Author: EssayBlog Admin

Patience is a Virtue

Patience—The ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset is a valuable quality in a person; the ability to wait calmly; the capacity to accept delay without getting angry.

Virtue—a quality or trait that most people consider to be morally good or desirable in a person

Quick Quiz:  “Patience is a Virtue” suggests that getting angry when you have to wait is:

  1. a good personal trait
  2. a bad personal trait
  3. a sign of patience

For the record when I first came into SA in 1995 one of the first things that I became resentful at was “TIME LIMITS” on shares.

Generally speaking at 90% or more of AA meetings there is no time limit on a shares.  How do you put a time limit on the “Language of the Heart” by setting restrictions, parameters and stipulations? Time Limits have their ADVANTAGES, don’t get me wrong.  However, it has been my experience it creates controversy, contention and aggravates patience!!!

I would add, once you establish a time limit, then you need a time keeper.  however, that responsibility is much greater than one person.  then the entire meeting and group takes on a DIFFERENT atmosphere.

Thus, in addition to the secretary and/or ONE time keeper, you end up having 3, 4, 5 and perhaps 20 or more time keepers.   Then, the call EXPECTATIONS become more focused on HOW LONG you talk instead of WHAT you talk about.

Quantity vs. Quality

This is a chronic problem with Sexaholics Anonymous because we are almost forced to share our sobriety date during introductions.  Similarly, it’s a CONTEST of “Length of Sobriety” vs. Quality of Sobriety.  Shame because you don’t have enough time or that nobody is willing to listen long enough to get to the truth.  Sad.

What are your thoughts on time limits?

 


 

WOW, in case you are wondering I stated my apologies up front that I will “probably do it wrong, but I will be trying as best as I can”.  Thus, it is absolutely amazing that we join this call to try and support one another but unfortunately, we are all VICTIMS of Sex Addiction.  Thus, we all struggle with a “mental illness” that our literature says we are “self-centered”.

So, even though I volunteered to be your “trusted servant” and it helps me to stay engaged in the meeting and more attentive on the call, I am quickly reminded that the DISEASE or (DIS-EASE) is much stronger than my best intentions.  Specifically, “Dan from Illinois” who took it upon himself to step on my toes and replace me.  For the record, the secretary who shared first went over the 120 second time limit, then the 2nd caller went over, and the 3rd caller went over, etc.

Why is it that nobody has any conception of time?  See, in my opinion it comes down to CONTROL.  We are incapable of controlling our disease of addiction.  The serenity prayer reminds us all, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things we cannot change…”.  Thus, people places and things. “Control freaks, trying to control other control freaks.”  Furthermore, I realize this sounds a little cynical, critical and self-righteous BUT… “Stay in your own lane”!!! Mind your own business.  Live and Let Live.  It’s embarrassing. Rude. ROLE MODEL.  Walk the walk, don’t just Talk the Talk.

 


“Selfishness—self-centeredness!

That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we

have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God’s help.

This is the how and why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God

(AA BB pg. 62) Click here

 

Pornography

For over 40 years I have worked in the computer industry.  My father worked for IBM back in 1975 (I was only 8 years old) and later when I was working on my undergraduate degree, I too went to work for IBM.

Thus, most of my professional career I have worked in the Information Technology field and it’s been extremely hard to avoid the DRUG that is so easy to access.  I used to rationalize for years, putting a “filter or anti-porn block” on my PC or nowadays my smart phone is only a Band-Aid.  It I don’t address the root of my disease, my cunning baffling and more powerful disease will always find a workaround.

However, as of Jan 12th, 2019 all that has changed.  I was sitting in church listening to the eulogy of a friend of mine who died with 58 years of continuous sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous.  The words, “Tom was a man of principle; he never wavered” really spoke to me.  So, I left that service and when I got home I proceeded to install www.CovenantEyes.com on ALL my devices.

It was a miracle I felt so liberated.


How do you block Google images without blocking the entire search engine?” Recently, I spoke to another SA Member and he asked this question.

In the bottom right corner, click on “Settings” and then select “Search Settings”.  Enable “Filter explicit results” and Save.

google_images

I did some more research and here is what I found:

  • At this time it is not possible to block image search via Google without blocking Google entirely.  Google Images does not load those images from other domains, in fact it is embedded into the HTML for most browsers using a data URI.  This means the image information is actually part of the HTML markup for the page and not something OpenDNS can block without blocking Google Images entirely.
  • Bing (on the other hand) has chosen to host potentially explicit thumbnails from “explicit.bing.net” and we block that domain under the appropriate categories.
  • As far as I can tell, Google is being very irresponsible regarding the way that it displays images in its searches and the fact that it is essentially impossible to block them.
  • Bing allows you to simply block *.explicit.bing.net, which means that no explicit pictures are returned. Google does not allow for this. Worse still, using HTTPS (which is how most traffic is now handled) you cant even append the safe=on switch. Also, that requires proxy software / hardware which the majority of home users simply don’t use or wouldn’t know how to use.
  • References:  Safe searchNet NannyWebsenseEngines, Robots

There is Hope

Ask yourself, “how much time and money have I wasted looking at pornography and acting out?”

Is it worth $30.00 to eliminate the temptation?  How about $100.00?

