Damn! Where's a Big Book when you need one? I think it's the last paragraph of the chapter "A vision for you" that reads. Give freely of what you find and join us? We shall be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you and keep you until then. Well? I have to admit, I am meeting some of you right now. Right here, right now, as I sit at my computer early Christmas morning? I am willing to share my road of happy destiny. This is how I begin my day each day. Each day I choose the Spiritual Path suggested in AA. I thank my God for mercy on this hopeless drunkard. Thank you for the Big Book 12 Steps, thank you for Bill W and your simple language, offering me a way out. I thank you for that moment of grace long ago when I heard myself say yes, I can do this, I can not drink for one day. I thank you for watching over me as I prayed for willingness to hold on to hours and then minutes of my new sober day. Then with the willingness offered, the minutes passed and became hours and then one full day again. One day without one drink. It could be done. I could do this.
In return? I will give of myself freely to anyone anywhere on earth. I will not choose who I give to. It will be the Higher Powers will for me to carry out hopefully. I will simply give freely of myself that others may benefit. Not too complicated really. I will learn to take nothing in return, all glory be to my God. Is this too much? Is this too good to be true? Can a man like myself live an unselfish existence before his God? I have to say no, it probably cannot be done, but can I be willing? Yes I can! I can be willing to carry the vision of the Spiritual path into all my activities each day no matter the circumstance. I have been offered courage and strength to face my life successfully. This is my Spiritual foundation, my anonymity. I offer myself freely, there is nothing to steal from me as I am not afraid, everything I am I will give to you.
Christmas is actually kind of selfish for me. I get to share how I want, this is how I try to feel everyday. Being Spiritually fit. Even those like myself who pray for willingness are bombarded with selfishness and fear as we awaken to a new day and face life's sometimes overwhelming facts. I can become Spiritually weak. I seem to put my God down and pick up my mirror of life and death with everyone in it. I look and compare, measure myself up to others rather than stand before my God.. I hope for a self esteem boost as I search for equality at the very least. In most cases the mirror becomes one big selfie. It is me, where do I fit, what do others think about me, this becomes what I think about me! People become my God, I worship them, I seek their judgement and opinions of me. I place myself in all things in an effort to control my surrounding thoughts. I have lost my Spiritual willingness, my hope. I have no God, only people. But today is different! Today the Spiritual Path is everywhere! Christmas celebration is everywhere! It's like a day off. I can relax and listen, it's safe to relax and listen.
We go to my sisters and celebrate Christmas with her family. Brunch, eggs benedict and French toast with real maple syrup, the whole shaboogie. Nieces, presents and Christmas day. My sister puts out the feed bag and we all gorge ourselves in the benefits of working hard and supporting ourselves. We are celebrating our willingness to do our part in life as we see it. We will offer to share the food with anyone we meet, anyone is welcome to attend the brunch and if they stay? well, there will be something for them to open also. Probably gloves or a hat but something. We all work for our money and share our bounty. For us it's good. It is not the only way, it is what we do as family.
I am anonymous so I can tell this story. I scored big at the dollar store this year with gloves, socks and hats for men women and children Christmas presents. I have to say it was tedious and took a while lol..but I wrapped them all with paper and bows. Eh..not the best wrapping job but done. I did get it done...We're dropping them off to some family in transition place this morning I never heard of. One of those places where everybody is emotionally distraught. No place to live, no safe place to go, that kind of thing. I myself have a safe place to live and sleep, an emotionally secure place to go today so I have plenty to give. The best I can do is knock and run. I knock on the door and say Merry Christmas, hand them the presents then turn and leave. I also will make a pile of sandwiches to drop off at a AA alcothon. Same thing really, sneak them in and leave them on the table. I make good sandwiches. I always seem to have the money for the stuffing. I really am a lucky guy.
Not to let the dark clouds roll in but I should also mention life comes at you fast. Ok, life comes at ME fast. We've had trouble this year. Cancer scares, dementia, lies, deception, lawyers...This stuff has at times rolled over us as if it is a non stop train. Have we handled everything as we should? I have to say no for myself. No, days have gone by as I refuse to be willing, I cannot let go, I am afraid. At times I have been downtrodden, saddened, depressed and feeling alone. I have been angry, resentful, full of fear. I have had bouts of extreme self pity. I have trusted and been let down. I have been so full of myself I wanted only to retaliate and fight fire with fire feeling myself the one to breathe napalm. I will be the victor, I will win! I rely on myself, the self will has risen up around me like a great stone castle. In my emotional war zone I have had nothing to give, I must keep everything for myself, I must create my security as I have no God. I have to survive. What's mine is mine and I cannot risk the thought of sharing unless you have something to trade. Drinking alcohol again to escape myself is not out of the question.
At my worst the expectations are many and attached to everything. I am subtle, I look for validation everywhere. Look at me and how great I am offering the Christmas presents, look at me and thank me for the food donation. Boost my self esteem as a brother or father, friend, lover. Make me what I think I am because without you? I am nothing. Alone I have no self worth. I am nothing, I am nothing and going nowhere into nothingness. This is where my thinking takes me, this is where I venture to when I am off the Spiritual Path. I have no God, I have no courage to face life. I make arrangements, I manipulate people to save me, people will fix me.
So...Is the Big Book 12 Step process easy? No, not for me it isn't. Although I have been into it's process of change for over 30 years, over half my life. There's lots of work to be done each day to keep me from hurting myself and using others.. Simply reading and applying the text has proven insufficient for myself and others. Willingness to do the 12 Step work is suggested. It's the same willingness I had when I prayed to notpick up a drink for 5 minutes at a time. Willingness is indispensable as it says. Lots to be done to take care of myself. Lots of willingness to pray for, honesty, that I care enough to take proper care. I can do it, I have done it. I want it today. Let my day begin with this attitude.
Big Book 12 Steps directions on living one day at a time..I review Step 11 "upon awakening", page 86. I relax and try to focus on my day. I don't struggle with agitation or doubt, I don't want to treat myself like that, I am not at war today. I have ceased fighting today. I pray for inner peace, acceptance. I must accept myself. I think about the 24 hours ahead. Is there anyone that specifically would benefit from what I have to offer? Any sponsee's or the like? Any morning phone calls wishing others a Merry Christmas? Do I have any unresolved issues with others that have left our relationship reeling? Is my slate still clean from my earlier 12 Step work?
My partner is waking up, I can hear her rustling around in the bedroom and talking to Gpurrs the cat. I will get her coffee as I do everyday. She's actually the one who makes it every night, I just wake up and push the button. She is good to me and it seems to be without expectation, she is just that way. She is Big Book 12 Steps also, maybe that's why. I'm sure it has something to do with it.... I will try to be more intimate with her today, try to provide some emotional security. She is a sensitive woman especially at these family times. Not be her complete emotional security but provide some comfort and support. Offer her a safe home and relationship with me. I don't wish to steal my security from her, I pray to my God for my security, my understanding and effectiveness. I'm in good shape today as I was yesterday. I'm on track, on the Spiritual Path suggested. I plan to keep fit here all day. I can interact with everyone as I have myself to bring, plus the food, gifts, all the fun stuff. I'm a part of it. I am a piece of the celebration of my Spiritual world.
It's Christmas! but really? To me it's Thursday, my day off. The AA Big Book 12 Steps allow me to celebrate Christmas every day. May it be that way with you. It is my gift. My new life. A life worth living. It is freely offered to all of us, to simply be a part of something much larger than myself? There's no reason to steal it. It's free right here, right now.