July 24 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "helping others…" There are two ways I can help you today, don't judge you, and only answer questions if asked by you. I want to do more if I can and will or is it my self-will. If I don't know what is good for me most of the time, how on earth would I know what is good for you?
Video For Today:
The beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous, one alcoholic talking to another alcoholic and sharing their experience of drunkenness and alcoholism. Two people simply talking about their problems and eventually somehow they got sober. Two heads are better than one when it comes to wisdom and experience. Then a group, then another group and then fellowship… Today millions benefit from experience, strength and hope in recovery just for a day…
Periodically I have medical checkups which are very irksome, and they inform me of my progress and not being perfect. As everyone is measured in some way or other, the feedback from medical people can be very harsh because they have the measures, and I have the problem! Same goes for filling in tax returns and other medical documents required by those who hold power. Going with the flow is something that I can achieve just one day at a time…
As the world is in an economic downturn, and many more people are suffering the tragedy of no work and no hope, the attitude of those in government can be very difficult to comprehend. On the one hand, health and benefits are cut, because people are shirkers and living off the state, on the other hand it is government and banks which have caused the problem of no work and no hope. Just for today I look to what I can do and cannot do and the wisdom towards the solution in the moment of now…
The Olympic committee in their five-star hotel suites are very pleased with the banquet put on by the Queen of England, and also enjoyed ballet last night. They can get about the city in their Olympic lanes of patronage. The media is full of questions about cost and appropriateness. Cost and appropriateness are tools of government picked up by the media. Better everyone looks to solutions and improvement and making progress rather than bickering and putting all the population down on a regular basis…
Helping others! Each one of us learns the lesson of life, that if we help our neighbour, our neighbour may help us. If we are selfless, and continue to help others, some will bite the hand that feeds them, and some will share what they have when we need help. And we learn in life and in recovery, where to look to help and for help as each day goes by. And if you judge people you can be assured they will live up to your worst expectations on any given day…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Helping others: 23 July ~ “Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs. [AA Big Book]
Self-centeredness was my problem. All my life people had been doing things for me and I not only expected it, but I was ungrateful and resentful they didn’t do more. Why should I help others, when they were supposed to help me? If others had troubles, didn’t they deserve them? I was filled with self-pity, anger and resentment. Then I learned that by helping others, with no thought of return, I could overcome this obsession with selfishness, and if I understood humility, I would know peace and serenity. No longer do I need to drink."
A fellow said “as long as I don’t drink alcohol, a little weed will do no harm.” It’s called dope for a reason, an escape from reality, from spiritual into oblivion. In oblivion we lose sight and senses. Happiness living life real and connected is as good as it gets.
July 24 2010 ~ Open honest and willing daily ~ Emotional and spiritual living takes a while to settle into a pattern. To understand the feelings we have and experience, all of them, not just the ones we feel others will find acceptable. How am I feeling, why and what may I do? The key is open honest and willing to live to truth, and spiritual is our reward today...
July 24 2010 ~ Helping others... is not pleasing people. If we are open honest and willing, we share the truth of what we know, as we share, others share their truth back as best they can. Nobody is perfect, we simply make progress, truth can be a long haul, we learn wisdom together as we travel this road of destiny, imperfectly perfect in every moment, always "now and spiritual..."
Publish July 24 2007
Mondays and Acceptance Global - Local
July 24 2007 DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’
Looking back over my diary entries for last year teaches me much about progress and honesty. I am still not sure how I really felt a year ago. I fear my honesty of the deep hurt I had was suppressed and what kept me on the straight and narrow was much too with realising sometimes we just read things wrong and we behave as we might wish things rather than they materialise naturally.
I realise now there was quite heavy interference at the time and much confusion going on. And actually the times reflect mistrust of me as well as mistrust of advice another had about things in general.
I was quite taken and happily drawn into notions of a relationship. And indeed the idea was floated over and over. Maybe I was slow, and actually I am glad we were both slow and cautious. At the same time there was much gossip going on and sly words. And of course I was not the only one up for being a practical lesson in friendship at the time. It seems to me I spent a lot of time in a daydream. And actually as the daydream seemed possible and not discounted it may have worked? I doubt as the compromise both ways was too great. And equally we pulled back. The hurt left reminds me that there was much pretending and needy feelings at the time.
