Thanks to AA, I found my way to sobriety. Thanks to AA, I also found my way to New Thought spirituality. For nearly three decades, these two life-giving teachings have educated and sustained me. Every day. One day at a time. And it all comes down to the steps, first and foremost. I begin my day with steps 1, 2, and 3. This simple practice is the foundation of my happy, healthy life. Whether thing are going well or I’m having the worst day in history, the steps get me going and carry me through.
Instead of a regular blog post today, I humbly invite you to partake in what feels like a Mega-Blog-Post! Today, my first eBook, Think Right Into Limitless Sobriety (Volume I), is available in the Kindle Store on Amazon. And it’s free – but only for the next 4 days! This short but idea-rich eBook is really a compilation of many blog-post-worthy ideas organized into a concise, three-chapter volume. It takes a look at the first 3 Steps in the 12 Step program, and the Spiritual Principles and New Thought philosophies with which they align.
The spiritual principle of Step 2 is Willingness. February, Month 2 of our calendar year, seems like a good time to re-up our willingness. Can you add more to this list? What are you willing to do?
If you are, or were, a 12-Stepper, you know that the 12-Steps of Recovery start off in a kinda “Think-ey” way. But, it’s a trap! That’s how they getcha. They ease you into it and then — BOOM. They hit you with Step 4, hard, like a cast iron skillet to the head. Working Step 4 (a rigorously honest moral inventory), things get pretty action oriented . . .
As I boarded an American Airlines flight at LaGuardia airport, I realized I had not been on an airplane since a few days after 9/11 (September 20, 2001). Now, my niece in Miami was getting married, and I was invited to be included in the wedding. There was no way I would not be there for my niece, so this New Yorker had to fly.
A common trait among alcoholics and addicts is an uncontrollable racing mind that travels from the past to the future to imagined scenarios in the blink of an eye. The mind of an alcoholic or addict can read like a stream of consciousness novel heading nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Often times, when a person finally gets sober, the noise of the mind is turned down to a tolerable level as the constant guilt and shame of the past is replaced with acceptance and spiritual principles, but that being said, the mind of someone with an addiction can still be a loud and confusing place.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experiences can benefit others. The feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
In the inventory process of our 12-Step recovery program, one of the things we do is to identify our personal resentments, also called grudges. Resentments can be thought of as re-lived anger, even though the external instigating cause is no longer present. Resentments create unpleasant feelings in us when the thoughts about the situation are brought into our consciousness. Many a relapse has happened because resentments surfaced with their pain and we reverted to fixing the unpleasant feelings with mind altering chemicals. For the recovering alcoholic, it means to drink. Other than the short term euphoric feeling, this fixes nothing. Usually it brings further difficulties, and our resentments simply lie in wait for another day.