One day I discovered, hidden in a closet under a pile of towels, a framed copy of what I call MyRules. I had made it out several years before as a means to clearly communicate how I want to live my life. It made me happy to find it, and I rehung it on the wall immediately. The feeling that came from this action was one of order and competency … that these rules would provide a healthy structure for my life.
My rules combines an understanding of the 12 Steps with ten principles by which I want to live my life. Here they are:
ALTAR: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…
1. We admitted we were powerless over _____________________ —- that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
INVENTORY: …the courage to change the things I can…
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
…and the wisdom to know the difference.
Stress has three sources:
1. Lack of predictability
2. Lack of control
3. Lack of outlets for our frustration
Ten Principles for Effectiveness:
1. My life is organized, ordered and functional. When my life is unmanageable I make corrections to get back on course. Psalm 1:2-3 …on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
2. Before I act, I ask a week in advance: What is the end result desired here? What is important? Who will help me? I write the answers down in my notebook. Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
3. Before I act, I ask: What is the best use of my time right now? Mat 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
4. I seek only Win-Win partnerships where I ask my partners to be my friends and to make & keep their commitments. 1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.
5. I seek to understand first, and also to be understood, and so live in community. What do I need to hear? To share? When? James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak…
6. I seek to live in a synergistic environment which is characterized by high energy, creativity, productivity, quality, enthusiasm, trust, joy, learning and fun. Where are the roadblocks to be removed? Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
7. I attend to my growing edge; I am faithful to myself. What did I learn today? What have I maintained? Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
8. I will pray today, and sit in silence with my Savior & Lord. John 10:10 I came that they may have life, & have it abundantly.
9. I will live in the present and enjoy it, one day at a time, forgiving the past and entrusting the future to God. I will enjoy my body and my health; they are a gift from God. Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
10. I will build the Kingdom of God in all my communities. Mat 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.