July 1 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "the best for today…!" Yes! Progress not perfect, learning what it is to experience step six in life, where extremes of all those difficult emotions can cause problems, anger fear resentment, and brave facing. And then step seven: shortcomings! My shortcomings, lack of faith, unable to develop courage to change, and so low there was no self-esteem…
I do ask on a daily basis to have the faith needed to do the next right thing, it can be a small change and I may need help and the good news is I can ask for it today. And so with each small step, I keep changing and making progress just for a day. Everything happens in the now, and as fear subsides I don't need a brave face, and I don't need ego to protect a man like me who used to have low self-esteem and feared life. This morning I have no fear and I can ask the help any time from any source and in the moment when it matters most, now…
Step six and step seven are all about living in the moment, this is where it all happens and I have read somewhere that step six and seven is the psychic change. And the psychic change is a psychological breakthrough in being a human being, fully able to feel all emotions as they happen moment by moment. There will always be some fear, a brave face and ego will rise from time to time. But this progression and improvement of faith, courage to change and confidence to keep learning life improves our humility in all our daily living...
False pride and ego, when we are challenged in what we are doing, sometimes old notions and old fears of not being good enough and not knowing the answers can make us be defensive when we are challenged. We don't need to know the answers when people challenge us, we need to open the door to being challenged and have the humility to listen carefully, check what is going on and how to move on to the solution rather than create problems just in the moment and today…
Looking at politicians in the United Kingdom where I live, they are held accountable by the media and many in the population who follow what is going on. So often ego defends the indefensible half-truths and lies told, often called spin where there is truth somewhere, but hidden deep within a positive message. Dogma prevails, combative expression and anger fuels the ignorance and lies being told to the public and the electorate. Horrible role models just like the bankers sneering lying and covering up their misdeeds… Thank heavens I don't want to be like that ever, but all I need do is be aware that truth will prevail and the more I live to the truth, courage to change, faith and confidence will keep me safe today…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "The best for today: July 1 ~ The principles we have set down are guides to progress. [big book]
Just as a sculptor will use different tools to achieve desired effects in creating a work of art, in Alcoholics Anonymous the Twelve Steps are used to bring about results in my own life. I do not overwhelm myself with life's problems, and how much more work needs to be done. I let myself be comforted in knowing that my life is now in the hands of my Higher Power, a master craftsman who is shaping each part of my life into a unique work of art. By working my program I can be satisfied, knowing that in the doing the best that we can for today, we are doing all that God asks of us."
July, my focus in recovery is step seven, "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings." Which is very appropriate after last night's tantrum by me.
Shortcomings... We have every feeling and thought available to us, life experience and who we have met are our teachers. We have lived at the extremes, built patterns and reacted. The past, too much fear, hiding with a brave face and ego. Now we build courage, faith and confidence for today...
The best for today... we are unique, developing our life crafts in recovery with experience and hope. Our strength of purpose, solid in our foundations we can keep on our path of living. Step by step working to our capacity, courage, faith and confidence, with every setback or success, we grow...
Step 7 The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out from ourselves toward others and toward God. The whole emphasis of Step Seven is on humility. It is really saying to us that we ought to be willing to try humility in seeking the removal of our shortcomings just as we did when we admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, and came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. If that degree of humility could enable us to find the grace by which such a deadly obsession could be banished, then there must be hope of the same result respecting any other problem we could possibly have.
July 1 2007
A Vision For You? DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’
All About Yesterday -
as I write my journal and publish the following day. And tonight is Saturday night, back from my local AA meeting at the ‘old curiosity shop,’ better known as the Response Book shop in Brompton Road. It’s near and early evening and allows me time to go and be with my fellow recovering alcoholics in the meeting. More like friends actually. And still sometimes my anger on matters to do with recovery can spill into the spiritual connection I get today and every day.
I am cross and angry, not raging but aware that some in our fellowship behave according to imperatives they learn and feel happy to observe. Some adopt a natural way back to sobriety without the help of medical interventions. And for me tonight I felt frustration for a situation which medical science is doing its best to sort out.
Vision For Us
I understand there is some reluctance in some parts of AA to follow the suggestions not only of AA, but to ignore medical science and what Doctors may suggest to help their patients.
Quaint and Antiquated Views
Some in AA, believe medical advice on depression and especially clinical depression is caused by alcohol and that as a consequence, when we get sober we don’t need any medication to keep mentally well.
Some in AA believe God removes chemical imbalances we have. Well the only one maybe I can understand is the chemical imbalance we caused ourselves with alcohol. So if a person is depressed by alcohol, certainly stopping the alcohol can lead to complete recovery of ones wits.
Chemistry And Biology
For thousands of years, mankind has studied these scientific areas of life. And the medical profession and scientific studies have advanced greatly even in the last century.
Some of us are born with natural imperfections and chemistry imbalances. And this is my issue tonight.
I have clinical depression and know now it’s a lifelong condition, my study of me, my scientific understanding and highly qualified medical experts have made this understanding clear to me.
Being an alcoholic several years into recovery now, I know the difference between “reactive depression” and “chemical/biological/clinical depression” where there are deficits in my body systems. Both actually caused by the wrong chemical balance, one a reaction and often a burnout of our chemistry, the reactive. And then the chemical deficit type of depression which is just what it is, a deficit in chemistry.
