And as we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward our instincts need to undergo drastic revisions. Our desires for emotional security and wealth, for personal prestige and power, for romance, and for family satisfactions–all these have to be tempered and redirected. We learned that the satisfaction of instincts cannot be the sole end and aim of our lives. If we place instincts first, we have got the cart before the horse; we shall be pulled backward into disillusionment. But when we are willing to place spiritual growth first–then and only then do we have a real chance.
I’m not sure what my old attitude toward my instincts was before I got sober. I do know that a misguided desire for family satisfactions while I was drinking and into early sobriety caused me to do things I should not have done. I was too young to get married, and too young to have children, but I did those things, solely because I wanted to.
Of course that family turned out to be less than satisfactory, but I do have the kids, so I can’t complain or dwell on “what if.”
Today, I’m not sure that I place spiritual growth first. I try to, at my job for example, but the fact that my wife is able to insure me makes that so much more possible – my emphasis on spiritual growth rather than securing my security.