We have personally tested and believe K9 is fantastic.  Very easy to use, setup and best of all it’s FREE.  This will get you started until you decide how much money and time you want to spend finding a “full-proof solution”.  However, keep in mind, nothing is Perfect.  Nevertheless, K9 automatically blocks “inappropriate images” and even tracks/logs your web activity.k9

 

Rankings

At this time I have organized a prioritized list of the tools in order of effectiveness and value.

  1. Symantec
  2. McAfee
  3. Net Nanny
  4. K9
  5. Cyber Patrol
  6. Web Watcher

More importantly, give the administrator password to your sponsor or your spouse so you are not tempted!  Get back to reality and focus on the things that matter most – email, work, news feeds, social networking “safely”, etc.

Eight tools to help block internet pornography

Set your search engine to “safe search” mode: For Google users go to http://www.google.com/familysafety/; Bing users go to http://www.bing.com/preferences.aspx; and, if you use another search engine, go to the safety settings and find this feature.  If you child uses services like YouTube, be sure you have set the “safe” mode on those platforms as well.

  1. Use the family safety tools provided by your computer’s/other device’s operating system: Both Windows and Mac operating systems provide family safety settings.
  2. Use family safety tool services: Sometimes called parental controls, these tools allow you to set specific filters to block types of content you find inappropriate. This isn’t just something to apply to youth; plenty of adults prefer to filter out pornographic and other types of content – like hate and violence.  The appropriateness of some types of content will change as children mature; other types of content may always be unacceptable. To find the tools that best fit your family’s needs, search for parental-control or family-safety-tool reviews.
  3. Keep in mind that these tools need to be installed on every device your child uses to go online: game consoles, cell phones, tablets, personal laptops and computers. Some services have coverage for all types of devices, others are limited to just computers or phones. You may find that using a single solution on all devices makes your monitoring much easier.
  4. Periodically look at your children’s browser history. There are a number of phrases youth use to get around pornography filters – like “breast feeding” and “childbirth” – and some fast-changing slang terms that filters may not have caught up with like “walking the dog,” which is a slang term for sex. If you see odd search terms, give the sites a quick look.
  5. Have your children restrict access to their social networking sites to only known friends, and keep their sites private. A great deal of pornography is shared among private albums on social networking sites.
  6. Scan the photos on your child’s cell phone once in a while. While the youngest kids aren’t sexting, by the time they’ve hit their tweens they have begun participating in this type of behavior. Let your children know that every so often you will sit down with them and go through the pictures they have stored on their phone.
  7. Review the applications your child has downloaded to their phone or tablet. Mobile content filters may not catch all the potentially inappropriate apps.
  8. You are your strongest tool. No technical blocking solution alone is enough to protect a determined child or teen from finding pornography online. Have the “talk” on an ongoing basis with your children and spouse about the content your family finds appropriate and inappropriate; this exchange should never be a one-time conversation. Read more

 

More recommended sites:

 

Guard Your Eyes – Maintaining Moral Purity in Today’s World

 

“Pornography addiction has its roots in the viewing and hoarding of magazine and video pornography. However, these days porn addicts have new and frighteningly powerful enablers: the Internet, Smartphones, and social media. Porn addicts today can feed their Internet porn problem by viewing online still photos, downloading porn videos, or by having webcam sex (paid and unpaid). Some use the Internet to simply view images while others eventually end up using the Internet as a vehicle to meet with anonymous sexual partners. The ‘new media’ of smartphones offers some addicts instant phone-based porn downloads along with wherever/whenever live video streaming of sexual activities, while Facebook can leave some cruising images and profiles for hours on end.   What is porn addiction? Similar to someone with a chemical or substance addiction, porn addicts tend to replace important relationships and commitments with their “drug” of choice: pornography. Non-Internet porn addicts can be found in places like strip clubs and adult bookstores, but it is unlikely that they have a strip club addiction or an adult bookstore addiction, but rather that they have consistent and compulsive sexual problems that manifest in different ways”.

For over 15 years, I have been journaling in a spiral notebook.  I use this tool as an opportunity to reflect on my life and get closer to God.  Now, I enjoy alternating my journal entries online for others to enjoy.  Nobody reads my notebooks, not even me.  Rather, it’s like going to a meeting and sharing random thoughts.  Most people can’t remember what I said last month or even care.  However, I know that I must apply the tools of the program every day.  So, I benefit tremendously.  More importantly, I hope others can identify with my feelings and ideas and not feel so isolated, which is what our addiction wants.

The above reading helps me define precisely what my major form of compulsive behavior is.  I didn’t start going to strip clubs until I was about 35 years old, just after I got engaged.  Up until then, I generally thought those places were for losers, because I could always find women to have sex with in public places.  However, for the past 2 years or so, my disease has gone more “underground”.  I am afraid of infidelity (marital disloyalty; unfaithfulness. a breach of trust or a disloyal act; transgression. adultery – voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man or woman and a partner other than the legal spouse).  Thus, if I don’t leave the house I’m essentially avoiding the temptation.

SA has introduced a lot of terms that I never understood.  For example, I was guilty of fornication (voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other) from the age of 18 till 35.  I am turning 45 this year, and thank God I never cheated on my wife.  However, I am ashamed that I lust after other women in my mind.  I get a tremendous high looking at images on the Internet which always leads to masturbation.

