Endigar 163

What is the use of powerlessness to the alcoholic, the addict, the compulsively enslaved?  From my own experience and from what I have read I see two primary uses.  It points out the futility of an isolated life full of individualistic bravado.  It causes me to look at the accumulated evidence of an unmanageable life.  At that point, I can and must quit struggling.  But I will not until I have gathered enough evidence to satisfy my personal examination.  Once I hit bottom, and I close the file on my field research, I can stop and rest.  And consider.

The second use of my powerlessness is that it reveals my true problem.  It helps me see my belly button.  I was created by being connected to an existing life.  My spiritual life in this realm has an umbilical cord that is supposed to be connected to the stream of life, or the collective conscience,  and with the Higher Power.  Unlike the physical  connection, how it connects is a product of my free will.  It must be.  Personal powerlessness points to the internal bankruptcy from leaving my spiritual umbilical cord flapping in the wind.  I cannot live life severed from the whole. 

When I die and leave this womb, I guess I will have a spiritual belly button, so that I can remember what it was like here;  perfection with a flaw. 

In this way, powerlessness can be specifically applied to addiction and compulsion and lead us to recovery.  But I believe that it can also be generally applied, because isolated human beings are perpetually and universally powerless.  They are powerless over an overwhelming plethora of external situations they cannot control, powerless over the frustration of their disconnect between fantasy and reality, powerless over other forces of life that surround them.   There are people, places, things, and situations that refuse to bow to our will. 

Sure, I believe that there must be a balance between individual achievement that is tested in usefulness to the group, and group interdependence should be there to protect and empower the individual.  But if powerlessness is continually haunting me, I need to work on my connections. 

Step One can easily be generalized:  We admitted we were powerless and as a result, our lives had become unmanageable.

A friend of mine once attempted to speak for the Higher Power concerning this when he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened (powerless, unmanageable), and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke (my connection) upon you, and learn from me, (follow intuitive guidance in meditation), for I am gentle and humble in heart (qualities necessary to make good connections), and you will find rest (serenity), for my yoke is easy (keep it simple-simplicity opens the way for clarity), and my burden is light (a lot of freedom and not contrary to who you truly are – to thine own self be true)”

The rest of the steps in this program build a bridge between my fantasy, my intimate reality, and the interactive reality of the group conscience.  My mind opens commerce with the world at large, as I clear away obstacles that prevent me from making vital, life saving connections.  My final question becomes, “What can I pack into the stream of life?” (page 86 of the Big Book)

PAGE 417 of the BIG BOOK:   And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.  When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.  Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober;  unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.  I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

PAGE 386-387 of the BIG BOOK:  Here I found an ingredient that  had been lacking in any other effort I had made to save myself.  Here was -power!  Here was power to live to the end of any given day, power to have the courage to face the next day, power to have friends, power to help people, power to be sane, power to stay sober. ..I am deeply convinced that so long as I continue to strive, in my bumbling way, toward the principles I first encountered in the earlier chapters of this book, this remarkable power will continue to flow through me.  What is this power?  With my AA friends, all I can say is that it’s a Power greater than myself.  If pressed, all I can do is follow the psalmist who said it long before me:  “Be still, and know that I am God.” … My alcoholic associates fired me, took control, and ran the enterprise into bankruptcy…My alcoholic wife took up with someone else, divorced me, and took with her all my remaining property…one night my son, when he was only sixteen, was suddenly and tragically killed…I know that I’ll never again have to go through them (the bad times) alone.

Perfection with a flaw. 


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