A friend recently said to NOT be impressed when someone says they are ‘working the [12-Ste) Program, but to be impressed when they are working the program. I always get a little triggered by such ‘talk’. Yes, see the irony? Here’s what usually happens in my head when I hear someone say that words mean nothing and just SHOW ME, but now I’ll say “it” out loud and hopefully put my inner critic back to sleep:
“Everyone is my teacher. If they are or are not working the program is none of my business. Sometimes the program is working them. But then, that's my Al-Anon side coming out. No one ever truly 'arrives.' The idea of being "impressed" sounds like ego to me. Maybe that's what underlies the post, which makes sense. There's a trend out there among certain circles that 'talk is cheap.' I interpret that to mean that they themselves are by default considering their own words to be worthless. Like when someone says, "I'm sorry" seven times and then doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
Yes, the Big Book points out that saying we are sorry doesn't go far enough. I get that. The Flipside is that no matter how much one acts to secure forgiveness from those we've harmed, it's useless ACTION if their resentment is stronger than their ability or willingness to forgive. Someone near and dear to my heart said that we are to forgive "70 x 7" rather than having hissy-fits over life.
Me, I had to barf hundreds of time, get arrested numerous times, and even kill someone while driving under the influence of alcohol and stupid selfishness (selfishness was our real problem, and we didn't have a drinking problem, we had a thinking problem and drinking was just a symptom thereof).
The only requirement for our applicable love and membership in the Program is a DESIRE to quit drinking. Working the Program is irrelevant, AKA, an Outside Issue. That's my two-cents worth.
Take what you like and leave the rest.”