July 7 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "and letting go of it… Fear!" Yes, that corrosive thread of fear. The more I work on it alone, the more I make it an issue, the fear of something or something unknown. Asking the help is key or we remain isolated in our feelings and if it is fear, it will feed on itself inside me. Do I have a fear right now? In the moment I do not feel fear or its consequences just for now…
I remember back in the day of drink, I took a job lasting almost three years for the remuneration rather than any other motive. And in those years there was much anger and frustration and good reason at the time to drink to fix and find oblivion. It made me so ill, I had a nervous breakdown and then a long protracted illness. As I realised everyone around me lived in fear, joined in the bullying and generally behaved badly, I nearly lost my life because of fear. Not so today…
When we feel the loss of our own personal humanity, when desolation and darkness falls for long periods of time, the degradation and not knowing who we are or what we stand for, in my case I had nothing to look forward to and nothing to keep me alive. In the fellowship we recognise that place where it may come to suicide or homicide or both. Step seven always helps me, I ask for help and look to improve confidence, faith and courage to change today...
Facing life on life's terms, and in my case a strong desire to keep to my core values, open and honest, fair dealing and integrity are key. Trusting to the truth of the situation and having courage, faith and confidence to say yes when it's right, and to say no when it is wrong for me. If I cannot live and keep developing my core values of open and honest, with fair dealing and integrity, it is my problem not the other person or situation. Courage to change, courage to make mistakes and with humility keep on learning on any given day…
Step seven in development of courage, faith and confidence becomes easier with practice. All the old ways which made me want to fix my life and fix the people around me have diminished greatly. I don't need to fear what is going on around me, I can share openly and say what is going on. And investing in good situations rather than putting up with bad situations is easier as truth becomes clearer in every encounter we have. To thine own self be true, and then others can be true to themselves. And then we keep on learning how to love, and be loved back, cherishing those who can and letting go those who cannot…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "And letting go of it: 7 July... primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration. Therefore, no peace was to be had unless we could find a means of reducing these demands. The difference between a demand and a simple request is plain to anyone. [12&12]
Peace is possible for me only when I let go of expectations. When I’m trapped in thoughts about what I want and should be coming to me, I’m in a state of fear or anxious anticipation and this is not conducive to emotional sobriety. I must surrender over and over to the reality of my dependence on God, for then I find peace, gratitude and spiritual security."
the phrase, “it is what it is” comes to mind. Frustration as my bank freezes my account until I can prove who I am. Today it feels like a minor inconvenience, back then it was a personal attack on my integrity, an outrage, an abomination. Today it is safety, humility and step seven help me today…
And letting go of it... I was entitled, deserved, worked for it, my place in the big picture. Back then, driven always, work to perfection, live in distraction, stuck in oblivion. Letting go wants and expectations, no fear as needs are met one day at a time. Life becomes what life can be, today...
12 steps all day every day... Principles to be open honest and willing. The closer we can be to seeing and living in the truth of now, the better our choices. When we accept life is difficult, we feel the joy and the sadness, right size and human size, our courage and faith with us today...
July 7 2007
Hope July 7 - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’
I was struck by many events today. An email from far away, on matters of life and living. A visit or two to the hospital and being there. And this matter of hope. There is hope tonight and I am mightily gratified.
Specific to me and my Day
I feel it’s important to work out the impact of matters which directly affect me and at the same time I need not drag every fact or situation into sharp focus. Live events and dignity, matters of anonymity mean often it’s the impact of events on me in relation to the story of recovery unfolding.
I am not writing to expose anyone to others eyes maybe but myself. And this is not an ago trip it’s a story of recovery and daily living, an aide-memoir if you like for me to express and let go my thoughts and feelings.
Feelings and Thoughts
Seems to me we are better able to deal with all we encounter if we understand what happens in our heads. We perceive, we have perceptions, from our senses. And feelings seem to come first and then our heads start trying to make sense of thoughts.
In my opinion it feels like we feel things and then the thinking process takes over. What we like we tend to feel good about, what we don’t like, we tend to shy away from. And when we are very happy, reality and thoughts are fairly good and optimistic.
When we feel low and feelings are bad, then we tend to think our way through the hard times. We can indeed say to ourselves, ”I can’t believe it!”
And this is where we start our denials as bad things can be put off and avoided.
We can also find ourselves in denial of good things if we are very low in confidence and we can deny our happiness as much as anything.
I wonder sometimes just how much time we are in reality as denial can run along a long time, over days, weeks, years, and sometimes decades.
And tonight there is hope. And it’s not denial its real. The hope for a better outcome and prospect of healing. It’s just this, the human condition is such that hope can move mountains in our minds as well as make us work to the positive and good we can find in prospects.
