At the moment we are trying to put or lives in order. But this is not an end in itself.
Alcoholics Anonymous, p.77
How easily I can become misdirected in approaching the Eighth Step! I wish to be free, somehow transformed by my Sixth and Seventh Step work. Now, more than ever, I am vulnerable to my own self-interest and hidden agenda. I am careful to remember that self-satisfaction, which sometimes comes through the spoken forgiveness of those I have harmed, is not my true objective. I become willing to make amends, knowing that through this process I am mended and made fit to move forward, to know and desires God’s will for me.
Sometimes we read these sentences and passages and they become very complicated. The sentence and passage above were one of those instances for me. Look at it, we are trying to put our lives in order, but this is not an end to itself…what does that mean? Luckily I was surrounded by people that had gone through all this and had experience strength and hope to share with me and the said. “Keep it simple!” They told me exactly what to do. Continue the things you have been doing up to this point, including, going to meetings. So I did. It was explained to me further that what was being referred to in the sentence, ‘But this is not an end in itself’ was we were now going on to the next
step, Step 8 of the AA program. Which reads, Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Most of the above second paragraph I was told to read it, but don’t worry about it or dwell on it. It won’t make sense until later, maybe years later. It was repeated by the Powers of examples, the “Well” people, “Just make a list and remember, you may think Your drinking hasn’t harmed anyone but yourself. This is not true, you must be willing to be vulnerable and incredibly honest—even if what you discover about yourself and others is painful to accept.” Then my Sponsor and I got together and discussed the past and what I had done or in some cases not done to the people on my list, how I harmed them and how I might repair the
damages. I tried very hard to remember to stay in the present and not think about what was to come next….was very hard….but necessary to move on.
24 Hours A Day
August 2 – A.A. Thought for the Day
Alcoholics Anonymous has no quarrel with medicine, psychiatry or religion. We have great respect for the methods of each. And we are glad for any success they may have had with alcoholics. We are desirous always of cooperating with them in every way. The more doctors, the more psychiatrists, the more ministers or priests we can get to work with us, the better we like it. We have many who take a real interest in our programme and we would like many more. Am I ready to cooperate with those who have a sincere interest in A.A.?
The answer for me to this question was and still is an emphatic YES! I had and have a sincere interest in the welfare of others – based on honesty, respect, care, and trust. I will cooperate with anyone no matter who they are as long as they have a willingness and honest desire to cooperate with sincerity in AA. I learned that the disease of alcoholism is a physical, mental and spiritual disease. Does not discriminate. I could easily see the physical and mental parts but the spiritual part was still somewhat of a mystery to me. At this stage of my sobriety I respected and was in awe of anyone that had experience with the disease, Doctors, psychiatrists, priests and ministers, counselors, and most especially members of AA. and I ate it up.
Meditation for the Day
God is ready to pour His blessings into our hearts in generous measure. But like the seed-sowing, the ground must be prepared before the seed is dropped in. God’s to drop the seed. This preparation of the soil means many days of right living, choosing the right and avoiding the wrong. As you go along, each day you are better prepared for God’s planting, until you reach the time of harvest. Then you share the harvest with God – the harvest of a useful and more abundant life.
Took time, day after day, one day at a time and sometimes one minute at a time to become useful again and have an abundant life. My mind, body and soul started to fill up with joy, strength and a purpose in life. My abundant life became spiritual, not material.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that my way of living may be properly prepared day by day. I pray that I may strive to make myself ready for the harvest which God has planted in my heart.
This was a simple prayer for me. It meant that my life changes would prepare me and make me ready on a daily basis to be useful and become willing to help others because God had planted the seed in me and I became willing to continue on.