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 Quotes for meeting topics 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:28 am
Posts: 62
Location: San Diego
State/Province/Country: California
I often like having quotes from literature to give a little more depth to meeting topics. Here is an assortment that I've used over the past few months. I figured I'd start a thread in case other people find it helpful or have quotes that they would like to share. Since we don't have our own literature yet, this list comes from a mixture of NA and AA literature.


"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." (AA Big Book, p. 417)

“We have learned that old ideas and old ways won’t help us to stay clean or to live a better life. If we allow ourselves to stagnate and cling to terminal hipness and fatal cool, we are giving into the symptoms of our disease. One of the problems is that we found it easier to change our perception of reality than to change reality. We must give up this old concept and face the fact that reality and life go on, whether we choose to accept them or not. We can only change the way we react and the way we see ourselves. This is necessary for us to accept that change is gradual and recovery is an ongoing process.” (NA Basic Text, p. 39)

Change in recovery

“It can take a long time to set ourselves free... We find change in recovery, but we also uncover who we were all along. We find ourselves. For many of us, this is the restoration the second step talks about. It may even be a restoration to a state we’ve never experienced before because we’ve never had a chance to be ourselves without pretending, without hiding, without trying to be something else.” (NA Living Clean)

“Our history leaves us with issues that come up again and again: shame, fear, a belief that we need to justify our existence, and a sense of alienation from ourselves, our bodies, and other people. In our relationships, this is a feeling of failure before we even begin. It seems impossible for us to have a healthy, loving relationship, so the first sign of friction or tension seems to prove our worst suspicions. We escalate or walk away before our fears have a chance to come true -- or be disproven.

Coming to terms with our experience happens over time, in layers: there are issues we must address immediately if we are to face life clean, and issues we must develop a foundation in recovery in order to be able to face... There can be a long time between the work we do... and our awareness that a change has taken place.” (NA Living Clean)


“If we could look at the disease of addiction stripped of its primary symptoms - that is, apart from drug use or other compulsive behavior - and without its most obvious characteristics, we would find a swamp of self-centered fear. We're afraid of being hurt, or maybe of just having to feel too intensely, so we live a sort of half-life, going through the motions of living but never being fully alive. We're afraid of everything that might make us feel, so we isolate and withdraw. We're afraid that people won't like us, so we use drugs to be more comfortable with ourselves. We're afraid we'll get caught at something and have to pay a price, so we lie or cheat or hurt others to protect ourselves. We're afraid of being alone, so we use and exploit others to avoid feeling lonely or rejected or abandoned. We're afraid we won't have enough-of anything - so we selfishly pursue what we want, not caring about the harm we cause in the process. Sometimes, if we've gained things we care about in recovery, we're afraid we'll lose what we have, and so we begin compromising our principles to protect it. Self-centered, self-seeking fear-we need to uproot it so it no longer has the power to destroy.” (from NA Step Working Guide, step 4)


“When we hit our thumb with a hammer, our sense of proportion changes and it feels like our thumb is enormous. We think about every movement in relation to that thumb and whether anything might touch it. The same is true of our egos. When we are damaged or hurt in some way, we feel larger than life. Every conversation seems to be about us. Humility is about discovering a sense of proportion firmly grounded in reality. We gain a better perspective on how much space we actually occupy. We discover that we are neither as big or small as we might think. We are important in the lives of the people around us, but that doesn’t mean they are always thinking about how their actions will affect us.” (Living Clean, approx p. 123)


“... moments of deepest insanity occur when our insides don’t match our outsides” (NA Living Clean, p. 160)


“We give love because it was so freely given to us. New frontiers are open to us as we learn how to love. Love can be the flow of life energy from one person to another.” (NA Basic Text, p. 105)

“Love sneaks up on us. The very fact of that love, and its undeniable presence in our lives, does its own quiet work healing the wounds that nothing seems to reach.” (NA Living Clean)

Sharing experience, strength, and hope

“Sharing with fellow addicts is a basic tool in our program. This help can only come from another addict. It is this help that says, ‘I have had something like that happen to me, and I did this...’ For anyone who wants our way of life, we share experience, strength, and hope instead of preaching and judging. If sharing the experience of our pain helps just one person, it was worth the suffering. We strengthen our own recovery when we share it with others who ask for help. If we keep what we have to share, we lose it. Words mean nothing until we put them into action.” (NA Basic Text, p. 42)

"New information can be hard for us to accept when it doesn’t come to us in the way we think it should. Whether the information itself is surprising or the messenger is not someone we usually look to for guidance, we may dismiss new ideas because we don’t like the package. A member shared, “I would stand on my head in a corner if my sponsor told me it would work, but when the words that could save my life come from someone I really don’t care for, it’s easy to dismiss them.” New tools are available to us when we allow ourselves to be surprised by both the message and the messenger. If it brings us to reevaluate our belief system, so much the better—we can see our initial resistance as a reservation in our willingness. Trying new things in recovery is one way we keep ourselves from getting stuck. No matter how long we have been clean, we can go to meetings and listen for the music. “It’s like when your ears pop,” a member shared. “Suddenly, I could hear what I didn’t know I was missing before.” (NA Living Clean)

Staying off games

“It is important to remember that any addict who can stay clean for one day is a miracle.” (NA Pamphlet, Just for Today)

Step 3

“As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and as for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves that we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day, ‘Thy will be done.’ We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, self pity, worry, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire as easily for we are not burning up energy as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.” (AA Big Book, p. 88)

Step 5

Honesty, intimacy: "For most of us, developing an honest relationship is something new. We're very good at running away from relationships the first time someone tells us a painful truth. We're also good at having polite, distant interactions with no real depth. The Fifth Step helps us to develop honest relationships. We tell the truth about who we are - then, the hard part: we listen to the response. Most of us have been terrified of having a relationship like this. The Fifth Step gives us a unique opportunity to try such a relationship in a safe context. We can be pretty much assured that we won't be judged. " (NA Step working guide, Step 5)


“Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more. Though self-will may slam it shut again, as it frequently does, it will always respond the moment we pick up the key of willingness.” (AA 12 and 12, step 3)

Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:23 pm
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