July 10 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "towards peace and serenity…" Thank goodness our recovery programme is just for a day, because in all elements of life the only place we can change anything is right now and sometimes we can sometimes we cannot. Towards peace and serenity? Peace and serenity is available in the moment of now, if it can be, and not tomorrow and not next week…
At the same time that we can have peace and serenity, I suppose it is a matter of understanding peacefulness and exactly what serenity is. Thankfully somebody wrote the serenity prayer, accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference… Having worked through any issues and feelings we have as we go along, for example, anger and resentments and whatnot just for today…
When peace and serenity has been lost, the suggestion is to look at my part in all matters regarding the people, places and things. Usually peace and serenity are undermined when I try control a situation where I have involvement, but not control or involve myself in an unwelcome set of circumstances. Sometimes doing nothing is the answer and minding my own business, providing I have examined the serenity prayer and how it impacts on me and my behaviour today…
Step seven shortcomings in my case can come back if I undermine myself or other people. Developing courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing in consultation with those who are involved and confidence in working with others and asking for help seems to be the essence of improvement. Getting to an even playing field, to a place of inclusion and not exclusion. Working in unity, service and recovery within the fellowship, and outside the fellowship as I practice these principles in all my affairs… And if the affair is a romantic one, just one girl at a time and no wandering!
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Toward peace and serenity... when we have taken a square look at some of these defects, have discussed them with another, and have become willing to have them removed, our thinking about humility commences to have a wider meaning. [12 & 12]
When situations arise which destroy my serenity, pain often motivates me to ask God for clarity in seeing my part in the situation. Admitting my powerlessness, I humbly pray for acceptance. I try to see how my character defects contribute to the situation. Could I have been more patient? Was I intolerant? Did I insist on having my own way? Was I afraid? As my defects are revealed, I put self-reliance aside and humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings. The situation may not change, but as I practice exercising humility, I enjoy the peace and serenity which are the natural benefits of placing my reliance in a power greater than myself."
As a hard working professional, confident that I could prevail even in the most extreme business scenarios it came as a shock I could be bullied into a quivering wreck, broken and beyond repair. A decade later, the horror when I see another in the same situation... A bully can break us on our own principles and ethics, never assume being right will make a bad situation good...
Two meetings yesterday, the first reminded me fellowship offers emotional and spiritual wellbeing living to good principles in the 12 steps. The second, reminded me when we tread on the toes of our fellows, anger and rage can be evoked in a moment by a cross word. Humility and learning always for today…
Pride before a fall... Pride and ego made me judge so much, people, place and things. Being right and knowing it, I resented injustice and became filled with anger and resentment, “poor me” drank. There will always be injustice, today I need not drink on it, simply work out what I can do and cannot do and make good choices for today...
Toward peace and serenity... a daily experience in living life. We have a tool kit in recovery, today and how we apply ourselves in our activities is underpinned by what we learn and put into practice, utilising the experience, strength and hope we see from others around us. In humility we learn, in pride we fall...
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
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