July 5 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "a new direction, not based on willpower…" Natural instincts turned to extremes of self-will and then addiction where there is no will, simply an "ism" and for me alcoholism. Asking for help, humility to keep on learning and changing my attitudes and behaviour where nature intended? Or simply more fitting a normal way of life with freedom to choose and make good choices today…
Living in a society where a lot of people self medicate, are encouraged to fix their feelings with a drink, I felt right at home in a drinking nation. Unfair on those who never drank and only drink now and again to suggest we have a drinking culture. At the same time I dug into fixing my feelings, continually driving myself to succeed and fit in and fix myself. I don't need to do that anymore and can change direction to the good of living whatever it may be just for today…
In all life activities, if we overdo one element or several elements and take drive and ambition to the very extremes, there will be extreme competence in some elements of living and complete incompetence in others. I don't want to be a "one trick pony" and only able to value myself in one way or be valued in one way. We all have a part to play in many aspects of life today starting with learning daily how to love, be able to love back and useful as life offers one day at a time…
A new direction on a daily basis! Not struggling to prove I can do something, simply being able to learn to do anything which is open to me on a daily basis. Narrowing down the choices based on my own ideas and outlook is going to limit my choices. When I ask for help, consult and involve, more ideas and opportunities flourish and choices are more abundant. Just because I can do something, does not mean I should be doing that something today or any day. It's okay to say no and "I don't feel like it" when it is a matter of choice. On other matters there are no choices, some needs have to be met based on reality today, but as Gandhi said, "an emphatic no is better than a half-hearted yes" when we do have choices in the moment of now…
AA Daily Reflections "A new direction: July 5 Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly. . . Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all our activities. [big book]
I hear talk of the "weak-willed" alcoholic, but I am one of the strongest-willed people on earth! I now know that my incredible strength of will is not enough to save my life. My problem is not one of "weakness," but rather of direction. When I, without falsely diminishing myself, accept my honest limitations and turn to God's guidance, my worst faults become my greatest assets. My strong will, rightly directed, keeps me working until the promises of the program become my daily reality."
DonInLondon 2004 - 2011
A meeting last night: all about step eleven, prayer and meditation. To improve our conscious contact with god as we understand him. As I hear often God is now, god is truth, love and wisdom. Knowing I cannot define god, or have god like abilities helps me stop my desire to control, indeed it makes me feel human sized, with a conscience and able to make choices with freedom today.
Assets and liabilities... In recovery our liabilities are extremes of outlook and behaviour. Defects: extreme fear, pretending and ego. And blind faith, courage to extremes without foundation. Our assets in fellowship: we build foundations, live to good principles develop courage faith and confidence today…
A new direction... open honest and willing, in unity service and recovery, towards a happy life. Every secret keeps us prisoner to fear, brave facing and ego, being found out. Better to find serenity in truth, being human, able to make mistakes, admit and accept, own up, love and be loved today
July 5 2007
Being There - July 4 Independence DonInLondon ‘Day In Life’
Difficult days. I wonder sometimes how we ever get on with anyone in the this world.
In some ways we need to have the best of times with people we know and the worst of times. We then understand the good and rather unfortunate elements of life which can hang on and be troublesome. In this instance it’s how I used to be. A drunk...
Sometimes we can be very judgmental about people and their behaviour. And if we hold to old perceptions of what life has been and what life is today, we can become very cynical. I just had a hum dinger conversation with another tonight, and you know the trouble is we have history, both of us are not saints. And yet somehow in the world of now, all the old crap can surface.
It can be hard to put down old times and not get on with now. And certainly a person like me with a long and difficult struggle with alcohol has many flaws. Of course these flaws can be thrown back at me, and it’s disheartening to find old memories and accusations made can still hurt. I guess they always will, yet the amends these days is to live and be open to change.
I cannot shrug off some criticisms levelled of past behaviour and truly they really deserve criticism.
At the same time it’s tough to hear and even more tough to be accused of drinking now some years after being stopped and in recovery. I guess anyone who finds disagreement will do what they feel is appropriate to make their point. The point at the moment is not about me, so I leave it there for now. I can understand harshness and truly when we realise we cannot change opinion without a change observable by those who criticise.
Right now old wounds need not be picked over, and with a strong sense of sadness I cannot really see the point of going backwards when it serves no purpose but hatred and trouble. This is so true not only for me, but anyone who has had conflict and tried resolve anything and still hold a power play over another. It makes me unhappy and quite frankly unable to be compliant. And if old beliefs hold I cannot change or make level headway or find basis to relate at all.
Let go and let go
We have to do this. And in reality anything from a past like mine and others, which has lots and lots of disparate and difficult times. Well its really got to be forgiven somehow and when it does not work first time, do it some more, or conflict is never resolved.
