10/30/08 BB Into Action p.76 (sweep away the debris)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS
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Karl R
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10/30/08 BB Into Action p.76 (sweep away the debris)

Post by Karl R » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:50 am

Good Morning,

"Higher power, make me willing to sweep away the debris"

Yesterday, we looked at the 7th step. As Martin said, "Steps 6 and 7 were crucial, for myself, in that they completed my turn away from selfishness and allowed me to set my sights on the needs of others."

In today's passage (below in red) we start setting our sights on the needs of others. The first sentence of this passage is true for me. After each step I've been called to more action. Without this further action I become discontent and nervous in my procrastination. The eighth step list I had after completing my "drastic self appraisal" turned out to be incomplete in two ways. There were people I had harmed toward whom I held no resentment or fear. They were just damaged by my mindless, careless behavior during my drinking years. Also, as I began to make ammends some of the people I've been making ammends to have pointed towards others I have harmed. The point is, that there has been a lot of damage done while I've been running the show over the last 26 years. I had to pray for the willingness to sweep away the debris, and when I had the willingness, set out into action.

Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning the 8th step?

have a great day all,

Karl


Now we need more action, without which we find that "Faith without works is dead." Let's look at Steps Eight and Nine. We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory. We subjected ourselves to a drastic self-appraisal. Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we haven't the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.

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Re: 10/30/08 BB Into Action p.76 (sweep away the debris)

Post by leejosepho » Fri May 11, 2012 8:12 am

We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory.
I have heard about people burning their inventories after Step Five, but I hope they at least saved this part!
We subjected ourselves to a drastic self-appraisal ...
... and we were given "the key to the future" in relation to our "attitude (moving away from selfishness) and outlook (moving away from self-centeredness) upon life" (page 84).
Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past ... the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves.
Having already changed attitude and outlook, here is where we begin to change our actions toward others.
Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.
"... any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody ..." (page 60)
"... we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt." (page 62)
"At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us." (page 77)
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: 10/30/08 BB Into Action p.76 (sweep away the debris)

Post by PaigeB » Fri May 11, 2012 11:40 am

For my Step 4, my sponsor started me with "list all the people in your life" and when we were done, even though she has a nice burn barrel which we looked at from her back porch as we sat quietly, she told me that we would not be burning it, but saving it for my 8th Step list.

All I had to do was glean the names from it and leave spaces in between for writing my particular harms against them and whether or not they landed in the "amends now", "amends later" or "amends not possible" categories.

I thought this was going to be a bland undertaking... a mere listing. But in fact it was another sort of inventory about how to move forward. A discussion of the listing of harms in detail as it related to my behaviors rather than my resentments & fears. It was humbling to discuss this in more detail. I was even more humbling to realize some amends were not possible at all... perhaps that person could not even be named let alone found and others things that would harm someone further if I tried to make amends.

Living amends was also discussed for each of them. Mere words cannot make up for a lot of what I had done.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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