Can we love the whole pattern of living as eagerly as we do the small segment of it we discover when we try to help other alcoholics achieve sobriety?
Skipping ahead, I know that this question and the long list of questions that follows it are answered further down with a “yes.” I’d like to consider them individually, though, and think about how they apply to my day-to-day life.
Right now I cannot love the whole pattern of living as eagerly as I love AA. But I have come a very long way toward doing so, and, as with most concepts in AA, I love the ideal that this sets for me. I love that AA gives me a clear-cut plan like this.
I struggle, as an example, with loving the people and the pattern of living that I experience at work. I can easily see, often, how they are wrong, and I am right. Even as I see it, though, I know, because of my years in AA, that they may have the exact same vision of right and wrong, with me living on the wrong side, and that both of us have equally valid points.
I find it so much easier to reach out to people in AA, with good reason. The very fact of our being there together means that we have a past in common, a terrible past. We have a wonderful present, together, and true hope for a brighter future. But that wrenching past means we both have messed up terribly. We’ve been humiliated, so we can have some humility.
I’d like to think it’s the same for the people in my life who are not in AA, and surely it is true for some of them, but, I think, not many.
Still, just like at church, I can consider the way I live the program outside of the rooms to be the real test of whether or not I have “gotten” it. Easy to live right within AA. Not so easy outside of the room.