There's a wonderful admonition on page 133 of the Big Book: "Avoid then the deliberate manufacture of misery."
It's astounding that we need this reminder, but we do. More than most people, we keep taking wrong actions despite the painful results. The problem, according to Bill W., is self run amok. Instead of accepting that my approach is flawed and changing to meet conditions, I either a) try the same thing, only harder; or b) resign myself to the failure, blaming outside forces. Even when self-will and self-reliance fail me, I persist because I suffer from the delusion that, by my own actions, I can control outcomes. It's a lesson I have needed to learn more than once, and I am still quick to forget it.
As Joe McQ. puts it in "The Steps We Took," we want to be self-reliant, but we're designed to rely on each other and God. Our selfishness and self-centered fear keep most of us from this basic truth.
Here's where Centering Prayer comes in. Twice a day for twenty minutes, I put my self aside and work on my relationship with God. It's an implicit admission that the self-reliance model doesn't work, and it's a mini-vacation from the ever-present, and, at times, imperious self. I get to practice other-reliance, which opens up the possibility that other-reliance will work in all the other areas of my life.
Join us on October 17 to experience Centering Prayer and its many connections with recovery in the Twelve Steps.