“We seek progress, not perfection,” was one of those cliché sayings I resented hearing over and over again before committing to actually working the twelve steps. My misconceptions of AA and the program of action laid out in the Big Book fueled my own flawed belief system which centered around perfectionism and unrealistic expectations. As much as I can set a goal to be the best at something, or be perfect, that in itself is not feasible simply because I do not know what perfection looks like on its own. The process of reaching a goal and the moments of experiencing life as it goes on weighs more heavily on my character than any sort of end goal.
My time spent in rehab is a perfect example; The end goal was to complete programming, and get out of treatment. That simple success means nothing on its own. Rather, the things I learned and my overall experience and the memories I carry with me have contributed more to my sense of self and character than a simple certificate of completion.
Applying this logic while working a spiritual program of action is important to maintaining my sanity. While I have developed a newfound desire to be the best version of myself and be of maximum service to the fellowship, I am still human and I still experience moments of anger, resentment, and laziness. That does not make me a bad member of AA, rather, it makes me just like everyone else. While I would love to be able to wake up every morning and be of optimum usefulness, sometimes I stray a little bit from the path I want to be walking. As long as I recognize the progress I have made thus far, hold that awareness close to my heart, and strive to make positive changes, I do not have to worry about being perfect, for it is unrealistic and irrelevant to the lessons I learn on a daily basis. I don’t want to reach a point of perfection because I need to keep learning how to improve and grow.