I was celibate for the first 18 years (abstention from sexual relations. the state of being unmarried), abstinent from sex with my wife for about 6 months in a row, and totally abstinent from all sex for about 2 months since I was legal age.  More importantly, I went 100 days in a row back in 2010 of sexual sobriety according to the SA White Book definition.

As I was looking up some of these terms, I also found it interesting to note that I have never committed buggery (unnatural intercourse with a man. sodomy refers to anal sex or other non-penile/vaginal copulation-like acts, especially between male persons or between a person and an animal).  There are many forms of sexual acting out that the SA literature describes and the bottom line is — “I AM A SEXAHOLIC”.  One of my biggest problems is beating myself up.  I am very ambitious and I can be very hard on myself.  Just for today, I plan to be honest, unselfish, humble, empathetic, loving and pure.  This next reading below (reference unknown) gave me hope that I feel very grateful that I am still married.

“If masturbation becomes obsessive it will lead to a loss of control in the life just like gluttony or any other form of appetite gone astray.  The young person should be taught to confess the sin of appetite which is out of control rather than to tell them that they are sexually perverted or nasty.  The sin is that of not letting the Holy Spirit lead in appetites.

Another way in which masturbation is, without a doubt, sinful is when it is accompanied by the use of pornography, filthy music, or even mental fantasies of women other than the spouse. This is so common that it is assumed to be the only method of masturbating. Of course, many young people do NOT start out in their first masturbating venture with ANY fantasy. They have no history to work with mentally.

The older a man gets, the more he accumulates a mental history which feeds fantasy, and thus, the more tempted he will be to sin by mental lust as he masturbates. This is why Paul convinces Timothy to “flee youthful lusts.” We said that masturbation is NOT called sin in the Bible, but sexual lust for a women IS called sin by Jesus. To add masturbation to this mental “youthful lust” will insure trouble by and by. So, it IS true that masturbation is easily perverted by fetishes of the mind or magazine. I knew a man who fantasized in lust for a woman in the church fellowship while he masturbated, and whenever he came to church and saw the woman, he blushed with shame. So, this IS a danger for sure.

DOES MASTURBATION SERVE ANY GOOD PURPOSE?

When a husband and wife are separated against their will and one is having severe temptations with lust, masturbation can serve as a release for those drives.  This has saved many men from infidelity.  In that sense, and I suppose I shall be thrashed for this, I suggest that masturbation is a very useful solution.  Masturbation is also a release to young unmarried men.  We just don’t like to admit it.  Many a young man has defused a setting for fornication by masturbating ahead of time.  Cold showers are fine, but they don’t last.  Of course, a young man can further help this struggle greatly by making sure he is only found in modest company.”


 

Web Categories To Block: This contains various pre-configured filter levels (High, Default, Moderate and Minimal). It also contains the options for [Monitor], which will not filter any websites but will log all browsing activity and [Custom] which will allow you to select which categories you wish K9 to block/allow.

Time Restrictions: This contains features which will allow you to block web access completely during the evening (NightGuard) or the time frame you desire (Custom).

Web Site Exceptions: This contains both your “Always Block” and “Always Allow” list which can be used to fine-tune your K9 filter policy. These are generally used to block or allow a particular website without blocking/allowing the entire category. This also contains the feature “Blacklist Without Password” which allows non-admin users to add sites to the “Always Block” list without requiring the K9 admin password.  Read more

SA International in Spain

Around March, 2009 after attending several SA International Conventions, I decided to contribute to Sexaholics Anonymous on their Wikipedia page with some facts of my own experience and knowledge.  I began my journey in SA around 1995 after a couple years in AA.  Then in July, 2013 I helped with the registrations for a very successful International Convention in Maryland – “Change on the Chesapeake”.  About this time I had completed all the research necessary to accurately publish the history of conventions since inception in July, 1981.

All SA & S-Anon conventions from inception to 2016 have been held in the United States, except July 1992 and July 1997 which were both held in Canada. In 2017, the first SA International Convention was held outside North America in Israel, Middle East. In January 2019 we held our first International Convention in Madrid, Spain – “Living in the Slogans“.

Portada

Altruism

According to Merriam Webster, this is defined to be a belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others; unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others; opposed to egoism; willingness to do things that bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself.  Here are some examples:

“Some may choose to work with vulnerable elderly people out of altruism”.

“An altruistic firefighter risks his life to save another’s life”.

Ever since I became an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous, drank the Kool-Aid and starting doing Service Work, I have learned by experience that the more you give, the more you receive!  That is a fact.

In fact, I also firmly believe I could NEVER fully refund what AA and SA has given me.  In other words, if I got what I truly deserved, I would be dead.  I was a terrible, awful man who caused a lot of havoc in other people’s lives for over 10 years.

Since I have come into recovery, I sincerely hope that I am much more happy_destinyapart of the solution than part of the problem today.  Some days are obviously better than others and I am not ALWAYS sick (DIS-EASE) for more than 24 hours, 1 full week or 1 full month.  I have a conscience that tells me, “this does not feel right. this is wrong. stop. behave.”

“We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” Read more

New Beginnings

The way we see SAPhoneMeeting.org…

Saphonemeeting.org was designed by SA members to serve the needs of the members who are unable to attend face to face meetings. Our contention is that the site has evolved to be a much better resource than the flyer that is currently on the SA.org website. We formed our committee to call attention to the potential of the site and to suggest a forward direction.

