Harbor Light AA Newsletter

Harbor Light Newsletter

Harbor Light
Long BeachCA90806, 3450 E Spring St USA
  is the monthly newsletter of the Harbor Area Service Committee of Alcoholics Anonymous. Please send your letters, stories, and artwork, and we will publish your material as space permits, provided it complies with the Guidelines approved by the Harbor Area Service Committee. Harbor Light reserves the right to edit material to meet space requirements. The deadline for submissions is the 10th of the month prior to publication. Please address all correspondence to:

The Editor
Harbor Light
3450 E. Spring Street #109
Long Beach, CA  90806


I appreciate staying updated through the Harbor Light AA Newsletter’s material such as reading stories on the 12 Steps, hearing about what the 12 Traditions Mean to Others, and staying informed on the Latest Events and Happennings in the Harbor Area!

Regular Features:

  • The Essentials: Steps and Traditions
  • Feature Articles
  • Events Calendar
  • Group News and Announcements
  • Group Contributions and Central Office Income Statements
  • H & I Minutes
  • Service Board Minutes
  • Service Committee Minutes
  • The Archives Page
  • Wit and Wisdom

Harbor Light is published monthly by the Harbor Area Service Committee of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Subscribing to our Monthly AA Newsletter, Harbor Light, is very easy. Please email our Harbor Light Editor at HarborLightChair@hacoaa.org or Central Office at to request a subscription!

  • Harbor Light – 2021/06

    A Newsletter for Harbor Area Alcoholics Anonymous Members
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  • Harbor Light – 2021/05

    Newcomers to AA’s General Service Conference are often surprised at the pains taken by the Chair of Conference to make sure the minority has a second opportunity to present its own views. Even after extensive debate on an issue, followed by a vote in which a substantial unanimity is reached those opposed are polled individually …
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  • Harbor Light – 2021/03

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  • Harbor Light – 2021/02

    Welcome to Harbor Light. First and foremost, thank you for the opportunity to be of service. This is a community newsletter and I welcome your suggestion on content ideas and your perspectives on the month’s Concept, Step, or Tradition. I look forward to your email.
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  • Harbor Light – 2020/06

    Welcome to summer time in the beautiful Harbor Area! It is a great time to be sober. While many of us look forward to the summer events our groups put on during this time of year, and we are sad to have those canceled this year, we can still find great joy as members of …
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  • Harbor Light – 2020/05

    This article is reaching you at a rather odd time in history. We are all braving through a worldwide pandemic along with stay-at-home orders. What a time! As we have transitioned to virtual meetings, many of our members are still left feeling lost and uncomfortable. Many of us came from a chaotic lifestyle, but now …
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  • Harbor Light – 2020/02

    Letter From the Editor By Kristin S. Thank you for being a Harbor Light reader! You may have noticed that we haven’t had a Harbor Light edition in a few months. We would like to sincerely apologize for our absence. The editor position has recently changed hands and it takes some time to adjust. We …
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  • Harbor Light – 2019/09

    Born This Way As a child, a good portion of my childhood consisted of fear and instability. I was the product of a booty call gone array. Born into a military family, I grew accustomed to constant moves and split time between grandparents. I am of Mexican and Italian descent. I was considered too “white …
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  • Harbor Light – 2019/08

    A LETTER TO MY SPONSORS SON 1 year ago today, my first sponsor passed away. Most of you won’t have known him as he had moved to Arizona a number of years ago. But many of you have heard of him, because I have spoken of him many, many times from podiums far and wide. …
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  • Harbor Light – 2019/07

    The Pamphlet Series For many years, alcoholism has been recognized as a highly prevalent and disabling health problem, one that affects far more than just the alcoholic alone. Family, friends and others are hurt by its effects — in the home, on the job, on our highways and roads.
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  • Harbor Light – 2019/06

    My name is Danny G. and I am alcoholic.  I’m mixed with all sorts of things to the point that I usually get asked what nationality I am.  As a child I was called racial slurs;  I was never black enough or brown enough or white enough. I stuttered, and I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. All I wanted to do was be loved
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  • Harbor Light – 2019/05

    When The Student Is Ready Certain events have occurred in my life that seemed at the time to be coincidences, but I think were actually miracles. Take what happened on my first day of sobriety, for example. I woke up that morning with a massive hangover, not knowing how I got home. My wife said …
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  • Harbor Light – 2019/04

    The Answer To The Age Old Question ‘Why is Alcoholics Anonymous, anonymous?’ Because so many people will use it against you. -Anonymous Member In the beginning it was like that, because they had to be. People didn’t want to be identified with a disease that no one understood, and still don’t really understand. There is …
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  • Harbor Light – 2019/03

