July 26 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "the worth of sobriety…" Self supporting alcoholics? All about tradition seven: and our primary purpose to help those with a desire to stop drinking. Open, honest and willing we learn what it is in fellowship to have unity, service and recovery. When we stop drinking and find sobriety, standing together in all respects in fellowship recovery works as we work at life…
Video For Today:
No outside help? Not in a financial sense, and not in a codependent way with any organisation or affiliation. Why? To be diverted from our primary purpose would undermine unity, service and recovery. The stakeholders in fellowship are the fellows in the fellowship and not some other organisation wanting or affiliating. Fully self-supporting from a few pennies from some, to those who do service, or actually have the price of a cup of coffee from a copy shop… A bit like five fishes and two loaves, it works…
And step seven, the removal of my shortcomings is contingent on the day I ask, I ask the help so I may have the ability to have "courage to change" "faith in doing the next right thing or in God or in good conscience" and "enough esteem to know I need confidence based on support and help from any source to help me make life in recovery possible one day at a time." Each person comes to their own conclusions about their higher power, asking for help and that it works just for a day…
Life experience teaches that some days are full of difficult feelings and personality traits, sometimes we can be overwhelmed by "defects" and mine are fear, putting on a brave face and ego keeping me isolated and down at heel. Which is why I need work with others and ask for help on any given day can face the world with courage, have faith that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't and the confidence that its okay and be confident in learning life in the moment of now…
Enlightenment by opening up to the world, admitting when I don't know something and asking for help. Endarkenment, when I closed down, feel fear and shame and guilt at not knowing what to do next. People might try to shame us for our need to learn and often the boss becomes a bully, a neighbour is unreasonable and we can feel that fear building as anger and resentment multiplies. The answer is, handing it over to those who can help in a practical way, every system has rules and every person has rights as long as we learn we are not here for retribution…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "The "worth" of sobriety: 26 July Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. [12&12]
When I go shopping I look at the prices and if I need what I see, I buy it and pay. Now that I am supposed to be in rehabilitation, I have to straighten out my life. When I go to a meeting, I take a coffee with sugar and milk, sometimes more than one. But at the collection time, I am either too busy to take money out of my purse, or I do not have enough, but I am there because I need this meeting. I heard someone suggest dropping the price of a beer into the basket, and I thought, that’s too much! I almost never give one dollar. Like many others, I rely on the more generous members to finance the Fellowship. I forget that it takes money to rent the meeting room, buy my milk, sugar and cups. I will pay, without hesitation, ninety cents for a cup of coffee at a restaurant after the meeting; I always have money for that. So, how much is my sobriety and my inner peace worth?"
A step two meeting last night, all about insanity and a higher power restoring us to sanity. Love and the steps work just for today, practiced in all our affairs whether we know it or not…
“Step Living” ~ “life in the fast lane” versus “slow down you’re moving’ too fast.” When we really get a handle on our step toolkit, we can do both, living in the fast lane or slowing down to smell the coffee. Step change, always just for today…
The value of sobriety: emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing. In addiction we have most likely lost our way, comparing and despairing, a fearful trap of self-hate and materialism, forever wanting to be fixed. Sober today, we get to know how we feel, live in the moment and deal with our wellbeing. Needs met, less wanting...
To cherish and learn wisdom: Out of the frying pan into the “fire” of living. Addiction fried our brains day after day. Raw to sober living every sense burns and we are hot with discovery. As anger and resentment at ourselves falls away, we start to learn how to live again. We cherish experience; learn wisdom, we are good enough for today
Publish July 26 2007
DonInLondon July 26 - Changes ‘Day in the Life’
I am home after my “chair” at the Methodist church in the Kings road. I have not been there for a year or two and it’s always nice to return to former times where we heard something that kept us in the fellowship rather than running for the nearest pub or bar. Alcoholics go anywhere and everywhere for meetings.
The room in the Church, big and quite difficult to talk in, and as I did the chair part, it always makes me feel somewhat off when I hear echoes. Anyway I went and did as asked, we do service when we are asked because it’s easier to say yes than no maybe? No really we do service because if we all felt like being quiet none of us would learn or keep sober by the day.
Today it was ok, I shared what I could on experience strength and hope. And then talked about my life and reality, and how dreadful things have been in recent weeks with the death of my sister’s partner. A man we miss. And it’s pretty hard or could have been harder if I had not learned how to express my sadness and grief. So in many ways it’s been ok today to share truth.
Spiritual and Sanity
I guess for me what is important is simple truth, and knowing how easy it is to embellish or stray and then get bogged down in pretence of being ok. I am not actually and its painful. So the meetings help me get my feelings out and shared and then I feel better for it.
It was a chip meeting as well today, and one person was 43 years sober! A long time to be sober when a mind desires a drink? Actually I begin to realise why we all keep coming back, it’s because we learn from each other more about life. We had no chip for 43 so they settled on a good colour one which was gold for two months sober, and quite happy for it. A memorable number of years..
