I became a member of Alcoholics Anonymous as soon as I said, “My name is Jeff and I’m an alcoholic” and honestly believed it, but I did not connect with the Fellowship of the Spirit until I began the ego-deflating process of the Twelve Steps. Spirit is broad, roomy and all-inclusive, but egos can only stand outside the circle and look in.
I felt my first connection with Spirit after I completed my fifth step with my sponsor. I dropped a ton of guilt and shame in the process. I spoke honestly to another human being for the first time in my life. I had demonstrated my willingness to go to any lengths. I felt like a full-fledged member of the AA club.
During my ninth I made amends for stealing money from a hotel where I had tended bar 20 years earlier. I wrote letters to my deceased parents asking for their forgiveness for a variety of harms. I cleaned up my side of the street on a fairly long list of resentments. I began to put my hand out to newcomers and my life took on new meaning and purpose. Alcoholics Anonymous became an enjoyable way of life.
I don’t believe I have abandoned myself to God by any stretch. My journey from ego consciousness to God consciousness has not been without challenges. Old cunning, baffling and powerful continues to try and run me off the road. Sometimes I end up in a ditch, but you guys are right there to pull me out and I continue on my way to my happy destiny.