July 21 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "a priceless gift, letting go and asking for help…" And the truth for me, in sobriety, letting go has been a priceless gift. Letting go of alcohol opened the door to letting go isolation, trying to do everything by my own power. Step one, the hundred percent step and then all the steps encourage freedom to make progress with the help we all can access any time, any place…
Video For Today:
As Gandhi said and I realise I write about this quite often, "God is love and God is truth" and I heard it in a recording of Gandhi speaking in the 1920s. Love and truth are as real can be in any given moment. And when people suggested that God works through people, then it was clear to me that God works for everyone when we ask the help and share what is going on with everyone around us. From isolation into fellowship, family if we can, community and society just for a day, and then another, and another…
When we feel part of something bigger than us, we feel and sense we are included, on a similar path and able to access wisdom from everyone around us. The wisdom from everyone around us will be right for us in some situations, and the wisdom of others may be completely unhelpful. What we can do and what we cannot do becomes more clear as we listen to the wisdom of everyone and it can be good, bad for us or simply indifferent. Good we get to choose and make progress as we may just for today…
Serenity, it is the wisdom to know the difference. Letting go and letting in the world is a frightening prospect when we have run on self will, and a willingness to sort ourselves out independently did not work. It does take the fellowship and many who speak up and share their experience, strength and hope in meetings and one-to-one when we feel we need to. I always remind myself that I need ask the help from anyone who may have the wisdom to help me today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A priceless gift: By this time in all probability we have gained some measure of release from our more devastating handicaps. We enjoy moments in which there is something like real peace of mind. To those of us who have hitherto known only excitement, depression, or anxiety--in other words, to all of us--this newfound peace is a priceless gift. [12 & 12]
I am learning to let go and let God, to have a mind that is open and a heart that is willing to receive God's grace in all my affairs; in this way I can experience the peace and freedom that come as a result of surrender. It has been proven that an act of surrender, originating in desperation and defeat, can grow into an on-going act of faith, and that faith means freedom and victory."
Peace of mind, the absence of mental stress or anxiety, and the presence of serenity, calm, quiet, comfort of mind; inner peace. One man’s peace might be another man’s poison. Fellowship meetings where we develop peace of mind, most often together…
A priceless gift... As we come to understand living now, free of impossible and unsustainable extremes we begin to glimpse serenity. Serenity, and acceptance of what we can do, and cannot do and feeling right about the truth. As denial fades in life's ordeals, less fear, brave facing and ego, "truth spiritual" is always now...
Living courage, faith and confidence. Every day as we develop our wisdom living life, our experience strength and hope grows. Our feelings develop, our emotions are true to life now and less a reaction to history. Joyful or sad, light or dark as life is, the spiritual connection is always to the truth of today...
Publish July 21 2007
DonInLondon - July 21 2007 Courage - Faith - Confidence ‘Day in the Life’
Today, what a day for rain and deluges. Seems we have had less summer and more autumn or even spring like showers. And then torrential rains today. Tonight though’ it was fresh and breezy and ok to get the bike out for a meeting.
During the day more changes on my web and exploring this phenomena called “face book.” I don’t know what face book offers beyond what I do already, but there are 30 million subscribers to it. So we never know where connections go. I have made a connection to ‘friends of bill,’ which is about the fellowship of AA and where to find meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are AA websites about giving details of where to find meetings and all about recovery in fellowship.
I am also including last year’s diaries around this time. I realise there are many years of diary still offline and some will remain so, as there are just too many connections which are not so easy for others and about me and times past.
We need always be careful with others feelings and we need not trample or disturb what time has covered and many have forgotten. That would do no good at all.
All day thoughts and feelings of the last few weeks have been settling. The death of Christopher, the funeral two days ago and today would have been a wedding day for Christopher and my Sister. And my role not so as best man. It would have been a day to celebrate. And for me it feels very raw still and very like a time of disbelief.
We all need to have denial like I mentioned yesterday, so we can gradually digest the nasty shocks of life. And it’s a very personal process of acknowledging loss and grief. There are no easy ways to fix life, and indeed fixing only makes possible ‘running repairs’ as we start to deal with changes and new realities.
Courage Faith Confidence
These last few years I have learned all over again and more profoundly what is courage, what is faith, and what is confidence. It’s one half of our repertoire of emotions to do with our most important facet of living, loving and being loved.
Of course we need courage, confidence and faith, as much as we need the near or actual opposite, fear, bravery and ego. Confidence is emotion, ego is intellect I seem to conclude and in different times and settings we utilise one or the other or try both when one or other fails.
Life is not just love, its everything that we encounter. We can approach much of our living with courage and faith and confidence which means we are feeling with esteem rather than fear, which requires us to be brave and often ego driven as ego comes from thinking and intellect, which often suggests logic rather than loss of or grief.
Denial and Pretending
We sometimes would rather pretend all is well, not show feelings for the shame we might feel, the guilt of weakness some feel when we are vulnerable. We can be feeling weakness and less strong when indeed we might be better served to share our grief and not turn to hiding and denial.