More about Life
When I listen as we all do, we hear more, we learn more, we get to practice, make mistakes, be forgiven, learn again, get that right enough and move along as we are all supposed to do. Making life work a day at a time.
It’s not about being the best, it’s about making the most of what we have and can do. We are all learners we realise, or at least I do. And meetings help always to keep me calm and focussed on now and not last year, or any times past except for learning what works and what is the next right thing to be doing.
It went ok tonight and fulfilled my commitment. And that’s just fine.
It was a pleasure to see a person with so much experience, so much calm come along and be themselves. We spot falseness and know truth as we get experience. And as we get along in service and doing life we get better at dealing with life on life’s terms.
So that’s me for today. I do wonder about progress, its slow and, a day at a time.
Seems last year’s journal was all about life and change. When we are new to recovery or even newer to rejecting the truth of addiction, the way we all deal with these life experiences is quite tragic and quite unpredictable. Some get into rehabilitation and recovery quickly, others slowly like me and not that successfully when we are still deluded. And some just know what they are, an addict and just fail to see why they may change. And those who don’t change are full of blame often, and full of ego, and self-justified indignance at the whole of mankind and the world. And worse believe in God enough to blame God, which is really the worst scenario for life and death drinking.
Good Conscience & God?
There are issues we all face in life about belief and what makes us humans tick. We seem to agree on humans having conscience and consciousness. We differ on human endeavour and what life is about, if there is some higher meaning to life, if there is something out there called God. As to God, some never challenge this belief as its handed down as a given. Others just don’t know and would let time sort this conundrum out. And others are a strongly against the notion of God as those who are believers.
Why the Importance for Me?
In my fellowship there is reference to God and how we change our behaviour as we realise there is a God, and others do not understand and maybe are happy not trying to work it out.
I don’t yet believe or disbelieve, have not the philosophy of the millennia to prove or disprove God. Indeed most evil things have been done on behalf of God, we may surmise the devil may be in us to utilise something which underpins Providence and Nature. Mankind has much to wonder about and still we don’t see the evil done is by mankind and not by some ultimate creator.
Good Conscience in Fellowship
I am a tolerant sort, and the idea that we can all live to good conscience is my belief.
Yet seeing floods in Britain, supposed to be a highly civilised place, we can see our behaviour run to self-obsession as water supplies get affected and hoarding has become the preoccupation of most trying to live in the day.
We are all human it seems and nature takes us to dark moments very quickly, and these are decent humans under pressure. Mostly I write about humans in recovery. I must declare though’ the sight of us civilised humans hoarding water and letting others go thirsty is no real surprise? Hmm a difficult call here as most British people see the world as less than them, an empire things, and yet behave badly themselves when the chips are down.
Back to God
God is an excuse sometimes for people who fail, and are being taught some lessons in life. Or people find God and become swept up in spiritual superiority and let their ego’s make their lives parsimonious and definitely full of humbuggery. God makes no judgment and is silent.
Back To Good Conscience
For me good conscience is knowing and learning the difference in right and wrong doings. We may be self-obsessed and self-serving, and at the same time learning we are no bigger or smaller or less deserving than any other. The originators of the rights of man would be best served if we all utilised our efforts towards the benefit of all mankind and not just the small part we make for ourselves. Greed makes us ugly, needs covered and we are usually fairly peaceful.
Yet a flood in our small island brings out the best in some and the worst in others.
Fellowship And God
Some hold true to opinion we cannot recover without a higher power. And many feel God is that power greater than ourselves.
Me and God
I guess I am a bit on the wall with the idea of God. And that is ok, as God has neither ego or esteem issues? These are manmade issues and behaviours.
And for me God made man as much as man explains God
I and others live with good conscience as we may. We don’t need understand the God you believe in, or the God we come to understand. It’s that personal journey no one help us with really.
As God is asked, I believe I exhort and pray in good conscience. To our best endeavours. I am complete in my meditations and beliefs to the good. I am not in fear of death or hell. These states happen all the time right here and need not fear judgment day, it is here, right here, right now.
To the Good
We all have a pretty similar outlook to the good. Or bad if you are so inclined. Knowing the difference is pretty much the issue on a daily spiritual level.
So when we in AA pray and meditate saying at the end of each meeting
“ God , Grant me the Serenity To accept the things I cannot change Accept the Things I can, And wisdom to know the Difference”
My wisdom is the word God is my short hand for good conscience, as those hope for God to show them the way, so my conscience finds the good and what I may do.
