There are two parts to the Community portion of the P.E.A.C.E acronym. The first part (as I wrote about 2 blogs ago)involves surrounding ourselves with healthy community and being willing to seek help from those in the community. The second part involves extending a hand in order to help others. In the recovery process we find as we get better the best way to continue to grow is to offer assistance to others and help them grow. There is a great saying “you can’t keep what you have unless you give it away.” This is so true for recovery. We first must become willing to seek help and then have the same willingness to offer help to others. Both of these actions involve getting out of ourselves which is a cleansing step in the recovery process. Our disease is a disease of self focus and self centeredness. Trusting and helping those in community helps us take the focus off of ourselves.
The 12 step community started over seventy years ago with this simple “community” formula of people helping people. Alcoholics Anonymous started with two helpless drunks talking to each other, helping each other out and they combined it with a belief in God. Soon they got their feet under them and they started helping others. Today millions of former helpless alcoholics, drug, gambling, food, shopping, and sex addicts, as well as co-dependents (the need to always be validated) are finding recovery by helping one another. This world-wide community is grounded in a belief of a power greater than themselves whom many call God and/or Jesus. Thus the reason these 12 step communities are successful.
I look back when I was in a hopeless state. I was not willing to ask for help and had turned my back on God. I also knew I was unable to help others. What an awful way to live!
Get out of yourself today and into community and be sure to take God along with you. A huge by-product of this way of living is the “fruit of the Spirit”…Galations 5:22 “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.”