July 12 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "giving up centre stage…" Humble, not proud : not thinking of yourself as better than other people… Some do not seek centre stage, at the same time we probably had an idea that we deserve better than we had which made our outlook somewhat distorted. And of course with a drink inside the distortion grew as we sought a new way of fixing our feelings and activities…
I don't know whether humans are born good or bad, we are born with potential and shaped by our environment and what is going on around us. So it is part of nature and part nurture. When we are young we can soak up and learn so much and we have no idea how we do it. And then imperceptibly it can be difficult to keep learning for a whole host of reasons. Getting sober and learning humility, simply how to learn again is key to survival one day at a time…
Learning how to be open, honest and willing, have courage to change, develop faith in good actions and growing confidence is really key to my survival. I don't need to hide away, or isolate or fear being the person I am today and where I have come from. I could easily be defeated and go backwards into isolation if I felt my own self prejudice making me want to hide the person I was back then. I don't need hide anymore, we can all share our experience, strength and hope as we choose today…
The very essence of sharing experience, strength and hope on a one-to-one basis has been the starting point for just about everyone I know in recovery. One person sharing their truth with another, good, bad and ugly, and another person seeing that their path can grow once again if we can put down the drink and the fix that has driven us mad...
As long as we all realise that we are not God, and do not represent God and do not speak for God and that God works through people, we all have a chance at life today… The very basis of an anarchic democracy described in tradition one, and that no single individual in fellowship can tell another individual in fellowship what to do, especially if they take up the role of sponsor, or a service commitment. We are all trusted servants one day at a time…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Giving up centre stage: For without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all. . . Without it, they cannot live to much useful purpose, or, in adversity, be able to summon the faith that can meet any emergency. [12 & 12]
Why do I balk at the word "humility"? I am not humbling myself toward other people, but toward God, as I understand Him. Humbly means "to show submissive," and by being humble I realize I am not the centre of the universe. When I was drinking, I was consumed by pride and self-centeredness. I felt the entire world revolved around me, that I was master of my destiny. Humility enables me to depend more on God to help me overcome obstacles, to help me with my own imperfections, so that I may grow spiritually. I must solve more difficult problems to increase my proficiency and, as I encounter life's stumbling blocks, I must learn to overcome them through God's help. Daily communion with God demonstrates my humility and provides me with the realization that an entity more powerful than I is willing to help me if I cease trying to play God myself."
Giving up centre stage... seeing the big picture, that we are part of it somewhere and somehow. Connection to reality, to love, be loved and useful. In unity, service and recovery as we help our fellows, we help ourselves, "self less" and learning who we may be today...
Hope and humility... Our hope to live well today, our needs met through endeavours, wants forgotten, needs a part of an achievable plan. Humility a part of us, the ability to let go pride and ego, so we can keep on learning what we can and cannot do. With humility we have hope for today...
July 12 2007
Spiritual ‘Day in the Life’
A big word for something so simple and offering something profound : ideas and spirit of time: the ideas prevalent in a period and place, particularly as expressed in literature, philosophy, and religion. Or in this moment as I choose to express it.
Spirit of the Time
There were excellent plans and intentions for my sister these last few weeks and months. A wedding and now no wedding, instead a funeral. It’s a tragedy as sharp and poignant as any who have experienced such times. As hurting can be, we are not so good ever with times where we fall apart to an extent. And actually we humans are designed to fall apart and then reassemble ourselves. We get our composure back, we start to process the impossible we are faced with. If we had to do it all at once, well we might prefer not being here at all. We need our time and space to understand our disbelief and then find ways to come to terms with life different.
Being Here and being able to support. It is worth it. And as I said to my sister, I will make loads of mistakes, most likely say the wrong thing. And do it all with the best of intent. At the same time she knows I do mean to be helpful and we are both big enough these days to resolve any misunderstandings. I am hoping so. I for one have been a slow learner on some elements of life and living. And at others exemplary.
We Help Others Often
We do help others often, and we do this often because looking in the mirror is just plain hard. So a few years of time in the fellowship has helped enormously putting me back together. And simply getting a life to work when life and purpose had been lost along the way.
Never Blame - Just Forgive
Seems it’s got to be this way if we ever want to get a life back. We can look at everything and wonder where we have got to. And the simple answer is truly to live in the moment. As we pile our futures with yet to do’s we can lose site of the journey. And especially when the day by day is utterly painful we can ask those questions we dare not admit, about being alive or not. We humans have qualities we might wish we never had.
Some things which keeps us going enough are worth their weight in gold. And actually even gold is not the measure of human endeavour under the most difficult or extraordinary circumstances.
