July 15 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "pride… Goes before a fall?" False pride, where we might feel we deserve and expect "security, prestige and romance…" Rock bottom, where we have lost not only the opportunity for self-esteem, I for one had no ego. Without self-esteem or ego to protect what was left of me, I had no sense of self or identity or purpose…
In conversation in recent times, the denial of what has happened as a consequence of alcoholism can keep us drinking longer than a sane person would expect. Somewhere inside us, the logical part of our brain judges and makes it so difficult to accept we have an ongoing chronic mental illness. And the sane element which lives within us connected to our emotional state is why people drink themselves to death…
Combine no self-esteem with no ego at rock bottom, this is where many describe the situation as the jumping off point. We are already judged by everyone as beyond redemption and we have been rejected. And rightly so, because if we cannot stop ourselves how on earth could those around us stop us from drinking ourselves to death? Whatever works is worth working, and fellowship, the many voices in meetings made it possible to see that sober, a life could be redeemed as a consequence…
In early days, I can remember white knuckling. A rehab, and introduction to my horrible emotional state of rage. A relapse after time served at rehab, homeless and rejected. And then a realisation, no matter what sort of life I might have, I needed help daily and the only place I could find was fellowship. As the rage anger and resentment subsided, the broken heart began to heal. I need never forget this journey as others begin their sober journey today and then always one day at a time…
I need to keep on listening to the experience, strength and hope of those people around me in recovery. I am often blown away by their insight into life and how to help each and everyone around them. I must not take anyone for granted, especially the new and the bewildered people I meet in their early days. If I do not know how to help them, and often I don't, in fellowship there will be that help shared always in the moment and just for today…
And the good news in recovery, we get our lives back! And same time life we start to build will not be the same as it was before. My life changed completely, driven out of my old life by drink, the sober life bears no resemblance to what I used to do. And the gratitude is always there when I remind myself of what happened. Made possible by fellowship and insightful and also ignorant people along the way… Can do, cannot do and wisdom to know the difference in the moment and for today…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Pride: 15 July ~ For thousands of years we have been demanding more than our share of security, prestige, and romance. When we seemed to be succeeding, we drank to dream still greater dreams. When we were frustrated, even in part, we drank for oblivion. Never was there enough of what we thought we wanted. In all these strivings, so many of them well-intentioned, our crippling handicap had been our lack of humility. We had lacked the perspective to see that character-building and spiritual values had to come first, and that material satisfactions were not the purpose of living.[12&12]
Time and again I approached the Seventh Step, only to fall back and regroup. Something was missing and the impact of the Step escaped me. What had I overlooked? A single word: read but ignored, the foundation of all the Steps, indeed the entire Alcoholics Anonymous program – that word is “humbly”. I understood my shortcomings: I constantly put tasks off; I angered easily; I felt too much self-pity; and thought, why me? Then I remembered, “Pride goeth before the fall,” and I eliminated pride from my life."
What I can do today, what I cannot do today and learning the wisdom to know the difference. I can do sober, can do forgiving, can do learning and can keep learning from my endeavours. I find out what I cannot do too in every moment and find acceptance as “life is what it is” today…
Graduation Day! In recovery, another sober day means I can keep on learning life. No exam to pass, every mistake an opportunity to learn. No shame or guilt in not knowing something, I can ask for help and sometimes find it. Every day is graduation day in sober living…
Pride... Small word can be a big problem. Never show fear, put on my brave face, admit no weakness, shame, guilt, anger or resentment. Control my feelings and my environment, think tough and overcome. With humility, I keep learning how to live life, pride kept me in the problem, humility keeps me in the solution today...
Pride before a fall... Hungry Angry Lonely Tired? We get fractious and unreasonable with ourselves, then everyone else may get the same? Life is difficult, and life is about balance. With humility we can ask for help, a strength to ask and also to help when asked. We learn from experience if we are open, honest and willing one day at a time...
Publish July 15 2007
DonInLondon - July 15 2007 Relative Peace ‘Day In the Life’
It may seem strange to suggest I am peaceful just now. And with so much to take in this week. There are moments when tears come not just for Christopher, more so for my Sister who has lost her partner. And while she is trying to deal with her grief, so many calls in recent days as others now know and the questions and shock. No one was prepared for such a time and there were no signs it was so until just a few short weeks ago.
Grief and How To?
We are not good with loss. We were never designed for endings, just keeping on going, becoming more understanding, sharing and developing and making life work a day at a time. Odd really we can spend a lifetime looking back or forward, we forget what is right under our noses.
