May 16 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 5 Admit And Accept | Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "we forgive…" I need to forgive everyone everything including myself today. Even on the worst day everyone is doing the best they can with what they have, after all even the worst is the best it can be right now. And I need forgive my part in it, whatever is happening or I will make a stand sometimes when those stands are not required by me or anyone else…
We often encounter difficult people being difficult. And I know I can make life more difficult for myself and for the other people by asserting my outlook over their outlook. If I can stop myself and see my part in events maybe I can walk away and not engage in a difficult way or maybe find a way which helps everyone and not just me. Forgiveness is not backing down or accepting the unacceptable; it is understanding the human condition and learning from it…
Forgiving other people and learning forgiveness for ourselves does not mean we are immune or they are immune to the consequences of what has happened. We will live the consequences of past actions and behaviour like everybody else. And the learning always comes down to what we can do today and what we cannot do today and continuing to learn the wisdom as a consequence. Forgive and let go today so we don't have to relive the same old same old tomorrow…
Forgiveness does not mean we are immune to any of our feelings, we will feel every emotion in its full measure in the moment, with practice though the feelings will be less exaggerated and more in keeping with reality. I used to say to myself before I go to sleep tonight I need to forgive everybody everything, and if it doesn't work, "fuck them!" And then try again tomorrow, and it does work when I work at forgiveness today…
"Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much" Oscar Wilde & "Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave" Indira Gandhi
Love people and hate their behaviour? This has been an important understanding for me. I can love, forgive and not diminish another person when they behave badly. This opened the door further to understanding humility. If I can learn from my mistakes, forgive and move on... Compassion is key in all respects today...
"Over Doing, Under Being" Early days all about thinking and looking right, better days starting to simply feel right, we start by thinking and doing recovery, then we graduate to living and being in recovery, just for a day, this one, always..
Sharing our history, the good, the bad and the ugly, we see cause and effect. We see our part in all matters to do with people, places and things and the consequences for ourselves and others. Willingness to forgive ourselves and every human is key to living in the moment of now...
AA Daily Reflection: AA Daily Reflection: WE FORGIVE... Often it was while working on this Step with our sponsors or spiritual advisers that we first felt truly able to forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt they had wronged us. Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all round forgiveness was desirable, but it was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly knew we'd be able to receive forgiveness and give it, too. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 58
What a great feeling forgiveness is! What a revelation about my emotional, psychological and spiritual nature. All it takes is willingness to forgive; God will do the rest.
May 16 2007
Reflections - Just Another Day DonInLondon ‘Day in The Life’
Yes just another day. And every day something seems to change. Seems my neighbours are off today to a new place to live. Living in emergency accommodation, well you know it’s good to see people in need move on and make life work as they get stronger and more able.
And although I have my handicaps and incapacities, I am moving along too. Slowly but surely, getting to grips with a new way of life just in the day. And I have been able to help one or two people today.
The impact of yesterday’s meeting and the wisdom shared about the middle steps of change in our fellowship programme helped me immensely as many with years of doing shared what worked in real life for them.
The middle steps of AA
Step six is all about removing our defects of character and Step seven is all about our shortcomings. In layman’s terms for me, and with the benefit of a flexible approach I can translate this concept.
Defects and Shortcomings
For me the defects I may utilise are attitudes and behaviour which are unhelpful to making life work in the day, not just for me but for everyone. The shortcomings on the other hand are probably not doing enough of the right things.
What is the difference?
Well for me the defects of character are probably those things I may do because my motivations are based on three elements, Fear, Bravery or Bravado and my Ego. If I feel fear, I may mask it and put on a brave face; I may also react to situations from my ego and be defensive and self-cantered. I may forget all I know about equal and right sized responses.
Shortcomings, rather than view the world with fear, I am better able to deal with things if I have Courage, Faith and Confidence. So my shortcomings as they are described mean I don’t always get the courage and faith and confidence which stops me becoming fearful, with bravery at my side and ego driving me.
So these middle steps are about fundamental shifts in my attitudes and based on some beliefs I have. I believe in good conscience, that my conscience is best utilised rather than myself centred and personal agenda. Sometimes we forget so easily to take account of others, we feel it’s all about us. And that means I forget about you and your outlook.
