After my AA wake-up call this summer, I am continuing to learn about the Concepts that are part of our program. Listening to women who practice the Concepts as well as the Steps and Traditions has given me some new ideas about best practices in my daily life.
Concept Four is an example. It is about participation. In our organization it means everyone has an opportunity to participate and it asks that solutions can be arrived at by participation rather than rule or rote. I can practice Concept Four in my life by asking: Am I participating? Am I part of the solution—rather than the problem? Or rather than being a smarty-pants about any problem and going on about the right thing to do—am I doing what needs to be done? It also suggests that I can gain enhanced recovery by participating in meetings (raise my hand), participating in service (make coffee or at least help clean up), participating in 12 step work (this does slip away when we have been around a while).
The concept of participation applies in my family and relationship life as well. I find myself grumbling—to myself—that I want more romance. So am I participating in making that? Am I participating in stabilizing the family finances? Am I participating actively in making my relationship feel safe?
The wonder is that recovery keeps unfolding. Three months ago I knew nothing about the Concepts of AA and now I have new language and new ideas to help me become “Happy, Joyous and Free.”