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Post Info TOPIC: "Take the Cotton Out of Your Ears and Stick it In Your Mouth"


MIP Old Timer

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"Take the Cotton Out of Your Ears and Stick it In Your Mouth"
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This is one of the first expressions I heard when I started AA. It was said to a newcomer who didn't understand and had alot of doubts about AA. They far exceeded the three minutes that the Chair had stated everyone adhere to with their shares. I was getting frustrated myself and wanted to hear from the oldtimers instead of this newbie who was very negative talking and pretty much a downer for me. Finally someone shouted in a very impatient voice, "Take the Cotton Out of Your Ears and Stick it in Your Mouth!"  The first thing that came to my mind was "How rude!" That was one of the times I tried AA and apparently my own ears weren't opened enough, because I went out.

I've never had a problem with listening instead of talking while in AA. I have shared only a very few times and most of them I was told I had to or needed to by other members. (Never really occurred to me that I didn't have to do anything.) But not being very assertive, I did, and got through it and hope I was able to contribute something that helped someone in the rooms. I have noticed that during these last 7 months of me being in AA this time that there have been a few newcomers who attended the same meetings I did and although I was too shy to share, they certainly had no problem with it, and in fact, shared at almost every meeting. It is a shame that these are the same people that I have not seen for several weeks now and worry that they may have started drinking again-- and I was convinced by their shares that they had it all figured out. Hopefully they are still sober and attending other meetings. Because they got sober around the same time I did, I cannot help but be concerned about them.

Although I will continue to try and share every now and then when I feel my HP provides me with the guidance and words when the time comes, I will continue to keep the cotton in my mouth as much as possible because I am still new in the program and I don't want to reach the point where I feel like I have it all figured out and that I have to share at every meeting. I am not trying to find fault with the newcomers who do that, but for me personally I don't feel like I have enough time being sober to do that. Our meetings are fairly large and there are quite a few oldtimers who I want to hear how they are staying sober.



-- Edited by betterthanyesterday52 on Monday 6th of January 2014 12:48:03 PM

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MIP Old Timer

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yes BTY , I heard the very same thing from an old priest , who was 30y sober in Sydney .

"Take the cotton wool out of your ears & shove it in your ears . The good Lord blessed us

with one mouth & 2 ears , which means we have to listen twice as much as we talk".

Yes , I had to also "Learn to listen so as to listen to learn".

Yes we have some Quirky slogans in AA , but like the rest of AA , they may be simple ,

BUT they Work.



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Rick.

@ 37 I was too young & good looking to be an alkie.

still too young , still got th good looks. still n alkie.



MIP Old Timer

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Good share BTY!  I love it.  You seem to be doing well.  I'm happy for you.  Keep'em coming.  I think you hit it dead on when you stated you want to hear from the Oldtimers or people with some time being sober.  I go to meetings to hear about Recovery and the message of Hope.  I think you need time working The Program to exhibit both.  Most people want to hear about the solution(message) and not the mess. 

My Sponsor suggested to me, listen for 90 days.  Identify with the speakers and shares.  Listen for the solution and how they got to the solution.  It was humbling for me.  But, that's what I needed.  Leveling of my PRIDE and EGO deflation.

Now, with some time, I try to give back to the meetings.  Not always sharing, but consistently sharing.



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MIP Old Timer

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I always loved the way they end the basic text of the Big Book BTY....The end of page 164.

Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.

May God bless you and keep you - until then.

It tells me a lot. They talk about the second fellowship of AA. The Fellowship of the Spirit. They tell me what I have to do to be a part of it.

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us.

That is the 12 steps right there.

They also tell me they realize they know only a little....But God...As I understand God....Will keep showing me more. If I continue practicing these principles (steps) in all my affairs. I have 100% faith in that. When they talk about...I obviously cannot transmit something I haven't got....They are talking about the solution....The spiritual awakening as the result of taking the steps. Finding a power greater than myself...That will solve my problem.

When I was a newcomer...All I had to share was...I was alcoholic....And I wasn't sure why. That doesn't do a room full of alcoholics much good....They already know what that is like.

If a day were to come that I thought I had this all figured out....That I don't have a need...For God to disclose anything else to me...That would leave me powerless. That's something I can't...Or won't let happen.



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MIP Old Timer

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Nicely stated Steppa!  I like how you go back to the Principles or the BB for the answers.  You're teaching me here on the board.  I'm trying to do that more often too!  The BB contains all the answers.  It's amazing.  Thank you for your lessons.



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MIP Old Timer

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Bty, it may just be your temperament to not share so openly. That is okay as long as you are still doing the work. Some old timers I know do not share much and some share a lot. Same is true for newcomers I guess. Obviously there is a time and a more appropriate way for newbies to share though and that is where the saying comes from.

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MIP Old Timer

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thanks so much for all of your responses. I love listening to you old timers on this board and learning from all of you. Best thing is....if I forget, I can come back to the post and read them again, unlike the meetings :)

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MIP Old Timer

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Take the Cotton Out of Your Ears and Stick it In Your Mouth

Ohoh..I did it wrong

I took it out of my ears and stuck it in my butt...

It stopped the bullshit tho :) :)



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MIP Old Timer

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We read in every. meeting we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the START. Chapter 5

Page 28 WE in turn, sought-the same escape with all-the-desperation of drowning men. 

Out of the text that saved millions not some intolerant old-timer that forgot where he came from or somebody else repeating some quote from the local   club.



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