When I first began my recovery, I was fortunate to choose a sponsor in NA who was part of a “sponsorship line” that passed on some basic truths that have been key to my recovery and have stood the test of time over nearly 38 years. They are still just as true today as they were when I was a newcomer. I pass them on to you in hopes they will enhance your recovery.
Recovery Is A Gift
First of all, recovery is a gift. There is nothing we have done to deserve our recovery. It is purely the grace of a loving God. Grace, simply stated, means unmerited favor.
Secondly, the program of recovery is not a self-help program. If we could have helped ourselves, we would have. Most of us certainly tried. The program is a “God-help” program. It is God who is the ultimate power greater than ourselves. It is God to whom we surrender our will and our lives. It is God who removes our character defects and shortcomings, and God who gives us the power to carry out His will for us.
Raise Your God Esteem Not Your Self Esteem
The goal of the program is not to increase our self-esteem, but to increase our God esteem. When we begin living our lives in a way that will esteem God, then we may experience increased self-esteem as a by-product.
Beware of anything that begins with “self-.” This includes self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, self-awareness and self-knowledge. In fact, both the AA book and the NA book identify selfishness and self-centeredness as the spiritual aspect of our disease. The AA book makes mention of “self-will run riot.” It seems that in many ways our disease is rooted in self. The program teaches us, in fact, to get out of our self and be of service to others. The program teaches us that the way we keep what we have is by giving it away. The program teaches us that the way to gain true power is to admit our powerlessness. We gain strength by confessing our weakness.
The truth of the program is truly a different way of looking at things.