A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


CELEBRATING 1995-2005 ~ THE FIRST DECADE OF THE RECOVERY GROUP

April 2005
Volume 7, Issue 4


Please feel free to pass Serendipity on to others who are working a Twelve Step program of recovery.


ser*en*dip*i*ty ~ (noun) First appeared 1754:
the faculty or phenomenon of finding
valuable or agreeable things not sought for.


Serendipity CONTACTS:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
The Serendipity Archives
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/serendipity/index.html





THIS MONTH IN SERENDIPITY




~ FROM THE SERENDIPITY TEAM ~

Dear Serendipity Readers,

"We must be the change we want to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Last week I was driving home from a concert with friends when we saw a girl walking along Clark Street in Chicago who looked so inebriated, she was barely able to walk. My sister pointed her out to me, and I felt sorry for the girl. But what could I do? I watched her, wishing it wasn't so cold outside, wishing she had buttoned her coat, and that she would get home safe. But these things were out of my control. I couldn't control the weather. It wasn't my fault that she had gotten so drunk she couldn't button her jacket. But was it really out of my hands? I love this quote by Gandhi, and it rang over and over in my head that night. Looking back, I believe this was my HP calling out to me to help.

After we drove a few blocks past the girl, I couldn't stop thinking about her. I made a choice. I told my husband to pull over. I was going to do what I could for her. He pulled over, and I got out, looking for her among the crowded street. I found her, her scarf now down around her feet, and her shoulders sagging. I explained that I was there to drive her home, and made her feel safe. She couldn't believe my kindness. Why would a stranger offer to drive someone like her home? I just told her that's what I was there for, and it wasn't any trouble.

How many times have we all been in jams? I know I've been in my share. We all must do what we can to make this world a better place. And that means change. Change is hard, but it is needed. We can be the change we wish to see in the world. With others, with our program, with our recovery. Change isn't something that happens all at once. There is no magic pill out there that you can take tonight, wake up tomorrow morning, and be OK. But in little baby steps of change, we become new people. We see the world through new eyes, and breathe new air every day. Every day is an opportunity for change, and for making our mark in this world.

In this issue of Serendipity we explore change, and what that means in our lives and in our recovery. We will read the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, who, through change, becomes real. April is also a month of transformation with the miracle of Easter. We will learn how to make a new recipe, and hear recovery stories from fellow members.

April marks a special month for Serendipity. We are launching Serenity Magazine April 1st. It is an extension of the Newsletter you already receive. We have change around us in the Serendipity Team with the addition of a new coordinator and proofreader. I know this will be a wonderful month for us all.

Kathy and The Serendipity Team
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com





~ QUOTATIONS OF THE MONTH ~



Twigs are bent, not snapped into shape. ~ Neal A. Maxwell

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. ~ Winnie the Pooh

It doesn't work to leap a twenty-foot chasm in two ten-foot jumps. ~ American proverb



~ RECOVERY MEDITATION ~
Change



"If you would truly wish to understand something, try to change it."
     ~Kurt Lewin

There is nothing more powerful to me than this one thought. My entire program teaches me to change the fellow who came in or he will surely drag me back out. Without change there is no hope. Without hope there is no peace or that which we all seek: serenity.

The "how to" is simply and strongly told in the Big Book of AA. On page 28 it is plain that we must find and maintain a spiritual fitness in order to survive. Change is the key to open the door; change is impossible without a power greater than ourselves. This, truly, is the easier, softer way. May you find Him now.

One day at a time ...

I am willing to allow the God of my understanding to change the person I was into the person He wishes me to be.

~ Danny ~



~ FOUNDER'S CORNER ~


"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
     - Nelson Mandela

Dear Serendipity Readers,

"So many changes" in life, we think. But are there, really? Someone once said that we don't really change as we grow older, we just become more of ourselves. I believe that.

As I began to travel through one decade after another, there seemed to be so many changes. But the last decade has proven me to be wrong ~ I have just become more of me.

I look back to my youth and see remnants of me today. The same dreams I had then, I have now. But the dreams are now more intense, and seem more urgent. I see my character flaws of old; however, I didn't recognize them then as part of a flawed character. I had to become enlightened as time went along that certain behaviors were not good ones to have. I haven't changed those flaws, but I have changed my behavior in allowing them to control me.