How to deal with loss. I am reminded of work over the years with many hundreds of people. It has been a long time since I have had to grieve personally. And more important these days, with feelings as they are, neither suppressed or distorted by morbidity. In other times I was a counsellor, and helped with many elements of life, living and endings.
So I am no stranger to grief. And I have plenty of acquaintance on a daily basis through fellowship and friends who had losses in recent months.
We cannot grieve as others do, and yet we know the pain involved, and when our turn comes again, it is not welcome ever, yet we are better prepared as the shock starts and all that follows.
There has been a day of relative peace. In the sense that I have had the day to myself to an extent. And the things I have done?
For years I have found it very hard to listen to anything musical. It started years back, when a partner left and never came back. I was part of the problem, indeed most obviously I was my problem. I have found music I can listen to again.
This is recurrent theme. The forgiving of others has been easy from a lofty ego point of view. And now as I look back it was less forgiving and more suppression of my feelings. And this only comes with wisdom and hindsight. I was less forgiving than I ever realised until these last few years. And what an ego I had back then. I learned ego from my Father, and defiant silence from my mother, and that is without prejudice forgiven.
The painful learning over the years, formed in intellect and thinking and so unhelpful to our feelings and development of them. When I realised much of this it was dealing with times past in sobriety, and seeing others struggling to get over disasters and abuse of latter years.
We learn ego, as we learn confidence. And confidence comes from acceptance of who we are and how we are. Sometimes and this is true for me, I have had to go back to elementary learning. The scars which covered my capacities are less so these days. And yet ego finds me out most days I realise and judgment inside makes me cringe when it is so.
Confidence is about our own truth and being able to see ourselves and our assets and liabilities. To develop and compensate for what life did, and then we did with addiction and oblivion. Confidence comes when we accept life on life’s terms.
Heroes and Villains
The gift of life makes us able to see our own history. And as we are human we can be both Hero, Heroine or Villain in any part of our lives. And we don’t often see these roles we have played until we dig and seek for truth.
Even now? More now I see my part and villainy as much as my po-faced ego will allow,
Yes even now I can express in words and upset some. And this week I have upset a friend without intent and without feeling just what the words may have meant.
And equally if we look at words out of context we can make small bites become the order of our prejudice, when in reality there is nothing much wrong happening.
Even now I am sorry for some words written. And with an apology sent I hope it’s received as meant. I cannot make my words land always as I might wish and perceptions hit us all as our feelings are at the moment we see and recognise what hurts and what is meant can have many meanings beyond a sentiment expressed. Or we would have no literature at all.
There is no get out of this one!
So I need recognise the harm done and have apologised.
How we see and work life -
Every part of our life experience impacts on every moment we draw breath. And when we light up another’s recollections and outlooks, we will hit nerves. So that is alright and then we need sort out as best we can what to do next.
Peace and Tranquil Moments
These moments when other stories blend and make sense, and help us realise we are all pretty much the same. Able to brave some elements of life, unable to cope with others. In a constant state of learning. And also admiring and following others wisdom. We are certainly allowed to learn to be ourselves and find our confidence.
There are many forms of denial. And I come to face my own denials as best I can. And similarly for others, to find the truth and be confident, happy or sad about our lot in life. Well we are best served taking time to find ourselves and our feelings.
The bastion for ego to exhort. Confidence the stalwart of truth in feelings and experience.
If only it were so easy to separate and make good our learning across the gamut of intellect and emotions. And as we know, we come without instructions and learn from life how we may be. Jung and his work on archetypes of personality did help me find these balances as life showed me a way.
I really do feel like reconstruction is an on-going and difficult process. We will never have an award for the living we treasure and show to others? Or maybe the answer is in feelings we have about ourselves and others.
Beauty in this World
How we see beauty and life, and everything around us is impacted by our inner understandings and reality.
I have taken a photograph recently of two very ancient souls wandering down the Kings Road. Their time and place, their zeitgeist is every day as they make their way. Just one day at a time. Their beauty is in living and life, and expression etched with lines of joy and sadness as time has gone by. Wisdom has a beauty we can feel from others, beyond the superficial, always ephemeral and transient, unlike wisdom and characterised in decades of experience.
Eye of the Beholder
Always and forever a personal choice, we cannot influence or make different to our point of view, when another looks outwards, what they see we may never imagine. Or we imagine the worst.
Seems more like about death this week, everywhere I have heard more, and it seems just as it may be for now and today, just another day…
Acceptance is a Key to freedom, as Judgment may make us prisoners in our own worlds. We have choices…one day at a time.
And learning is forever…
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