As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.

–Katharine Hepburn

 

Newcomer

 

I appreciate the fact that you remain friendly and even-tempered even though I don’t always follow your advice.

 

Sponsor

 

Friends can disagree without having to end their relationship. I might have trouble sponsoring someone who never attends meetings, someone who has frequent relapses, or someone who complains about his or her problems without ever being willing to attempt the Steps. But occasional disagreements are a part of life.

 

A sponsor’s suggestions aren’t commands, any more than the Twelve Steps are. As a sponsor, I only make suggestions; even though they’re based on my experience, I’m not always right about what will work for another person. And I may misjudge what another person’s timetable is. I’m not infallible. I try not to let my ego get in the way, to feel hurt or angry when you need to try something on your own. Learning to make your own decisions is necessary to growth.

 

Each of us makes his or her own way through the process of recovery. We learn more from our own experiences, good and bad, than from anything we read in a book or hear at a meeting.

 

Today, I learn from my experience.

 

Everyone has their own path. My way is what worked for me. However, it does not mean that my way will work for anyone else. I used get upset if a sponsee or newcomer would not take my suggestions. I have learned not to be attached to another person’s actions. After all, I am powerless over people, places, and things. AA is a program of action and a program only works if you work it. So regardless of a person’s path, he or she must work a program if he/she wants to stay sober and if he/she wants to be happy, joyous, and free.

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