September 18 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 9 Amends In Action Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "fellowship, learning emotional and spiritual interdependence… No man is an island…" Standing on my own two feet and absolutely critical priority in my upbringing and something I was educated to believe made me a strong person. When it came to dealing with my emotions and spiritual journey, standing on my own two feet left me emotionally crippled, face up in the gutter judging myself and judging you with extreme prejudice…
Video For Today:
We are all better educated these days, some of us can read and write, some of us may never read and write, at the same time so many forms of interaction and media mean we all live in the same society with great expectations and huge resentments all around us. Something was missing in my education over the decades, how to deal with my feelings, how to relate on a deep level one-to-one and intimately which is why I probably had many romantic relationships, trying to be perfect and never satisfied with my role and hoping beyond hope there would be the perfect match… I judged myself and usually headed for the hills and another debacle. I, the great listener and great at expression could not hear and speak the deep of feelings in the moment? I could drunk, I could not sober… And today I don't get drunk to express the deep feelings in the moment, I'm sober so I can feel the emotions in the moment of now and share them as they are today…
When I tried to be self-sufficient, to a great extent I cut off the flow of information and discouraged debate with those closest to me. And the irony is we do get more self-sufficient, and we rely on ourselves rather than encourage interdependence unless there is a particular reason, for example romance or finance. Romance and finance are absolutely essential in this modern society and I find romance is beautiful in recovery, in love with life and people, places and things. And finance is a necessary part of life so we can care for ourselves and those around us. Romance and finance work far better in recovery, because the emotional and spiritual, our feelings fit with reality and we can cope with what is going on today… And of course the serenity prayer helps immensely when we are trying to work out what we can and cannot do in any given moment, rather than rack up another resentment constructed based on false expectations…
"Loved back to recovery… To enjoy personal freedom and ensure the freedom of those around us to have the same choices so hard fought for in this new sober world." It is all very well to develop personal freedom, providing we accept that everybody else needs to have the same personal freedoms in their relationships with us. It is so important to recognise that we can say yes to what is good for us, and no to what is bad for us. And when somebody says to us when we might invite them out to play, "no I don't feel like it," it is not a personal attack on us, it is someone else exercising their personal choice to simply say no, they don't feel like it, and that is absolutely perfect for us today…
From time to time being a bit of an old codger, and being bombarded by emails suggesting I join a dating site, I put together a profile and post it. The last one I did, where it said "about me" I included, "first and foremost I am an alcoholic in recovery and have been for quite a while…" The feedback from my honesty, I got lots of winks and emails. It was a bit frustrating, in order to read the emails I then needed to pay a fee to the dating site, which seemed to be a step too far. Then I ask myself why am I putting out a profile to people I don't know, when there are perfectly good single women around my age and with my outlook of sobriety on my doorstep? Beautifully weird, idiosyncratic loving charming insane women who are single and close by in the moment of now… Unconditional love in all respects keeps me safe and sound, although nervous at times when they are playful one day at a time…
Sun is out, more rain due, it’s fresh out there. All good, improves that uneasy feeling of not quite sure what is going on, a step ten due to an outburst of justifiable anger with right on my side, it felt good at the time, progress not perfection, being happy rather than right is the answer for me today…
Two meetings yesterday and listening to friends many years sober. Newcomers in the rooms, step one always emphasised and all the steps and all the traditions, I simply feel right sized, my feelings fit reality, the real spiritual experience, coping with real life now and today... tomorrow I begin again
To love, be loved and useful… basic ingredients to survival and a life worth living. Obvious and necessary we often overlook the measures we might deploy to make a reckoning of our own situation. To cherish life always, our own and everyone we encounter. So often our outlook is superficial and indifferent to others, we end up treating ourselves with superficiality and indifference and so life becomes a materialistic calculation and manipulation.
We judge our success by what we achieve in the material world, power, money, possessions, then worse, by looks and clothes, by fame and infamy. We get to like bad and edgy in ourselves and others. We judge value in terms of excess, our own and our ability to be better than our rivals in life.
By the time I got to rock bottom, all self-worth and self-esteem had been lost in addiction to people, places and things, and awash in an alcoholic mind. Pickled and deranged. Love was a concept obsessive and misunderstood. All remnants of spiritual understanding were merely a blurred memory. Physically bankrupt.
When the daily reflections for today suggested we can be loved back to recovery, in my early days it was still a promise to be delivered. My intellect and thinking resisted any outside force or influence could help me. And yet I needed a glimpse of something to make life worthwhile again or what was the point and what is the point?
Fellowship, a bunch of people driven mad by drink; some still drunk, some years and decades sober, all in the same day, same place and same situation, looking for sanctuary and respite. Without help lost in oblivion. We learned to help ourselves and stay sober one day at a time. Feelings return, so raw we felt suicidal at the prospect of living and homicidal for the wrongs done to us, imagined or real.
And as time goes by, our feelings are real, and we make sense of them, the why and how, and we gain perspective, suicide and homicide are not options anymore. We start to value life, our own and all life. Most of us do.
