Peace With Others
It has often been said that you can’t love others until you can learn to love yourself. I don’t know how true that is, but if it is it also would seem to follow that you can’t have peace with others until you are at peace with yourself. Could it just be the ancient question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Regardless, creating peace with others is as difficult, if not more so, than making peace with yourself. I recall a former senior pastor of mine who made a statement from the pulpit that he was his family’s worst enemy. It seems like an expansion of the Pogo thought with more truth to it than we care to admit. Personally, most of us have the greatest struggles with mates, parents, children and siblings. It seems that in our families the worst of our character defects come out. It would also seem to make sense that if we can learn how to live at peace with our immediate family members, then we should be able to extend that success into our neighborhoods and workplaces. But, in assessing relationships with others, more questions arise,.e.g. what causes friction in relationships? James provides a classic answer to that one in Chapter 4:1-3 in which he asks that very question: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (NIV)
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous expands on these thoughts with these words, “Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariable find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later place us in a position to be hurt.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 62) This is exactly the point at which the Twelve Steps come in to rescue us in our relationships with others. The Steps teach us how to do a thorough job of evaluating our part in the struggles we have with others and what we can do to reconcile and/or repair the damage done.
Those of us in Serenity Seekers have learned these truths to be right on target. We have successfully used the Steps, especially as presented in the Serenity Bible, as the main course and steady path on which we have travelled, as the Serenity Prayer states, to “be reasonably happy in this life.” Beyond the Serenity Bible, Serenity Seekers has many other useful study guides and books that address specific areas of difficulty: anger, depression, overeating, self-esteem, boundaries, sexual integrity, assertiveness and learning the truth about the lies we have grown to believe.
It is our sincere hope that you, the reader of this brief introduction to Serenity Seekers, will see its value in Promoting Peace with God, Self and Others to the extent that you will at least visit one of our meetings to discover if this is your opportunity to “Trudge the Road to Happy Destiny.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, pg 164)