June 27 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 6 Spiritual Willingness Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "conforming to the AA way…" We have suggestions which contain principles helping us to live life free from the insanity of addiction. Conforming to a pattern, to understand life and what we can do and cannot do based on reality. When we live reality rather than denying it and trying to live fantasy, life works one day at a time…
Even the heretic conforms to being a heretic and possibly rebellious against the social order of the day. I was always rebellious, a heretic, somebody who challenged the status quo and not only did it shape me and often put me on the edge of acceptability, in some small ways I changed the shape, attitudes and behaviour of those around me. And in some ways, long ago I stopped the heresy, joined the rat race, and lost my way. Now I find my way and who I am just for today, and it works…
Conforming and working with the suggestions, the twelve steps and twelve traditions means we do push our boundaries with people, places and things. In a fellowship where no one can tell another person or instruct them what to do, we live in an anarchic democracy. Suggestions which are about being open, honest and willing, working together in unity, service and recovery do not blunt or impede our emotional and spiritual development, indeed conformity to living with good principles positively reinforces freedom to be ourselves…
If some misguided person in the fellowship suggests that anyone is breaking rules, regulations or laws, better to suggest that they continue to work with what is working for them in their recovery, and kindly fuck off and mind their own business when it comes to your recovery. It is so easy to impede the emotional and spiritual development of another person by inflicting our opinion on another person who has the same rights as we do in fellowship, family, community and society today…
One of the co-founders, I like to call them, "confounders" because against the odds they got recovery, Bill wrote as he saw fit about recovery. And everyone writes their own story in recovery, each person's experience, strength and hope broadening and deepening the wisdom open to anyone in fellowship. Indeed all of us, "confounders," brought back to life by keeping it simple, sharing what we know and keeping our side of the Street as clean as we may one day at a time…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Conforming to the A.A. way... We obey A.A.'s Steps and Traditions because we really want them for ourselves. It is no longer a question of good or evil; we conform because we genuinely want to conform. Such is our process of growth in unity and function. Such is the evidence of God's grace and love among us. [A.A. comes of age]
It is fun to watch myself grow in A.A. I fought conformity to A.A. principles from the moment I entered, but I learned from the pain of my belligerence that, in choosing to live the A.A. way of life, I opened myself to God's grace and love. Then I began to know the full meaning of being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Last night a meeting where I could hear what happened to many who used alcohol to suppress old nightmares. We learn in sober days how to deal with the wreckage of the past, just one day at a time. And in time we find we live in the moment, less haunted, and sometimes the ghosts are gone…
Conforming to the AA way? We learn to live to good principles, to face reality. Some say this is obedience, I suggest it is freedom to live life, do good works, learn how to learn again and be more comfortable in our own skin. Fellowship taught me in recovery how to be me for a day…
Our anarchic democracy, hammered out on the "anvils of experience..." Learning to live to the good: with courage, faith and esteem. From powerless and unmanageable, slowly being restored to sanity, included in the world anew. Clearing the wreckage of the past, sharing our truth, we start to feel and think differently as reality impacts us... We are real today...
Conforming to the A.A. way... letting go extremes of fear, brave facing and ego, developing balance with courage faith and confidence. Steps and traditions: principles to unravel our anger, resentment and belligerence. The A.A. way, to be unique and authentic individuals with personal choices, unity in service and recovery, always just for today...
June 27 2007
Extremes - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’
Today has been one of those days when we are waiting for news. It could be good or bad, and we know it’s important and impacts greatly on me and my family. We don’t like things we don’t know the answer to and it’s as hard to keep on going and doing the ordinary as it is to be worried and concerned.
If nothing else my fellowship prepares me for the extremes of life. In our fellowship we see people bounce back and make the most amazing recovery and get back to living and being themselves, on top of the world! And at the far end of the same spectrum we see and understand our complete vulnerability to lapses and relapse and the worst case scenarios where people don’t make sobriety and just don’t plain make it. We thrive and keep going a day at a time as we share experience strength and hope, and hope is keenly felt by me tonight.
