Thursday, 8 September 2011

September 8 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

September 8 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Today, life is beautiful! It is quite dark out, early morning, cloudy and early commuters buzzing about. Days like these sent shivers through me in times past, 6:00AM at the health club, work for 8:00 AM and home late evening. Drink to oblivion, pass out. Day after day... Now sober, each day is different. I can say yes, and I can say no. Today fear is less; no brave face and no ego. Enough courage, faith and confidence to be me for today...

This day last year: a lot of anxiety fuelling fear, anger and resentment. I felt isolated and alone with no help. It made me feel very unwell. And when I look back it was me trying to do it all alone and not asking the right people for help. Just because was right did not help one bit. Letting go and asking the right people in the right places for help was torture. Organisations may say no to us, but yes to the right person in the right place with the right thing, that thing being power!

September 2005 ~ 2010

Why should I accept the unacceptable? A bit of a do today. I live as a tenant in a very comfortable flat, yet the management organisation for the Landlord are making my life difficult. Ineffective, inefficient: and totally unacceptable to anyone with half a brain. Yet I keep my cool and persist with generosity of heart. Actually I felt really ill this morning, as resentments were looming. And I know my expectations are resentments under construction. Resentments lead to step tens and my part in matters. Let go and let those with the power do something. So I have exercised my power and voiced my feelings and observations as I see the situation, I then let go and let those with power and authority deal with it. If they can they will, if they cannot, they are in the same place as me, powerless over people places and the things which are not possible.

I have spoken to two people about this, who are not involved and we have smiled and seen the up side as well as the down side. Will it kill me today? No, so let go and let go some more, or I get ego rising and everything goes mad in my head. And the god problem happens, I act as if I know best and I don't on my own.

So I need a fellowship meeting to still the mind, talk if I feel the need and today more likely to remember and simply listen to what others are saying and doing. By the time I go to bed tonight I need simply realise that people are doing the best they can with what they have, sometimes the best is their worst, just like me... Step nine and ten help me. Do no harm, forgive everything and be at peace with my world today...

Amends to self? As we live to good conscience and sober life improves on a personal level. We still encounter dishonest, unwilling and closed down ego driven people, just like we can be. Then we have to learn what to do when we feel we are asked to accept the unacceptable behaviour of others, walk away, confront, conflict today?

We ask for help; sharing what we had done, with the sanctuary of anonymity so we may find the truth of who we can be today. Amends to be made to those we had hurt and harmed by how we live and not doing further harm to others. Amends take many forms, not usually of our choosing as we live sober today...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "We asked his protection and care with complete abandon. [big book] I could not manage my life alone. I had tried that road and failed. My “ultimate sin” dragged me down to the lowest level I have ever reached and, unable even to function, I accepted the fact that I desperately needed help. I stopped fighting and surrendered entirely to God [and or good conscience, and living to truth, love and wisdom learned from those around me].Only then did I start growing! God [and or good conscience, truth, love and wisdom learned from those around me] forgave me. A Higher Power had to have saved me, because the doctors doubted that I would survive. I have forgiven myself now and I enjoy a freedom I have never before experienced. I’ve opened my heart and mind to Him. The more I learn, the less I know – a humbling fact – but I sincerely want to keep growing. I enjoy serenity, but only when I entrust my life totally to God [and or good conscience]. As long as I am honest with myself and ask for His help, I can maintain this rewarding existence. Just for today, I strive to live His will for me – soberly. I thank God that today I can choose not to drink. Today, life is beautiful!"
September 7 | 12 Steps In Action Alcoholics Anonymous

DonInLondon As we move along in recovery, the temptation to keep volunteering may be deep rooted. Spiritual progress might be not volunteering so others can take up scarce service positions? Same old, same old can block, stifle and hinder the health of individuals and the fellowship. When I feel the fellowship is changing and is not what it used to be, I am thankful that recovery is healthy, changing and keeping me on my sober toes today...

Stick with the winners... A winner in one meeting may seem like a loser in another, a lot like looking in the mirror for me. Progress today, not filling the emptiness with fear, simply having courage and faith that I need space to grow...

September 2005 ~ 2010

Our side of the street clean, our conduct and our behaviour change... Twelve step fellowships provide us with the tool kit to see how we were in the past and how we are today. Twelve steps to appraise ourselves and make changes to us, not to judge others or change others or we will go mad again and again...

Alcohol the rapacious creditor: my best friend, a love affair? If it was not alcohol it would be anything, people, places things, collecting always to fill the gap inside. And still the gnawing emptiness with every success, whatever I thought it to be. Not so now, learning to love; be loved and useful, just for today...

