July 27 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "in real time, giving freely… In fellowship and in life…" Alcoholics Anonymous is real people living real lives right now! As close to the moment we are able to feel our emotions and spiritual connection, feeling life as it is happening and not suppressing anything, simply dealing with what is going on and asking for help if we need it from anyone anywhere…
Video For Today:
When I hear people say, "I owe my life to Alcoholics Anonymous" actually what they are saying is I owe my life and sobriety to the people around me who are in Alcoholics Anonymous. If we feel indebted to a fellowship, then when things go wrong, we are minded to blame Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship for our woes and problems. Real people in the moment, inside or outside fellowship are key to dealing with what is going on daily. There is no longer any way to blame fellowship or award fellowship for our success at living life. It is always the people around us helping us which makes the difference…
When people say, "I am a friend of Bill, or are you a friend of Bill?" I know what I'm saying, I am part of the fellowship which helps me help you, and you be able to help me. And I'm trying to emphasise that fellowship is what we experience in meetings and in groups, or one alcoholic talking to another alcoholic. Yes Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship, it always works when we work it in the moment of now...
Just for today! When I am happy, joyous and free I can share exactly that as it is happening. When I am unhappy, full of sadness and feel constrained and isolated, I need to share this is happening as it is. Time does not stand still, and the fellowship is for ever changing as life changes. The wisdom of what we can and cannot do emotionally and spiritually does not stand still, but we can get stuck and go round in circles if we do not ask the help when help is needed…
Principles are said to be timeless, which means the principles, the twelve steps and twelve traditions will work under any circumstances as time goes by. I found this to be true over the last few years although circumstances just keep on changing, the principles keep on working. If circumstances keep on changing, then I cannot be complacent or think time served sober is the key. Fellowship and the principles mean I can change as circumstances change experiencing emotional and spiritual living just for one day…
The only currency in sobriety is emotional and spiritual living in the moment, we cannot bank on what we did yesterday or "time served" because everything changes and we adapt and change as circumstances unfold one day at a time… Short timers, medium timers and old timers, we all live in the moment, the one we have now and now and now… We are all equal in this one day…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Giving freely: We will make every personal sacrifice necessary to insure the unity of Alcoholics Anonymous. We will do this because we have learned to love God and one another. [A.A. comes of age]
To be self-supporting through my own contributions was never a strong characteristic during my days as a practicing alcoholic. The giving of time or money always demanded a price tag. As a newcomer I was told "we have to give it away in order to keep it." As I began to adopt the principals of Alcoholics Anonymous in my life, I soon found it was a privilege to give to the Fellowship as an expression of the gratitude felt in my heart. My love of God and of others became the motivating factor in my life, with no thought of return. I realize now that giving freely is God's way of expressing Himself through me."
How am I feeling, why and what can I do? Emotional and spiritual development and twelve steps to live free. If my emotions fit with reality then I have a better perspective on what I can and cannot do today. Free of the past and wishing for the future…
July 27 2010 ~ Giving freely... to love, be loved and useful. Time is our most precious gift, sober we share experience, strength and hope and develop our wisdom of living. Freely given, freely received we find the truth of now and improve our life choices. Human beings being human we make progress a day at a time...
July 27 2010 ~ To cherish - tolerance and love... Back then, in the day, lost in madness and in early days of recovery, we might only value any experience at the extremes. With our feelings in the moment, we feel life as it is now. As we give to newcomers freely, we need not forget tolerance and love we received so we cherish the truth today...
Publish July 27 2007
July 27 2007 - DonInLondon ‘Day in the Life’
About this time last year - Memories and Mending Takes Its time
Last year seems I had much venom in me and this year whatever made me feel so, well I reckon it was a combination of reality coming to the fore, and a lot of denial unravelling as truth was becoming obvious to me.
Being There and Being
With the sad loss of a good man, that is my sister’s partner. The image of death still fills moments when I least expect it. I have much to thank him for and realise in these last few weeks the partnership and love story for he and my sister was complete. And the grief now is manifest.
