For most of us, the drink issue has been solved for today and we are facing life without alcohol. That’s great news, but now we don’t have alcohol to help us cope. Our personal life is often unpredictable and at times we may become emotionally overwhelmed or indecisive.
Any problem that comes up can be seen as an emotional disturbance or indecision.
Flat tire? Emotional disturbance. Can’t find your keys? Emotional disturbance. What to do about my job? Indecision. Worried about something? Emotional disturbance. When these come up, A.A. suggests a simple practice that takes us out of ourselves and into our spiritual awareness so we can respond rather than react.
A.A. says this practice is very important because “the other Steps of the A.A. program can be practiced with success only when the following practice is given a determined and persistent trial.” Pg.40 Twelve & Twelve
Here is the Practice: “At all times of emotional disturbance or indecision we pause, ask for quiet and in the stillness say “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Thy will not mine be done.” Pg. 41 Twelve & Twelve
Pausing and getting quiet allows us to become aware of the present. We can accept what is happening without immediately reacting on our “self-will”- which is our emotions or old thinking. Instead, we enter a position of neutrality– safe and protected.
With our self out of the way, we can focus on the serenity prayer. We can consider the words of the prayer slowly and mindfully so their meaning sinks in. When calm and clear headed we can better respond. Some people pause and get calm by focusing on their breathing. Others focus on what the word “serenity” means or visualizing what “being calm” means to them.
When we are calm the answers come easy. If a clear answer doesn’t come right away then we relax, take it easy and hold off from deciding. The answers will come eventually. In time they will often be spontaneous and intuitive. We will just “know what is best to do.”
To summarize, each time we pause, get calm and seek inspiration we are becoming neutral, entering our spirit and maintaining our spiritual condition. Sharing this practice and our experiences with it at meetings will deepen our understanding and help others.
The meeting is open for 10 – 15 minutes for sharing about this practice or questions focused on this practice. The timer is set for 3 minutes, when it beeps please try to wrap up your share with the next minute.
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