July 29 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "anonymous gifts of kindness…" A smile, a kind word and a helping hand without expectation of return from those we help. As we give so another may give to us, often not the person we have helped but some other person who hears us when we ask the help…
Video for today:
When we ask the help, those who cannot for whatever reason will not, it is not their fault that they cannot help, they simply cannot or will not in this one moment when asked. Thank them for their honesty if you need to let go any expectation of civility. Fear prevails in many parts of our life and fear drives many all their lives. We learn how and where to ask for help, inside fellowship and outside of it. Learning to ask for help is an uncommon skill we learn skilfully one day at a time…
When I get angry and resentful about a situation, it is very hard to listen to anything but a nagging voice inside, and equally the anger and resentment can stop me from asking for help. Behind my anger and resentment is often a fear of being treated as inferior and unworthy of something. The sooner I realise where the anger is coming from, the less fearful and the more open I am to change, not speak with venom, and seek help more skilfully with each endeavour and encounter…
The expectations heaped on our Olympians, deploying their well worked and well-known strategies and tactics to win have so far not worked. And the media building expectations beyond the certainty of just being there to compete makes no sense to me in recovery. Who wants to be a resentful spectator? Not me, I'm pleased to see the endeavour, admire the courage to compete, faith in doing the best they can and learning the wisdom of each encounter…
Sport seems to bring out the best defects of character in the media, building up expectations beyond reality, trying to outdo each other in their commentary, arguing with experts who know more than they do as a pundit, and quite obnoxious when they get a rebuttal on their knowledge. The ego of the media, the ego and condescension of the commentator is not beyond my expectations, I just hope those watching don't follow commentary, they follow the action of those concerned… Support those who compete and criticise not one bit!
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Tradition 7 Anonymous gifts of kindness: As active alcoholics we were always looking for a hand out in one way or another.[12 traditions]
The challenge of the Seventh Tradition is a personal challenge, reminding me to share and give of myself. Before sobriety the only thing I ever supported was my habit of drinking. Now my efforts are a smile, a kind word, and kindness. I saw that I had to start carrying my own weight and to allow my new friends to walk with me because, through the practice of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, I've never had it so good."
Amends are difficult, made because we need own our part in matters. In recovery amends made may not yield and often cannot yield mutual understanding. We let go and accept the steps work for us and not them, whoever them may be…
The Chair last night reminded me of times past, alcoholic and addicted to love, especially heartbreak. Early days sober, letting go not only drink, the old thinking and feelings. A vast emptiness followed. Then letting in the new, a wealth of wonderment as reality hit home…
Anonymous... Fellowship offers sanctuary to find the truth of who we were, and who we are becoming today. A sponsor may be sought to learn the steps when we ask for help. Sponsors may become friends. And we find friendship where there is common interest, just like life! No dogma in fellowship unless we make it so...
Publish 29 July 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Saturdays and Weekends
I am off the plot with my journal I usually write in the evening get my words out before bed. Last night I went to a meeting of AA, a good one on the Brompton Road, at “The Old curiosity Shop” I slowed down and felt I need not write, and leave it to today.
One of mending and repairing in my head and practical matters like my bicycle after it had been vandalised. I had to bring the bike in, but the journey from outside to inside always makes my body complain. A fair amount of physical exercise during the day and lugging heavy objects and the cramps in my legs and pains in feet manifest, as doing too much and going too far makes everything physical pretty acute. Pacing slowly in the early hours is not some I ever relish as walking cramps in my limbs off, it’s as hard as what caused them in the first place - going too far.
A chance remark about “visioning” where we imagine our abilities greater, our physicality better than it is, simply means we push too far. After years of health and gym training, the suggestion to push further through the pain these days is not the key to wellbeing. Knowing limits and consequences is absolutely right. Or we simply wear down our energy and for no return.
Self Help and Mind over Matter offer the reader comfort as most people have reserves they never envisage, so there is room to grow and build more. For those in the know about their capacities, to exceed safe boundaries, it simply wears us out and makes us depressed as our heads and body complain rightly.
When we are hale and hearty generally we can push further, when we have age and incapacity, we find new boundaries or suffer greatly just like me!
The answer is too keep mobile, we are not all able as we once were and need learn.
Emotional and Spiritual
All day I found the common understanding in my fellowship of AA keeps me alert to the things I can do, the things I cannot and accept the reality of today.
Feelings have been pretty ok and right sized, as I am able to deal with happy moments and sad moments.
During the morning an overwhelming sadness and desire to break down in Tesco of all places, over family matters and bereavement come and go in waves as they do.
Spiritual and Truth
As my video on AA was uploaded and at the moment I cannot see all my videos, I feel alert to the fact that they may have gone for good. It’s not really a problem, each day is a new day. The diaries and videos are cathartic and help me balance the joy and sad of each day.
