July 17 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "surrender and self-examination…" Surrender and progress, towards equality in relationships, no longer trying to dominate or please others. And some relationships may have been about trying to please some people, and dominate others. Through self-examination and feedback from others we can learn who we tried to control and who we tried to please…
By the time we get to recovery, or in my case by the time I got recovery, I realised that I could be a people pleaser, which is one form of controlling behaviour by trying to be likeable and lovable. And in other relationships I learned that in order to fit in I had to be controlling and directing, and if I were to really fit in I had to be a bully, just like them…! The bullying bit, now that gave me a nervous breakdown of monumental proportions. And I'm glad it did…
A wonderful learning process, these twelve steps. We learn all the things we probably preferred not know about why we drank and what we found unbearable in ourselves and other people. Usually lack of truth, not able to love very well and not very knowledgeable about life. Because some of the pain of learning had become so great or the prospect so difficult, using alcohol or anything to fix rather than prevail by learn our emotions was preferred by others and ourselves…
Entitled and deserving? Life is not fair, relationships are not fair when we cannot be truthful, make compromises in order to get what we want without being truthful to those around us. And similarly when people are unable to be truthful with us, the outcomes are difficult. More often our relationships work out to be profoundly better when we ask each other what our needs and wants are, and tried to be as truthful as we can. Progress never perfect, but soonest and honestly said, will lead to better outcomes and progress. I am not an idealist, at the same time we can listen to others and others can listen to us, there's a better chance of understanding at least…
Yesterday, playing with the settings on my Facebook page, I was updating my quotes and my relationship status. Sometimes I wonder what my relationship status is which is relevant. Truth is I do love people and people love me, at the same time I am not married and wonder if that is a deficit or an asset. Is it okay to be me defined as me and not defined as something else? Just for today, I think so and at the same time I need not be defined by anything else or anyone else. The partnerships I have around me are loving and beautiful, needs met presently in all that matters in the moment and just for today… In love with life means we are in love with those around us who are lovable. And at the same time acceptance there are plenty unlovable ones in the world today…
Sometimes the government of the day in this country can drive me to very unhelpful feelings of anger and dismay. Incompetence without learning, arrogance based on ignorance, ineptitude based on denial and telling lies day after day. Prejudice and fault finding, labelling millions as shirkers rather than strivers for political gain. Stoking the fires of racial prejudice and splitting communities apart rather than building them. I have words to describe our current government usually reserved and said best face-to-face…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Step 7 Surrender and self-examination: My stability came out of trying to give, not out of demanding that I receive. Thus I think it can work out with emotional sobriety. If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand. Let us, with God’s help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to Twelfth Step ourselves and others into emotional sobriety. [The language of the heart]
Years of dependency on alcohol as a chemical mood-changer deprived me of the capability to interact emotionally with my fellows. I thought I had to be self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-motivated in a world of unreliable people. Finally I lost my self-respect and was left with dependency, lacking any ability to trust myself or to believe in anything. Surrender and self-examination while sharing with newcomers helped me to ask humbly for help."
Hurt people, hurt people... as we are hurt, we learn to hurt. As we learn how to forgive our own behaviour, we learn to forgive others. I need not hurt anymore, myself or anyone. Acceptance and forgiveness, hand in hand, we learn truth, to love and be loved and the wisdom to know a better way to live today...
I feel gratitude tonight, many years learning how past generations and my life experience of damage would fall into today. When I see others who have not let go the wreckage of the past still suffer unimaginable pain I need help not hinder, not judge, or make it worse. Letting go can be the hardest and holding on the worst. Peace and serenity reclaimed just for today...
Step 7 Surrender and self-examination: Olden days, butterflies and knots, fear, self, self self. When we are able to understand our part in the world today, what a wonderful feeling! A choice to be sober; faith, courage and esteem flow from "miss takes" and learning new choices and included today...
Emotional - Spiritual progress: When we consider our spiritual life today, we let go opinion and belief in favour of faith in universal truth, our part in life, with choices, the big picture. As we feel well, our emotional progress, is powered by open, honest and willing outlooks and actions form good deeds...
Publish July 17 2007
July 17 2007 ‘Day In The Life’
Yes today seems to have a focus on family matters. The all too sudden death of my Sisters partner, Christopher has been very much on ,my mind.
And with matters of the heart quite prominent from last year’s diary (just below this entry), I am not surprised that my rose tinted glasses slipped off my eyes to reveal some less than happy truths about last year.