Tonight - Love
Love is what we have to share and offer when we are most pressed and most involved. We need keep a close eye on our love for and care for others. And when we do this as we learn how, the rewards are what they are.
We are reminded so often we are sometimes forgetful. And in the busy lives we lead, we are best served to pause and reflect what life truly is about. We can be side tracked here and there, and then we can find peace in the moments where nothing but a moment count for all endeavour. Hardships fall away, the toil, the grit, all is for love. Those moments of peace and tranquillity are a gift.
As today has gone by, I am relieved I have my wits. Well most of them. And as time allows we find a path so rich in care and living, we can see all the hard work was always worth it, because it was the endeavours which kept us doing the right things and for the right people. Our quest seems a singular path, and yet is best made in company we value and share. Love is what binds us and nothing else comes close.
As Life moves slowly and quickly around times like these. It is astonishing how we live and endeavour. it’s the way we learn the high and lows of living. From the most profound and sad recollections we don’t wish to forget, we find our grasp is softened as each days passes. And our anger abates and love is restored as acceptance follows for the years to come.
We never replace love, we find love again. We are very human as we live. And we simply work at life and best when we are back to reality and in train.
No easy ways on this spiritual gallop and then slowing pace catching our breath when the ephemeral nature of man and living catch us unaware. There is peace as we learn living over and over. And new ways to live in the day.
Times move me as memory and circumstances jolt not only me for these days are hard. There are old memories inside me and they are unlocked again, for a while. I need feel those times and learn more for my next encounters in the days to come. Love has that other gift we encounter of every feeling there can be its opposite, and we need tread softly or we disturb peace which can be secure as we learn forgiveness over and over again. Life and serenity are found through all endeavours the high and low moments of life make our path bitter sweet. There is a gift in every moment, and in every day.
Zeitgeist a word - An age to understand and good for one day, today.
~ Mea culpa breaks our back and Denial rests forlorn ~
"It wasn't my Fault!"
There are times in all our lives when we look back in astonishment at our part in events. The astonishment is we were even part of something, that we had a part to play, that we might dare to be so bold to involve ourselves as witless fools in some perfidy.
No one enjoys being found out, no one enjoys the tatters of integrity being worn as if a shroud has been ripped from our truthful bones, only remnants remain to hide our shameful inner being.
We are human and we make our mistakes in life. We make bolder and bigger mistakes the bigger the risks we apply to ourselves and others. For indeed we don’t often float into dangerous territory alone, we are often aided and abetted by likeminded and equally involved accomplices.
There is nothing we can do to reverse that risk taking we have evoked, the actions leading to our experience and memories of things and times we might wish to correct, to revise and in our revision blot away from our minds eye and public scrutiny, to deny it was us and avoid the sentence we may impose from inside as the outside world condemns us for our folly.
We play with every match known to light our way to enlightenment. And with a torch lit, there is surely a burning to be found in some part of what we do. And in our practice learn not to hold ourselves too close and be burned as if like moths to flames, to perish in heat and pain.
Being found out is no fun inside ourselves and outside where the world can cast their judgment on our learning minds. In essence we are averse to great shames of life, mere learning if we characterise our folly so. And when we feel the heat of mistaken risks and events unfold to show our errors, we hide them best we can from inside as well as out, admission hurts our ego and ego’s drift to cover is complete in dark and secret connivances we make inside our heads.
Our bargain with our devil, that we may hide our woe, that we will redeem ourselves if only we can cover up our miscreant ways, our torrid actions which inflame that inner heat and shame of knowing. Knowing we are culpable and open to this torture.
Is it always so? Not always for we can learn from our mistakes and make good and restore ourselves and learn from experience and add to our wisdom of those things we reject. If we are enabled and allowed of course.
Our learning world so unforgiving of everything and anything, it does not help us with our living. Our mistakes so public and the opportunity given to find ourselves open to a critical world, it does not help our cause to make our living well, or living easy.
In our nature we have shame delivered as a way to show our folly, to educate and make us see the worry of complicity and darker acts against ourselves and others who will measure us by their knowledge and experience.
Our good friend denial helps us with its gift. Nature gave way to lies in our way of coping with our desperate times. Denial an old and friendly process helps to mask those horrid truths we experience all too often when we stray from truth and certainly, and pleasure drives our risks.
Our denial of death is keenly used and effective when our grief is most profound and handy when we fix ourselves to moderate our harsher moments. Denial runs easy for our needs to help the truth seep through and permeate at some time to come, when we can stand its touch.
