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Sharing Service

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My spiritual awakening came after rereading Step Three; I gradually began to trust Higher Power and became willing to turn my whole life over to him. This focus was strengthened by my daily use of meditation and gratitude lists. But before I was truly willing to do these things, I felt the presence of Higher Power being available to me. It happened when I was sitting alone in my car crying about how messed up I felt about my life. I felt alone at first, but then somehow, I felt like I was being held and comforted—yet no one was there but me. At that moment, I turned my will and life over to HP.

This spiritual experience has given me a message of hope for recovery to offer to others! My message is that I can trust Higher Power to help me daily. All I have to do is ask for help and turn over my willingness to Higher Power. I do not have to fear anything since I’ve learned to use the Tools, and I am not alone anymore.

Honestly expressing my experiences in Overeaters Anonymous meetings and with my sponsors and sponsees has opened me and helped me become even more open to expressing my feelings and experiences with other compulsive eaters. It works best with a strong program foundation and learning and using suggestions for the Tools, Steps, and Traditions found in OA-approved literature.

In fact, the more I use the service Tool, the greater the feedback I received from many people. When I share with our intergroup’s outreach committee all the things that the meetings I belong to are accomplishing, at least one other person benefits from my experiences. I can ask questions and maybe obtain suggestions for strengthening each group. I am also experiencing just how involved HP is with the many aspects of my service: from attending a meeting, to representing our meetings at intergroup, to becoming a member of our board by being willing to become secretary (something I never thought I’d be able to do). I gain spiritual growth from all the service I do and hope I convey the benefits of service in boosting individual abstinence. My abstinence has gradually become stronger, almost as natural as breathing in and out. But this is tempered by my knowledge that, if I did not continue to attend and use OA meetings, do my Step work, and offer service, I could easily make a misstep in my recovery from compulsive overeating. All I need to remember is to take this program one day at a time.

Today, I carry the message by leading Step meetings, sharing in discussion groups, and telephoning or emailing support to other members. I attend OA workshops, share reflections on OA literature, and have a sponsor, as well as serving as a sponsor myself. If I provide service as a speaker, it both benefits my confidence in my program and supports my efforts to carry the message.

Getting strong in using service is replacing my old way of viewing things with a clearer view. By learning and rereading the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, I became abstinent, more willing to speak up at meetings, and eventually willing to represent meetings at my local intergroup and then carry the message beyond. In doing this, I am practicing the principles of all Twelve Steps of OA.

— E.C., Henrico, Virginia USA

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