God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Most 12-Step meetings start or end with the Serenity Prayer. Learning to ACCEPT myself for whom I was/am and to ACCEPT “people, places and things exactly as they are” was key to finding the necessary strength and courage to face my own alcoholism. I had to become comfortable with “I am Mary and I am an alcoholic.” It was a very difficult concept to embrace, but essential to sustaining sobriety.
When I moved here in 2008, I was dialoguing with one of my AA peers about our mutual spiritual stagnation. She elected to go back to meetings; I decided to return to Church. I also became a part of the Parlor Group.
Anyone’s journey to sobriety and serenity is not easy; it takes willingness and courage – and requires work. It is, however, a true example of “when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.” I am very grateful for the people who have been part of my recovery. Although I have been sober for more than 25 years, much of it has been involved, as stated in Alcoholics Anonymous’ BIG BOOK, participating in a spiritual fellowship, that together, “trudges” the happy road to destiny. Sobriety, like spirituality, requires ongoing effort. AA’s eleventh step states “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
The Parlor Group initially explored the relationship between 12-step programs and the Bible. A 12-step Bible Study Guide was developed; the curriculum is inclusive for any faith and/or any 12-step program. The Parlor Group also evolved into a core group duplicating the anonymity and confidentiality practiced in any of the 12-step programs. The format of listening and “thank you for sharing” provides a safe environment to provide and/or receive spiritual strength and support.
In January 2015, the Parlor Group will continue to meet every Friday Night. However, the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month will be focused on “Grief,” utilizing Julie Yarbrough’s book entitled Beyond the Broken Heart.
It is very apropos that the Parlor Group aligns itself with “grief.” When one elects to become sober from any substance or practice, it is “losing” a very important part of their existence. Although the loss of a loved one is physically different, the use of a spiritual foundation and “accepting the loss” is something that can be shared.
Currently, I am the only group member that has an issue with alcohol. The 12-steps and acceptance are a spiritual framework that can enhance anyone’s daily life. These meetings have been and are always open to anyone.
For more information contact Lisa Rabinowitz at 979-8192 or Mary Meish at 375-2327 or firstname.lastname@example.org.