(week 162) 5 February 2015 12-Step Study Big Book All Addictions Workshop
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Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous from bottom of page 65 to top of page 66:
We went back through our lives. Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty. When we were finished we considered it carefully. The first thing apparent was that this world and its people were often quite wrong. To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome was that people continued to wrong us and we stayed sore. Sometimes it was remorse and then we were sore at ourselves. But the more we fought and tried to have our own way, the worse matters got. As in war the victor only seemed to win. Our moments of triumph were short-lived.
We’re an All Addictions Big Book Step-Study workshop, all inclusive.
We’re all equal and there’s only One that can put Stephanie together and that’s God.
We need to have patience, kindness, compassion and above all – helpfulness! We need to be helpful to each other and says Stephanie, “I want, my goal is, to teach you to be helpful to others to open this Big Book and go through it. I don’t believe that keeping this Big Book tight to my bosom is what this process is all about. I believe it’s all about giving it away.”
Today’s reading: BB p.65 bottom paragraph (after chart) – end of same para p.66:
“We went back through our lives. Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty. When we were finished we considered it carefully. …. Our moments of triumph were short-lived.”
If we feel ‘icky’ with someone, uncomfortable, jealous ( even just a tinge) – put them down on our resentment list.
If we’re doing this work half-heartedly, we’ll get half of what we need to get. Hey- maybe that’s all we want. We can always revisit what we did half-heartedly; but why bother to have to do that. ….Stephanie makes no judgement; “you and God have to come to a decision about what’s enough for you today.”
“The first thing apparent was that this world and its people were often quite wrong.”
That attitude, not blaming ourselves, not seeing our part, will keep us from having (good) relationships. Feeling high and mighty sets us up for NO relationships, by murdering others, via even just the gossip in our heads – e.g. ‘I did all of that for them and they didn’t even appreciate it, they didn’t even say thank you, they moved on?!
To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got.
This sentence is very, very important. One of the most important in the Big Book. Not the most important which is: God is everything or God is nothing and the second most important – the a) b) and c) on page 60, but this is really right up there.:
So why do an extensive fourth step the Hyannis way? Because to conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us every got. Without digging deep we won’t see our selfish behavior and will continue to have unacceptable behavior fuelled by self-justification and denial, resulting in a miserable existence which we blame on others and the world.
When we got honest we saw we were so much worse than those we had been judging. Even if it was only a fantasy in our heads. People can tell an attitude an mile away.
You cannot have negativity about someone and not think it is going to come out sideways.
The usual outcome was that people continued to wrong us and we stayed sore . Sometimes it was remorse and then we were sore at ourselves. Write beside this: bondage to self’
A bit of remorse is healthy. But remorse can lead us into unhealthy territory, for example: numbing ourselves out with our drug-of-choice to stuff down our feelings or, the flip side, believing we ‘deserve’ our drug-of-choice because ‘they did that to me’. We also don’t have a right to push our remorseful feelings on others instead of taking the responsibility on ourselves.
Remorse keeps us into “the bondage of self” instead of being ‘built’ (BB p.63/Step Three prayer:
“God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me”) and being helpful (“and to do with me…”) to others.
(Stephanie had remorse over having an abortion. “I pushed it down for thirty years. Then when I brought it back up I had remorse and went overboard with the beating up of myself . Could not stop crying every time I talked about. Remorse was not helpful because I bored everybody to death about the abortion issue. I wanted everybody to know how sorry I was and how against abortion I was. I made the world and its people often quite wrong. Who made Stephanie? God. I now have a sincere regret. I know how I feel about abortion. Do I have a right to push it on other people? No I don’t. And I have been relieved from the remorse by God. And that was a hard, hard one. I wanted to blame the world and its people. Blame the clinic, society, I didn’t want to take responsibility. So I had a really hard time. Today I don’t have a hard time today with my own abortion or others having an abortion whether or not it is legal. It is none of my business. My business is to work with God. If others have remorse and cannot move on, please put them in my life and help me to help them.” )
“But the more we fought and tried to have our own way (with the world and its people), the worse matters got.”
That’s what the turnarounds are all about – to get new eyes to see ourselves, to see our personal “stock-in-trade …to disclose damaged or unsalable goods…”
“As in war, the victor only seemed to win.”
When we have a resentment over someone, it’s because we want domination over that person and somehow they are unwilling to let us have our way. That creates a ‘war’. Someone takes
over, either pleasantly or nastily, but nobody benefits by strong-arming another. The resentment we have is hurting US as much as it’s hurting the other person – even more. We may feel justified but, for an alcoholic, there are no justified resentments. We have to see our part in the resentment. We will balk at first but then we will see the truth.
“Our moments of triumph were short-lived.”
Our moments of judging ourselves right, better than others, were short-lived because we addicts were alone. Harboring resentment shuts us off from “the sunlight of the spirit.”
Note: God always gives us a solution. He never gives us an awareness without giving us a solution. So do not be afraid of facing the truth.
Some extra points about the fourth step process.
Ambition: (It is very close to selfishness.)
What is the overall/big picture you wanted? What expectations did you have?
Pocketbook: How did this cost you money? Affect your ability to earn?
Pride: How did you think other people saw you? Or, How did you see yourself?
Turnaround (write this each time): The only way I am going to see the truth
We have got to uncover our part so we can correct the wrong. As it says in the Big Book, we are going to baulk. We have to be willing to look at ourselves and take responsibility for our actions. Stephanie had a resentment against her father for the majority of her life . And is so grateful that once she did this process that changed so that before the end of his life they were reconciled.
This work works.
If you write something about a resentment and you really feel uncertain Stephanie will go through it with you. Her schedule is tight with volunteer work and she promises to fit everybody in who wants to speak to her.
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