“Relieve Me of the Bondage of Self”

“Relieve me of the bondage of self” is a sentence from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) third step prayer. Many of us are in bondage to ourselves whether we are alcoholics or not. The world revolves around what we want and what we need. We always have to make sure that we are not left out of getting all we think we deserve. It is kind of like being in a line for a buffet and how dare anyone get ahead of us.

The definition for the word bondage is slavery and servitude and it has always been one of my favorite words when describing what the disease of addiction has done to me. I have been a slave of my addiction doing everything it wants me to do to get the drink or the drug. When I think of bondage I also get a visual of being tied up in a rope with no way to get loose. To be in bondage to ourselves does not paint a very nice picture. We are totally tied up in our quest to make sure we are first in getting everything we want. It is exhausting and does nothing to make us feel better about ourselves.

I have always been envious of those people who seem to live to help others. They don’t appear to want anything in return, the reward is in the giving. As I have grown older I have become less selfish. I do try to help others and have more sympathy and empathy for people who are suffering. I try hard not to judge others because I have learned that I could be where they are with one turn of events. My addiction, while it has had me in bondage, it has also taught me to be more humble. I found that while I was on the quest to get what I needed I was also alone often. When I am in discussion with someone I no longer have to watch when their mouth closes so I can interject my I sentence.

Alcoholics Anonymous Third Step Prayer: God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy power, Thy love and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always.

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