July 9 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 7 Courage To Change Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "I'm an instrument, or a vessel with room to grow emotionally and spiritually…" "The usefulness of any vessel is in its emptiness…" Nature and providence: the growth of humanity and civilisations. We are all part of "nature and providence," and we all add to the collective emotional and spiritual well-being of civilisation one day at a time, simply by being here we have impact today…
Emotional balance develops every single day, sometimes our emotions are at extremes and sometimes we are in extreme moments. Emotions, when our feelings reflect our current situation, the feelings are appropriate and formed as a result of what is happening to us are a true understanding. Knowing our feelings are genuine, will form our thinking about what is going on and the actions we take in the blink of an eye, or actions we take taking time to understand what is going on not only for us but for everyone around us…
My shortcomings over the years: suppressed emotions which may seem useful, for example not showing pain and hurt in dangerous situations, to just not feeling half the human emotional range we were born with and never developed. Society and people in it are not always able to cope with their feelings in the moment, man-made suppression through nurture and disapproval causing me to be short on courage, faith and confidence. Today I aim to tell the truth about my mood, so I know how it influences my thinking and actions. Very difficult in a world not so keen on open honest and willing to live to the truth of now…
Defects, when half of my emotional range has been stunted, shortcomings may be better described as room for improvement and room for development of those emotions and personality traits. It is up to each individual to decide what the steps mean to them and how they work in daily life. Defects are also extreme feelings based on history and not the reality of now. Room for growth? Always, and serenity where feelings fit reality, thinking and actions fit with the real opportunities and my real life situation today…
Finance and romance, basic needs and often the most important areas of life. Or rather needs met to live well, and have love in our lives. If we have enough to cover basic needs and have love in our lives, it seems to be natural and truly beautiful. Where we have exaggerated claims and personality traits often described in the seven deadly sins, either we will be miserable as failures or others lose out because of our excess and avaricious success a day at a time… Always a personal choice with huge consequences good or bad…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "I am an instrument: July 9 ~ humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. [12&12]
The subject of humility is a difficult one. Humility is not thinking less of me than I ought to; it is acknowledging that I do certain things well; it is accepting a compliment graciously. God can only do for me what He can do through me. Humility is the result of knowing that God is the doer, not me. In the light of awareness, how can I take pride in my accomplishments? I am an instrument and any work I seem to be doing is being done by God through me. I ask God on a daily basis to remove my shortcomings, in order that I may more freely go about my A.A. business of "love and service.""
DonInLondon 2004 - 2011
Help me with my shortcomings... In the past I felt only the extreme highs and lows, good and bad of feelings, self-medicating on alcohol and behaviour. Today I have more consistency and balance, understanding the extent of all my feelings, passion, compassion and love. Sober, gentle progress today...
I speak for myself not for A.A... A fellowship: of unique, authentic people who choose to share their experience, strength and hope where they will. There are no spokespersons for AA. Unity, service and recovery assure equality and we value each and every one as we are, always today...
Learning Spiritual A Day At A Time July 9 2007 - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’
Maybe there are connections all over the world we miss when we are distracted. Not tonight. A lot of people heard my “chair” last week at step Eleven. I am an unlikely candidate to choose to talk about prayer and meditation, but this I did. And it was about life in general, prayer and meditation, and being there for family, friends and community. I do not understand or recognise a way to believe or disbelieve in God. I feel the path is one of understanding nature and providence, the path is coming to understand about life and its ending.
Tonight’s “chairperson” related their experience, strength and hope about step twelve. And the step is all about spiritual. The gift of spiritual for me is becoming more and more clear as time allows. The spiritual connection is not predicated on a belief in god, it seems so far for me. This not a denial of, merely a lack of understanding I presently have. So spiritual is about living the day on life’s terms as life is, to joy or sadness and both sometimes as we live.
From a possibility of being there to share hope, there are very sad moments, my Sister’s partner died yesterday. There was hope to have more time, a possibility for treatment, sadly there was no time as events overtook plans and being very poorly he was not able to carry on.
How all these things happen, we can look back and wonder. Most important is how we cope today. And we have shared time and talked. And there is hopefully plenty of more time to share the good and the sad times as they happen.
I mention love, faith and courage, and my sister is strong. I have a brother also strong and caring. And I care too. My mother is a rock, and has always provided love and support in good and difficult times.
I realise I am in uncharted territory, that I will make lots of mistakes and learn how to be here and now and do whatever is asked.
We learn as life deals. And in these tragic moments, many tears for all of us, and tears come when we are overwhelmed and not as we might control them. This is not the time for a stiff upper lip. And we may pull ourselves together as we learn how to live with a loss unexpected and never imagined.
I heard the “chair” tonight, talking of spiritual awakenings which is very much the twelfth step.
And I felt I needed share my sadness and sorrow, and what this step encourages in me. Just simply to be there, or not, to be aware and do as asked and suggested as my Sister decides next steps. My role is support and following the lead in a situation where all we need do is love, have some faith and courage and accept what happens next.
My AA group listened and were moved, offered support and I realise I have great empathy from a fellowship who see endings all too often. Their role is just to send love as if through the air, and be there as one may when asked.
Tonight I feel I understand more of fellowship, bonds and love. The bond of love and understanding between my sister and her partner was as strong as ever these last few days. No regrets and every day, week year of their time together, over twenty years, love and affection shone in these last days.
I am able to be here and do as one can, as asked thanks to new ways of living and being in the here and now, the true spiritual connection as ever is just now,. This is my understanding all my life, and more so these last few years.
I am aiming to be more brief for now with words and with the you tube videos. I feel exhausted by these last few days. And there is more to do when and if asked. It’s not about me at all, and if there is a God, I thank God for these moments.
For a Man so courageous, Christopher held himself well and with dignity, never once complained, followed medical advice , shared precious moments with my Sister. A man of many gifts, loved by many here in Chelsea. His own man, uncompromising and steadfast, companion and confidante. A unique and authentic gentle man, humorous and compassionate to the end.
So with some wisdom gained and more to learn as time allows, as I make mistakes and live as much in the moment, this ever present, present moment of now I may play my part as life offers.
And with love…
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