Wednesday, 7 March 2018

We admitted that our lives had become unmanageable

What the authors intended when they wrote that on page 59 of the Big Book is pretty clear: if I can't choose whether or not I have the first drink and then can't choose when I stop, I'm not in charge of my life, the impulsiveness and compulsion are in charge of my life. I'm literally not able to manage my life, if management means deliberately directing the course of something.

There is another meaning, which, although not intended or elaborated as part of Step One by the authors, is useful, and actually vital.

So, to manage is to deliberately direct the course of. Unmanageable could therefore mean 'I am unable to deliberately direct the course of my life'. It could also mean 'I am unable to direct the course of my life successfully.' In a sense the meaning is actually opposite: it means I am deliberately directing the course of my life, but the results are dreadful.

Why would the results (material outcomes and emotional experience) be dreadful? Because of the actions I am taking. Who decides those actions? I do. How? By making decisions. Where do those decisions come from? My judgements. Where do my judgements come from? My analysis. What is the analysis based on? My beliefs and my perceptions.

'My life is unmanageable', traced all the way back, therefore means my beliefs and perceptions suck, and there are probably issues with my analytical skills, too.

That means, for the material outcomes and emotional experience to change, my beliefs and perceptions need wholesale replacement.

So, I find someone who is getting better material outcomes and a better emotional experience and adopt their beliefs and perceptions. Better: I find someone that points to a spiritual system of thought that gives me a whole world of alternative beliefs, perceptions, analyses, judgements, decisions, and actions.

If resist these new beliefs, perceptions, analyses, judgements, decisions, and actions, I'm really saying, 'I do not want the cause (my beliefs, etc.) to change, but I do want the results to be different. Tell me how I can do that.'

Which is nuts.

Step One. Ta-dah.

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