Do the Next Right Thing
As Bill Sees It, p. 199: “I see “humility for today” as a safe and secure stance midway between violent emotional extremes. It is a quiet place where I can keep enough perspective and enough balance to take my next small step up the clearly marked road that points towards eternal values.” (Grapevine, June 1961).
I have always loved our little book ‘As Bill Sees It’. There is so much wisdom in those pages. The quote above taken from it translates for me into — do the next right thing. I guess if I say I have some humility today that means I’m not humble! So I won’t say that. What I do know is that I am not the same gal I was many years ago when I came into these rooms, ready to surrender it all. I was arrogant, with shockingly low self-esteem. I was an egomaniac with an inferiority complex … as it is said. Life was p-a-i-n-f-u-l to live. Today it is a joy. I experience peace every day, and I laugh a lot. A lot! I love laughing, and can even do it at myself)
The action of the 12 steps in my life has been phenomenal. I no longer crave alcohol or escaping from my hell. I am not responsible for any of this — It was through recognizing my powerlessness that I became whole, little by little. It was and is by surrendering all my ‘wants’ to a Power greater than me that I have more than I could ever have dreamed of in terms of peace, joy, and serenity. Even in the face of painful situations, there is a fundamental peace, especially when I clock in with that God of mine and spend time in conversation. And listening for the still, small voice. And then trusting it when I hear it. Although it’s always good to check in with other alcoholics, sponsor or friend, to make sure I’m still on track! If I am, then this still, small voice becomes stronger, if I nurture it with prayer and meditation and service.
There are no longer violent emotional extremes … wow. I find myself in that ‘quiet place’ most days. I have perspective and balance (who’d have thunk). When I lose perspective, I have tools to get back to it.
When fear comes in, when I have taken on too much or when I am not trusting that all will be fine, if I but trust in the next step in front of me, I know I am safe. That’s all I have to work with — today. And each step I take, one foot in front of the other, cooking something, going to the shops, buying that card, writing that letter, preparing those lessons, showering, weeding, the various projects that give meaning to my life and the tasks associated with them … if I just do a little one of these and then maybe another, well, I am way ahead in the living game!
Do the next right thing is one of my favorite phrases. And I am by nature a control freak, an organizer, a someone who wants to see the whole picture … but it gets easier with time, especially when I experience the great rewards from handing over.
What are your experiences with this? I’m looking forward to reading your ESH but feel free to share on anything you like.