In essence, I was optimistic about matters of the ‘heart’ then reverting to a more profound friendship. I realise I wanted it to be so, but the relationship had no chance of surviving just that way. Friendships and connections ebb and flow as life deals new sets of cards. And as another’s outlook was changing, the changes happened rather quickly once my usefulness and connection were no longer required. And in truth I realise now the circumstances and time last year were pretty new to me just a couple of years sober.
There was much flattery and closeness and then a void I could not see beyond. And time disposed of closeness of the connection I imagined rather than experienced as time does reveal obvious truth yet again. I feel sad it all went as life has taught me so many times. Purpose and utility are not a good basis other than as an acquaintance. And we all wish to see better from fellows in fellowship, and then we realise it’s just as normal people experience with all our angst and our desires pretty mixed up. Sober one way does not mean sober or truthful in other ways. In many respects it just means we get to see using without filters or rose tinted glasses. I have digressed enough.
Sufficed to say the origin of the mistakes I made were in me and my outlook, less in others behaviour. I do well to check the fine and often faded print of peoples endeavours before being looped into odd scenarios. We learn eventually! And make another lot of mistakes another day..
As far as I can see, it’s been as normal as normal can be. I saw my mother briefly this morning, and my sister has been busy with matters for Wednesday. This is still a big shock and it will take a long time to work through. Although the initial shock has subsided there are moments of utter sadness and the horror returns and then ebbs as it does.
It was good to be in company and making the tea as usual at my home group meeting of AA. This fellowship of men and women from every background come together and talk recovery and what is happening as the days go by. it’s a fellowship so we all identify and we all have one fervent intent, to live sober and make life in real terms go as well as it may. We encounter death too often I feel. it’s the nature of AA, the last chance saloon for most of us. We never tire of hearing the truth of reclamation. We are indeed reprieved one day at a time.
Steps and Traditions
This is the bedrock of sobriety for most of us. We come to a fellowship totally confused and really often in such poor shape we are confused.
The twelve steps and traditions are all about changing our attitude to living and our unity in fellowship to keep sober and see life in the raw. As it is, this raw life is just what “normal” people experience daily. So in some ways we play catch up. Then we find we have unity and strength for when the fan and the crap come together, or just celebrations of sober living, anything in fact normal people experience without some mental distortion we had from alcohol.
It was all about step one tonight the powerlessness and unmanageability of life when drinking, and how we change and grow again once we put down the drink and live reality.
Nothing To Say
In good company tonight, I just liked doing the tea and coffee. I felt at home with friends and new people I meet each week as I give them drinks and make the whole welcome process as enjoyable as can be.
In the room tonight were plenty of people who have been around for decades and the chair was excellent sharing their experience strength and hope. I am taken aback often that friends I have made are constant and they are friends indeed. And it’s quite interesting how friend have helped me with this recent calamity. Gratitude is beyond measure.
I guess what makes this all work so well, is we don’t whitewash our feelings, we encourage each other and share the whole of life’s ups and downs. We learn and become empowered to speak and let out our feelings. We make the best of everything we encounter, and we do things simply and straightforwardly. Well we try!
No one is good and there is no competition to be best when we start to get sober. And we learn to be ourselves. At least some of us do, and some like me have taken ages and made plenty of blunders along the way. Long may I keep blundering and learning.
So tonight I feel ok. Just for today.
There is optimism in the words below for last year. I fear looking back some generosity was misplaced and although I realised I was probably being used quite obviously, I let it happen. When we are needy, we don’t operate too well. And same applies both ways. So the lesson is learned. I am glad it was and maybe sometime both ways around. That I am truly powerless over and appreciate where I am today.
I need take my part and recognise the duplicity. I did indeed find myself swayed and take account of time place and outlooks then. So forgiveness follows hot on the heels of what occurred, another key in the path of sober living…
July 17th 2006
Truth is Best?
simpatico at last, now that's love ?
Depth of Humility
Humility means to understand the self and through that to understand others as well. Humility is the attitude where a person is not attached to his or her opinion and feelings. Humility is the most natural expression of truth. It helps in better understanding of truth. Humility is the basis for maintaining self-respect. Humility does not mean bowing down and being subservient to others. Humility allows us to see benefit in everything. Developing humility brings a lot of comfort and ease into our life.
My best mate, she is wonderful, and me! We have a laugh and get on so well, it’s hard to make out sometimes where we are with anything. And we know really… and had some odd times of late as we wondered if friendship might blossom into more than just friends. We have had these notions of what might be for a little while, and at the same time we sort of knew quite instinctively we are just the best of friends.
