I often struggle to “… practice these principles in all (my) affairs.”
I catch myself lately being swept up in the chaos of the holidays, already. I am overwhelmed by my own cranky moods, I have taken out my irritation on those around me, my impatience comes out in short bursts of frustration at work… I am not happy, joyous and free all of the time. I am getting away from the serenity which this program so freely offers me.
The thing is – I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the steps and the traditions of this program have guided me into a better life. I know that they are the bedrock upon which I have, and continue to build a life which I am proud of – becoming the person that I always wanted to be and was always meant to be. But that doesn’t mean that it has become second nature to me to live my life by the program, despite my best intentions. There is this wonderful quote, from the book ‘Drop the Rock’ (which is a great accompaniment to 6th and 7th step work) and I have it taped to my bathroom mirror, so that I can see it every morning when I am getting ready to go out into the world.
“In the arena of human life, the honours and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.”
I taped this up there months ago, when working my 6 and 7 with my sponsor, and for awhile I read it every morning – it reminded me to go through my day and approach people, situations, tasks and life in general as the person that I want to be – the person that I know that I am. It was a gentle reminder that I am able to make the next right decision. I find that lately, as the edges of this paper wear curled, I look to it less and less often. I so easily fall back into my old patterns, old behaviors and old thinking. I do not come down on myself for this though – these paths of behavior and thinking are worn down in my mind. I tread them heavily, with lead feet and without looking up to see where I was going, for many years. AA has helped me to lift my head. Now, I am moving forward with intention and awareness. Sobriety allows me to look at the places I have been or where I am heading, without fear. So no – I do not always practice all of these wonderful principles in every aspect of my life, but I certainly do see the beauty and reward when I do. I am so grateful that this program encourages PROGRESS and not perfection.
As long as I continue to try and continue to make the next right choice – as long as I stay sober and keep my head up moving forward –
I know that I am carving new paths and am on the right road, to the life that is meant for me.