October 15 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "I'll be the judge of that?! Not if I remember the twelve steps and twelve traditions…" Yes but no but yes, that internal dialogue in my head is still there ready to play judge and jury on the rest of the world. All I need do at the end of each day is take my own inventory, and let you take your inventory without my help…
Video For Today:
Some time back somebody said to me, "do not judge me, how dare you judge me," and then he burst into tears. I feel they were tears of anger and they were justified, I was judging someone by my own standards which in his eyes fell far short of the mark for what he wanted to do with his life. Almost 30 years ago and I still remember that lesson, judge not… And at the same time I still have to work out and need to work out the personal choices I have, what I can do and cannot do as each day rolls along in the moment of now…
Sometimes going to meetings can be absolutely marvellous for affirming the path of sobriety. And as we go along and listen we find new ways to live life, especially the experience strength and hope when there have been successes and when there have been failures, and when a person puts down the drink and or any other substance, creativity and imagination return and manifest in so many new different ways it becomes difficult to make a choice. The fear before putting down the drink, that we will not be able to do what we did before and usually that is true, life changes beyond our wildest dreams even when the wildest dreams are either good, bad or ugly… If we are fortunate we live in new solutions and let go old problems today…
Even if were possible to go back to the old life, and be immune to the negative impacts of that old way of feeling, thinking and actions, would it work? I need to ask the question and know the solution is simply to become a practical learner in every respect, and be able to say this without fear, have courage to change, understand that faith grows as we learn and confidence develops daily with every endeavour. When things don't work out we learn as much as when things do work out and can share about it so we have a message which is complete, not just the obvious success, the real deeper meaning of humility, learning life as we go day by day…
Today's AA daily reflection is all about gossip and the yellow card and people who speak of it in meetings say "gossip kills." When we hear, "have you heard about…?" And these words are coming from our lips, best to take a spot check inventory. Then often I hear around me the words, "not forgetting the yellow card but..." The "but" in the statement is truly opening the door to a confidential spill of confidential information usually about other people and that is gossip. If the person or people who were being gossiped about became aware of what was going on, how would they feel about it? No names, and no pack drill is probably and inevitably not enough to protect reputations when this happens…
Oscar Wilde said, "there is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about…" When people are learning how to have courage to change, develop their faith in living and grow in confidence, I guess Oscar Wilde and his statement could be challenged. For me? I have come to the conclusion that it does not matter what people think of me, and it's none of my business… When I'm hungry, angry lonely and tired all my defects can come into play and this is something that needs vigilance on my part. A trained observer and behavioural expert in the past, deconstruction of human attributes did become an unwanted gift. Even my father warned me when I was very young just how destructive that ability could be, he taught me too well… And he is forgiven…
http://www.doninrecovery.com A “Just for Today” morning meeting: No chair, we can speak up and say anything and we do. I keep realising it’s about “How am I feeling” “Why” “And what I can do today?” My feelings determine how I think. Feelings are definitely real, and thinking covers them up, hiding the real truth which makes us drink…
A “courage to change” evening meeting: Brilliant chair, reminders that once we put down the drink, then recovery starts to deal with our emotional and spiritual sobriety, we don’t think our sobriety, we feel sober in the moment of now and then consider what we can do with courage to change today…
Powerless, insanity, letting go old thinking, life story, sharing, day to day, old behaviour fear, new behaviour faith, listing amends and willing, making amends when we can, spot check inventories, mediation, sharing the message…
October 15 2010 ~ back then, stuck in the allergy, malady and ism's of obsession, fear was my constant companion. Step four and step ten liberates us. Step four, clearing the wreckage of the past, step ten to help me with my daily wrecking abilities, fear is now most often replaced with humility. Humility, to learn and learn and learn today...
October 15 2010 ~ my checklist not yours... often we can utilise our new found recovery tool kit to see our own situation and improve our outlook. As we become good at seeing our own situation, we can see how others may improve their outlook too. Best we apply our tool kit to our lives and not others, 12 steps of self-improvement always...
