August 2022 No Fighting on the Life Boat Please

No Fighting on the Life Raft, Please

Hi, I am writing this story for all the members who are not part of the crowd in SA. I want you to know that you’re welcome too in SA. There is a place for everyone in SA. 

Over the years I’ve met members who are a little different to me; they believe differently; their point of view is different to almost everyone in their local fellowship. Some have said that because of this, they feel isolated in their fellowship because their beliefs aren’t those of the mainstream group’s.

There was a time when I felt different from everyone in the group too. I felt I didn’t fit in so I know what it’s like to feel like an outsider. Yet, if this is you today, I want you to know that you are loved and supported.

Some people don’t believe in God. For a big believer in God like me, I found this puzzling. I was a fanatic about God and was very judgemental of members who didn’t believe like me. A member of a meeting that I attend said he had a lot of problems with God. But instead of trying to understand him, I was harsh in my opinion towards him. It’s embarrassing to admit this today but I just couldn’t understand how anyone could not believe in God. I came to see that it is true that We, the Most Tolerated, Sometimes Become the Most Intolerant.

But when a close friend made me aware of my bad behavior towards the unbeliever. I apologized to him and we had a beautiful heart-to-heart conversation. It made me wake up to myself. I’m glad my friend pulled me up and helped me to see the error of my ways. I must do my best to make everyone feel safe at meetings no matter what they believe or don’t believe in.

From someone who has made a lot of mistakes, please think about the members who may be a little different from you: we have all paid a heavy price for our seat in the rooms. 

I had to learn it the hard way that It Takes Rigorous Honesty to Come Into the Program, and Rigorous Tolerance to Stay in the Program. Or, as one AA oldtimer that I know coins it, No Fighting in the Life Boat Please.

 

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Anonymous

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