Day by Day
I have been out and about as usual, a moment of blue sky amongst the grey is enough to make me get out and take photos. It’s part of where I feel a need for creativity and connection. As much as anything trying to see my boundaries and try new things, to write and express my world, it’s as necessary a breathing right now.
Being in the Day and around people is a big plus, and makes me feel a part of life. I need to be busy and also know I have got a couple of issues getting about and these are only likely to get worse as time goes by. So there is urgency in me to do as much as I can.
Tonight a meeting at worlds end of the fellowship of AA, Alcoholics Anonymous. It is interesting, we never have a clue what we might hear, what might happen or what will connect us to the day and ordinary doings.
Seems I am not the only one grieving loss and making do as we all try find a path back to normal. And we know that normal is not near for now. Another made me realise that we do what we do and get along, and try to just be there for friends and family when the days are tough and we feel all there is from denial, to anger, to not believing things are the way they are now. And of course depression and for me this is an issue as clinical depression is a condition that never goes away. And then acceptance.
Seems to come in small chunks of life and sharing and getting over and letting go. As fast as we feel acceptance is there, then it rolls back as we recall moments and good times as well as the sadness of recent events. I am not the only one grieving in the fellowship, and at the same time, I am not as close to the grief for my close family, my sister of course and my mother.
Acceptance of loss? It does take time, we need to live and understand the goings on in our heads and not suppress or bury these moments even when distressful. We miss the love of people we love and have loved.
Stiff upper lips and uncertainty about how we behave in grief, I am glad in our family we talk it, we express it and share it as we need do. And for many years we neither knew how or had the process, the understanding beyond silence, and that silence fair deafened me.
I do have gratitude, to get about and be there. To get to a meeting and talk out my grief, and then have gaps to let more life back in. this is all about living and getting along and how to let go.
No such thing, as we humans soon realise and growing into new understandings and wisdom learned is not easy. Grief hangs heavy as it may and can scream at us in the early days and hours of the night. We need let go gradually and into a new reality. Slow and sometimes the pain is all we feel.
We need time. And we need tell our stories and share our memories, and let there be talk and fun and laughter, as well as sadness for loss.
We learn life, we mend our lives. We cannot fix much or patch up what is broken. We cannot turn back the clock. We can make good our stories of time past, of love and cherishing and life worth living.
For me Tonight
There are many memories I cherish and not always about the same times or people. I have memories which make me turn back to less forgiving times, like last year this time. I realised the truth of difference rather than similarity about a lot of my connections denials of deeds done. And other deeds I knew of and not ever shared as my truth did not include the harder moments inflicted on me and my denial of such acts and left me in oblivion.
These recollections come to the fore as grief appears for others in these days. And is no reflection on events in recent weeks.
Slowly as do the consequences where we learn better living and doing, and when appropriate just being there as asked.
We need not repeat old times, and forgiving and hindsight and wisdom is learned when we realise we can deal with life and love again and more.
At least I found the path, just for this day and each that follows. And forgiving is by far the best way forward as we live another day.
A common theme in the last few years, more another day...
July 27 2006 Last year’s Journal
let go our generations of prejudice
that touch as ego drifts to living
Odd times here in London UK, the Capital is baking in the hot weather and many of us are feeling the benefits and deficits through very warm nights as sleep is hard to achieve.
Getting out and about, I see the tourists and ordinary Londoners coping with this heat wave is quite interesting and me too. I am not immune to any of this. The mood of people moves between sleepy lethargy and quick tempers as things grate on the heated mind. The weather really does affect mood, or simply we are trying to cope outside our comfort zones.
Making life work is the theme for me tonight, or more accurately the early hours, My windows overlook the opposite street and there are many awake, wandering around with their windows wide open, and seemingly unaware that in their naked state, the dark outside does not cover up wandering eyes looking out for rain or just looking. It just rained and my voyeur status is less.
