August 4 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 8 Amends And Willing Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "seeds of faith…" Faith is in the action we take today, to do the next right thing and if we don't know what next right thing is, we can ask for help at any time. Where does help come from? From the inner voice through prayer and meditation, asking someone who may have wisdom to help us, inside fellowship and outside fellowship…
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And the seeds of faith, if they are based on our growing courage to change and confidence that we will sometimes find the right answer and many times find the answer we thought was right did not turn out to the good for everyone and for me. In other words we can have the seeds of faith, take the action and even when we ask the help, the outcome can be quite different from what we expected and what we might have dreamt as we keep on trudging along on the journey of life…
Most often I might know the right answer, or so I think and then tell everybody what it is. How is it that people will not follow my suggestions, be so stubborn and defiant? Quite simple really, as people tried to instruct me in my choices, try to tell me what to do, I could be very stubborn and defiant as a result. Seeds of faith require me to be open, honest and willing about the possibilities, but not have the answers to life set in stone. Progress not perfect, and most often not the pattern I think, but most often to the pattern of possibilities when I take account of the feelings of everyone involved in life today…
Expectations at the Olympics! Individuals training and working hard towards one goal, to do the best they can on that particular day when they compete. Some athletes win gold at more than one Olympics because they are good enough on the day. Some athletes are just a second or less behind the gold medal winner. And when they don't win gold, and a commentator asks, "what happened?" The answer is simple, "it is the endeavour, the journey, and if I am balanced in my outlook, the right person got the gold medal today…"
The Olympics! Spectators roared to support their favourite person or people and usually along partisan lines. At the same time citizens of the UK and many other countries applaud the endeavour of every Olympian as they strive and compete in all the events. There is something very British and now I see it globally in "well played and good for you, whatever their background and wherever they come from." And we always cheer for those who took part, recognising we are seeing the best of Olympians in the challenge today…
The Olympians! In many of the events we see, I see many with humility and gratitude. I see them congratulated by their fellows, and then congratulating straight back. Of course it is fabulous to win a medal, and what I have seen is much more than that in these Olympics, it is the competitors, it is everyone behind them acknowledged and it is every spectator who takes part in a very human connection in what it is to strive, progress and succeed in the journey of life every day…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Seeds of faith... Faith, to be sure, is necessary, but faith alone can avail nothing. We can have faith, yet keep God [good conscience, truth, love and wisdom of others] out of our lives.[12&12]
As a child I constantly questioned the existence of God. To a "scientific thinker" like me, no answer could withstand a thorough dissection, until a very patient woman finally said to me, "You must have faith." With that simple statement, the seeds of my recovery were sown! Today, as I practice my recovery -- cutting back the weeds of alcoholism -- slowly I am letting those early seeds of faith to grow and bloom. Each day of recovery, of ardent gardening, brings the Higher Power of my understanding more fully into my life. My God [a personal understanding - for example my understanding is god is truth, love and works through people] has always been with me through faith, but it is my responsibility to have the willingness to accept His presence. I ask God [for me, truth of now, good conscience, wisdom learned, to work to the greater good and not my self-interest] to grant me the willingness to do His will [the common good and not just mine]."
DonInLondon 2005 2011
I was out travelling yesterday to see family. Being there and being a part of life and family is one of the amends which keeps on developing stronger and more deep understanding of life today. To be: included and a part of, to be welcomed rather than feared, to be sober offers enlightened and hope just for today? Sober today is one day, where emotional and spiritual wellbeing may flourish. Tomorrow is always another day in sobriety...
Step eight, making the list of amends and being willing to make them. Over the years I have learned my part in living. More than ever it is my responsibility to live well to the principles of the twelve steps. My daily amends to self, put sober first, be open honest and willing to change so I may find truth, love and wisdom today and with hope, every day which follows…
August 4 ~ Seeds of faith...our personal faith in next right actions. In recovery we put sober first, so our lives work today with clarity, we feel life as it is, we think about what we do, we live to good conscience...
August 4 ~ "Neither Saint nor Prophet" M Scott Peck , no pedestals in recovery, newcomers bring wisdom of life, old timers bring wisdom of life, medium timers bring wisdom of life, we are all learning the wisdom of recovery, all equal to living life a day at a time. A higher power? A collective wisdom in fellowship just for today...
Publish August 4 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ God and Humility
In all matters to do with belief and God, I always remind myself these days that I am not God, and I merely the same as anyone else on this planet, another human being most often engaged in doing the next right thing.
And some simple principles for me about life and living are the same as those described in the declaration of human rights we all have and ratified by most countries on the planet. In essence we are all equal and have equal rights to live in peace. And of course we are not perfect as individuals or countries and humanity has a long way to go.
Fellowship and personal development through the twelve steps of change we have in a fellowship of AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, seem to endorse these principles at an individual level, and encourage physical, emotional and spiritual well being. And we make progress and never ever will come close to perfection. We just live a day at a time and try to do the next right thing based on these principles of living in the steps of AA.
