What Does Resting On Your Laurels Even Mean?

That’s a good question! Resting on your laurels is when you’re so satisfied with your achievements that you stop growing. You stop making an attempt to grow in the image and likeness of God as you understand God.

Resting on your laurels is serious business! It happens to those new in recovery and those with time. Learning why resting on your laurels can lead to relapse is yet another step towards long-term sobriety.

 Page Eighty-Five in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says

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“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee – Thy will (not mine) be done.’ These are thoughts, which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.”

Even AA admits that it’s easy to rest on our laurels! Remember though, sobriety is a marathon, not a sprint! Just because we rest on our laurels for a little while, doesn’t mean we can’t start working a spiritual program of action again. Wait a minute, just what is a spiritual program of action?

What is a Spiritual Program of Action?

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This is different for everyone. Basically, as long as you have a Higher Power, which has been found through the twelve-steps, you’re good to go.

That last part is important. We must find our Higher Power through the twelve-steps. Once we’ve found that Higher Power, we need to continue to work steps ten, eleven, and twelve in our daily lives. We need to live in the solution!

To practice step ten, we need to write a personal inventory and reflect on our day. By doing this, we’re able to see where we were selfish and fearful. We’re able to see how our Higher Power can help us change those behaviors.

To practice step eleven, we need to pray and meditate on a daily basis. A simple way of thinking about prayer and meditation is that in prayer we’re talking to our Higher Power and in meditation we’re listening to it. Through practicing the eleventh step, we learn that nothing happens by accident!

To practice step ten, we need to carry the message and help others. That’s how we stay sober. Those of us who’ve finished the steps experience a spiritual awakening. At this point, our perceptions change. We see things in a way we never thought was possible. We’re able to start helping other women.

What Happens When You Rest on Your Laurels?

When you rest on your laurels things progressively get worse. That’s just how it goes. Eventually, you relapse. Because of how alcoholism works, you may be resting on your laurels and not even realize it!

There have been countless stories of alcoholics and what they did to get better. Usually, after a certain degree of success, we feel like we don’t need AA anymore, or that we’re okay where we’re at.

Even after graduating a women’s treatment center, even after completing the twelve-steps, us alcoholics CAN’T do this on our own. We must find a power greater than ourselves. Sober time doesn’t matter. As long as we stay spiritually fit, maintain what we learn through the steps, and continue to grow, we’re going to be okay. We’re going to live a meaningful, sober life.

It’s our choice whether we continue to grow or rest on our laurels. If we do rest on our laurels, we begin to fall back into a dry-drunk life, until we eventually drink. Them’s the facts, kiddos.

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