Dying to Self

Somehow, perhaps because of coming-of-age in the 60s -- I have always been interested in spiritual ideas. I guess I knew, even back then, there was something wonderful going on that I did not understand. Toward the end of my drinking, as my life spiraled steadily downward, I bought many self-help books looking for the secret that would make me whole. One of the books I bought toward the end was 7 Habits of highly successful people. Then I was unemployed, running out of money and getting drunk twice a day. I spent most of my days drinking alone in my messy apartment watching reruns of stupid TV programs. I don't remember too much about the book. (It's really hard to read when you are stoned) but I do remember one of the Habits -- Live a God Centered Life. Sounds good, but how?

It wasn't until I crawled through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous that I began to see there is nothing I can do to compel God into the center of my life. But when I put AA in the center of my life, God follows naturally. I do this simply by continuing to do the things they told me to do in my first week: go to meetings, put my hand out to others, and tell the truth no matter how painful. As I deepen my practice of the steps, I empty my consciousness of my old false ideas about who I am and how life works. I make space in my being for the God idea to flow in. As this process continues I slowly die to self. Bill raised the bar high when he says I have to let go of these old ideas absolutely. This is the price of a new life. I haven’t let go absolutely yet, but I'm closer than ever.