I find myself thinking of cliches: I'm not getting older; I'm getting better. That's not true. The reality is that I AM getting older...and better...and worse. Things don't really change.

But do WE change? Our behaviors change. Our perceptions change. Our reality changes. But in the deepest part of us which contains our essence, does that really ever change?

@-}-}-}------
Happy April, Loopies!
Mari





~ LETTERS TO SERENDIPITY ~



To submit your comments or letters to the editor, simply send an email to:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

The March issue was beautiful.
I've heard about God with skin on;
that's another person who loves you.
This is God or HP in print. Thank you for sending this.

~ Love, Colleen, COE

I am so in awe of the new look for SERENDIPITY
on the website. This is a beautiful readable presentation,
as always, but it got even BETTER! A sincere thank you
to you and all the Serendipity workers. The message
carries well.

~ Yours in recovery, January K.

I would like to see more personal stories of inspiration and recovery.

~ Love, Stacy

NOTE: Stacy, your wish has been granted. We have launched Serenity Magazine this month.
This new publication will include more personal recovery stories, inspirational writings and articles.



~ THE RECOVERY GROUP ~
ADMINISTRATIVE HIGHLIGHTS

~ ODAT LOOPS DIVISION ~

The ODAT Loops are for compulsive eaters who are working the program of recovery, but share a special interest with others on that loop.

Do you want to discuss recovery issues with people who share the same faith as you do? Do you want to talk about the philosophy of your own faith with others who understand how that faith impacts on your Program journey? If so, we have a Christian loop; a Latter Day Saints loop; a Jewish loop; and a Pagan loop.

Do you want to make a daily commitment to abstinence? We have a loop called "Abstinence". We have another loop, called "Strong Recovery", whose name denotes its purpose. Our Silver Recovery group is a place where those over 50 years old can share with those of the same age.

There are 33 Special Focus loops. Each loop offers you a safe place to talk about your program of recovery and how it is affected by your special interests. Join in as others share their experiences, strengths, and hope.

Within these many-faceted groups are many opportunities for service. Each of these loops needs people who understand how those in that loop are thinking, and each needs service. If you are interested in more information about the ODAT loops, or are willing to give service, please contact:

www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/

Donna
Chairman, The ODAT Division
ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org

~ RECOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~

OUR GENERAL SHARING LOOPS

The Recovery Group loops have completed the change from various servers to one home now. All of our Recovery Group homes are located under one umbrella, and our hard working technical support team of Cindy and Jasper is adding the final details. These two have spent untold hours making this move as smooth as possible.

It has been a very busy month for all of the Trusted Servants, too, and we can't thank each you enough for your patience and help with this project.

L-Soft's magnanimous gift of these rooms ensures that all of us in The Recovery Group will remain in a place where we can come together for help, support and friendship.

We invite you to check out the updated information on our web pages. Start out at
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org and feel free to look around from there.

Submitted by:
Dodee, Cody and Nancy
TRG Administration

More details about these support groups can be found at:
www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html
Contact: TRGAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~

Change is afoot this month with the move to L-soft and with the change of seasons. Before program, I generally feared and distrusted change, that is, unless I had instigated it! I lived in the past or the future.

Changes in the past were over and living there was comfortable for me; it was a relief to know I didn't have to repeat some of the changes ever again. It could often be lonely living in the past, though. Change in the future I could, in fantasy, mold and shape to my own desires. The present was where I did not live. In the present, things seemed to change willy nilly, without my permission, and often despite my prayers. Or, the change I wanted and prayed for was not happening in the present.

OA changed all that for me. I can't say I honestly always welcome change. But I certainly fear it a lot less. I know I have the steps and the tools, and Higher Power, as well as all of us in program, to see me through. Often, these days, I take step three, even knowing that could well involve change, because I have learned HP's will is best for me, not my own.

In a very real sense, we change continually. Our bodies' cells change every seven years. I am truly not the same person I was seven years ago, even a day ago, as some cells are changed each day. I've been in OA since December 1980. This means I've changed completely physically at least three times! And the program has changed me emotionally and spiritually many times.

