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Motives and Intentions

In The Doctor's Opinion in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the good doctor says that I must undergo a deep psychic change or else I will drink again. The trouble, he points out, is that I can't change me. I need spiritual help to change. Oh I can change some behaviors for a short time, but I can't change anything deep down. Only my higher power can change me. But this is not gonna happen against my will. I gotta be willing to be changed at depth, no ifs, ands or buts.

I have learned that just saying I'm willing is not enough. I must demonstrate my willingness to be changed. Taking the actions prescribed by Alcoholics Anonymous, the same set of actions they taught me when I was new, is the way I demonstrate my willingness to be changed. I am learning that a true demonstration of willingness is taking the actions with the right motive or intention. And this is the fly in the ointment.

"This odd trait of mind and emotion, this perverse wish to hide a bad motive underneath a good one, permeates human affairs from top to bottom." 12x12 pg. 94

Going to a meeting demonstrates my willingness to be changed, but if I'm sitting there in judgement of others then it's not a demonstration of willingness. If I am involved in service as a way to build up my ego then I'm not demonstrating. If I cross the line into trying to control sponcees, then I'm not demonstrating. Working the steps for the good it will bring me rather than preparing myself to be of maximum service to others is not demonstrating willingness.

I don't do any of these things perfectly. I am not a saint. But, instead of sleepwalking through life, I am trying to pay attention not only to my actions, but also to my motives and intentions. I've found it takes practice, but it's worth it.

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