June 25 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 6 Spiritual Willingness Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "two way Street… About forgiveness:" If we ask, God will forgive, and based on all I have read from anywhere written by mankind, this is a truth. At the same time, actions have consequences. If we can forgive other people for their humanness, maybe they can forgive us? Always there are consequences: excluded or included or punished as society sees fit…
Sometimes it can be very difficult to look back and reconcile what we have done under the influence and driven mad. And sometimes we are told what we did and cannot believe it because it is so out of character when sober. And even today when I look back and feel the bite inside of my recollection of past events sends a shiver through me, I need to admit and accept and ask myself "would I do that again?" And the answer can be an emphatic no, and still I feel the consequences, which is right and some things are reminders of the way I want to live today…
I feel right living to the principles, the twelve steps and always know they are helpful in my progress and I will never be perfect. And with the traditions which are all about unity, service and recovery within fellowship, the impact in my daily life has been profound. And still there will be times when I will be plain wrong, misguided, absolutely sure I am right only to be proved wrong. With the principles in mind, I find out the truth sooner rather than later these days…
In a world where modern life is often about pointing the finger at other people, putting the blame on somebody else or simply complaining that things are wrong and it's not fair, I do need to look at my part in what is going on. Simply by being in a situation, I am a part of a situation, I may not have wanted to be part of it, but I am. What do I do to improve the situation, what might I do to make it worse? Only in the moment can we find out what impact we are having today…
Yesterday a brilliant meeting in the morning, all about building up a list of things to do tomorrow and the impact of fear and worry about what will happen the next day and the next week. Reminded me of stress that built up before last Thursday, imagining hospital specialists would be critical and unhelpful. And the truth was they asked how they could help me rather than criticise me. The imagined fear of not being good enough almost stopped me. A gentle reminder to live just for today…
Life really is a two way Street, what we do for the people around us, family friends society… And what society friends and family can do for us. It is a two way Street, we give without condition and often we are given without condition… At the same time, while we may be even handed with some people, some people will not be even handed with us intentionally or unintentionally. Fuck 'em is what I say, for a moment or two and then forgive like crazy or be like them all day!
And before I go to bed at night, I try to remind myself to forgive everyone everything including me. And if it doesn't quite work in the day or a last attempt at night, again fuck 'em, roll over sleep as best one can and try again the following day, to forgive that is, because if I cannot forgive them, I cannot forgive myself for my part in it on any given day… Better to sleep happy and forgive everything as much as possible because life is just too short…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A TWO-WAY STREET... If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 65
When I prayed, I used to omit a lot of things for which I needed to be forgiven. I thought that if I didn’t mention those things to God, He would never know about them. I did not know that if I had just forgiven myself for some of my past deeds, God would forgive me also. I was always taught to prepare for the journey through life, never realizing until I came to A.A. when I honestly became willing to be taught forgiveness and forgiving that life itself is the journey. The journey of life is a very happy one, as long as I am willing to accept change and responsibility."
We are not do gooders... we do good deeds without expectation. Recovery is all about action, making good happen. Selfish meditations based on fear, unfairness at our situation in life keep us in poverty, trapped in anger and resentment.. We cannot keep anything we would take away from others...
Sins & Virtues... In recovery we see the difference from past life experiences to new life choices. Choices to next right steps, consequences from the past will impact on us, making restitution where possible, living to good conscience, it's not about what "they" do, it is what I choose to do today...
Don, you started me on this concept of now living and I began to listen to Eckhart Tolle and discovered that the thoughts mostly negative that come into my mind are part of the human condition and that some religions have known about this condition for years. I am learning that living in the now moment is the answer, and now though slowly I am becoming aware when my ego starts the negative talk that at least I am becoming more aware of it.
Hi, Tolle certainly has an influence on many in understanding their own spiritual condition. My mother taught Yoga and studied many philosophies over the years from the 1960's. Living in the moment was key in my upbringing. The key in positive responses to living is knowing our negative responses are always an option too. Depending on what is happening to us in the moment, we can attach old memories to what we are experiencing. In the steps it seems we can react with our step six defects, usually starting with fear, and putting on a brave face. Or we can react with courage and confidence, to explore what is going on. Under the influence of addiction, I was "short" on courage and confidence, indeed courage and confidence were my prime shortcomings in those final years of alcohol addiction.
Today I understand that I can have a step six reaction to my situation, where defects run amok and fear rules, or I can have courage and confidence to see a situation as it really is, working through my shortcomings, a step seven response to the situation where courage helps me find out what is really going on and I ask for help if needed. And on any given day, defects may come to the fore or shortcomings may diminish my ability to cope. I often suggest we can have step six days where fear rules or step seven days where courage helps us see our way through. And we can have a mixture of sixes and sevens in any given day. Which is why it feels important to do step tens and a gratitude list to see the balance of how a day has turned out...
June 25 2007
Fix Me! - DonInLondon ‘Day In The Life’
It’s been raining all day, and maybe this has been a good thing for me. I have been pushing my physical and mental boundaries a bit too far. And as a consequence the daily grind has been becoming more and more difficult to maintain. So the third time this year I am staying in this evening. I would normally be off to Flood St, but the physical walking is not good and the rain is heavy so I would be wet going and coming back tonight.
I have caught up with a lot of correspondence and yet still have more to do. So in all of this I have rested a couple of hours and the feet and back are reasonable. And need it to be so as I am off for a Dept. of Work and Pensions assessment in the morning.
