June 8 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 6 Spiritual Willingness Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "a daily reprieve contingent upon my spiritual condition…" I don't speak for anybody else when understanding “what is the spiritual condition!” Indeed what is the spiritual condition? Everything indicates it exists in the moment of now in my experience. And right now as long as I remind myself, knowing what my mood is, how it impacts on my thinking and then my actions in the moment of now…
Change happens all the time and we keep changing one way or another. Opening up to change is all part of making progress in this world. Opening up so we may experience our real feelings as they develop and constantly change as life situations change. So simple I missed the obvious, that if I really understood my mood, how my thinking was influenced by my feelings, I would be able to respond and work out more harmoniously what actions could follow. Agreeable living in the moment of now…
When we face unbelievable facts of life, the "I don't believe it" moments are often so incomprehensible we deny the truth. Faced with the loss of something, love, friendship, and affection we can be thrown off into a coping tactic often called denial. A coping tactic, and the emphasis on the word tactic is a short term necessity from time to time. Long-term denial of reality is truly unhelpful when we are trying to live in the moment of now and just for today…
We often hear of "coping strategies" when dealing with extreme situations. The most important way to cope with life is to get back to truth in the moment of now. What are often called "coping strategies" are actually unhelpful long-term and therefore not a strategy, simply a tactic to overcome an extreme situation. To make progress, my strategy or strategic intent is always to keep learning the truth of now, love in the now and keep learning the wisdom with each moment that passes and just for today…
And last night I went to the "after eights" meeting. Friends in fellowship from nine days sober to several decades sober. After eights is where people over eight years are the principal share of experience strength and hope and then everyone in the room shares back no matter if they're one day for many days sober. We all share our sober years, the first was 19 years sober last Friday and I shared I was eight years sober last Friday, and we both got generous applause. It was a brilliant meeting for many and then very sad news about a friend of mine who died after many years in recovery. Life is tragic and humorous, full of joy and sadness and we can hold so many feelings and all going on in the moment of now… This is reality today…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "OPENING UP TO CHANGE... Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help. . . . we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life - the one that did not work - for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever. AS BILL SEES IT, pp. 10, 8
I have been given a daily reprieve contingent upon my spiritual condition, provided I seek progress, not perfection. To become ready for change, I practice willingness, opening myself to possibilities of change. If I realize there are defects that hinder my usefulness in A.A. and toward others, I become ready by meditating and receiving direction. “Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58). To let go and let God, I need only surrender my old ways to Him; I no longer fight nor do I try to control, but simply believe that, with God’s help, I am changed and affirming this belief makes me ready. I empty myself to be full of awareness, light, and love, and I am ready to face each day with hope."
Sober, contingent on my spiritual condition? I looked for the fine print in the fellowship, the get out clauses, the short cuts, something they failed to mention. I do not know who I thought "they" were. I tried in vain, there were no hidden features and there was no "they" to complain to in AA. It’s simply us today...
A life time in a day... At the end of each day, We will know more about who we are, how life can challenge us and our attitudes, how we are open, honest and willing to change. Where we had strong feelings, where we have gratitude and where we have solace, where we have acceptance...
The easier softer way... To live in reality, to experience our feelings as they are happening, to be a part of the big picture. To develop esteem, faith and courage in real time, to be human, to love, be loved and useful, to share experience strength and hope, happy or sad as life is...
June 8th 2007
Out Of London - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’
I realise I have spent little or no time out of London. Tonight I went to Chair a meeting of my Fellowship just outside of London I guess, not too far. And I was taken to and from the meeting. I am truly grateful that someone took me there and back.
My last outing was pretty disastrous, in company which at first seemed fine and then became pretty hostile or felt that way. Maybe my reaction to events and how things unraveled. I am not good pretending much these days and I felt compromised as wherever I may go I feel happier just being me. The recent excursion paved the way for a letting go of a friendship and it was destined to be so, Why? Because I was not right or good enough, and not fit for the purpose proposed and then friendship was withdrawn quite without thought or care. Or fearfully, as I am a liability when it comes to being truthful these days. I am an alcoholic and as such feel better its known and not to have to lie. Lies undo me as fast as drinking might, the same effect, lack of emotional sobriety can feel ten times worse than not drinking. The impact makes me feel quite awful when dishonest breeds more and more of the same. it’s a ticket back to the insane asylum if I let it be so.
In the right place and in the right moment. Spiritual connection to now. It is all we have after all. And I guess for anyone looking for redemption with a gold star, we find in AA we get a star of the same brightness, the same as everyone else, no brighter or darker I guess.
