Definition of Change:
An act or process through which something becomes different.
Synonyms of Change:
Exchange, substitute, com-mutate, convert, replace, alternate, transpose, etc.
These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click the external link for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.
Nothing Changes, if Nothing changes: My life spiraled further down to new and more humiliating lows. Finally, I crashed without ever picking up a drink! THEN I got a sponsor, worked the Steps, got into service work, and joined the Fellowship. I learned there were only three things I must be; honest, open-minded, and willing. There are also only three things I must do; Unity (fellowship), Service (even beyond the fellowship), and Recovery (living the Steps on a daily basis). Wisdom of the Rooms
Changing the way I interacted with others was very uncomfortable for a long time. I was no longer the pushover, and when I disagreed or refused to go along with their ideas, I suffered their wrath. But at least I didn’t hate myself or hold the familiar resentments anymore. After years of being true to myself, I’ve healed my relationship to myself and to others. Today, I have successful relationships because I am no longer trying to please everyone –Wisdom Of the Rooms
People say that crisis changes people and turns ordinary people into wiser or more responsible ones. The Medicine Wheel teachings say, in order for something to change it must first go through a struggle. When a crisis enters our lives, other powers are there to help us. We will learn some lessons. –Elders Meditations | More…
Not to change is not to adapt;
Not to adapt is to become extinct.
Change in and of itself, neither binds us nor frees us.
Only our attitude toward change binds or frees. –A Day at a Time | More…
Vocabulary: In Roget’s Thesaurus there are more than 3,000 words describing various emotions. Of those, there are 1,051 words for positive emotions and 2,286 for negative emotions; roughly twice as many negative words as positive words! Think of the implications.
The essence of Transformational Vocabulary: the words that we attach to our experience become our experience, regardless of whether it’s objectively accurate or not. Therefore, if we want to change our lives and our destiny, we need to consciously choose the words we use to –Anthony Robbins | More…
Change occurs in two directions.
That which is built is constantly being destroyed;
and that which is loose is being used to build the new.
Change is constantly going on. –Elders Meditations | More…
The Serenity prayer and change
We have bodies that can’t tolerate what our minds can’t leave alone AND we have a spiritual malady that disallows us from doing anything about it on our own.
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference are priceless reminders for more efficient and effective living.
Yet, they don’t include the distinction for addressing the greatest challenge to our spiritual growth in recovery.
Made clear on page 62 in Alcoholics Anonymous is an additional condition we can’t change.
Over-reliance on self, blocks us from the spiritual solution: page 62 “…[the alcoholic] is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though they usually don’t think so.
We also learn that, “Neither could we reduce our self-contentedness much, by wishing or trying on our own power.”
What’s implicit in the Serenity Prayer but missing from its text?
Essentially, it’s to do the things I can, that will bring about the changes I can’t.
One clue is on page 64; “Though our decision (in Step Three) was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face (in Step Four), and be rid of (in Steps Five through Nine) the things in ourselves that had been blocking us.”
The practice of Steps Five through Nine is following the directions for doing the things I can which will bring about the changes I can’t.
I am suggesting that we be mindful each time we say The Serenity Prayer that the miracle of sustained change is the by-product of spiritual practice, much of which lies somewhere far beyond the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can. –Recovery Matters | More…
Resistance to change Many of us cling to our fears, doubts, self-loathing, or hatred because there is a certain distorted security in familiar pain. Our minds manufacture a hundred excuses for remaining right where we are, afraid to try something new.
When the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of changing, we will change. We find that most of our pain comes not from change but from resistance to change.
Change is how we move forward in our lives.
With new things in our lives, we find new joys and loves. –Just For Today | More…
People say that crisis changes people and turns ordinary people into wiser or more responsible ones. The Medicine Wheel teachings say, in order for something to change it must first go through a struggle.
When a crisis enters our lives, other powers are there to help us.
We will learn some lessons. –Elders Meditations/White Bison
There is nothing permanent except change. –Heraclitus
Today I will write down three ways fear of change is holding me back, and I will talk with my sponsor about these things. What do I need to do to be ready for these changes? –God Grant Me/Anonymous | More…
My understanding of spirituality is that I will change. I will change my mind, my attitude and my opinion. My understanding of sobriety is that I will grow, grow in an understanding of myself, grow in an understanding of God’s will for me, and grow in an understanding of other people.
