Sunday, September 13, 2015

AA is a Technology for Change

There are moments when twelve-step recovery can feel old-fashioned. The Big Book language sometimes feels dated, and the prayers—with their “thee” and “thou” can feel almost archaic. But in fact, twelve-step recovery has become a fabulous technology.

Today, I am in the midst of working through yet another character defect that has just come into my awareness (and which surely others have seen in me for ages) I was thinking, “Well, now what do I do with this part of me?”

And the wonderful thing is that I realized that I knew exactly what to do. I needed to pray

about it, write about it, talk about it –first with my sponsor and with close recovery friends, then talk about it carefully in a meeting, then more openly in another meeting—all the while writing in my journal, spending more time in prayer and meditation, and setting some mini goals around the change I’d like to see.

While I’m not changed --this defect has some deep tentacles and a long history—I’m so grateful that I have a reliable and remarkable process for change. And I have a way of thinking about making changes. As usual, I catch myself wanting to clear up this defect so I can be a nicer person, then I remember that is not why we root out these “shortcomings.”

We don’t do steps 6, 7, 8, 9 and ten so we can be more likable or so that others will think well of us. Nope, we do this work so that we are better tools (yes, tools!) to be used by God—our Higher Power—for his will, and his purposes. 

We have this incredible mechanism, this detailed and linear process –with specific tasks and recommendations that really works whether we are trying to not drink, not swear, not gossip or not be a know-it-all. Technology is the application of knowledge for practical purposes and we have that. In twelve-step recovery we have a time-tested technology for change and growth. And we have a grand, international community that shares our goals and who are happy to help us.

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