Definition of Powerless:
Without ability, influence, or power.

of Powerless:
Impotent, helpless, ineffectual, feeble, paralyzed; etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs. Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail. We hope you find them helpful.

Love in fellowship.

We in A.A. are offering a spiritual program. The fundamental basis of A.A. is belief in some Power greater than ourselves.

This belief takes us off the center of the universe and allows us to transfer our problems to some power outside of ourselves. We turn to this Power for the strength we need to get sober and stay sober.

We put our drink problem in God’s hands and leave it there. We stop trying to run our own life and seek to let God run it for us.  –24Hours | More…

Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. –Big Book p.45 | More…

We may be powerless, but we’re not helpless –Wisdom of the Rooms | More…

Any behavior we commit to practicing regularly is strengthened. We’re empowered by claiming responsibility for how we perceive and respond to our opportunities, and thus for whom we are becoming. –Karen Casey | More…

All that depresses you, all that you fear, is really powerless to harm you. All past sins are forgiven if you live and love and work with God. Let nothing hinder your new life. –24Hours | More…

It’s important to surrender to powerlessness, but it’s equally important to own our power. We aren’t trapped. We aren’t helpless. We each have the God-given power, and the right, to take care of ourselves in any circumstance, and with any person. –Melody Beattie | More…

In order for us to use our power well, we must become a hollow bone. We must prepare ourselves to become a channel.

Our channel must be clean before we can use our power well.
We must be free of resentments, guilt, shame, anger, self-pity and fear.

If these things are in us, we cannot be hollow bones.
These things block us from our power.

The cleaner we are, the more power we move. We must become a hollow bone so the Creator can use us to do what he wants us to do. –Elders | More…

1st Step Promise
My alcoholic condition was relieved, as in fact it proved to be. –Big Book p.42 | More…

Each of the four directions has special powers.
These powers or Grandfathers are there to help us.

The powers are from the East, the South, the West, and the North. To call upon the power we need to stand in the center and face each of the directions and honor all forms of life in each direction.

Facing the East we honor all the two legged, four legged, winged ones, plants’ nation and the animals. We repeat this prayer in each of the four directions. This allows us to become centered.

When we are centered, then we are ready to call the helpers. It is said, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.

If we are to be ready, we need to remember to always get quiet first. We do this by honouring and praying to the four directions. –Elders | More…

There are two worlds – the Seen World and the Unseen World, or the Physical World and the Spiritual World. We need information from both of these worlds in order to live our lives in a harmonious way.

The most difficult way is to figure things out by ourselves and leave the Great Spirit out of it. When we do this, we are making decisions with information only from the Physical World, this can be called reliance on self.

If we ask the Creator to help us, we then get information from the Unseen World or the Spiritual World.  The Spiritual World is where we get our power.

When we do this, we are God-reliant.
Being God-reliant is the same as being on the Red Road. –Elders | More…

We are nothing compared to His power, and we feel and know it.
Inside of every man and woman is a place of knowing.

In this place is the knowing that there is a Great One, the Great Mystery, the Holy One, the Great Spirit. We can deny this all we want but we know what we know.

This place of knowing is at the very center of our being.
It is gratifying to know that God cannot leave us.

It is said we are spiritual beings trying to be human.
With this power in our lives, we can accomplish much.  –Elders | More…

Try to think, act, live as though you are always in God’s presence. Keeping close to a Power greater than yourself is the solution to most of the earth’s problems.

Try to practice the presence of God in the things you think and do.
That is the secret of personal power.–24Hours 24/07 | More…

It is as important to cultivate your silence power, as it is your word power. – William James. The power we cultivate in silence isn’t generated by us; that power comes to us.

We quiet our inner selves by concentrating on deep relaxation, thinking about a brief reading, or by praying. In our problems with self-esteem, we often label as worthless the quiet, subtle things we do, but these very things are essential to build our strength and self-esteem.