I learned how to understand spirituality as reality; seeing things as they are, rather than how I wanted them to be. I began to accept that life is about change and that truth is a process that we evolve towards. –Father Leo | More…
Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed. Our life changed a lot when we stopped drinking. But this is only a start.
We need to go further. Our old attitudes can kill us, even if we aren’t drinking any more.
This is called a “dry drunk.”
If we’re on a dry drunk, we’ve changed the way we act without changing the way we think. Our program shows us how to change the way we think.
And we change how we treat ourselves and others.
We learn to live a new life based on love and care. –Keep It Simple
What matters is the nature of the change in itself, not how we feel while it is happening –CS Lewis | More…
Change from self-destructive patterns of life became necessary.
In recovery, the first pattern we change is the pattern of using.
Staying clean is the start of our journey into life.
Even in recovery, we may still treat ourselves as if we are worthless.
When we treat ourselves badly, we feel badly.
And when we feel badly, we seek relief—maybe even in our old solution –Just For Today | More…
Full self-expression softens our being, while self-reservation makes us brittle.
Our wholeness is enhanced each time we openly acknowledge our feelings and share our many secrets.
The tears that often accompany self-disclosure, self-assessment, or the frustration of being “stuck” seem to shift whatever blocks we have put in our paths. At each stage of our lives, we are preparing for yet another stage. –Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…
Hopeless living problems have become joyously changed. Our disease has been arrested, and now anything is possible. The Program has given us much more than simple abstinence—we’ve been given a whole new life.
We’ve taken our inventory and identified the defects of character that bound us for so long. We’ve surrendered those shortcomings, taken responsibility for them, and sought the direction and power we need to live differently.
Our home group has given us the personal warmth and support that helps us continue living in recovery. Topping all this off, we have the love, care, and guidance of the God we’ve come to understand in the Program –Just For Today | More…
Everyone wants to feel better, but no one wants to change. My sponsor told me ‘You’re still trying to do things your way.
Until you surrender and really work the steps, you’ll just be the same old you – only you’ll be miserable and sober this time.’ Thank God my sponsor was willing to tell me the truth, and thank God I was ready to hear it. –Wisdom of the Rooms
Change is the characteristic of all growth.
In these days of transition from active alcoholism to sobriety, I can count on my Higher Power. –A Day At A Time | More…
Many men have a self-centered attitude about change.
We allow ourselves to be helped. And change comes! It comes when we are ready to accept it. –Touchstones | More…
One of the most profound changes in our lives is in the realm of personal relationships. Conflicts are not only to be expected in any long-lasting relationship but are actually an indication that both people are emotionally healthy and honest individuals.
In any relationship where both people agree on absolutely everything, chances are that only one person is doing the thinking.
If we sacrifice our honesty and integrity to avoid conflicts or disagreements, we give away the best of what we bring to our relationships. We experience the full measure of partnership with another human being when we are fully honest. –Just For Today | More…
We have to see how our illness has changed us. To do this, we turn to the Steps.
Our program teaches us to become new persons. We will change.
And the changes will make us happy. That’s the best part of recovery—change. –Keep It Simple | More…
Most of us can look back and recall how we fought a particular change.
The program and its structure, and our faith in that structure, can ease the harsh consequences of change. Patience, trust, and prayer are a winning combination when the time comes for us to accept a change. –Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey 25/09 | More..
As summer wanes and winter approaches, we may need to grieve for what we leave behind before greeting what comes next. The changes we experience in recovery bring similar responses.
We grieve the loss of our old friends, the bottle, the romantic thrill, or the excitement. We are able to grieve our losses because we accept them. We have chosen them. Now we move to the next season of our lives. –Touchstones | More…
We should cling to faith in God and in His power to change our faith in God and in His power to change our ways. God will not fail to show us the way we should live, when in real gratitude and true humility we turn to Him.. –24Hours 06/10 | More…
When we learn to reassess our goals, to reset priorities, and to be more realistic about where we are really headed, trying again begins to make more sense. Trying again doesn’t always mean doing it over again. It can mean trying something entirely new. It can mean daring to change. –One More Day
Each day it helps us to remember that we are always changing. Our task for this day is to be honest with ourselves, to be respectful to others, and to stay open to our Higher Power.
Continuing to go forward, we put one foot in front of the other. We are changing internally, and circumstances around us are changing too. We remain hopeful for the future because outcomes are in the hands of God. –Touchstones | More…
We long for permanence, believing it guarantees security, not realizing the only real security available to us comes with our trust in God, from whom all change comes as a blessing on the growth we’ve attained.