I am keeping close to fellowship in this humid hot bed of passion and resentful London. The fellowship gives me focus on now and the experience of making it through another day level headed. Seems a lot of things are being made clear to me as the days pass.
How to let go old moments and loves. Hearing stories and accounts of others and days gone by helps me put my loving in perspective. I have let go most of times past, and can hold to fond recollections better now. I also hold to wisdom learned and demons so easy to meet again.
It’s easy to mistake flattery for caring, it’s easy to mistake ones feelings as flatterers want something. Most often clues to how to make their lives work. And there have been harsh reminders of freeloading and feelings of here we go again. I try not to judge or evaluate motives, I aim to ask and elicit information. I need be more mindful of boundaries need setting to protect me and those inside my life.
Making life work is the aim of anyone and everyone. We are not gifted with predictions to be made good in the main and if ever we look back, we find the path to where we are now is beyond our predictive powers, unless we are unswerving in our use of will.
Will power. An ever present curse in modern times, where the world sets itself goals and things to achieve. This move to modern alchemy where we are appraising and sifting the contents of our living constantly is quite a tool of discovery and limitation.
Will power, this thing to drive us to do something, to achieve and excel. Or get our just deserts in essence like all goals is truly helpful to those aims and not necessarily useful as a tool for our real development on this world and in this life.
I met an old acquaintance, full of regret and bitterness as the world has dealt them a hand they did not really prefer. It’s as if in the achievement of their goal they have found more bitterness than success and tranquillity. I recall their move to develop their counselling skills and to set up as a practitioner in the public and private sector, to emulate others who go down this odd route of endeavour.
I found it loathsome to me, and could not do it or live with the built in dependence so much of counselling seems to make. This dependence on counselling and consultation, paid and bought so the recipient feels its efficacy. This acquaintance was very unhappy indeed. As I have always believed the modern day counsellor is as much a help as a pariah in the modern living and execution of their craft. It takes a good counsellor years of experience to develop their capacity, and in doing so might well be redundant, or forever dependent on a shifting clientele. Most counsellors, self-employed develop dependence and co-dependency with their clients and do not see their actions as undermining the very thing they would encourage. Most counsellors are full of shit. And that is the truth. (note from today a year later, reads like I felt out of sorts this day)
Making life work, with enough interdependence to make good choices is really where we may find the key. We certainly need perspective to make life work for us. As its quite evident when we work at our endeavours alone, we are inevitably thwarted as our connection to others is most likely tenuous and lost to will power we have.
When we will things our way, we limit our options. When we share our outlook we most likely improve that outlook through informed opinion. We get better at our connections with this world.
Working alone, we are singular in our endeavours, working with others we are informed and more likely to move across our predetermined boundaries and outcomes.
We develop flexibility in our thinking. We feel better as we are connected, unless our preference is isolation, and that is not a preferred human trait, unless humanity is too scary for us.
We learn and develop in company and most likely if we find the right company we thrive.
As we can find, find the wrong company and we turn to our ego and bad ways of living, find confident people and we turn to our good. So the old stories are mostly true. Find good company to change outlook and change our way of living.
My meeting tonight was full of experience of difficult friends and family, who are still caught in hard times and harsh outlooks. And the result of this is often divorcing oneself from harm and finding new connections to reality. It is not easy to make hard choices, for we need overcome loyalties which are biblical and natural. And laws from creation we might believe.
And we have hard moments as we make hard choices to the good. I am lucky as family for me are to the good and my dalliance with hard connections comes from my work and my connections to hedonistic types.
Willpower, it drives us where it will, limits and defines us. Our release of will power enables free connection to a world beyond our control. And in truth our connection is and always has been founded in powerlessness. Powerless over most any element other than our choices. And it is our choices to change for the good of ourselves which eventually liberate and set us free to make good and in good conscience.
Our speaker was as all of us driven mad by a desire to make life work and continually thwarted over and over and driven insane with sadness. And it is a typical story for many humans. We lose our ability to enjoy life as it is without fixing our feelings in some way.