Interesting for me with friends in and out of fellowship, most in fellowship know each other to an extent. And outside they know just me. Why? I don’t know why other than we all seem to have friends because of what interests us and where we go. And I know most of my friends in fellowship are happy and anonymous, and friends outside fellowship need not know them or who they are.
Yes today as joint friends, or just acquaintances I know have been in conversation. The upshot is somewhat disturbing as one friend finds another maybe seems to know too much, and implies I have shared an indiscretion I guess. And you know with so many opportunities to do this without a thought or just a mistake, I am left wondering if I have.
Knowing one of the personalities has an knack of implying they know more when they don’t, and worse an intuitive mind which can dig a person out quickly to reveal issues they prefer not to… Well sometimes there will be questions and answers to be shared.
I have encountered very intuitive types in my life who can interpret and read people pretty well and this is always quite disturbing for some who prefer to keep some matters under raps.
It used to be a useful characteristic in me, intuitive, in my career to make connections quickly, then check out the truth gently and then help people make decisions about life and work.
Knowledge and Power
Are truly parts of our personality we may utilise at our peril. We can utilise in life and often find backfires and makes us angry when things are known or implied.
The gift of knowledge is often seen as power over others. And yet I live with a programme which utilises quite the opposite. For indeed we are actually powerless over pretty much everything except our choices.
I recognise powerless over people places and things actually makes me free to have choices about how to live. If I try control anything it is true also I am prisoner of these mechanism and process, for the truth is left to nature and happenstance control offers nothing but illusion as we the gaolers are as much prisoners of nature and Providence.
Some thoughts today and pertinent tome tonight..
What if People Know what I am and who I am?
If people know I am a recovering alcoholic, they have their own belief system to either accept me or not. And in truth anonymity does nothing but hinder me if I fall ill or find myself in a compromising position, for example sitting in a bar and ready to drink.
Somebody asked me what if I relapse? The answer is to get back on the wagon fast and not malinger doing things which can hurt me,
I have a killer disease or two, so I am best served people knowing my intent and not whether I relapse. Relapse is not the issue, recovery maintenance is my issue.
Living in the Problem or Living In The Solution
If I have guilt and shame, or if I feel guilt and shame because I am an alcoholic, it probably means I am not so well recovered. Secrecy leads to dishonesty in my view of me and my circumstances.
Secrets Keep us Sick
It’s absolutely true that secrets about ourselves will mean we prefer to cover up and not share. And actually what are we hiding? Hiding our truth about ourselves?
Nobody volunteers to be ill or bedevilled by addiction, it’s the last thing we ever think can happen. Same as me and Diabetes, having given up my addictions and been scanned and checked over thoroughly in recovery, I got type 1 diabetes in recovery long after I was sober. Maybe from an infection and then probably a virus. I cover myself and accept wholly my drinking could have been the sole cause, and am happy either way.
It is insanity to become an addict of anything, and it is quite hard for any addict to overcome self-prejudice. The notion of self will and will power to stop addiction is pretty erroneous and something people believe because they are not addicted to anything, they being ‘normal’. so we can find ourselves making our own live harder by simply believing we are weak and without moral fibre because we became addicted. And believing the nature of will power will make us strong and robust when indeed the opposite is true.
Thank goodness most people are not addicted, yet still we reckon some addictions are ok. Sugar nicotine less these days, and of course over eating and obesity are symptoms of unhappiness and self-indulgence? Or in truth another form of mental incapacity which manifests in so many ways.
The modern world and secrecy
In our modern world we hide our vulnerabilities if we fear we get labelled and stigmatised. Its better we don’t keep our secrets, as our secrets keep us sick.
A Sunday without a meeting yet in contact with many people in people in recovery over the day. And just now in fact.
With a world full of harm and so easy to find ourselves in harms, what makes it worse is what we decide to share when we fear others reactions to our humility and human qualities and frailties.
Keeps us on the path of living well and to whatever capacities we have.
Being to knowing and understanding ourselves means we don’t fall into isolation and traps which makes feel the need to self-harm or overindulge in habits we are best letting go
Be able and willing to change a day at a time. Willing to try and endeavour some more. And this is really the truth.
Truth will set us free
What is wrong with truth. If you shun me for my truth I am better off without you. If you feel I am less than you, then I am better without you. If I live in ego’s drift, where fear motivates and a brave face covers my identity to you, I fear myself more, and will divert myself from a path of freedom
Prisoners we are inside our own heads when we fear what others think or feel about us. We become driven and unbalanced as we shift away from a spiritual path which simply reality without filters and denials.
We are all born free, and find ourselves often trapped by society and circumstance, by values and principles which have no meaning except to place one above another in a world made uncivilised by civilised minds.
Age of Reason and Humanity
This world is vast yet so close as we communicate across distances we never imagined possible. As Reason shares with humanity the clarity and closeness of a globalising civilisation, conflict and chaos are ever more dangerous. Why? Because people realise there is more to this life than their present and sometimes fettered existence.
I guess I am still here able to write about the life we have and its possibility because of fellowship. Which extends beyond all boundaries and has a single purpose, to make life work a day at a time.
Every possible cliché
Yes a fellowship where every cliché to good is offered and understood through living and experiencing life. So tonight I feel grounded and accepting of where my lot is.
A day where I have been made to stay put to an extent, yet exercise freedoms and honesty as best I am able.
Our human condition, making progress and not being perfect. We are hard most on ourselves and then the rest of the world, until we find forgiveness inside our own world.
We are on the brink of change like never seen before. And this has been true for some centuries. I hope with some concern we do not lose sight of our own humanity or we will be forgotten in the eons of time.
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