Big Book p.62 paragraphs 1 and 2: (para 1)”Selfishness–self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. ….(para 2) “So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves….Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! …. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God’s help.”
If we dissect the Third Step and Set-Aside prayers, we will find nine-tenths of the solution to our problems. Knowing what the root of our addiction is–selfishness and self-centeredness (i.e. we want to be liked, loved, and respected by all)– is the last one-tenth of the solution.
Q1) Write on that. Write on the magnitude of how that desire to be liked by all wrecks healthy
intimacy with others.
Q2) Write again on “Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity…” There are truly so many variations of forms of fear, etc.
Q3) Write: “I set the ball in motion to be hurt.
BB p. 62 para 1 says again and again and again that ‘I set the ball in motion to be hurt’ by making “decisions based on self”.
Stephanie learned to say, when she feels hurt by someone: ‘What have I done to hurt or harm you?’ to the person she feels hurt by – because it’s a subjective perception that causes broken relationships. And Stephanie doesn’t want any broken relationships in her life. (Does that mean Stephanie will keep these people in her life? Not necessarily.)
Q4) Write on Big Book p. 62 paragraph 2(the entire paragraph): “So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. ….Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God’s help.”
Q5) Are you there- knowing that you need God’s help?
Hopefully, at the end of this workshop, you will be able to pass on the message and not your mess. My job is to walk alongside of you, for you to admit what your problem is, and then to live in the solution – no longer to moan about the problem. And finally- to pass it (the solution) on and help others.
The first step of the solution is the Third Step prayer.
If you dissect it, it has every bit of the solution:
(a) dissect the problem (b)pass it on to the God of your understanding and then (c) live in the solution.
The second step is the Set-Aside prayer:
To be teachable and humble. Remembering that we do not know, we must go to God. Thus we can never pretend that we know, with our egos, what is good for someone else (i.e. a sponsee).
These two prayer directives are nine-tenths of the solution.
The last one-tenth is really looking at our character defects and making amends.
Living in Step Ten, constantly taking inventory, equals ‘living in the solution’- looking at only our side of the street, at what WE do when others do to us what bother us.
If your problem (addiction) brings you to your knees it has done its job.
Big Book p. 61 beginning of last paragraph THROUGH p.62 end of 1st whole paragraph:
“Our actor is self-centered—ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays. ….Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, sel-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.”
Today’s Soul Work:
Look up: fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, self-pity, retaliate, provocation
Q1) Take the last paragraph on p. 61 of the Big Book and dissect it.
( “Our actor is self-centered…Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?”)
Take the businessman, politician, minister and the safe cracker and write how you used your addiction like they did to keep yourself alive.
“Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.”
Q2) Write about the root of our problems in comparison to the root of a plant – which we learn, in biology, is what the whole living organism depends on — the root, that is.
“Driven by a hundred forms of fear…”
Q3) Write about the fear- that I am not going to get what I want.
“Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.”
Get down into your core and do soul-surgery on this selfishness and self-centeredness.
How can you recover?- via an Action Plan!
Ask God: How can I best serve thee?. Thy will not mine. God will show you action plans that will help you help others. And when you help others you will get the reward you were always looking for when you were demanding people give you everything.
Q4) Really look at your ‘hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking and self-pity’.
Look up these words and personalize them by listing your ‘hundred forms’ of each and going into them. Dig deep.
Once you realize that you have set the ball in motion to be hurt, take this statement:
‘I have set the ball in motion to be hurt’ and start getting into the habit of looking at yourself (instead of looking at others and thinking ‘ woe is me’). You will be so much better off.
Q5) What did you do to set the ball in motion? Was it your look, your action, your word (i.e. a slight)?
Stephanie doesn’t agree with many old timers’ belief that once recovered, the process of ‘recovery’ ends.
Says Stephanie: Recovery never ends. It just gets deeper, deeper, and deeper.
(Mark Houston and Joe Hawk said: ‘We learn and learn and learn’ throughout the 25 years they ran workshops.)
And she doesn’t want an overview anymore- which is what happens when you read a lot more pages (i.e. a whole chapter) of the Big Book at one meeting. She wants the real meat, which is why she’s happy to go slow, word by word- because every word has so much meaning.
(week 133) 17 July 2014 All Addictions Big Book Step Study workshop
Big Book last paragraph on page 61: Our actor is self-centred… until end of paragraph ‘…Are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?’