Take time for silence to receive the power it gives in our life. –Touchstones | More…

In my sobriety I still need to deal with fear.
My recovery also tells me that I am a child of God.

I am a beautiful and powerful human being because God not only made me, but has shared something of His precious divinity with me. I am good enough.

I need not make myself the victim. People are much the same inside, and we all need each other to survive. –Father Leo | More…

When we have internalized Step One, our lives reflect it.
Admitting we are powerless over alcohol is not very difficult for most of us.

Admitting we are powerless over the alcoholic is another matter.
Fully accepting our powerlessness over all other people may seem scary at first.

But it makes our own lives so much simpler.
Relief from worry and frustration is only the first gift.

Once we get used to being powerless over other people, we’ll realize how much living we gave up in the past. –A Life of My Own/Karen Casey | More…

We share in common our individual powerlessness at the time we knocked on AA’s door.
And the solution for each of us was the same: sobriety in AA. The reward is learning that we do have a common problem and that there is a solution that fits everyone, in spite of our differences.–Walk In Dry Places/Mel B. 25/10 | More…

Each time we clearly are touched by someone else, and each time we touch another, carries us closer to a realization of God’s presence, in others, in ourselves, in all experiences.

The search for God is over, just as soon as we realize the Spirit is as close as our thoughts, our breath. Coming to believe in a greater power brings such relief to us in our daily struggles.

The program’s greatest gift to us is relief from anxiety, the anxiety that so often turned us to booze, or pills, or candy. Relief is felt every time we let go of the problem that’s entrapped us and wait for the comfort and guidance God guarantees. –Each Day A New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

 The Old Ones say the only true power is spiritual power.
Sometimes our egos tell us we have power but really we don’t.

Great Spirit power is called by other names such as love, forgiveness, intelligence, life, principles, and laws. When the Creator uses this power to make the human being powerful, we must stay humble.

We should constantly acknowledge that we are who we are.
We do what we do because of the power of the Great One. –Elders | More…

Accepting that we cannot control other people’s behavior is a huge step.
Accepting our powerlessness isn’t a hopeless feeling at all, once we understand it.  It offers us profound relief from the burden of responsibility for another person’s life. In time this freedom will make us joyful. –A Life of My Own/Karen Casey. | More…

We learn about the powers we don’t have–the power to control others, sometimes ourselves, and fate. We discover our true power–the power to take an endless journey into freedom and love.

We talk about, experience, and experiment with many kinds of power along the way. The power of authority. The power of money. The power of prestige. The power of control. The power of rage, anger, intimidation.

We see that many forms of power are illusions. Money goes just so far. Prestige is fleeting. Popularity holds no immunity from life’s experiences. Control is only momentary, we turn our backs and the situation reverts.

We trudge the road searching for power, learning about our own. Somewhere on the journey, we begin to see the truth.

It awakens quietly within us, shaking our soul, transforming our vision, teaching us what we knew all along. The power that lasts, the power that stays is the power of the heart. –Journey to the Heart | More…

Henrietta Seiberling is the lady who introduced Bill Wilson to Dr. Bob Smith. Henrietta’s remarks presented at Founder’s Day, June 10, 1971.  Bob and Bill said to me; “Henrietta, I don’t think we should talk too much about religion or God.” I said to them, “Well, we’re not out to please the alcoholics.

They have been pleasing themselves all these years.
We are out to please God.

And if you don’t talk about what God does, and your faith, and your guidance, then you might as well be the Rotary Club or something like that. Because God is your only source of power.”

And finally they agreed. And they weren’t afraid any more. It is my great hope that they will never be afraid to acknowledge God and what he has done for them. –Henrietta B. Seiberling/Founder’s Day, June 10, 1971/Barefoot’s World… | Read the full transcript

We share in common our individual powerlessness at the time we knocked on AA’s door. And the solution for each of us was the same: sobriety in AA. The reward is learning that we do have a common problem and that there is a solution that fits everyone, in spite of our differences.–Walk In Dry Places | More…

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