Freedom from Self-Seeking
Please free my thinking of self-will, self-seeking, dishonesty, and wrong motives.
—paraphrased from Alcoholics Anonymous
There is a difference between owning our power to take care of ourselves, as part of God's will for our life, and self-will. There is a difference between self-care and self-seeking. And our behaviors are not as much subject to criticism as are the motives underlying them.
There is a harmonic, gentle, timely feeling to owning our power, to self-care, and to acts with healthy motives that are not present in self-will and self-seeking. We will learn discernment. But we will not always know the difference. Sometimes, we will feel guilty and anxious with no need. We may be surprised at the loving way God wants us to treat ourselves. We can trust that self-care is always appropriate. We want to be free of self-will and self-seeking, but we are always free to take care of ourselves.
Higher Power, please guide my motives today, and keep me on Your path. Help me love myself, and others too. Help me understand that more often than not, those two ideas are connected.
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
When I have listened to my mistakes, I have grown.---Hugh Prather
Everyone makes mistakes. We all know that. So why is it so hard to admit our own? We seem to think we have to be prefect. We have a hard time looking at our mistakes. But our mistakes can be very good teachers. Our Twelve Step program helps us learn and grow from our mistakes. In Step Four, half of our work is to think of our mistakes. In step Five, we admit our mistakes to our Higher Power, ourselves, and another person. We learn, we grow and become whole. All by coming to know our mistakes The gift of recovery is not being free from mistakes. Instead, we do the Steps to claim our mistakes and talk about them. We find the gift of recovery when we learn from our mistakes.
Action for the Day: Today Ill talk to a friend about what my mistakes taught me. Today I'll feel less shame.
The principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance.
It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities;
that we are to practice a genuine humility.
This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us;
that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 192
Thought to Ponder . . .
I asked my Higher Power to make me famous. Instead, he made me anonymous.
AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = Adventurers Anonymous.
A MEMBER SHARES:
I'm Jane, an alcoholic. When first sober, I was terrified someone would know me. A rather gruff woman said, "You're the only one here who thinks you're that important. We're all here to get sober -- leave the ego at the door." It knocked me back but did me a huge favour. It's not about if someone knows me in a meeting, it's about me staying sober. Anonymity is the foundation of our program, and I've never met anyone in meeting who had a problem with me being there. I have a high profile job; people count on me, and I'm pleased to say it's common knowledge I'm sober. I'm at a stage in life were it doesn't matter if someone worries about me being in AA, the program will keep me sober if I work it. I will not let someone who is not in the program take issue with my past or control my journey in sobriety. The best of my thinking got me drunk; I believed I was too smart to get help. My sponsor said, "Pray for stupidity, Jane. Sit down a while and listen -- you'll find a lot of people with the same need for privacy and it will always be respected and protected in the rooms." Thank you for helping me stay sober.
If you don't feel like taking action, that's just because you haven't started. Get started, get going, get involved in making a difference, and you will absolutely feel like it very quickly.