Step One

The first of AA’s 12 steps reads:  “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.”  I have found 2 things to be true:  that you absolutely cannot succeed in recovery without some basic belief in this concept, and that acceptance of this is an ongoing process.

But what I am also realizing is that acceptance of powerlessness does not apply only to recovery.  I am powerless with respect to all people in my life.  I cannot control what they think, say or do, and if I don’t like one of the above, that’s just too damn bad for me.  The sooner I can accept this powerlessness, the happier and more serene I will be.

One of my big character defects is railing against injustice, or what I perceive to be injustice.  Ironically, I used to consider this character defect as a strength… I believed I had a highly developed sense of right and wrong, and I spent a lot of energy in the past trying to get others to see my point of view.

I now realize this is nothing but an overinflated ego on my part, and I have nothing to gain by trying to control the people and events around me.  I have control over exactly one person’s thoughts and actions, and it is enough of a project trying to control my own behaviors!

The upside to all this introspection is that when I truly accept these ideas, my mind and heart are so much calmer, and I really can look at my day with a happier, more serene perspective.


Posted on May 2, 2012, in Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Do not think of yourself as powerless over people. True, you cannot control what they think or say, but you can control what you do. You have the tools. No one can make people react the way we want, and rather than get frustated about it, let it go and let God.


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