The Promises

Past due bills

“We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace…We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away…. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us.”

Last night’s AA meeting included a reading of the Promises. I so needed to hear them. Especially the part about the economic insecurity! In a society that has placed so much emphasis on “keeping up with the Joneses” lifestyle of bigger homes, bigger cars, super -sized, extra -large, maxed- out credit cards we barely get by with fewer jobs, higher costs and less pay. It’s no wonder I stress over my family’s financial situation. But with AA I can learn through prayer, meditation and service to others to silence this insistent knocking. Noise created by voices on the phone ( that is about to be shut off), “We need to speak with you about your student loans sometime today.” “We have an important message regarding your account with so-and so Bank”; “Can you give us a call today regarding your outstanding balance with such-and such Doctor”? Because of my nature, I feel irresponsible and guilty. Maybe making amends means reaching out to my lenders and finding solutions, resolutions. Talking with my partner about ways to avoid the nightmares every month of overdraft fees, late payments, will the mortgage be paid? Will they repo my car with only 10 payments left? No no. They won’t. But the fear that having no money brings into my world is formidable and ominous and like a menstrual cycle, here to greet me each month.

Of course, my husband and I created the mess -to a certain extent-with our spending and poor money management. But it does me no good to worry, grind my teeth and throw up my hands every 30 days. Is it a contradiction that AA says we must accept our powerlessness over alcohol, which expands to powerlessness over people, places and things when some of the things are actually within our power? And yet promises that “the fear of economic insecurity and people will leave us” makes me yearn for such a promise to be fulfilled in my life. I relish the day my fear of any insecurity, person, place or thing is no more.


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