It was so refreshing recently for me to read, Chapter 6, Step 6, in the 12 & 12. Dang!!! How could I still have all those character defects and short comings... that I had prayed and asked God to remove from me?
At the end of many meetings, after the closing prayer, often, a circle of members can be heard chanting "It works IF you work it."
My unaided will power will not keep me away from the next drink... and perhaps, this limitation becomes a weakness to the point of thinking that MY will power is useless.
However, it takes ALL of my will power that I can muster, each day, to keep doing what I need to keep doing.... which keeps me away from the next drink.... let alone to take the actions that are required to change my mind, attitude, character, and personality.... and to keep them changed.
Recovery is a full time job of taking right actions. It takes ALL of my will power to take right actions. And, it takes MY consistent EFFORT to make progress. And, I can pursue full time recovery or end up with part time sobriety.
So often, in the 12 & 12, and in the Big Book, Bill warns about "resting on our laurels" and what happens if we do.
I never get calls between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. from those who are in to full time recovery. Those hours are reserved for those who either obtained so much faith, and got so much grace, and their sobriety was such a free gift, and they had such an overwhelming God-consciousness, that they found it unnecessary to take the actions... to recover. Evidently, they thought that God was going to be taking those actions for them.
Their program is often, something like "Go to lots of meetings... Just let go and let God ... and acceptance is the answer to all their problems."
At 4 a.m. in the morning, when the phone rings.... I know from experience that it's one who is at the "jumping off place"... one, who has been letting go of a problem... rather than resolving a problem, and the problem has now ended up smacking them in the head like it was on the other end of a bungie cord... Or... it's from one who has been accepting all the things that they should have been working to change.
I'll tell ya!!! I thank God that I have a mean, old, kick-ass sponsor... that if I called him at 4 a.m. telling him I was going to slit my wrist or take a drink... as a result of me not taking right actions... and that I had not been calling him at my designated times... he is loving and would show me real love by saying something to me like:
"Why are you calling me at this ungodly hour? I'm not your sponsor. You've proved that by the actions you've been taking! I suggest you call on whomever or whatever you've been calling... when you were supposed to be calling your sponsor!"
He will also remind me that "when you don't take the right actions... it doesn't affect my life... it affects your life."
Tough love and it's real.
Enjoy the miracles