September 16 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 9 Amends In Action Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "anvils! We stand or fall together, step one and tradition one…" Over the years practising these principles in all our affairs becomes a part of a way of life. How well we do this? Sometimes very well and we learn a lot from success and sometimes very badly and some may call this failure, but without failure we don't find a path of success, both are equally important in developing the humility to learn life one day at a time…
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The steps all about personal development of the emotional and spiritual path, and equally traditions will reinforce the need to work together. When we read tradition one, always the individual rights and responsibilities and personal freedoms come first and no single person can instruct another what to do. At the same time we do learn within the fellowship the unity of purpose, how we work together and help each other to be in recovery one day at a time. My way or the highway? No never, when it comes to tradition one we all come to our own personal understanding of what we can and cannot do on a daily basis. Based on inclusion, sharing and understanding, we find where we fit and how the group conscience helps us all keep sober today…
When I walk into a meeting of the fellowship of AA I do feel a sense of belonging. Every face may be different, every story as harrowing as the next, we are there in unity to keep sober ourselves and help those with a desire to stop drinking start the path one day at a time of sobriety. It is so important to see sobriety as a one day twenty-four hour timescale and still see sobriety can be forever as time goes by… When going to a new meeting, I can feel uncomfortable, can feel like I am imposing, can feel completely detached, can feel alienated by everyone and feel like a real outsider and that's quite normal to feel that way. By the end of the meeting whether I like the other people or the other people like me is what it is, but when I walk away I have newfound knowledge of what makes me tick and keeps me sober just for today. Everyone is welcome especially when we don't feel like we are welcome and everything points to the worst disaster, its still better to be there then slumped over like in days of alcohol on any given day…
We do stand or fall together, and we are in the spiritual kindergarten where we are learning our feelings in the moment of now. A fellowship founded on emotional and spiritual well-being is going to kick up the dust from time to time, find ourselves behaving as badly as we may have in the past, and still we come through these trials and tribulations making sense of unity, service and recovery. We do have tolerance and love when we remember, we can argue vehemently and "State our own case," but the case that matters and the way forward is governed by the group conscience as we learn to be flexible and realise it is not my way or the highway, it is simply the best possible way we can be just for today…
We are all very busy people, hammering away on our anvils of experience. I can tell you my anvils of experience, and I realised early on that one, "anvil of experience," was not enough for me and I needed two hammers to hammer away at what bothered me, made me realise I needed to go to as many meetings as it took to make my arms ache and my ability to stop hammering away was quelled and then the silence became deafening. As the silence became longer and the ringing in my ears, apart from persistent tinnitus, turned to quiet, I could then start to hear the other people hammering away at their anvils of experience until their hammers were put down and they too could listen to the roaring silence. And now times of peace and serenity replace the roaring, and deafening silence and I am able to cope much better just for a day… Why? And why could they? We were able to ask the help from each other and then from anyone with humility and confidence in any moment and on any day…
The gift of recovery, we live life real. In the past and present, tragedy fuels and grief prefers oblivion... Now tragedy is lived, grief is a part of life. I don't want oblivion. Today I feel right, feelings fit the experience of now. Emotional and spiritual wellbeing promised and delivered, and just for today I feel happy...
"Life will mean something at last," for me it is not the meaning of life. It is the ability to live life, not think it and then try living what I think. Living life, my feelings are growing, broadening and deepening with every experience that comes my way. Opportunity knocks and I answer the door, with courage and faith, or fear and a brave face as life is and I am. Sober, courage and faith help me deal with reality, and just enough fear today...
Our old unthinking behaviour can trip us up many a time in recovery. This is why the twelve steps and twelve traditions help us find where old behaviour surfaces. My father, he used to disappear for days at a time. He was always somewhere else and when it counted most, often he was unavailable and unreachable, “pot less and penniless”. Although we never knew what his malady was at the time, I know I have this malady or allergy, alcoholism. Our lives are shaped by happenstance when we are young and we learn how to behave, and we learn attitudes. Still we remain ignorant of our personal traits and behaviour, because that was what we learned and what we did. There is no blame in where we come from, simply the twelve steps and traditions help us see clearly how we were and in recovery how we can be.
Today, I realise I have left replies to a couple of emails which deserve answers. I deleted one because I had no answer, and have kept one because I need reflect on how to answer. In both instances, I have left the senders waiting and waiting. Procrastination, and uncertainty and a lot of sensitivity to a friend in one case and an ex-partner in another are part of it. Why? I don’t know the answers and have not reached any idea on my own and help needed to make a decision about my replies. The answer came in my writing this morning. Do not procrastinate and dither, make a choice and make choices to include them in any decisions about next steps. Life is difficult enough and we need not let people hang waiting for us to think our way through to the right answer.
Empathy is about living together, making choices together and not final decisions which impact and offer no choice to those who are part of our lives. Step nine teaches me about amends I can make and those past harms done need not be opened up for more harm to me or them. We find guidance in our living the steps in recovery. We are never alone when we need help to make choices to the good by inclusion and not exclusion as we live today.
