May 23 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 5 Admit And Accept | Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "spiritual health…" What is the spiritual malady? Twelve steps to improve our emotional and spiritual living by knowing how we feel about life in the moment of now. The spiritual malady in the emotional and spiritual steps is when we are feeling the extremes with denial and unable to see or experience reality as it really is today…
We can tell little white lies, and we can tell big porkies when we just don't want what is in front of us or what is confronting us right now. Sometimes we need denial when we just can't cope with reality, usually when life is so tough we would rather find a way into oblivion. And denial will lead to extremes of feeling and wanting reality different. It only becomes a spiritual malady when we opt out completely and go back to old ways and this could happen to anyone anywhere on any given day…
There can be moments and thankfully for me these moments are quite rare these days, when I cannot cope with what is going on around me, or people places and things are upsetting to a place of unbelievable sadness. Facing the truth of life, loving people and cherishing them opens the door to every feeling any human can experience. As we learn the wisdom of life, we live the highs and lows of our emotions and they work as they were intended today…
Letting go the fantasies we may have lived and dreamed about, can make each day so bright and real it hurts! And then with time we cherish every moment we have whether it is happy or painful because we learn how to cope today. And it is not a lonely experience because we learn to live with everyone and relate to everyone. And we learn who can help us and very often learn about those who cannot help and we let go of them with love…
In conversation with another fellow in recovery recently, they were asking me about the spiritual experience and why some "spiritually gifted people" do not seem to be that forthcoming about what spiritual is… Some people do create myths and legends about what spiritual living is simply by being silent. There can be a reason for silence, but in fellowship it's all about sharing our "experience, strength and hope" as we may and when asked today… And that is spiritual living…
"Can we have compassion for ourselves?"... We develop empathy and understanding of our fellows, their distress together with a desire to alleviate it. In unity and recovery and with humility, acceptance is key... Each day we live to consequences of our actions past and present...
Spiritual every day... Reality, the ability to cope, less denials and filters, less fear, brave facing and ego... Unconditional love prevails, people, places and things... With ourselves and people, love constant we see the big picture, truth and clarity in our choices, outcomes as they may be…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "SPIRITUAL HEALTH... When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p 64
It is very difficult for me to come to terms with my spiritual illness because of my great pride, disguised by my material successes and my intellectual power. Intelligence is not incompatible with humility, provided I place humility first. To seek prestige and wealth is the ultimate goal for many in the modern world. To be fashionable and to seem better than I really am is a spiritual illness. To recognize and to admit my weakness is the beginning of good spiritual health. It is a sign of spiritual health to be able to ask God every day to enlighten me, to recognize His will, and to have the strength to execute it. My spiritual health is excellent when I realize that the better I get, the more I discover how much help I need from others."
May 23 2007
The Idleness Tree
There is a garden for Chelsea Residents in Sydney Street next to St Luke‘s Church. Today I ended up there after a cycle around parts of Chelsea taking Photos.
In the middle of the Gardens is a tree surrounded by benches. I was there ten years ago when my life had gone down the tubes. Which tubes I had no idea. Ten years back, crushed and beaten into a complete breakdown and not able to function. Full of pretence and not much understanding what was going on. It was then, the end of three years in dark and horrid depressions and anxiety states which went on for months.
Ten years back, as I had lost the plot and just about every shred of confidence, faith and courage to go on, the bitter truth of burn out hit hard. I had no understanding of burn out at the time, except life had surreal qualities, nothing was ever real, my head was full of wishes and held there in vice like grip of anxiety and fear. Willing and wishing to be as before and realising the dream was over the reality a cold and awful place. Home had gone, sold up by me and arguably the best thing I could do as debt was piling in from all sides.
I tried to be what I was before. A people specialist, career and personal life developer. Management Development, Organisation Design, and running businesses had been my livelihood. And I had lost touch. Broken and left washed up is an unpleasant reality, when we breakdown in business we are scrapped pretty quickly. The life we have lived gone in the slow and painful process of trying to keep afloat and sinking so quickly in everything dark.