And of course in our fellowship we learn over and over as everyone shares how they have a journey to confidence and new living.
We can fear change or we can embrace it, because we need to acknowledge where life is and what we are doing. New starts can happen because life and circumstances change, and we have little or no power to make it our way. Indeed often when we try make things work which are broken for good, we can lose the plot completely as we try fix what needs mending or changing completely as reality has moved us on.
Hearing a share of courage to change. I heard much of my story, how life had always made me feel some fear, some need for bravery, as my confidence and esteem were pretty thin. And ego, that place of thinking and intellect which told me I was better than what I was living, left me always with a gap, and a fear of being found out.
Much misunderstood as we often are brave to cover fear of life and life changes. The brave face masks and the ego is a place of torments and consequences we need understand.
Courage and grit is facing feelings and finding acceptance in life as is on life’s terms.
Ego offers our mind the job of chief critic and offers mostly upset and denials of reality. Ego keeps us prisoners of our own dreams and consequences, where esteem enable us to start again and again. The difference we find is in allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable and try all over again, start from day one and let us make new beginnings.
Time does change everything, we can look at what is important, love, partnerships, friendships our feelings of loving and being loved as we are and not for the things we might attain.
Life, all about love, and sadly we learn its opposite, hate. We have a love hate thing sometimes inside us when we have calamities and all manner of life experiences. We don’t have choices, we are powerless over many elements of living, the what and how we live sometimes can be lavish and sometimes can be very basic. We still can have courage, faith and confidence again, it needs time to mend and then create new outlooks.
Time heals us, it will not necessarily restore us to where we were before. We move as the world moves us. We need not be hostage to fortunes lost. We need be open to new fortunes, in different ways. Freedom made in good conscience, and choices as life offers. We need not go back to insanity of doing the same things over and over and expect life to go backwards to where the good times might have been.
Our most precious and often squandered gift. We need realise this sooner than later. That love and peace are only there as life teaches us loss and conflicts. Denial may last as long as it keeps us safe and then we find courage again.
Always better to find courage, and accept life is as it may be. Fear of life works only so far, and then becomes a gaoler we need not wish for.
Time I stopped, just for today.
July 20 2006
Here We Go DonInLondon Chronicle 2006
temptations touch as ego drifts to living
That pull to infidelity. So easy and seductive. I am glad a passing touch did not reacquaint me with past times...
It’s been a long few weeks in my world and long few weeks in the global world too. The stories coming from the middle east, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon and more all bode for the worse. I feel the emotions of hopelessness and powerlessness. It’s odd that tragedy so far away can bring me to my knees emotionally and render me so sad I cannot breath. The feelings so strong for the hurt and anger, the hatred generated and years and years of prejudice to come as families are drawn into long term struggles. There seems no end to despair and the middle east.
Seeing people being evacuated gives no sense of relief, for those left behind must feel abandonment as strong as any time in the history of these warring neighbours and where their history has held them so tight to defiance and retribution. The desperate fortitude and honour and war, the awful madness of survival and death. And the survival to start it all again. And all because no one will back down to be the equal of the other. I am at a loss what we might do to help either side make good a peace and end violence either way. Has it come to time to let the madness go and let itself blow out and be a rampant force for the worse? Time will tell. There is no honour or way forward for people so hurt by living they will fight to the death and beyond through their next generations. Manmade madness from nature’s touch.
In my small world and fellowship I have had time to reflect on all matters close to me. And there are feelings of sadness there too. My world is not easy. Even in friendship there is great sadness as those around me make the best of what they have and days where joy is less obvious. I too have my sadness as I find friendship and not partnership. Even though partnership was not my goal, I am sad it must be put away, and in its loss the loss of close friendship is inevitable as new boundaries start to emerge.
Why do we all have to keep on going through obvious experiences which will leave us a little more scarred and intemperate? It seems the madness of loneliness and isolation drive those near in my fellowship to hang on to neediness and fear of being left alone. In my current situation I value my singularity and would give it up with some struggle, for in isolation I have my preferences and choices. In the field of partnership, I see my singularity and independence as a useful and desirable trait. It means partnership is undertaken without the needy feeling of companionship. Odd I feel happy to be individual and self-contained. At the same time close intimacy is valued and honoured as part of the map of living. Mutuality and interdependence feel apposite, yet many I encounter are co-dependent in their outlook and just do not see the harm in their outlook. Maybe harm is too strong a way to express their dependence? I think not, for in their need for power over or power being exerted over them, they see some intimate relationship which is preferred to equality and mutuality.
The sadness in loss of truth in this less than interdependent world. Truth is what brokers power and power over, power exerted plays its part in the ego and confidence of many minds. Where people close will keep their knowledge and behaviour secret, or be bold and wield unusual influence, I see all manner of falsehoods develop. And the relationship with things like money and drugs of all kinds seems to be prevalent, linked to work and relationships and money.
