Enough is Just Below Too Much, Thank God
I love tennis; I like the colours, the sounds, and even the smells of a fresh sleeve of tennis balls. But like many other aspects of my life, half-measures availed me nothing; I was all in and loving it. But I was worried, was my life out of balance? Was I spending too much time on this activity? I talked with my sponsor about this problem.
He said, “we don’t know how much is enough, until we do too much. And for that, we should thank God.”
We laughed, but we both understood the truth of the proposition that half-measures had never been enough for us. Whether drinking, smoking, or exercising, we went to extremes — the same for sex, work, and other life activities. It seemed that whatever we touched, we took it to the max.
Fortunately, we had both learned to apply the same quest for extremes to our Program and spiritual life. We learned that we could take the Program to an extreme, and it will not hurt us. We can take the time for twelve-step calls at any time of the day, and not suffer. We can pray and meditate daily and experience no adverse effects. We can take continuous self-inventories, and never wear them out. So far, based on our experience, the Program can be practiced in all our affairs, and throughout our lives, without harm or damage.
At every AA meeting, we hear that half-measures avail us nothing. That was not our experience. In the early years of our Program life, we practiced half-measures, and though only half, they kept us sober. But life’s challenges, when they arose, led us to apply the principles of the Program to more and more areas of our life and deeper and deeper explorations of our character. We spend more time in the Program and practicing these principles than when we first arrived. We attend more meetings, take more twelve-step calls and spend more time reading and meditating.
We often say to ourselves, we are the lucky ones; we are the blessed ones. We moved from mere sobriety in the early days and grew to apply the principles to more of our affairs. We responded to life’s problems by applying the Program’s steps and principles, not because we were brilliant, but instead because we were not that bright and could see no other way. And not because we are tough, but because we are weak, we quickly became desperate. In retrospect, our weaknesses of mind and character led to our growth in the Program.
So today, after decades in the Program, we are trying to find out how much spiritual growth is enough; we are still striving for too much.
For tennis and my Program, I am still looking, and for too much. And my sponsor was right, thank God.