Overspending Was Only a Symptom of a Deeper Problem

Thought for Today:

Resentment – the re-feeling of old wounds – was our #1 problem. Full of pride and self-justification we would lash out at an unjust world in anger, sometimes passive-aggressively, other times with outright aggression.  Taking a fourth step inventory was essential for recovery from compulsive debting, overspending, and under-earning.

Before Step Four, our lives were run by old resentments, fears, pride.  As a result, we often hurt those closest to us.  In effect, they paid the price for our debting.

After taking the Fourth Step, we began to see the truth about ourselves. We saw behavior patterns that were ruining our lives. We were angry and needed to learn to practice restraint.

Sometimes we under-reacted and needed more vigilance – such as with our with record keeping.  Rage and blame for our financial misfortunes had to stop.  Gossiping, guilt trips, lashing out and attacking were not worth our time.

These behaviors were in us long before we began to debt compulsively.  Now, armed with a program of dealing with the disease of debting, we needed to relearn how to live.

We needed to replace those old behaviors with the virtues of patience, love, tolerance, and wisdom.  We needed to take certain steps in DA to get our lives back, including reaching out to another human being and sharing our story.

Am I willing to do whatever it takes to turn my life and my will over to the care of God, no matter how vulnerable it makes me feel?  Do I realize I am not alone in recovery?

Meditation for today:

Many of us chose to deny our disease and act out by debting instead. In DA we realized that resentment, fear, and anger no longer need run our lives. Using “Intellect over Emotions”, or “I over E”, we can decide to accept our level of recovery right where we were at today, at this moment.

Affirmation for today:

Today I will look at my past and learn from it. I will choose to live a happy recovery. I will find something to be grateful for.

Prayer for today:

Make me grateful.  Stop me from acting out of self-pity, resentment, self-righteousness, and any other defect. Help me complete the Steps and become a better version of myself.

Further Reading:

The book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions is the definitive guide to all the Steps and Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.  It brings an in-depth understanding of why and how the program of recovery evolved, and how it works to this day, over sixty years after it was first published.

DA adapted the short form of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions almost word for word (with AA’s permission) and to this day DA recommends we read AA literature, (including the “Twelve and Twelve“) as a way for us to understand the disease concept.

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