DINK #105 Hope, Openness and Willingness

Posted on : 29-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Those of us who have darkened the doors of various recovery programs have heard many times that hope, openness and willingness are the “HOW” of the program and that the most important key is willingness. Years ago when I met my first mentor in these realms she suggested I pray for the willingness to be willing. You see for people like me it doesn’t often come naturally to just open up my arms wide-open with the willingness to have an open mind, take in suggestions and heed them.

Often as not, I’ve had to put up a fight. We’ve also heard it said that to study and live the 12-steps of AA is simple but is not easy. Also that being intelligent can sometimes be a hindrance to “getting” the gifts of living a life without all the hoopla that the ego almost always has to surround itself with for entertainment. Nope, really it takes being willing to consider that maybe you’re not always right. I think this piece is hard because if you spent as many years as I did running pell mell against the norm well then you probably had a little tiny self esteem and a great big ole inflated ego to help push past the barriers you’d erected between you and serenity.

The first step is to admit that we are powerless over people, places, things, alcohol, food–insert what is appropriate for you here—and that our lives had become unmanageable. A lot of us have gotten confused about that word powerless. Many of us think that this step means for us to drink the kool-aid (reference to Jim Jones Cult etc. from 1978) and have absolutely no control over ourselves or our lives. Well, it’s true that control is an illusion, none of us are really in control of anything but what admitting our powerlessness can do for us is to get us into a place of willingness to consider that there just may be, just might be a power greater than ourselves that could restore us to sanity. God knows I tried to restore myself to sanity again and again and I just kept winding up right back behind where I started.

That’s why the second step says, “Came to Believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”. Then we slowly start getting it that perhaps we’re not all alone out here like we’d been thinking. The third step is about making a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of our higher power as we understand it/him/she. Again, this is really a strengthening exercise but for our bolstered up egos it is scary as hell to go through this alone. That’s why there’s so many of us out here helping each other find their way. It’s a “we” program.

This weekend in San Antonio, Texas AA is holding its International Conference http://www.aa.org/subpage.cfm?page=199 beginning with registration on Wednesday, July 1 all the way through Sunday, July 4. If you don’t know anything about AA and have always been curious about what it is all about, well I invite you to go check it out. It’s pretty powerful to see the hope, openness and willingness of the steps coming through all kinds of people from all over the world. And if you know all about AA, well then I hope to see you there!

We are all one. We are all one. We are all one. We are all one!!

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