Giving It AwayEarly in sobriety, I would have been skeptical that I could ever practice the 12th step because of the joy I received rather than because it would keep me sober. Today, I absolutely know that's true. Sometimes, I even experience it!
Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves to others.Alcoholics Anonymous, p.159
Those words, for me, refer to a transference of power, through which God, as I understand Him, enters my life. Through prayer and meditation, I open channels, then I establish and improve my conscious contact with God. Through action I then receive the power I need to maintain my sobriety each day. By maintaining my spiritual condition, by giving away what has been freely given to me, I am granted a daily reprieve.
It is not only a way for the Higher Power to enter my life. It is a way for him/her/it to enter the lives of those I help. For whatever reason, the Higher Power cannot or does not express love for us mortals directly (at least in my experience). I think instead he/she/it relies on us to establish contact with other people and, when we are open to being such channels, his/her/its love flows through us and into the other person. The steps of A.A. (also the Ten Commandments and probably the precepts of other—non-Jewish, non-Christian, non-Islamic—religions, as well as the moral precepts of right vs. wrong that most people learn as children) can be seen as suggestions as to how to prepare ourselves to become such channels.
Updated at 23:40 26 Aug:
Whoops! Forgot to give it a title.