Dear Friends in Recovery,

The theme this month is the principle of service. This is one of the cornerstones of our program. An oft-quoted shorthand for the steps tells us: Trust God (Steps 1-3). Clean house (Steps 4-10). Help others (Steps 11 and 12). One of the many paradoxes in program is that by helping others we are also helping ourselves maintain our own recovery. The people in program who have maintained long-term recovery and are, for the most part, happy, joyous and free, seem to be the ones who give service back to others in their home meetings and beyond.

My own experience with service over the years has been one of rich rewards that I never imagined. Just when I start to get comfortable, my Higher Power puts me in situations that have made me learn and grow and stretch outside of my cozy cocoon. Serving on the Northern Virginia Intergroup Board the last 2 years has definitely been outside my comfort zone, and it has been far from perfect! I have learned so much about my vulnerabilities and my strengths; my powerlessness and the perfect grace of my Higher Power; I have been humbled and lifted up. Service is not always easy, and at times downright inconvenient, but I can honestly say that I am grateful to have had this opportunity with all its highs and lows.

Thank you for doing this with me--remember, together we get better!

With love and gratitude,
Jess W.