Resting on Our Laurels

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 13, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Maj Donovan


She sat next to the bed. I hadn’t touched her in months. She didn’t seem to notice - she didn’t say a word. I felt guilty. I felt ashamed. I felt like I had been unfaithful.

There had been so many excuses. “I’m too busy. I’m too tired. I’ve got more important things to do”. Excuses all...

Finally, I reached over and gently brushed off the dust from her jacket. I started my daily readings – again.

Page 85 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous reminds us that we mustn’t let up on those daily activities that got us this far in our program. It says…

“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee - Thy will (not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.”

So, what does this maintenance look like?

Page 86 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous instructs us to do the following…

“On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.”

Ok, so what about at the end of the day?

Again, page 86 instructs us to take an inventory at the end of the day. It asks if we were resentful, selfish, or dishonest? It urges us to examine our thoughts, motives and behaviors. If we fell short of our best selves, the book suggests we simply ask for God’s forgiveness. Additionally, it advises we ask God for help in determining what corrective measures should be taken. It cautions us not to fall into morbid reflection, worry or remorse for that would diminish our usefulness to others.

What other activities might one participate in that will ensure the daily reprieve?

  • Daily meditation and prayer
  • Participation in one’s religious denomination
  • Going to meetings
  • Contact with others in recovery
  • Contact with one’s sponsor or recovery coach
  • Contact with one’s sponsees
  • And doing our daily readings…

I finished my daily reading and set the book back by the bed. I felt better that I had taken a few minutes before my day started to ask God to direct my thinking. I felt better that for today I wasn’t neglecting my program and resting on my laurels.




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Topics: 12 step program, AA meetings, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, Recovery Program

Maj Donovan

Written by Maj Donovan

Maj Donovan is a person in long-term recovery with over four decades of sobriety. He is an author, blogger, lecturer and teaches a monthly workshop at “The Retreat” on the 12 Steps and Sponsorship.

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