Earl H. – AA Speaker – How to achieve freedom with the 12 Steps
When the student is ready, the teacher appears. It’s not always the guy with more time in recovery. This can happen when it is the guy with thirty days or sixty days. As you go through this thing, your experience of it will deepen; it will become more and more intense and enlightening. Recovery will be revealing, meaningful and your life will become purposeful. There will be many moments in your life where you will just out of the sheer weight of the beauty of it, drop to your knees and weep like a child because you’re so overwhelmed with the gift that’s been given to you, and you know you don’t deserve what you’ll never be able to repay. You will get out from what the rest of the world sees as the dregs of humanity, the alcoholics, the broken ones the ones that are damaged beyond repair. But us alcoholics and the drug addicts seen as the worthless ones are like the Phoenix, reborn. I think the difference between the gift here is this we are forced to lead exceptional lives. The normal man can go through normalcy every day and be fine. The normal man can go out there, and God bless him, experience resentment, fear, hate, you and it won’t kill him or cause him to have a lesser life. So the normal person can have all these things going on and he will be absolutely fine. He may be a less happy, but its not going to kill him. With us, we can’t afford it.
We have to rise to our higher state of consciousness, or this illness will kill us. So at Alcoholics Anonymous, we have to embrace a spiritual path. We have to get out of self and be of service to others; as a result, we become attached to family and attached to friends while we develop a sense of community. We have to participate on a higher level, because if we don’t, our alcoholism it’s nipping at our heels and will jump up to get us and drag us back down into the mud. So we have to lead exceptional lives. And if you look at the people around here, that’s what they do; they find the ones with the light in their eyes. My advice to newcomers would be to find those people. They’re all over the place. Do not look at the cut of the slacks, do not look at the sport coat or if someone is wearing this season’s tie. Do not look for someone with a great sports car and a beautiful blonde on his arm. Those are all great things, but that’s not where the magic lies. That’s the way we get deceived.
Look deeper; you have got to look deeper. The key is the eyes, look people in the eyes at an AA meeting. You can see the magic; you can see the dance that’s going on. You can see the lightness and the magic that’s happening in the eyes. This way you can find the man who’s really experiencing life on a profound level, someone who is in joy. The only thing in the book that is insisted upon us, is that we absolutely insist upon enjoying life. Find the ones that are doing that and go to them and say, “How did you get that?” Tell them “I am now willing to do what you did to get it, and I am now willing to take this action. Give me the direction. Point me in the right direction.” Well, after that you will hear the person say things that make no sense! They may say, “Locate the Big Book, read it, and then call me.” So when it begins like this, people think it is just simple, mundane stuff. No, it’s not. It is the path to freedom.