And is odd that where we have got to is better than physical intimacy which would have been destined for most likely a short life, as we both know the bells and sparks don’t fly where we might like. It seems we both have come to this conclusion. I did not want to admit the nature of our friendship tailed off from more physical intimacy, it was always a part of friendships in my past. But now life is different and the denial I experienced and maybe the worry I might be failing our relationship hung with me longer than I might have wished. And it’s a danger for any of us, like me and the ego thing is there now I am truthful. Thank goodness I know better these days and where ego drifts.
My friend on the other hand was quite sure from early on and only felt inclined now and then to consider evolving our friendship, and her good sense kept us on the better path, and is a mark of friendship I now see more clearly. In sobriety we are better able to differentiate and see who we keep as friends and who we might pursue as partners, and we both agreed again where we are, and relieved. Avoiding hurting each other’s feelings seems a very obvious worry for us both, and fortunately we have been able to get to the truth so easily was a surprise for me. I love her more in the sharing of truth and being honest. Odd how things turn out. Mind there have been times when lack of honesty and honesty near drove us apart for good.
It was a good outcome and followed on from a fellowship meeting for me this morning which seemed to deal with some of these issues we all face in being sober. There is a wilful side in all of us which seeks to have everything and we almost always end up with nothing as a result. In the fellowship meeting we all seemed to have learned to be good consumers not only of things material, we seem like collectors and pick up people as we go along and then find we have what we don’t want or have moved perfectly good friendships beyond where they last. A sad and true reflection of how we can trying to fix ourselves with love, when if we found ourselves and love inside first we might be better able to love others as we agree, sparks and all when we find our partners who ring the bells in our heads. Big smiles from me and a relief about this conundrum, it took less time to unravel and get to acceptance than I would have imagined. And there is a sort of guilty feeling in there too all mixed up with relief. And we both have these feelings going on. And we are both looking outwardly more obviously than maybe we felt able to share with each other. My God, how we dallied and actually I am glad we did. With care and attention, well enough to make the outcome good.
We will find our friendship changes as we move along, our closeness is predicated on lack of a partner in both cases and some of the closeness belongs with intimate partners as discussion of life belongs there and friendship of that sort. Friends and relationships change, its life, and as we have found honesty along the way, albeit lacking for a while in me at least and for us both in being clear on her inclinations, we got there in the end. She fancies someone else too, Phew! Thank goodness we didn’t take it further, I feel our relationship was destined for difficult outcomes as both of us are moving into changing phases. We have much to offer and give and receive everything well.
What seems to have come out of this for me is an acceptance of choices. Choices I might never have felt able to make before. It takes a good friendship to get to this point of clarity, and beyond as now appears apparent. I get it and so too my best mate in the fellowship. And I am glad she has more years sober than me in this case, and more years with clarity, which helped beyond my confusion over the last couple of weeks.
And you know what I like most is how I feel about all of this, content and peaceful, free and happy. And still there is a hint of guilt feeling this way, it’s a new way of being for me and without that old fearful needy me. As there is something there in ego in me I recognise… a man thing, a woman thing and ego thing, it is part of the package of life, and there for both of us. And I am glad to have a good friend to have helped guide me in this conundrum of living well.
I am bothered by other matters I wrote about. The rehab experience is on my mind, the outcomes for those who don't die and don’t get the guidance and support, the counsellors who lack experience beyond their own and all those things. The dead are dead and the consequences for the living are all too harsh and familiar especially loved ones and family and those like me, bothered and powerless.
I accept my powerless situation as it is and leave it there for now, but my thoughts will wander back I am sure.
We went to see “Superman Returns“, after pizza today. A good laugh all the way on top of relief felt. Superman is ok as it happens, and kept my interest, I think I’d give it six out of ten. More would be too gushing, the plot and outcomes were akin to the old story, the screenplay was interestingly constructed and pretty intuitive in its leaning and the Acting was pretty good too. And the Enron connection quite obvious once you know about it.
A coffee and home and relaxing. I been and posted some photos of my best mate, on the photo web page, smiles hers have come out ok, mine, well never too sure of photo’s these days. So added a couple of others including the one taken by Barry Lategan some time back. it’s a bit grainy, but adequate, the best of digital photos can suffer when we have them scanned and then copied a few times. Never mind it’s still a good photo of the time and was a Fulham road composition.