The following Website Advisory Committee (WAC) members agree with the aforementioned statement, research and findings. Bill R., Rob S., Steve G., Kelvin P., Len & Brooks S.

Background. SAphonemeeting.org launched in 2009 to meet the immediate needs of some of the phone meetings. It published the available meetings times, phone numbers, access codes, scripts and group rosters. Based on the positive feedback and requests from members, the designer spent hundreds of hours to create a framework where the entire community can make electronic donations to sa, share blogs, news, and links to additional resources. As we shall show, this website compares favorably to the SA phone flyer in terms of useful functionality, presentation, and almost any other reasonable measure.

Personalities before principles. In the last few years, the designer of Saphonemeeting.org turned to SA to ask for help and support to keep the website strong. He has consistently sought out members to serve as committee to provide guidance and oversight to the site. The SA office referred the matter to the Virtual Intergroup (VIG) that had formed to represent the growing number of phone meetings. Personality differences arose when discussing the transfer of the site to SA. VIG members questioned the advisability of having a dynamic site when so many members have not found the Internet to be a safe place. Other issues concerned matters about how to handle anonymity, conference approved material, individual opinion, and financial accountability. VIG members even went so far as to question the motivations and financial propriety of the site. All these matters were worthy of discussion, but for whatever reason, strong personal feelings surfaced and the VIG and saphonemeeting.org divided into two acrimonious camps.

Our committee has formed to provide a series of recommendations to overcome a toxic situation that has developed. It is time that SA welcomed the contribution of this website and provided the support that is required. We do not want to abandon this vital web site that has become important to the recovery of many members of the community.

Promotion not attraction. The advantages of Saphonemeeting.org over the flyer, the saphonemeeting.org designer sought support at the group level. Some members heard this as promotion not attracting and their pushback proved disruptive and contentious. Strong feelings became open disputes. Addicts behaved like addicts. And the VIG initiated an effort to classify SAphonemeeting.org as an “outside” organization, asking other Intergroups to delist the site and remove links to it. They even went so far as to advocate that SA return any donations made to it from SAphonemeeting.org.

From inside to outside. Our contention is that the SAphonemeeting.org has never been an “outside” organization. It was formed in good faith to serve the members and has faithfully done so ever since. See Saphonemeeting.org to read more about traffic to the site, survey results of frequent users, and various testimonials from members of the years talking about the pivotal role the site has played in many, many recoveries. All this evidence should be sufficient to dispel the divisive notion that Saphonemeeting.org is an “outside” organization despite the strong feelings of the VIG committee.

Our leaders serve, they do not govern. Further, it’s clear to us that the VIG overstepped its authority in attempting to expel SAphonemeeting.org and to censure its designer.

7th tradition. It is clear to us that we as a fellowship have not yet evolved a reasonable method of collecting 7th tradition donations from the members who depend on digital and phone meetings. This need was addressed with a simple PayPal tool that has collected more than $1300 to cover expense since its inception. Surpluses have been forwarded to SAICO. In the graph below we show an accounting of the funds that have been received, paid the small expenses, and forwarded to SAICO.

We feel that a further step to create an infrastructure where individual meetings, whether phone or chat or forum or skype, can accept 7th tradition micropayments, maintain their own electronic treasuries, and spend their funds as determined by their group conscience. This is the formula that has fueled 12step programs forever. We need to provide the technology to perpetuate.

Such an effort may help pay for expenses to expand and improve the site and to help in SAICO’s work to carry the message.  Read more

For example, suppose there are 4000 phone and skype meetings a month, which seems reasonable considering there are dozens of daily meetings. If an average of 8-10 contributed $1 a meeting, 7th tradition funds would approach $40,000 a month, or almost $500,000 over the year.

Where do we go from here?

Amends. It’s clear to us that a cycle of amends is necessary on the part of all players. It is also important to bring a level of sobriety and civility into the matter. We’d suggest a moratorium on VIG’s efforts to censure saphonemeeting.org and to set direction of cooperation, not competition.

Guidance from Other 12 step fellowships.   Beyond that, there is a growing need to support members who employ technology in their recovery. This a broader issue than managing the list of phone meetings and instructions on how to use a phone system. Our committee looked to the other 12 step fellowships as a guide. It’s clear that SA is very far behind.  Having a strong digital presence is especially important today because of special stigma attached to our addiction.   In contrast to AA, SA, GA, Al-anon, etc., there are very few meetings in mid-sized and small towns around the world. Our phone and digital meetings are therefore key to our world-wide mission. Please examine Exhibit 5 which surveys the current features provided by the others.

The Rush of Technology.  Whether we like it or not, technology is fast becoming the dominant enabler of human interaction, particularly among our young members. Younger members want to connect with each other with text and social media. Phone, email, even web sites are no longer in vogue. In their place are a wide range of tools which young members use to learn, connect, and become inspired. Unfortunately, there is widespread abuse of this technology which is fueling sexual addiction like never before. The static phone meeting flyer, as well as the entire SA.org site, does not speak to the needs of. most people who are struggling with sex addiction.   Worse, soon our fellowship will be facing the challenges of virtual reality-based meetings, life cameras, eye glasses that project digital images, wearable computers, etc. In every case, people are using technology to connect with each other and with a message. The foundation laid today must be adaptable to what is coming without sacrificing our traditions and concepts. Our primary purpose is to carry the message.