Overall Last year this time?
Looking back through time, well the situation abated and time apart led to better days for me and I forgot the situation had been rather one sided and exploitative. I did go back for more of the same old tosh later in the year which does not surprise me.
Benefit of the Doubt
We do give people the benefit of the doubt and in my fellowship we can be drawn in by values we espouse and wish for in others. This has been a recurring feature in my life, that I have given the benefit of doubt, not heeded obvious signals and then gone back for more punishment.
Yesterday this time last year..
Looking back I was angry at myself, and then angry to be treated badly. Being used is not good. And it’s a fine line in fellowship.
As Time Goes By
As time goes by we do make more sensible connections and real relationships. We get to understand the possible, the probable. And we get to know context and life better as we grow into being ourselves. So the hurt and pain is always a two way street, the feelings are up and down as denial plays out and then we find acceptance is as life is today.
Ready or Not?
Best preparation these days is to listen and hear, feel the truth of lack of it. Wonder at where our anger comes from, where we are emotionally physically and spiritually.
So far I am ok, it’s still early in the day. The shock of Christopher’s death, my sisters partner still feels heavy, and lighter moments abound as good times are recollected.
In the my head my emotions are all fairly ok, balanced where they will. I don’t feel needy, I feel ambivalent, a sort of mixture.
My blood sugars are off the chart. So some maintenance to do there. This always makes me feel under par. So may be coming down with something presently. Summer colds are going the rounds.
As spiritual means being in this one day for me, the spiritual connection is somewhat limited by the physical. Overall though my levels of forgiveness are pretty high and unconditional.
Connections to People and The World
Most connections to the world feel Ok. There is an important date this July 24th, a birthday and well wishing to a former partner. I shall not stray and make a nuisance of myself. Some connections I might wish were better, and know better these days that I am unwelcome. And that is positively best and right as far as life and connections go. Actually for some reason these days I look back and smile with love, and not final moments where I would rather have just departed this world.
Confluence and old habits
The truth is I could easily roll up loads of experiences to make a pretty dim view of the past, influence the present with negativity and end up denying my part in all the drama of years gone by. I cannot and forgiveness is a mutual requirement, as I have sown I will reap. Better forgive all things every day.
Forgive and Learn
The learning is forgive everything, don’t forget, as we may forget as much our part in horrid doings. The most important feature for spiritual progress is to stop the obvious which is doing the same thing and expecting some else to happen, it won’t
Change is better than a rest. Changes and living the changes, it must be. And above all is the right of everyone to make mistakes and get on with their living. I am merely a learner in these things.
Friends and Fellows
We develop and make good our relationships as we develop our outlook. As time goes by we realise the possible in face to face connections, connections we make over distance, through fellowship and similarities, through pen friends, through the internet, and through just being where we are today.
All friendship is important we need be careful and truthful. The truth of some connections can be misleading. As we develop and share, we open ourselves for others to know us. As others carry on and live a quite separate existence, and I have no clue about many who know me better than I know them. I recognise there is much that can be assumed in limited contact, and this sometimes concerns me. Silence is no asset to understanding so often what is assumed one way is not there another.
Indeed a hesitant and careful approach, at the same time adhering to truth is quite difficult. We need add nothing to wounds. And yet I realise imagination, cover up and denials are features of living and doing when we feel insecure and not so good about our outsides.
Nurture, nature and truth
All adjust through time. I know intimacy we get face to face helps improve our understanding, and sometimes distance enables another set of truths as we can share our personal outlooks and stay safe and confidential.
Times and Outlook -
All changes by the day and we need make sure we understand as time takes us where we prefer to be. I am without doubt sometimes more open and share more, simply because I need understanding in the broadest sense. As we all read news and views, lots know my views and yet I know less than from others who know me. I don’t mind this, it can be somewhat misleading though as I am ignorant others and more informed about me and my world. It’s just the way life can be.
I may write more later, we shall see? Can I stop myself? I don’t know.
Acceptance is no easy road for humans, all of us have feelings and outlooks
Tonight and Tradition Ten
"Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy."
Why no opinion on outside matters? Well very simply we are better off keeping our focus on our sobriety first so we may live in the ordinary world with better outlooks we learn in the fellowship of alcoholics anonymous.