So Defects and Shortcomings
In simple terms for me, if I can have courage faith and confidence, and respond appropriately taking account of the big picture, then I am less drawn towards fear, bravado and ego.
So when I recognise my needs and wants, need also take account of all elements and all people, then I get myself right sized. I ask and accept what is possible and what is reasonable. I don’t see the world as unfair and that in real terms I need only understand the possible and make my endeavours in the light of being right sized.
When I get resistant and stubborn, fear comes knocking on my door very quickly. Fear of loss, fear of shame, fear of being not good enough to share my needs and wants.
More often when I understand needs and the reality of a situation, I forget unreasonable wants. Like now with my health and my housing situation. It can be as it is, and the truth is, providing I do my utmost to keep as healthy as I may and aware of what is going on, I keep safe and needs are met. If I were fearful, I might wonder why I have had the cards of life dealt so, that it’s unfair and that in some way I might deserve better? The truth is I am learning each day what is possible and accept health is where it is and housing, well I am grateful beyond measure to have a roof over my head. You know the truth is I am learning life all over again.
And how am I feeling?
Not too bad, happy to be making some progress even though the incapacities are blinking painful a lot of the time. And accept it’s a one way journey in many respects. We get older; get complaints health wise and deal as we may with the outcomes.
So these middle steps, where I tend towards some courage some faith and some self-esteem and confidence, help me keep myself right sized. I am no special case, just another one. I am really tremendously fortunate to be able to take advice and learn and retrain as life is teaching me.
Doing a video for a TV company
A TV station asked me to do a clip for their TV series on people in public life and their impact on the world, the media and whether they are successful in their endeavours. And I managed to deliver and share my view. Of course it’s just another person’s view. And it was all about what the “man on the Clapham omnibus might respond.” The good of this is just me being an ordinary person sharing a point of view. I liked being asked because it required no particular qualification other than being and ordinary person as asked, “in the street,“ or in this case you tubing.
In olden times I may have rejected the request as too unimportant, or worse that I had no voice or opinion. So these days it’s nice to be asked, and also realise it’s unlikely to happen again in this lifetime. I have to smile and accept it’s just as it may be. Part of a day in the Life of yours truly.
I feel calm tonight. And last night I did sleep for a good four hours, which for means fatigue is less, and pain is easier to manage as directed. Now that feels ok.
I am glad I have friends, sometimes we mistake friendships and they go a bit haywire. Feels a bit like this in some respects with some connections. And in other ways seems right not to try too hard when the impetus has gone. In truth we are all changing all the time and we may go with the flow. And we learn more about our feelings and who and how we love people. We are just learners and there is no simple answer of truth which can ever make us be other than we are. Thank goodness, good conscience and if you will thank God? I am merely a learner in all these matters and God is a conundrum, and maybe one day I might understand. Till then good conscience remains my faithful guide and utilising open, honest, and willing ways keeps me on a straighter and happier path to modern living. We learn honesty daily; we make progress as we keep our minds alert to obvious denials and filters, and often ones we don’t detect till days or years later. Mea Culpa? Absolutely.
"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Chapter 6, Into Action, Big Book From: Page 72 Thru: Page 75, the bottom of the page. 12 And 12 Step 5."
May ~ All About Step Five:" Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs"
Step 5 "Admit And Accept" Reading Video Link:
May ~ Video Reading Chapter Six Into Action Link:
I do not speak for Alcoholics Anonymous I speak for myself. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of unique and authentic people who speak for themselves where they will to share experience, strength and hope about recovery on a daily basis. Anonymity affords
sanctuary to find how to live sober and be open, honest and willing to learn life day by day. For me "truth," "love" and "wisdom" offer the best spiritual experience by living reality today. Into the fabric of recovery from alcoholism are woven the Twelve Steps and the
Twelve Traditions, steps to be open, honest and willing to learn, traditions to live unity, service and recovery.
Spiritual principles ~ Forgiveness Acceptance Surrender Faith Open-mindedness Honesty Willingness Moral-inventory Amends Humility Persistence Spiritual-growth Service