Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. The Ferryland – New Foundland Iceberg Easter 2017. A Word Press Production.

Tradition Three

Winners, Loosers and Non-Negotiables

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 08:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and UD Almeria at Camp Nou on April 8, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Courtesy: VIP Football Collection / via Getty Images Copyright attributed.
Lionel Messi, F.C. Barcelona

The first HUGE match of the season took place yesterday between Bayern Munich and F.C. Barcelona. Team Messi, went up against a very unprepared Bayern Squad. There are many things being said about Bayern tonight, some, not that kind at all.

Too many good players were out with injuries. Too many players were benched before the match even took place, who would not see any action, even though they were kitted up and ready to play. So the team that Bayern did field, failed in goals.

The Star Players Lionel Messi, was the King of the match, hands down. He just killed the Germans with his Top of the League playing.

I couldn’t give a shit about hockey, unless of course, it is the Olympics and Sydney Crosby is playing for Team Canada.

So that was the big sports news that I am interested in.

I was at the Thursday meeting tonight, and I heard our guy say something that really resonated with me. At some point in sobriety, we learn about people, by listening to them speak, either in person with us, or from the chair, or from their chair.

At some point we might hear something come out of someones mouth, that is a “truth” and you learn what that means for you. Sometimes people talk, and in most cases, they are unscripted and unvarnished. To a degree I am judgmental, but I also attribute my judgment to this:

“When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.”

Oprah said it, and I have used this advice sparingly.

We are not immune to this happening to ourselves.

For a year, my little band of friends at our Tuesday meeting have been working tirelessly in the meeting, and for the most part, outside the meeting, to bring normalcy and sobriety to certain women we know, who are out with small babies.

We’ve invested in these lives because we love our women, all women. Some of those women have just moved back into the city from points farther away, and they have come to our little meeting, because we invited them to come, and guaranteed that we would all welcome them with open arms.

Couples marry and they have children. It is a natural progression in life.

Pregnant women, go to meetings. New mothers, go to meetings. And sometimes they bring their babies with them. And in years past, every “other” woman in the room, knows what to do. One by one, we play hot potato with the babies. We hold them, feed them, rock them, while mom gets an hour to go to a meeting.

That is a certainty. This is how we do things here.

On Tuesday one of our new mothers, brought her daughter with her. We had seated a small group. Caveat … babies are not naturally silent, for long stretches, unless of course they are sleeping.

She came a few times prior to this weeks installment. Every time she came, she got up and left because the baby was a little noisy. She did not get her meeting in.

A particular old timer (read: My Sponsor) who is thirty one years sober has an opinion about small children.

On Tuesday, mom was sitting, baby was chirpy, and we let it go. Nobody said anything. She stayed for the entire meeting. However, five minutes into the meeting, my sponsor was already fidgety. He got up, went to pee, and went home.

After the meeting I called him, and asked what his problem was? His response …

A.A. is not a nursery, we come to get sober, not to listen to babies cry…

This was unvarnished truth. I heard the words, I listened to them as they came out, and right away I knew, in my heart of hearts, that he was telling me a real truth. Not an opinion.

That did not sit very well with me. I said to him, pointedly, that I will not ask a woman with a child to leave a meeting, because she is carrying a baby. I will not go against the third tradition for no reason whatsoever.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

The tradition as it reads in the Twelve and Twelve states:

“You are an A.A. member if you say so. You can declare yourself in; NOBODY can keep you out. No matter who you are, no matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications – even your crimes – we still can’t deny you A.A.”

Having a child is not in the handbook. Bringing that child to a meeting, is also, NOT in the handbook.

If you read Tradition Three from the book, and you have studied the early fellowship, this tradition was really needed early on because of all of the strife, judgment and problems, those early drunks had with certain people. Some of those prejudices still exist.

It was a very good thing when the Traditions came in, because they solved a lot of problems.

But like I said, shit still happens in meetings to this day.

Traditions be damned in some people’s opinions.

So I heard that judgmental and sexist remark.

Some alcoholics get sober, some do get SOBER, and some do not. Nobody is immune to judgment or opinion. We all have them. It was my judgment that someone with thirty or more years of sobriety would “behave better” or be a little kinder or compassionate and understanding.

I did not hear that when he said, A.A. is not a nursery.

What I heard was, women with babies do not belong at a meeting. Not mine of course.

For many weeks, I have been in consultation with another Old timer. I respect him a great deal, and I have been talking to him about many things. After this small succinct conversation with my sponsor, I knew the deal was done.

I don’t agree with you, and I won’t be part of your campaign.

I just lost all respect for someone because they were honest, to a fault.

Tonight after the meeting, I asked this other old timer to be my new sponsor.

He respects me as a man, that is mutual.

Tomorrow I am getting in a car, with my present sponsor and going to Vermont for the Spring Men’s Twelve Step Intensive retreat, at St. Anne’s Shrine in the Vermont lake district.

I have shared my displeasure with him.

I paid $200.00 for this weekend. I can NOT go. One, it is nonrefundable, and Two, my husband would kill me if I stayed home.

Suffice to say, I am glad that there are two other people riding in our car. That will make the transits a bit more pleasurable.

But the deed is done. I made my decision. I trust my intuition.

I’m not going to ask my friends, that I have spent inordinate amounts of time ministering to afar and close, ask them NOT to come to the meeting with their babies. That is just NOT going to happen, not on my watch. The other women in the group would agree. You can’t kick someone out of a meeting because they are “with child.”

I will be away until Sunday.

I need to pack my bathing suit before I forget !

More to come, stay tuned …