September 29 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 9 Amends In Action Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "forgiveness and consequences… Have you forgiven yourself get?" I don't feel like I've thought about this particular aspect of living today, forgiveness for the way we were, forgiveness for the way we are and accepting the consequences of life experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly…
Video For Today:
When we look back at all the things that have happened to us over the years, we look back with the benefit of hindsight. Would we have done this or that with what we know today? The answer is no often, and given the experiences we have had we often choose to behave differently and act differently because we have changed through time. Whether we are in a good place, a bad place or place of not knowing how emotional and spiritual condition, we always the best we can be in the moment. The consequences of how we were, still has an impact on our emotional and spiritual life today. When we are beyond denial, anger and resentments of the past, we can forgive ourselves for what we did to other people in those times and what other people did to us over the years? I feel we must forgive, accept consequences and decide how we will live our lives today…
I look back now, some of the hurtful situations which impacted on me, and the hurtful reactions I had towards others emotionally and spiritually. When we don't know what to do with ourselves and we are struck by grief, struck by loss of any sort, we are not equipped to deal with the extremes. And we need to understand we may never know exactly why certain circumstances made us hurt and hate, made us cherish and love even though there was no rhyme and no reason. Certainly the reasons why on a thinking level can explain the logic, on the other hand the emotions are more difficult to deal with. We all need help to fathom the deep of the past, learn from it, cherish the good, cherish the bad and cherish the ugly of what we and others were capable of doing back in the day…
Sometimes the attitudes of people outside fellowship can be quite alarming and at the same time I understand why they have these attitudes. The eleventh Commandment which is adopted by some, not by me, "thou shalt not get found out." On a profound level I prefer the truth, no matter what it is, because these days I can cope with and understand how I feel about my history and history with others. Open, honest and willing, to share and make amends where ever possible without doing further harm is okay. I feel hurt more by the obvious silences, the obvious missing detail and the desire to cover up what happened. At the same time I accept not knowing, and not knowing the answers means that acceptance is always in the moment and always today…
Forgive everybody everything, every day we always face consequences which can result in anger and resentment, a need to cover up and silences which harm the inner being. And the problem we face in forgiving everyone and also facing our own consequences for our own actions, is that other people in our lives or in the past may not be of the same mind emotionally and spiritually. And that is where the harm can be done. We can deliberate and try make a decision on our own, and yet we find ourselves wrong-footed because we haven't consulted with those who have the experience and who have trampled on the feelings of other people who don't wish to explore the journey from back then to now...
It's not our job to enlighten other people directly. We may enlighten and share our experience, strength and hope. The journey in our emotional and spiritual lives, it works when we have the experience and is not something that can be imposed on another person. Another person might understand what we are saying on a thinking level, have the intelligence to understand what is being said but have no direct experience of the emotions and how they work in the moment. Our thinking brains can take on the message ready for the emotional experience, but the emotional experience has to happen to truly understand how life works, however it is in the moment of now…
Have you forgiven yourself for being human today…? And are you ready to accept the consequences…?
Looking for answers in our own life story, “why did I do that?” and the horror of harm done… Usually retaliation to harm done to be “why did they do that?” and the deep hurts felt… Today I hope I don’t do that, and no need to look for the why of me or you today…
Amends… the living amend to you, a sober day for me, full of mistakes, learning and understanding that humility is a way to broaden life experience and live in the moment of now. At my age I find pleasure in not knowing, no shame or guilt and no need to cover up today…
September 29 2010 ~ similar yes, at the same time we are unique and authentic in our journey just for today. In recovery, whether we are one hour sober or ten years sober, same day, same moment. How we see the day, in recovery, we can share, support and challenge each other, always as equals, always our personal experiences, with hope today...
September 29 2010 ~ exactly alike... we live in the same day as much as we can, sometimes haunted by the past, or fearful of the future, or simply in the moment of now where we find serenity is available if life and our heads let it be so. Serene when life is, alert when life requires, balance hopefully somewhere today...
Step Nine ~ STEP 9 “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” Restitution can be in many forms, emotional, spiritual and physical to us and others. In addition we may have financial obligations to meet from the past, we do as we can and make good whenever it is possible and practical, without doing more harm than good.
Step nine and living differently, what does this mean day to day? A change in our attitudes and behaviour, we have learned all about how to live one day at a time, and then we need learn what works one day at a time. Letting go our old ways is rarely a one off transformation. It takes time to change, attitudes and behaviour need reinforcement, we need support and that is what fellowship can provide.