Coordination with SAICO’s effort to revitalize worldwide web sites. The recent meeting of the delegates and trustees initiated a committee to look at upgrading SA’s website. We suggest that the committee considers these recommendations works with those of us that would like to see saphonemeeting.org incorporated into the new sites.

The Traditions and Concepts suggest a path to governance. The Traditions and Concepts provide the guidelines that should guide the fellowship to a policies that foster working together for the common good, adaptability, and promote innovation while not compromising our guiding principles. Please look at Exhibit 2 for our thoughts on how the traditions might guide us to meet the technology challenges ahead as well as maneuver out of the difficult personality problems that have arisen between the VIG and SAphonemeeting.org.

EXHIBIT 1. FEATURE COMPARISON OTHER 12 STEP NON FACE TO FACE MEETINGS

wac-exhibit1

 

EXHIBIT 2. KEY QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED FROM THE 12 TRADITIONS

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon SA unity.

We all trying to survive in a perilous sea depending on each other despite a wide divergence of opinion, backgrounds, and beliefs. Aren’t we chasing a common goal — serving the member who depends on phone meetings? When we have disagreements what is the best way to resolve them?

  1. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern..

What exactly is the fine line one crosses when one begins to “govern”? Bill W provides some instructions on this in the 12 and 12: “…no board of dirctions ..can cast an erring member into outer darkness, when indeed no AA can give another a direction and enforce obedience….” pp 132

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

How can we embrace the service work of members who desire to stop lusting but struggle with sobriety.?

  1. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or SA as a whole.

Does the Intergroup or Region have authority over individual groups? Having a portal for each individual group would, we think, vastly increase the strength and service structure at the group level.

  1. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

In this dynamic digital world where many young members have fully embraced streaming, social media, how should the message be communicated and delivered ?.

  1. An SA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the SA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

How can a web site serving the needs of phone members, become an “outside” organization?

  1. Every SA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

What financial support do the phone meetings require? What is the best and most economical way for phone meeting members to participate in the 7th tradition?

  1. Sexaholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

What are the administrative responsibilities required for the technology that is needed to service virtual meetings?

  1. SA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

How should the digital assets committee working on the overall SA technology be working with the current web sites?

  1. Sexaholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the SA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

When members want to communicate digitally through blogs, chat rooms, and social media, under what conditions should the content be restricted or moderated? By whom? and under what guidelines?

  1. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always to maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

In a digital world what is the best way to announce the existence of a useful website and its new features and capabilities. Secondly, what guidelines should we follow in collecting and distributing personal content information? .

  1. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

When a member violates this tradition in face to face meetings, one can raise a hand or exercise some body language? What is the digital equivalent?

Additional Resources

Governance Model (version 4)

About Us

History

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

http://saphonemeeting.org/blog/website-committee/

http://saphonemeeting.org/blog/virtual-intergroup

http://saphonemeeting.org/joomla

 

Three Franks, Steve and a George

MidLife Crisis

I really feel like I’m going through a very difficult time in my life.  I’m 48 years old and there are so many things I HAVE NOT accomplished.

mid-life-crisisThe good news, I FIRMLY believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God introduced my wife and I 24 years ago and we have remained somewhat “happily married” for the past 14 years.

More importantly, I have never had an Extramarital Affair and/or committed Adultery.

YET = Your Eligible Too

But I sure have come close!

Midlife crisis is a term first coined by Elliott Jaques referring to a critical phase in a person’s life during the forties to early sixties, based on periods of transition. The period is said to vary among individuals and between men and women. Despite popular perception of this phenomenon, empirical research has failed to show that the midlife crisis is a universal experience, or even a real condition at all.

According to psychologist and writer Oliver Robinson, a life crisis is defined as a period characterized by unstable mental and emotional health, altering the course of life of those affected by it, and affecting them for a year or longer. Life crises usually have similar characteristics for each age group. Those in the early midlife stage are more likely to experience the deaths of loved ones, while declines in physical strength and vitality and impending death or work stoppage are more likely to affect people in late midlife. Effects of crises vary from being beneficial to some and life altering in a negative way for others. About half the people studied found results of their crises to be positive. Read more

Temptation

Text messaging, phone calls, chat rooms…

Remember the story about the “forbidden fruit” in the Bible?

temptationCyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group, or an organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten or harass.

Cyberstalking is often accompanied by realtime or offline stalking. Both are criminal offenses. Both are motivated by a desire to control, intimidate or influence a victim. A stalker may be an online stranger or a person whom the target knows. He may be anonymous and solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target.

Cyberstalking is a criminal offense under various state anti-stalking, slander and harassment laws. A conviction can result in a restraining order, probation, or criminal penalties against the assailant, including jail.

