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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pray for the Bastard!: A 'stand-in' cure for Resentment before you complete the 4th and 5th step.

"If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even whey you don't really want it for them and your prayers are only words and you don't mean it, go ahead an do it anyway. Do it every day for two weeks, and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love."
Freedom from Bondage, Page 552, Alcoholics Anonymous.

(Thank you Zane at Zanejabbers(who is actually a rather lovely human being) for reminding me of where this passage is. I completely forgot!)

When people are new and do not have the skills in identifying resentment that come after (competently!) completing steps 4 and 5, this is what I tell them to do with resentment. It's the NUMBER ONE offender" so it's VERY important to find a way of managing it prior the the insight we have after step 5.

My favorite old timer used to say it (Pray for the Bastard!) ALL the time.
I did it when I was new.
It worked for me.
I know LOADS of other people who did it and it worked for them too.
So, basically, it works.

Trust me, you NEED this skill prior to completion of step 5. If you do not learn this skill there is a STRONG chance you will get hijacked by resentment, and you are in GRAVE danger of drinking if you have not been 'restored to sanity as a result of having a spiritual awakening having completed the first nine steps.'
So this is VERY necessary.

Resentment is probably the greatest threat to sobriety. And the only real way to get on top of it is by the process of examining our resentments in step 4, and staying out of harms way till we know better in the meantime.

"But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.
If we were to live, we HAD to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison."
p66 BB

And this is why arguments (or ANYTHING that inflames resentment) puts you in an EXTREMELY vulnerable position. Anger just doesn't work for us. We can't just follow it like we used to. Even when we are 'right'. And especially ! when we are new because that's when we have the LEAST defense against the first drink.

This ' Pray for the Bastard!' thing is actually rather a lovely process. I LOVE hearing the stories people tell about what happened after they did it. Really !! Cool stuff happens sometimes. It seems to have a very miraculous effect.

The REALLY cool part of the proceess, is asking yourself IN ALL HONESTY. "What do I want?"
Really. What do I LONG for?
What would I love more than ANYTHING ELSE?"

See untill you answer that question HONESTLY, you have NO CLUE what to ask for the other person.
You have to identify your HEARTFELT DESIRE
You need to identify the thing you CRAVE
No bullshit. The truth.

THAT'S the cool part.

And when you know what that thing is?
Well. You ask for the OTHER person, to have that thing.

Wow. I LOVE this practice. Its EXTREMELY powerful.
The more HONEST you are about what you TRULY want, the BETTER this thing works.
Yes. Of COURSE it involves going to ANY LENGTHS. But whats new? That's the 'AA deal'. This is NOT a half measures thing. Just do your lousy best. I start off saying it through gritted teeth, (Heheh) but it gets easier.
But just trust me. You will LOVE this one, in hindsight. Its an AMAZING practtice. We are SO lucky to have this gem in our toolbox. It REALLY moves things around in the universe.
Right I'm off. Have fun with that one!


lushgurl said...

When I was just over a year sober (the last time), I had a new born baby, was alone in a new city and had a not-so-good break up with my babys' daddy...I was filled with resentment, as well as other equally harmful emotions! My sponsor would quietly listen to my tirades of "what he did now", then would say PRAY for him!! WTF??? I wanted to castrate him and feed him those cojones!!! But I did it anyway, 'cause I loved and respected my sponsor... Today I am grateful to have met this man, as he has given me my Angel...
You're right, it works!

ArahMan7 said...

Learned a wonderful lesson today. Anger just doesn't work for us. We can't just follow it like we used to. Even when we are 'right'.

Happy weekend my Irish friend of Bill.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, GOD is truly amazing. So funny how messages that need to be heard are repeatedly echoed all around. From all of me, thank you for sharing this GEM!

Syd said...

Thanks for writing about the Bastard Prayer. It makes me think about the idea of giving it away in order to keep it, only at the level of thought instead of deeds. It's a wonderful thing.