May 29 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 5 Admit And Accept | Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "true tolerance… And a desire to stop drinking." A tradition five chair last night illuminated my experience that each group of the fellowship of AA may have its quirks and peculiarities, overall though they fulfil the obligation to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers… How well? Depends on who's there on the day and how well they are feeling…
Experiences of groups in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is as good as it gets on any day that we may be there too. And some groups do develop a "superior spiritual outlook," which requires compliance to a spiritual rulebook which does not exist, usually the fanciful notions of a firebrand or two who think they know better. I don't know better, I don't have a rulebook and my spiritual outlook is only what it can be today, how I am in the moment of now…
A new way of living comes into being for each sober person and with this new sobriety can come an enthusiasm which has no real emotional or spiritual foundation. Twelve steps for personal development to avoid suicidal tendencies, and twelve traditions to hold us together in fellowship in unity, service and recovery to avoid homicidal tendencies. Emotional and spiritual, utilising every emotion known to man in the moment of now… Tolerance is required when we get overheated by life today…
As quickly as somebody is stamping on my toes and my ideas about how to live a free existence, I can jump in the air and aim to stamp on their toes, just to remind them that I have a right to be here too. As Gandhi remarked, "if we are to use the old Testament where justice is an eye for an eye, we end up with the whole world being blind." Learning from experience, eyes wide open, and with humility we all stay alive today…
Everyone included and trying not exclude anyone! A desire to stop drinking and the AA pledge of responsibility. It is not the responsibility of anyone to indulge in the notion or fantasy that their way is the "AA way." There is a desire to stop drinking and then a personal journey of recovery based on love and tolerance, sharing experience, strength and hope and if we don't like what we hear, which is often, we keep on learning what we can and cannot do sober and the wisdom to know the difference…
Spiritual Diversity Acceptance... Spiritual is experiencing reality now, good bad, hard easy. Diversity is being open honest and willing to live and let live. Acceptance is living in the world and knowing there are choices on our journey today as there are for everyone, sober, responsible, open to joy or sadness, it is what it is...
In Step five, expression and sharing our human condition, we understand how our lives were lost in addiction and we were capable of anything. The capacity for good or bad is in everyone. Tolerance, love, understanding, compassion and consequences, all part of acceptance today...
I am responsible when anyone anywhere offers me a job, to ask myself, what about the people, the job, the place and whether it "feels right" and is the best choice today, for that I am responsible.. Tomorrow, more wisdom, choices and always more courage to change, needs met wants forgotten...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "TRUE TOLERANCE... The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 139
I first heard the short form of the Third Tradition in the Preamble. When I came to A.A. I could not accept myself, my alcoholism, or a Higher Power. If there had been any physical, mental, moral, or religious requirements for membership, I would be dead today. Bill W. said in his tape on the Traditions that the Third Tradition is a charter for individual freedom. The most impressive thing to me was the feeling of acceptance from members who were practicing the Third Tradition by tolerating and accepting me. I feel acceptance is love and love is God’s will for us.
May 29 2007
Fellowship DonInLondon ‘Day In The Life’
Blimey I was just going to write a whole page about fellowship and then the phone rang! A fellow and we have just finished having a long conversation about the meeting tonight. Which was all about tradition eight, that AA is not an organisation and is nonprofessional and employs just enough people to keep the whole admin side and service offices open and manned.
So what does this mean? That we are all becoming gifted amateurs? Well yes indeed we are, getting more able to keep sober one day at a time. For someone who is not an alcoholic it’s almost impossible to understand what makes a person lose control and not be able to stop self harming. So many people see the results of alcoholism as so destructive they feel alcoholics are the lowest of the low. What many don’t understand is an alcoholic has an illness they have no power over and they are stuck in drinking to oblivion and early expiration, that is death.
So in our fellowship we see a lot of people making life work and a lot of people who try to get sober and don’t. Some people die, in truth a lot more people die of alcohol related incidents and ailments than many would wish. There is always a reluctance to admit the death of a person might have been due to drink. And even now people find it hard to admit and accept their drink problem.
After everything else failed me, and I failed to stop drinking, I went to AA. Not because I wanted, I was probably so depressed and ill I would have preferred to die. And that would have been it for me. When we don’t exist anymore we can hurt can we? Or can we?
I don’t know the answer to that question or can offer a suitable guide book to the afterlife. But this life is the only one I have. And having found I am still alive now is a surprise to me and actually the surprise is a few years from those suicidal times, I can get good days and be sober and be happy on a daily basis.
Well we are certainly not that. Well not all the time. And we deal with every issue any human can imagine as we get sober and a way to live without filters and without that horrid compulsion to get out of reality and into oblivion.
So we rarely have total happy "clappiness," very often it’s more like unhappy "crappiness" . And what we do is talk it all out as we may.
In our fellowship we have people from every walk of life, from every profession, from every hue and imagined difference. We have this one thing which keeps us solid and in fellowship, simply keeping sober by the day.
Around our one aim we have so much, experience of life, good and bad, awful and wonderful, we can relate and share our path to sobriety and what we learned along the way.
We are a University of Living
A strange way to describe it and not sure some may agree, yet the most important part of all this is we have fellowship, genuine concern to be helpful and we learn and share and support.
Why does it work?
As a fellowship we keep our choices, no one is above another. Unless of course you choose it so. And few want to be in charge of anything, as it spoils the process of self-awareness and making good choices to live sober.
If AA were an Organisation with all the paraphernalia of structure goals objective and all that organisations require, what would happen? No longer a fellowship, now a power in itself, AA would fold and pack up. Simply it cannot be made more than a fellowship, or it fails to support people getting their personal choices of living...
So as discussed tonight the truth is fellowship where people decide how to live as best they can in all their different communities, and to a good way of life comes from good choices made soberly and over time.
AA is not a fix
If anyone wants to be fixed from alcoholism, it’s never going to work? We can never say never. What we can say even to someone like me who has been to deaths door and found it open, there is hope and a chance. Hope is often our last refuge, and then lost. And as we may feel lost and that life can get no worse, then sometimes we can find a path back with fellowship. And then life can get even worse and we deal as we can with a sober head rather than us being lost then dead! We just learn to live as we can with every adversity any normal person deals with too.
Is fellowship and every human endeavour we can find to help us into recovery. My story and sober living is now supported with the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. On the way and keeping me alive one way or another, a family who care, professionals and medical services who saved me in spite of me. I am no different to many who face this plight and the descent into living tortures we cannot get out of quickly or fix.
We cannot measure human endeavour in this dreadful conundrum of addiction. As we and AA matures and people learn more through life experience, the fellowship will seem different and will develop as society understands all that mankind can do. And we will still end up in addiction it’s part of us and we need recognise it. Long term recovery is simply done a day at a time and never done in one day. The truth will set us free, and truth is ephemeral never eternal as we are forever moving as life changes and the world turns…
"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