Endigar 606 ~ Looking Outward

From the Daily Reflections of November 13;

We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no requests for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends.   (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 87)

As an active alcoholic, I allowed selfishness to run rampant in my life. I was so attached to my drinking and other selfish habits that people and moral principles came second. Now, when I pray for the good of others rather than my “own selfish ends,” I practice a discipline in letting go of selfish attachments, caring for my fellows and preparing for the day when I will be required to let go of all earthly attachments.

END OF QUOTE

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puppet-master

“Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62)

This Selfishness

What is this particular brand of selfishness that will kill the alcoholic?  It was described in detailed parables on the previous pages, but is summed up at the end of page 61 and the beginning of page 62:

“Our actor is self-centered – ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays. He is like the retired business man who lolls in the Florida sunshine in the winter complaining of the sad state of the nation; the minister who sighs over the sins of the twentieth century; politicians and reformers who are sure all would be Utopia if the rest of the world would only behave; the outlaw safe cracker who thinks society has wronged him; and the alcoholic who has lost all and is locked up. Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?”

1.  Referring back to the parable of the Actor, his world view is all centered around himself ALONE.

2.  The Retired Businessman taking it easy in Florida petting himself, and complaining about the world he has withdrawn from.

3.  The minister whose religion creates a world of me and them, and in this distance sighs over the sins of a time and place he rejects, protected within the walls of his cathedral, Alone and Isolated.

4.  Politicians and Reformers are sure they have the correct ideals and the rest of the world is messing up their Utopian state.  They are thus separated from the very ones they propose to help.  Their ideals insure that they are Isolated and Alone, severed from day to day reality and its struggling citizens.

5.  The thief whose justifications support his crimes by saying that he is especially wronged is thus separated from the world, in a self-imposed exile, alone.

It is this Isolating Selfishness that produces all kinds of social problems.  For the alcoholic  such as myself, it will escort me into a tragic and humiliating end.

Thus our prayers should not reinforce this kind of isolated selfishness.  Turning our attention to the very real suffering of others protects us from this deadly form of isolating selfishness.  We learn to make “no requests for ourselves only” when we are developing our habits of prayer.

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