Now, I live the day I'm in, as best I can, in gratitude for GOMU's infinite, continued blessings. Change? It doesn't hold the fear it once did for me. Why? I know the GOMU will walk with me through every change, every challenge, every grief, every joy - one day at a time. May the spirit of change - refreshing, vital, even exhilarating - be with all of us as we enter this new season.

Love and hugs,
Athena
Division Leader

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/
Contact: DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ THE RECOVERY OA ONLINE MEETINGS ~

On-Line Meeting Division

"I will not wait idly for things to get better. I will ask my Higher Power to guide me to make necessary changes"
      ~ One Day At A Time - Daily Meditations

As we learn here in recovery, giving service is a vital part of our recovery, and leading meetings is a wonderful way to change our isolating tendencies and reach out to help others and ourselves.

We are sending out a call for help to members living in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and the Netherlands, because we still have meetings without regular leaders.

These are the basic requirements of becoming a meeting leader:

  • You need to belong to at least one TRG loop
  • You need to be willing to work the steps.
  • You need to be able to commit to leading one meeting per week on a regular basis
  • You need to be able to commit to, and follow, the protocol and guidelines advised by TRG
  • You need to attend a short Meeting Leader On-Line Training course
  • You need to be reasonably familiar with your computer and the meeting room (chat) environment.
If you can answer our call, please contact:
MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org, and we will help you get started!

In loving service,

Terri, Barry, Christine, Audrey and Cindy
On-Line Meeting Coordinators
Enquiries to: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/meetings/index.html



~ TRG SPONSOR PROGRAM ~

The promises of the AABB mention the word "change" as follows: "Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change." These promises do come true, they really do!

Having and being a sponsor are a part of the path to the promises.

Sponsorship is an essential tool in our program of recovery. A sponsor is a person who is willing to share their experience strength and hope with those who still suffer.

"To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends -- this is an experience you must not miss." AABB Chapter 7 ~ Working With Others

Sharing WITH a Sponsor as you take and live out the steps of recovery is a tool that helps you to stay open, honest and on the road to recovery.

Sharing your recovery AS a sponsor is a tool that helps you stay open, honest and on the road to recovery.

If you are interested in sharing your recovery as a TRG sponsor, please write to the TRG Sponsor Coordinators, Patt and Cate:

TRGSPONSORSADM@LISTS.THERECOVERYGROUP.ORG

If you are interested learning how to get a sponsor, please review the following link:

www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html

Recovery can bring about huge changes in attitude and outlook! A part of recovery is having and being a sponsor. Give yourself the gift of having and/or being a sponsor today.

Please let us know if we can help!

With blessings of Love and much JOY,
       Patt and Cate
       TRG Sponsor Coordinators

www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html
Contact: TRGSponsorsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~

     (\0/) (\0/) (\0/)
     / \   / \   / \

Telephone Angels Galore - But We Need More

There is always more room for another Telephone Angel. You may be wondering, what exactly is a Telephone Angel?

Being a Telephone Angel is a service opportunity to give back what you have been given by carrying the message through the use of the telephone! By accepting phone calls from members of TRG when you are available, you can impact so many lives.

We all know that isolation is so very common among our members. You can enhance your own recovery while enriching the life of another just by a brief phone contact.

By adding your name and phone number to our Recovery Telephone Angels list, you could change a life. The phone is like a lifeline. It is also one of the Seven Tools of the OA Program.

So please consider being a Telephone Angel. It is such an amazing way to give back and serve at the same time. By this common household appliance, "No longer are we alone . . ."

To join our list of telephone angels - and share your recovery with others through this service, please contact:
TRGAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org, or contact Angelgolightly@aol.com.

In your email please include the following:

  • Email address ~ Your name
  • Your phone number ~ area code and number plus time zone (Eastern, Standard etc)
  • Best times to call/ when available
  • Leave message or not?
Thank you for volunteering for this very important job.

Love in service,
January K.
Coordinator, Telephone Angels
and in behalf of TRG Adm

The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
TRGAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org. Please put "Attention: Telephone Angels" on the subject line.



