With the drink issue solved for today, we are facing life without alcohol. That is mostly great news. But remember, now we don’t have alcohol to numb our emotions and help us cope with what happens today.
Our personal life is often unpredictable. It may not always be smooth sailing or seem to go the way we prefer. As a result, our innermost self or spirit may become emotionally disturbed. When disturbed we are in danger of reacting. We need a way to treat emotional disturbances. Also during the day we may face indecision as to what action to take. We need a way to get meaningful directions so that we can respond to indecision in constructive ways.
AA suggests another simple practice to handle both emotional disturbance & indecision. This practice will develop emotional sobriety and responsibility to help us face our lives successfully. Here it is-
At all times of emotional disturbance or indecision we pause, ask for quiet and in the stillness put our attention on the serenity prayer. This means we stop, get calm and consider what needs to be accepted and what can be changed. Pg. 41 Twelve & Twelve
This method is mentioned over and over in AA literature and always comes down to doing three simple things:
2. Get calm.
3. Ask for an inspired thought or idea on how to respond to the situation.
Pausing and getting calm is important so that we can avoid unwanted reactions. When we pause and get calm we come back to our innermost self or spirit, so we can consider our options more clearly before acting. Suggestions on how to get calm include pausing and focusing your attention on your breathing until you feel calm. Or, pausing and focusing your attention on what it means to be serene, using descriptions and imagery until you feel calm. Or, use another practice that works for you as long as it calms your mind and emotions.
Here are some of the passages in AA literature that refer to this practice:
As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. Pg. 87 Alcoholics Anonymous
In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. Pg. 86 Alcoholics Anonymous
What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Pg. 87 Alcoholics Anonymous
Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. Pg. 85 Alcoholics Anonymous
Just as we do as we think God would have us do, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity. Pg. 68 Alcoholics Anonymous
Congratulations, you now have a simple way to handle emotional disturbance and indecision so that you can face your life successfully. This practice fulfills steps 10 & 11. It also fulfills steps 1, 2 & 3.