovery that God was always there for you, and was waiting for your invitation. When you invited His/Her presence in your life, God signaled you in an unmistakable way that He/She was, is, and always will be by your side. In a multitude of ways since that moment you may have become able to sense when you have opened to God’s light.
We now recall, as in the recollection of distant past echoes, that the moment above was by far not the first moment that God had been with you, for God never has left. It is the first moment when you were willing enough to be open and the first moment that you discovered one of many channels of awareness of His/Her exquisite and respectful availability to you. What internal cues signal the Voice for God to you? The Voice for God may be a very quiet sense of knowing, or it may come to you as an unmistakable whisper. In one instant, it seems a multitude of thoughts come to you with great clarity. God may come to you visually, or in the form of clear physical events showing you love’s path. God may come to you through the words of another and you just know they are the words meant for you.
The form that the Voice for God takes for you depends completely on how you are ready to receive it. Of course, we need not ask only in times of distress or great celebration. As soon as we are ready, no matter how great or small the guidance needed, God is our ready companion. It is that simple. In virtually every circumstance leading us to feelings of discomfort, we have placed our attention upon ego fears. All fears can be reduced to one core illusion, the illusion that we are alone and not worthy of God (because of our guilt over this or that). We can take infinite comfort in always remembering what we have always known. God is around us, within us, and a part of us at all times. At any given moment we decide if we are available to the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit. This is a bit like God’s radio station always broadcasting.
Yet we must tune in to be able to listen. You may know what you have just read rings true. Yet, if you are like so many of us, we have many ways of entangling our minds, which bring to thought that we (and our particular set of problems) are the exception. For many of us, we have seen the intervention of God in our lives throughout the years in a multitude of examples. In many cases, we thought that we had come to the ultimate end of our proverbial rope. There were times when we may have felt extreme loss, where we had felt abused or misused, where we could not see our way clear due to of lack of resources, where we felt personality flaws and felt alienated from others. We may have seen whole lifestyles change or be destroyed right in front of our faces.
And yet, throughout all of this, and throughout everything that is happening in our lives today, God is still with us, and has helped us see through what we thought was the ultimate catastrophe, the ultimate loss, the ultimate proof that we could be unworthy of love. As we look back on many of these circumstances, we find that eventually, each of these seemingly painful maladies turned into a blessing, and each of these existed strictly for our own benefit, to help us to see that the blocks to love that we have constructed are unnecessary. With each lesson that we learn through God and through communication with the Voice for God, we realize that survival is a state of mind, and that answers to our fears, and to our prayers, are always at hand. By deciding to remember in faith that God is always with us, communication with God can happen anytime that we want, not just when we judge that our need for God deserves enough. God does not put those constraints upon His/Her receiving us.
We have done that by way of thought habits of guilt and shame. Who are we to deserve to speak with God? We are His/Her children. Your loved ones can do nothing to cancel out your love for them. There is nothing we can do to be judged as undeserving of the love of God. Our step along the path of increasing comfort and attunement with the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit, requires the use of daily preparation and many personalized methods that we will construct for ourselves to rediscover and reinforce what we know in our hearts is already there. God is with us, God will never leave us, and all that happens for our benefit.
By sensitizing our minds to listening and tuning in to the Voice for God, the presence of God will become increasingly available to us, and easier to feel within the deepest recesses of our hearts. We consciously put faith first, faith in our willingness to set aside our ego fears and replace them with a mind filled with gratitude. Now, instead of seeing the problem, coloring it with fear, anticipating the fight with potential catastrophe, we choose another way. We ask God to help us recall a short list of gratitude’s from times which were similar and in which we discovered tremendous blessings from those challenges. In preparing us to hear the Voice for God, we set the groundwork with gratitude. We soon feel our minds opening, our tension decreasing. We sense the light of God.
Gratitude is the reliving of miracles that have been put before us to help resolve what we thought were omens of fear and uncontrolled pain of many forms. Let us embrace the belief that whatever challenge is being shown to you now is like any other lesson that you have been shown. We had fallen into holes, yet we have been shown our way out. The lessons have helped us to be stronger and face future challenges with a more intimate awareness of God’s loving intercession. So, as our first step in walking through this challenge with God’s assistance, write down similar circumstances that have been resolved through your cooperative listening to the Voice for God which in turn helped you deepen your understanding of God. Although you may have felt so uptight, and even preoccupied concerning your current fears before you approached your altar, take the time to set your pain aside and do this simple exercise. Recall gratitude first and this will clear the way for clear communication with the Voice for God.
God, I am far too often influenced by what others think of me. I am always pretending to be either richer or smarter or nicer than I really am. Please prevent me from trying to attract attention. Don’t let me gloat over praise on one hand or be discouraged by criticism on the other. Nor let me waste time weaving imaginary situations in which the most heroic, charming, witty person present is myself. Show me how to be humble of heart, like you.
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey…
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things…
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise…
I asked for power, that I might have praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God…
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things…
I got nothing that I asked for—-
But everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men,
Most richly blessed!
What Legacy will You Leave?
All You will leave behind for the World to remember is Your Legacy…. So ask yourself:
Will you have earned the respect of your peers and the admiration of your critics?
Will you have acted humbly at the peak of success and graceful in the face of defeat?
Will you have kept your childlike wonder and reveled in the
beauty of the world and the small miracles that each day brought?
Will you be remembered for how often you laughed and brought smiles to the hearts of others?
Will small children and the elderly have been overjoyed to be around you?
Will others have trusted you with their inner most secrets?
Will you have forgiven and offered heartfelt apology?
Will you have looked for the very best, and done your utmost to build worth, in others?
Will you have fed a hungry child or clothed a naked man or given hope to a stranger in dire need?
Will you have left this world a better place by the life you have lived?
What Legacy will You Leave?
Look to this Day
Look to this Day,
For it is Life.
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
The realities and verities of
The bliss of Growth,
The splendour of action,
The Glory of Power.
For yesterday is but a dream,
and tomorrow is only a vision.
But—Today , lived well,
Makes yesterday a dream of Happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of Hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.
Maturity: is the ability to tolerate an injustice without wanting to get even.
Maturity: is patience. It is the willingness to postpone immediate gratification in favor of the long term gain.
Maturity: is perseverance, sweating out a project in the face of heavy opposition and discouraging setbacks.
Maturity: is the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat without complaint, collapse or attempting to find someone to blame.
Maturity: is Humility. It is being big enough to say “I was wrong” and when right the mature person is able to forgo the satisfaction of saying ” I told you so.”
Maturity: is the ability to evaluate a situation, make a decision and stick with it. The immature spend their lives exploring possibilities, changing their minds and in the end they do nothing.
Maturity: means dependability, keeping one’s word, coming through in a crisis. The immature are masters of the alibi. They are confused and disorganized. Their lives are a maze of broken promises, former friends, and unfinished business and good intentions never materialized.
Maturity: is the art of living in peace with that which we cannot change, the courage to change that which we can be changed,and the wisdom to know the difference.
“One is never finished with one’s family. It is like the small pox that catches you as a child, and leaves you marked for life.”
Jean Paul Sarte.