Orgasm (from Greek ὀργασμός orgasmos “excitement, swelling”; also sexual climax) is the sudden discharge of accumulated sexual excitement during the sexual response cycle, resulting in rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region characterized by sexual pleasure. Experienced by males and females, orgasms are controlled by the involuntary or autonomic nervous system. They are often associated with other involuntary actions, including muscular spasms in multiple areas of the body, a general euphoric sensation and, frequently, body movements and vocalizations. The period after orgasm (known as the refractory period) is often a relaxing experience, attributed to the release of the neurohormones oxytocin and prolactin as well as endorphins (or “endogenous morphine”).

Human orgasms usually result from physical sexual stimulation of the penis in males (typically accompanying ejaculation), and the clitoris in females. Sexual stimulation can be by self-practice (masturbation) or with a sex partner (penetrative sex, non-penetrative sex, or other sexual activity).

The health effects surrounding the human orgasm are diverse. There are many physiological responses during sexual activity, including a relaxed state created by prolactin, as well as changes in the central nervous system such as a temporary decrease in the metabolic activity of large parts of the cerebral cortex while there is no change or increased metabolic activity in the limbic (i.e., “bordering”) areas of the brain. There is also a wide range of sexual dysfunctions, such as anorgasmia. These effects impact cultural views of orgasm, such as the beliefs that orgasm and the frequency/consistency of it are important or irrelevant for satisfaction in a sexual relationship, and theories about the biological and evolutionary functions of orgasm.

Ejaculation is the discharge of semen (usually containing sperm) from the male reproductory tract, normally accompanied by orgasm. It is usually the final stage and natural objective of male sexual stimulation, and an essential component of natural conception. In rare cases, ejaculation occurs because of prostatic disease. Ejaculation may also occur spontaneously during sleep (a nocturnal emission or “wet dream”). Anejaculation is the condition of being unable to ejaculate. Dysejaculation is ejaculation that is painful or uncomfortable.

Extramarital sex occurs when a married person engages in sexual activity with someone other than his or her spouse. From a different perspective, it also applies to a single person having sex with a married person. Engagement in extramarital sex has been associated with individuals who have a higher libido (sex drive) than their partner.

Where extramarital sexual relations breach a sexual norm, it may also be referred to as adultery (sexual acts between a married person and a person other than the spouse), fornication (sexual acts between unmarried people), philandery, or infidelity. These terms may also carry moral or religious consequences in civil or religious law.

The Petraeus scandal is a series of events that garnered strong media attention when an extramarital affair between retired four-star general David Petraeus, then Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Paula Broadwell became public information. Petraeus had chosen Broadwell to be his official biographer. She co-authored All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, his biography, when Petraeus was the International Security Assistance Force commander. On November 9, 2012, she was reported to have been involved in the extramarital affair with Petraeus that triggered his resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency when it was discovered by the FBI.

Read more:

Sessions by the Sea

2015 AA Convention in Ocean City, MD

I would like to tell you a story about how I spent this past week. I met 3 different guys name Frank, another man name Steve and lastly an usual fella name George.

It reminds me of the movie, “The Jerk” describing what I need (Watch video).  It also reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago in Alcoholics Anonymous about how God grants miracles. A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religious man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.” (here is a similar story and another about when God sends helicopter).


The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Living ONE DAY AT A TIME; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the Pathway to peace.  Taking, as He did, this Sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make All things right if I Surrender to His Will;  That I may be reasonably happy In this life, and supremely Happy with Him forever in The next. Amen

(WB pg. 210 | Reinhold Neibuhr-1926)


The Bible

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

Jimmy Carter’s ‘Lust in the Heart’: Feeding Frenzy Carter admitted in an unsolicited comment to two Playboy freelance writers that he had “looked on a lot of women with lust” and had “committed adultery in my heart many times,” strange revelations all the more damaging because they appeared in a soft-porn magazine. (Playboy Interview – 1976)  Read more


White Book

“Then he asks me if I believe in a power greater than myself, whether I call that power God, Allah, Confucius, Prime Cause, Divine Mind, or any other name…I am on a train, headed for a city. I have left my wife at home, sick, and I have been unkind to her in leaving. I am very unhappy…A great fear seizes me…Things are not going so well at home. I am learning that I cannot have my own way as I used to. I blame my wife and children. Anger possesses me, anger such as I have never felt before.” (AA BB pg. 214-216)


Acknowledgements
Special thanks to the following people who are the real angels this past week: Ericka, Adrian, Bernie, Sheila and Stephen.

“We can do together what I cannot do alone.”

Concepts, Rewards and Principles

Concept 1: Final responsibility and ultimate authority for SA service should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.

Concept 2: The leadership of SA, as represented by the General Delegate Assembly and the Board of Trustees, has become for nearly every practical purpose the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole society in its service matters.

Concept 3: To ensure effective leadership, we should endow each element of SA’s service structure, the General Delegate Assembly and the Board of Trustees and its staffs and Committees with a traditional “Right of Decision.”

Concept 4: At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain the traditional “Right of Participation,” allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge at that level.

Concept 5: Throughout our structure a traditional ―Right of Appeal‖ ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration.

Concept 6: The General Delegate Assembly recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility for most service matters should be exercised by the Board of Trustees.

Concept 7: The Bylaws of the Board of Trustees are a legal instrument empowering the Board to manage and conduct service matters. The SA service structure documents are not legal documents. They rely on tradition and the SA purse for final effectiveness.

Concept 8: The Trustees are the principal administrators of overall policy and finance.

Concept 9: Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety.