Humility: a key to keep courage, faith and confidence alive for today. Listening to a step five chair, "Step five is the continuation of AA's "[Alcoholics Anonymous] action steps." In this step, an AA member discloses everything from their written Fourth Step to their AA sponsor or a trusted friend. Many people try to skip this step, saying that as long as God and they know there is no need to involve anyone else. But remember," "if you don't do the Fifth, you're going to drink a fifth."
I listened avidly to one of my fellows and then many who shared all about this step of learning in our tool kit for living. What is it about meetings of our fellowship which inspire me? No matter what is going on in my life, something always connects to my situation today, and reminds me of what is always happening to me.
In step five, sharing the wreckage of my past, the obsessions, the striving for success, the falseness of my world and a complete distortion of my values, shared and bemoaned, let go of the best I could in my early days. And then learning to let go today with step ten, a daily inventory of what has been disturbing me.
I loved the principal share, full of wisdom and full of just about everything I have come to understand in recovery. That if I am disturbed, it is me who is disturbed, not the rest of the world and the only thing I can change is my outlook to my present situation. In other words keep learning, keep making the best choices, be open, honest and willing to change me, and not the world.
A good reminder for me, that when I finally made it to Alcoholics Anonymous, all that was left of my emotions which seemed to work, was fear, simply fearful of people, places and things. Fear my constant companion. And as I listened as each person who felt like sharing at the meeting spoke their truth, I realise that all the steps are there to help us make the best of who we are and what we are today. And from fear of everything, the most important gift that shone through was humility to be ourselves and keep on learning day by day.
I did not realise that my whole was based on fear, mainly of being found out as not good enough. I had no thoughts other than to strive to be a success at anything I tried. And to say yes to the next challenge in my career back in the day because that was what I should be doing. I once heard a person say no to a job, “I don’t want to do that, it is not interesting to me” and I was so surprised. Obligations always in “me” because of the challenge and the pay packet and the loyalty to those around me kept me stuck doing many things I did not like. Odd I felt that way back then, loyalty to many who had no loyalty to me. I look back and see the disturbance was always in me and not them.
Step four, the wreckage of the past, and then step five, sharing our wreckage with another we trust. The meeting helped me get more clarity, and particularly about step ten. When I am disturbed, I need to check out what is in me, why and what to do.
Humility is a big concept, at the same time it boils down to us being able to listen to our inner voice, and the voices of many who can help us today when we feel disturbed. I use the word disturbed to mean when my feelings say yes as much as say no to something. A good disturbance, often love, and bad disturbance, often fear.
And we can feel fear and love in the same moment, no wonder we often need humility to check out what is going on for us! Humility means we keep learning we keep sharing, we are not looking to be right, we are finding out what feels right.
When I share that life is very much about being able: “to love, be loved and have something useful to do and to cherish always” we need the humility to keep learning. Driven by fear, we are most often stuck in a daily bind. With an outlook based on being open, honest and willing, we have the “humility” to keep on changing as the world changes around us. Freedom from fear, growing humility offers serenity to accept what we cannot do and what we can do today. And in my case with lifetimes of wisdom to hear, shared and given freely in fellowship today.
I am grateful today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "MY CHECKLIST, NOT YOURS October 15 Gossip barbed with our anger, a polite form of murder by character assassination, has its satisfactions for us, too. Here we are not trying to help those we criticize; we are trying to proclaim our own righteousness. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 67
Sometimes I don’t realize that I gossiped about someone until the end of the day, when I take an inventory of the day’s activities, and then, my gossiping appears like a blemish in my beautiful day. How could I have said something like that? Gossip shows its ugly head during a coffee break or lunch with business associates, or I may gossip during the evening, when I’m tired from the day’s activities, and feel justified in bolstering my ego at the expense of someone else. Character defects like gossip sneak into my life when I am not making a constant effort to work the Twelve Steps of recovery. I need to remind myself that my uniqueness is the blessing of my being, and that applies equally to everyone who crosses my path in life’s journey. Today the only inventory I need to take is my own. I’ll leave judgment of others to the Final Judge-Divine Providence."
October 15 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ All our Yesterdays
And Sunny Afternoons
Looking back at times past. I felt this urge last night. I have wonderful memories of times past, and they are still in me. I wonder how it was I could forget all of those moments, apart from drink, clinical depression can make them seem just dreams in the mists of time.
