If you take the moth drawn to a flame analogy, I’m drawn to information. If the information is spiritual truth, it lights my path and helps me change. I’m busy consuming it, memorizing it, unpacking it, studying it. Then just when most people would be done with it… I want to share it. That’s probably why I love AA meetings… all that sharing of struggles and learning about truth. It’s also why I blog.
In the previous post I quoted the passage on page 86 about night-time reflections and meditation in the AA Big Book. That was just the intro. I’m excited today to be able to unpack that.
Before I start I want to thank T, the recovering alcoholic who gave it to me when I was floundering in my own confusion.
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day, says page 86. In other words, we stop each night.
We go over the actions and thoughts of the entire day. If you’re like me, the most negative thing probably jumps out first. Which category does your negative item fall under?
- Were we resentful?
- Were we selfish?
- Were we dishonest?
- Were we afraid?
The next suggestion on page 86 is Do we owe an apology? If we do, it’s best to take care of it right now. Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once?
I’ve found this to be difficult when I’m all pajama’d up and ready to sleep. I don’t feel like calling someone and saying what should’ve been said earlier in the day.
Good news: the more often I follow page 86, the less often I have to backtrack at bedtime! I get in the habit of taking care of things as they come up. That also guarantees me a better day instead of having things piling up around my ankles, like heavy boots when you’re trying to swim.
The next part of the message deals with my selfish thinking:
- Were we kind and loving toward all?
- What could we have done better?
- Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time?
- Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?
A quick review of my day and I know how I did. Maybe not too well. That could lead to shame and blame pitfalls. Bill isn’t suggesting that we give ourselves a hard time about our selfish nature. I’m selfish as are most alcoholics. Page 62 says, Sefishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.
I admit to being self-centered. I don’t want to continue to be self-centered. With God’s grace, I’m able to make small steps away from that dead zone.
But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others, says Bill. If I had written that sentence I would have said, for that would make me miserable! See how a selfish alcoholic mind works?
Being of service to others is one of the main goals of recovering alcoholics. Where I used to cause pain and fear in others, now I wish to make life better for people around me.Drowning in my self-centered lifestyle, I was unaware of how to save myself. But now, it’s one of the main reasons I write this blog. I hope to help one other person.
After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. Here’s the application:
- Part 1: confession of my wrongs (agreeing with God that I fall short and telling Him specifically what I have done or not done today)
- Part 2: asking Him what I can do differently or what I can do to correct things.
Obviously this may take more than a few minutes when we first practice it. It’s worth it. Everyone who’s tried it (that I’ve talked to) is enthusiastic about the results of this nightly process.
I use it. I love it. It’s saved my skin more than a few times. It’s like a buoy in the troubled waters for this recovering alcoholic. Thanks T…I still cling to it. Always have. Always will.