from "Daily Reflections" by A.A. Members for A.A. Members

Archive for July, 2013

Giving Up Center Stage

For without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all . . . Without it, they cannot live to much useful purpose, or, in adversity, be able to summon the faith that can meet any emergency. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 70

Why do I balk at the word “humility?” I am not humbling myself toward other people, but toward God, as I understand Him. Humility means “to show submissive respect,” and by being humble I realize I am not the center of the universe. When I was drinking, I was consumed by pride and self-centeredness. I felt the entire world revolved around me, that I was master of my destiny. Humility enables me to depend more on God to help me overcome obstacles, to help me with my own imperfections, so that I may grow spiritually. I must solve more difficult problems to increase my proficiency and, as I encounter life’s stumbling blocks, I must learn to overcome them through God’s help. Daily communion with God demonstrates my humility and provides me with the realization that an entity more powerful than I is willing to help me if I cease trying to play God myself. 

 

A Great Turning Point

A great turning point in our lives came when we sought for humility as something we really wanted, rather than as something we must have. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 75

Either the A.A. way of life becomes one of joy or I return to the darkness and despair of alcoholism. Joy comes to me when my attitude concerning God and humility turns to one of desire rather than of burden. The darkness in my life changes to radiant light when I arrive at the realization that being truthful and honest in dealing with my inventory results in my life being filled with serenity, freedom, and joy. Trust in my Higher Power deepens, and the flush of gratitude spreads through my being. I am convinced that being humble is being truthful and honest in dealing with myself and God. It is then that humility is something I “really want,” rather than being “something I must have.”

Toward Peace and Serenity

. . . when we have taken a square look at some of these defects, have discussed them with another , and have become willing to have them removed, our thinking about humility commences to have a wider meaning. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 74

When situations arise which destroy my serenity, pain often motivates me to ask God for clarity in seeing my part in the situation. Admitting my powerlessness, I humbly pray for acceptance. I try to see how my character defects contributed to the situation. Could I have been more patient? Was I intolerant? Did I insist on having my own way? Was I afraid? As my defects are revealed, I put self-reliance aside and humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings. The situation may not change, but as I practice exercising humility, I enjoy the peace and serenity which are the natural benefits of placing my reliance in a power greater than myself. 

I am an Instrument

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 70

The subject of humility is a difficult one. Humility is not thinking less of myself than I ought to; it is acknowledging that I do certain things well, it is accepting a compliment graciously.

God can only do for me what He can do through me. Humility is the result of knowing that God is the doer, not me. In the light of this awareness, how can I take pride in my accomplishments? I am an instrument and any work I seem to be doing is being done by God through me. I ask God on a daily basis to remove my shortcomings, in order that I may more freely go about my A.A. business of “love and service.” 

An Ever-Growing Freedom

The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out from ourselves toward others and toward God.~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 76

When I finally asked God to remove those things blocking me from Him and the sunlight of the Spirit, I embarked on a journey more glorious than I ever imagined. I experienced a freedom from those characteristics that had me wrapped up in myself. Because of this humbling Step, I feel clean.

I am especially aware of this Step because I’m now able to be useful to God and to my fellows. I know that He has granted me strength to do His bidding and has prepared me for anyone, and anything, that comes my way today. I am truly in His hands, and I give thanks for the joy that I can be useful today.