Dear members

New Aimoo has already launched. You are now visiting the old version of Aimoo. In old Aimoo, you can only view, but can`t post, reply and do other operations. To access new Aimoo, please contact the forum owner to submit a forum migration(http://old.aimoo.com/newaimooapplication.cfm) or contact the Aimoo administrator on Facebook. 

Welcome to visit the forum on new Aimoo: http://www.aimoo.com
Close it  
  • Are you sure you want to sign out?
Delete Message
  • Are you sure you want to delete?
  • Delete
  • Cancel
Sign In
Don't have an Aimoo account? Just Sign Up
  • User Name:
  • Password:
Forum Stat
Latest Members
Title:How It Works Commentary part 2 0f 2
Views: 3
Search Tags
<1>
Author
  • From:
  • USA
  • Registered: 11/03/2008
  • Posts: 187
  • Score: 187
  • Rank:
HOW IT WORKS COMMENTARY part 2 of 2
 


3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care and direction of God as we understood Him. (There are 3 words here that are important to understand. For a long time, I thought that the 3rd Step said that I turn my will and my life over to the care of God. But it doesn’t say that. What it says is that I make a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of God. So the 1st word that needs to be understood here is the word decision, which is defined as “making up one’s own mind.” Let’s say my car breaks down. Although the decision to get my car fixed is a vital and crucial step, that decision alone does not get the car fixed. I will also need to take the actions necessary to get it fixed. For any decision to mean anything, it always requires further action. If I decide, or make up my own mind, to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him, that decision alone will not turn it over. I will have to take the actions necessary to turn it over. The 1st 3 Steps are designed to bring us to the point where we become willing to turn our will and our lives over to the care of a Higher Power, Steps 4 through 9 are how we turn our will and our lives over (because Steps 4 through 9 reveal and remove the blocks that prevent us from actually doing so), and the last 3 Steps are how we keep our will and our lives turned over to God indefinitely. After a period of time though, our ego (self-will) begins to reassert itself again; and because of our "human-ness", we fall short in maintaining perfect spiritual focus in all of our thoughts and activities. That is why I believe, even if we have worked the Steps to the best of our ability once, we will need to eventually begin the Steps cycle again and again. The other 2 words that are important to understand are the words will and lives. I’ve always thought that the words “will” and “lives” were concepts way over my head and were way too large to relate to or comprehend. But then it was explained to me that my “will” is my thinking and what motivates me, and that my “life” is all the actions that I’ve taken up to this moment. That explanation made the words a little more down to earth and easier to comprehend. So I now understand the 3rd Step as saying that I decide to take the actions necessary to turn my thinking, my motivations, and my actions over to the care of God as I understand Him. Since it’s been said in many different pieces of spiritual literature that God is Love, it can also be said that the essence of all this is that I need to always be motivated by love, I need to always try to have loving thoughts and always try to take loving actions. Also, what motivates me drives my thinking and my thinking directs my actions, so I need to go deeper than just acting my way into right thinking. If my motivation and thinking is God-directed, I will make the right decisions (whether it seems that way at the time or not), and the actions taken will inevitably be healthy. But if my motivation and thinking is self-directed, I will mostly make the wrong decisions (even though I may not realize it at the time), and the actions taken will inevitably be unhealthy. Quite possibly, the single most important statement about Step 3 can be found at the top of p. 64 where it says, “Though our decision was a vital and crucial Step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us.” So it’s saying this 3rd Step decision will have little permanent effect unless we immediately follow it up with an intensely active effort to work Steps 4 through 9, because where we face these blocks is in Steps 4, 5, and 6 and where we get rid of them is in Steps 7, 8, and 9. And what we’re being blocked off from is the ability to turn our will and lives over to begin with. So after working the 6 middle Steps, then and only then, will we be able to turn our motivations, our thoughts, and our actions over to our Higher Power with any kind of consistency. In the Big Book, this Step is described on ps. 60:3  64:0. The directions for taking Step 3 are on ps. 60:4  62:3, and 63:2-64:0. The results of taking Step 3 are given on p. 63:1 and the last line of 63:3.)


