Well into my way of twelve step recovery I confused the word “practice” with “perfected” somehow.
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and
had perfectedpracticed these principles in all our affairs.
— Step 12 of Alcoholics Anonymous
I thought that because I’d worked all the other steps and had arrived at number 12 that I should be over some hump. Passed the bump. Made the jump. Maybe even overflowing with love while walking with spiritual principles or whatever.
Like I had crossed some finish line because I had had a spiritual awakening.
It wasn’t something that I consciously thought. I knew the step used the phrase “practiced these principles”, similar to applying them but for whatever reason I was holding myself to a “perfected” standard. Below the surface. Like not holding myself wide awake in front of my eyes, but more like how that creepy horror show music playing softly in the background holds you.
Of course then would feel like I was coming up short and imperfect. And not know why.
But… Just because I’ve had that spiritual awakening that doesn’t mean I’ve perfected anything. I have to continue to practice the principles much the way Maggie needs to practice her cello.
Granted with working the others steps and making it to twelve I have been elevated to a new plane of existence but I’m not cured or healed. By any stretch.
Okay that “elevated” part sounds a bit arrogant. But I have changed.
It’s funny how our minds can know something but then deeper down in the canyon we believe or feel something else.
If something’s bothering me, I should investigate. Even if it seems minor.
If anything is making me feel bad about me, something’s off. No matter how slight or subdued or subliminal it may feel.
I need to have a look under the covers to see what’s going on, see what’s what. And in this case then discard that ridiculous notion of perfection. Just because I got to a certain point in life that doesn’t mean I’m going to stay at that point. I need to continue to do those things that got me there.