~ TRG TRUSTED SERVANT OF THE MONTH ~



Sometimes when working on a project, building something worthwhile or starting something new and, perhaps, difficult, there is someone behind the scenes who seems to have an overview of the whole thing and they quietly begin doing whatever it is to be done. In the early days of our newsletter, there was someone like that! Her name is Marty. When we gave our newsletter its name, Serendipity, that word applied to Marty ~ she appeared unexpectedly at a time when we needed her most and we honor her this month by making her our "Trusted Servant of the Month."

Marty appeared out of nowhere, serendipitously, and began coding the newsletter so that it could become a permanent part of the Recovery Website. This is not an easy job, but month after month, year after year, there it was ... ready to be added to the site, and today and always it will be there, thanks to Marty. But coding wasn't all that Marty was doing .... she was learning. And she learned well. When it was time to become Editor of Serendipity, she was ready and faithfully and efficiently saw to it that a beautiful newsletter was on our desktops each and every month.

Marty didn't stop at being Editor and Webmaster of Serendipity, she started and maintained a subscription list for those who were not members of the Recovery Group and that list has "graduated" to an L-Soft List all its own. Even though her plate was very full, Marty took an interest in the ABSTINENCE list and became its Coordinator. Editor, Webmaster, Organizer, Coordinator, she epitomizes the word "service" and is one of our best. In addition to serving members of our community, Marty is married, a devoted mother of three (two out of the nest, one starting his departure), an active member in her church and church choir, a member, librarian and Board member of her community chorus, a part-time government worker with over 30 years of service, and can usually be found doing lots of extra little things that make the world a better place.

Congratulations, Marty . . . The Recovery Group's Trusted Servant of the Month!!

To nominate a TRG Trusted Servant to spotlight, email:
serendipitynewsletter@yahoo.com.



~ GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS ~



~ WTS "12 STEPS IN 12 WEEKS" STUDY BEGINS APRIL 1ST ~

What a terrific Step Study Bob W. led from January 1, 2005 through March 31st!! WTS members shared from the heart and Bob was able, through his provocative questions, to get them to reach deep down and explore their recovery issues. The Trusted Servants of the Recovery Group and WTS express their deepest gratitude to Bob for this wonderful study. It's on the Recovery Website at:
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/wts/index.html

Penny is the Step Leader for the WTS Step Study which begins April 1st and we anticipate another meaningful three months of working the Steps together. Almost a decade ago, Penny led the very first WTS Step Study and has been an active and inspiring Trusted Servant of The Recovery Group ever since. To register for the Second Quarter Step Study send a blank email to:
WTS-subscribe-request@Lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

If you are a newcomer to OA, please join our OA Newcomer's group first so that you can familiarize yourself with the Twelve Steps. By becoming a member of this group, you will be able to get a sponsor who will be your recovery guide, and it will be one of the best things you can ever do for yourself. The address to join our OA Newcomer's Group is:
OANEWCOMERS-subscribe-request@Lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

If you are not a newcomer but do not have a sponsor, we encourage you to do so before you begin the Step Study. There are a number of ways to get a sponsor and you can find them listed at the following web page:
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html

~ Serenity Magazine Launch! ~

Serenity Magazine launches this month! It is an extension of Serendipity Newsletter, but will include more recovery stories, articles and writings, while Serendipity Newsletter contains announcements from The Recovery Group Administration and various loops, along with recovery writings and meditations.

Serenity Magazine was born out of the need for fellow Compulsive Overeaters to have a place to share recovery stories, writings and articles. It is a monthly publication, and will help those seeking recovery by sharing our collective experience, strength and hope.

SERENITY FAQ's

~ New Personnel to Serendipity Team ~

LEISANNE - NEW SERENDIPITY COORDINATOR

Please welcome Leisanne, who is coming on board as Coordinator of Serendipity. Her main focus will be to work with Kathy, the editor, to help coordinate the Serendipity Newsletter. She will be responsible for administrative tasks, such as requesting and compiling articles from all of the TRG Administration (the Discovery Loops, Recovery Loops, ODAT Loops, etc.), reminding people that their articles are due on a certain date; then following up and making sure those articles are turned in to the editor at an appropriate time, as well as writing the monthly report and helping compile the Newsletter.

