(This continues “for a lifetime.”)
“ Watch" means to be or to remain awake.* In Alcoholics Anonymous, a Step Ten practice calls for constant watchfulness over negative emotions and even proposes a mechanize procedure for the treatment of these forces.
Practitioners are to remain vigilant of approaching threats, all day. When emotions present themselves they are to immediately, on-the-spot pray, ask God to take them away, talk about the situation with someone (openly illuminating it) and make amends FAST if anyone has been harmed during the incident.
(When we are bothered, many of us at first react in ways that can be quite inconsiderate and injurious to others. Those are addressed immediately.)
Lastly, they are to do something that only moments before would have been impossible.They are to consider someone to whom they can be helpful, because now they find a new usefulness emanating from within, whereas when unconscious and run over by negative thought, they were useless.
Do you remember Bill W. in the Mayflower Hotel Lobby? Overwhelmed with worry over his troubles, Bill Wilson is a useless, morally floundering scumbag—sober, but obsessed with sex and booze. He makes a decision. He is about the cheat on his wife and he is about to get gassed. Again. There is never going to be an AA.
Then in heartbeat, as fast as was his decline, he is suddenly uplifted.
Still overwhelmed, but now in a new way. Watchfulness has kicked in. In a flash he experiences restored consciousness rendering Bill Wilson sane and able to help others—and we all know what happens after that.
The future of the world changes forever.
Self-reliance nearly (but did not) snatch him back into the jaws of waiting spiritual slumber – spiritual illness, but it is removed. The clamors of the world that had claimed him years ago after once having a spiritual awakening experience (In England) were still active.
This time was different.
This time, after having gone through the “program” with Ebby, he was better positioned. This time he was not so far from conscious contact with God. The proximity to His Creator was enough to save him from the ever-assaulting clamors in the stream of life every human being experiences.
Watchfulness, conscious vigilance, that Godly tap on the shoulder, made him awake and aware and he was protected from doubt and worry. He gained instant courage in that moment and was never the same. Neither was the world. By the time Bill made phone call number one from that lobby, he was already safe.
Some people think the 'phone calls' saved Bill - and use that misconception as an excuse to justify the blind leading the blind in 'sponsorship' situations - for the sick ambitiously trying to "heal" the sick. No, Bill Wilson was conscious, and well and he thanked God for his restored sanity before he ever stuck one his spindly fingers into one dial-hole of that hotel phone. All it took was watchfulness.
This awakening event, a spiritual experience on the ground floor lobby of a busy urban Midwest hotel, was the founding dawn of the granddaddy of all Twelve Step Fellowships, “Alcoholics Anonymous”, a worldwide spiritual fellowship that flowered out of a single spore of watchful, conscious awareness in the mind of one man, in one moment of one day in 1934.
Wake up! You never know what your role in this world may be.
Peace and Love,
Real Live Recovered Alcoholic
 “Alcoholics Anonymous”, 4th edition, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 84:2
* The Winston Simplified Dictionary Encyclopedic Edition (1938)