This Way of Living

Working Steps 10, 11, and 12.
Building a personal practice.
Creating a small group practice.

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Fear
For people who are beyond human aid, the first problem that must be dealt with - over and over - is fear.

One of the purposes of the first 88 pages of the Big Book is to help us understand that we can never recover in the fullest sense of that word until we have learned what to do about our fears.

When we addicts who are beyond human aid are afraid (or resentful, which is simply fear that we blame on someone or something other than ourselves), two kinds of behavior follow. We become dishonest, and we become selfish. Both of these are the result of trying to make those fears go away using our own resources.

Selfishness and dishonesty
We are dishonest with other people. We tell them things that aren't really true, because we are afraid that otherwise we won't get what we want, or we'll lose something that we have.

And we are selfish. We think primarily of ourselves, because if we don't take care of ourselves, who will?

When we're selfish and dishonest, we are trying to create a world that doesn't really exist - a world that looks the way we want it to look, rather than the way that it really is. Having created it, we try to live in it. The result - inevitably - is more fear, because the real world keeps intruding on our fantasy world. And that fear leads in turn to more selfishness and more dishonesty.

Why we do Step 10 when we're afraid
The main purpose of Step 10 is to rid ourselves of fear - not for ever, but right here and right now. Instead of trying to manipulate the world and everyone in it, we simply give in - we surrender completely. We ask for the fear (and the resentment and the selfishness and the dishonesty) to be removed, and we discuss these things with someone. We describe elsewhere how we do Step 10, alone or in small private groups.

If you believe yourself to be beyond human aid, you may like to ask yourself if you are afraid right now, or how often you are afraid. If the answer is No or Never or Rarely, you may want to read this.

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