SUSAN - NEW SERENDIPITY PROOFREADER

Please welcome Susan, who is joining the Serendipity team as a Proofreader. She has been in and around these rooms for 25 years, having gone to her first OA meeting in 1980. She was led to the online meetings in February of this year and began an incredible journey. Everyday she is grateful for what keeps her sane and that is this program. ODAT she reminds herself that she must continue to work all of the program everyday, there is no end, there is no, "I've got it now, I'll do this alone; this is a lifelong journey and this time, I'm in it for the long haul".

She will join the other wonderful proofreaders that help make Serendipity the best publication it can be.

Let's give Leisanne and Susan a warm welcome; we thank them for their willingness to give service to others in this special way.

TO SUBMIT AN ANNOUNCEMENT:
To submit an article to Serendipity Newsletter, simply send an email to:
serendipitynewsletter@yahoo.com



~ LOOP SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH ~
JOURNEY TO RECOVERY



This special loop was the beginnings of all of us together, here at TRG. Journey to Recovery (JTR) began in 1995 and became a manually served list. Mari, the founder, typed the names of subscribers individually and at first it was just for them to receive Journey to Recovery, the journal. It began to grow and the subscribers began sharing back. They did this until the subscriber list grew so large that a list server was needed. St. John's University donated an L-Soft list and below is the first letter on what is now Journey-To-Recovery. WTS and Journey to Recovery were the beginnings of the Recovery Group, which is now entering its first decade.

Journey-To-Recovery is an e-mail list that is more than just a list in cyberspace. It is a place where those of us with compulsions can meet with others who suffer, and share our experience, strength and hope with one another. It is a place where we can feel at home, it can become our cyberspace family, a pleace where we know that we will be heard and not judged; a place where your anonymity is important to us. And a place, as the poet said, "where, when we have to go there, they have to take us in."

Journey-To-Recovery focuses on food compulsions and addictions but can also include discussions relating to compulsive overeating: such as Relationship Addiction, Love Addiction and Co-Dependency. While most of our members are also members of the world-wide groups of Overeaters Anonymous, CODA, Emotions Anonymous and similar groups, it is not a requirement to be. The only requirement to be a member of JTR is to have a desire to recover from our disease.

Members of this list find much emphasis on the Twelve Steps. The Twelve Traditions are the guidelines of this group along with several others that are geared mainly to Netiquette and cyberspace. Copies of the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions and our other guidelines will be sent to you separately. We are not affiliated with any other organization, e-mail list or institution.

This group differs from most other cyber recovery groups in many ways. One is that, while we focus on compulsive overeating, we also have discussions on related cross-addictions. While the great majority of us are in recovery from compulsive overeating, we have found that many of us become cross addicted as we recover from food addiction and often find ourselves in another.

Another way we differ from other groups is that this is a topical group. Regularly, each member is sent copies of the Writer's Series ... inspirational messages with a wide variety of topics such as Abstinence, The Twelve Steps, Compassion, Friendships, Addiction, Compulsions, Grief, Hate, Love, Patience, Serenity, Isolation, Hope and many, many more. There is a different topic each week and the Journey-To-Recovery focuses on that topic each day of that week and sharing is related, but not restricted, to that topic.

For subscription information, visit our extraordinary 650-page web site located at: :
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/jtr/jtr_intro.html



~ FEATURE ARTICLE ~
DEALING WITH CHANGE



I don't know why, but I fear change. Even if I think that the changes will benefit me, in some way, I tend to feel some fear as I contemplate and anticipate changes in my life and routine.

Part of it may be because I like knowing what to expect. I am a person who prepares things (my end table has about ten lists on it, right now, as I prepare for various events of my life) and I can't prepare these if I'm not familiar with what will happen. Change brings with it the possibility of new routines, new effects, new interactions and, inevitably, new problems.

Some people welcome changes. They actually seek them out, either from boredom, or because the people or events in their life leave them needing or wanting to change. Some actively seek these changes, but, for the one who forces random change, the change doesn't always make a positive impact. They flit from circumstance to circumstance; like bees grazing every flower in a garden, and, for them, the changes they make can become yet another substance which anesthetizes the pain of life, which they are unable to deal with in a healthy way.