12stepstudyworkshop.weebly.com for recording of this meeting. The playback number is: 641 715 3900 pin 95666#
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Stephanie Whiting P.O. Box 531 North Pembroke, MA 02358
Q1. Pages 60-62. Read them every day to really understand what our problems in life have been. They are powerful and very important providing the answer to any ‘why’ questions about our addictions and co-dependency.
Our actor is self-centred – ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays.
Q2. If it is true (and its a tough statement to say about yourself) can you put your name over the word ‘actor’ ?
b) Do you feel comfortable doing that.
c) How does it make you react?
Q3. How are you with asking God for guidance versus trying to do things on your own willpower?
b) When you receive God’s guidance to go to the left (and know that going to the right would self-centred and egocentric) are you going to God for help or are you trying to do everything on willpower?
c) Do you even care when you are told by God that to go to the right is selfish and to go to the left is unselfish? You can really explore that. This is key as in the fourth step will write out whenever you went to the right: I am resentful at… then going to do a turn around and look at your own self-nature. It is the only way you can get recovery.
Q3a). Are you negative or positive? Do you look at life as a half empty glass like this retired businessman: complain and do nothing?
For example: Do you complain about your husband/children/job and do nothing to change yourself to be more loving?
Qb) Do you instead just say: Whatever happens I am going to handle it with a positive attitude?
Q4 Do you think there is anybody in your life (e.g. your spouse, psychologist, etc) or in your step one fellowship that you can jump on their back and things will be better?
[If you do, you have God as nothing. God is either everything or God is nothing. We cannot rest on somebody else doing our changing. If we see something that needs to be changed we have to do something. We cannot just sit back in an armchair and say it is wrong].
Q5. Fourth Step Preparation
Purchase a comfortable pen for all the writing you will be doing.
And a large (2.5-3 inches thick) three ring folder along with spare punched hole sheets and coloured dividers.
[Stephanie will be sending out lots of handouts. A spiral notebook will not work. And also need this format later as a document for your teaching others how to go through the steps.]
b) Print out the new member list and put it in the front of the folder.
[Will need these numbers to get encouragement for fourth step writing when feel resistant.]
Stephanie really believes Bill Wilson had a direct relationship with God when he wrote the Big Book and that the Big Book was meant to be adapted to all different forms of addictions.
She will help anybody with any addiction.
(But remember says Stephanie: Respect each Fellowship meeting’s particular singleness-of-purpose and speak only about that addiction for which they are grouped together.)
(week 132) 10 July 2014 12 Step Study All Addictions Big Book Workshop
Big Book 4th line of page 61:
‘In trying to make these arrangements our actor may be quite virtuous….
until end of next paragraph:
’Is he not, even in his best moment, a producer of confusion rather than harmony?’
Step 3 commitments:
Stephanie will keep taking Third Step commitments, one before 8am EST for those who can come on conference call a few minutes early and two commitments after the workshop. For those who cannot make the live meeting, you may commit privately by phone. Contact her to set this up. That said, Stephanie encourages whoever can to commit in front of the group as it is a powerful experience for the individual and the group.
firstname.lastname@example.org or call or preferably text: : 617 774 7916
Draw a box around each word you look up in the Big Book.
This is so you will know you have the definition when going through it with a sponsee, so you can either tell them what it means or have them look it up.
What usually happens is the show usually doesn’t come off very well.
1a) Can you relate to that?
b) He begins to think life doesn’t treat him right. Can you relate to that?
He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying.
Q2. Have you ever been self-piteous?
Q3a). Do you agree that: Attitude is 99.9 percent of life and .0.1 percent is what happens? Write about this.
b) Stephanie will go to any lengths to keep her attitude positive and out of the victim mentality. What about you?
Stephanie considers self-pity to be the Cancer of the Soul, the ultimate of selfishness and self-centeredness and teaches us that we must walk away in love, brotherly and sisterly (spiritual) love, also known as AGAPE, from people who have hurt us. This agape comes from God. Say to yourself in such situations where you feel the victim: I don’t have it in me to love _______ at this point. But, with God’s help, I can love them.
Q4. Tell your study buddy or group your story with self-pity.
‘He decides to exert himself more. He becomes on the next occasion, still more demanding or gracious, as the case may be. Still the play does not suit him. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame.’
Q5a). In the margin next to ‘exert himself’ write control more.
b) Above gracious write “manipulative”.
c) Above ‘play’ write ‘life’.
d) After the word ‘fault’ write ‘but’ (‘but’ cancels out the first part of the sentence).
