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Only Try

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:38 am
by Timothy3012
This reading from As Bill Sees It (Page 214) is ridiculously full of identification for me. It's an excerpt from AA Comes Of Age and also a piece of a personal letter Bill Wilson wrote to another alcoholic;

''In my teens...I had to be first in everything because in my perverse heart I felt myself the least of God's creatures. I could not accept my deep sense of inferiority, and so I strove...Lead I must - or else. This was the 'all or nothing' kind of demand that later did me in.

I'm glad you are going to try that new job. But make sure that you are only going to 'try'. If you approach the project in the attitude that, 'I must succeed, I must not fail, I cannot fail,' then you practically guarantee the flop which in turn will guarantee a drinking relapse. But if you look at the venture as a constructive experiment only, then all should go well.''

It still amazes me how well Bill Wilson describes the way most alcoholics seem to think about everyday things. I started a new job about 3 months ago and my underlying attitude since I began has been exactly this, 'I CAN'T fail.' This attitude - as Bill suggests it would - has actually worked against me. Putting myself under so much pressure has caused extreme anxiety and panic attacks and made me less able to focus. This all of nothing approach has, in reality, impeded my ability to learn the new job.

On the other hand, there have been many days where I have gone in with the attitude that I just want to enjoy the day and learn what I can if possible. On those days I seem to work better, learn quicker, and exhaust myself less! These days seem to go hand in hand with my spiritual condition - the more I'm trusting that nothing happens in God's world by mistake and that whatever happens is exactly what is meant to happen, the easier I find the work experience.

I'm remembering more and more that I am no longer the director of my life. I tried that for 25 years and all of my experiences have shown me that I am not fit for management over my own affairs! If some situation doesn't go the way I expected, the situation isn't wrong, my expectations were just a bit skewed. I can't really judge what is the right or wrong course anymore, because the truth is that I don't have a clue...

I really like the way Bill puts it at the end, '...look at the venture as a constructive experiment only...' I've ripped the page out of the book and am going to try and read it everyday so I don't forget. This is such a better way of life for an alcoholic like me; I can simply look at the new job as a chance to see what God might do in my life. If it gets difficult, it's simply a great opportunity for growth. If I succeed, it's a great opportunity for gratitude...either way God remains consciously the center of the entire experience.

Life with God at the center seems to provide more peace of mind than I thought possible. For a person tormented by untreated alcoholism for most of his life, peace of mind truly is priceless.

Re: Only Try

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:41 pm
by Brock
...peace of mind truly is priceless.

Thanks Timothy for another of your enjoyable to read and thought provoking posts.

It is my feeling that steps 10 & 11 is our lifetime adventure into gaining more of this precious peace, with words like - “Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime.”

I have found it ‘easy’ to outgrow certain spiritual speakers and writings, but learned from every one, even Joyce Myer on the TV had my attention when I first sobered up. Now with books by writers like Eckhart Tolle, a whole new dimension is opening up. When we start gaining the ability to stop the constant thinking we humans suffer from, and really live moment to moment, a whole new dimension of acceptance, surrender and peace of mind opens up. There is no doubt in my mind that heaven is possible right here on this earth, and peace of mind plays a large part in finding that.

Re: Only Try

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:28 am
by 1Peter5:10
I am a low bottom drunk with 1 year of recovery, (financial) failure for me would come with significant hardship, such as moving onto the street, into a homeless shelter etc.. (Currently I live in a rotten flop house and work a simple McJob common to those we low bottom drunks work in our first year sober.)

I'm not sure about most uses of the word *must,* but I definitely still have the gift of desperation. It is a gift, but I must not bury it (parable of the talents) God has restored in me the firmness, vigor and sobriety I can use to improve lives, mine and others. He didn't give me a Mercedes Benz or a cash. God gave me another chance.

*Must* I suceed? No, but I *must* not squander the gift God gave me. It's probably a one-time offer. :mrgreen: