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Grace-Filled Bargain

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After years of sobriety, I still occasionally ask myself, “Can it be this simple?” Later, at meetings, I see former skeptics who have walked the Twelve Step path out of hell by packaging their lives into twenty-four-hour segments, during which they practice a few Principles to the best of their ability. Then I can reaffirm to myself that while it isn’t always easy, it does work if I keep it simple.

Before OA, I did not know what it meant to keep it simple. I thought the  more drama, the better. I remember once entering a party with a pan of warm food. I loudly announced that I had arrived and then flipped the pan over onto the floor. So much for making an entrance. The pan was covered with foil, so the food was saved, but I’d made a donkey out of myself, and not for the first or last time.

I’d wanted to be the best at whatever I was doing. My first marriage revolved around food, and when it was my turn to entertain, I wanted to make the most and the best. I would spend hours, sometimes days, preparing food and decorating.

I have to say that OA gave me way more than I’d bargained for. OA gave me the grace to see my friends without the need for fanfare. OA showed me I can host a modest dinner and be more involved with the people than the food and decorations. I don’t have to “put on the ritz” anymore. I can just be myself and keep it simple. At the end of the day, I am more relaxed and have some of the best memories.

— Judy M.

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