But changes come to everyone, so it is better for us to learn to explore the right way to approach the changes we will face. If we think carefully about the right reasons for change, and the right way to accept the process of change, we will be better able to put it into perspective within our lives.

In my opinion, change is needed when the old ways aren't working, and there is an extent to which that is true for all of us (or why would we be in Program?)

The beginning of the change process might be an honest look at our lives, to see what needs to be changed. Is our food plan the right one for us? Have we been honest in the way we work it? Is our sponsor helpful? If so, are we following what he or she advises us? Are we honest with our sponsors? Are we in healthy relationships, and are we behaving in healthy ways, within them? Is our job the right one for us, or are we just going through the motions? Are we being wholehearted in our approach to Program, and/or to our spiritual journey? Are there character defects which we cling to, long after we know they are truly hindering our progress?

Once we identify changes that are needed, how do we know what changes to make? I believe that is an individual answer, and it comes to us by asking wise friends, and by prayer and meditation. We look around at those whose lives we admire and think "I want to be as serene as _________. I heard she was able to make the change I am thinking about by ________. So that is what I will put into practice in my own life". I think that this process is flexible, and that we may have this inner dialog many times in a day, while we contemplate various changes in our lives.

When I am in the midst of a planned change, I need a constant, strong connection to my Higher Power. I need to be focused on that HP as much as possible, to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the effects of the change. I need the foundation of prayer, and of scripture and to be around others who believe the same way I do. It helps me to journal my feelings, during every step of a change. When the first feelings of "did I do the right thing" sweep over me, it is helpful, to me, to look back at that journal and be able to see the reasons that I gave for making the change, and for choosing the option that I am now experiencing.

And, little by little, as I accept the change, and the impact it makes on my life, it becomes slowly woven into the fabric of my life in a way which makes it part of my new routine, and is no longer a change for me. I can see it from a more objective perspective, and can evaluate whether it was the right decision for me. If it wasn't, maybe the positive process of this change will have convinced me that I can survive changes, and be less apprehensive about the next one in my life.

But what about the changes that I do not plan? Those are the ones which frighten me most. Those are the ones which give me the most pause, because I go through life, with certain expectations, and, when those unplanned changes come, I am left feeling adrift and unprepared for their impact on my life. The process of change has been uprooted by a spontaneous event, person or circumstance and I am forced to quickly react to its emergence in my life.

But, if we reflect, after we catch our breath and take stock of the situation, these unexpected changes can be processed in the same way as the ones we purposely plan. We can take a look at our lives, and think "what purpose can this change have? What needed changes can be brought about because this has happened?" or, if we can see no positive outcome from the change we can think, "how can I make this into a positive experience?" or "what is the least amount of negative impact this can have on my life?" Once we begin to assess the effect of the unplanned change, it can be placed into the same process as any other change, and be faced with the same mindset as our other changes.

The key, in my opinion, to facing these unplanned changes is that same strong connection to our HP. No matter what, we can remain focused on the positive energy that we get from this connection. I find that my faith becomes much stronger in adversity, and in the changes that I am forced to make as a result of it. If I look at my circumstances, I can get angry, frustrated and depressed. But if I think about my HP, and about the positive things in my life, and ask HP to guide and help me through the change, I am able to reframe each step of the process of change in a more positive and productive light. I am able to find joy within the pain of sorrow; hope within the emptiness of frustration, and I am able to find strength when my own resources seem to have failed. Our Program teaches us to "accept the things we cannot change", which is a good lesson to learn, and it encourages us to move on from there to have the "courage to change the things we can". Let us all look within ourselves, and pray for that courage when we need it, and to embrace the connection to our HP which makes that courage possible.

Submitted by Donna

TO SUBMIT AN ARTICLE:
To submit an article to Serendipity Newsletter, simply send an email to: serendipitynewsletter@yahoo.com

The May issue will focus on the theme of "Action".



~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~




~~ FROM THE BIG BOOK ~~

"...And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation - some fact of my life unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism/COE I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitude.
c. 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 449




MY SHARE...