Diverted from the main tenor of Tradition Ten
And actually looking back at the things I talked about tonight at the meeting, I was slightly off the tradition we were supposed to discuss. And why, smiles well it matters not as there is always another time, provided we keep going back and doing just the right things and making good choices in the day..
I am still dealing with grief, and in the course of the day, had two hypo’s (a diabetic thing). I am a bit run down I realise and know it’s very difficult to keep blood sugars on track when small illnesses affect me quite dramatically.
I have chatted with my sister, I mentioned her courage to her. I don’t know we as a family are not so good with compliments, I had some by chance tonight. Not about what I said in the meeting, but about the video messages I do about recovery. I am truly thankful, and realise it does help me keep going.
Writing and Media - About my Recovery
I do write extensively about recovery, and hope I keep with tradition and spiritual paths. As we go along in life we may wonder if it is right to expose our insides out. It proves to help me more than hinder.
AA is a sanctuary to find ourselves, wherever we may have ended up, through the past few years, my connection to this planet has led me to acceptance of life on life’s terms, just a day at a time. My zeitgeist, my path, just for a day.
A year ago, I see much introspection and justification, I need share it as the path from humbuggery applies to me as much as anyone else…
I can be full of it as anyone can...
July 24 2006
Odd to look back I learn my progress, slow and careful it seems today..
Is simply learning and feeling the lessons of life
It’s been a full week of learning about me and the world I have right now. I divide my world into two parts, the global world and the local world. I call them the global village and local village. I write about things to do with the global and local villages of my world. In the global village, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq feature heavily in tragedy. They are key flashpoints and the world looks at the global wreckage and carnage being made by war, terror and hate. And the local world is full of conflict too.
My local village life has been up and down for some weeks and months. One villager close to me has been making my life interesting and confusing. This villager was expelled on two previous occasions for being an unwelcome entrant. I felt the villager concerned had as much interest in me as was appropriate for someone using and getting more from me than came back to me. And never being one to write off anyone, I have acquiesced and let them back in. I did this because they have always said and maintained a dumb ignorance of their hurt towards me. And so a third time they were included and came back.
The world is full of promise when we are flattered and made to feel good and attractive. And underlying these last two incursions into my village life, I have always been disappointed by their lack of care of me and others, as I have observed, which led me to realise it might not be just me and they might change with some help. I have been proved wrong through time and evidence and behaviour.. Their behaviour is one of using and exploiting. And it’s done so subtly in some ways so we don’t see it openly. I have always had my radar honed for falseness and my denial of it has led me along a difficult path. I always knew I had things this villager wanted and it was not me the person as I have been able to get to the reality at last. It was my connection and knowledge, my position and influence, anything connected to me but not me. And now as the delusion is fading and denial of the obvious is fading, I am still awaiting a reaction of anger in me, but it’s not there…
Why don’t I feel like the global world? So mad, as mad as hell and why don’t I feel like blowing up and causing disturbance? Why have I been mildly pissed off, but not raging and indignant? Why am I so calm and peaceful? Why am I not more depressed on this matter of betrayal of me? Easy it seems for although I have been able to deny some of what has transpired, I know the reason why this villager has been so active in soliciting my help.
The villager concerned has been trying to make a sea change in their lives. They have been schooled in certain parts of getting what they want. The villager has crafty behaviour and conniving and manipulative tendencies and to an extent I went along with what became more apparent as a reuse to get and elicit help. The help was always there and the hope in me was there would be an understanding and mutuality and friendship somewhere somehow. And I was encouraged to believe there would be more, as my diaries indicate, the chronicle of events recorded and the outcomes more and more to let this villager play out the scenario and then leave.
I guess this week I pushed the villager out, and let them know they would get what they needed from me, and it is not me as part of the package, or my complicity or any more connection to future events. And of course no more assistance or support in their future endeavours. And the endeavour which is worthy is in fact a worthy cause. So in essence it’s a win, win scenario.
The win for me as events unfolded this week are no longer having to pour more time where no amount of time will ever yield happy connections in friendship or anything else. It is sad because when we are faced with situations like this and our nature is to be helpful, we let things slide when it comes to understanding others motives.