Today has been good to backing up all my work on you tube, and recording the files and videos just in case You tube have changes in their publishing policy, or they get into difficulty with big players and their copyright issues.
So less out and about for me today, and also I have been a bit under the weather and quite exhausted by recent family events. I don’t think we were ever designed to experience death in family and cope too well. We are, after all more focussed on living, which is right I feel. Grieving is something we experience and learn from, we may know how to grieve from our thinking and understanding process. Nothing helps until we have had the experience a few times to know what we may expect to feel, and how it will impact.
Out for a meeting in the fellowship and then on to see my sister, and chat about the day.
A really good AA Meeting
It was at Worlds End. A step meeting, all about step six . Step six is right in the middle of our tool kit for change and living and is very much a part of life experience and connected with step 7.
Step six is about defects of character which I believe are based on fear, fear leading to brave facing the world, and often all about ego and not about the next right thing.
Step seven is all about our shortcomings as they are described in AA fellowship. For me it boils down to faith, courage and confidence. Faith in ourselves and good conscience, courage to do the next right thing, and of course develop our confidence in our choices and way to live.
In essence step six is about not being so fearful of life, not having to put on a brave face, and not being self willed or totally self driven and obsessed. As step seven encourages courage and faith in our outlook which we develop with fellowship and friendship and so become more confident and less self obsessed..
For some, step six is asking God for help to remove our defects. And in essence it is a spiritual awakening, or in my opinion an awakening that this world is not here to serve us, we are just part of it, merely players if you like.
If I were to believe that God just removes my defects through belief, I fear I would not learn from life how to have faith in my path, courage to stay in sobriety and the development of enough confidence to be part of society.
So as I am yet to develop my belief in God, beyond Nature and Providence, I have a lot of work and experience to do and make good my ‘Good Conscience’ and outlook. Actually much of the good has come through the years and good conscience is my guide and my reference if you like to a power greater than me. I feel I have always tried to be aware of the greater good and have strayed like most humans to human weaknesses like any other can. I am far from perfect.
As God helps those who help themselves, I actually relate better to Good Conscience helps those who help themselves and others on a path of living to good principles and truth.
As you may guess the spiritual foundation for progress is truth, truth learned through our perceptions and collective good conscience of humanity, and we are a long way from perfect. This does not deter me at all from doing the right things and behaving well in society.
Mankind has a reliance on the collective good, nature and providence and whatever higher purpose we come to understand.
For those in AA who are happy and understand a God of their choosing, I am delighted for their outlook and understanding. I have not come that far. At the same time, I do believe in step six and step seven in practical applications to living and living to good conscience as we develop through life experience. And I am less reliant on god removing my defects, I feel I have to work at this as any other steps we have. Perseverance is a key for me.
Who knows the truth? Well we may learn it as we make good our life and better and more sober. And I am hopeful I may continue as I do, learning and understanding more. It would however be wrong for me just to say I believe in God, when I am still not able to understand, it is not an issue of faith for me, its an issue of understanding.
Spiritual life is conditional on our truth and learning and experience. Its good for the moment of now, as we experience this living event of truth. We need least denials and least filters to find our spiritual connection so we may see our life as is, right now. Joyful or sad, loving or hateful, we experience each in our spiritual truth.
So if God is there and understands how mankind is today, he, she or it, may conclude that we are making progress and have a long journey ahead as individuals and a species on this small planet in an infinite universe.
I hope there is more to come.
So a good meeting for me, I appreciate the value of belief as much as truth.
What we come to believe is our best shot at spiritual. I am happy to be confounded and learn through experience more about life! More about God!
And what a treat life can be. And what a cheat for some, as Nature and Providence don’t punish, but we all know we are prone to life and its challenges. Disease is as much a part of life, and I have couple of them and allied conditions which is as nature has made me as much as anything and no blame there from me..
The twelve steps give me more of a chance than any other system of learning experientially than others I have either avoided or come to understand will not fulfil what AA has afforded, my truth about life and experiences we have. And my spiritual credentials are limited to me and my life experience. So I am forever hopeful and accept progress and not perfection..
A great chat my Sister about life and loss, getting on and people I have known. I also had news and best wishes from some I have known over the years tonight. And grateful for all of them and their well being too.
Last Year this time as you can see the notions of providence and nature were coming out as best they could at that time, it is after all a journey of life, one day only, and better a day at a time.
August 4 2006
On Themes Providence
Good judgment and management: As Night Follows Day
Dawn breaks and the cold chill of dark starts to fade and light returns again. Across the oceans of this world another cycle of living breaks its tryst with sleep. Sleep our pattern and our dream world state where imagination and reality merge and make our minds grow large with every possibility.
Our resting state as spirit plays and the ever present feeds on past and future moments. It is and has been the way of man and humanity since time made good our conscience and living. Awake and alert to knowing our current state and providence provides us with our vehicle to make good a paradise or hell. It all depends on where and when we stir from our dream of being. And this world turns as predictably as we can see.