I can't tell you how many times I've had to come back to this paragraph in the Big Book because something or someone was stressing me out or I was getting depressed over something I couldn't handle. I have a predisposition to depression anyway, so this reading has been very helpful to me. How can I say that this and that should be different or that I know things would be better If...! I have had to practice acceptance so many times.

I don't run the world or my own life, for that matter. I keep trying to take control back and it never works. When I find myself back in my depression, all I have to do is look back and see what part of my world didn't go according to what Myrlene thought it should. :)

It has been a hard journey for me, after so many years of not practicing it, but each day I have to ask for my Higher Power's guidance and to please show me in a way I can understand, because I am also one who can't see the forest for the trees.

I do hope that this reading can help others as it has helped me through several years of a much better life, more serenity and peacefulness and that alone makes the depression much less likely to happen.

Blessings in your Recovery,

    Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group)



~ The Promises ~ Part Four ~



"And we will know peace."

In our series on the Promises, Dawn has taken us through the First Promise in which we were told we were going to know a new freedom and a new happiness ... the Second Promise that we would not regret the past nor wish to close the door on it and the Third Promise that we would know serenity.

And now the Big Book promises us that we will know peace.

THE PROMISES ~ PART THREE

Dear Friends,

The Fourth Promise: And we will know peace. WOW!! There was a time in my life, and even some periods now, when I thought that I would never be able to be at peace with my surroundings. It seemed like I had to fight for anything I wanted. Sometimes things would get so hectic that I felt like I was being swept helplessly down a flooding river. At those times, I felt that I had absolutely no control over ANYTHING.

A curious thing happens when working the steps. By giving up trying to control things we can't control, we actually gain MORE control over the things we CAN control. Now, whenever I feel that the river is beginning to catch me, I step back, take a deep breath, and make up my mind to do one thing at a time. I'll recite the Serenity Prayer to myself. Then I'm able to ignore the confusion and actually get things done. If I don't do that, I drive myself crazy by running from one task to another, never finishing any of them. It takes some self-discipline to accomplish that.

But the best thing about this peace is the inner peace I have found. I have made peace with myself. I no longer fight myself. I can accept my good qualities along with my personal weaknesses. I have to work very hard sometimes to overcome my weaknesses, but I don't berate myself over them. They're a part of me. I don't think I'll ever be good at keeping things organized, but I lovingly push myself to be as organized as I can. I think I'll always be forgetful about such things as appointments, so I write them down.

On the other hand, I have certain skills that I should be proud of. These are things that have come to me naturally. I can paint, sew, draw, write, cook, teach, and ride horses very well. That's not to say that I don't have any more to learn about these things. That's where humility comes in. Its important to remain teachable. It's important to recognize the skills others have, and learn from them.

I think that peace comes from this humility. Knowing that I am no better and no worse than anyone else gives me an inner peace. I don't have to show off to impress people. I don't need to feel superior to anyone. We are all equal in this world, and we each have our own gift, and we each have our own weaknesses. By accepting the weaknesses within myself, I am more able to accept other's weaknesses. Also, by accepting my own weaknesses, I am able to be nicer to myself. That is, I don't beat myself up over small mistakes. I don't have so much of the drive to perfectionism.

Peace is a very spiritual concept to me. When I am at peace with the world and at peace with mysel f, I feel a connection to the creative spirit of the universe. I am actually a part of that creation. I have a role to play. Each of us has a place in the universe.

Serenity is not freedom from the storm ~ but peace amid the storm."

Love,
Dawn



~ THE SERENITY PRAYER ~

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.



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~ Rozanne, OA CoFounder ~



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"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul . . .
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Disclaimer


The Recovery Group and our newsletter has as its mission and purpose that of carrying the message of recovery to those who suffer from the disease of compulsive eating. We are an anonymous organization and follow the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous; however, we are not affiliated with that group. Your articles, announcements and information are welcome. All opinions in this newsletter represent only the opinions of the writers and not necessarily that of The Recovery Group or OA, Inc.

The Trusted Servants of Recovery

Volume 7 Issue 4 © Copyright 2005 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.