Enlightened Self Interest

I endured all the negative consequences of drinking for thirty years simply because I was trying to feel comfortable in my own skin. The drinking did in fact make me feel better, but only for a short time. The fears would always return and often, when I said and did things that hurt other people, I felt worse.

My experience is that the whole of AA is built around the principle of enlightened self interest. The more I do what is suggested, the more I get involved, the more service I do, the better I feel.

The sense of belonging to a group that is governed by spiritual principles makes me feel good. The knowledge that my ego will be tolerated but not be allowed to run amok gives me a sense of comfort. The idea that I am an equal with every other member of the group gives me confidence. To see first-hand how other members of the group succeed against their personal demons gives me hope. To hear God's voice through the group's collective consciousness fills me with wonder.

I definitely need AA much more than AA needs me. One way I demonstrate my gratitude for AA is to practice the principle contained in Tradition One: united we stand, divided we fall.