Time marches on, I hope tonight the railways are quiet, it’s been days of engineering works going on and on and on. My bags under the eyes on my photo give away my fatigue. And a lack of sleep.. I look older today
I feel the peace is good, the acceptance fine, and freedom and contentment which comes with truth. My truth is good and intact, and hope it remains a day at a time. As to the truth of others, well its only my business when it impacts on me I guess, and where rehab matters touch me, I can comment and politics is fair game. Sorted as far as today goes. And let go and be what humility offers, and gratitude in outlooks from the heart as our hearts flourish as they are nurtured and nurturing is the key today…
Can be a bit of a free fall for the manipulators and liars I will encounter in future times, those days and times are as they will be, and me, I move along patiently a day at a time!
July 17th 2006
keep safe to ego's drift as shadows hold their sway
Somewhere inside us we all have a conscience, for every element in our world we have the opposite. When I talk of good conscience so much comes to mind. What comes to mind is how we find our good conscience. What makes us tick to the good of living and behaving, how we access the good in us over our less good our opposites. Words are words. With our good conscience we have:
backbone, fibre, grit, guts, pluck, spunk, determination, purposefulness, resoluteness, resolution; bravery, courage, fearlessness, intrepidity; endurance, stamina, tolerance; heart, mettle, spirit; audacity, boldness, brass, cheek, chutzpah (also chutzpa or hutzpah or hutzpa), effrontery, hardihood, nerve, temerity
And so much more going on. We convert where we can our good conscience into actions and behaviour, or we let it lie, lie inside us as we lie openly to the world where we have in good conscience forgotten all it means to get with our goodness and being. We have so many opportunities to touch this world in good conscience, and when we do we access most likely our internal intrinsic truths of living.
So many hardy attempts to good conscience in a world which brokers truth and integrity as we broker our parts in our living. We abrogate and procrastinate truth so often we might wonder where we left the path and found our false trails to salvations door. Salvation is merely a second away and good conscience is always talking deep inside, that whisper to goodness we feel deep. And the other side our devilish friend, our ego driven collaborator, connects as we find our fears in the deep of us.
We may wonder to our nature and this good and evil struggle portrayed so well and in full colour every day, as we weave our path and good conscience to truth.
Truth our elusive and effusive buddy ticking away at our insides and holding us good or not as fear makes prejudice swing this way and that. Our good buddies, the devils brew and Godly touch, their gentle and insistent persuasion keeps us safe from harm and self-harm. Although we drift to ego and ego’s drift fights all we might become, the path of truth and endurance is beggared by our mis steps and turns off the track to blind and denied ends and means.
We broker and bargain away our living to truth as we move and keep faith with fear. Best not fear for fear itself will keep ego’s drift alive and well. And the foolish forget as brave hearts attest in their testimony, not made by them, but our history to good of conscience knocking and martyrs team, silent in their acknowledgment to time.
Our good books of conscience burn into our very presence in this world and hold us to our tests. And man manipulates to control the pestilence of their truth taught and squandered on good hearts that die in the name of manmade wars. And conscience bleeds as we do, and our gut splayed and sodden with half lies to conscience door, the house of good conscience is littered with our rhetoric and keeps fanned our awful ego’s drift.
Beware all we touch and hinder in our progress, for it is not the wheel we forge and path we tread to fortune that keeps us safe.
It is the silence and the reckoning inside, where hear our whispered thoughts and let it ride or fear stables our intent, and keeps our traps alive.
Keep faith and hope and all we may encounter as honest and free, and let attempt to pervert our course be mindful that in truth, we cannot see our blind touch and fate has its hand in all we do. As to fate, that brew and mixture is manmade, as weary travellers attest. Their testimony and truth is revised as we melt away our ego’s drift, and truth sparkles keenly on the rust of mankind’s words. Spinning we find our reverie and make good with good and good conscience how we may. And we are human and forgiveness screams or we never learn as this life offers, and find the truth of us.
Rest easy and innocent as criminals hold our keys, beware acceptance and fates remedy as powerless thoughts hinder as help the flow to truth and salvations magnetic pull..
Keep truth flattered as we find some more and confidence to move along, let ego’s drift play its part too as good conscience is nothing without its opposite. So nature determines as we drift or stand and make our path to true destinies we make along the way of life. Breached only by us as we find our deceptions help us keep a peace of mind and ready wit to deny all as deniability confuses every mortal whim, to make our good conscience prime.
And so it goes ...
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