None of My business
Maybe in recent years I have learned more about minding my own business and doing the best I can now. But I cannot be compliant if it is done to make another feel better. Or to be co-dependent in my behaviour or a supplicant in a pejorative sense to another.
Life Generally is a Struggle
And in my living these days it’s not raking up any past or holding anyone to ransom on their choices and outlooks from years gone by. Or I would certainly drown my sorrows with drink. And worse contemplate resentments which I feel are overdue for forgetting and leaving where they belong, long past. Or consequences are we fear more than we live free.
We need wellbeing and to stop hating and worse fighting. It’s got to be my path. And I am allowed to be disagreeable and allowed to form a view of what I do and where I go. I need not try control or manipulate truth. Indeed not manipulate anyone, especially people who I love and cherish. Even when it feels like they try manipulate me, that is not love at all, it’s something sinister and violent in nature.
And what seems to be very apparent is lives do diverge, we move on and stop dealing in the past. Amends need be made as can be, and the truth is in relationships we can own and deal with our own stuff, and not others stuff. Or we put ourselves too high in ego and worse can find ourselves too low in esteem.
We get so many different ways of looking at the same situation, and sometimes situations are what they are and we are best served letting them be. It’s so difficult and so important often to let things be as they are. And it’s not for me to judge one darn thing. So I don’t these days.
Elements of Living
Whatever we do, we make our way as best we can, and this applies in all respects to how we relate and live.
Some of us end up nowhere for a long time and gently find our way again. The truth of me in the past, maybe too compliant and malleable because I was a drunk. And now I am not. And the truth now is patently clear most of the time. Be agreeable as one can be, but don’t interfere in other people’s business.
A deep sigh from me
I would prefer to have amicable days and good company and not hark backwards to things I cannot change. Maybe change opinions and make better days possible, be the person I can be now, and not some half vague version of years gone by.
They are what they are, and as mentioned not by me, we need draw lines under the past because it just cannot be applied now. Conditions change by the day, and there is flexibility to change or we go straight back to old times.
There have been healing moments and acceptance of the past from lovers and friends.
And I do feel my part in some matters leave me so off the pitch I don’t know how to get back on it. And truly if there is room for inclusion, as life is so busy and full for everyone.
Missing out on Life
We can feel that way if there is a hole in life which mortifies us. Or we can realise that interest and focus are such that what we think is the right way, is completely impractical and destined to failure. People are free to choose life as they live it, not to another’s will or emotional stipend.
Attitudes and Outlooks
We all have them based on what we know. As we are prudent and circumspect and learn that people do change, they do move on, and either we move together or we move apart. And it matters not which outcome, what matters is acceptance of life as is on life’s terms. We are not here to direct others to our pattern or indeed this world with my old pattern would have expired long ago.
Sensitive Old Me
So my Achilles heel, as you know it was drink without a doubt, and a suggestion I had been drinking tonight made me very cross. I need let it go though, as with all things forgiveness is not dependent on what others think of me, it’s what I know to be true, a day at a time. Would I seek company which puts me down to the old drunk I used to be, indeed why should I ever go back to those times? Let go feels all I may do with safety both ways round.
In other years in my life, I did not want to know myself, let alone be part of life at all. And I have no doubt criticism of me was due and well founded.
Disease and Denial
The truth of a disease which is all about denial is not just about my denial. For a long time and without doubt its true most people do not understand the disease of alcoholism. And why on earth should they? Absolutely it helps if you do know the disease, but why on earth go to the trouble if you are not an alcoholic? It can be better and more satisfying to disbelieve and hold on to old grudges if anger is still there and in truth may will be for ever.
I don’t know the answer
But when harm is being done, we are better often to leave well alone and not stir up old troubles. This I have learned over the last few years in recovery. Especially when trying to find ways to make amends. Some amends lead to more trouble and discord than can ever be put right. And the cost? The cost or price or the bargain cannot be harm either way.
Where am I Now?
I need accept words said and understand the difficulties we all face dealing with things outside our influence and truly are not our concern. We have love of people we know, we know also pain and suffering. This a general observation. And when we hear pain and anger, veiled in judgment or couched as observation, then we are best served by shutting up and going our own way, and away from the harm.
World Wars Egocentric Stupidity
I can see how things go with big things and small things. Open and honest seems of little use when judgment and then some form of control comes to bear on people who cannot accept other ways of life.
From the family unit, busy and fully engaged, to satellites equally busy and fully engaged. We are so diverse we can sometimes forget the basics, of similarity and fellowship. What more to say. Nothing tonight or just this
Forgive everybody everything every day, and let go resentments which blight life as surely as our own attitude to living can blight others. Let go, let go some more...
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