So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so.
The Role of Self-Will in Our Troubles
Often, our struggles and troubles are rooted in our own actions and choices, stemming from a flawed sense of self-will. This is especially true for alcoholics, who exemplify self-will run riot, though they often fail to recognize it. There is a well-worn cliché that comes to mind: “Never fool yourself… and remember you are the easiest to fool!” This statement captures the deceptive allure of self-will and the ease with which we can delude ourselves.
The Importance of Sponsorship in AA
Within the context of AA, the role of a sponsor and the practice of sponsoring others are crucial. These processes provide an external perspective and guidance that can help us counteract our propensity to deceive ourselves. They enable us to remain principled, reducing the likelihood of succumbing to self-deception.
Remember the AA cliché, “the slip happened long before the drink!” This underscores the idea that the journey towards relapse often begins much earlier than the actual act of drinking. It is a slow and gradual process, marked by internal changes that eventually manifest externally.
Embracing Reality & Serving Others
So, how can we ensure we maintain an open mind towards reality, whether it’s pleasing or disappointing, flattering or unflattering? One profound way to do this is to serve others. By shifting our focus away from our own desires and needs and towards the service of others, we can ground ourselves in reality.
When we serve others, we are challenged to confront reality as it is, not as we would like it to be. This selfless act requires us to embrace both the positive and negative aspects of life, strengthening our resilience and fostering a deeper connection with others.
Moreover, service helps us step outside the confines of our ego, enabling us to connect with our higher power. This shift away from self-centeredness is a key step towards sobriety and a fulfilling life.
In conclusion, the journey towards sobriety isn’t just about avoiding substances—it’s about embracing reality, serving others, and building a life based on principles rather than self-will. By staying open to the truth of our lives and committing ourselves to the service of others, we can navigate the challenges of recovery and build a solid foundation for a sober life.