Life is a challenge, continued change, always endurable and growth-enhancing. Change means I am progressing, on course. –Each Day A New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…
If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living. –Gail Sheehy
As I began to work the Steps, strange things began to happen, imperceptibly at first At a face-to-face program meeting this week, I read the Promises. I was amazed to hear a strong, confident voice–mine–saying “Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change,” and I realized that I was changing. I love it! –One Day At A Time 07/12 | More…
I have always been fearful of change. I know now that even when I fear change, I need only put one foot in front of the other, and do what is before me.
Because I now have faith that my Higher Power will be with me every step of the way, I need only ask for help, and the help comes. –One Day At A Time | More…
The Great Spirit designed the world to be constantly changing. The whole is constantly changing, and we as humans are constantly participating in the change.
We have two choices. To resist change or to participate in the change. Every change can be resisted, and every change can be made in cooperation. What will I choose today, resistance or cooperation? –Elders Meditations | More…
Our culture and spirituality have always been our strength. Our culture and spirituality taught us to live in harmony.
We must change with the times, but we must maintain our culture and spirituality, always living in harmony. –Elders | More…
The environment we want outside will be created by the mental pictures we have inside our heads. We must have the right environmental picture as well as the right values.
These values will give the mental picture its true meaning. If we respected Mother Earth, we would not throw garbage on Her, nor would we put poison in Her. We would not misuse Her in any way.
Mother Earth is like She is today because of the mental pictures of previous generations as well as the mental pictures of our own generation. If we want the environment to change, each individual must change their mental picture. “As within, so without.” –Elders .
Putting down the drink was the easy part. Change is the hard part. I already knew how to not drink, what I didn’t know was how to live without always wanting to.
The key is changing who I am inside, so that the new man I become doesn’t want a drink any longer. How in the world am I going to accomplish that?
We do it one day at a time through working the Twelve Steps of recovery. Sceptical, scared, resentful, and a thousand other emotions, each day I worked the Steps.
Slowly I did begin to change.
The obsession to drink was lifted!
Now that was a miracle.
Many more followed, and over time many more things changed in me. –Wisdom Of The Rooms.
If you want to change who you are,
change what you do.
The Elders tell us change occurs in two directions. They say, “That which is built is constantly being destroyed; that which is loose is being used to build the new.” In other words, change is constantly going on. The Great Spirit designed people with change abilities such as visioning, imagery and imagination. We need to learn to use these tools and then we’ll look forward to change. Elders Meditations | More…
If you stay humble,
you will not stumble.
Yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is cash in hand, spend it wisely. –Keep Coming Back Gift Book/Meiji Stewart | More…
Nothing Changes, if Nothing changes: My life spiraled further down to new and more humiliating lows. Finally, I crashed without ever picking up a drink! THEN I got a sponsor, worked the Steps, got into service work, and joined the Fellowship. I learned there were only three things I must be; honest, open-minded, and willing. There are also only three things I must do; Unity (fellowship), Service (even beyond the fellowship), and Recovery (living the Steps on a daily basis). Wisom of the Rooms | More…
Changing the way I interacted with others was very uncomfortable for a long time. I was no longer the pushover, and when I disagreed or refused to go along with their ideas, I suffered their wrath. But at least I didn’t hate myself or hold the familiar resentments anymore. After years of being true to myself, I’ve healed my relationship to myself and to others. Today, I have successful relationships because I am no longer trying to please everyone –Wisdom Of the Rooms | More….
Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality. –Dan Millman
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. –Alan Cohen
It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off! You cannot make progress without making decisions. –Jim Rohn
Following a spiritual path has become increasingly essential to me. Contrary to my fear that taking Step Three would condemn me to a life of brave self-sacrifice, I find instead that it frees me to think and act as my truest self. –Grapevine: “A Remarkable Sensation,” Thompson, Pa., March 1997/Emotional Sobriety: The Next Frontier
Change is constant. That which is built is constantly being destroyed. That which is loose is being used to build new things. Nothing can be destroyed, only rearranged. Change will happen and every setback is only temporary. In other words, the Creator is in charge. We are not in charge. He designed the universe. He runs the universe and He will change what needs to be changed. As humans, it is easier for us to participate in all of this if we are spiritual. We need to be tuned in. Therefore, God gave us the spiritual concept of acceptance. When things change, we can change ourselves through the principle of acceptance. –Native American | More…