Before I stumbled into the rooms I had been too busy looking out for number one to care about anyone else unless there was something in it for me. It took me a few years to discover that -- lo and behold -- there is something in it for me. By caring for the common welfare of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have been able to stay sober and to enjoy a life beyond my wildest imagination.
My journey from a separate, frightened ego to a friend among friends is an ongoing process. I believe it started in my first meeting. I sensed you guys had something I wanted. You told me if I wanted what you had, I should do what you did. You suggested I ought to identify and not compare with others in the meetings. Recovery, you said, starts when I begin to overlook our differences and see our similarities. This is perhaps the most difficult lesson of all for me.
My mind seems to automatically default to judging you instead of accepting you exactly as you are. I cannot see our similarities if I am looking through the eyes of ego. I cannot really care about the common welfare of AA as an ego. As the 12 Steps continue to grind away at my self-centered fear, my sense of unity is growing. Each time I hear, “There is One who has all power”, I’m reminded that we are all joined in Spirit. One. Like a good friend of ours used to say, “we are all bozos on the bus and none of us are driving.”
I connected with the truth of life through Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m better today only because you guys loved me first. You didn’t care about where I had been or what I had done. You handed me the keys to the kingdom. I am responsible for passing them on to others.