Our careless and unthinking old behaviour, our world still revolves around us. When we ask ourselves "how am I feeling, why and what can I do?" helps us be assertive in recovery. And as we realise we are interdependent we ask "how are they feeling, why and what is my role and responsibility in their lives?"
Fellowship is for mutual survival. Old unthinking behaviour, it is all about me! As we find in life, it is actually all about us. Fellowship provides a platform to living a full life. A full life offers inclusion, choices, love and freedom. It is not about my way, it is about our way, together with empathy facing life's challenges today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "we stand or fall together... no society of men and women ever had a more urgent need for continuous effectiveness and permanent unity. We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together; else most of us will finally die alone. [Big book]
Just as the Twelve Steps of A.A. are written in a specific sequence for a reason, so it is with the Twelve Traditions. The First Step and the First Tradition attempt to instill in me enough humility to allow me a chance at survival. Together they are the basic foundation upon which the Steps and Traditions that follow are built. It is a process of ego deflation which allows me to grow as an individual through the Steps, and as a contributing member of a group through the Traditions. Full acceptance of the First Tradition allows me to set aside personal ambitions, fears, and anger when they are in conflict with the common good, thus permitting me to work with others for our mutual survival. Without Tradition One I stand little chance of maintaining the unity required to work with others effectively, and I also stand to lose the remaining Traditions, the Fellowship, and my life."
September 16 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Truth Will Set Us Free
Something we have in us as nature intended. That is the ability to fear what we encounter and fear life generally. It can become overwhelming and we can be overly fearful of what we do and the consequences.
When we fear hurt from others and have been hurt by others obviously we do fear some relationships may head the same way. And we become cautious and don’t tell the truth in case we are wrong and worse don’t ask for truth because it may be hurtful one way or another. Just simple human doings I guess.
We all imagine everything all day long and sometimes do not see what’s in front of us. We are particularly good at wanting and not meeting our simple needs. Imagination is useful, its part of us, and sometimes we may have our head in the clouds and our feet on the ground. Dreams of what is, dreams of what if, dreams of outcomes we may prefer.
And we forget to look at the day. A bit like me sometimes and a bit like that yesterday.
I have my website and the photo part is emphasised quite a lot. I enjoy and like to take photo’s around London. And particularly love taking photo’s of people. Why? I guess because for me people are the fascination of life. What is going on for them, how we show the world our insides on our faces. Candid shots of people and their living and doing. These photo’s intrigue me because I will never really know their insides out.
Its been a good day or two to get back to ordinary and be a part of living in Chelsea. I am right in the centre of London, the centre part I like best. I could not have asked for a better place to pitch up and settle down if I had been in charge of the whole living accommodation thing. Somehow I find myself in the right place at the right time, and I had pretty much no control over the whole process. Is this how life is these days?
Life and the Universe
There is often much talk of God in my fellowship, the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Odd really because if there is a god, he she or it sees everything and nothing is anonymous at all, except the illusions we prefer keep, as we still are concerned our truth may find us out?
In a world full of judgment and ready to mete out pain. Well its not wonder we confuse anonymity and spiritual in the fellowship of AA.
Anonymity affords Fellows of AA the opportunity to share their truth in the meetings we have. It means we are less likely to be judged and cast away just because? Because we are all still capable of judging a person harshly when in the heat of a disease which takes away our morality first and our doing last.
Anonymity is often quoted as the spiritual foundation of our fellowship. I would challenge this simply because truth is the spiritual gift and learned in so many mistakes and restarts to living.
Truth is Spiritual
As in this exact moment of seeing hearing and living truth. Denial of disease, we humans have denial as a ready and trusted friend to make truth as scarce a commodity as the rarest diamond found in the earth and as precious.
Anonymity in my experience offers our best shot at finding our truth, anonymity is a state of being which enables some who would otherwise stand no chance of spiritual, getting a leg up to where truth spiritual exists in our conscious being.
I may be misinformed or misjudging, I do care one way or another, as truth spiritual makes for a better way to live than denial and brave facing my existence.
More later, maybe…
September 16th 2006 [ all about last year ]
My head was thick with sleep this morning. After months of insomnia and other restless nocturnal twists and turns sleep is something I had not expected.
I had breakfast and got myself together and out for a meeting at 8:30 AM. And good to see a friend in the fellowship in fact more than one, who I was worried about. I need not have been as worried. So its ok.
And then I had a hypo on the way home, my blood sugar went really low and just made it back. Not good. And sort of messed up plans for the rest of the day. I have been wanting to see a friend of mine and have had to postpone.
A large glass of orange juice and lunch sorted me out and had a sleep. It did help me get my feet back on the ground.
But my head is still spaced out. I reckon it’s the pain relief making me groggy and ill at ease. I have less pain from neuropathy, but know the vagueness is back and I am uncertain how long this transition may be, and my marbles are restored.
Never mind, its just a day at a time…
Just for today...
Step 9 "If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves." Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us…sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them." AA Promises
Step 9 Amends In Action Alcoholics Anonymous Anonymous Reading Video Link:
“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
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