The Importance of the Circle and Triangle
At Impact Recovery Center, we recognize the significance of AA’s three legacies — Recovery, Unity, and Service — which signify the three sides of the Triangle in the Circle & Triangle symbol. This symbol has ancient spiritual roots and represents Mind, Body, and Spirit together as one. We have been not only mentally and bodily ill; we have also been spiritually sick. We have a three-fold program designed to treat a three-fold illness. If actions are taken in all three areas, we will recover and experience mental, physical, and spiritual wholeness.
The Circle & Triangle represents the solution to addiction and alcoholism. It’s the magical three-part answer (Recovery, Unity, and Service) to our deadly three-part illness (Physical, Mental, and Spiritual). First, we build our solution on the foundation of the Triangle which is our personal work with the first Eleven Steps — RECOVERY. Actions in this area treat the mental aspect of our illness. We take our minds into the recovery process and sanity is the result. Our thoughts change, our words change, our actions change, our character changes, and our lives are recreated — we are reborn!
Second, we look at the left side of the Triangle which is UNITY. We find Unity in the Twelve Step fellowships with other addicts and alcoholics. Meetings and fellowship are where we physically take our bodies. This is the first level of healing most of us experience. We understand fellowship with those suffering from a common problem is necessary but the real addict and alcoholic must go further. Do they have a home group in a Twelve Step fellowship? Do they regularly attend this group and the group’s monthly Group Conscience meeting? Do they have a job at their home group? Do they have strong relationships with other home group members? Most importantly, do they have four to six people in their life with whom they are 100% transparent? If they do these things concurrently, their experience with Unity deepens tremendously.
And third, the right side of this triangle is SERVICE, which we find in carrying the message (the way of life described in the first 164 pages of The Big Book) to others, especially addicts and alcoholics who are still suffering. At Impact Recovery Center, we believe the most important aspect of Service is strenuous work, one addict with another or one alcoholic with another. We recover and are given the power to help others, which is vital for permanent recovery.
We admit service work for our fellowships — setting up meetings, cleaning up, greeting newcomers, service positions on the group and area levels, etc. — is very important for the real addict or alcoholic. However, solely emphasizing this type of service work puts Recovery on a service plane and places too much dependence on the fellowship and not enough dependence on God. As a great man said, “the fellowship is like a warm bath, it doesn’t last for long.” If addicts and alcoholics fail to expand their spiritual lives through work and self-sacrifice for others, they will not survive life’s certain trials and low spots. We use this symbol to gauge where our residents are in the program and how they’re doing.
Program = Working the Steps (Recovery/Mind) + Fellowship/Home Group/Accountability (Unity/Body) + Taking Others through the Steps (Service/Spirit) >>>> Where are we in the Program?
Those who perform action in all three areas experience wholeness, peace, serenity, and — most importantly — a recovered state (not cured).