July 3 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "experience the best teacher…" I can completely agree that experience is the best teacher if we are aware of what is going on and how we may approach each life situation. With humility "open to learning in the now" and honest and willing to try new approaches, experience definitely helps us learn from our mistakes and our success… Successful mistakes to be made today…
Step seven shortcomings! In relation to recovery, my shortcomings are often lack of confidence, lack of faith and lack of courage. However if I realise it is okay not to know until I have experience, progress not perfect, I can be confident I can learn, keep faith and ask the help, and have courage to change anything and everything one day at a time…
Early days in recovery, always in my pocket, literature from the fellowship, the twelve and twelve steps and traditions paperback and the big blue book in my man bag! Full of wisdom and knowledge I went forth, quite a lot of fear, quite a lot of putting on a brave face and ego covering up the cracks as life ambled along. And as my experience grew living the twelve steps and twelve traditions, often I still carry the books for reference and smile as life offers wisdom through experience today…
Practising these principles, the twelve steps and twelve traditions in all my affairs! Romance and finance come to mind. With romance, open, honest and willing made me laugh at myself as quite often my confidence was knocked, the brave face didn't work, and the ego kept me silent when truth spoken would have worked. And romance today? I am more open, honest and willing day by day with a smile on my face. As to finance, breaking even feels good on any given day…
There is an unwritten rule, and actually there are no rules to write down, rule 62 "recovery is fun and most emphatically we are allowed to be happy" or something like that. Humility, learning and making mistakes, able to laugh at myself, able to laugh at my own jokes even when other people don't. To flirt with girls, to appreciate nature, to appreciate porridge, to appreciate I'm not as fast as I used to be in all respects and still be able to live life in the moment of now and just for today…
AA Daily Reflections ~"Experience the best teacher: July 3 ~ Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. [big book]
Some say that experience is the best teacher, but I believe that experience is the only teacher. I have been able to learn of God's love for me only by the experience of my dependence on that love. At first I could not be sure of His direction in my life, but now I see that if I am to be bold enough to ask for His guidance, I must act as if He has provided it. I frequently ask God to help me remember that He has a path for me."
DonInLondon ~ How am I feeling today? I feel better for a meeting yesterday. Discussion about how to help the newcomer, and how to deal with our feelings. How to keep the programme fresh in our minds. And the reading of the spiritual experience always helps me.
Humility: not proud or haughty, not arrogant: False pride and righteousness, grandiosity, egotistical, telling anyone what to do. I need remind myself, experience is my teacher, pride in all its forms can block me from [God and or simply good conscience] the truth, love and wisdom of others today...
Growing up all about being right, winning the argument, material success. Using people and judging them, turning human relations into resources, utilities. Using and being used, always against the grain and my inner being, I broke. In recovery, learning to love, be loved, equal and useful today...
July 3 2007
Independence Day Tomorrow - DonInLondon ‘Day In The Life’
The views I share here are my personal reflections on how life is for me. And when I refer to my fellowship of Alcoholics anonymous, I speak as an individual and not for or against AA. Just my experience of life and how fellowship helps me. There are as many opinions on AA as there are people in or out of the fellowship. Each opinion comes from experience and living. I am not a leader, or spokesperson for AA. At the same time I write about my life and fellowship, because I can. I may be a bit of a libertine or rebel when it comes to living a sober path. I have nothing but my own experience to share. And my path is just mine. In AA we are allowed to be ourselves and develop and way of life which works, when we most certainly lost the plot! And what I know of Traditions and the Steps of AA is the equal of my time learning and living. So I am no expert on doctrine, indeed if there is one in AA I guess I would have left it by now. Traditions keep me and my anarchic or may I say “live and let live” views safe. And I feel comfortable in AA as any person may. A diverse fellowship, with only one entry requirement, to stay sober for today. All fellows in AA remain unique, authentic and live as life offers. Just for today…
So Independence Day Tomorrow
Not being American why Independence Day? And why write on its eve? Well I guess what Independence represents to me, is choices we have to make life work as well as may be. Land of the Free? Well maybe one day all lands will be lands of the free. And the inclination in me is to support whole heartedly the concepts and meaning Independence have, as well as for all mankind to enjoy freedoms. In a world stricken by so many bad influences it is difficult sometimes to understand how ever did we all end up like this.
