BY: ALEX M. | LOUISVILLE, KY.
Seeking a way to stay in the present moment, rather than lamenting yesterday and fearing tomorrow, he discovers Step Twelve.
When I finished my Step work, I knew something was different, but I wasn’t sure if it was a spiritual awakening. But I did know I had acquired a different way of thinking and acting which I had never before experienced. This definitely constituted an awakening of some kind.
Why this happened was unimportant to me—perhaps God, perhaps the Fellowship. Regardless, I knew I had to have help to overcome my alcoholic illness; self-reliance was insufficient. After completing the Steps, carrying the message of the principles of the Steps to others is not very hard. As a matter of fact, it’s so natural, I can easily fall into to two-stepping. I don’t drink for Step 1 and share the message from Step 12. I go to meetings, have a few sponsees, say some prayers, practice the smug AA grin and let everyone know in sneaky ways how great I am so I’ll get your approval.
This is a dangerous place for me, because I’ll drink eventually when I don’t feel the love and admiration I secretly and desperately need from you.
Today, I seek an emotional sobriety that is less dependent on how you respond to me. My focus is on how can I reduce my character defects. How can I become more honest, more tolerant, less judgmental, more patient, less stingy, more empathic and more willing to listen to others’ views? How can I improve my relationships with those I love, and those I don’t? What can I bring to the party of life, rather than what can I take away from it? How can I better stay in the present moment, rather than lamenting yesterday and fearing tomorrow? What can I do for AA today?
Many days, I am far from the emotional sobriety I seek. I drown in my emotional instincts of ambition, pride, and the need for security. I often say I don’t care what others think, but down deep I do. I say power, money, big cars and fancy houses don’t define the man, but they define something. I say I’m not self-centered and ego driven, but this is a lie. I say I am fearless and willing, but never, ever leave the security of my comfort zone. I still do exactly what I want and no more.