Wednesday Mens GB Readings

Readings for GB Men’s Telemeeting

6pm PAC

The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
The Opening
Sex Addicts Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so they may overcome their sexual addiction and help others recover from sexual addiction and dependency.
Membership is open to all who share a desire to stop addictive sexual behavior. There is no other requirement.
Our common goals are to become sexually healthy and to help other sex addicts achieve freedom from compulsive sexual behavior.
SAA is supported through voluntary contributions from members.
We are not affiliated with any other 12 Step programs, nor are we a part of any other organization. We do not support, endorse, or oppose outside causes or issues.
Sex Addicts Anonymous is a spiritual program based on the principles and traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are grateful to AA for this gift which makes our recovery possible.
Our Program (pps 20 and 21 of SAA green book)
Attending SAA meetings starts us on a new way of life. But while the SAA fellowship supports our recovery, the actual work of recovery is described in the Twelve Steps. Meetings are forums for learning how to integrate the steps into our lives. Working the Twelve Steps leads to a spiritual transformation that results in sustainable relief from our addiction.
When we start attending meetings of Sex Addicts Anonymous, many of us are surprised to meet people who are enjoying life and experiencing freedom from the painful, compulsive behaviors that had brought them to SAA. Listening to other members share about their recovery, we gradually realize that in order to make the same kind of progress, we need to be willing to do whatever it takes to get sexually abstinent, and to stay abstinent. We have learned from hard experience that we cannot achieve and maintain abstinence if we aren’t willing to change our way of life. But if we can honestly face our problems, and are willing to change, the Twelve Steps of SAA will lead to an awakening that allows us to live a new way of life according to spiritual principles. Taking these steps allows fundamental change to occur in our lives. They are the foundation of our recovery.
[Pause for someone to read The Twelve Steps of SAA, then continue]
The Twelve Steps of Sex Addicts Anonymous (pps 20-21 SAA Green Book)
1.  We admitted we were powerless over addictive sexual behavior - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2.  Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3.  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
4.  Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5.  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6.  Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7.  Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
8.  Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9.  Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other sex addicts and to practice these principles in our lives.

These steps are the heart of our program. They contain a depth that we could hardly have guessed when we started. Over time, we establish a relationship with a Power greater than ourselves, each of us coming to an understanding of a Higher Power that is personal for us. Although the steps use the word “God” to indicate this Power, SAA is not affiliated with any religion, creed, or dogma. The program offers a spiritual solution to our addiction, without requiring adherence to any specific set of beliefs or practices. The path is wide enough for everyone who wishes to walk it.      
Twelve Traditions (read the Tradition of The Month)
1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon SAA unity.
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
3. The only requirement for SAA membership is a desire to stop addictive sexual behavior.
4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or SAA as a whole.
5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the sex addict who still suffers.
6. An SAA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the SAA name to any related facility or outside enterprise lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7. Every SAA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8. SAA should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
9. SAA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10. SAA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the SAA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV, and films.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. The path is wide enough for everyone who wishes to walk it.
Abstinence Statement (pp 14-15 SAA green book)

Our goal when entering the SAA program is abstinence from one or more specific sexual behaviors. But unlike programs for recovering alcoholics or drug addicts, Sex Addicts Anonymous does not have a universal definition of abstinence. Most of us have no desire to stop being sexual altogether. It is not sex in and of itself that causes us problems, but the addiction to certain sexual behaviors. In SAA we will be better able to determine what behavior is addictive and what is healthy. However, the fellowship does not dictate to its members what is and isn’t addictive sexual behavior. Instead we have found that it is necessary for each member to define his or her own abstinence.

    Since different addicts suffer from different behaviors, and since our sexuality is experienced in so many different ways, it is necessary that SAA members define for themselves, with the help of their sponsors or others in recovery, which of their sexual behaviors they consider to be “acting out”.
    This can be a difficult challenge. If we are too lenient with ourselves, we might not get sober. If we are too strict, we might restrict ourselves from healthy behaviors that we have no need to give up, and an inability to meet our high standards could set us up for relapse. We need the help of other recovering sex addicts, and the reliance on a Power greater than ourselves, to find the right balance between these two extremes.
    Our program acknowledges each individual’s dignity and right to choose his or her own concept of healthy sexuality. We have learned that our ideas of what is healthy and what is addictive evolve with experience. In time, we are able to define our individual abstinence with honesty, fairness and gentleness. This process is a valuable exercise in our recovery. It requires us to carefully examine all of our sexual behaviors, decide which ones are healthy or addictive, and note those cases where we’re not sure. It is a way of taking stock of our sexuality that teaches us a lot about ourselves and our behavior.
Ottawa Promises (Ottawa, Canada Hope and Recovery Group)
Through a renewed relationship with our Higher Power, the healing force of recovery will take hold in our hearts. By giving ourselves over to our Higher Power and working our program, our lives will become manageable and we will be restored to sanity. We will receive the inner strength and support needed to face our anxieties and fears, and to deal with the painful feelings that feed our addiction.
    Relations with others will improve as we learn to respect our boundaries and allow others freedom to be themselves. Reaching out in trust and connecting with others will come easier, dispelling our sense of isolation and loneliness. Degrading fantasies and obsessive sexual thinking will diminish.
    Relating to ourselves, self absorption will give way to self-discovery; secrecy to honesty; feelings of unworthiness to dignity; and shame to grace. A restored integrity will guide our behavior. We will feel more alive and regain a sense of happiness. We will hear ourselves laugh again and rediscover play. We will embrace change and will grow.
    A spiritual awakening will free us from the tyranny of our addiction. An awareness of being guided by a Higher Power and supported by caring friends will sustain us. Regret for the past and worry for the future will give way to living for today. We will open ourselves to the amazing possibilities of a life worth living...... our life.
    Are these extravagant promises?
All together:
    We have seen them fulfilled.
    They are ours, if we want them and work for them.
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can ,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

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