But now it appears that there are certain things which only the individual can do. All by himself, and in the light of his own circumstances, he needs to develop the quality of willingness. When he acquires willingness, he is the only one who can make the decision to exert himself. Trying to do this is an act of his own will. All of the Twelve Steps require sustained and personal exertion to conform to their principles and so, we trust, to God’s will. ~ AA World Services Inc. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (p. 40). AA World Services, Inc. Kindle Edition.
The foundational truth of the Rooms of Recovery
is that we’re no longer facing life depending
on our own willpower! We’ve gone through life
determined to set aside our addiction and be tough…
tough enough to do it right, to be free of obsession.
We’ve resolved over and over to pull ourselves up,
by our bootstraps, by our intelligence, by our skill…
and over and over again, we have failed,
falling back into the clutches of compulsion!
Then we read AA’s Twelve and Twelve
and this line yells at us! All by himself,
and in the light of his own circumstances,
he needs to develop the quality of willingness.
But I’ve TRIED! I can’t make it work for me!
I can’t get there on my will!
Isn’t that what it means, “he needs to develop
the quality of willingness”? Are they different…
willpower and willingness?
Does making the decision to exert oneself
differ? Willpower means control exerted to do something
or restrain impulses.
Making the decision to exert yourself
Is that all that’s needed, is that “an act” of your own will?
Does that take it beyond my will,
and all the way to God’s will?
A proper use of a person’s will?
That, I can do!
All of the Twelve Steps require sustained
and personal exertion to conform
to their principles
and so, we trust, to God’s will.