Then it is explained that other Steps of the A.A. program can be practiced with success only when Step Three is given a determined and persistent trial. This statement may surprise newcomers who have experienced nothing but constant deflation and a growing conviction that human will is of no value whatever. They have become persuaded, and rightly so, that many problems besides alcohol will not yield to a headlong assault powered by the individual alone. But now it appears that there are certain things which only the individual can do. All by himself, and in the light of his own circumstances, he needs to develop the quality of willingness. When he acquires willingness, he is the only one who can make the decision to exert himself. Trying to do this is an act of his own will. All of the Twelve Steps require sustained and personal exertion to conform to their principles and so, we trust, to God’s will.
Exertion! I was just asking Carole if she thinks that a lot of “failure” in AA is due to plain laziness. It does take effort to get in the car, drive to a meeting, participate in the meeting, go home again. I does take effort to read the books, talk to others, write a blog! I know that I want things to be easier than that. I want to work electronics and appliances without reading the instructions. I want AA without doing the work.
Sustained exertion. Sustained effort. Over good times and bad, boring times and interesting times. It’s the absolute best thing about my life that I sustained this effort. That’s how I “turn it over,” day after day.
So to apply this to today.
I’m still struggling. I’ve taken lots of, if not constructive action, at least action that’s not destructive. I’m still reading the New York Times (fake news) and my local paper. I’m still calling and writing my representatives. I’m trying to keep other people energized and engaged. I’m beginning to support someone who will challenge my terrible congressman in 2018.
I guess I believe that applying the program and the way of life and way of thinking I’ve developed as a result of the program will eventually lead me to serenity regardless of outside circumstances. All I need to do is to live long enough and keep exerting myself.