We […] deny ourselves the right to misuse anyone, and start giving of ourselves with no thought of getting anything in return except our own peace of mind and freedom (SA 147).
I heard it said that people how are “paying back” are being charitable, which to me mean they felt obligate. That is how I started working Step Twelve and found myself bitter and angry.
Slowly my thinking came around to “paying it forward.” I also misinterpreted this, believing that if I did things for others, surely they would start doing good stuff for me. Again, wrong attitude.
Finally, I realize I could better recover if I just gave without expectation of “payback”—doing without expectation.
Gratitude. Even after working the 12 Steps and receiving spiritual gift, I can still fall prey to self-pity and forget to be grateful. One practice that help me to remember is to send daily emails to my sponsor listing five things for which I am grateful. Some days five come easy and other they do not, but as I practice this excercise, I find it easier to remain emotionally sober. Often I am grateful for something I did not like but which caused me to grow. This keeps “poor pitiful me” from tainting the richness of my life, including, the experience of giving to other.
Higher Power, help me remember that I give simply because that is what your grateful servants do.