It Is By Self-forgetting That One Finds

It Is By Self-forgetting That One Finds

It Is By Self-forgetting That One Finds

Last night at my home group, the chair chose the 11th Step Prayer (the Prayer of St. Francis) as the foundation of our discussion. WOW! I love my home group. The shares were revealing, heart-felt, and as authentic as I’ve heard in a long time. Before I share on this, let’s look at that prayer…

“Lord, make me a channel of thy peace—that where there is hatred, I may bring love—that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness—that where there is discord, I may bring harmony—that where there is error, I may bring truth—that where there is doubt, I may bring faith—that where there is despair, I may bring hope—that where there are shadows, I may bring light—that where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted—to understand, than to be understood—to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.”

While the Franciscan’s were all about poverty, they were also about service. They were about the external and not the internal. They were about looking outward instead of looking inward. The prayer itself reveals that. I left that meeting last night doing my inventory on what more I can do to stop thinking of me and start thinking of you.

I had the opportunity to share, and one of the things that hit me as I was reading it was the parallels I could draw to my belief that every single promise given to us in A.A. is conditional. The end of the 10th Step promises is a perfect example of that. That promise lays out a host of things that will happen – IF – “we keep in fit spiritual condition.” If you do “this”, you get “that.” If you want “this,” you gotta do “that.” The 11th Step Prayer, toward the end, has a similar requirement….

– For me to find, I must forget myself
– For me to be forgiven, I must forgive
– For me to awaken to that life I’ve always longed for, I must be prepared to let my old life die

I loved the metaphor of dying to live, letting go to get. It’s the basic premise of our program as outlined in our book that I must be willing to surrender the old to get the new. Over the years, it’s been easy to dismiss this as something “they” need to do to receive the blessings and the gifts of our program. How grateful I am that I too understand that the work is mine. I cannot simply sit in an A.A. meeting and hope it seeps in through osmosis. I need to be willing to hunker down and do the work. Why? Because I want those gifts – MY gifts as a result of doing MY work – not YOUR gifts when you do YOURS.

Questions of the Day

  • When was the last time you really sat down and broke the 11th Step Prayer down and took a deep look at it and how it REALLY works?
  • What it really asks of us?
  • What it really calls us to do?

Take a moment out of your day today and give yourself that gift. You won’t be sorry!

In love with& service,



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