July 2 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "the heart to sobriety… Spiritual or spirituality." Spiritual is one of those words which has different meaning to so many people. A spiritual life? So often seen as being out of touch with reality? When actually spiritual is all about living in the moment of now, experiencing reality as it is rather than wishing it were different…
Living in the moment, following an emotional and spiritual path is so simple only humans can make it complicated! Emotional, understanding and feeling my emotions in this one moment? Where feelings fit the reality of my situation, rather than exaggerated feelings based on experience where we might flare up good or bad, or flare-up when our emotions are driven by expectations which cannot be fulfilled. I love my spiritual life when I am present in it today…
In my early days of recovery, I was still aware that my feelings were exaggerated especially feelings of fear and not being good enough and a willingness to give up life as unworthy because I had no self-esteem. I definitely did not feel worth it, worth redemption. And actually many people experience self-prejudice first, and don't even know it. We still look down on alcoholics and addicts even though we are one ourselves. I'm not that toxic today…
Everyone is capable of change if they have enough support and enough inner resource left. I know there were times when I had no inner resources left, lying in a hospital bed in despair, frightened to be let out because I would drink again. And I did over and over. And if we are lucky, a combination of hearing the truth and the prospect of sobriety, and asking for help, and a fellowship and group of people willing to help... Now, that for me is a spiritual experience each and every day and especially today…
Given freely… That is what works. In an age when science and belief are mixed together, many forms of recovery are open to us. Each of us with our own set of beliefs and prejudices about what works. What is the difference between fellowship and other forms of help and self-help? Fellowship offers an open, honest and willing path in unity, service and recovery and working together. All other forms seem to require a conditional investment and a fix. Whereas fellowship offers freedom to choose one day at a time…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "The heart of true sobriety... we find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open-mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable. [big book]
Am I honest enough to accept myself as I am and let this be the "me" that I let others see? Do I have the willingness to go to any length, to do whatever is necessary to stay sober? Do I have the open-mindedness to hear what I have to hear, to think what I have to think, and to feel what I have to feel? If my answer to these questions is "Yes," I know enough about the spirituality of the program to stay sober. As I continue to work the Twelve Steps, I move on to the heart of true sobriety: serenity with myself, with others, and with God as I understand Him."
DonInLondon ~ Spiritual... is everything? I ask as a question. For a long time spiritual has been about being in the moment, the ability to cope with and be able to see reality. Where my feelings are in the moment and based on real life. Reality can be good, bad, and anything in-between. How I feel about the reality I am experiencing determines my thoughts and actions which follow...
How do we reach people who are shut in and shut down? How do we share with those who are blind or deaf or... How do we share with anyone who finds it difficult to read and write? How do we open up the possibility of recovery to those who are lost and have given up? How do we include rather than exclude?
Our spiritual path... living reality and in the moment with clarity, to keep learning truth, love and wisdom. The serenity prayer: can do; choices, actions and attitudes change. Cannot do; we let go what we cannot change. Wisdom to accept truth, responsibilities and consequences of what we do...
Courage to change... Learning how to be open, honest and willing is our responsibility. We are responsible for our actions. Let go and let God, or let go and let good conscience guide us; we let in truth, love and wisdom, let go that which we are powerless over. Usually people, places and things, we have choices based on truth today... -/-
"The A.A. Steps & Traditions are neither rules, regulations, nor laws. Perhaps the secret of their power lies in the fact that these life-giving communications spring out of living experience and are rooted in love." 1. A.A. COMES OF AGE, P. 105." "We find it amazing that the newcomer can start the A.A. program without any specific beliefs or, for that matter, without any beliefs whatsoever. All a person needs is the open-mindedness and the willingness to believe that WE BELIEVE this program works..."
July 2 2007
Sabotage - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’
Sabotage, to damage, destroy, or disrupt something deliberately is often something we Alcoholics make happen when we are unhappy with the world. Self-sabotage is a self-destructive element most of us have when we are sorry and saddened by life. We can all have fugue moments. And for anyone they are bad enough, for alcoholics and addicts, it’s often a subconscious plan to make a drink or drug all possible again.
Today - Sunday
What a day, full of reminders and some good ones all about the last year. it’s the Earls Court Festival, the second one I have seen sober. And really it was better this time, footloose and fancy free, and more myself these days. Change for me has been steady and pretty slow, getting to understand what makes me tick these days, and what to do with maladies that never go away.
