After completing a Traditions study with one of my service sponsees, Ashleigh H., I asked her to spend some time writing out everything that she learned to surrender (sacrifice) in herself as a result of practically applying the spiritual principles found within each of the 12 Traditions. It was so well done that I asked her permission to share it on this site in the hopes it might help others in our Fellowship. Thanks Ash!
Disclaimer from the Author: “I used some concepts presented on this website as inspiration.”
- I sacrifice my individual goals and desires in an attempt to live in unity with those around me. At my home group, I place the welfare of the group and AA as a whole first by letting go of my own ambitions and selfish desires. In my relationships I must place the welfare of the relationship, meaning the welfare of others, before my own. I am asked to practice selflessness and give of myself, instead of simply taking, as I am so apt to do. I am also asked to relinquish control of how I think people and situations “should be” and accept others around me as they are, as God would have them to be.
- I sacrifice the idea that “I know best.” I give up the need to be the authority, the obsession with being right. A loving God expresses himself in the conscience of my home group each month, and it isn’t always the way I think it “should be.” I am asked to sacrifice control over the process and learn to trust that all will be ok in the end. This is much the same in relationships. I am asked to sacrifice the need to dominate, to be the ultimate decision maker. But i also get to let go of the enormous weight this places in my shoulders, to be able to say “this isn’t up to me…” I lay aside the presumption that I must do this thing on my own.
- I sacrifice the fear I have of others and the need to act as gatekeeper at my home group. In my daily life I sacrifice materialistic ambitions in the pursuit of spiritual growth and character building. I give up worrying about how my life will turn out, whether I will get the job, whether I will be able to pay the bills, whether I will eventually be able to have 3 kids and a nice big house, and I focus on my sobriety. This is another call to let go what I think is important and simply focus on my desire for sobriety today.
- I sacrifice selfish and self-centeredness and the tendency I have to make decisions without considering others first. This is true both at my home group and in my relationships.
- I sacrifice my old ideas to make room for a new purpose in life, to carry the message of AA to the still suffering alcoholic. I sacrifice the need to be the “best” spouse, parent, coworker, employee, sibling, or friend. My ability to be in healthy relationships with other people is a direct reflection of my absolute dedication to my new way of life, my new primary purpose as a recovered alcoholic.
- I again am asked to sacrifice control over my life and worry about things like money, sex, and social status. I sacrifice my inner drive to be the best and to have the most to allow myself to be hyper focused on my new job in alcoholics anonymous. When I give up focusing on the outside issues to dedicate myself to sobriety and service to others, it all seems to work itself out without my influence.
- I sacrifice worship of wealth and other status symbols. I seek to be able to support myself with the help and guidance of my higher power rather than striving out of fear to have more and more than what I need.
- I sacrifice compensation for my good deeds, the need to be praised or otherwise “repaid” for my efforts. I am asked to FREELY give back what was freely given to me, both my sponsor’s time and the grace of my higher power. In my relationships, I take this one step further and attempt to practice true humility and let go of my need to be recognized for my service to others.
- Again, I sacrifice control over my life in the recognition that when I attempt to control and organize my life my way, it leads to disaster. I allow my higher power to do the organizing for me, and I follow that guidance. Sacrifice of this control leads to peace in my life.
- I sacrifice my opinions and judgements of others and focus on myself. Taking inventory of myself allows me to get right with myself and my higher power. When I am right with myself and with god, I have no need to insert myself between others and their higher power.
- I sacrifice the credit for the good I do. My ability to be a beacon of hope, to embody a way of life that is attractive to others does not come from me. I am asked to sacrifice my need to take the credit and give that credit to my higher power from whom all my blessings flow.
- I sacrifice the need for personal reward and credit for doing good. I do away with “self,” selfish motives and desires, and practice spiritual principles. In the spirit of humility, I am able to identify more with my actual desire to live spiritually rather than my desire to be recognized personally for those efforts.