We are learning what it is like to be open and honest, to take steps to develop our courage and faith, to be able to see when we are wrong, admit and change our outlook. Be able to accept help without shame or guilt.
We accept we are learners every day, and we know there is always a tendency to slip back into old notions and ideas when the pressure is on. If we can remind ourselves, “sober and above ground” with basic needs met, we need not want.
The living amend to ourselves and others is to put into practice what we learn daily, what works, rather than complain about what does not work. Get help when we feel angry and cut off, avoid isolating and be a part of fellowship and life in general. Learn how to be useful and simply learn more about ourselves and the endless possibilities there may be today.
Learning how to change on a daily basis means we need not hold on to old ideas, a person in recovery changes beyond all recognition, there are no should do’s in recovery.
If we try hold on to what we had before, or seek it out, we need be sure it is good for us, people, places and things have been our triggers to drink in the past. A new start is available every day to improve our spiritual and emotional wellbeing. And similarly we need ensure we improve the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of others we encounter with our presence. If we undermine ourselves and others, time to change!
Life in recovery, every day is new, nothing taken for granted and always under review. Step nine the promise of new outlooks and new endeavour one day at a time…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "September 29 Step 9 A.A. Daily Reflections Video Reading ~} exactly alike... Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives. [Big book]
A man came to the meeting drunk, interrupted the speakers, stood up and took his shirt off, staggered loudly back and forth for coffee, demanded to talk, and eventually called the group’s secretary an unquotable name and walked out. I was glad he was there - once again I saw what I had been like. But I also saw what I still am, and what I still could be. I don’t have to be drunk to want to be the exception and the centre of attention. I have often felt abused and responded abusively when I was simply being treated as a garden variety human being. The more the man tried to insist he was different, the more I realized that he and I were exactly alike."
September 29 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In The Life’ Work It Because We Are Worth It
Work What? Steps Of Change
In my world I so work hard at the steps of change associated with recovery from addiction to alcohol. The AA fellowship has been around a decades and attracts many who have a desire to stop drinking.
Old Habits Die Hard
And for compulsive drinkers of alcohol, well we face a real struggle often maintaining sobriety for any length of time. So we live to a one day programme which keeps us firmly in the fellowship and firmly on a road f sobriety.
We all have them and it’s not just drink for me. I have old and painful habits in my thinking, which often lead me astray. Away from my nature and my preferences. My preferences are to be open honest and willing. To develop and retain integrity. And every day I know there ways we move off this path so easily and always for good reason.
Men And Women
I hear much discussion about men and women in our fellowship, and even though we get to know that there is little difference for addiction for women or men, we come to fellowship with every experience which stereotypes us as male and female as well as our drinking problems too.
Men Are From Mars and Women are From Venus
An inconvenient convenience for making mischief I fear most often. When we apply ourselves to living in the cold light of day, with our wits back and our feelings ready for another sally at life, all the old teachings and attitudes and behaviours are ready to come to the fore. What we learn of life and relationships is from experience first and then for many who wish to move away from the stereotypical, we are hampered by our old ideas and understandings. We can fall into old traps, old notions and old fears. We can truthfully apply ourselves and be hindered by what we hear and what we see.
Much of the culture these days still emphasises so many difference and not the similarities. So when it comes to relationships in the AA fellowship, many misconceptions can happen, many misunderstandings and much self will and much confusion.
Not Wanting the Truth
Sometimes we just don’t want to know the truth, as we have imagined and more importantly an agenda we may share openly or an agenda we are operating to in some form of stealth mode. We are all human, we all love to be loved, of course by those we love too, and still we find as nature is no real help, we can be barking up the wrong trees at the wrong imaginings.
So in the Fellowship of AA
We are as gormless and witless and as flummoxed by relationships as any other band of humans just trying to get along. And we know also how vulnerable, needy and often just plain wilful we all can be. And this includes me as much as anyone.
After a few years sobriety a comment made yesterday on my blog, suggested was it all worth it if we only get to live and make life work for just today?
We Are Just One Day Sober Always
And not that sober in our thinking when our feelings are telling us so much else. We are so complicated we often need simple and easy suggestions to follow.
A Day At A Time
And into my fourth year well and truly. All the old understandings and experiences still are there. All the old notions and feelings ever present. So when asked or commented is it worth it? I must emphatically say yes..!
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:
“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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