In my final thought on step 10 I want to focus on the 2 musts on page 85 in the third paragraph on step 10. The first paragraph on step 10 on page 84 describes how we stay in the World of the Spirit. The second paragraph on step 10 pages 84-5 gives us the recovered promises as a result of being in fit spiritual condition. The third paragraph on step 10 on page 85 warns us that alcohol is a subtle foe. My daily reprieve is based on my spiritual condition. I am never cured but I can be recovered.
There follow 5 powerful sentences in that paragraph that show me how I should properly use my will. So I get my willpower back on page 85 but I must use it properly? How do I do this?
There are suggestions in the AA How it Works that are read at almost every AA meeting. But starting on page 60 the suggestions become musts. Must is a very powerful word. I think at times I and others unconsciously change must as should in my mind. Alcoholics like should instead of must because then my alcoholic mind has wiggle room. However,must means should expressing necessity. Obliged to doing something. Must means do this. Must means this is not an option. Remember it says I must be rid of my selfishness or it will kill me.
The first sentence is “Every day is a day I MUST carry a vision of God’s will into all of my activities.” Therefore I have to know what God’s will is for me to be able to carry it. Vision means here a picture that I see in my mind. So I have meditated on this throughout the years and my vision is very simple. Practice love, patience, tolerance, kindness, consideration and compassion in all my activities – LPTKCC.. Especially love. If I bring love the others follow automatically. A speaker said the only thing lacking in any situation is the Love I have not brought into it. I believe God is love . Therefore if I bring love into any situation it means I am bringing God. Isn’t that the essence of the St. Francis prayer? Make myself a channel of God’s peace or love.
The next line that follows is ” How can I best serve Thee – Thy will not mine be done.” I carry this vision because this is how I can best serve God and follow his will for me in any situation. Remember it is how I be that will determine what I do. If I be LPTKCC then my actions will follow and bring me peace and serenity and a life of service.
They then give me a warning: ” These are thoughts that MUST go with me constantly.” Notice this is not an option. Constantly means in each moment. Now I don’t always do this but have learned whenever I am getting disturbed by anything I have not brought LPTKCC with me. So I stop and ask God to give me LPTKCC and I immediately see and react differently. I become undisturbed. What a gift if I follow these simple directions.
Now finally on page 85 I get my will back. If I follow these instructions or musts then I am told I can exercise my will power all I wish. “It is the proper use of my Will”. So to answer the question what is the proper use of my will it is when my will is aligned with God’s will. Pretty simple for me. I achieve this whenever I am practicing LPTKCC. I am not in bondage to my character defects anymore.
Page 28 says it all. “What seemed at first a flimsy reed has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us, or if you prefer a design for living that really works.”
I can only say from my experience that this has happened to me. How I follow the instructions on step 10 will determine the quality of my day. I can’t blame anyone but me anymore. That is freedom because I have the choice to carry God into all my activities. AA and the 12 steps have given me a new life.