1.01.2008

Inspired Thought

"The Big Book states: "Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration." (Alcoholics Anonymous page 87) What are some examples of inspiration in your thinking?"

It is important I should think to reflect upon two aspects of this statement from page 87. First, it is from the chapter titled “Into Action.” Second, the action upon which the author is focused is that of initiating communion with God. The paragraph from which this comes actually starts on page 86 (3rd Ed.) and clearly states that, “we are asking God for inspiration.”

As a grade AAA, all American, pure bred alcoholic and addict whose disease is centered in my mind, rooted in selfishness, self-pity, pain, fear, and anger it is not difficult to discern that any thought contrary to those seemingly natural and instinctive thought processes that focus on me, mine, and more are indeed inspired from a divine source.

Inspired thought seemingly always takes me towards something new, something not considered beforehand. Early in recovery it dawned on me that since most everything I had done previously had not worked very well, and in fact, had often led to disaster; perhaps just the opposite thought / action would subsequently lead to a more pleasant or desirable end. This was perhaps the first of many inspired thoughts; it has generally proven to be an absolute truth.

An area of utmost importance for my growth has been the revelation knowledge that we have all been taught not just half-truths, but outright lies that are commonly accepted as truth. Two primary examples of this are: One, you cannot love someone else, until you love yourself. And two, we should not become so spiritually minded that we are of no earthly good. On the surface these seem to make perfect sense; we believe them because we have heard them over and over from the authorities in our life.

It is only upon close inspection that these very subtle lies begin to unravel. If we wait to love ourselves before loving others, then we always fall short. To love ones self requires that we be lovable. It is the disciplined, committed, and consistent act of loving others that promotes lovability. Simply said, as we love others, we become lovable. We find that not only do others respond to us in love, but that as we extend and promote love, we are able to truly love ourselves. This self-love will manifest in making healthy, positive life choices that are always nurturing, uplifting, encouraging, and growth producing.

Experiential knowledge and history have clearly proven that as a person becomes more and more spiritually minded, they in fact become more and more effective on this earthly, physical plane. Examples of this truth can be clearly seen in the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Saint Francis, Jesus, Gautama Buddha, and many others. If you have the desire to become an effective, life changing agent in this world, then the path to follow is of a spiritual nature. It is upon the spiritual path that you will find the divine success principles needed to realize the full potential within you. It is the realization of the Power Packed Potential within that always leads to the highest levels of effectiveness.

Perhaps the most wonderfully profound inspired thought that I have had revolves around the greatest of all gifts; choice. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying that, “most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” This is a tremendous truth. Our realities are completely determined by the choices we make. Not only do we choose the path we will follow, whether to turn left or right, but even more importantly we choose how we will perceive our circumstances. It was not until I stopped moaning and groaning, crying and complaining, whimpering and whining about how hard life was and began to face life’s challenges, recognizing them as character builders that were meant to strengthen, not defeat me that life became a true joy rather than a drudge of one misery after another. By choosing my perceptions of life I went from a victim of seemingly meaningless circumstances to a person of responsibility. I became a person who lives by choice, according to the highest moral and ethical principles that I possibly can. This provided for me, a sense of freedom that had previously remained hidden.

3 comments:

patchespal said...

A wonderful post. This was the first spiritual practice I engaged in. I was told to follow the instructions on page 86 and 87 of the Big Book. It has become a habit to ask God to direct my thinking as soon as I awaken and I use techniques to remind me throughout the day to refocus on God's will not mine being done. I like the message of this post about loving others is the way to love ourselves. I have found that rather than giving it away to keep it that I have to give it away to get it.

A.A. History said...

I would add this about the main article. The focus on "loving self" and on the supposed malady of self-centeredness is a long long long way from the approach of early A.A. and the precepts of what Dr. Bob called the Good Book. The injunctions from the Old Testament and the New are to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength; and Love thy neighbor as thyself. In other words, this "love" stuff achieves it validity from God's clearly expressed will that we are to love Him and that this love means obeying his commandments. Those commandments, including the Ten Commandments, place a large emphasis on not harming someone else. That illustrates His will to love, prosper, heal, and deliver His kids. A focus on God's will means a focus on what He wants us to do, what His Word tells us He wants us to do, and what He chooses to reveal to us that He wants us to do. Then to be a "doer of the Word, not a hearer only," deceiving ourselves. Bottom line: Are we doing all to the glory of God in the name of His son Jesus Christ.
God Bless, Dick B. PS: Even Bill Wilson came nearer when he penned in the Big Book that our main purpose is to be of maximum service to God and those about us. Period! Not how we can bless ourselves by blessing others. http://DrBob.info

dlb said...

It is the last or what is sometimes called the thirteenth commandment that inspired the practice of loving others above all else for me. John 15:12 states that Jesus says: "This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you."

As a result of this practice the wonderful experience of being transformed from a self-loathing, self-condemning person to one of self-love and self-value takes place.

Is this knowledge and awareness meant to inspire the motivation or the idea that it is something I will do in order to receive love from other's or for the simple self-gratifying act of finally feeling good about myself? Absolutely not. The fact is truly loving others cannnt have, must not have strings attached whatsoever. As the Apostle Paul eloquently related in I Corinthians 13:4 love is only manifested when many components are present, including a state of selflessness.

It is only when given in a pure and selfless manner that one will ultimately feel the loveability previously discussed.