There are no complete answers, there are more opportunities to find the truth as truth is learned and better in the daily progress to understanding, and not being perfect or better than anyone else
Boundaries and thoughts
Last year this time we had heat and Sun, this year’s clouds and rain. Weather does affect us, the climate that is and the UK has had a good dose of bad weather.
Ego war and futility, Churchill’s words about last year and Global matters. Going to war, we never ever know the outcome, except in the long run if nothing replaces war, we get more war and long distance fighting as in Empire days is pretty futile
After seeing my Sister last night and getting home in the ever present rain, I decided not to write and not to video. There is time enough today, Sunday to get on and work out my plans just for today, to rest enough, to empty my mind of too much junk. Not to obsess too much on history, utilise its learning for me.
AA and Fellowship
New people always about, they were fearful of us happier and recovering ex drunks. I could see their discomfort and their shyness. It’s as maybe, I hope they keep coming back, so they find a happier way to live, free of bondage and the fear of life most all of us experienced before we got sober.
Very necessary and appropriate some of the time, not all of the time as we often are even fearful of who we are and have become. Someone often we never wanted to be often, and oddly we are reclaimed in recovery, not to the old self, but to a new self, which offers redemption and peace along the ever rocky road of life. I wish them well.
So enough for now and more later, maybe..
July 29th 2006
Old memories and Endings
Our deep we fear, our fears touch as ego drifts to living
It is strange how memories of times past haunt through the years, something that happens when we are very small, and keeps itself alive in us. There was a time when I feared what might be said about things which kept me worried for years and made me fearful. Punishment for misdemeanours when we are barely old enough to walk and have no understanding, and the terror those memories evoke. It’s like that for some or all of us. When we have those memories of times past. The lucky ones forget or don’t register the complaint against our inner selves. They go on in forgetting and let go something others feel with profound worry over subsequent years.
In my mind something made me feel responsible for the hurt inflicted on others. In the innocence of a child’s eyes and curiosity we play and make games of life. And we are inquisitive, we find pleasure in our world and nature. And our young minds suck up knowledge. We make these memories the pattern of life. I witnessed hurt and pain inflicted all those years back over and over in my mind’s eye. And the memory lingered on inside me as a rotten memory, where fear lurked and shame and guilt at others pain and consequences. I had no right to take on such a burden or feel responsible for the violence of others. For indeed it was violence to others and my involvement in its initiation which hurts me inside. I am able to look back and see the reality and innocence of the innocent and see the guilt of and cover up of adult minds back then. And the shame is not mine or others so young, it is the shame and guilt carried and denied in others which still keeps embers glowing where anger is best lost to time. And then we find the guilty ones are dead and gone.
And it seems my anger went somewhere long ago and kept itself busy in all other activities I might squander in useless fears in life. When our torturers are dead the only one to torture us is inside our own heads. And when the rational adult mind looks back to where those breaks in trust occurred and damaged outlooks, those feelings are confused by knowing no one in their right mind behaves so or makes a rod to beat a mind for evermore.
What gets me over these long years is the consequences not only of those moments of horror for me back then, but the horrors for others too and their lives blighted by the dead. And the dead who lived their consequences and had those burdens too, are no longer able to share their story. Or how it was that they behaved the way they thought was to the good and if it had any good at all. The dead can no longer speak and yet their actions are there in consequences for others. I have no good memories and the bad in truth might never have been so bad for them. Yet the consequences linger on and I am not the only one.
And what good to elaborate or dig up history, where history is merely one child’s eyes and a version corrupted over time. And so corruption wins the day for in truth the memories writ large for me are only small when others read a page in a small child’s history. So small it might have left untouched and yet I know with hindsight’s gasp, the trail of wrong was made so good.
And what good could come of it now? So many decades gone by, and no one wants to know those truths, or share in sentiments so harsh. Better to cover up and get a life worth living in case we find some nasty reminiscence hurts all and has no good for anyone. And ,maybe this is how it ends with death.
I hope so, and yet if ever asked to share I will. And not yet my good conscience suggests and time is not right now, or maybe never right as stories can be left to expire with breath done and harsh memories buried under the sod of time.
It is my feeling now, that if our imperfect world had offered more and better times as children turn to adult lives, these shocks and nasty parts of life will be ended in another’s time. And I see the harm done and know my harm too as incidents for me were merely a brush and others lived full time under the wrath and lash of anger made good in reality. And they still lumber on their path, as good as may be made with those consequences. And the responsible adults back then, so oblivious and unknowing would find no solace in knowing anything now, and it’s the way of this world and how we humans get abused. For if they had known the damage done, how could they put it right? I don’t reckon they were ever equipped to deal with monstrous doings like those. And give all a break as humanity merely learns as slow as life takes, to make changes for the good. We are wasteful in our learning and theirs too as cover need only leave the pain to wound again and again.
Its time inside me for it end to end and let go that nasty fuckers touch. An unreported crime, unrecognised and never to be punished, for in truth its run its course and no good can come of any learning now, except for me in innocence now understood. And forgiven in my mind.
