By the time I got to Alcoholics Anonymous I was bankrupt; Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I was totally incapable of having a relationship with anyone, including myself. The levels of anger, fear, frustration, and anxiety that I experienced on a daily basis were incomprehensible. And I didn’t think anything was “wrong”. Although thoughts of suicide were a part of my everyday life, I never had the courage to try it. I had lots of plans about how to end it all, though.
My recovery process took longer than what I saw some others experiencing. I was a tough case, I was told. For the first four years of meetings, I was using AA as a dating service, a social contact; and although not drinking, not much of my thinking was changed, and very few of my deep seated old habits and subsequent behaviors were different. I didn’t drink, and I went to lots of AA meetings. I remained resentful, negative, and discontented. Tough case.
When I finally began to connect with the principles of the twelve steps, and actually started attempting to implement them in my Life, I became aware that there are two kinds of people in AA: those that think the Program is about not drinking, and those that come to believe it is about getting a relationship with the God of our understanding. I have found today, gratefully, that I am in the God category.
Alcoholics Anonymous has given me a new Life: a new Reason to Live, a new Perspective, and many, many Gifts. The nuggets of Wisdom that I have gathered over the years have allowed me to submit and surrender my Life to God, which allows Him to change my ideas, and my actions. A huge revelation for me recently has been that it is God that makes the “change”, not me. The best I can offer up to Him is my Willingness to change. When I get desperate enough to want Him, all I need to do is completely surrender my thoughts and actions to Him. He does the rest.
Today I realize that the Divine Spark of God is in all of us, and my main Purpose is to discover that Spark in others and connect with it. My Job is to reach out beyond my ego centered self, and ask what I can do to help others live in the Solution, thereby guaranteeing my own Peace, and freedom from living in the problem. My Work is to ask quietly in prayer to find what it is He would have me do, and listen carefully in meditation for His Answer. My Efforts must be to look at what is immediately in front of me, and to try to stay focussed on the Present, the Gift of the Moment, for therein lies the Peace of God. I believe it is this Peace that we are all seeking.
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