A part of my year-end ritual is going through the stacks of paper on my very large desk. I would like to say it is paper that accumulates throughout the year, but in some cases certain papers just seem to stay there for a few years. They are like sacred jewels I am afraid to part with, and I found something I thought you might find fun to read. It was a 1944 Christmas message from Bill W., one of the two cofounder's of Alcoholics Anonymous.
To all AA members,
Greetings on our 10th Christmas, 1944. Yes, its' in the air! The spirit of Christmas once more warms this poor distraught world. Over the whole globe millions are looking forward to that one day when strife can be forgotten, when it will be remembered that all human beings, even the least, are loved by God, when men will hope for the coming of the Prince of Peace as they never hoped before. But there is another world which is not poor. Neither is it distraught. It is the world of Alcoholics Anonymous, where thousands dwell happily and secure. Secure because each of us, in his own way, knows a greater power who is love, who is just, and who can be trusted. Nor can men and women of AA ever forget that only through suffering did they find enough humility to enter the portals of that New World. How privileged we are to understand so well the divine paradox that strength rises from weakness, that humiliation goes before resurrection; that pain is not only the price but the very touchstone of spiritual rebirth. Knowing its full worth and purpose, we can no longer fear adversity, we have found prosperity where there was poverty; peace and joy have sprung out of the very midst of chaos. Great indeed our blessings! And so Merry Christmas to you all - from the Trustees, from Bobbie and from Lois and me.
As the holiday season approaches, I encourage you to practice self-care. This means knowing your limitations, such as setting appropriate limits and boundaries regarding the amount of time, topic of conversations, or places of gatherings with family. It means knowing and acting on your triggers—where you shouldn't be and what you shouldn't be doing. It means asking for help whether or not you think you need it.
This is a time not just for giving but also graciously receiving. Keep realistic expectations and let go of the shoulds. If you participate in a Twelve Step program, keep up your meetings and telephone contacts. Do something physical. Physical movement relieves tension and promotes a feeling of well being. And make some quiet time for yourself and let yourself just be in the moment.