One of the most difficult challenges I’ve faced over the years is fighting that intense distortion of thought that tells me I have arrived. I have reached the pinnacle of knowledge and wisdom in AA, and all the words that fall from my lips need to be etched in stone. This twist in thinking tells me I have it all figured out, and know the precise path for those struggling alcoholism/addiction to follow if they want to be healed.
While a lot of my strategies and automatic reflexes when faced with spiritual or recovery based questions may be based in truth, they are only a truth from my minuscule experience in life, instead of a universal blanket covering all potentials. The AA Big Book says on p.xxi : “Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly”. I have had this notion firmly engrained into my being after years of being in Recovery. There are many roads that may all eventually lead to a place of connection and freedom.
It is ever so easy to fall victim to this type of insane thought that you have it all figured out. The courageously men who have had the patience to work with me in my early years and still to this day, have highlighted this draw of arrival mentality insane. It is a lie the ego nibbles on in hopes of satiating its ferocious appetite.
Setting a regular intention out to the world, a prayer of changed perspective, to help you stay grounded in Recovery will take regular effort.
Below is one simple way to remind yourself of the humility that will need to maintained. We who have walked this long period of reconstruction in Recovery in AA urge you to stay green.
A humble man’s prayer:
God, keep me from the habit of thinking I must at share every meeting no matter what the topic.
Remind me to keep still when I feel that it is necessary to share my thoughts “just for some one’s own good”.
Release me from the need to straighten out everybody else’s thinking and program.
God, I ask for the grace and patience to listen to newcomers. Please help me to remember the kindness and open minds that were present for me when I was new.
Remind me that my purpose is to fit myself to be of maximum service to You and the people around me.
Help me to remain teachable. Teach me (again!) the lesson that, occasionally, it is possible that I may be wrong and then remind me of the freedom that I gain when I promptly admit it and make amends where necessary.
Help me to remember the difference between making amends and saying I’m sorry.
Keep me ever mindful that I cannot manage my own life. I don’t want to be a saint, God, show me the way to seek you so that I may continue to grow along spiritual lines.
Remind me to not take myself too seriously. Keep me free of gossip, character assassination, and judgement.
Remind me that although I have humbly asked for their removal, my character defects and shortcomings often arise when I least expect it.
Help me to walk with serendipity, to see good things in unexpected places. Help me to see talents in unexpected people and give me the inspired thought to tell them so.
Help me to see that You love each of Your children, and that You do not need my opinion of them or suggestions on what they might deserve.
We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us. p. 95 AA Big Book