AA Daily Reflections ~ ""our side of the street" we are there to sweep off our side of the street, realizing that nothing worthwhile can be accomplished until we do so, never trying to tell him what he should do. His faults are not discussed. We stick to our own. [big book]

I made amends to my dad after I quit drinking. My words fell on deaf ears since I had blamed him for my troubles. Several months later I made amends to my dad again. This time I wrote a letter in which I did not blame him nor mention his faults. It worked, and at last I understood! My side of the street is all that I'm responsible for and thanks to God [and or good conscience, truth, love and wisdom learned from those around me] and A.A., my side of the street is clean for today."
September 6 | Steps In Action Alcoholics Anonymous

DonInLondon ~ Risk? What if I was to tell you the truth and you don’t like it? Am I in possession of the truth, or just my opinion and belief? I can misjudge, misinform, make mistakes and not progress when I exclude you from my understandings… Truth is revealed when we speak up today…

September 2005 ~ 2010

Breaking habits of a life time? Now a life time is one day long... "another day above ground is a miracle" said the man in the street walking his dog. I saw my neighbour yesterday, on my way out to the market. I had not seen him for months, as I have been away from regular meetings with injuries this year. He is in the fellowship as are hundreds of people in my neighbourhood. My neighbourhood; where the richest people in the world live, and also the poorest, from any background, colour and creed. So many in fellowships in my neighbourhood to keep sober and live happy lives, whatever our circumstances, fellowships are always free. Addiction has no boundaries and affects anyone who is susceptible, alcohol, drugs, substances and behaviour. In fellowship, with one purpose, prejudice and background is put aside, often lost and forgotten as we learn to love, be loved and useful again. We become human as we become sober and learn to value all life if we are so inclined. Indeed the only prejudice we have becomes addiction itself.

The man and his dog, no one else in the street knows of the years in sobriety and need never know as fellowship provides anonymity. But hundreds know all the same. Anonymity is the sanctuary to find truth, love and wisdom from others and ourselves, one day at a time. Some suggest god is truth, love and wisdom we learn from others. I am happy with this starting point and truth, love and wisdom is my higher power. I need truth love and wisdom to keep sober, a very cool outlook for me today.

And good conscience prevails as we become sober if we are inclined, self-harm and harming others pulls us down as surely as any addiction. As we make amends as we go, when we find ourselves in troubled moments, truth will always set us on the right course of action today. Open, honest and willing, sober offers hardship joy and sadness, as life is and not some fantasy we may have lived in the past. Sober for today, means I give life my best shot, no promises, simply reality and life on life's terms today...

2010 ~ AA Steps and philosophy; freedom to make good choices. Letting go old ways and outlooks, and giving up our secrecy about our drinking. We learn in fellowship we need never pick up a drink again. Learning news and outlooks, we stop self-harm, and stop harm done. We make amends as we can and by how we live today...

2010 ~ AA life a day at a time; out of the problem and into the solution. We start with 90 meetings in 90 days, a commitment to new living, and sober. Sometimes quickly we feel we are on the right path, sometimes slowly and sometimes we stumble, and we keep coming back as sober sticks, and life improves just for today...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "Removing threats to sobriety... except when to do so would injure them or others [big book]

Step Nine restores in me a feeling of belonging, not only to the human race but also to the everyday world. First, the Step makes me leave the safety of A.A., so that I may deal with non-A.A. people “out there,” on their terms. It is a frightening but necessary action if I am to get back into life. Second, Step Nine allows me to remove threats to my sobriety by healing past relationships. Step Nine points the way to a more serene sobriety by letting me clear away past wreckage, lest it bring me down."

Step Nine Reading

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

How It Works

Although these reparations take innumerable forms, there are some general principles which we find guiding. Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be. We may lose our position or reputation or face jail, but we are willing. We have to be. We must not shrink at anything.
-A.A. Big Book p.79

After we have made a list of people we have harmed, have reflected carefully upon each instance, and have tried to possess ourselves of the right attitude in which to proceed, we will see that the making of direct amends divides those we should approach into several classes. There will be those who ought to be dealt with just as soon as we become reasonably confident that we can maintain our sobriety. There will be those to whom we can make only partial restitution, lest complete disclosures do them or others more harm than good. There will be other cases where action ought to be deferred, and still others in which by the very nature of the situation we shall never be able to make direct personal contact at all.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 83
September 5 | Steps In Action Alcoholics Anonymous

DonInLondon People matter today. I was sharing with friends the nature of forgiveness changes through time. Often we will not apply forgiveness to ourselves, and yet forgive others everything. At my worst I was doing the best I could, at their worst it was the best they could, forgiving is equalising. We always face consequences of actions at our worst, and hopefully we learn and change as we may. That was then this is now, just for today...

