July 4 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "a natural Faith…" I do believe in good! And I also believe in bad. And knowing the difference is what we learn if we are lucky to be alive long enough to learn the wisdom of how we might wish to live our lives. The natural order and nature brings everything back into balance with cruel beauty. Mankind is often the exception to this rule, good fortune returns with good conscience…
Shortcomings, with the emphasis on humility, continuously developing the ability to learn life and not stifle it. A natural faith in developing our living to good conscience. I recollect developing mission statements with large organisations which emphasised core values… Open, honest, fair dealing and integrity. And good fortune in my progress in life as these core values were sacrosanct to me. And yet addiction turned me inside out and I was lost for years. And now core values are restored, gentle progress and learning today…
Greed, comparing how we are doing in a material way with others we work with daily will drive anyone mad with envy and jealousy. And when you get to the top of the pile, justifiable avarice keeps the fire of material wealth stoked and bloated as each voice bellows for more and more and more… It is the way it is right now, and I ask myself is it right for me? And the answer is no these days, basic needs met a roof over my head, good enough for a person like me who is good enough to live life today…
I do believe in a natural faith which everyone and anyone can develop. A natural faith in doing the next right thing, to do with people, places and things. Natural instincts are challenged when we write our step four, how far out of balance did we get? And in step seven where we look at shortcomings, courage to change, faith as you come to understand it in God or what is right for you and confidence growing so our needs are met and our wants are forgotten. All we need is to be able to love, be loved back and useful as we may today…
How we behave as human beings, it need always be a personal choice. Personal wealth based on how we cherish and love, how we conduct ourselves and our core values are paramount. Changing our personal behaviour comes with an open mind, an honest outlook and willingness to keep on learning life with humility. Each day I can ask the help to reinforce what is good for me and how I conduct myself just one day at a time…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A NATURAL FAITH... Deep down in every man, woman and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 55
I have seen the workings of the unseen God in A.A. rooms around the country. Miracles of recovery are everywhere in evidence. I now believe that God is in these rooms and in my heart. Today faith is as natural to me, a former agnostic, as breathing, eating and sleeping. The Twelve Steps have helped to change my life in many ways, but none is more effective than the acquisition of a Higher Power."
DonInLondon 2005 - 2011
A natural faith in God? I add the question mark to the declaration because I am not sure, and this feels okay for me. As a human being I have learned trust and have faith in people I get to know. And I am only able to know them because I do have trust and faith in my life.
Truth, love and wisdom guide me daily. As an individual I can have opinions and belief, which is only part of the story. I need to look outwards toward the big picture, listen to others, and become more informed. When I look out and listen I see and hear the world, more truth, more love and more wisdom.
Conscious contact with god and or good conscience, to love and be loved, useful... Beyond definition, the universe and nature: God. Ever growing truth, love and wisdom we make progress. Nurture our path, so simple when our needs are met, made complicated by our man made wants...
A life plan just for today... Today I do not want to be right, simply to feel right. To be: open, honest and willing to change. To listen to everything and not just what suits me, to be helped and to help, to be a part of life as it may be. To learn: to be at peace and live serenity...
"The A.A. Steps & Traditions are neither rules, regulations, nor laws. Perhaps the secret of their power lies in the fact that these life-giving communications spring out of living experience and are rooted in love." 1. A.A. COMES OF AGE, P. 105." "We find it amazing that the newcomer can start the A.A. program without any specific beliefs or, for that matter, without any beliefs whatsoever. All a person needs is the open-mindedness and the willingness to believe that WE BELIEVE this program works..."
Harry Potter CBS - DonInLondon ‘Day in the Life’ July 4 2007
I am going to be a learner all my days. Learning today a little more about how to take photos and what I can do with them. It’s one thing I won’t let go, the learning and the doing and how to be a human ‘being.’
Encarta on Being: a person: a human individual, an existence: the state of existing for example the turbulent years during which the new nation came into being. Our essential nature: somebody's essential nature or character like "loved the child with all her being" Or a living thing: a living thing, especially one conceived of as supernatural or not living on Earth. maybe the latter is not what I am most interested in, or maybe this being not of our earth might be a higher power?
Today So Far
I needed to get out, my head was heavy and ached last night, partly weather and a lot of tension. Doing a chair last night. It made me realise a lot of the power we just don’t see when we come into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am not suggesting a higher power presently, I am just surprised by the power we humans have for empathy and understanding and caring. So any group of AA is a higher power often and nearly always for me.