Helps me see those things I am powerless over, people places and things,
That I can find a path to the good and let go insanity,
That I may come to understand a God of my understanding (not yours, as yours is yours)
Review my past and see past mistakes in behaviour and outlook
Check my behaviour, attitudes and share it with another human so I can see myself and my path more clearly. Try let go burdens which hold me back
See what I need let go and stop doing
Do more of what helps me and others
See where I can make amends for past errors
Make reparation or amends where it is possible without harm to others or me
Follow a more favourable path and review my progress as appropriate
Reflect and meditate on endeavours and make restitution wherever needed
Help others find a path or recovery and share my own as it serves me and others to find their and my own path just for today and every day…
Accept my truth as I learn each day and just for today making good my spiritual connection…
July 26 2006 Making Changes
Our deep we fear, our fears touch as ego drifts
And new life makes good in confidence
Making changes, the most difficult part of adult living? It seems our old ideas and way of living can be the hardest parts of us to adapt and change. As we grow up and mature, in our nature and nurture, we live patterns of happiness we consciously and subconsciously learn to enjoy, we are drawn those behaviours all our lives. Consequently, changing these patterns can be our most difficult challenge when old happiness leads to self-harm through too much indulgence. We learn from the cradle and formative years our patterning for life, not always to the good. And when our patterning is working against us, our turmoil inside is the most difficult relationship we will ever have to resolve.
In adulthood our patterns are either to our good or detriment and often, being subconscious patterns hard to detect and bring to our conscious world where we might challenge their efficacy. Indeed when we can be conflicted with our desires and happy ways of living, our pattern of nature and our pattern learned early in life, to change can feel as if we go against nature and principle. We are most often open to great sadness and deep worries.
One pattern I have is my nature to feel worthwhile through pleasing others and being helpful, at not only my own expense in the present, my own expense in determining what I might do with my life. Well what remains of it, and I have tipped past the half way mark most definitely when it comes to life left to live.
And in the sense of learning about my life, I can see much value in all my experience, and it does count for a lot. I have been immensely successful in many respects and in others an abject failure. My success and failures are most likely even out, so truly I might consider the balance to be ok. Yet in reality, there comes a time where we recognise we may not have followed the path we might have preferred.
Poor Life Choices
I know in my living, choices were made and predicated on expediency and necessity, pressures for money and family needs. Just as it is for most people. Our choices are limited in this way. And I also know, had I been able to discern more about me and why I am the way I am, I might have made better choices and stood my ground for changes in my life, when later opportunity knocked.
I regret some things? And it would be impossible to have no regrets? I have them and accept them, and let them go, as best I can so they do not become resentments for me to have as burdens. And at the same time I am learning what it means to say no to some activity and learning to say yes to others, my preferences and my new way of living. The balance in these matters is most difficult as my nature is to say yes and wonder if I am doing the right thing.
This is certainly a calculated move. And it also means I have guilty feelings as the shift from pleasing others moves to pleasing myself and others. It sounds and largely feels selfish. Yet my lack of selfishness had caused the opposite effect. In pleasing others eventually I became entirely self-absorbed and selfish in my behaviour and depressive states of mind, and quite psychotic in the end.
Changes by the Day
So when I mention making changes, there are things I need do, to suggest my time be best spent perusing and working to my good as well as others good. And the balance need be addressed as I go along. I don’t need to put down firm boundaries and say no by rote, I do need to ask myself questions about saying yes, and ask others advice, when no is more appropriate.
And I do need to help others help me. It is easy to be a resource to others, when they need resources and I feel worthy for helping. And then lose sight of what is important to my day, living now and tomorrow. And there will be disturbance and costs to these changes as I am not complicit or free to follow others agendas completely. And I might feel less guilty as I follow my path in how I include people in my decisions.
At the moment, I don’t know how I will be functioning beyond a few hours, so it does limit my options somewhat. I resolve to stop the debate in my own mind over people asking things of me by asking them to ask the same question. It’s been a bit of a slog in my own mind to resolve this. So I hand it over to them, and let them help in management of me and their expectations.
A few requests for help and support have come my way in recent times, and it is the very element of self harm to commit when I am under par. Self harm through pleasing others. A real nightmare scenario for a lot of us.
Self Absorbed - Me and You?
Grin and bear it? Would they? Are they really interested in me or my wellbeing, the answer is as it is. And not for me to work out. I am going to leave that up to them. And the responsibility I have is to work out how I may work and cooperate with my day and future days, doing what I feel able and prefer, and at the same time being supportive and challenging to others in their endeavours…
Life, a box of chocolates, and none I can eat these days. Thank God and the world and m current choices for that. There is more to life than pleasing others and having satisfaction deferred till there is no time left for me. A day at a time and with due care and attention is my path currently
Some people do not realise how difficult some conditions of living become. I don’t complain or moan about them, I do not highlight them daily. In meetings and fellowship stuff I do, no one except those with similar conditions would know what goes into turning up. What would others think if they knew the full story? I fear their prejudice as much as their knowing in truth. For indeed I am as healthy that moment as can be, and the next completely wiped out, and no one really knows except those who live this way and I don‘t feel enlightenment comes in telling them as often as might seem needed, for it goes in one ear and out the other. In my living I do my best, sometimes by the hour and hopefully by the day...
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