Some Favorites from OA Literature
(Have a suggestion for other OA-approved literature to include? E-mail us!)
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
The Third Step Prayer
God, I offer myself to Thee,
to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy power, Thy love, and Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always.
I Put My Hand in Yours
I put my hand in yours
and together we can do
what we could never do alone.
No longer is there a sense of hopelessness;
no longer must we each depend on our own unsteady willpower.
We are all together now,
reaching out our hands for power and strength greater than ours,
and, as we join hands,
we find love and understanding beyond our wildest dreams.
...And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation-
-some fact of my life--unacceptable to me,
and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation
as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake.
Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober;
unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy.
I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world
as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.
Page 449 AA Big Book
If you have a resentment you want to be free of,
if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent,
you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything
you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free.
Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free.
Even when you don't really want it for them,
and your prayers are only words and you do't mean it,
go ahead and do it anyway. Do it every day for two weeks
and you will find you have come to mean it, and to want it for them,
and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment
and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love.
Page 552 AA Big Book
JUST FOR TODAY
JUST FOR TODAY I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
JUST FOR TODAY I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be..."
JUST FOR TODAY I will adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust
everything to my own desires. I will take my LUCK as it comes and fit myself to it.
JUST FOR TODAY I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.
JUST FOR TODAY I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don't want to do - just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
JUST FOR TODAY I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, not find fault with anything, and not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.
JUST FOR TODAY I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.
JUST FOR TODAY I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, some time, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.
JUST FOR TODAY I will be unafraid. Especially, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.
Have you ever wished you could lose ten pounds, twenty, forty, or a hundred or more? Have you ever wished that once you got it off, you could keep it off? Welcome to O.A., welcome home.
Have you ever felt out of step with the world? Have you sometimes felt like a homeless orphan without a place to really belong? Welcome to O.A., welcome home.
Have you ever wished your family would get to work or school so that you could get busy eating? Welcome to O.A., welcome home.
Have you ever awakened first thing in the morning and felt happy because you remembered that your favorite goodies were waiting for you in the fridge or in the cupboard? Again, welcome to O.A., welcome home.
Have you ever wanted to hide in the house without getting cleaned up or getting dressed, without seeing anyone, and without letting anyone see you? Have you ever hidden food under the bed, under the pillow, in a drawer, in the bathroom, the wastebasket or in the car, so that you could eat without anyone seeing you?
Have you ever sobbed out your misery in the dark just because no one loved or understood you? Have you ever felt that God (if he existed at all) made his biggest mistake when he created you? If you say yes, you belong to O.A., this is your home.
Did you ever want to get on a bus and just keep going, without ever once looking back? Did you do it? Welcome to O.A., this is your home.
Have you ever lied to yourself or to another about what you ate or how much you ate of it? Have you ever lied to your sponsor or another O.A. member about how you were doing on your program? Do you belong here? Is this your home?
Have you ever worn a mask, or hundreds of masks, because you were sure that if you shared the person you really were, no one could ever love or accept you? Welcome to O.A., welcome home.
No matter who you are, where you are coming from or are heading, you are welcome and accepted here. No matter what you have done. No matter what you have felt or haven’t felt. No matter where you have slept, or who you have slept with, or loved or hated – we extend acceptance. We accept you as you are today, not as you may be tomorrow. Only you can decide what you want to be. But we will rejoice with you, and when you slip, we will tell you that we are not failures, just because we sometimes fail. We will hold out our arms in love, and stand beside you, as you pull yourself back up and walk on again to where you are heading. You’ll never have to cry alone again, unless you choose to.
Sometimes we fail to be all that we should be, and sometimes we aren’t there to give you all you need from us. Accept our imperfections. Love and accept us in return, and help our sometimes failings. That’s what we are in OA – imperfect. Let’s rejoice together in our efforts, and the assurance that we can have a home if we want one. An O.A. home. Welcome to it.