Monday, 3 April 2017
A socially acceptable form of self-obsession
It has been vital for me to revisit the first Nine Steps, particularly when I have a hard time. I have observed, however, a gradual improvement over time and I find that the extent of the difficulties I uncover tends to reduce from year to year, although as with any other progression in nature the graph looks wonkier close-up than from a distance, with particular low spots and trials.
I have become wary, however, of the spiritual hygiene of revisiting the first nine steps on a regular basis becoming a form of self-obsession where the drama of one's own personal journey eclipses the real job, which is usefulness to others. There have of course been times in my second decade in AA and now in my third where there is something in the way of 'spiritual heart surgery', but mercifully this is not a permanent state. One serious impediment to my usefulness in the past has been my spiritual Munchausen's syndrome, where I would indulge emotional difficulties to the point that spiritual surgery was required, because I would find that more flattering than simply having to grow past the fear and get on with service. Anonymity is the real spiritual principle underlying AA: the aim is to become no one, a no one dissolved into the world as a channel for God, instead, to act.