Tom B. – AA Speaker – How spirituality through subtraction works in AA’s 12 Steps
I can sit on my butt and tell you how grateful I am, but if I’m not out there trying to give away this gift that has been so freely given me, I’m a liar and the truth is not in me. There is a book we used to look at on Sunday mornings that says it really clear. It says something like, “If I speak with the tongue of man and angels and have not love, I’m like a tinkling symbol or sounding voice.” And to me, love in the spiritual sense, that I’ve learned in this program, is not a feeling either. Feelings come and feelings go; love stays. Love to me is responsible behavior towards other human beings based on care, respect, and concern for them. You can have acceptance of others just like how they show love to me as a recovering alcoholic.
I try to, as hard as I can, to bear witness to the third step process, and to have my Higher Power’s help showing me who I would help with this power that I love and my way of life in sobriety. I’m here today to bear witness. That’s not even a spiritual term. However, the program of AA is a spiritual program. Alcoholics Anonymous is not based on thought, and it is not based on feeling, it’s based on action like all spiritual programs are. Every spiritual teacher that ever walked the face of this earth stressed one thing, “Just do it! Do not talk about it. Do it. Live it.”
They made it very clear that the talkers and the doers were from a quite different school and and emphasized being a doer. Over the years I’ve worked really hard at it. But you know, with all of my efforts I’m very aware that without the grace of God, and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I’d be dead now. Think about that for a minute. I’d be dead now, not up here on this beautiful day. Spirituality is often looked at as some false account of something made up by the human mind. Well, I’ve learned in this program, it’s anything but that, it’s incredible how real it is, how tangible it is. At the beginning the tenth step, after amends, the Big Book says, “We’ve now entered the world of the Spirit.” To me, that means I have left the past and come into the present. The spirit is now.
My Higher Power and I now to live in this present time and grow in understanding and effectiveness. I grow in understanding through Steps 10 and 11 effective this through Step 12. I do it, and I keep doing it even when I don’t want to do it. The Greeks have a word for Spirit, and that same word means air, wind, breath and light. Just take a breath for a minute, and think about how connected breath and spirit are. I breathe out, I give life, I breathe in, I take in life. If I do not breathe out, or give it, I die. If I do not breathe in or receive, I likewise die. It is just as simple as that. So it is with God. Be still and God will reveal Himself to you.
Odomtology’s note: This is an excellent share for a newcomer or someone who is interested about spirituality and the steps. Tom has a wonderful way of articulating spiritual concepts and a way of speaking that puts everyone at ease. His impact and life continues today through his legacy of Love and Service. Tom’s shares are highly recommended and are sure to take anyone’s recovery to the next level.