One of the chapters of my book that did not make the “final cut” was on The Promises – these golden words of the twelve step community that serve as a beacon to so many coming through the rooms of recovery. In the next twelve (or so) entries to my blog I will be reflecting on the meaning the Promises hold to so many men in recovery. Enjoy! And please comment and share with others. Thanks, Dan
The Promises have a special place in my heart simply because of the role that they have played in my life. Yes, it is true these are only some of the many promises in the Big Book; though, it is also true that nowhere else in the Big Book are there twelve promises presented in such a beautiful vision of what is waiting for you in sobriety. The Promises hold such a valuable place for so many men and our recovery in the twelve step community because of the powerful statement of hope that they offer. In the context of the Big Book, The Promises begin to play a role when you are making your Step Nine amends. What is more humbling than the first time you approach those you have harmed and offer your sincere apologies in the spirit of peace and personal accountability? For men in our culture, admitting to mistakes seems like admitting that we are “weak”. The ability to be humble with others, however, is the mark of a real man.
When I was young and just coming into recovery, I read these words on pages 83 and 84 and saw for the first time what my life could be some day. In the midst of my deep insecurity, shame, fear, and hopelessness, these words were a beacon shining through the mist and rain. I took very seriously the fact that they are called the Promises, not the Maybes or the Might Happens. I went to meetings where men and women talked about how The Promises had come true in their life and so I held onto them as a covenant between me and the fellowship. They can come true for you, too.