Endigar 685 ~ Our Common Welfare Comes First

From the Daily Reflections of January 31;

The unity of Alcoholics Anonymous is the most cherished quality our Society has. . . . We stay whole, or A.A. dies.  (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 129).

Our Traditions are key elements in the ego deflation process necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. The First Tradition reminds me not to take credit, or authority, for my recovery. Placing our common welfare first reminds me not to become a healer in this program; I am still one of the patients. Self-effacing elders built the ward. Without it, I doubt I would be alive. Without the group, few alcoholics would recover.

The active role in renewed surrender of will enables me to step aside from the need to dominate, the desire for recognition, both of which played so great a part in my active alcoholism. Deferring my personal desires for the greater good of group growth contributes toward A.A. unity that is central to all recovery. It helps me to remember that the whole is greater than the sum of all its parts.

 

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The necessity for ego deflation in the 12 Step program has been a difficult thing for me to grasp. It sounded like an approach that would enslave me to my depression and it was too similar to the self-castigation of churchianity to trust. The best I was able to give AA was a begrudging compliance.

And yet I know that this process is used in Buddhism, in the military, and in BDSM, which are systems I have some level of respect for. My days sequestered in the monastery of religious fear allowed me to grasp the difference between pride (which God did not like) and confidence (which God sought to inspire). I understand that to reap the benefits of a system, one must surrender. Compliance leads to self-deception. I know and have experienced this.  I know that to build something new and powerful, the present structure must be surrendered to destruction. I must break down and then build back up under the directed vision of my Higher Power.  This is the only way I know that I can achieve an alignment between my inner ego and that outer Ego of Gomu (God of my understanding).

Photo Credit:  Katie H.

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