4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. (One of the definitions for the word moral is “truthful” and another is “conduct in relationship”. Also, I think a key word here in the 4th Step is ourselves, not anyone else. The Big Book provides us with 3 specifically outlined and powerfully transforming written inventories: the Resentment Inventory, the Fear Inventory, and a Sex and Harms Inventory of our conduct. It also asks us to create a future sex life/relationship ideal. In the Big Book, this Step is described on pages 63:4-71 and directions for taking this Step are given throughout. The results of taking Step 4 are given on p. 70:3.)


5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. (Please notice that it does not say that we just admit our wrongs, although that is part of the process. It says that we admit the exact nature of our wrongs. That’s why the 3 and 4th Step Inventories not only compile what we did, but draws attention more importantly to why we did it. The exact nature of our wrongs or why we did these things are what we need to ask God to help us with in Steps 6 and 7. Also, notice that it says that we are to 1st admit our 4th Step inventories to God. I have had some incredible results in working with people by asking them to 1st find a place where they feel God’s presence strongly and spend an hour or 2 silently or out loud sharing their inventories with their Higher Power. From doing this, there is a sense of forgiveness, accumulated power, and a little more understanding that is then carried into the 5th Step with the person or persons who will hear it. After the 5th Step is done, we get a deeper sense of humility and another perspective which brings about a strong understanding of our inner workings. In the Big Book, this Step is described on ps. 72-75. The directions for taking Steps 5 are on p. 75:1, the 1st sentence of 75:2, and 75:3. The results of taking Step 5 are on p. 75:2 after the 1st sentence.)


6. Were entirely willing that God remove all these defects of character. (There is a very important direction associated with Step 6 in the Big Book which is often missed. It says that “if we still cling to a defect we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.” So if there is a shortcoming that we are not willing to ask God to help us with, we pray for the willingness until it comes. This should not stop us from going on to Step 7 with the shortcomings we are willing to ask Him to help us with. In the Big Book, this Step is described on p. 76:1. The directions for taking Step 6 are also there.)


7. Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings--holding nothing back. (Notice that the wording here is a little stronger than how it ended up in the Big Book. It’s obvious that the authors considered this Step to be a deep and all-inclusive part of this Program. Notice that it’s not saying that we work on our shortcomings, because the only way I can work on my shortcomings is by making them worse. We need to seek our Higher Power’s help with our defects and to begin to take the actions necessary to move in the opposite direction. Also, this is 1 of the many statements that lead me to see that A.A. is not a self-help program, it’s a spiritual help program. In the Big Book, this Step is described on p. 76:2. The directions for taking Step 7 are also there.)


8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make complete amends to them all. (Please notice that it mentions the word “all” twice! Do you think they really mean that? The word amend is sometimes reduced to only saying that we are sorry. I prefer using the definition found in chapter 1 Bill’s Story where it says “I was to right all such matters to the utmost of my ability.” It’s more about taking responsibility than it is about only saying that we are sorry. Also, 1 of the definitions for the word amend is “to change” so we need to change and move away from the behavior that caused the harm in the 1st place. Just like the 6th Step, the Book says that “If we haven't the will to make amends, we ask until it comes,” so don’t forget to pray for the willingness to make the amends that you are not willing to make. In the Big Book, this Step is described on p. 76:3. The directions for taking Step 8 are also there.)


9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. (An important word here is the word “direct”, and I’d like to suggest that we are not the “others” mentioned here. Also, 1 of the greatest things that I have ever heard about hesitating to make amends is the following: Is it possible that your lack of willingness to make amends (or move forward with any Step) has anything to do with whether you drink again or not? It sure makes ya think! In the Big Book, this Step is described on ps. 76:4-84:1 and the directions for completing Step 9 are given throughout. The results of taking Step 9 are on ps. 83:4-84:1.)


10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. (It doesn’t say “if we were wrong”, it says “when we were wrong” so it’s realistically admitting that we are going to make mistakes. By the time we get to the 10th Step we now have a way to deal with the times we fall short--Steps 4 through 9 in a quick way, moment by moment. Also, it says that we “promptly admit it” not “promptly explain it”. In the Big Book, this Step is described on ps. 84:1-85:2. The directions for taking Step 10 are on p. 84:2, the 1st line of 84:3, and 85:1. The results of taking Step 10 are on p. 84:3-85:0.)