Yet it’s true in many ways. The memories when we look back can be magnificent. And gone too. As time changes our outlooks and we find hard moments stretch into years of depression. And of course the fondness we have for everyone on our journey. As well as the rougher times with people we were better not knowing.
I have pondered on this a lot lately. I have made friendships in recovery and then found I could not sustain them as time went by. And there sad feelings as my ability to keep honest led to questionable moments where I let others revise their behaviour and stay pretty close, when it would have been better to let go and move on swiftly. Yet in recovery and fellowship we do realise the pursuit of honest, open and willingness to find our best path mean we can be overly tolerant and end up causing more hurt and dishonest outcomes.
It is a fine line to walk, and as many have commented in fellowship, the road of honesty does get narrower the longer we walk it. I have always worked on the principle that people are basically honest. Yet I found myself to be very dishonest in my drinking behaviour and then everything slid sideways as time went along. Internal dishonesty, that is my own internal workings were completely compromised by drink. And it is sad to reflect that this has taken a long while to get back to anything near a normal outlook which is the real me I prefer and find tolerable.
And for others, as time and changes make us follow more closely a set of principles we can live with, then we are making progress. In recent times I know I have felt awkward over others and their economy in sharing their truths. And worse felt the need to cut connections.
Others and their Stuff
I have my stuff too, my places to be honest. And one of them is about being truthful where needed about association and fellowship. We are all in the same boat it seems, striving for the good of each day, and yet so easily tempted to old behaviour. Not the drink necessarily but old and covert ways which do not help us live this open and honest road.
As I have done many times, I found the truth as another shared. It was good to hear, not in a meeting as such, more about a situation related to another person I know.
In our fellowship we know gossip can kill people as they are headed away from fellowship when untruths manifest, or actual truths which need be private become the subject of Gossip.
Last night I feel there was a rare opportunity to help one person mend and also for them to find compassion for another as a small intervention by me helped promote tolerance and understanding.
I felt it helped and yet it makes me feel burdened to be off the very straight path I prefer. I need check this out with my sponsor and without going into particulars either.
The road to hell can be paved with good intent. And still I did make a good decision which promotes better understanding and a gift, to let go a resentment hopefully. Yet it still feels underhand.
And in a similar and yet totally unrelated matter, a gift to me. I did check out it was all ok with those higher powers round here (namely the local council) that a small favour was indeed ok and not outside the boundaries. These small things are as big as anything I may do which could impact for good or ill.
With fellowship and good connections the balance is and remains to the good. Not for everyone sadly, and this is something we learn over and over in life inside recovery or out of it.
Some connections we need let go as we move along, and we know when time shows us when we must. The evidence piles up and we let go or do more damage in connection. Sad and true it seems to me..
15th October 2006 [ all about last year]
- Revelations or Adjustments
[ Hi Don,
I know what you mean that a peaceful day can be troubling. But these days the good ones outweigh the bad, and sober can be worked through.
You mentioned friends. They are so important in my recovery. I had a long chat with 'recovery' friend this morning. She still struggles to find that middle road and is still often drawn back to her wine bottles. But we had a laugh about this and that. I feel sad that I can't help her more, but she knows where I am in good or bad times.
Last night I looked back over your old thread. I'm a bit hyper at the mo! It's 2 months to the day since I started reading your posts. I can remember being pretty bamboozled by your words! And then I plucked up the courage to post a reply wondering if I was getting what you were saying. And when you replied it was nice. That old thing of being listened to I guess. And I can understand why you post. I can see how things have changed over 2 months. Like you say a day at a time.
Take care Don, and I hope you are enjoying this lovely sunny day. ]
Thanks XXXX and Hi to you too!
Well, two months! Smiles here, it is to the day since I started posting on the BBC. My word a lot has happened. I have not been back to read any of the last posts. Odd really I seem to look forward rather than back. I suppose when I was going through recent years and making the monthly summaries I did delve a wee bit, but in truth sometimes it can be excruciating to revisit where I was physically, spiritually and emotionally. Those are the three elements of recovery. And my goodness it is a slow process when I consider how life used to bounce along in the past. Or did it just go by without me giving it any real thought. A bit of both I suspect. And some of the past, which needs digging up now and then does tell me where I needed to work through issues and make clear why things happened if only to me.
