Thank you Anne!
I do know that you are not trying to be difficult.
And, I'm sure that you know the same about me.
I will be most happy to write about applying the 12 Steps to both, the flat tire and the disturbance... (if there is or was one). Of course, it wouldn't be necessary to apply the 12 Steps... if there wasn't a disturbance.
And, I would assume that if a person is in such spiritual condition "in the moment", that the flat tire didn't bother them, they probably do already have all the peace of mind, serenity, patience, tolerance and acceptance that they would need to meet the situation in peace.
An example (which I wasn't going to mention here -- at least one of the examples that I wasn't going to mention
This weekend I had the time of my life at an A.A. convention. It was absolutely wonderful! On the way home -- my transmission started leaking transmission fluid -- warning lights came on -- and I stopped to put some fluid in it and hoped that it would fix it. No big deal. I did feel grateful that it wasn't a bigger problem... but, acceptance didn't even cross my mind.
About 10 miles down the road... I stopped and bought a few quarts of transmission fluid... to be sure that I wouldn't get stuck in a situation without it. It was hard to find the fluid I needed, and I thought the store should have had a better selection... but, no big deal. And, acceptance didn't even cross my mind.
About 15 more miles down the road... on the Interstate... transmission fluid started spewing out... warning lights came on... and tons of smoke that looked as if my car was on fire... started blowing from the car.
No big deal. Maybe I was on fire. I didn't know. I didn't get upset or distrubed. And, acceptance was the last thing on my mind.
I pulled to the side of the highway to see how bad the damage was and simply made a decision that it would be a better investment to call a tow truck rather than to drive the car.
My cell phone wouldn't work in the remote area that we finally landed. I borrowed a friend's cell phone... and his phone worked just fine. I called another friend in the city that I live in, and asked them to contact a certain tow company and inquire how much it would cost for them to come and get me and how long I would be waiting.
No problem. Three hour wait and a bunch of money. Not distrubed. Acceptance didn't even cross my mind. I informed my friend that we would probably be home by 10 pm, and we were going to have to wait.
An intuitive thought came to mind that I should move the car further away from the highway. Good thought! 10 minutes later... a truck rolled up right where my car had been sitting. Had the car been in the same spot... it's possible that it could have been hit. No problem. No thought of acceptance.
Ten minutes after the ten minutes... a big truck, with a trucker in obvious road-rage was inches away from the tailgate of a trailer that was being pulled by a small car, with a family inside. The small car couldn't move over because another big truck was blocking it from moving over. The trucker was yelling and honking his horn (like an alcoholic who needed a drink... or a sober person who needed some acceptance!) ... and appeared to be scaring the crap out of the family with kids in the car.
I did become disturbed at the trucker and, once again, acceptance didn't cross my mind! I would rather have seen him arrested for assault with a big truck and terroristic threatening. However, I was grateful that I was sitting beside the road... or I might have tangled up with the big truck, and it would be someone else writing this! (If it got written).
Earlier in the day, when I left the convention... I had decided to go a longer route home. About 30 miles away from the convention... going around a curve... suddenly in front of me I saw in the road, a motorcycle that had been cut in half, one rider was face down and not moving and the other rider was face up and barely moving a leg.
Debris was still blowing in the air... the accident had just happened. I slammed on my brakes and pulled off the road and got out of my car to see if I could help. No thought of acceptance. I was worried for the two riders and was afraid of seeing what I was seeing. My first thought was "I'm going to have nightmares over this one!"
There wasn't anything I could do to help. EMS had been notified. They were on their way. Other people had blocked the traffic so that it wouldn't move in either direction and run over the riders or the accident scene. This was another very remote area... and I estimated that it would be at least a couple of hours waiting for the accident to be cleaned up and the injured persons to be removed. I didn't think of acceptance but I sure was experiencing gratitude that I wasn't one of the riders and that I wasn't in the middle of the accident. Once again, I didn't think about acceptance.
I decided to turn around and go back to the original way I was going to leave to go home. It would take another 60 miles. I didn't think about acceptance, I just made a u-turn and headed the other way.
Then... I ended up on the highway waiting for the tow truck!
I didn't think about acceptance. I was having some sensitive thoughts and memories of past similar situations... felt some sadness, but mostly what I was feeling was gratitude... and I wasn't trying to feel gratitude... it was just naturally happening.
So... I didn't think about acceptance... but I was aware of all the goodies from Step 10 that I was getting as I was automatically practicing Steps 10 & 11 in the situation. Steps 10 & 11 kick in, most of the time, automatically, because I've disciplined myself at using them. I was calm. I had serenity. I had peace of mind. I wasn't disturbed. I was reacting sanely and normally. I wasn't fighting anyone or anything. I wasn't resisting. I wasn't denying anything. I hadn't harmed anyone and my actions were not a result of character defects... so, my natural thing to do, was to see how I could be more effective and understanding. I was watching, listening and paying attention... as I was automatically asking "God? What is your will for me in this? Is there anything I can do to help?"
So... sorry to get away from the theoretical flat tire
I just thought that perhaps sharing my experience in a real non-theoretical situation might be a clue as to how I would probably handle the theoretical flat tire!
If someone were to say to me "Well, see!!! You had acceptance!" That's fine with me.... I didn't see it that way!
I saw me doing some other stuff... that's specifically mentioned in Steps 10 & 11.
Now... there was a time in my life... my sober-life...
that I hadn't been making consistent persistent disciplined efforts to make Steps 10 & 11 a habit... so that I could respond "automatically."
During the pre-phase of my development
I was trying to get patience, acceptance, to show love, to show tolerance... and really work hard at trying to "accept things I could not change."
And, I wasn't getting anywhere with it! It was too much of a struggle! And, when ever I would get things like "acceptance"... it would faintly linger... and was always sure to pass!
However... disciplining myself with the Steps or as page 88 would read:
"So we let God discipline us in the simple way that we have just outlined."
What does that mean? What was just outlined? It was Eleven of the Twelve Steps!
And, how do I let God discipline me? Through the Eleven Steps.... that were just outlined. And, then... the Eleven Steps provide a foundation and structure to my day to day living.
This is also written about and explained in the first couple of paragraphs on Step 10, in the 12 & 12.
And, when I do that... I begin to respond automatically... in positive ways... without having to think about it. I am not living what I have learned, day by day, in fair weather and in foul! And, the first Nine Steps prepared me for this way of living.
I'm not sure if I should mention this or not... it will probably start another discussion topic...
But, "I'm not powerless over the flat tire!" And, "I'm not powerless over the transmission."
I realize that some 12 Step Fellowships are "powerless over people places and things".... and, I've even heard some A.A.'s who've adopted a way of living as "powerless over people, places and things" ... but, that is not the A.A. program of recovery.
I'm powerless over alcohol. (Step 1).
Thanks for letting me share!
Next time... I'll share about using the entire 12 Steps to remove the disturbance...
Note: I'll proof read and edit this later for errors! Gotta go!