The truth I guess is the road to hell is paved with good intent. We have seen peacemakers a plenty find the road as hard as any. The peacemakers often become brokers in power plays which mean one side or another is seeking some advantage, rather than some way of living in peace and harmony.
Having a fellowship where I can be me and find out who I am, well it’s got to be the best way for me to find a path. We all belong to communities and society in some form. And even when we don’t know what is the best way to live, we can find some wisdom if we look hard enough. Our fellowship thrives on good conscience and having really one purpose, for all fellows to find sobriety and make life work as best we can.
We all need hope and it’s comforting to know that when we are rid of the obsession of drink, we can make life work. Some of us have a life just right sized for what we can do, and we are not necessarily gifted to be leaders or “big cheeses”. Indeed we are just looking for a balance in life, and to be ourselves and for everyone to be their true size and be included as life affords.
Experiences we all share as often as we can helps us gain wisdom we might never have found through other means. For example how so many people can stay sober, just living in the day, when the temptation is always there, and the inclination of any alcoholic is to drink! We seem to get life back on track as best we can we all we have to help us. The resources are no bigger individually than anyone else, yet through the fellowship we seem to acquire a new faith and accept what we can and cannot do.
Strength comes with Acceptance
Once we understand what is possible, that is we accept what we can do, and stop trying to be masters of the universe, that is take control of the world as we know it, we can find a path.
Acceptance is a key and is made possible as we become more confident and have faith in our capacities and our understanding of the possible.
Faith and Courage
We need both faith and courage. I for one have got more faith and courage in me because I have fellowship and mentors who keep me on track and in the right place, and right sized. Confidence to live is something most of us have had to learn again and again.
Not only Tea Maker but the chair to talk about prayer and meditation. Step eleven in our fellowship is:
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. ”
I don’t understand God or really feel able to portray an understanding compliant with anyone else’s opinion on God. What I do know without doubt is that its ok not to Know God, or to understand God. And we may learn if we keep on looking.
Good Conscience - Prayer and Meditation
I have a strong acceptance that prayer and meditation which is all about reflections on the good and the bad we can be and do. That is the “collective good” and good conscience is a power as great as need be, it’s bigger than just my outlook and my understanding of this world. And still we know some will choose a path of power and badness we cannot accept. We need keep our faith in our ways and good conscience, or we all lost to power which undermines the collective good for all mankind.
Group Conscience & Wisdom
In AA, Alcoholics Anonymous we work to good conscience in my opinion and operate our group activities and meetings in line with the group conscience we have. This means we can all share and participate, and no one is solely in charge. We work together to maintain our sobriety and run our meetings to help us live as well can be and soberly. This may seem altruistic, yet somehow it works because we have had the gift of desperation knowing our lives were in the balance when practicing alcoholics and addicts. We know how close death is and always around us. We see good people overcome often and back in the thrall of drink, it’s as hard can be to understand this life threatening grip alcohol has until it’s you who has the problem.
Denial hits us over and over in long battles with drink. And we swear off it so often and then find we drinking again we know so well how easy the path to destruction is, any day and every day.
I felt I must share my truth tonight about how difficult life is just now. And my family indeed has much sentiment and reflection and willing one of us to get well. And so prayer and meditation are important to me, not just now, and I realise this as life has often made me reflect and meditate about what we can do and what we are powerless over.
Prayer and Meditation
In context the serenity prayer helps me greatly
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. ”
Yes, simply knowing and accepting what I can and cannot change, developing an understanding of the two, can do can’t do. It’s not giving up on anything, indeed it’s the tenacity and determination to know we are on track and doing what we may to make life work as well as can be.
Today the Context
I am ready and able to help as best I can we asked. And this is about family and friends and about a code of life and living.
We need look at the big picture, to see our part in life and how we be of device as well as enjoy what we are doing. We may have work or endeavour, which reflects something that needs doing. Ego and personal gain have no place often in what we do to live to good conscience. And yet we may be leader or follower dependent on circumstance.
Either way for me we are all equal in our living and being. No matter what we do or how we are, it’s truly the gift we have of being no bigger or smaller than anyone.
For me I am aware of how we live in a society full of differences when we would be best served to see our similarities. And truly we are all unique and authentic.
Indeed diversity is another key to our mutuality and respect of all life. Without prejudice is my intent. And yet I like everyone have this struggle and understanding when we encounter life.
So for me tonight much to reflect on, and also to get to simplicity.
Simplicity and acceptance are keys to living well and with harmony and peace. Just for a 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