Concept 10: Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with scope of such authority well defined.

Concept 11: The Trustees should always have the assistance of the best possible committees, staffs and consultants. Composition, qualifications, induction procedures, rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern.

Concept 12: The General Delegate Assembly and the Board of Trustees shall observe the spirit of SA tradition, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power, that sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle, that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote and whenever possible by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government; and that like the Fellowship it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action.

SA, as such, would never have an organization in the sense of a “government” that could issue directives by committee or Board to individuals or groups within the fellowship. Our committees and Board could only provide services and we’ve tried to organize them to function effectively. But SA has no government in the political sense*.

*”The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (Biographical sketches their last major talks),” Pg 25. The Twelve Concepts for SA approved by the General Delegate Assembly, January 2004

Download entire SA Service Manual => Click Here


 

Twelve Rewards of the 12 Step Program

  1. We can all have Hope, instead of desperation
  2. Faith, instead of despair
  3. Courage, instead of fear
  4. Peace of Mind, instead of confusion
  5. Self-respect, instead of self-contempt
  6. Self-confidence, instead of helplessness
  7. The respect of others, instead of their pity and contempt
  8. A clean conscience, instead of a sense of guilt
  9. Real friendships, instead of loneliness
  10. A clean pattern of life, instead of a purposeless existence
  11. The love and understanding of our families, instead of their doubts and fears
  12. And the freedom of a happy life, instead of the bondage of an alcoholic obsession.

All this and more through AA, are we grateful enough? Gratitude will continue the miracle of your sobriety, I found that out.
as written by Ann C. of Niles, Ohio – sober April 1, 1948
Ann C. wrote this “a number of years before” the 1985 International Convention in Montreal, Canada where she set it to tape at the Oldtimers Meeting. She wrote it to show the contrast that can take place in any of our lives if we will try to follow the AA principles.

 

12 Spiritual Principles to Live By

Life is hard. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a huge mansion or standing in line at a soup kitchen, the truth of the matter is not many of us are given the tools while growing up to cope with the many stressors in our lives. But there are people out there who seem to have an idea of how to stay optimistic in these changing times. I spent much of my adult life perplexed by their good natures, and even more confused by their good will, until I learned that there were principles — and, by principles, I mean universal truths — that I could apply to my own life and literally change how I felt, not only about myself, but about the world around me.

Some of them seem like common sense, but you need to understand going into the exercise that reading these principles and actually practicing them in your day-to-day lives are two entirely different things (and that the latter requires vigilance and willingness). The phrase “easier said than done” applies here. But, the truth is, if you’re reading this, then chances are you’re in the same place I was when I first discovered these practices, and that means you’re ready.

Here are the 12 spiritual principles I try to live by on a daily basis:

ACCEPTANCE

There’s this thing called The Serenity Prayer that goes something like this: “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.” What painful, awful thing in your life are you accepting that, in all truth, you can actually change? Once you deeply accept that only you have the power to move forward in your life, then you can take the action to do it. But there are also things that you cannot change, and the work here is to accept that you can’t manage that situation or this person or that thing. There is power in powerlessness also, because it frees you from conflict and allows you to enjoy the rest of your life with real aplomb.

LIVE YOUR TRUTH

You’d be surprised how many lies I told myself and how many times I suffered because of them. Indeed, the lies I told myself fed into the lies I told other people and left me isolated when all I ever craved was connection. Can you believe that? My cure for loneliness was isolation. But I changed all of that when I started to speak my own truth and gave the people around me the opportunity to truly know who I was and what I stood for. We live in fear of what other people will think or say about us, but do you really want those kinds of people in your life today? Tell your truth; embrace who you are and let the naysayers know that, if it’s going to make a difference as to whether they love you or not, then it should start making a difference now.

REMAIN GRATEFUL

I have a friend who, for one morning every month, pretends to be blind. He wakes without opening his eyes, fumbles his way to his kitchen to make coffee then heads off to the bathroom to shower and brush his teeth. He eats a bowl of cold cereal and dresses himself and doesn’t allow himself to open his eyes until he gets behind the wheel of his car to go to work. And he does this so that he can live in gratitude of the many gifts in his life, least among which is the gift of sight. I try to practice gratitude also, although not with as much verve as my friend; but I recognize that, in today’s world, it is easy to become entitled and walk around with a sense of indignation and lose sense of the things that really matter, and fall away from gratitude. Everything in your life is worth exploring, whether it be the fact that you can walk and run or the knowledge that, if it ever gets to be too much, the world is designed to accommodate you and help you not feel so abandoned or alone.

HAVE FAITH IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

We come into the world, each of us, with our own baggage (sometimes it’s an abandonment issue, sometimes it’s simple trust issues, etc.). We acquire these as children, but we discover that these lessons no longer serve us in adulthood, and we become forced to re-parent or reeducate ourselves. Part of this means learning how to trust our friends and partners and spouses. These relationships are important and you need to think of them as a carefully concocted stew of love and patience and understanding. When we distrust the people closest to us, what we are actually doing is adding negative ingredients to the pot — jealousy, possessiveness, suspicion… of course, they are going to react in a negative fashion. And we are often shocked when conflict arises, but it is conflict that could have been avoided if we’d made a conscious decision to come from a place of love than one of antagonism and unrest. People are sometimes going to let you down. This is a fact of life. But it is our responsibility to not create an arena for them to do so.

