Selfishness–self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt. AA Big Book Chapter 5 – How it works
I keep thinking I’m ready to start a 4th step, but then I keep not doing it for various reasons. Instead I dabble at it. So, today, I thought I would read more about it in the AA Big Book. Alcohol isn’t my substance of choice, but the pattern of disease/disorder is the same, and since The Big Book is the first writing for working the 12 Steps, it is a primary resource for all of the other 12 Step fellowships that I’ve encountered. So, I clicked on the link to read more about the 4th step in the Big Book and got taken to this chapter, How It Works. As I skimmed through, looking for step 4, I began reading through the section about STEP 3.
While reading this, I realized that Step 3 is something that you can’t just skim over and think it’s done. There are so many layers to my self centered thinking and selfish motivations. Maybe realizing the depth of my selfishness and self-centeredness is part of my moral inventory and for now, I just need to sit with the knowledge that I’m not the kind, considerate, patient, and tolerant person I am because I’m motivated by God, but because I think that me being that way is what will make my life easier because if I’m that way, others will fall into line with their words, actions, and choices. This realization brings out the fact that the root of my bitterness and resentments are because I haven’t been able to get THEM to behave in kind and considerate ways toward me and they should have based on how I act. So, in reality, I’m still egocentrically trying to be God in my life and the lives of others. Not a proud realization, quite humbling really.
For today, God, please show me when I’m letting self drive me and help me to let go of selfish motivations and thoughts. Help me to not seek to change others or even my self, but to allow You to do Your work and Your will in my life and through me. Help me to give my self and others over to You and to let go of my need to be in control and in charge, releasing resentment, bitterness, anger, and fear.