gardenvariety wrote:By using your names in my post, I apologize if it appeared like I was "putting words in your mouth" which was not my intention at all. I was going "hypothetical" but using your examples of step 10 and step 4 as a point of reference.
Not a problem for me, Paul. I seem to automatically assume that your heart and your motives are good, and personally, I kind of like it when you refer to me -- makes me think someone is thinking about me!
Of course -- the Moderators get nerved up over names -- and, they are just trying to keep it sane.
As it reads on page 58, of the Big Book:
"If you have decided you want what we have and you are willing to go to any length to get it - then you are ready to take certain steps."
The original manuscript for that page, prior to publishing, read:
If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it - then you are ready to follow directions
There were many times for me -- both before and after sobriety -- that I was - ready to follow directions
but, somehow, I just never got started with following the directions, or I would get the directions -- and then not follow them... or I would get the directions, start following them... and then get side-tracked into doing something else... or, I would start following directions... and then just stop, for no appearant reason at all (other than I was lazy and/or undisciplined.... "was" ?
Geezzzz, how painful it had to get for me, before I became "ready to follow directions."
And, of course... being ready
to follow directions won't help me any more than being willing
to follow to directions will help me.
So what, if I'm ready and willing? Nothing is going to change.... until I take the actions in the directions.
As I look back over my life -- I can see that some of my greatest progress has been made when I was NOT ready (according to my thinking) and NOT willing to follow directions -- but, I followed them any way.
I meet so many alkies who are still suffering, and I ask them... "do you want to stop for good -- and are you willing to go to any length to get it? "
They assure me, that -- "Oh yeah man!!! You bet! I'm willing to go to any length and willing to do anything!"
Then, I give them a few simple directions... and, they do nothing about taking actions on those directions. Then, a few days later... they are trying to sober up again.
It goes on, over and over and over again for them... "Yes! I'm ready and willing!" ... but nothing ever gets done.... and, if they do get sober, it's usually only for a few days at a time, followed by long periods of uncontrollable drinking.
I've watched more than a few... who were ready and willing... end up in the grave -- without ever achieving sobriety.
We hear so much in our meetings, from fine, well-intentioned people Chairing the meetings and sharing about "the importance of being ready" and "willingness."
I sure wish that being willing - or having "willingness" was all that it takes. I wish that "being ready" was all that it took.
Alcohol is so cunning, powerful and baffling -- for alcoholics, that it doesn't really matter how willing or how ready they are!
Think about it -- for a minute. "If" I are powerless over alcohol... so what if I'm willing or ready? Being willing and ready is not going to cure or treat my alcoholism. And, if I "have lost the choice" over drinking -- so what if I'm willing or ready? Being ready and willing -- is not going to give me back the ability to choose if and when I can drink!
I learned this lesson the hard way. And, I watch droves of alcoholics still learning it. They come to an AA meeting, and listen to a group of goofs talking about willingness.
It isn't the willingness or the readyness... that is going to change anything. It's the actions that's going to bring about the changes.
Some will say "how can you take actions... if you are not ready or willing to take them?" The answer? Just do it anyway!
It's the doing that changes the attitude that can not do!
Focus on the doing -- and the attitude will follow.