A Common Denominator —

Program Math

“So, when I finally took that moral inventory,” an AA said, “I found a common denominator in everything  that was wrong— it was me.”

Whoa. Wait. What?

I am a common denominator in all my troubles? 

What about  (fill in the blank)?!



There certainly have been crazy mean people, weird places and horrible things that were beyond my control — but what about those times when I had a choice? 



I really did make choices  that were dumb and destructive, proving the adage: Nobody comes into the program at the top of their game. 

By the way, just for the record:  my game was so lame. I was never going to win a reprieve from prisons I let alcohol put me. 

Resentments ruled; grievances grew, and alcohol became a more comfortable crutch. 

There was always that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount or understand. It was as if we were actors on a stage, suddenly realizing we did not know a single line to our parts. (The 12 &12, Step 5, page 57)

Admitting to God and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs, though  showed me a way to get around that confounding barrier.

It was to go through the door God was willing to open for me. It’s not like He couldn’t see the mess I made of my choices. 

Coincidentally, I just read the three times  of God’s willingness to open that door!  (Matthew 8:3; Mark 1:41; Luke 5:13)

Maybe, GOD-incidentally is a truer adverb. 

I hate owning up to my contributions to where I let alcohol take me — and I hate seeing the common denominator I can still be when I skip over Step 5.  

So, before I declare I am unwilling to see myself as a common denominator  in the painful stuff life can bring, maybe I can say I am willing . . . 


Recovery is not about having no problems — it’s about  handling problems that once baffled us. 

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A Common Denominator —