At April’s suggestion, I added her recommendations for how to overcome selfishness — with prayer!
The AA Big Book identifies the root of our problem as unrestrained self-will. “… selfishness and self-centered is the root of our problem.” (AA BB 62:1) Ironically, we cannot willfully use self-will to remove self-will. We have to have God’s help. The spiritual discipline of program requires us to surrender our will and our life over God, as we understand Him, and choose to align our will with His will.
“As an alcoholic, you must get rid of selfishness or face death. There is no way of getting rid of selfishness without God. You must have God’s help.” (AA BB 62:2)
“Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee – Thy will (not mine) be done.’ These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is proper use of the will.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, p.85
In Step 1, we acknowledge our powerlessness over our basic addiction. In Step 2, we come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. In Step 3, we make a decision to hand our will and our lives over to the care of that Power.
We are powerless over the food, we are powerless over our thoughts, and we are powerless over our feelings. We are powerless over EVERYTHING. Self-reliance fails us. But, there is a solution – a Power greater than ourselves – God. Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.
Though the daily practice of Steps 10, 11 and 12, we learn how to differentiate between our thoughts, feelings and actions. How we respond is dependent on how close we are to God and our willingness to do His will and be as He would have us be.
The root cause of my compulsive overeating/addiction is my spiritual emptiness, and my search for happiness, satisfaction and contentment in food rather than seeking conscious contact with the God of my understanding.
As April so beautifully suggested in the comment section from a previous post, we cannot will ourselves to change. We cannot will ourselves to stop doing or feeling anything! Asking for assistance from God is crucial.
Thank you April for your invaluable suggestion. Together we can do what we could never do alone. Clearly, this is a WE program, not a ME program.