June 24 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 6 Spiritual Willingness Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "a spiritual kindergarten…" All humans are part of the school of hard knocks and brickbats, the school of happiness and joy, I think it might be called life on life's terms. "Spiritual," living in the moment is all about all our senses working right now. And anything which impairs our view of beautiful reality or ugly reality takes away our ability to learn and cope as we go…
Ed wrote to me and said the most illuminating times can be the last six months on the way to recovery and the first six months into recovery. The sharp relief between life lived in oblivion and turning on the lights to life lived in reality in my case for the first time since childhood probably. All the emotions struggling inside to come out and churning me up as I expressed them. After a while emotions are working in the moment and we get to see how reality works just for today…
Nature has given us all these emotions for a reason. Some emotions might be seen and described as defects of character. Any emotion which does not inform us of our real situation, our mood in particular can be really at an extreme. All the extreme emotion highlights we are not in touch with reality as it is, or indeed we are in an extreme situation. With romance, an obsession to love and possess another when they don't want us. Financial, to be a millionaire without the work… To take from others that which we have no right to…
The whole world is a spiritual kindergarten, each one of us and there are now over seven billion learning what it is to be a human being and how to relate to the world and real life as it is today. In fellowship we can see the personal growth and development not only of ourselves, especially those around us as we continue in recovery. Sometimes quickly and often in my case quite slowly I'm enjoying and living the emotional and spiritual principles one day at a time…
In recovery all these suppressed feelings which have been hidden from us come out and can be very hard to understand for example, love… Real love without conditions. Self-hate and self-prejudice make it difficult to understand what love is. Starting over every single day and in any moment is really useful. We need to understand our feelings especially when they are extreme. It is not sitting with a feeling, we are experiencing a feeling. Knowing my mood, how it impacts on my thinking helps me to appropriate actions today…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A spiritual kindergarten... We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which people are enabled to get over drinking and find the grace to go on living to better effect. [As Bill sees it ]
When I came to A. A., I was run down by the bottle and wanted to lose the obsession to drink, but I didn't really know how to do that. I decided to stick around long enough to find out from the ones who went before me. All of a sudden I was thinking about God! I was told to get a Higher Power and I had no idea what one looked like. I found out there are many Higher Powers. I was told to find God, as I understand Him, that there was no doctrine of the Godhead in A.A. I found what worked for me and then asked that "power" to restore me to sanity. The obsession to drink was removed and--one day at a time--my life went on, and I learned how to live sober."
What is spiritual? I often suggest it may be the ability to see real life as it is, not as I might want it to be. Life on life’s terms, not on my terms. When we can utilise and experience all our human senses in the present moment, we have perspective, choices as they happen... spiritual is now!
Higher power spiritual... We are full of life experience, opinion and belief. We need connect to truth by being open, honest and willing. Learning how to love, and be loved and learning wisdom from experience and from our fellows each day. Truth, love and wisdom flourishes, if we are open today...
Quality and quantity: work hard and play hard. A rite of passage: into adulthood, to get a job, to make money and celebrate success. I drank good liquor and as often as I could. A drink in hand at all occasions. There was always someone who could not handle their drink. Then it was me…
“The flirtatious withholder” a term I heard for the first time last night. I laughed, the player who does not play, the giver who does not give and why? Because often there is nothing behind the mask of flirtation, a lost soul and no understanding of love and how to cherish…
When I hear another is being bullied at work, I shudder. Somehow all the rules are swept aside and one human can distort the nature of others. Bullies make new bullies, is the choice to join in, or become an outcast…
June 24 2007
Just Another Day - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’
It may be just another day, and a better one than yesterday. I had no clue when posting my words last night how disjointed they all were and worse type o’s too! So tonight I shall endeavour for clarity and succinctness.
Two AA meetings, one newcomer and another set of questions posed about anonymity. And indeed relapse.
What on earth will I do if I relapse and take another drink? Well this is a good question, and I have wondered about this too. The question was posed in connection with my video diary.
What about relapse. The truth I have found, it matters not one bit who or how long we are in recovery, we are all capable of relapse. And the antidote to me is truth, seeking help and immediately letting people know the temptation and my “dis” ease with life. Relapse is not the worst thing that could happen to me, the worst is to die as a result of hiding away and relapsing and becoming another statistic of alcoholism.