September 2005 ~ 2010

"Get Over it"

So often said in a harsh moment, "get over it" and whatever the “it” may be, we can chew a long time on "it" before we do. The "it" to get over is usually the impact of people, places and things on me or you. An impact we do not like, usually a loss of some we see precious and important to us. Some say we need live recovery like a loose garment, room to move and breathe, get used to new attitudes and outlooks, let go what is not ours to covet is often the answer. Covet ~ "to feel inordinate desire for what belongs to another"

What we most often covet is freedom. And the irony as we learn in recovery is we cherish our freedom to live well, to love, be loved and useful. And then when others exercise their choices and freedoms, we can become quite bitter and twisted very quickly. They don't love us back and we feel useless, followed by every dark thought as a response.

Emotional balance is not a neutral way to live where nothing upsets our outlook. Actually everything upsets our balances. Physically every time our heartbeat goes up or down as our feelings impact on us, we are creating a new balance. So we will feel life as we go, and our heartbeat is raised many times a day by what is going on. All good, and this reaction to our situation keeps us safe and also can put us in harm’s way. Joy and sadness in different amounts are experienced each day.

Our emotions are us, and then we think, often singled minded, to our view and not the overall view of a situation. Balance comes when we accept everyone has the same rights, and same responsibilities. At this moment we find a conflict on so many levels. No one person sees our outlook as we see it, and the same applies, we do not see another’s outlook and situation, unless we pause and reflect...

As we learn, the viewpoints of others and how they differ from ours, we find the connection. How to have empathy, how we see, not how I see all the time. Life is a series of agreements and disagreements, inclusion and exclusion as we learn in the moment.

Balance? Something I see as I swing by... until I ask and connect, until I can accept the situations as they are today and then work on choices based on others outlooks as well as my own.

We "get over it" a thousand times a day; sometimes it is just the one we need really get over, our own point of view, our own ego and our single minded purpose to be right all the time...

September 5 2010 ~ in a judgmental frame of mind, we see in others what we do not see in ourselves. It does not take much persuading to see their faults, and then the world can turn dark very quickly. Better to look inwards to good judgment, make the best choices, let go and move along in a timely manner... today

September 5 2010 ~ a day in the life as you see it... Judged and judged again in the malady of addiction, snap decisions others made to avoid us at all costs... Odd these days we can do the same, judge harshly in recovery when we encounter our fellows in the malady. I am responsible when anyone anywhere reaches out for help...
Video Link To This Day:

AA Daily Reflections ~ "Emotional balance... Made direct amends to such people wherever possible [12&12]

When I survey my drinking days, I recall many people whom my life touched casually, but whose days I troubled through my anger and sarcasm. These people are untraceable, and direct amends to them are not possible. The only amends I can make to those untraceable individuals, the only "changes for the better" I can offer, are indirect amends made to other people, whose paths briefly cross mine. Courtesy and kindness, regularly practiced, help me to live in emotional balance, at peace with myself. "
September 4 | Steps In Action Alcoholics Anonymous

DonInLondon Last night was fantastic, met a friend at a meeting, meeting was deep and poignant. Then a cycle ride to Soho, Piccadilly and Regents St. Amazing sites, people enjoying the buzz and night life. I loving the experience of seeing everything, sober, happy joyous and free…
The amend to self, to love the experience, see real life happening and its okay to be me today…

September 2006 ~ 2010

Recovery life, full of tangles and stumbles

In recovery we go backwards as well as forwards in our feelings and thinking. Our feelings hurt a lot, because we don't medicate or fix them anymore, we live with them. We do learn so slowly what may be good for us, we always want to speed up past the pain and get back to peace, serenity and happiness. After all we are human beings, simply having a human experience. We prefer edited good highlights in our daily life, yet when we watch TV we often feel better for a dose of human misfortune... Then we probably reckon our own lives are not that bad?

Tangled living means we can go on too long expecting things to improve, with people and places, which we are powerless over. When we realise that we are accepting the unacceptable behaviour of others and ourselves as a consequence or living in places bad for us, we can find it hard to let go. Until we see, we are powerless over people and places, and then change is on offer as we choose to behave differently.