Being type 1 diabetic too I don‘t make insulin anymore. And if I don’t provide insulin for my body, I starve and die. As with insulin and other hormones being produced, without insulin the rest of the head chemistry can become imbalanced too, simply because things go out of balance.
Modern science has made chemical products to keep my balance in my brain function.
Anti-Depressant Meds - When Will People Learn?
Anti-depressants are NOT HAPPY PILLS, they don’t make me happy. They provide a supplement for something missing in me, that is chemistry to function normal. Anti-depressants will make the balance in my chemistry better, so I may function as normal people do. I have a chance at normal where everyone may function good or bad as life affords. I can be good tempered and bad tempered, ordinary depressed or ordinary happy as a result of taking my medication.
God - Dogma and Stupidity
In our world of nature and Providence has made it possible for us to unlock the secrets of genetic codes and often make people better from awful illness and disability
God made Doctors - God made Scientists
If there is a God he has given humanity the wit and wisdom to medical advances which keeps people alive.
Emotional and Spiritual Progress
Is a condition of finding a place of normality and making sure we can live to our best with the aid of modern medicine and science. Mankind can do two things
Mankind can ignore Medical Science
Mankind can delude himself that God will keep him safe
Emotional and Spiritual wellbeing, the ability to see life on life’s terms means we utilise science and medicine to get to be the normal we can, as best we can to see reality as it is.
Believe in God and Believe in Mankind
God made us able, or Nature and Providence did? Does it matter? Actually no!!
What matters above all, is how we make our spiritual living work, that is taking life on the chin and not listening to quacks, spiritual guru’s often self-appointed, often self-centred egocentric fuck wits, who suggest people can live well when they having mental illnesses and deficits which can be treated by modern science.
The spiritual imperative for man is simply finding that path of wisdom which makes life work a day at a time. The here and now, the zeitgeist of life itself ephemeral and often mistaken by deluded people with visions and trips in fantasy which imbue them with insights others are unable to emulate. Why? Because they are fantasy of course and the deluded make mystics of themselves or others do, simply because they want higher consciousness as their ego demands.. Gurus are not our touchstones to God or Redemption.
So from the AA Vision for You
[ A VISION FOR YOU!
Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.
May God bless you and keep you—until then. ]
Is this denial? I don’t feel it is, because we believe what we believe. It can only be denial if proven so by people with more brain power than me, but my gut reaction is a God would suggest I follow a path Spiritual. And a path aided and supported by medical science and fellows with gumption and pragmatism.
The good conscience of AA is formed by each group in fellowship the group determine and make the suggestions and recommendations for AA to pass on its message to any person seeking sobriety. And every single member of AA has his own path to live in life. Some with god, some with Good Conscience or both because both get us to spiritual connection a day at a time. Unless of course we are lazy and feel God will do it for us, then we are deluded I would suggest. Salvation is now not in the hereafter where it may be a done deal.. Heaven or Hell? You don’t get to decide.
You may feel I would argue like mad against the Vision for you described. I don’t of course because whatever we believe in, if we are imbued with good conscience, then we can find our spiritual connection to living a day at a time.
Why Am I angry tonight?
I feel annoyed that some follow a path of worse destruction when they are often misheard, misunderstood and misdiagnosed by well-meaning ignorant AA’s who feel God is the cure all. Of course if there is a God, and he, she or it understands our nature, then this whole mess could be put right, right now. Or are we here to learn how to live and live well with each other?
Why I will go to bed with Good Conscience to help me sleep?
Is because I do believe in a spiritual path, that is life on life’s terms. That I follow medical support and science to keep me well as can be made so. And get to be as normal and right sized as you who read my words.
I am not bigger or smaller in this world. I may have a short life left, and can live it to the best that Nature, Providence and science enable. That if there is a God, he gave us gumption to follow a path which leads to spiritual living a day at a time, ephemeral and based on our physical emotional and mental capacities.
Most of my anger tonight is about compassion and love of people close to me and some who are unwell. It’s easy to believe in God until your world does not work
Break downs in belief -
When you break down with a broken leg, you heal with help from science. When your heart fails you take your medicine. When your head and brain chemistry need help to function, you are a fool if you belief your chemistry can be willed well, because God will make it so. God gave us science and ways to make life work more, for everyone including those of us with deficits in our head chemistry.
Ignore your good sense and conscience at your own peril. And if you influence others to opinion based on pure faith, well history and mankind has evidence a plenty that faith and spiritual are quite different to science and longevity and mental wellbeing.
Trust who you may! I trust my fellows with help and support for spiritual and emotional wellbeing, and definitely medical science for type one diabetes and clinical depression. Suggest to me I follow the advice of a well-meaning quack and you will get short shrift from me, a day at a time till life proves otherwise.
May your God and Good Conscience go with you. Until tomorrow…
Step 7 "Step 7 Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings" "The way we have come to look at humility is that it is a virtue, one of the principles that AA teaches us to live. The definition we have adopted pictures us as standing naked before God, without pretence nor reservation. It means hiding nothing, being our real selves, both good and bad. A good synonym for humility is honesty." BB Bunch
July Video Reading Step Seven Into Action Link:
Step 7 "Courage To Change" Reading Video 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