If we would gain any real advantage in the use of this Step on problems other than alcohol, we shall need to make a brand new venture into open-mindedness. We shall need to raise our eyes toward perfection, and be ready to walk in that direction. It will seldom matter how haltingly we walk. The only question will be “Are we ready?”
I hope I’m taking a new venture into open-mindedness. I was actually just contemplating the time it takes me to do this, this being working on my program at a new level. The work I’m doing involves writing here, which I really enjoy. Always a good thing when you enjoy your work. I’ve been going to more meetings. More for me is usually two, sometimes three a week. I’ve made an effort to speak up at the meetings. I would say that most of time, in the past, I’ve passed my turn. I made copies of the CD of oldtimer stories and I’ve given one to two people, asking them if they would be interested in starting and oldtimer’s meeting.
Why do the work? It is often boring, time consuming and hard. I absolutely don’t want my life to be centered on something negative and have lots of my time dedicated to hard work. Maybe oldtimers often feel this way. When people are new, they have to work hard at it in order to get it. Now that it’s been gotten, it has become more a natural part of my life rather than something to work hard at.
It’s the real advantage cited in the step that I’m after. I know that any work I put into AA has always been worth it. Still, at the bottom of it, I am that person who needs to work it or die. And even if I could not work it and live, I desire more of the benefits of program, and I have to work to get the results.
A new idea that’s come into my newly opened mind is to consider my difficulties in the light of desires and instincts with oppose the grace of God. For a long time I’ve understood the concept of having the ideal and aiming for the ideal. I’ve also understood the 12 Steps to be a road map to the ideal. I’ve been thinking about this and writing about this for a few months, but I have yet to really apply it in the moment when I’m distressed. So it’s all in retrospect, and there’s not even a lot of that.
Am I ready? I believe that I am, mostly.