When the Big Book speaks of progress, not perfection, it states that we are simply “willing to grow along spiritual lines.” My spiritual life was smaller than an acorn when I got to AA. I had even gone to a palm reader who pronounced me “spiritually dead.” In retrospect, my spiritual void was not about the absence of prayer, meditation and church. It wasn’t even that I did not have a higher power in my life. I simply had no connection with my own spirit, the part of me that is calm and wise and giving. I subsisted only on material reality – alcohol, objects, and the external manifestations of other people. For me to grow along spiritual lines meant letting go of having to win, having to be seen as always right, having to be feared. I also had to be willing to release my attachment to all things I coveted with panic and paranoia. I had to be willing to lose everything and everyone who mattered to me. My fear of these losses formed an invisible barrier between me and the total freedom I sought. Although the ideals that I now hold dear are presented in their most heightened forms, I am no where near a state of perfection or even proficiency in spiritual living. I just continue to aim upward every day, reaching for the highest good that I see in human relationships. As long as I am growing in the right direction, it does not matter that I make mistakes along the way, or that some parts of my growth are painfully slow. By seeking growth, I am affirming that there is a power greater than myself. I am affirming that I still have far, still so much to learn. That is the ideal state of mind for me, the one that makes change a real possibility.

Photo courtesy of Mark S. (Beautiful)

Photo courtesy of Mark S. (Beautiful)

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