The Fourth Essentioal Requirement in A.A. 12 Step Recovery
"You mean there are requirements in the Program of Recovery? Wait a minute! I thought there were no requirements!"
Well. I think we can agree -- that until you actually STOP drinking alcohol -- you are NOT in recovery? Would you agree?
We know that there is at least ONE requirement, as stated by the Fellowship, Alcoholics Anonymous -- for membership:
"The only requirement for membership in the Alcoholics Anonymous Fellowship is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self supporting through our own contributions."
So, we know that you've at least got to want to stop drinking, right?
RECOVERY and MEMBERSHIP are NOT the same.
It's very possible to be in the MEMBERSHIP and NOT be recovering. (Or, even sober). If we have been around the Fellowship for more than a little while -- all of us at some time will encounter an AA that is still drinking.
Yes. You can be an AA member with simply a desire to stop drinking. You can even be an AA member that is still drinking. However, you CANT start to recover until you stop drinking. Period.
The first ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT for RECOVERY is: To stop drinking. (Or, and/using if your addiction is not alcohol).
What are essential requirements for recovery?
The Essential Requirements in A.A.'s Program of Recovery
If I asked you, "What are the Three Essential Requirements in A.A.'s Program of Recovery?" you might answer with: HOW: Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness.
What if -- I asked you, "What are the Fourth and Fifth and Sixth -- Essential Requirements in the A.A. Program of Recovery?
According to Bill Wilson, A.A.'s co-Founder: The answer can be found on ~ page 13-14, of Bill's Story, in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
I was just re-reading Bill's Story, after writing the article for How and When Bill W. took the 12 Steps -- and I noticed something that I don't recall if I ever noticed as strikingly as I did tonight.
We often quote the three essentials: Honesty, Open-Mindedness and Willingness.
Here's what caught my attention:
~Page 13-14, Bill's Story, Alcoholics Anonymous wrote:
"My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upon a new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements."
Bill W., appeared to have a spontaneous spiritual awakening in a dramatic proportion -- compared to the most often referred to, as "the slower kind" of spiritual awakening that takes place over a longer period of time.
For a long time, I've believed that any person can re-create the results of most any other person -- if they specifically follow the precise actions, thoughts, and attitudes of the person who achieved the results that they desire to repeat.
I think it's a good time for me to take another look and another inventory of Bill's precise actions... and thoughts... and to take another self-examination to see what else I might have missed!
1. ENOUGH -- WILLINESS : Not just willingness -- but, ENOUGH willingness will be required. Enough willingness -- is described on page 58, of the book Alcoholics Anonymous. The willingness to "go to any lengths."
2. ENOUGH -- HONESTY -- as in the rigorous honesty described on ~ page 58, of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous. And...
3. ENOUGH -- HUMILITY: Do you have enough humility? I would certainly question whether or not an Ego and attitude that still smarts of "Oh -- I think I can do this myself, and on my own" would be enough humility -- to "establish and maintain the new order of things."
However, I've still left something out here! Have you noticed it yet?
Let's review it: ~ page 13-14: "My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upon a new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements."
Belief in the power of God, PLUS enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements.
The Power of God. Do you believe in it enough?
Please keep in mind -- that a certain sequence of serial of actions were required to be taken, "according to Bill's friend" -- before Bill came to his conclusion above that were essential to "establish and maintain the new order of things". And, this is what Bill did, that produced his instantaneous and powerful spiritual awakening. You can read of those here, in "What is the A.A. Program?"
Yes. Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness -- enough of it -- is enough to get us started -- but, more will be required -- if we want to achieve more than get started.
"My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upon a new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements." ~Bill W.
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