Q6. Write about how blame and self-pity ruined your life. (Big Book is the direct opposite of allowing yourself victim mentality and blaming someone else.]
Q7. When you live blaming somebody else you become their victim. You put yourself in their jail and they (not you) hold the key. We become angry, indignant and self-pitying. Look at these words in turn. Do they apply to you? Yes or No.
Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well?
Q8. Write as much as you can on your experience of playing God.
This is the key to your fourth step: looking at your delusion of trying to control people, places, things and yourself.
Do you know you are powerless and that no human power can change the situation?
[Stephanie: “I tried everything to try to play God and get my life the way I wanted it. And my life became an absolutely train wreck. People were not speaking to me, really disliking me. They owned me emotionally. My delusion ended up with my being physically, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. And it was all a delusion. But I did not know that. I could not come up with something in this world to change the situation however much I kept trying and going to diets, people, professionals. And then I came to the end of myself. I came to the end of human intervention. I finally came to the end of knowing I could find an answer. I knew I could not. And that was my white light experience. I started really seeking God as the dying seek life preservers. That is my message as your sponsor and above all as a human being: the a) b) and c) of page 60:
I am powerless, no human power could relieve me and God could and would if He were sought.”
(week 131) 3 July 2014 12-step Study Big Book All Addictions workshop
Big Book The last paragraph of page 60 finishing on page 61
‘The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success…… But as with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.’
Step 3 commitments:
Stephanie will keep taking Third Step commitments, one before 8am EST for those who can come on conference call a few minutes early and two commitments after the workshop. For those who cannot make the live meeting, you may commit privately by phone.
Contact her for an appointment to do so. But she encourages whoever can to commit in front of the group because of the powerfulness of the experience.
email@example.com or cell: 617 774 7916
Q1 Write down what it is to make a decision and have an action plan.
Q2. Do you hear the music that God is giving you? Do you dance to God’s music or are you fighting it?
Q3. How do you reconcile the Third Step with praying, planning, protecting and the spirit of the third step.
Circle ‘if only’
Q4 How much time did you waste on ‘if only’. What are your ‘if only’s’ today?
Q5.Do you still live with that lie that if only people would do what we hoped life would be great?
The biggest number one lie we tell ourselves is if only (fill in the blank) would do as I wish, my life would be great. Write about that.
Q6 How can you turn your life over to God and want to play God by wishing people, situations corporations and culture were different? [This is really a good place to really examine your belief system].
Q7 We are at the turning point. Are you willing to smash your old way of thinking and really come into living Let Go and Let God?
Look up: virtuous.
Q7. Do you know a truly virtuous person? A person who really is kind, considerate, patient, modest, self-sacrificing all without a motive. without a motive. List people. Then get to know them. Invite them into your inner circle and have them as a role model in your life.
[You don’t put them on a pedestal as they are not always going to have these traits as nobody is perfect, but they basically live their life without a selfish, self-centered motive].
Q8a). List and write about a time when you were kind considerate, self-sacrificing without a motive. Then write a prayer thanking God.
b) Write an example of when you were kind considerate with a motive. How did it turn out?
How did you feel when you realised you really had a motive?
c) Write a prayer asking God to help you change that situation.
[You may need to make an amend to God, to yourself, the other person we hurt or harmed and you may want to talk about it with somebody].
d) List somebody in your life that is mean, egotistical, selfish, you may be listing yourself. How can you be kind considerate, modest self-sacrificing with this person?
When we can have no motive and really live a virtuous life with these type of people we will have 1) joy and 2) be recovered – from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.
Our addiction stems from our mind. It stems from our selfishness and self-centeredness and when we can be kind to those who are mean and egotistical then we have recovered. We have the armor of being totally indifferent to our addictive substances. When writing the Big Book they knew this way of life was the answer to alcoholism. Unfortunately the real truth doesn’t get told very often. We are told a lot of emotional and physical tools that will help us to be recovered and they are absolutely wonderful to help us recover physically, but they only give us momentary emotional relief. They don’t cure the underlying emotional imbalance which is the spiritual malady called selfishness and self-centeredness.
Our live phone meetings are every Thursday at 8:00 AM EST. The phone number for these live meetings is (712) 775-7031, and the meeting ID number is 714744988#.
P O Box 531
North Pembroke MA 02358
You can listen to our recorded meetings at (641) 715-3900, pin 95666# for our Thursday Big Book Step Study workshop. You can also hear our Tuesday Big Book Study recordings at (641) 715-3900, pin 298913#. These meetings can be accessed at any time.