Listening to a fellow earlier, not tonight, but by telephone about some domestic concerns and what to do, and should they do this or that, I was struck that the simple answer to this domestic situation was to hand over the reins to those who could do something about it. Indeed I may not have seemed as friendly as my usual self, simply because the person sharing knew the answer before the call. And still did not see their part was merely the conveyor of information and then enabling or allowing others to sort out the problem. I guess even I can have a distracted outlook now and then. And I have.
I also saw a friend earlier and we chatted amiably, again we always seem to have these dilemmas where our nearest are needing support and we are uncertain how best to move along and help.
And in a strange way this helps me realise my powerlessness to help unless otherwise indicated. To make the offer is done, the practicalities are beyond me and the truth is sometimes we are not needed and quite honestly would be in the way.
So learning all round for me. To be sober and available and let time deal the needs and wants and requirements. And I realise I would want the same consideration again, as was given me when I had things I did not know could be managed or dealt with.
The chair tonight was excellent showing us the extremes we have in our living and doing over the years. In active addiction or alcoholism we do find ourselves at the extreme ends of best case scenarios of feelings and great elation, or the opposite of worst case scenarios and feelings of wanting to end living at all.
Well this one anyway got used to great swings in mood and feeling about life. And the truth is somewhere in there, that mass of churning was me merely desiring an ordinary life.
This One Alcoholic - Me In Recovery
I can see the distance travelled towards this elusive place where ordinary resides. In the big scheme of life, ordinary has a certain feel of safety in the theory of getting there and then in practice, it gave me great discomfort, because I had no clue what ordinary was!
Ordinary for Me In Recovery
This gave me the greatest anxieties as ordinary meant I was in an unfamiliar place, where the rush and churn to joy or sadness became something else in between. A place of peaceful reflection, and then that bothered me more because it was new and I had no real gift of living ordinary.
I hope this makes sense to those who read my words. And indeed tonight the person sharing and maybe was really facing a similar dilemma, as they recollected panic at ordinary and the disturbance caused led to paranoia that something imagined might happen to make life fall to pieces again. I know these feelings too well to comment further, other than it felt as odd can be to be in that ordinary place.
Truth sets us Free
It does once we understand the greatest gift is seeing the world without denial and filters and the discomfort of truth is wondering what is round the next corner of the next day..
I have some unknowns about people I care about deeply, and they are as concerned as anyone may be about outcomes. I don’t have the words or the ability to share further on the matter presently and may not in future. This is how it may be, I don’t know.
What I do know most though that sobriety has given me the gift to be about, to be available, to be me. And just finding myself hearing so much of my story tonight told by another and then general sharing from others which makes me realise I am just another human, no bigger or smaller. That nature and providence make our ingredients and mixture.
The gift of Intellect
Is no gift without complimentary gifts of emotion and feeling. And the gift of understanding life is often so true to our basic nature, we fail to see it as we move into a complicated civilised, so called society.
As I have mentioned a few hundred times in my journal, the truth of spiritual is to experience not only the extremes of nature and providence, it is to find great depth and meaning in the ordinary of living in the day.
Denial beckons as truth hurts, the spirit is challenged as we deal with every part of living. How can we accept so bold and often without rhyme or reason what life deals?
I guess as I have found acceptance of my true state, just the same as any other being on the planet, completely powerless over most everything that nature and providence affords.
Is not something we learn too well these days, the life lived is far removed from nature often and we cannot understand how life is when we are in extremes and not ourselves. This middle path for me, may help and ,make me useful as never before to some who may welcome the support. It’s not my call or judgment.
We need work with what we have and make of every day what we can. And with great care share and be around as we are asked. Or not and this is how it may be.
It has been a hard road to where I am today. And hearing another share, and more shares on how we may cherish and keep faith with those we love, is our best guide to our part in each day as it unfolds.
Work as best we can, endeavour and keep with the spiritual connection experienced here and now, and as asked, answer with endeavour and presence in whatever form it may be. I will be there...
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