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September 1, 2014

A.A. Promises (the Realistic Version)

by Brendan

My friend J was sharing tonight at a meeting that her response to some of the A.A. Promises was, “Are you kidding me”?  Her specific example was the one that says, “Fear of economic insecurity will leave you.”  Well, she shared that currently she’s a little bit bordering on indigent, so the fear hasn’t and probably won’t leave her.

Maybe a more realistic promise would be, “Fear of economic insecurity will no longer stun me as if I just got Tasered.”

And about the one that says, “You will intuitively handle situations that used to baffle you.”  Maybe it could more realistically be phrased: “If you’re extremely mindful, you just might be able to thread your way carefully through situations that used to baffle you.  Or, if situations like that continue to baffle you, be patient– it does, after say that the promises will “materialize…sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.”

And then the final promise: “You will suddenly realize that God is doing for you what you could not do for yourself.” I’d like a reboot of that one that says: “You will realize that God sometimes, or even often, leaves you on your own to meet life’s challenges like an adult, but He always loves you dearly.  And searches for you, always.”

Finally, the A.A. Promises end with a rhetorical question, “Are these extravagant promises”?  The answer in the Big Book, and the rote answer most people recite at meetings is, “We think not.”  I suggest a new answer to “Are these extravagant promises?”  That would be: “Not any more.  Now they’re fairly realistic.”

Glad we had this little talk.

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