Those times gave me chills in the next few years, and much to reflect and feel not only sad about. I raged a lot, out of control and wanting it all to end. Ending my pain however was not possible the pain I felt too much for others. In the next few years as my life went from bad to worse and more, the inevitable breaking up of everything I had worked for was lost. Indeed I was very ill to start with, and then in my search for oblivion I drank heartily, solved nothing and became an alcoholic.
It does not take long to cross a line where drink is all there is and death is near every day. And that was me for a good few years. Full of promises and bullshit, hospitalised and beaten. There was help and support from family, and they did more than anyone need do, and still I was insane with nervous maladies and then a compulsion to drink myself to death.
Odd Reflections Now
As I sit and write this it’s not quite the positive words you find on the video for today. I don’t know, maybe it’s the order of things. The video shares the positive of today rather than the morbid reflections I write now. I had a good few years of horror and chaos.
I have to wonder if ever I was the full shilling. And in fairness it probably takes a disturbed mind to focus wholly on career and leave personal life to one side. Before the’, the commitment to work and life with balance I had much going for me. And the truth is somewhere I lost the love of my then life, and also my Dad died too. As a counsellor of course I did much grieving and processed my stuff. And of course with every coping strategy at hand of every hue I kept on going and going and going. And eventually I broke as my value and esteem were lost completely in a company I chose to work for. My biggest and most disastrous mistake. Hindsight is a wonderful tool!
It took me some years to fully breakdown some more and then with no way to restoration I was on a path of self destruction.
It’s as bad as it can be for anyone to be in that awful place where we need no more life, we want it over and we want it ended as soon as. Why keep alive? I know it had a lot to do with what impact it would have on family. And of course I knew the torment of loss as well as anyone, so the struggle to stay alive long enough and then expire when it would matter less was pretty much where I ended up. That was not so long ago.
Seeing the idleness tree today on a bright sunny day, just like ten years ago when I ran away, there is a picture below and link to other photo’s. And you know I realise there is a huge difference between then and now. When I ran away, I wanted never to return, and if it hadn’t been for a category five hurricane I may never have come back, but I did.
In the storm which was some days long the villa I had was devastated and I was left there isolated as were many others not far away. I had bottles of rum galore and watched the storm send trees and God Knows what else to batter and break in, swirl everything and me about.
All the way through those days by some miracle the electricity stayed on, the TV worked and was replaying the film Titanic over and over in Spanish.
I was not aware of whether I might be brave or just mad to wait it out and watch the storms. A noise like a jet overhead for days on end and broken by terrific crashes and thumps as debris was hurled with immense power.
And hours in a bath with a mattress over my head as the interior was ripped out and still the TV played Titanic in Spanish as if possessed. I doubt I will ever need see that film again.
So Idleness Tree
Today a different story, more lines on my face and more grey hair. More of life in me than lost over a decade ago.
The Difference Now
I lost all hope, faith and confidence back then. And gradually and with support from family and friends and fellowship I make a new path a day at a time. More gnarled and circumspect I may be. I am glad that tree reminds me of times past and that I am still here to see and appreciate just one day, this one as it may be.
Dark Days come and go, even weeks and months, overall this last year has been gentle to me. And gave me time to understand more of life than ever imagined, and how to start live again. There is less of me in some respects and more of me in others. I know the difference these days and wonder just gently and not too distantly what may happen next. We adapt as we may, appreciate life differently when our eyes are opened to new vistas simply a day at a time.
If we could change times past? The question now is never to be answered. As redundant as I have been these days I find more to do than time permits. Just gently and quickly when needed, making life work again. To rush when advised to keep to a path as is for a few months makes me listen and take heed. I am glad I can head counsel from others and accept with an open mind. And there is the difference.
Another day ends a new one begins no big drama and acceptance has found its way…
"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