    In this issue we have two Alcoholics experience with step, and tradition three. A blurb about the Concept, and an answer to the question of “What does self supporting have to do with sobriety?”
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  • Harbor Light – 2019/02

    Came to believe that a higher power could restore us to sanity.” A simple sentence that when I myself read as a newly sober AA shook me to my core. Being one that you could call jaded to religious concepts I found this a hard pill to swallow.
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  • Harbor Light – 2019/01

    The Angry Atheist Who Made AA Great - Jim B., often wrongly overlooked, fought Bill W. to a draw over the original wording of the 12 Steps. "God" got qualified and tolerance got added. Without this nonbeliever, AA would never have thrived.
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  • Harbor Light – 2018/12

    Twelve Step Work Today Spiritual awakening was not a phrase in my vocabulary when I came into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Most words in the big book actually felt foreign to me in my early days of sobriety. I remember hearing the twelve steps over and over in meetings and feeling as if step …
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  • Harbor Light – 2018/11

    Eleventh Step Promise We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. As the AA member gets deeper into the recovery process, they begin to see situations more clearly and can tap into their inner resources. The AA promises are found on pages 83-84 of Chapter 6, “Into Action” in Alcoholics …
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  • Harbor Light – 2018/08

    In one way, taking part in the Hospitals and Institutions Committee of Alcoholics Anonymous, better known as H & I, is like everything else I do in AA. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say at a meeting, or said yourself, “I really didn’t want to come to the meeting tonight. I had a long day …
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  • Harbor Light – 2018/06

    We could always count on a couple of folks that were ALWAYS there at Central Office Service meetings. Neil E. was one of those folks. Long term attendance meant that he had “seen it all” and was always willing to provide perspective. That sometimes meant that when newer representatives were attempting to lead or steer …
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/12

    Hard Truths to a Spiritual Awakening The Twelfth Step is the last Step and yet, in a sense, it is the first step into life of recovery. And we need to realize that in the phrase “having had” it is assured that the spiritual awak-ening has been experienced probably before we attempt this Step!
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/11

    The Perils of Social Media in Maintaining Personal Anonymity In my first year of sobriety, I informed most of my contacts about my membership in AA. Furthermore, I was on a mis-sion to ensure that everyone knew about AA, which is what I would call promotion. What this probably looked like was a crazed woman …
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/10

    Navigating the Tenth Tradition in the Age of Social Media I have never been more grateful to belong to Alcoholics Anonymous; an organization where one of its foundational principles includes staying out of controversial issues. In Tradition Ten, I have learned that “no matter what the prov-ocation, [we must never] publicly take sides in any …
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/09

    After Hours Phone Volunteers Needed in Harbor Area Are you looking for a service opportunity that allows you to give back to the community? If so, the Harbor Area has two immediate openings for remote phone volunteers who can provide service from the comfort of their own home. One available timeslot is for the second …
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/08

    Are You Willing to Take Action? AA and the Eighth Step In this study of the Twelve Steps we are aware that every-thing in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is suggest-ed. I would add my words, strongly suggested. It has been my experience that those people who have been successful at staying sober are …
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/07

    The Seventh Step Requires a Quiet Heart For years I have been quoting an old friend and mentor of mine — from my early days of sobriety in 1970 — when he said, “All I want out of life is peace of mind and a quiet heart.”
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/06

    Rule 62 Picnic Needs You! Come join the fun and help plan the Rule 62 Summer Picnic. Planning meetings are being held on alternate Saturdays in advance of the picnic on July 8 at El Dorado Park West in Long Beach.
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/05

    A Seagoing Alcoholic I did however bond with the crew of that first ship and still meet with them every two years or so. I managed to complete my hitch with typical alcoholic behavior and was very good at my job. But I longed to get home to my family. I completed my tour of …
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/04

    HACO Bingo Night puts the Fun in Funraiser! It was the day after St Patrick’s Day and the luck of the Irish shone down on the AA fellowship as the first ever Bingo fundraiser for the Harbor Area Central Office (HACO) was a resounding success.
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/03

    Under the B… BINGO Night! In the excitement of the new season, Harbor Area Central Office (HACO) is hosting its annual Spring Event this year – BINGO NIGHT! – on Saturday, March 18. With seven rounds of B-I-N-G-O to be played, participants will have many opportunities to win prizes, mingle with the crowd and spend …
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/02

    A New Design for Living as HACO Website Updated in February An important component to sobriety is information and ac-cess to it. The Harbor Area Central Office (HACO) website – www.hacoaa.org – is being revamped this month to better serve the needs of the AA fellowship in the Harbor Area. Harbor Light recently spoke with …
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  • Harbor Light – 2017/01