So many seem to chase safety and put themselves in harm’s way. And even in the simplest of relationships between partners the mutuality I would seek to develop is almost lost as truth is kept from debate and lies dominate as fear shuts the door to real living and being.
Evidence abounds where half the truth and half a lie seem to still pervade. It is sad and I have no way to change anything but how I respond with due care and attention. We live in a small world. And with my perceptions so strong I know where all manner of embroidering occurs. All mainly initiated as fear strikes and new opportunities come to the fore in minds still trying to make sense of living, and living might be so easy if fear were given its right size…
Due care and attention implies and involves letting go righteousness and all that the global world shows me is the path to intolerance and no forgiveness. We may need to exercise forgiveness every day more diligently on ourselves, for in this regard we make good our behaviour and keep our side of the street clean as they say. I can be forgiving of me and not judge my fellows and friends, for there is nothing I can do beyond the truth and let truth find its way, or not if this is the outcome. I am sad though for truth is not lost in any of these dealings, it is merely known and denied as behaviour continues and replicates old patterns. I am changing mine, and that is a case in my life for joyful moments and letting life grow well where it will.
I forgive my fallibility and indulgence of fellows and their worlds and their views and ways of living half true lives, made from of denials so big they dare not face them, just in case anyone else finds out. And least of all me, but then I already know. And when I fear my confidence in matters I know the pull to ego’s drift, that place where anger brews at lying and cheating behaviours produce mortal wounds and kill relationships stone dead in my eyes. I let it go, and see no sense in illumination of those with falsehoods touch, it will find them out soon enough in the cold plight and perceptions to the real truth where the bogeyman awaits their recognition and torments. Time delivers with the hardest edge the real cold burn of the sinners knife, stabbing at their deep, I need not hold what they hold best, and deliver their blows as truth explodes their denial of living to their folly. I need not be the surgeons instrument of torture where the torturer inside makes hell as real as any dream. Their dream is their reality. And that of ego’s drift.
So a little sad, no quite sad on all those matters. Yet I see in sharing my outlook with due care and attention, just letting enough be known of what I know and no compromise to all the truth as it must unfold in all its glory, that no direct harm is done by me, especially in silence and too little perception shared or I may be a hypocrite too. And others can draw breath on their truth without it cutting too deep. They may find their path and change what they will, and not by my will. And this is new for me, where the tough of righteousness cut deep and hurt others with the profound sharp barbs as venom was added to those truthful pellets and deathly cuts would kill confidence and send others reeling in their ego’s drift. To a personal hell where denial and defiance make good all loss and burn us in our prejudice of living. Let go and let good conscience find its way, as it will or will not, it’s not my business. I need make my choices for today and where I will venture.
I am greatly pleased to help a friend some more, and renew a use of old crafts and new skills. It is good to make good and good conscience guides my movements. Just taking care of my world and how I behave and conduct my affairs. We develop to our environment and others, and we can be lost to our truth as easily as a breath upon a smiling cheek and find our loss so great, we give up much when needy little parts of us need love. And just one love will do, and that is our own of self, so we may love equally those we find as intimate in our world.
And I have made some judgments to let things go too far in some parts of living and let other things fall short where they are better placed. Adjustment and outcomes I can see in hindsight. Nothing lost or prideful feelings stopping me today, where before as ego took my world and made omnipotence more my style, its gone and returns with brevity and some hideous sting and is rebuked and put away, I find forgiveness is the way. My forgiving of my culpability and others may find their own. Their changes may reflect their stance and new reality might take their hold to truth. It is theirs to find and make to good conscience touch, as mine is touched and confidence returns to make life sweet, all this a day at a time.
Daily in my recollections and my sharing and my learning, this world forever moves and offers all paths to us, to redeem or hold us to our fears and loathing and denials of truth. Choices made in seconds make steel rods for beating over lifetimes, so forgiveness needs to find its way or insanity leads to shallow ends and profound regrets merely felt in those who live their life in fear of being found out.
I would wish for clarity and open dialogue, yet it cannot come as I might wish, I need only look to my part and conduct in this world and behave consistent to the truth, as I am able of course and my truth grows in sharing truth and liabilities. I find my way eventually, above denial of others culpability most often in the benefit of the doubt I give. My feelings tell the truth in me, I may yield to their heed and warning bells so often ignored of late, and make good in sharing truth some more and let the truth inform my choices as they may be made today. Patience will determine all, and let outcomes form as all reveals itself as far as truth can and opens new doors to living well. And beware my own denial as ego’s drift offers much to me, and pleasant diversions with her pretty face to lie beside my own, so shallow would that moment would be, I leave that stir and desire well alone, it happened in a moment where flattery held its sway, it was only yesterday. There is no fool like an old fool they say, and this old fool smiles with gentle repose in conduct made to integrity and not to ego’s drift and let life be with generous heart and spirit.
And in good conscience find my way...
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