Dependence on others, negative thinking, worry, attachments and desires, family and cultural ties, and prejudice and judgment all keep me bound to self. Some are heavy chains some are thin threads, but all keep me in the self-centered prison of my own making. I start to free myself from bondage as I begin I let go of all these things that block me from a true experience of the life my higher power planned for me.
Chained against the wall in my self-centered prison, I must be full of fear because I know unconsciously that I have no power to free myself. This relentless fear creates dis-ease. Since I have been conditioned that all pain is bad, I won't look for the cause, but I’ll look for something to bring about a sense of ease and comfort. I’ve spent my whole life trying to make myself comfortable in my prison.
Growing spiritually does not mean that I can make myself Holy. I can only hope to become aware of what’s blocking me from a full experience of peace, abundance and joy -- that feeling of useful and contented sobriety. I use the 10th step and tools found in other spiritual literature to discover what’s blocking me. I’m coming to believe that this simple awareness is 99% of the work.
If I am willing to look honestly at myself and see where I am still selfish, fearful, dishonest or resentful, I begin to see patterns in my behavior. Each of the patterns binds me to self. Certainly I am willing to do this work when I am in pain. Then I’ll go to any lengths. But unless I’m willing to do this work continuously, even when I am feeling good, I’ll continue to stay in my prison, unable to truly love anyone else, even me, and still trying to make myself believe that a few scraps of stale bread is a lavish banquet.