    “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” My name is Danielle and I am an alcoholic. That is the most powerful thing I will be writing tonight in this issue. It took me a long time to concede to my inner most self that I was an alcoholic. When I …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/12

    “Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” “They describe a hand so jittery that it could not lift a pony to the lips without spilling the contents; drinking liquor from a beer stein because …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/11

    “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” My experience with the 11th step has been a slow and begrudging progression towards a working relationship with prayer, meditation, and nightly examination …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/10

    “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” Why do I continue to take a personal inventory? So that I do not lose my mind, sober. Step 10 is my dream house. The result of hard work invested to build the life I’ve always desired. No longer am I spiritually …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/09

    “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” My name is Martin and I’m an alcoholic. I’m grateful for the opportunity to write about Step 9; it’s an honor and a privilege to be able to do anything in Alcoholics Anonymous. My sobriety date is …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/08

    “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.” I was in a lot of fear when I considered approaching some of the people on my Eighth Step list. When I was between 12 and 14 years old there were many children from my neighborhood whom …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/07

    I tackled the Seventh Step about four months after I’d finally gotten sober. I had just completed the harrowing work of the Fourth and Fifth Steps and was anxious to preserve my momentum by moving along with all deliberate speed. After the experience of doing a thorough job on Steps Four and Five, the work …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/06

    I often hear people in the Fellowship say, “It’s hard to discuss Step 6 because it is only one paragraph in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.” For me, Step 6 is a process that began at Step 1 when I was able to fully concede to my innermost self that I was powerless over …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/05

    “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” Hi my name is Liz and I’m an alcoholic. First of all, I’d like to say that I’m truly grateful for finding the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Only God knows where I would be right now if it wasn’t …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/04

    “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” I read somewhere that early AAs, Bill Wilson included, completed all 12 steps in a very short time sometimes mere hours. Perhaps times were simpler then; no cell phones, no internet, people often worked at one company their whole working life. No one talked about being …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/03

    “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” There are a lot of angles to this program,” the guy said after the meeting. That rang a bell with me. I knew he had been a professional thief while drinking, and I acknowledged the …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/02

    “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” What if, at this present time, you still don’t believe in the “powerless” concept, or you can’t as yet accept the fatality of your illness? Yes, you can still feel and see the repercussions of your latest debauch, and you’re basically …
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  • Harbor Light – 2016/01

    “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” My name is Robert and I am an alcoholic. Step one is the admission of complete defeat to this disease, which has been a challenge for most of us, as I know it was for me. I went through 8 or 9 30-day …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/12

    “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” One of my favorite quotes from Chapter 7 in the Big Book is, “practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/11

    “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” Step Eleven is, hands down, my favorite step. But it certainly has not always been that way! My sobriety date is April 12, …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/10

    “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” My father was a great believer in the Socratic maxim that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” He was convinced that the quest for genuine self-knowledge, though it often reveals unpleasant truths, is still the only workable foundation for a valuable …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/09

    “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” The step that separates the sober man from the hopeless drunk… Having hit my absolute bottom after relapsing for the umpteenth time in early 2002, I finally sobered up for good in a tiny desert town with …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/08

    “Made a List of all people I had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.” MY BUCKET LIST I’ve heard the term “bucket list” and understand it to be a list of thing that I want to accomplish before I transion from this earthly body. The 8th step was my personal “bucket …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/07

    Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.” In step 7 of the 12×12 it says that ” humility, as a word, is often misunderstood”. When asked, what is the opposite of humility; my first guess would be Pride. Who could argue that? It was in my 22nd year of sobriety, when I had a phone …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/06

    “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” Am I entirely ready to have God remove all of my defects of character, not just a few? Not always. Some of them are like a security blanket. They are a smelly blanket of comfort and familiarity. The smell keeps people away, forcing …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/05

    “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” The principle of Step 5 is integrity – an unimpaired condition; soundness; adherence to a code of moral, artistic, or other values; the quality or state of being complete or individual. What a principle! I don’t know about you, …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/04

    “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” The following preface to this subject matter is a poem I wrote after the last fourth step I finished: The choices I made yesterday are no longer the redeemers of my destiny. I stand today a man not governed by his predisposition to self-doubt and misguided …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/03

    “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” I didn’t want to become an alcoholic. I became one after my first drink; that drink was the solution to all of my affairs up to that point, for seventeen years. At the age of …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/02

    “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Before becoming an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous, my prayer to God was something like this, “God, if you just get me out of this mess, I promise I won’t do that again.” When I drink, I would think of a …
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  • Harbor Light – 2015/01

    “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable” You knew you needed to get sober. Everyone was disgusted with you, and you were disgusted with your own behavior. Still smarting from the last time you parked your car on the neighbor’s lawn, you swore you wouldn’t drink like that again. So, …
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