Alcoholics Anonymous is the foundation for Living with Momentum.
Though not an alcoholic myself, I have seen the power of AA. It transforms people and their lives. It creates strength where there was only weakness. It builds community where there was once self-destruction. It heals a deep brokenness that the addict carries with him. It makes the wound more bearable and the journey one of joyful advancement. It is a vehicle for personal miracles where only despair existed before. AA saved my marriage and continues to bless my home.
AA was developed through a collaboration of psychologists, therapists, medical professionals, religious and community leaders, and alcoholics themselves. It radically changed the way that alcoholism was treated in the 1920’s and elevated the alcoholic from a drunk with a physical problem to a person dealing with brokenness. AA recognized that you couldn’t reform an addict without treating the spiritual weakness that was the underlying cause. You couldn’t heal the body when the spirit was diseased.
The 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous is not just a path to sobriety for the alcoholic—
it is a roadmap for any person who is seeking to break free from whatever addiction is holding them back. It’s easy to say to yourself, “I am not an addict. Addicts are people with serious problems like alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction or obesity. I am just a normal person, living a normal life.” In reality, you would be lying to yourself. The addict happens to have a very obvious flaw–it exhibits itself in a socially unacceptable way and usually interferes with the normal functions of daily life. Your addiction is not socially unacceptable. It is not unique. It is not ostracized. Your addiction stems from that age old brokenness: original sin.
We all have it. We all fight it to varying degrees. For some, the real fight is pride. For others it might be envy, gluttony, anger, greed, sloth or lust. For others, the addiction may be to personal opinion, materialism, vanity, worry, fear, complacency, laziness, or just being critical. The 12 step program of AA can be boiled down a little to apply to anyone who is on the journey of personal growth
7 STEPS TO LIVING WITH MOMENTUM, the AA way
- Admit that my life has gotten out of control and that I need God to show me His plan for my life.
- Made a decision to align my life with the will of God, entrusting Him with my care.
- Made a searching and fearless inventory of myself.
- Admitted to myself, God and another the nature of my shortcomings and continue to promptly admit when I am wrong.
- Was entirely ready to have God remove my defects and humbly asked Him for their removal.
- Sought through prayer and meditation the knowledge of God’s will for my life, and the power to carry it out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, I have tried to live my life as an example to others and have shared the message with others.
In what way are the Momentum Group and AA similar?
- Enter at your own risk. You get out of it what you put into it. You must show up to make any real progress. If you choose to enter, you will not be the same person when you get out.
- As you are. There is no perfect time or perfect amount of commitment. In AA, you can still be an active alcoholic and you won’t be kicked out. Those who are not committed to changing themselves naturally weed themselves out. Living with Momentum means starting where you are, for however long you need to be there. Which leads to
- You must show up. Even if you fall down every single day in your commitment to grow, you need to show up. One of the powerful elements of AA is the story: you hear over and over and over again the story of what alcohol has done to ruin your life and what sobriety can do to making it better. In the Momentum Group, just hearing personal stories of triumph and defeat provides fuel for your own personal “recovery.”
- You need God. A trip without a roadmap gets you to the wrong destination. A roadmap for the wrong trip gets you lost. But the right roadmap to the right destination is God’s plan for your life. God is the mapmaker. If you listen to His directions, you will stay on course and experience the life He intended. Choose your own path and you may not arrive at His destination. You can’t do it alone. You need God. You need His grace. You need to companions He places along the way.