Love as we find in recovery does make anything possible, at the same time some things are unlikely to change. When we love ourselves and others, we can stick around in pain too long. As we get stuck, so does all that is around us. And we stumble, blinkered by our own hope that things will change as if by magic. The magic we find in step nine? We can change our outlook, our attitudes and behaviour and make changes. Usually painful as we learn how.

Step nine shows us we don't need to stick around in hopeless situations we made with people, places and holding onto dreams without foundations. We learn to see the unacceptable far sooner, "least harm, soonest mended?" If we choose well and review daily in gratitude for what works, and step 10 inventories, the pain is less prolonged and serenity restored much more often than "back then"

Easy to write, hard to do, until we do it...

September 4 ~ Always the journey, always in our endeavours and choices, work life, take action and gain wisdom. Constant change and growth means we constantly let go old attitudes and behaviour so we make room for new. We hold on to what is good for us, let go what hinders us. Room for growth today?
Video Link To This Day:

September 4 ~ Recovery works one day at a time... "under construction daily" if we try re-invent ourselves, most likely we invent nothing more than what we know already. Old habits are hard to shake loose. If we are open to learn from everything and everyone, new outlooks and new choices open up daily. Let go, let good...
Video Link To This Day:
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Reconstruction... Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead...[big book]

The reconstruction of my life is the prime goal in my recovery as I avoid taking that first drink, one day at a time. The task is most successfully accomplished by working the Steps of our Fellowship. The spiritual life is not a theory; it works, but I have to live it. Step Two started me on my journey to develop a spiritual life; Step Nine allows me to move into the final phase of the initial Steps which taught me how to live a spiritual life. Without the guidance and strength of a Higher Power, it would be impossible to proceed through the various stages of reconstruction. I realize that God [or simply, good conscience and wisdom learned] works for me and through me. Proof comes to me when I realize that God [good conscience and wisdom learned from life and other people] did for me what I could not do for myself, by removing that gnawing compulsion to drink. I must continue daily to seek God’s [wisdom of life] guidance. He [providence] grants me a daily reprieve and will provide the power I need for reconstruction."
September 3 | Steps In Action Alcoholics Anonymous

Higher Powers than me: Changing our life situation and turning it all around, from being helpless and hopeless to functioning and productive human beings. If we could not stop ourselves from drinking, friends and family had little or no chance of providing sufficient reason or love. At rock bottom there is no love for ourselves, and we are desperate. We promise everything and can deliver nothing. Is it any wonder we share about a higher power helping us? Our higher power...

My higher power: the understanding, love and compassion learned from those who keep sober so I can see a life to be lived, my life with every interest I may find open to me in reality. And what of their higher power? Simple for me, learning and wisdom, truth and a learning to live in the one day which counts, where have choices, today. God is the ultimate higher power? I know I am not god and cannot define god. I do know the power of nature and providence that each day we humans evolve and learn and change; if we are able and not driven mad by self-obsession…

Nature and providence that is the "universe" is so big we cannot comprehend it, and providence, our good fortune or bad fortune is as we see it and experience it daily. A universe so big, we are not at its centre and we are simply a part of something. I came to believe that God manifests as "truth of now" "love" and "wisdom." I learn about truth, love and wisdom every day, as life is and not what I want it to be. Human understanding of science and everything is bigger than me. So I know in my own world and world of humans, I learn truth, love and wisdom from others, and add to truth, love and wisdom in our human world.

God manifests as good conscience in action of all humans having a human experience. As good conscience needs daily attention, so do I, learning and living in sobriety and living a life with choices which are good for me and everyone I encounter. The devil is in the detail? Me thinking I know best, when in reality, we live together and coexist, so “we” know best, as life is today. As we learn to cherish ourselves, we learn to cherish everyone. To love, be loved back and useful is a choice we make daily.

God, nature and providence are never the problem; it is in the detail where we choose to reside, where problems manifest when we forget our primary purpose, to live well together and cherish always...

Our sober life is a beginning. Our old outlook, attitudes and behaviour made us closed down, unwilling and quite frankly dishonest in our dealings with ourselves and others. We can feel conflicted with the "new us"; now more open, honest and willing to change, and so we simply make progress today...

Keeping it real, we love people just the way they are. In recovery we see the tragedy of a life ended too soon in addiction and we might wish they had found the path of sobriety. As we could not stop our love affair with alcohol on our own, we keep sharing our experience strength and hope as we may, love and cherish always...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "Building a new life... We feel a man is unthinking when he says sobriety is enough. [big book]

When I reflect on Step Nine, I see that physical sobriety must be enough for me. I need to remember the hopelessness I felt before I found sobriety, and how I was willing to go to any lengths for it. Physical sobriety is not enough for those around me, however, since I must see that God's gift [or the gift of wider perceptions through good conscience] is used to build a new life for my family and loved ones. Just as importantly, I must be available to help others who want the A.A. way of life. I ask God [or in meditation and in good conscience] to help me share the gift of sobriety so that its benefit may be shown to those I know and love."