Even though I have more to deal with on a daily basis than some, just to achieve somewhere near normal living, it has been possible because of AA and diligence and trying to do the right things I am here at all. And this is a rare day when I can have a pat on the back for just existing.
This morning and tonight I went to AA meetings and saw the Earls Court Market and took photo’s at midday. Just before the rain tumbled down. And it’s still rained some more ,and more forecast the next few days. Rain is not depressing in itself, but does not help keep my spirits up. I love sunshine and shade rather than raindrops and umbrellas.
As we discussed sabotage this morning and how we can fool ourselves about our recovering status we realise there are many triggers to relapse for us in the recovering communities.
Love and loss of love
Well this pretty much covers everything we might find to make us happy and unhappy. For each of us the temptations to give ourselves a break and our unswerving optimism can trigger events which lead to relapse. And we shared this morning around real events in our lives and how we dealt with the harder moments in meetings as well as the good things we can celebrate as life goes on in a normal sort of pattern.
Most people don’t have second thoughts about alcohol, they either drink or don’t as the fancy takes them. And long may it be so for everyday occasions and normal people. But we who have quit drink a day at a time, we will always be watchful and mindful of dangerous situations which can lead to that first drink.
One is never enough and a thousand will not give us that warm security it once offered.
Sadness and Sharing
For me this morning sharing my concerns and sadness for family and one who is not so well, it made me able to deal with my feelings as they come and not try control them or use them as some excuse to go take a tipple and find myself undone..
It’s been hard actually over these last few years, and maybe I don’t share the harshness of it all, because it’s simply too grim. But people know in my fellowship how hard the battle for sobriety is, and we know going backwards and trying again is never going to be the solution.
So I share my feelings as best I can. And when we know someone for many years and we have no power to make things right, we do feel the sadness and the will to wish another well. Powerless I am, over people places and things, it brings me to acceptance.
Not so quick for me. I take my time and acceptance is truly something we learn for each event as life happens, same as the spiritual condition we experience as life goes along. We cannot store up acceptance or our spiritual condition, always one day long and good for that day only.
I speak to my Mother regularly these days and she shares her wisdom of the years. My mother has spent a lifetime learning all there is in spiritual through her endeavours and teachings. And following a pretty safe path of living in the day and the moment. Fortunately not an addict or alcoholic, I get those qualities from my Father who died years ago, an unhappy man and always at odds with this world. I loved him dearly for all his humanness.
No blame here by the way, genetics and nature and providence deliver us where we are and we can work with what we learn and how we are.
Tonight a solid and straightforward meeting of experience strength and hope. I listened and had nothing to add to what people shared about life and living.
A good principle share on living life in the moment and not taking hostages these days. Which means not being a hostage to alcohol for us and not making prisoners of people we think or feel we love.
Co-dependency and Best Friends
A much misunderstood state of being. And I will not try and share what it means other than most of us who relied on a substance to fix ourselves daily were most likely co-dependent on alcohol or drugs.
Those of us who survive long enough after the drug of choice has gone, understand our behaviour has most likely caused havoc and dismay and truly awful times for anyone who knew us and lived with us. And sobriety makes us see our ways and how not to be so again.
It was also a relief for a share from another on this crippling and very difficult medical condition. Clinical depression which I shared about this morning is the darkest of times. And it will play itself through cycles where sometimes we are free of it and then it returns without any change in us or our situation, and can leave us stricken.
A word used recently, and very poignantly. Stricken, when we are deeply or very badly affected by something such as grief, misfortune, or trouble. How many times are we all stricken?
Sometimes we utilise our feelings to push ourselves beyond boundaries. Faith can move mountains in many ways, and yet when we are stricken, we find the hardest moments and truth detestable, as I do in current days.
And as I find acceptance and live each hour and day as can be, I feel for others so stricken. And with compassion and love I will stick with fellowship, keep myself available and be there as asked.
When we are truly powerless and can do nothing but be loving and aware, we play our part when needed. And we need not trample or disturb because it’s not about us.
Powerless is not useless, as useful comes when needed. We do well to heed boundaries and understand what is, is. A day at a time feels my only plan for now, as it has been for some years. Changes by the day, we learn as we may and share as we do.
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