From the BlogMeet Ron

Two Roads for the Oldtimer/We shape our experiences./We try shortcuts when

As Bill Sees It
Two Roads for the Oldtimer, p. 138
The founders of many groups ultimately divide into two classes known in A.A. slang as “elder statesmen” and “bleeding deacons.”
   The elder statesman sees the wisdom of the group’s decision to run itself and holds no resentment over his reduced status. His judgment, fortified by considerable experience, is sound; he is willing to sit quietly on the side lines patiently awaiting developments.
   The bleeding deacon is just as surely convinced that the group cannot get along without him. He constantly connives for re-election to office and continues to be consumed with self-pity. Nearly every oldtimer in our Society has gone through this process in some degree. Happily, most of them survive and live to become elder statesmen. They become the real and permanent leadership of A.A.
12 & 12, p. 135
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Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power.
–Sigmund Freud

We shape our experiences with the words we use to describe them. Word images create expectations and we naturally move toward them. When a man says, “I can’t!” he is commanding his unconscious self to be helpless. When he has a picture in his mind of moving toward his goal, he may say, “It’s hard, but I’m going to give it my best effort.” If, every time he makes a mistake, he mutters berating statements to himself like, “You idiot! You can’t do anything right,” he is teaching himself to be inadequate.
It’s our responsibility in recovery to use respectful, honest, health-giving words. We can no longer use defeating, shaming, or derogatory words. Our language has a hypnotic effect on us and the people around us. So let’s look at our resources today and name them. Let’s meet our difficulties with our strength, our patience, and the backing of our Higher Power.
  Today, I will call forth images and use words to show I respect myself and others
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A shortcut is often the quickest way to some place you weren’t going.
–Classic Crossword Puzzles

We try shortcuts when we are in a hurry. The founders of this program tell us many people tried to find an easier, softer way because this one seemed too hard and too slow. Shortcuts to growth lead to dead ends and detours. Many men have experimented with shortcuts like “the geographical cure,” “controlled use,” “get rid of this partner and try someone else,” “abstinence without the spiritual part of recovery,” or “selecting some of the Steps and bypassing others.”
The shortest road to one’s own spirituality is the long road we see before us. We may wish for something more to our liking. But that is not an option for those of us who choose to grow toward full manhood. We deal with one day’s – or one hour’s – part of the road at a time. Maybe we see a job we have to do, a challenge to face, an unfinished talk with someone. Our task is to take this day and, in partnership with our Higher Power, see it in the light of our spiritual path.
  I pray for faithfulness to this program. I will avoid shortcuts, allowing my spirituality to grow and deepen.
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