Yes and denials may last a lifetime. For some acts and experience are so hard to get to truth, the truth is forever to be hidden and only understood by history, as history has distance from our lies and smothering of reality in case the consequences snuff us out as likely we have snuffed our experience and pushed its dust away. It was not me, it was not us and we were merely passengers, our culpa was never there and our truth is held a denial for all to see as other eyes perceive, we merely hide our shame and guilt to save our ego’s drift from honesty and ruin.
Although it feels we may be right and denial is wisdom as we argue our culpability. We know somewhere inside ourselves that we were present and participate in our shame, or why else would shame prevail. We know deep inside our shift from right and the wrongs are growing and we cover and we run, we cannot hide from our insides out, yet fixing we might ask ourselves if we might escape the gaze of truth. We plan our getaway.
We run, we hide, we fear the door and as we hear the truth is knocking, we hide some more and deploy our lies, and denial is prevalent as we speak. Don’t say another word, or we might be caught in a trap, as truth unfolds and lies reveal our integrity is gone.
Of course as we might speculate these dire times and strongest hurts, we assume as good conscience may drive our will, that others feel as us.
Most we know have codes to live and conscience binds our wildest ways. We live by rules and etiquette in built from natures touch and what we learn as we grow up, our nurturing keeps us safe from woe. No so for everyone.
Not so, for amongst us dwell those who hear the pull to conscience and reject its voice to common good. As selfish ways and obsession drive the madness of singularity, good conscience voice is lost inside and our devil sits installed and ready to excuse our crimes. No shame for them as shamelessly, exploiting all they perceive, as will is paramount and common good is lost to touch.
Not so that presence where denial is used and excuses made as we cope. Not so as there is nothing to deny as wicked devils make their goodness felt and let our common good die as if it were never there. Lost to selfish devilry, and unashamed in plunders made. We see denial completed as if denial were never there to argue for good conscience in our experience of life.
Not so for those who never learn the creed of man or humanity. Mea culpa is not used to argue that we learn and make good our commonality. Devils play and hardest outcomes exclude our devils minds or they prevail to torture till they die, their host and all who get too close.
They never see, they never feel the hurt and inflictions they entail, or give up their culpa to the losses that they make. And harshest judgments made by those who feel the pain of those so blessed and blind to judgments they might make on their conduct and their crimes.
It was just the way back then. We might examine as we learn the best of what we can do, and let denial make us see as truth unfolds through time.
We are truly blessed if we find our way and back on the path where redemption helps us find our place and way. Redemption is a manmade track to help us see our truth, and redemption helps us gain our wisdom as good conscience might dictate.
And to consequences felt, as denial is unravelled and integrity in truth is found again, we find our shame is less and less, our living to the good restored, if only we can make it so, and not become our victim to a history we might revise and hide. In hiding we are lost to time, in honesty and speaking truth we pass our wisdom on to future times. Where we stand tall in confidence and let go our shame as we modify our outlook and our way of living.
For those who cannot let the past enable and restore our balance, where denial lives on and on, our breaking is complete. And our passage to our grave remains as if we hide ourselves in case we are found out.
And ego’s drift completes our turn at life. And to chances where redemption puts us back and restores our opportunity, it holds only to our good if we can find our path again. And some are lost to time.
And times runs out. Do we get another go, or chance to find our way, or do we see our example help to the glare of history? I don’t know the answers to those questions, for we have but this life open to our conduct and comprehension. If we are beyond this world, then maybe’s they abound as eternity is forever there, and our example of our living made forever and ever there. And we are forgotten as common man, and uncommon deeds are made to stick and teach us better ways. What of our way and our life? Who knows..
We might concentrate on this short time, and make the most of what we have and in good conscience deliberate and make our way. Yet know full well, that others less gifted with our history, might still be stuck in perfidy. It is not their fault I feel, yet we would punish them, as if they had choices beyond their comprehension, and our unforgiving penalties make their end one to ignominy and not to common good. And good conscience will never be theirs, and our judgment complete.
From simple times in family, to complicated community, our path is littered with our mistakes and woes. Some learn to the good, some deny their part in life and those living moments, some would rewrite all history and make others fault complete. Where the balance falls is how we deal with our reality. And our rules of living might be better utilised when we educate ourselves to better times and better living in tune with all we know. Yet we will recognise as well, the field of play is never equal and balance in our judgment will let us understand the plight of man.
Forever playing catch up with itself. As we step forward and make our understanding of this world more to our good conscience another soul is born to man without the tools or wit to play, they are yet to comprehend. Our plight forever so, as catch up means we move the field of play and we never stay the same.
And so there is no blame to make when we take our final trip to judgment in eternity, the understanding will be made, the consequences harsh as man can make and culpa will determine our epitaph and our part written in stones we may never see or read. Records of our living will determine humanity.
As is said, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone, where is that timeless rock?"
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