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Hot Water, Cooling Attitude

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One of the telephone meetings I attend uses Seeking the Spiritual Path during its meetings. The readings given at one recent meeting inspired me to continue reading from the book on my own. I keep it handy now since I feel like I need to work on my spiritual condition.

Earlier today, I noticed I didn’t have hot water coming from my faucets, so I left a message for my landlord. A few hours later, I was busy with activities when my landlord arrived with a repairman to fix the hot water heater. Wow, that was fast.

After a while, the repairman rang my doorbell multiple times, which made me very angry. When I opened the door, I held up one index finger and said, “You only have to ring the bell one time.” I must have had a stabbing look in my eyes because he paused and then turned and retreated up the stairs and left. I never got to find out what he wanted to say, but not long after, I turned on my faucets to find that I had hot water. My ego and pride kept me from picking up the phone and apologizing since a part of me felt justified in my actions, but the whole situation just kept eating away at me.

About three hours later, I picked up Seeking the Spiritual Path, and the very next story I read was “Justifiable Anger?” (pp. 72–73). Was it a coincidence? I think not.

The paragraph that really spoke to me said, “As a compulsive overeater and former failure in Life 101, I can’t afford anger, justified or not. I must follow the Twelve Steps, writing my feelings down on paper and reading them to a trusted person, acknowledging my part in situations, becoming ready to have my character defects removed, and asking my Higher Power to remove those character defects. Then I decide whether I need to make amends to anyone, and I make them, usually by changing my behavior.”

The words instantly created a change in my prideful attitude, and the next thing I knew, I was on the phone apologizing to my landlord. I humbled myself and admitted that I was wrong. Just the act of making amends and acknowledging my part gave me peace. I have learned that I cannot have peace unless I clean up my side of the street.

My Higher Power is at work in me and helping me work on my spiritual condition. I am so grateful to OA and the Tools of the program.

— Sandy W., Niles, Illinois USA

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