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Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation.
Step 11, page 86 was my entree into formal step action. A night meeting speaker dwelled upon each sentence from "On awakening to end of chapter..........."
I was desperate at a sober bottom. Each morning thereafter, I did pick up the Big Book and contemplated each sentence/direction.
Recently, almost 19 years later, I realized that the first directions help clear the mind. Then, it shifts to contemplation about higher power and directive to other sources.
BigBook page 86 STEP 11 When we retire at night, we constructively review our day.
Were we resentful,
Ponder each of these separately.
selfish, I started Big Book step 4 work during this period. dishonest or I learned to quickly spot these defects with steps 4 and 5.. afraid?
Identify specific fears.
Do we owe an apology?
This gets better as 4 through 9 are worked.
Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once?
AA emphasizes quick action or decision for non-action.
Were we kind and loving toward all?
Recovered people act this way.
What could we have done better?
A time to learn better communication and other skills.
Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time?
The old bondage of self !
Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?
By self forgetting one finds - 12&12page99.
But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others.
No matter how we feel, do God's will.
After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.
Research how recovered people handle similar situations.
let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead.
Set aside 20 minutes or more for morning step 11 work.
We consider our plans for the day.
NOTE - not yesterday, but each morning, plan the day. Some things need preparation, of course. I pin down as little time as possible. This leaves time open for pleasant surprises. Keep it simple. I don't waste driving for things that can be combined with necesary trips. I accomplish tasks a bit at a time rather than obsessive planning. Many things are never *finished*, but, they do the job.
Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.
I am directed not to whine at meetings. One to one is aappropriate for details of problems.
And at 62, (now 65 - 2/22/99) I can't remember my problems!
God gave us brains to use.
We research God's will. We grow in effectiveness. We can learn communication skills. Etc. etc.
Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision.
Try to spot this feeling. It subtly can overtake us.
We may not be able to determine which course to take.
There is definite action, if we choose not to be trapped in bondage of self. From the 12&12 step 5,
"It is worth noting that even people of very high spiritual development check out with friends and spiritual advisors the guidance they feel they have received from God."
Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision.
Reread page 84 about definite action. "We continue to watch for..................
We relax and take it easy.
I slowed driving when this direction popped into my head after days of step 11 repetition.
We don't struggle.
When something aint working, stop, give it a rest or perhaps it's not meant to be. Again, see the page 84 directions.
We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems.
I don't feel qualified to improve on any of the prayers in the Big Book or 12&12. They work fine!
We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. If circumstances warrant, we ask our wives or friends to join us in morning meditation. If we belong to a religious denomination which requires a definite morning devotion, we attend to that also. If not members of religious bodies, we sometimes select and memorize a few set prayers which emphasize the principles we have been discussing. There are many helpful books also. Suggestions about these may be obtained from one's priest, minister, or rabbi.
Other AA literature, the traditions, concepts, have guidance on how to act in specific situations.
Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer.
They may not all be right, but try to see where anyone may be right.
As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.
Again, take a break. Again check out 84 directions.
We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day "Thy will be done." But this is not all. There is action and more action. "Faith without works is dead."
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