BE OF SERVICE

My wife is an amazing woman. I am in awe of her, but still got a bit resentful one night when I did the dinner dishes and didn’t get so much as a thank you when all was said and done. It was then that I realized that I was looking for a payoff for simply being of service, and that was when my life changed. It isn’t an act of kindness if you expect something for it, and once you remove the payoff from the equation, you will find yourself catapulted to the next level of true selflessness, and that is the understanding that the reward for loving is loving; the reward for being of service is being of service. And the self-esteem that comes from reaching out and helping other people is invaluable. Because it gets you out of your own head and helps you not feel overwhelmed by problems or other concerns. It helps you feel connected.

LAUGH AT YOURSELF

It never ceases to amaze me how sensitive I am. People who care about me — who I know absolutely love me — will sometimes point out one of my idiosyncrasies or talk about something stupid I did in mixed company and, for a long time, it would hurt my feelings and I would over-react. Granted, we all need to monitor how we are perceived (you don’t get a second chance at first impressions), but learning how to laugh at yourself can help build stronger relationships. You family and friends should not be made to feel as though they need to walk on eggshells around you; it’s up to you to create a safe, non-judgmental space for those around you because it is only in this space that you can experience the joy of authentic laughter. And, the fact of the matter is, I can’t possibly be the only one to leave a public restroom with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

LIVE IN THE MOMENT

Your past is inescapable, your future is unavoidable, but your present is forever unrestrained. We sometimes spend more time obsessing over things that have happened and dreading some unforeseen future that we forget the simple truth that, right now, in this moment, we are okay. No matter what is happening, even now — reading this — you are okay. Take a breath. Enjoy this one, perfect moment, because it is yours. You have plans and obligations, sure, but we’re not there yet; right now, it’s just us, living in this wonderful moment, and reveling in the fact that, in and of ourselves, we are complete, we are worthy of connection, and we are enough. When things get hectic, remind yourself of this and get centered. Only in the moment are we ever our perfect selves.

PRACTICE RESTRAINT OF PEN AND TONGUE

This was a hard one for me to learn. But then I realized that a lot of the conflict in my life was of my own design. I had to adopt a new way of relating to other people. I had to ask myself, “Does this need to be said?” then, “Does this need to be said now?” and finally, “Does this need to be said by me?” The three simple questions, in one fell stroke, eliminated so much pain and drama in my life that it left a huge space in my life that could only be filled with a new influx of love and understanding. Not only did people suddenly want to be around me, but the problems that I thought could only be managed by me seemed to work themselves out on their own. I had, for lack of a better term, inadvertently learned how to get out of God’s way.

LEARN TO FORGIVE

This one’s a hard pill to swallow, because I’m not a huge advocate of “Turn The Other Cheek” — I believe that you have to talk about (and really process) some wrongs that have been done to you before you can get to the part where forgiveness is possible. But, I also believe that it gets easier every time you do it, and that the emotional work involved is worth the effort it takes to get there. Some transgressions are unforgivable, true. But most aren’t. Bear in mind, I am not telling you to run out and forgive everyone; I am telling you to LEARN to forgive, because that’s where the spiritual growth will come from: it will come from the journey toward forgiveness.

REMAIN TEACHABLE

I have a friend who is a huge naysayer when it comes to new concepts and ideas. The simple truth is, he’s so busy seeing THROUGH everything that he can’t see ANYTHING. And, sadly, as a result, he will always be right where I left him, because his capacity for growth is stunted by his inability to embrace new ideas. But this doesn’t have to be YOU. Allow yourself to have an open mind. Accept that even the worst-dressed person at the party may have something interesting to say to you and put your hand out to say hello. Rediscover your sense of wonder. No matter how old you are, the world still has a lot to show you. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having very Human experiences. Avail yourself to each and every one.

EVERYTHING YOU CAME HERE LOOKING FOR, YOU CAME HERE LOOKING WITH

I cannot tell you how much time and energy I wasted searching for some sort of outside “thing” to fix me. And everywhere I went, the answer was always the same: We’re Perfect. In and of ourselves, we are whole and complete. Inner Peace comes from accepting this as Your Truth. Granted, there are things about ourselves that we can change, and there are outside things that we can acquire that will enrich the quality of our lives, but none of those things are the destination of any spiritual journey; every spiritual journey is designed to help you find yourself. Because it is only when you’ve found, accepted, and learned to love yourself that you are capable of connecting with anything else, whether it’s other people, your family, or a God of your own understanding. Believe it.

BE COURAGEOUS IN LIFE

Maya Angelou is a celebrated American author and poet who once taught that Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without it, you cannot practice any of the others consistently. It takes courage to love. It takes courage to be honest and to speak your own truth. It takes courage to forgive. It takes courage to reach out and help other people. The list goes on and on. I had to learn very early on how not to let fear dictate my behavior; I had to learn how to not let fear inform my decisions. You can do this, too. I promise you. It’s in you. If you’re reading this, then you’re ready to take a few chances and truly grow. And, if worse comes to worst, keep this in mind: A turtle cannot walk — it cannot move forward — unless it sticks its neck out.
Reference

The (Only) Seven Spiritual Principles We Need to Succeed