I am most definitely a people person, a people pleaser if you will and have always found value in helping people. it’s a taught thing and learned thing. And it was only as I found this particular trait in me exploited fully, that I became most unhappy and really pissed off. And yet today I am not pissed off or unhappy and I don’t feel hurt. I feel annoyed, not real anger. For indeed everything I had predicted somehow seems to have come to light. It is sad and my learning is a better exploration of motives and outcomes in future.
I guess the rose tinted spectacles I tend to wear and the principle of trust has been challenged. And quite rightly I have found the villager somewhat guilty of bad behaviour towards me, and a betrayal of themselves as their behaviour oscillated between friendship and more, then less as time has made good other requirements now fulfilled. I sense this using , and hence my discourse on co-dependency in my previous entry.
A salutary lesson for my ego and my confidence. As I never expected my confidence to be up and my ego to be down, I am quite surprised for the slip to ego’s drift could have been more pronounced and a backlash of self-loathing and feelings of foolishness could have been greater. What I find is much of nothing and nothing is what I feel for the villager concerned.
Note to self: beware false flattery, not just one villager has this capacity, others do too who need something from or of me. I give it freely, and will be more reflective next time. For there will be many more times.
As life is, I have fellowship and friends and these vulnerabilities to an old fool are welcome additions to my living. And I will always be helping fellowship friends and acquaintances. At the same time I will address my people pleasing nature as needed and get feedback on this from a fellow I know and gives good advice. His advice so far as a consequence of recent developments is simply keep with friends and fellowship, and let the world sort itself out.
As to the global noise of life which none of us can ignore, I can see the powerlessness of the world. So in my local environment, such an incursion and exploitation of me is no big deal in the grand world scheme.
I reckon the silence of the villager over recent days is for a variety of reasons, first their denial of any falsehood, their clinging on to thin integrity and deceptive notions that they have done nothing wrong in their quest to further their situation and outlook. And maybe I can see their point. And know it comes from a desperate need to change and make good at a new start. It would not be my way, but if that is the only way they know how, I hope they will learn better ways in future, all I need do is let them go and get on with it and find others to make good their world. I have no place at all in it and am compromised through events which while they have disturbed me, taught me much of my vulnerability to be exploited and then discarded, thank my lucky stars for that. I will pay heed to my inner voice more closely as there is one unfinished task to complete, and that requires enough effort to make disconnection and then they then have no need of my knowledge and skills, for others have them too. I am not dumbing down or underplaying my value here, I merely acknowledge my value to this villager is simply as a vehicle to another stage and outlook in their life.
I am responsible for me, and can influence and own my part in future events. Wisdom does indeed come after the fact and from experience. Best to learn and get good with living my fellowship ways a day at a time. And ensure one villager does not change my whole world, although I am more informed how I might respond in future as time will tell if ever a situation like this were to occur again.
Silence I have no doubt disconnection will be their preference, it is beyond their wit and their ability to be different. And I know their disturbance over anything which has transpired is either insignificant or just too close to denial for it to be otherwise. And the sadness there is I don’t feel any explanation or counselling or discourse will ever illuminate them to their behaviour, and especially not from me.
I suppose if this were a bad news scenario, it is simply that what appeared to be a friendship was less than that and the other dalliances under scrutiny fall into another category I would not wish to label here right now. The good news is I am a little bit wiser to my vulnerable nature and remain human, able as always to fuck up spectacularly well and read things right and behave in a contradictory way to my wellbeing in order to help others. That is a lesson in pleasing others and not pleasing me, a characteristic in me, which need be addressed as time requires and events occur.
In life there are no hard and fast rules, there are choices which can made as we become more adept and informed and understand better. The connection to life and its facets and make up continues. I am just human and as any other, able to make good of this day as one can, and the same applies to the troublesome villager.
And as to this villager and their future. You know what? I hope for the best and every opportunity to live and grow and develop. I would never undermine their future or their opportunity. And I would be very reluctant to let them close enough to repeat the fiasco of recent times. A learning I guess. And of course merely my own side of outcomes and that is all I can supply right now.
The global world it bothers me, the upheavals are traumatic and will be long lived. Our world is in a really bad phase with much power shifting going on. As the world wars here and there, the power of great economies is flowing where it will. And my part of the world is becoming poorer for it. I hope I continue to see how life will change, just a day at a time and with a weather eye to the future...
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