Giving yourself to this simple program

“…completely give themselves to this simple program… “

– Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous Page 58

This is only a partial sentence from the first paragraph of How it Works, which is commonly read at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. The larger sentence reads, “Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.” – page 58 AA BigBook.

The larger sentence carries a few statements. In my journey in recovery, I have learned to contemplate meanings within sentences such as this. When I focus on completely giving myself to this simple program, it helps increase my willingness. I am deciding to trust and rely on the 12 Step program I belong to. In a sense, I am applying some of the principles of step 3. My situation and life improves when I apply the principles of the steps to my experience.

While I can never practice Step 3 perfectly, I can be reminded of this fact when I focus on completely giving myself to this simple program. When I do this, I begin to let go of my old ways. I begin to trust a higher power. I become more honest and open when my willingness increases. I am teachable and less selfish.

The 12 Steps of recovery are means to live a better life. They are tools to deal with life on life’s terms, steppingstones to spiritual principles. A solution for living life. When I can give myself completely to this simple program, my journey tends to change for the better.


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