And this was true of how things were for me, all things were fixed with some kind of ‘trip’. And the truth is we learn our fixing and our mood changing from early times in our lives and continue patterns we are familiar to live.
It seems for me, my fixing was indeed through helping and pleasing others as I might, "built in," into my learning from God knows where. Most likely from generations devoted to being God fearing and putting on a brave face. It matters not. What matters is changing patterns and doing things differently.
And most of all stopping the rot. Stopping doing things which have no real impact on my living and preferences. We are here to enjoy this life through what we can achieve certainly and with good connection and in good conscience. We are not here as servants of others who might use and abuse us and fuck off having got what they want.
We need mutuality and interdependence. We need good connections and inclusion as we go. We might choose better with a clear head on our shoulders and change our living as we may, just small and careful steps, and doing no harm to others, except maybe when they are wilful and exercise their control over us, the harm being their loss of control over us. We need not accept this and can change our behaviour and move out of influence from such people we might encounter. And most of all we need change our behaviour to others.
We learn bad behaviour and this screws us up. We need learn to stop this and find better ways. So we do indeed need change if we want to make our lives work as they can. We also need to be mindful we cannot change what we have done and need let go of our guilt, and in changing, we can find our redemption.
Even when we are unaware of how we were and how we hurt others indirectly, as we learn what we did, we can make amends overall, if not in all respects, for some are gone from our living. Our amends is how we behave in future and put right our living. And as always forgiveness is an inside job.
Forgiveness is a singular act of compassion, and determines our good conscience. It seems to ask forgiveness of others is a trite and ego driven matter, for indeed we pay homage in our endeavour and that cannot be right. Forgiveness of self is as far as it goes. And if we mean it and achieve it, we are changed for the good.
If we believe forgiveness is ours, to forgive others is folly and an ego driven belief, and not our concern, indeed we cannot forgive others, it’s not in our remit. What we can do is accept others into our lives if we are able to include them as new and changed and reformed. If reform is not there then they are excluded. We need not concern ourselves with what they do next. Unless it is harm, and there are laws for all that.
And all these transitions imply an equality to living we might be able to assume. And we let go our God like status in the process of learning how to live our life.
We get God like and powerful through much we might do, we gain some respect and we gain power from others. And we are like monsters of unnatural creation when we assume our power over others living. Better to govern our choices in life with good consultation and let go mysteries of ego driven powers we might assume.
Equality, humility, fortitude and happenstance provide us with better outcomes in a world so cock eyed. We are better to remind ourselves of our in built prejudice and it is there in this very British way of living with ego. Esteem and confidence are better by far, away from nationalistic tendencies and loyalties which undo rather than connect.
We all belong to humanity and evolve accordingly, better in good conscience to find our way thus. And for those who cannot find this peaceful way forward, simply it is their concern and not ours. For when we move to judge, we are sunk back to where we went awry.
One day there will be a charter with meaning and a world where connection and equality make good. We are far from that day, if ever it might happen. It matters not.
Our journey need concern us, our spiritual, our emotional and physical wellbeing are based on good conscience and what we make with our choices. Forever and ever there will be those choices made, to our good and detriment, our living made just so, and with a little wisdom more to our good conscience we may endeavour, so in this world we make what we can, better without will power and more open to our potential and beyond the power of one hand.
Harsh times in this world as we find ever more the will of ego surface and come crushing down on the common man and woman. We are led so easily to consume anything and everything without real thought.
Our world will always survive us, we need not speed our own destruction yet we do. And this world, well it is a hell and heaven rolled into one. I am glad my perspective is sharpened to good conscience, without sanctimony, and without piety. I understand far more of my path, it is without prediction, more freewheeling that predetermined, more open and less closed, more inclusive of good and exclusive of bad. All these things we learn, and we might do well to share our experience, strength and hope. For all and everyone may change to move closer to good conscience and less to ego’s drift.
Indeed, ego’s drift, merely a moment in the making and a journey made daily as the journey to good conscience delivers our completion in living...
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