AA is my church. The sharing of one alcoholic with another is sacred because God has brought us together. Holiness is of little value in the AA church. We connect through our mutual brokenness. My drunk-a-log my be different than yours, but the feelings I drank over are exactly the same. We share together not to save each other’s souls, but to save each other’s asses.

I learned everything I know about AA and sponsorship in my first home group, Mt. Soledad Men’s in La Jolla, CA. The meeting was run by the book. The group emphasized sponsorship and an abundance of qualified men put their hand out to me. I chose Larry, the one with the new Mercedes. :) I learned we all need three things from our sponsors: love, discipline and direction. Larry supplied all three. He taught me to tell the truth by sharing his truth. I learned about his fear, his abandonment issues, and the problems of his life. I learned to sponsor in much the same way Larry sponsored me.

I've had the great good fortune to work with a number of men during my time in AA, especially in Shanghai, China where I lived for sixteen years. Shanghai was a perfect place for an alcoholic to hit bottom. The bars stayed open late and were filled with attractive "talking girls" Foreigners could act out without consequence. A few found their way to our fledgling AA group. Even at only four years I was graced with an abundance of opportunities to sponsor that would not have come my way in San Diego where there were many wiser, more qualified alcoholics. Many of  the men I worked with weren't ready to receive the gift, but I grew every time.

When I'm sharing with another man, sometimes it feels like God is speaking through me. Sometimes when I hear the words come out of my mouth I say to myself. “Wow! I didn’t even know I knew that.” Passing it on to others is truly a major source of joy in my life.

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