"Listening" or "Hearing"...or BOTH
First off, I am not a dictionary. Second, I would benefit greatly if I used one. Third, I would become so engrossed in words, I would quit every other productive activity--except staying sober. And that is only a 'maybe'. So this discussion will be one of interpretation rather than denotation. (See, I would be commenting on how close is the word 'denotation' to 'detonation'.)
These past few years I've been hearing lax interpretations of the Twelve Steps, my "rules" for living.
Big Book, page 59 states, "Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery." OK? Now, I heard a guy on Thursday (today is Thursday!) say these ..."steps are mere suggestions. We choose to take them or not." (He has been in the program--sober, I'd guess. Maybe?--24 years.) I do not recall the words "MERELY suggested" in our Big book!
I shut my eyes, and prayed to God that someone new in AA was not listening, not paying attention, because the fellow DID sound authoritative, confident, and Program-knowledgeable. I had trouble waiting until he finished, to "jump in"--usually a mistake for me. But today, I was not doing the jumping! I believe god was "pushing hard"! It is difficult to set a room back on the A.A. track, when I'm the only one who recognizes, or is willing to address a problem, unless God is doing the driving. He was this time. (Thank god? -grin!)
People do not realize the seriousness of "playing with" the words, the meaning, of this Program, these Steps and Traditions. It was here for me when I came crawling in. My life was in chaos, my body in pain, my mind about gone, spirituality non-existent. If ANYTHING is changed, there will not be the help here which I needed to stay sober--for almost 35 years!
Remember, Alcoholics Anonymous is for those who want to STAY sober--OK? And that's what we're going to do again today. Right?
Be happy, friends, bloggers!
PHOTO CREDIT: LEONARD NEMOY