Mind I know some who recover still hark back to big golden outlooks and being something bigger. An ego thing maybe and I do wonder at what I might make of this website stuff and writing as I do now. It will change I realise and another purpose may be along quite soon.
The Meeting Before - The meeting - And The Meeting After
Three elements for me in any excursion. Before and the meeting on the way we had a meeting of us two fellows travelling and it was just fine. It’s good to meet likeminded men and women in fellowship. The open and honest ways we develop and learn how to be real about how we are. It’s good when we do, and we know quickly if things are not so, tonight though’ was spot on to the good.
I have not been on top form or anywhere near for a few days. When my tolerance for me is low and things are unhelpful, I can take things to extremes as my head plays out scenarios where I am ok and the world accepts me. As I know these days the world will be as it may, and I need accept me and my lot as is. The plot is just how it is today.
At the meeting it was a slow start for me, and I had no clue as usual as to what I might say. Not preparing for an AA meeting is far the best way to talk about experience strength and hope.
We share what’s going on how we are how we are coping, or better how we are living and enjoying life working. Or better how we are “being“. And we all have emotional scars and wisdom and recovery one day only. So what is apparent and on our mind today is all we need share.
It is tiring and hard for me sometimes, the lack of rest and the last few days of getting about has been pretty hard work. And just about keeping my head above the water. it’s a sign of some change. And I feel like I need to be lighter and more level somehow.
There have been unexplainable tears as some news in the world has touched home in magnitude and also touching parts of me which are still raw.
And coming home I felt fatigue and the dip in mood as always happens for me immediately after a chair.
Sharing experience of life, the details of what happened, it’s sometimes a trip I take to share and not one I choose to uncover over and over forever.
I need share today and recent times to keep even, yet it’s part of the story. The hardships and things that happen. Other illness too. And what comes back is my story is not so different.
My Life Story
A long one and as we don’t reach a half century without a few highlights, the ups and downs of living.
How many times will I tell it, to make it just another tale and another share, with less power. And I don’t know that the telling always helps. Cathartic it can be to shed the weight of the years a few times and then it goes back the other way.
Encourages us to open our insides out. And as we turn our insides out, it does a job, and we learn some insight or we have had the insight and it’s like pulling off a scab again. I have found the problem with therapy can be repetition for the benefit of others and a true deficit for me. Informing counsellors and psychiatric professionals of my story, it relates as it may.
When in a one to one with my new psychiatrist, courtesy of the clinic at the hospital where I am treated for type 1 diabetes, I realise what we share can seem to offer a good prognosis when the truth is it’s not so. From my words here one may imagine there is certainly progress.
At the same time much of what I do with websites and the writing of my days is to my less preferred styles of communication and is only possible because introverted processes in me work better when the outer world depresses me.
The attention to detail, and the knowledge that one code out of place helps me focus on now, rather than the world which often hurts my senses beyond belief.
Part of my alcoholism was and is a sadness about this world. And the transformation to good times and level times is and has been fleeting.
Hence the tears earlier as world events do shock me. I had been advised years ago to shut my eyes to world events. Yet I still persist in keeping interested and motivated to see this world as it really is. Much of life is half good and half bad.
God consciousness Good conscience
The extremes of what we experience to the good and bad show me often how out of proportion I have been over the years. A big head, a big ego in a small world, and one which renders all to powerless states as we realise we are truly powerless over people places and things. The universe so vast we don’t even register in it except to ourselves. So the God connection has always puzzled me. It will for a time to come I am sure. If an entity so powerful to make a Universe so big, our part is surely only of significance to us, and maybe therein is the true answer.
We do get them, we can choose and learn and develop outlooks. And tonight sharing that some choices I had would had led to an early end for me had I gone on. Those days do come back and they don’t feel like horrors, merely preferences to not be here at all sometimes. And those feelings I know only surface when imbalances are in play.
Choices today, well I have done as asked and answered the requests made. I have felt off and out of sorts. I am sad at letting go and realising some dealings and friendships are as they are, changing and letting them go is right I realise. Powerless over people, places and things, I need remind me and myself. The me is the ego, the myself is the right sized person who just sees it the way it is? I hesitate..
Denials & Filters
We are best able to make choices as we move along. We are better for seeing the truth, and it often hurts and we are able to activate our sadness through others sadness. Empathy and sometimes called confluence, it can be as much an asset as liability depending on our overall mental condition. Tears were apt and for sorrow. And not wallowing self-pity.
Progress indeed and a million light years from perfection. So it goes…
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
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