July 8 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "an ever-growing freedom by looking out and looking within…" If we continually look inwards we find where we have come from, when we look inwards with help to our history, and what made us this way, we gain perspective. And step seven is about opening up to truth. By sharing our true selves we get to meet other truthful selves and start to develop and grow together…
It is very difficult to work on shortcomings when many don't really understand what they are and what they mean on a personal basis. We can gravitate easily towards defects, perceived failures or extremes of attitudes and behaviour which brought us down. Not so easy to ask oneself, what are my shortcomings? It turned out to be lack of something for me, lack of courage to change and face reality, lack of faith either spiritually or practically and lack of confidence having lost my emotional balance on a daily basis…
I can revel in my own defects and not wish to let them go because they are familiar, pride and ego, fear of doing anything which might rock the boat and putting on a brave face and saying I'm okay when I'm not. Familiar territory hard to let go. Shortcomings though are easy to work on if I don't try and do everything at once and accept I will feel awkward learning a new life. Courage to change, faith in the next right thing and confidence grows when I ask for help and accept its okay to be a learner today… Humans being human!
Letting go and letting people help is still difficult. Driven and told we must stand on our own two feet, suck it up, be strong! And generally pretend everything is okay when we are definitely not okay is the perfect combination to develop psychotic behaviour. In other words feeling like shit and telling the world we feel great. Once we get over the hurdle and embarrassment, if we tell people the truth, they are more likely to help us one day at a time… Why didn't people help me in my early days of recovery? Because when they asked me how I was, I said I was okay and no wonder I was left to my own devices to fester in misery and ignorance…
AA Daily Reflections: "An ever-growing freedom: July 8 ~ The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out from ourselves toward others and toward God. [12 & 12]
When I finally asked God to remove those things blocking me from Him and the sunlight of the Spirit, I embarked on a journey more glorious than I ever imagined. I experienced freedom from those characteristics that had me wrapped up in myself. Because of this humbling Step, I feel clean. I am especially aware of this Step because I’m now able to be useful to God and to my fellows. I know that He has granted me strength to do His bidding and has prepared me for anyone, and anything, that comes my way today. I am truly in His hands, and I give thanks for the joy that I can be useful today."
Short on courage, faith and confidence? Contingent on the day I ask, I can work on living to the good of life. With "good conscience" I can deal with life's difficulties with a positive outlook and my actions are about solutions and not making the problems more difficult for me and anyone else...
Faith was not part of my upbringing. Fear, shame and guilt and covering up made life difficult. There is no blame, and no resentment of those times in my life. Faith in good conscience, courage and confidence to learn, to understand, to let go and let good, and God guide me today...
An ever-growing freedom... Free to learn, free of judging others, free of looking down on others, free of being found out, free of compare and despair. I am happy to learn more, happy in not knowing and finding out. Humility, an attitude of open, honest and willing, a bigger picture of who we are becoming today...
Fear Ego Courage Faith... Simple words to describe feelings we all have experiencing life. Extreme experiences and extreme behaviour, we can be stuck and unbalanced, blocked. In recovery, we develop balance as we may, as life experience changes us, sometimes quickly, often slowly, we are open to change today...
July 8 2007
DonInLondon ‘Day In The Life’
I started writing my journal today. And in truth I don’t know what to share or what to write. I guess my feelings are all over the place, sorrow prevails. Time does move slow and quick around very sad moments.
Courage and Faith
I have seen much courage and faith these last few days and hours. And no complaint at all from one we care for deeply, facing final moments. There has been no fear today, a stoic and gentle, gentle fighter battling with every ounce of will to keep safe.
He fights and has comfort close tonight.
I am wondering if I am best where I am or back to hospital. Ready to help and support.
Moments like these, uncertain what to do. Is there a right way? I fear there is no right or wrong way, just be there as asked.
Today has been about love and faith, courage and strength of two people.
I got this far and then went back to hospital and some hours later I am home again. It is a very sad day. For my Sister as her man is gone. Very quick, they were together in those last moments. Two souls.
I understand true love and saw today how strong their bond of love. Not one regret in all those years. Precious gifts and memories.
There was a burst of bright sunshine tonight as I was on my way earlier and coming home just now a dark inky blue sky to move my heart and have fond moments to recollect and get home safe in the half dark, now dark night.
Tonight feels too quiet, I have no words for now.
Publish July 8 2007
Written July 7 2007All About This Week - DonInLondon ‘Day In The Life’
Seems somehow I missed the hype and nearly missed the event. Yet now seeing the event, I am moved by how much people care about their planet? I feel we all do, and still we will face opposition and disquiet from those who have, and those who may lose an opportunity..
