I saw this posted to social media today and thought…THIS has been a stumbling block for me many times in working my program. Step 10 tells us “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” It’s not uncommon to see the effects of a dis-eased world steering people in a direction counter productive to healing. Dis-ease that is necrotic feeds off of killing that which could heal it.
The other side of it is early in my Al-Anon 12 step life I did fight past the point. I fought it, the program and those who had long worked it (how can anyone “know” the struggle?) a bit later I fought to hang onto it, after I had glimpsed the serenity that comes from working it. Then fought to regain it. But at a certain point it became gradually clear that I need not and in fact can not “fight” to keep peace and serenity.
We know that in the quest for peace and serenity, continuing to hold on to what we know we have done wrong and justifying it is counter productive. We start with ourselves, our God and another human being and then make amends where to do so is appropriate. And when we make these amends we often put ourselves at the top of the list. We forgive ourselves for not knowing, we forgive ourselves for our ego our arrogance and then, we “forgive others as we have been forgiven.” Even now I can read those words and see two totally different things being said. I can see how I used to read it and how I know it now. With these steps we align our vision our perception our understanding to what is based in peace and serenity.
Today I see much blame circling in social media. I see Atheists blaming Christians, religions, anyone with a higher power. I see those with Higher Power’s blaming each other. Our Higher Power, however He, She or It is called, is a loving caring one. If we are parents we know that our Higher Power holds us accountable because that is loving. Part of that is admitting when we’re wrong, not powering through day after day because we chose that path when our perception was skewed and our necrotic, life sucking dis-ease was directing us.
To hold onto a fight or a wrong as a right often puts us in opposition to what IS healing. It keeps us weakly arguing our point. It keeps us defensive. Backing out and running to another justification or rationalization. But truth while it perhaps unfolds by those defending it, rarely requires offensive strategies.
We are fortunate year after year of utilizing the tools available to us in the 12 steps to see this and learn it. That when we are wrong, when we come to see it, recognize it, we stop and readily admit it. And we know full well that those who can’t do this will be the first to point fingers and laugh. But we also know that the serenity we find, the peace we find, eludes them.
When we work this program, truly work this program, the ego begins to lose its power. The self we created out of desperation, fear, hatred it is not us. That is why we call it recovery. We dig down to the core of who we are as human beings. We recover and bring back who we are – a soul with a body. The ego being a creation of the body slowly loses its attraction. We are indeed the fortunate ones.
When I saw this image floating around today, it made me angry at first, but then it made me sad. We talk about ours being a program based on attraction not promotion. I have been guilty of promoting it, especially among those that I know who suffer. This is where I am at in my recovery. Letting go of that with those who are suffering and yet don’t want to help themselves just yet. And yet this is what must be in all three aspects of the effects of alcoholism and addiction. It doesn’t mean that I won’t share my story and my insights, it just means that I am working hardest at discerning my Higher Power’s will for ME (not others) and that I listen to Him.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself stuck in the image above, thousands probably in my life time. But I have heard God loves u-turns, so I have made them. I have seen those “You Turns” transform a life, save a life, heal where healing seemed impossible and bring peace beyond understanding.
A truth of this program is that every stage and step we work leads us to the next, and those sharing the story at their particular step teaches us something about that truth from the vantage point of the step we are on. The steps are not only a way to get to serenity, they also are the results of the previous steps on our path to it. As we look back, we know that promotion will happen and when we get to the tradition of attraction not promotion, it is a sign of growth. And reaching that step and tradition will most likely be one that requires amends.
While I write this, I know that we only need fight for as long as the ego we created lives and the longer we work this program the stronger the being we are created to be becomes, the weaker ego becomes. We are after all created not the creator.
None of us, none of us is always right. It is only in knowing we are not wise that we become wiser it is in learning we know little that we know more. If our Ego gets us here we should thank it. Our ego is our own best thinking.
So Fight for as long as need be, and make “You Turns” when the time is right. Everything in this program is right on time.