What Matters MostIt doesn't matter what you say to or in front of other people, it's what you say to yourself that matters most. For instance, when I share at meetings I try to avoid the standard expressions like "Welcome to the newcomers" and "Keep coming back, if you're new." I know these are important traditions in AA, but when I've heard them so many times I often wonder if other people really mean it when they say it or if they are just parroting the expressions because they think their supposed to.
To begin with, as a self-centered alcoholic I am not keen on doing things just because other people are doing them, and I also don't like to do things just because other people tell me I need to do to them. I'm used to doing things my own way. While I do understand the need for traditions and the importance of following instructions from people like my sponsor, when I am sharing in a meeting I have a need to be original. One bit of advice I have followed related to this is "sharing from the heart" in meetings which I think I do a pretty good job of.
So while others in the meeting may feel compelled to spout hackneyed phrases, I'll leave that to them. That's not to say I don't appreciate newcomers (of which I consider myself one), it's just that I have been to way too many meetings where people seem to share just for the sake of sharing and say the same things over and over.
I find it important to be true to what my inner voices are telling me in this regard. To do this, I share my relatively unfiltered, true feelings with others, and I also reject advice that I know will not work for me. I may be wrong on occasion, but I know from experience that if I am forcing myself to follow suggestions that don't make me feel better about what I am doing then I am going to quickly stop following those suggestions. This includes going to meetings that suck and hanging out with people I don't relate to.
So while I don't get on my knees to pray or sit upright for 20 minutes when I am meditating, I honestly believe that my relationship with God is continuing to get better, the peace in heart is growing, and my relationship with myself and others is improving one day at a time. After all this is a program of "progress, not perfection" and if I keep heading away from my desire to pick up a bottle today I think I am doing the right thing.