This world and the ever present, our true moment to experience with every fibre in our repertoire of conscious being, and still for most its not enough as time plagues and keeps us wondering what else we might encounter in this vast Universe.
As if it were not enough we tempt our fates with man made device to offer better perceptions of what we have. Our predictable selves and souls. We know ourselves well and as time forgets to inform, nature makes good with every element turned to automatic to keep us living long enough to wonder at the stars and what made us the way we are.
And our divine, the nature of mankind to enter into dialogue beyond our current being. As if that mattered greatly, for the journey to our ever present moment may be lost as imagination grows our wonders to beliefs and casts shadows in our living. We wish to predict our evolution where it will go, and make good predictions draw on lotteries we would make to good intent. And good intent will hold us to our vision.
I fear our vision is impaired as we try predict the moment of our destiny. In destiny so made we have lost the very thing we sought, our true next step upon this ever present road, and are lost to simple truth.
Our truth, not so difficult to hold close to every man and woman, comes with age when we accept the march of time, for providence and nature offer the keys. We need not follow our path to predict what we already know, and make happenstance our hostage. No I feel it does no good to make a bargain with ourselves and make good on mankind’s constraint, our current evolution.
Held to account as we inflict our judgment day, where some are given safe passage as if they were the chosen few, to their own future. And passage to another place and time. Hostage to our fortune cast as if we know more than natures touch, and evolve our way and not the way of life itself.
Cut down by our selfish need to be in touch and hold our path beyond the stars to merely our reflection of the firmament. We mirror what we can envisage and in our image glass distort where evolution takes our breed, our own prison made.
The ancient science of all humanity is ever present in our woe of knowing what we know, and holding our path to safe destiny. That is never nature’s path I know, nature will take us where providence goes, or mankind grows beyond the stars and simple firmament of old and hard science and the metaphysic find another level of consciousness unfold beyond predictive bliss and takes on the role of providence...
We live our best to providence and make good the realms of living in this ever present, present moment, not held to our intuitive lottery we would predict and make a change beyond our power and give it to the living. When we let go the dreams of ancient crafts and safety of our mirror man, and mankind is free to roam. We need not be held to mankind’s drift, that Ego where denial holds no key to life, or to current reality.
Hard science and the metaphysic, so chilled with ever folding space, lets go the magic sorcery, and sees our mind expand a pace, just where it will go to nature’s rhythms, touching deep inside our soul.
And dark mind’s hold to hard science and its destiny, and danger lurks as paths are blocked by inner visions lost to past lives decadence. Hostages to fate we might imagine when we hold our self made images aloft and make ourselves like them. They are gone to time and lost to this ever present, present day, its just the way of providence. And we cannot cheat our time and place for living as we do. Providence holds the key to now, as humanity lifts and separates from our earthly chimes to know our fate. It matters not to know, as knowing will always impair the gift of now.
Wake up, wake up and see the day, this ever present, perfect moment, and with our simple truth know the light and dark in all its symmetry. And what we don’t know follows on in another moment yet to make our conscious mind spark to providence and light the firmament of now,
It was ever so..
Revere those ancient metaphysics laws and see where we go as providence will forever give the key to mankind’s fate you know, we need not predict beyond today its all we have to make our good, of good conscience on the way, our experience finds our joy and sad reflections as we go. What more do we really need to know?
Providence holds no recompense, or currency we can take to our inner spirits touch. Providence, as our fate suggests without predictive quality, is and always will be a fascination to our inner metaphysic. Nature will always run its course and our Universe meanders as it will and not to our tune or call..
Providence, God's guidance: the wisdom, care, and guidance believed to be provided by God. Or by Nature, or by... does it really matter? Providence, further litany to simple choices in the ever present, perfect moment: acumen, attention, calculation, canniness, care, carefulness, chariness, circumspection, concern, considerateness, consideration, deliberation, diplomacy, discernment, discrimination, foresight, forethought, good sense, gumption, heed, heedfulness, judiciousness, maturity, observation, perspicacity, precaution, providence, prudence, responsibility, sagacity, sense, shrewdness, solicitude, tact, thoughtfulness, vigilance, wariness, warning, watchfulness, wisdom...
Step 8 "Step Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all." "n other words, who have you harmed? You will recall from our discussion of Steps 4 and 5, that a preliminary list of persons we had harmed is generated there. The list will now be refined into a personal amendment plan, which is the product of Step 8."Although this step requires plenty of work, there is nothing frightening in it. Amends are not actually made in Step 8. Instead, we plan for the making of amends in Step 9, which follows. Harm is: injury, hurt, damage, misfortune, grief, pain, sorrow, evil, wrong or wickedness. Have we brought about any of these in the lives of others? The Big Book and the 12&12 also are quite specific about harm." BB Bunch
August Video Reading Step Eight Into Action Link:
Step Eight Reading
“How It Works” Reading Video Link:
“Into Action" 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