Even after years of continuous sobriety, Step 1 of the AA program is as relevant today for me as it was back in 1981. They called it “self-will run riot” at the meeting tables. We, if we were honest about our situation, could heartily agree with the unmanageable existence that had become everyday life under the control of alcohol.
But, there had to be more than merely admitting that we had a drinking problem and that our lives were unmanageable. We had to change who we were, how we processed life situations. We had to change our thinking and our priorities. It was not easy. Many did not make the transition and returned to old ways under the clutches of addiction.
So, you might ask, “what made the difference, why would some succeed while others slipped back into drinking?”
SURRENDER. Surrendering to the wisdom at the meeting tables, to those who cared enough to share their stories, to those who sat up into the wee morning hours to guide us through moments of weakness, to the inspiration given in the writings of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, and finally to a power greater than us – that Higher Power which appears under innumerable names and philosophies. We had to surrender everything which told us that we were special and unique, separate from the gutter drunk or the teenaged hustler on the street corner. We had to accept that “but for the grace of God, there go I.”
Have I surrendered today? Have I turned over all my concerns, all my fears, all my prejudices, all my doubts and insecurities? Have you?
We are told that we no longer need to live lives of continual turmoil. We don’t need to worry about the stock market, about wars in distant lands, about turmoil in our country, about pandemics that could kill us because ultimately we do not have control over anything outside the heart and soul that comfort us. We, if we have surrendered, trust in the goodness of humanity and the grace of a Higher Power. It is the only pathway to internal peace. Internal peace is the only pathway to a world of peace. Worrying contradicts surrender and robs us of peace. What’s our choice going to be?
A favorite passage from the book of Luke tells me:
“…can any of you, for all your worrying, add a single moment to the span of your life?” LUKE 12:25-26