Life has been quite a whirlwind lately; not just for myself, but also for a lot of people I know. I am responsible for the footwork to initiate change, but the results are not up to me. In the meantime, working with others gets me out of the hamster wheel of self-obsession. Living in the middle of Alcoholics Anonymous, I know from experience that I cannot solve my own problems; I need help from my higher power and friends in AA. When I ponder and twist on what I think needs to happen, the self-loathing is unbearable. But there is an antidote for this dilemma!
As Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous so beautifully stated in Bill’s Story, “I was not too well at the time, and was plagued by waves of self-pity and resentment. This sometimes nearly drove me back to drink, but I soon found that when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day.”
But Bill Wilson discovered the magic of being of service. Talking to struggling alcoholics helped him when everything else failed. Helping others is one of the oldest spiritual tenets. It just so happened that a self-obsessed drunk discovered it as a way out of self. One of my favorite quotes from Norman Vincent Peale, sums up the unfettered joy we experience through service:
“The way to happiness: keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Fill your life with love. Scatter sunshine. Forget self, think of others. Do as you would be done by.”
Let’s all try this for a week. Let me know how your week goes! Make it full of love and service.