Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. (Alcoholics Anonymous)
Mara joins Spencer again to talk about perfection, progress, and topics in between. The quote, above, from the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous formed the foundation of our conversation. Here are some of the questions we may or may not have ended up addressing.
- What does it mean to be perfect?
- What is your perspective/understanding on character defects? Are they what keep you from perfection?
- How did you feel about perfection before the program vs. now?
- What do you consider to be progress?
- How does your outlook and attitude change when you look at your progress (how far you’ve come) instead of your shortcomings (how far you have to go to be perfect)?
- How do you see your progress?
- By taking a periodic inventory?
- When you see yourself facing or responding to an old situation in a new way?
- When someone else points it out to you?
- How do you feel or react when something does not work out the way you wanted it to?
- What tools can you use to get past that feeling or reaction to resolution or completion?
Spencer closed with this prayer he got from a Facebook friend, by which he tries to live every day. “Lord, help me to hold myself and others to a standard of grace, rather than perfection.”
Our topic for next week is Tradition 5, which says “Each Al-Anon Family Group has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps of AA ourselves, by encouraging and understanding our alcoholic relatives, and by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics.”
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Music from the show
Frank Turner: Recovery
The Mountain Goats: Broom People
The Cranberries: Dreams
Mara mentioned the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where cracked or broken ceramics are repaired by filling the cracks with gold, resulting in something more beautiful than the original. The photo above is an example from Wikipedia.