How can we be so narrow in our thinking? Simple survival is not the answer in many parts of the world with surplus energy and luxury. And the status of growing economies, how do they make their way to a place level with their aspirations? Maybe mankind has to feel the pinch somewhere in this. And what about the millions below the breadline? This world is poorly cared for as are many humans who live and die with blighted lives.
Nature and Providence
Seems that nature will do as it will, forever making balance in elemental forces. And the truth is we may feel we are elemental forces that is human beings feel they are. But in truth the planet will find its balance with or without us. We are not necessary to this planet, the planet being habitable is our problem as always.
We do have a window of opportunity, and it is closing as the natural world changes, with our help and disaster is not far off.
As we turn to dust. Our legacy? I suspect in the fullness of time our mark in the universe may be marked by our extinction.
All week there has been Wimbledon, I have missed it. I have also missed a lot of the news about world events. How much can we absorb? Or how self-absorbed am I? And are any of us that different. What may we give up?
One reporter found freedom this week, and I feel good he has been released by whatever means worked.
How many others have died this week in conflicts? More than we ever might wish.
Terror and the UK
We have had another week of talk and terror in the cities. Seems London as usual is a target and so now are other cities in the UK again. Our “Foreign Policy“ seems foreign to me, we have yet to hear where we go now, with diplomacy and occupation and worse armed conflict prevails.
Old empires hold close to their natural resources. And some are running out, a good thing maybe as climate issues force us to conservation. Yet the planet is at risk as much from us as it is from a onetime event we may not have foreseen.
Old Empires and New Empires
Is it any wonder that old and new empires remain ill at ease. As the resources and the means to industrialise grow where there is room for growth as some now decay. Empires took hundreds of years to forge in the past and still suffered decadence and decay. What next? Feuds and Power struggles maybe. Empires may come and go with faster pace as this world is global in nature these days. Interdependence is the key. And a better share out?
The world economy works for some and probably not for the majority, yet we seem accepting of our lot. There is only so much we can do as single humans and I for one seem lost to the will of the common man. My credentials feel green and conservationist, and yet want change so more have, and fewer suffer. I have no answer in these modern times what we do. And if there an answer it would be found? And most likely rejected as it stops the flow of Capital Markets where they will go.
A Small Life
The one I have today, it feels big enough. I feel comfortable today, useful and a part of life. Involved and quite connected. Live Earth helps me see a perspective bigger than me.
And my local community of 8 million here in Greater London?
I feel like there is more diversity, yet in some areas prejudice still holds sway as nothing much has changed views from decades before. Modern media and technology are bringing all people closer together, and we find ourselves similar, and still authentic and unique. And some with prejudice made in Britain still cannot see past old ideas and folk lore.
A government here with little direction or means to manage “UK Plc.” as everything is administered and caught in bureaucracy and administration. We seem lack lustre and less sparkly. Yet is this me or is this the way it is. Or are we as dynamic as we ever were and more able to change? I am for one, and this has been a lifelong enterprise.
My World Local
One of the family very poorly, and I can be supportive. A fellowship which holds me together with daily contact keeps me sane as anyone can be most likely. A useful part played these last few days and with great sincerity I am happy to be here today.
For the first time in more than a decade, I have felt like I belong somewhere in the last couple of days. Less isolated and less out on a limb. Maybe it’s just how things are now.
I need to change my diabetic regime, and part of it will lead to clinical depression inevitable as the change in regime will take time. I am loath to start, but must if I am to prevail and keep going. This kind of change, well maybe it’s good to be able to start the change.
There is no way to know if I will become depressed to a profound level. At the same time I will monitor changes. And once I start the change, I will maintain all other routines I have come to rely on.
Human Systems And Routines
Yes we humans work best when we have patterns. And as we develop good healthy patterns its good and proper that we keep a weather eye on what we do change.
As if we cannot see in ourselves what we do when we abuse our human system, as of nature and nature like us, we change one variable element and the whole organism is affected.
Put diesel in a petrol car and watch it break. Put water on a fire and watch it splutter out. Burn millions of tons of carbon and watch the climate change perceptible locally and globally.
Aircraft were grounded in many countries following 9/11 in the US. For days the weather changed. As if we don’t know?
Some defensive, some pragmatic, most will not bite the bullet, and most will be dead long before the harsh climate comes. Do they care? Most likely not enough, and the struggle will be painful indeed.
I have a part to play, no bigger or smaller than anyone else, a voice as loud as yours and no louder. Feelings as profound as yours and no different. A connection to this one day as it is, as real as any other as long as I follow my spiritual path. That ephemeral zeitgeist of one day at a time then maybe I may prevail, a day or two longer...
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