About Me

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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.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I have a great life, but I would lack the POWER to enjoy it if I did not "Perfect and enlarge my spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice"

I have a great life, (in my opinion anyway) but I would lack the POWER to enjoy it if I did not:
"perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others," (p14)

""Lack of power, that was our dilemma."
as they say.
"we could wish to be philosophically comforted, (ie enjoy all our COOL STUFF) in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn't there. Our human resources, as marshaled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly." (p45)"

Service. Helping others achieve sobriety, and having a life purpose of "constant thought of others and how I can meet their needs" (p20) is the lynch pin of ALL my inner joy.
So, How many newcomers are you helping stay sober these days?
They are TOTALLY mind altering!

People think I am being 'nice' because I try to be helpful. But I am am taking care of ME. Of MY life.
I KNOW that the less self centered I am the BETTER my life works. So keeping my brain in "constant thought of others and how I can meet their needs" (p20) 'gear', by trying to help alcoholics for a short while every day, is no big deal. I see it like brushing my teeth. Or having a shower. It takes about the same amount of time, so what's the problem? Doesn't feel like sacrifice to me. It feels good. Why else would I do it?

So what I'm saying is
"constant thought of others and how I can meet their needs" (p20) MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD

I have cool things in my life, but where does my joy emanate from?
Weird huh?
I've long since stopped trying to figure it out. All I know is THAT'S HOW IT IS. That's how life WORKS.
So that's what I do.
Easy really.

"Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now." (p124)
"If an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the CERTAIN trials and low spots ahead" (p14)
"Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives."

So if you want to feel gloriously !! happy, fulfilled, and have a sense of meaning and purpose
Hey you gotta start somewhere.
Just TRY to be helpful. That's all. Just do your lousy best and let go of the outcome.

Then, you can enjoy all the !! Cool things in your life!! Excellent huh?
Oh yeah. And it practically GUARANTEES you stay sober!!
"Chapter 7 Working with others. Practical experience shows that NOTHING will so much insure immunity from drinking as INTENSIVE work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail." (p89)

So its a DOUBLE WIN really...
Have a nice Thursday y'all..


EmmaL said...

Hey - thanks for the comment so that I could find you! I'm glad I found your blog and I will definitely come back. I keep hearing the same thing - that I need to do service work - I know that it works - I know that it will work - yet I seem to lack the motivation to do it. At times in my sobriety I have felt extremely motivated, out of desperation and pain - maybe things aren't painful enough at the moment. I'm actually at a loss these days for why I can't seem to kick myself into action. Twenty-one months later, I am thinking - have I really changed, at all? I guess I have to treat this like when I first came into AA and just do it on faith that it will work, even if I don't want to.

doctor a said...

I recently saw a client who said that working as a volunteer with homeless women and children makes her happier than anything else she does. Although she is not one of us alcoholics, her experience corroborates what a lot of recent research on happiness has shown--being of service to others is one of the very best ways to experience real happiness.
Thanks for another great post.

johno said...

I agree, newcomers are a gift and essential as is prayer and meditation, inventory, staying honest, staying teachable, humility, being willing, openminded, essentials as is food and sleep, practicing the principles in all life areas, service at work, in the family. Service alone is not enough (in my experience) No One thing does it, God is everything. God is.

Life is amazing, even when its not going my way, I learn, and grow. Passin it on, what works, what doesnt in self and others is a gift and am very grateful to have been encouraged (? beaten into submission) to do so

recovery rocks!

Determined1 said...

My own experience has been that helping newcomers, of itself is not enough. I have had it instilled in me that this is the "key" to my sobriety. And, hey, I have stayed sober for over two years now so it has certainly worked! What is has not done, of itself, is make me feel happy joyous and free. Yes, I smile when I see someone has changed and it's great to see people recover, but it has not been a panecea. I fell into the trap of doing this and not flexing my other spiritual muscles such as step 10s and prayer and meditation, which doesn't work. Getting the balance right is tricky, but I am sure doable with further practice.

Anonymous said...

It is a blessing to be out of self. I get this via meetings. I am still learning, a newbie in God's workshop :) What helps me is not only being of service (what I can provide at this point in my recovery) to another alcoholic but giving myself to help other avenues of life, I am passionate about animals. I get out of self by helping these helpless creatures. It is euphoric, and I am redefining it currently.

For me constant thought of others is just not in human form, it involves animals, my deepest passion. How linited my world would be if I could only help the suffering alcoholic.

Service, it makes me feel GOOD as you say, and in the end that is all that matters to help me be filled every day.

Again I appreciate your posts. You have so much depth to offer. Thank you.

Syd said...

I am about ready to embark on my first GSR experience. I can't sponsor yet but do service work in other ways. Thanks for all the reminders.

Recovery Road London said...

Good post (as usual!).

I like the bit in the 12+12 about service, senators and servants.

Have a great safe and sober weekend.

Anonymous said...

You're a very good person, my Irish Friend of Bill. For your thoughtfulness, I got something I want to pass it to. See and collect it @ Malaysia's 1st Recovery Blogger, and wear it proudly.

Enjoy your weekend.

Anonymous said...

My life is effortless when I switch my thoughts to "constant thought of others and how I can meet their needs". Thanks Irish friend of Bill.
Here are some classic one liners the old-timers from Melbourne, Australia have passed on to me over the past 16 and a half years.
Leigh P. use to say "I didn't know what an alcoholic was, but I knew I wasn't one."
and "I was the classic up yourself, full of bullsh*t alcoholic."
Gellignite Jack "AA may not open the gates to heaven but it will close the gates to hell"
Brian's gem was "Pills are for dills"
Boxer Johnny "Winners are grinners, boozers are losers"
Have a mind altering day!

Shannon said...

right on gurl, I feel your enthusiasm and of us all!!! How true this is... thanks
Hope your weekend is well : )

Unknown said...

"Service is NOT something you do at the weekends. Or something you reserve for newcomers. It is an ATTITUDE. A service mindset.
ALL life situations can be viewed as 'An opportunity for service"
Well said.

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