We learn again to love, be loved and useful. Feel life in the moment where spiritual is now. We have high points and low points, we endeavour through good times and adversity. We get to be human and everything it entails. Love is everything, and recovery offers us a lifetime in this one day, whatever it may be, real and sober to be cherished always…
Fellowship and friendship, all about being selfless and self-aware. Twelve steps and traditions, always suggestions and never edicts. Love emerges from deep inside, often not recognised until we have been sober a while. Love heals us in recovery, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly, our world becomes sharper, clearer as we feel and live life today...
Loved back to recovery... what is love? Emotional and spiritual? Love is a feeling we pushed down deep and spiritual love, always in the moment, always infinite. Feelings return in recovery, as self-will and self-obsession diminish, we start to feel life in the raw. Raw heals and we recognise our true nature, to love, be loved and useful today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "loved back to recovery... Our whole treasured philosophy of self-sufficiency had to be cast aside. This had not been done with old-fashioned willpower; it was instead a matter of developing the willingness to accept these new facts of living. We neither ran nor fought. But accept we did. And then we were free. [Grapevine]
I can be free of my old enslaving self. After a while I recognize, and believe in, the good within myself. I see that I have been loved back to recovery by my Higher Power, who envelops me. My Higher Power becomes that source of love and strength that is performing a continuing miracle in me. I am sober... and I am grateful."
September 18 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Gentle Changes
Change Is As Good As A Rest
Fast changes and slow changes, often we have no control over what is changing. I guess the last few days has been awful for some saving with the Northern Rock Bank, and the news is good and bad. Good News, savers have their savings underwritten by the government, bad news for shareholders and bank Officers who are in deep trouble.
This has no impact on me directly? Not yet, but I see the warning signs and dark clouds gathering for those with mortgage and investments tied into city business and long term pension investments.
Yesterday My Day and a Meeting
The highlight was spending time with my Sister over supper. And one or two changes for me. I resigned from my service commitment as Tea Boy in the Bolton’s last night. Long overdue and so I have freedom to roam on Mondays, well nearly as I will help out next week!
Our AA meeting, alcoholics anonymous fellowship. Was pretty ok for me, all about step eight in the change process for us recovering people. Eight is making a list of people we need make amends to for our behaviour in the past. I have some yet to make I must confess, there are times of hurtful behaviour to others. Unintended yet done all the same. Willing and ready as usual, that is me. Not to put myself down, to acknowledge to those, my part in all matters where amends are needed. As time and opportunity allows. And where it will cause no further harm…
The truth will out in all matters as long as we live to a code of simple living. Simple makes complicated look easy as honesty and truth are the foundations to build upon.
So hard still to see everything I have done, the truth and the hurt along the way are as immense as they need be for me, and I guess for others. Often though I have found others wanting to own their part in events. I am not the only one who utilised alcohol to make life feel and sometimes be better.
The truth of drink and humans? Sometimes liberates our good nature as much as any darker intents. And of course our morality. We can really learn from living, and theory is not always helpful.
It feels better these days and as time moves along even the depressions, as bad as before, well they are not made worse by drink.
A good word, makes me see I can have faith courage and confidence to step along gradually, towards what? It matters not right now, stepping along and being in the journey of life will do fine just now…
September 18th 2006 [ all about last year]
Is not a dirty word. We don’t really get humility till we understand what humble is too. And some things I do these days help me understand my right size in this world. Right size human being, smiles here, for indeed being right sized is the greatest gift we have.
Right sized is being the equal of everyone and everyone equal to me. What could be better? What might be worse?
It would be worse if I felt less than others. Where fear and circumstances make me feel less than a human being. And it would be worse if I felt in some way superior to other human beings. Being right size helps me free from worry, free from thinking and intellectualising. Being right sized makes me feel worthy of life and whatever my living and my circumstances, I need not feel inferior or superior.
When I feel disquiet, I will find my answer in rightsizing myself. When I am feeling out of sorts, there is really some fear in me I have not identified and resolved. When fear overwhelms me, I need company and fellowship to help guide me on my path, and this will help make my world turn to a beat I can understand.
Humans need contact with humans and their good conscience. We find our salvation in our spiritual experience, where we experience life as it is. Sometimes so intense we can hardly absorb our experience, sometimes joyful beyond our wildest dreams and equally sometimes so sad our grief consumes every fibre we have. This is life as it is and balance finds itself where experience enables. That’s Life..
A good Sunday for me, not as expected or as I might have planned. And in being flexible and sensitive to changes beyond anyone’s control, I adjusted my outlook and let life happen as it will.
We are where we are, to get whatever life offers us, as we are able to feel it or not feel a thing. With luck and wisdom, happenstance enables our journey to continued understanding. Our destination takes us where it will, without hindrance of my will, my experience is far greater than any I may envisage.
Wisdom and acceptance are surely great keys to living. Hard learned lessons from experiences beyond our control and driven as our world turns. We are its equal as we keep our right sized human qualities and let go with humility connect with the moment in mind body and breath...
Just For Today, cherish always…
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:
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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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