We learn and grow and move on, damage done and harm done. For in truth it would be better if the harm done had been undone long ago. But no one knew back then, how to make it go away. And guilt pervades the mind of innocents, and corruptions mask tilts and casts a shadow over future lives as damage takes its toll.
It is life. And death. Forgiven in our world as can be and left to time to heal. Some things burn as deep can be and linger evermore. That is the gift of memories, and the gift to learn we need not play those harsh memories back and forth, as those patterns are changed to better times and ways of living. Maybe a learning over a lifetime can heal that gap, now I know where hurt was caused and changes made to see the good of living and free from shame and guilt, the blight of ego’s drift. Our imperfect perfect, present day can make good with help along the way, another human doing done, and clears our way to good conscience as in all our learning we can change and make good from bad. Let it be so. The insensibility of time touches all as it will.
Jul29th Stormy Weather our fears touched as ego drifts to chaos
As our local weather has rendered incapable physically most people with hot and humid conditions, the same can be said for the minds of us overheated folks in the UK.
People are in a state of shock over local conditions and most likely in a state of disbelief and denial over the international news we are continually exposed to with the middle east. What is happening with Israel and Lebanon and the other borders of the country of Israel. And why now? Should there be a start-up of violent and protracted aggression on both sides.
Is it that Israel has found need to flex its might and weaponry as old guards change for new incumbents and with Hammas coming into the frame, are they flexing their might too? It’s the worst of all scenarios, where collateral damage is being accepted on both sides. Warring factions and the risks escalate across the middle east, and of course with their allies and aggressors across the world.
There are power shifts and much to occupy all concerned world citizens, some, not many held a mistaken belief that things might calm down. Now we find the retaliation of Bush over 9/11, it comes home to haunt as ever it would.
Outright war is on the cards as sides are marshalling their allies and making hard and fast lines in hard rock of policy. Times are becoming more polarised and the nations of this world are becoming more fearful of outcomes beyond their control.
Winston Churchill said:
"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events."
And this is what we are seeing more clearly as time passes and more and more nations are pitching in to add their views to International affairs. What started for Tony Blair and George Bush as an adventure in Afghanistan and Iraq is turning more and more ugly. In those theatres of activity, the war is not won, the insurgency and aftermath completely predictable in its nature has come to pass, the world sees chaos growing and wants it to stop. That is the western world who started this nasty and unlawful action.
I recognise fully the reason for the Bush desire to retaliate and put right a wrong he felt. He should listened to all the counsel at his beck and call, weighed the outcomes with options and left his strategy open to different scenarios.
Bush is a mean minded small spirited man, we only have to listen and we find great holes in his thinking and feeling. Same goes for Blair now tethered to his own egotistical stupidity, the poodle and dupe of his own making. Blair is a spent force and must see his untenable position, yet he clings like a drowning rat to a floating barrel in a sea of pain. Blair is an ugly reminder of capricious and cavalier attitudes we British would do well to leave alone.
As a world citizen, like most appalled by events and without the power, I can rant. And at the same time realise that these organs of government and leaders of the free world are flawed. they are merely human and subject to their prejudice and need for recognition. They are the dross of living in these circumstances. They make our world uglier for their actions and their defence of their horrid and nasty actions.
With little wit we could see the outcomes and the Bush and Blair fiasco is spreading to other nations. They all see the power of their bombs over the words scattered so freely over all their complaints.
And what are the complaints? Once we take away property as the cause, there is pure hatred and racism. Racism and religious intolerance. A failure of all to recognise that mankind if it desires may govern itself a particular way and observe whatever balance in its governance it sees fit.
We had the United Nations, to help and assist oppressed peoples. Now, so hide bound in bureaucracy and administration, it can hardly move. And we then had all manner of unilateral interventions, and mostly started for advantage and protection of something or other to do with western interests. We are failing as human beings and as a race overall. As indeed we might have guessed as we plunge back into power games and economic hardship. Leaders and nations are caught in irreconcilable differences brought about by old ways and fears.
Where the UN has failed in its persuasion to the good, is in its operation and not its intent. And where it has failed more successfully, is at the hands of those who founded it, the strong western democracies who set it up to control the rest of the world and the rest of the world has said NO.
Is it any wonder. As arrogant generations have plundered the aims and aspirations of their forbears? I think so, and it is not surprising as we head into this next thousand years that we find the world changing and power shifting elsewhere. The future power of the world looks on and lets us fight stupid fractious battles and gets on with its own business. It does not care for futile and stupid activities which drain our purpose and resources. Real power is getting on with business, quietly and with purpose to its own agenda, and we on the other hand are caught up in all this madness and stupidity.
Wreckage and belief, loss of face and destruction seem our goals as this whole scenario lends itself to more chaos. Out of chaos comes change, and maybe this very need will be serviced in its most brutal form. A form of degradation only humans can inflict on humans, the most destructive force on the planet next to nature itself. And most likely its own nemesis.
"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." Sir Winston Churchill...
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