The why does not matter I find. And the negative elements associated with hanging on to the past seem to have left me for now. It is a part of recovery to do self-maintenance, and a lot to do with being in company.
Tonight has been good, I just had a long conversation about the world and all matters connected to living and breathing. One of those really deep conversations which went on for a couple of hours or so. So I am now a little hungry and under pressure to write this before my blood sugar level gets too low before I eat.
My meeting Tonight - A look into the Mirror
We are told, so I am informed that we will hear our own story one day from another in the fellowship. And I guess to a large degree I heard mine tonight. There were such startling similarities it was uncanny. And it made me hear my own words and feelings expressed by another. As near as I would wish. Of course there are differences a plenty, however the sub text and experiences and where we have ended up and the now of life are so similar I could feel my hackles rising in appreciation and a confidence that my path is well trodden by others.
And in a way gave me confidence that even though I may have been more strongly in denial of my need of recovery, and took longer to make my way into recovery, and truthfully I was as stubborn back then as any mule you might encounter, I am here in spite of it all. And even if I last a shorter while than I may have otherwise done, I am on a good path and not a path of destruction.
Acceptance of life as it is seems pretty crucial, and the terms of living change. Our outlook goes where it may. And it seems there has been a coup, a revolution in my outlook and feeling about the world. I think I remarked before I have gone back to where I was in my youth in terms of outlook, faith and belief. With hindsight my world and what I have done has been based on a set of circumstances beyond my control back then. And this is changing for the good. Making my way and the living will be as I determine and make good. A way forward to live as nature intended and without the obsessions of modernity thrust upon me. And I can be passionate about a new way of living and be comfortable it being so.
Now what does this mean? I can endeavour! And I can find a new way of living, and maybe the means may seem a little different to the life I had before, indeed I am full of hope it will be. And the contribution to life will be quite different. Quite what this means practically is yet to be determined, and determined I am. So in many ways there is pleasure and joy in this moment. And maybe some excitement. Smiles here even if I turned out to be a bus driver (which I can‘t actually as my other ailments prevent it)
Of whatever it is to be, it will be far better emotionally and spiritually and consistent with my health. And in recovery…
It was good to hear my story. And good to have the conversation tonight.
I have been reading some of Ghandi’s writings too, which are truly inspirational and humbling. Now my feelings are returning to a more balanced level and I understand where I am in matters, there is greater opportunity, and by being connected life will take shape, and with a clearer head than I have had for many years is my hope for now.
And being aware also of chemistry, one night may be full of hope, reality will break with dawn tomorrow and we shall see. Gradual and incremental changes in outlook are favourable, as is some step change and fundamental shifts to living in the solution and not the problem. Letting go is hard and some things embedded like concrete take their time to change. It is possible, not improbable, as long as we endeavour and keep an open mind. Mine is opening up. About time I hear you say? About time for me too. Darkness is an awful place to be, especially when it will only shift in its own good time and not as I might will it. Will power has no place in these matters. Will power narrows opportunity as surely does the dark itself. About time for some light to come our way I hope. Just for today and another perhaps, time will tell.
Letting go and moving on, so easily said and written, letting go and letting life happen, as it may by happenstance and serendipity. I mentioned this before too maybe these posts have their job for me and it is time to stop. Maybe, maybe not. Times and elements change. As do I..
Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...
Step 10 "Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time factor does distinguish one from another. There's the spot-check inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we find ourselves getting tangled up. There's the one we take at day's end, when we review the happenings of the hours just past. Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves with things well done, and chalking up debits where due. Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company of our sponsor or spiritual adviser, we make a careful review of our progress since the last time. Many A.A.'s go in for annual or semi-annual house-cleanings. Many of us also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.”
October 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory
Alcoholics Anonymous | Step Ten Reading Video Link:
October 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
October 2012 | Video Reading Into Action :
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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