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.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The hardest question is "What is the most helpful thing to do?"

"Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough" p97 AA Big Book
"Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful." p102 AA Big Book
"Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our CONSTANT thought of others and how we may help meet their needs." p20 AA Big Book
“How can I best serve Thee-Thy will (not mine) be done.” These are thoughts which must go with us CONSTANTLY"
'p85 AA Big Book

For a long time I have thought that the question "what is the MOST helpful thing to do?" Is THE most difficult question to answer. For me it is the most challenging question. It demands the highest levels of intelligence. It involves looking at the obvious and the intangible. And I don't think it can ever be fully understood. I just do my lousy best knowing that I will never see the whole picture. If I waited until I KNEW what was the 'right' thing to say to a newcomer, before I tried to help, I would STILL be waiting :) But having said that I paid VERY close attention to the way in which members of my home group (with a high long-term success rate of sponsee recovery) spoke to newcomers and sponsees. So I WAS doing my utmost to learn from the example of others.

MOST helpful as opposed to just 'helpful':
"sometimes the good is the enemy of the best" Tradition Two
"maximum helpfulness" p102 AA Big Book

Part of the reason I think we learn so much, and benefit so much from trying to help others via Step 12 is that we are confronted with this question every day if we are TRYing to 'give it away to keep it', or practice these principles in all our affairs. (Step 12 Big Book )
I agonise over this question. That doesn't mean I over-think the question. That means I am very concerned about how I answer that question.
Anyway I just thought I would mention that.
I believe step 12 offers us the steepest learning curve imaginable because it exposes us to this question constantly.
I also think I have benefited HUGELY from Step 12, and I believe it has healed me in all sorts of ways and provided me with great blessings. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who is suffering.

My favourite old-timer used to quote "the greatest good for the greatest number." And I think he appeared to me to be living his life based on this principle.
The reason I drew the conclusion was because he was able to help a LOT of people because he chose to develop a way of carrying the message that was VERY efficient. The brevity and conciseness off his choice of words meant that he was able to help more people than less. And to this day I regularly meet people who might not be sober were not for his intervention, either directly, or as a result of the help offered by his sponsees or sponsees of his sponsees. So my limited understanding of what he contributed was that he was one of those members who "rendered prodigies of service." (From Step 12 in the 12x12).
Obviously that's just my perception and I could be wrong, but that's how it looked to me. And I find his example very helpful to this day when considering how to try (!) to be of maximum helpfulness to others.

I have a mini retreat to attend which involves a very early start tomorrow, so my brain will be getting both a workout and simultaneously a rest from it's perpetual restlessness which can only be a good thing :) Hope you all have a restful and peaceful Easter Sunday :)

1 comment:

Syd said...

I carry the message the way it was carried to me. I had not thought about it the way that you presented here. I will be thinking of this now. Great post.