Greetings family –
I had a sponsee reach out to me via text this morning and asked this question… “Do you know a good reading from AA literature about dealing with life on life’s terms? Obviously the acceptance stuff, but maybe something else?” Because I am fully aware how my thinking is my problem today and not my drinking, I wanted to give this sponsee a thoughtful, and what I hope is a helpful response. I thought I would share it with you in the hopes it will be helpful to another alcoholic who may be struggling with this today.
My response was:
Thanks for reaching out. This is an interesting question. And if I am being honest here, asking for help and then telling me where you DON’T want to go to get the help tells me a lot about where your head is. Yes, of course, page 417 is a great place to start in reading about this, but if your magical mystical mind doesn’t want to hear it, I could quote you all kinds of places in the book that you could read, but you’re not going to wanna hear em’ either.
It’s been my experience, that dealing with life on life’s terms is nothing more than a struggle of the mind. My thinking does not want to accept whatever is in front of me as real. It doesn’t want to embrace what is happening to me because I perceive it to be uncomfortable or painful. But I need to remember that in whatever it is coming up for me is all just in my thinking. I think this is real, I think that is real, but at some point, I have to sit down and ask myself, “Is it… really” or am I just dreaming this up. It may appear real, but is it really? What’s the truth?
I can share that the moment I began to learn how to surrender that thinking was the moment I learned (and I mean REALLY learned) that things don’t happen TO me – they happen FOR me…. They happen (life happens) so I may be able to learn something new about myself, new about others, or new about God.
So, if I think I am not doing a good job on accepting life on life’s terms, one passage from “Into Action” might help us get back on the right path….
“In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.”
Follow the clear cut directions found here:
1.) Go to God
2.) Ask for inspiration (and intuitive thought or action)
3.) Stop. breathe. relax.
4.) Stop struggling with whatever is going on in your mind
5.) If earnestly done (and that’s the key here), “We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.”
6.) It didn’t say do it just once…. The answers will come after a while.
The beautiful part about this reading is that it give us some great suggestions, but then it also provides us a great warning of what will happen if we don’t take the action, “…it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas.” Right there, it tells us, that it is likely that if we don’t take the suggestions and do 1-4 above, we’re gonna pay for it. And WHERE do we pay for it? In our minds.
BAM! Which brings us back full circle to where we are today, living in our minds, focusing on life happening TO me – instead of being willing to allow God to shift my thinking to focusing on how life is happening FOR me – to learn.
I hope that helped. Love you and love #teachablemoments“