Jul 29: The Three Pertinent Ideas

The Three Pertinent Ideas

Hello dear GROWers, and thank you for allowing me to chair this meeting this week. I know that we have some new members in the past few months, many of whom are new to AA. The topic for this week is found at the end of the reading (from the chapter “How It Works, pp. 58 – 60 in the Big Book) done in so many meetings in the rooms of AA, in the (a), (b), and (c).

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could relieve our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if God were sought.

I have reflected on each of these ideas many times. To me, understanding of the nature of my dis-ease of alcoholism came gradually after I stopped drinking. I had little awareness of what my problem actually was during my active drinking and drugging years. My disease is not based on the fact that I cannot control how much I drink; that is simply a symptom. My illness goes much deeper than that one symptom in particular. That just happens to be the one that got my attention! My disease is rooted in my ideas of my importance (selfishness), the actions I believe to be worth my time and effort, primarily drinking and drugging to escape any difficulties I am experiencing (self-seeking), my inability to see and to accept what is going on, also known as “denial” (dishonesty) and the abject fear that underlies all of these (afraid / fear). These were a part of my nature long before I ever picked up a drink or a drug. This state of mind is known as “the obsession”.

The second idea, that no human power can help me, means that treatment centers, doctors and nurses, therapists, family members, friends, lovers, children, bosses, coworkers, places of employment, churches, pastors, ministers, the legal system, lawyers, the police, jails and institutions, and all others will not be able to stop me from feeling these feelings and wanting to run from them by using a substance. Indeed, the substance will cause physical triggers known as “the allergy”. The allergy is the part that causes so many of the humiliating consequences that I suffered, and it is also the part of my disease that makes me aware that I have a disease.

The third idea is the one that truly helps me. Belief in a Power greater than myself, however I choose to define it, and calling on that Power when I need help, is the solution to my problem. The Steps of our beautiful program give us a path, an easy way to put spiritual principles to work in our day-to-day lives. I don’t do these steps alone; I do them with someone who sponsors me and once I do that, I go on to do them with others I sponsor. I don’t do them one time and call it done; I use them on a daily basis for the rest of my life, in every single problem I have. When I do this, I find the relief that humans alone cannot give.

It may seem a bit confusing, because so much of my help is channeled through humans. Humans often show me the way to put these principles to work in my life, either overtly in AA meetings and sponsor-sponsee Step work, or less directly in therapy or life as a whole. These principles are the answer; they are the Power greater than myself; they are of God, Allah, Buddha, the universe, or whatever we choose to call that Power greater than ourselves that keep us sober today.

This week, please share with us how these three pertinent ideas, or any single one of them, gets your attention. Is it the lack of being able to manage that got you here? Have you tried human power, and what was the result? How about a Power greater than yourself? How has that worked for you? Does a sponsor help you with these? Please share on these or any part of this reading that is helpful to you in staying sober today.

Hugs to all who want one, gigi