11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. (For some reason, the word “conscious” was not included here originally. Notice that it mentions what we should only be praying for. I believe that if I pray for specific things, I am assuming that I know better than God about what is best for me or someone else. Also, you’ll notice that in Step 10 it says “Continue”, in Step 11 it says “Seek and improve”, and in Step 12 it says “in all of our affairs” so the Program leaves no room for complacency or coasting. Besides, the only way we can coast is downhill! The last 3 Steps are not maintenance Steps, they’re growth Steps. To maintain something means to keep it the same. For me, our Program is like walking up a down escalator. If we keep moving forward, we can get to the next level. But as soon as we slow down or stop our forward movement, we go right back down to where we came from. And I don’t know about you but I desperately do not want to go back to where I came from! In the Big Book, this Step is described on ps. 85:3-88:3. The directions for taking Step 11 are on ps. 86:1-88:0. The results of taking Step 11 are found on p. 88 lines 2-8.)


12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of this course of action, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs. (This Step, as written here, obviously has 3 parts: (1) the spiritual awakening as the result of the Steps. This is a promise. It doesn’t say that it might happen or that it sometimes happens, it says that it will happen if we work all 12 Steps completely; (2) I don’t carry my message or a message but I carry this message--the message of the spiritual awakening as the result of the Steps to alcoholics and perhaps others too; and (3) practicing the principles of the Steps (the way of life outlined in the Big Book) in all of our affairs. Every once in a while I have to ask myself if I think they really mean all here and if I’m doing this more and more in my life. When I do this I get a positive result and when I don’t do it I get a negative result. Speaking of carrying this message, I recommend to people I work with that when speaking at an A.A. speaker meeting that they use the same format as Bill W. did in “Bill’s Story” at the beginning of the Big Book. “Bill’s Story” is 16 pages and for the 1st 8 pages he talks about what it was like when he was drinking and for the last 8 pages he talks about what happened to bring about a change and what’s it like now that he is in recovery. Most of the time at speaker meetings the speaker will speak for 20 minutes and 19 of it is usually drunkalog and 1 minute is “and now everything is wonderful and we have a nice way of closing”. This doesn’t bring much hope to any newcomers in the room. If we can do 1/2 our talk about our experience with drinking (so the newcomer can identify with the fact that we are an alcoholic); and then spend the other 1/2 of our talk on experience, strength and hope about what it’s like working the Steps and practicing a Program of Recovery, we then will carry a much stronger message to the newcomer in a way that has depth and weight. We all know how to drink. How about hearing more about living a happy, useful, contented life without needing alcohol? In the Big Book, this Step is described on ps. 89-150. Many tips on how to carry our message of recover to another alcoholic are found throughout chapter 7, and many tips on how to carry our message and practice these principles in all of our affairs are found throughout chapters 8-10.)


You may exclaim, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. (Which is why it’s a good idea to go back and work the Steps, starting with the 1st 1, every year or 2. Because we are human, we will fall short in keeping spiritual focus in all of our affairs.) We are not saints. (An understatement!) The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. (Do you think that this is important? If you do, are you more loving, honest, unselfish and accepting than you were a year ago?) The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.


Our description of the alcoholic (Step 1), the chapter to the agnostic (Step 2), and our personal adventures before and after (there are 2 ways that this can be taken: before and after this part of the book, or your personal adventures before and after you stopped drinking), have been designed to sell you 3 pertinent ideas:


(a) That you are alcoholic and cannot manage your life. (Drinking or not. Step 1)


(b) That probably no human power can relieve your alcoholism. (Step 2. Please keep in mind that this includes everyone in the Fellowship, yourself, your sponsor, your support group, etc. Although they are all important, they are still only human power.)


(c) That God can and will. (Also Step 2, and what a wonderful promise if God were sought!)


If you are not convinced on these vital issues, you ought to re-read the book to this point or else throw it away! (Rather humorous! In other words, take it or leave it!)
Have a good day,
John T. Begin
Date Posted: 10/14/2017 14:28 PM
Move to Bottom
Share to:
<1>

Sign Up | Create | About Us | SiteMap | Features | Forums | Show Off | Faq | Help

Get cheapest China Wholesale,  China Wholesale Supplier,  to be a retailer is easy now.
LUFFY LUFFY LUFFY
LUFFY LUFFY LUFFY LUFFY LUFFY