It’s like this tonight.
And I am glad to be sober, to be there, and glad to be sober to hear that hope is real too.
I don’t have much energy tonight and so this post will come in more than one bite. Its ok to relax I am telling myself.
From an ancient:
Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendour of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!
And for this mere Earthling, I guess I can live with the hyperbole evoked, just for today I must intone. Or I may be lost to reality. More anon.
July 7 2007
Live Earth July 7 2007 DonInLondon ‘Day In The Life’
Conserving our Earth for us -
Where have I been all week! The biggest music event probably about the biggest worldwide problem. Climate.
Today as per usual it seems the music industry and pop stars galvanise the world into a reaction about what it important to us all, the safety of our planet as we know it.
We have been changing our climate for centuries through agriculture and industrial revolutions which just keep going.
We are changing the weather without doubt, and not amount of political manoeuvres can alter the truth.
Our planet is being altered everyday by human behaviour as well as nature. And nature responds to changes we make. It’s not that nature cleans up after us, we are making a dustbin of our planet.
The earth responds to changes which are made. The Earth is not made for mankind, we just happen to have evolved here. And like any intervention, we are affecting how this planet reacts.
Is usually self-centred and determined to make the best of what we have. We have never considered the Earth could be harmed by us just being here. Indeed the earth is not being harmed by our behaviour, we are!
Planet Earth will Prevail
The question I guess is do we want to prevail on the Earth? The answer of course is self-evident, yes we want to prevail. And yet we pollute and change our environment to our detriment. We are greedy and don’t take account of our living conditions until the pain will make us either react in time, or diminish through our malfeasance and selfishness.
The Earth has no Consciousness
Only mankind seems to have the ability to understand the breakdown in the climate as we change our whole civilised living. The earth, a planet we hold in contempt and exploit and then wonder why life is becoming more and more precarious.
It does affect us all. And yet greed and disparate attempts to make some sense of economies and our whole attitude to living means some want more and some will give up and change behaviour to save the planet.
An individual thing or a worldwide government thing. Or a musical event to highlight what we can do.
Governments have obligations to their countries. And yet we see the drive for industrial power is working against all political will and will of humanity.
The Pain of change
Pain may be the only way people realise and governments may do something to save our climate.
The Earth will prevail
Yes the earth will prevail, and that is not the issue. The issue is will mankind prevail? Or does humanity run headlong into extinction, because we were too dumb and arrogant, selfish and stupid to make changes in our behaviour. Tell someone in the third world to give up their opportunity for wealth? A hard call and only levelling our overall energy use will this world remain inhabitable.
Not only can man run headlong into self-destruction, we can continue to deny it as long as it does not hurt us too deeply. The problem now is not will climate change for the worse, it’s how we find a path to keep this earth habitable for most of the citizens of the world.
We may seem greedy, and unthinking. Until we know and understand that human behaviour is the issue, and perceptions alter, self-destruction is assured and we humans will not prevail. The Earth of course will, most likely better off without us!
July 7 2007
July 7 2007 DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’
As ‘Live Earth’ is playing to billions round the world it’s been a good start to my day. A trip to Chelsea & Westminster Hospital to see if errands can be run, and a saunter down to see my Mum, my Sister, very briefly. A good moment also to fix my brakes and oil the bike!
Chelsea Market Photo’s - Duke of York Square
As I write I am uploading a few photos from this morning. A bright and ok day here in Chelsea. And very happy to be in the Duke of York Square and take some snaps of the market there, every Saturday! I never knew the market was there until recently and it’s been going for couple of years.
It’s a real pleasure to be in good company and with people happy and making the best of some rare sun this week.
Live Earth and Planet Earth
Much of what I saw today is about quality and getting the best produce and quality food to market. A haven in a busy city. London has many places where we can just be and get on with each other. Cosmopolitan, diverse and very, very, unique authentic people going about life and peaceful. Dare I say harmonious?
A contrast to recent days and times.
As Live Earth makes the point about climate and all that we do to make our future generations look back and shudder, humanity must be compelled to look at all elements of life. From one planet to every view, hue and mix of people, politics and more, we are all essentially made the same way and end the same way. How on this Earth did we ever make conflict a way of life for so many?
In the final analysis we all know the truth? That if we were more equable and more inclined to see the advantage of freedom and choice, would mankind war on itself so?
I guess for an era we may prevail one way or another, and yet we are perilous with our outlook and careless squandering. A reckoning is with us and we are surely on the edge of dangers far greater than we may imagine.
Climate indeed changing and manmade! We may learn enough in time to halt the tragedy we may all have live with or perish as no one takes a lead for our habitat.
Time is now, or what we record today may only be a fond memory as this earth changes and our time is up.
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