I know without much doubt that on any day and in some ways it feels like something we can stumble into when faced with adversity which may overwhelm us. I am no advocate of relapse for any reason, and the truth is I see relapse happen often and to the kindest people as well as some of us driven mad with grief and overcome with a passion we are powerless over.
Relapse is something to know and understand waits for me if I don’t keep close to fellows and meetings and have a mentor/sponsor. My head can argue me into relapse, the fellowship makes possible sobriety a day at a time.
So I am always concerned about my attitudes, my behaviour and my wellbeing, as much as fellows and friends. I am better in the fellowship and working the steps as a conscious process of living by the day. And there are no guarantees, we work and make it work as best we can.
All about tolerance and love. We had a small child in our first meeting who became very talkative, and eventually left in capable hands so their parent could be in the meeting. Which was just right. And yet some were finding it hard to concentrate. The truth is all wanted a good outcome and we got one. And hopeful that we can be tolerant some more, because parents need recovery and life is never as simple as it may be.
So a solid chair in the morning. A “chair” being the person who leads the initial discussion, sharing their experience strength and hope with us. And another chair solid and very calm tonight.
The impact on me was very good and it seems to me I benefit most by turning up listening and sharing if I need to. And strangely today I had nothing to add as people seemed able to share and tell a story of things which apply to me. And my head is calm and my feelings just ok.
These last Two Days
These last two days have been profoundly difficult. The intense pains overnight and cramping in my legs has been awful. As well as trying to keep on an even keel. So life has been disturbing and difficult. At the same time I am not so bent out of shape because of meetings and finding company during the day to keep my balance. Good friends are near, and help me just get out and be able to share. This is very programme of AA and very helpful. I have not slumped into anxiety over the pain, but it has been very hard to deal with when there is no one in the dark hours of night when nothing can be done to alleviate the situation.
Today Newcomer or Old Hand
A friend of mine is coming back, having done some research and a very sad time, which started with a great and deep felt passion and then on the rocks to rock bottom very quick and horribly.
We all have denial when we see something to the good and we try make ourselves fit a pattern which we have tried before and ended up crashing and burning. And this is why it’s important to acknowledge that relapse can happen to any of us because we are human.
And we need know that our genuine desire to be ordinary can overwhelm our good sense and love is likely to be our catalyst.
So to Love
When love comes to town we can try anything and everything to fit and be right. Yet we soon realise some of our desire to be loved can make us give up sensible outlooks and try to be loved and carefree. Which is fine if we are accepted as we are. And can become so wonderful, who knows? I hope so!
The truth does set us free, and tonight I have heard many versions of what truth we can muster and absolutely refute about ourselves. We can convince ourselves of just about anything and this trait makes us able to deny our condition and what love may make us believe.
Sometimes as we wish things a certain way, we don’t confront or decide to leave out some feelings we may have. Some reservations, some concerns and worries when we are in a loving frame of mind and have a partner we desire.
Putting Our Best Foot Forward
And pretending it’s as we wish, and we are being ourselves. Well it leads to a level of possible dishonesty before we have even uttered a word to someone we like. And worse we befuddle our feelings with trying to look right and be right.
In essence we are complicated, and do best when we share the truth in the moment where we feel it.
We hide feelings in case they are not wanted or shared. And worse as sometimes we find, the feelings are altering as we change or our love changes.
And so we recovering alcoholics are best sharing our path with a mentor or sponsor as we go. On our own we can be deluded very quickly and end up in desperate states.
The pain and torment of yesterday is less. The sharing and being in fellowship has kept me balanced. I have heard the story of love and where it led and where it can take me so easily if I desert my open and honest approach to living.
As things are I keep a balance with help and support. And in the olden days when society was less fragmented I guess it would have been different? Most likely it would not make any difference.
As we learn there is no blame and forgiveness need be in our mind as we endeavour and realise the human condition, and our own is also the human condition. We are no better or worse than anyone driven to extremes and circumstances. And indeed we are not here to judge others or we will be judged as harshly. And quite often we are hardest on ourselves and then project our values impossibly on a world merely making progress and never perfect.
Yes just another day.. Perfectly imperfect, are we.
Step 6 "Spiritual Willingness" Reading Video Link:
wrongs. Chapter 6, Into Action, Big Book From: Page 72 Thru: Page 75, the bottom of the page. 12 And 12 Step 5."
June ~ 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 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