Last night “Chairing”
Means I sit at the front of the group and share my story and what life is like for me. And relating the to the eleventh step on prayer and meditation may seem a bit difficult when I don’t yet understand God. And I wonder maybe if I ever will. As I mentioned prayer and meditation for me are tools to help me focus and be me. Good Conscience is my guide informed with wisdom in the rooms of AA.
No Slouch to Life
I have never been a slouch, someone who might be called lazy or good for nothing. And yet good for nothing has haunted me. As self-esteem disappeared and I was lost in an ocean of turbulence and used liquor to quell my horror of life, it got pretty awful in no time flat. And stayed so for years and years. Fear drove me to work and held me there as life got more bleak.
Less so now!
Less so now accepting life on life’s terms.
Harry Potter, the initials are HP, smiles here I don’t relate Harry Potter to being a higher power. Yet it seems to me the character has caught the imagination of generations and seems to extol virtues of good rather than bad and winning the day for the good of all and not just one.
I guess for us all, enthralled by literature and good endings, we hope for the same in life. And when we get disappointed, we can reflect our intentions and good conscience.
Flexibility seems to be a key for me
As I remain a learner in how to be me, and live life as can be, then I shall keep faith and courage to do the next right thing. If others jeer or find me a bit of a good person I hope they don’t mistake me for a “do gooder.”
Means for us in fellowship, just keep doing good. It’s not about being appreciated or recognised as such, it’s about what we do and how we help each other and just simply keep faith with human beings, trying to be human.
We learn from our mistakes and sometimes the pain can be immense.
Traditions of AA
There have been some comments usually about what I say and questions about many things on life. Some comments I leave on You Tube as they are offered with sincerity and some less sincere get removed.
Traditions are about safety and keeping the fellowship alive and healthy. Some of us have made time to share our story.
My blog has been going for some years and way before I got into fellowship. Blogs reflect the lives of those who write and want to share. Why do we share? I guess because we can and we are judged according to others values. And sometimes when comments are made which are just plain unpleasant they need be removed so the person making them does not feel some time later what they said says more about them than it may about me. But you know some will judge me as they will, it’s their prison if you like. And my blog is about freedom of choice and the bigger freedom to be oneself. Just to be.
Overall a good day. It was good to meet the man from CBS doing a clip in the Haymarket today. And we shared a few words and took some photo’s he may find. You never know, and you know, he was a gentle man. I have seen the behaviour of other TV reporters and they could learn from the man from CBS! See even I can be judgmental.
Progress and not Perfection
Anyone who gets the message of fellowship and a life of learning is also able to see we are all about making mistakes and learning from them. Some mention has been made of attraction and not promoting AA. And certainly not furthering a career by utilising the connection to being in the fellowship. Indeed the example often given of a person who lapsed and went out drinking again is often the warning to anyone who tries share their recovery that no anonymity at the level of media can be a double edged sword.
In some ways is for the good, as people can find stigma from those around them about having become an alcoholic. Yet the lessons of the rooms and the fellowship of AA is to keep coming back, and work at the programme of recovery because we are worth it.
If we were to relapse, the concern seems often to be that it holds a person in a bad light. Actually what we learn is we are human and humans are fallible. And when we hide our dirty washing then it’s more likely to be salacious and harm is done all round as some in society are looking for that dirt to spread.
Worse if a person who is known to be in AA and then is seen publicly to fail, then the impact might be harmful to AA? I doubt it, if people understand what AA really is and not some idea or concept they imagine.
For me the truth always sets us free to find our true spiritual path. Open, honest and willing we are if we are able to grasp humility.
If nobody knows what keeps me sober most of the time, and for some years now, they may assume I have some superior knowledge, and of course I don’t.
What I have is wisdom of the years in the fellowship which helps me, an ordinary person stay sober.
Is a personal choice, it is not up for debate, and the founders of AA made clear where the dangers are for anyone when making use of something to further some other cause other than sobriety. And all the way through the traditions and the steps of AA it extols a path of authenticity and development of spiritual understanding and living.
Each person’s path is their own. No leaders in AA, and no one more important or less important than another. We make our choices and take our lumps as much as we enjoy living free and happy as we may a day at a time.
If by happenstance or dire peril I relapsed it may do for me, and I need get back to sober as fast can be. As we humans make progress and don’t get to be perfect ever, I will work as best I may to keep faith, have courage and develop confidence, simply to be me. I hope I never relapse or am driven to drink again, experience guides me, strength in fellowship and hope always to live as I can, just for today.
And if ever it may happen I may falter, I hope good sense, good conscience and fellowship will help me find my way. Sober I may be, with fellowship and wisdom learned to be an ordinary right sized human. And always very human and being.
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