September 2 | Steps In Action Alcoholics Anonymous

DonInLondon Last night the meeting felt like comedy hour, tragic comic, real life shared and truth, love and wisdom abounded. The consequences of living sober? Everything that happens in the next 24 hours will be felt as it happens, good, bad or indifferent today…

And I laugh at myself, happy to be human making progress; every step forward might mean two steps back. And that is okay today, because today is where I see the wisdom which makes the difference. No expectations no resentments and life is surprising me in the moment…

September 2006 ~ 2010

As new living opens us up with a clearer outlook we find new purpose in living. Simply the purpose is what we find out as we live each day. Humility: our key to new life and learning. We open up to the power of nature and providence whatever each of us understands it to be. We are a part of life today...

Life and death... lessons in recovery life. Last year, a neighbour perished as a consequence of addiction. Asked to help it was too late, the memory and details clear and imprinted. Before I found recovery, I was another statistic. In recovery, the horror and consequences a reality. A good person lost, cherished in memories always...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "Finding "a reason to believe" The willingness to grow is the essence of all spiritual development. [As Bill Sees It]

A line from a song goes, ". . . and I look to find a reason to believe.” It reminds me that at one time I was not able to find a reason to believe that my life was all right. Even though my life had been saved by coming to A.A., three months later I went out and drank again. Someone told me: "You don't have to believe. Aren't you willing to believe that there is a reason for your life, even though you may not know yourself what that reason is, or that you may not sometimes know the right way to behave?" When I saw how willing I was to believe there was a reason for my life, then I could start to work on the Steps. Now when I begin with, "I am willing," I am using the key that leads to action, honesty, and openness to a Higher Power moving through my life."
September 1 | Steps In Action Alcoholics Anonymous

DonInLondon Spiritual living and the fourth dimension, "time" is about utilising previous life experience to find out why the past contributes to positive or negative events today. No longer living in the past we are rocketed into the present moment. It can be "rude awakening," and always a "spiritual awakening" if we are grounded in truth, love and wisdom...
September: daily reflections, all about step & tradition nine. "Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others." And of course: “the promises.” In my experience the promises can be resentments under construction if we hand over personal responsibilities to our higher power.

September 2008 ~ 2010
Step nine is about clearing the wreckage of the past, what our old attitudes and behaviour did to ourselves and others and making the amends we can. Back then, when I as an active alcoholic I hurt myself and others. Step nine recognising old ways, making amends and committing to new ways of living... the promises

Recovery is not about waiting for some magic, it is about putting in action to change our attitudes and behaviour. We need learn our feelings anew in recovery long enough to know what they are. Having found out what our feelings are, we then need take action or stinking thinking can make as mad as hell all over again today...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "Willingness to grow... If more gifts are to be received, our awakening has to go on. [As Bill Sees It]

Sobriety fills the painful “hole in the soul” that my alcoholism created. Often I feel so physically well that I believe my work is done. However, joy is not just the absence of pain; it is the gift of continued spiritual awakening. Joy comes from on-going and active study, as well as application of the principles of recovery in my everyday life, and from sharing that experience with others. My Higher Power presents many opportunities for deeper spiritual awakening. I need only to bring into my recovery the willingness to grow. Today I am ready to grow"

Spiritual principles to live life "real" ~ "Forgiveness" "Acceptance" "Surrender" "Faith" "Open-mindedness" "Honesty" "Willingness" "Moral-inventory" "Amends" "Humility" "Persistence" "Spiritual-growth" "Service"

"Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others."

This step does carry a condition -- except when to do so would injure them or others. If the act of making amends will open old wounds or create new harm, then making direct amends may not be an option. The benefit of making amends by the recovering person does not do more harm than good.

"The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. The A.A. Steps & Traditions are neither: rules, regulations, or laws. Perhaps the secret of their power lies in the fact that these life-giving communications spring out of living experience and are rooted in love." ~ “We find it amazing that the newcomer can start the A.A. program without any specific beliefs or, for that matter, without any beliefs whatsoever. All a person needs is the open-mindedness and the willingness to believe that WE BELIEVE this program works..."
Step Nine, AA 12 Steps, Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, Addiction And Recovery, Addict, Alcoholic, Alcoholism, DonInLondon, Life Works

No comments: