October 19 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "like the Phoenix out of the ashes renewed?" Defeated and no way back to the old life, with hope we can let go of everything and stop trying to control the uncontrollable within us. There are things I cannot do any more and I admit and accept on a daily basis what they are, and now I am released from those things, I can simply learn everything which I need do today to live a full and complete emotional and spiritual existence…
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Many myths and legends have been created for thousands of years of years where anyone who has suffered utter defeat learns and grows and finds a new path. When I was completely defeated and unable to cope with life, that was the turning point when I asked for help. At first I asked for help to recreate the old life and it would not work. And then I asked for help from the right people, in the right places at the right time. People like me, who simply needed to restart life one day at a time… And life changed…
Often in conversation with my best friend, we talk about getting into a helicopter and rising above the ground so we can see the big picture which affects ourselves, and all the people around us. When we have a narrow view based on what we know, it is only what we know that comes to mind. When we share our situation with the people around us in all walks of life, we see a bigger picture as if we were in a helicopter. The helicopter does not put is in power over other people it simply helps with the bigger picture than the one we knew before. And we can see more clearly as we include and ask for help from those who have more knowledge often, and together we learn the wisdom which makes a difference each and every day… Progress not perfect…
Humility to keep on learning what we can do and what we cannot do today, and the wisdom comes with life experience. Which means every single day something changes and we learn that sometimes what worked yesterday will never work again. And although it may feel hard to change our outlook and take a while to learn new ways, we may backslide backward sometimes to relearn the cannot do in our life. Eventually we keep on finding what we can do in life. All we need do is continue to endeavour, learning what works and being open, honest and willing to change as life changes today…
Our hut meeting last night seems to get big and crowded these days. Newcomers and old timers: listening to experience, strength and hope and then an eager clamour to share about recovery. I see many with conflicts of opinion and outlook. Yet we still bond over our common issue, simply to be sober today…
Step one, our main taproot to learning how to be sober today. Powerless over alcohol, and happily powerless over people places and things for a day. I have every freedom open to me for a person living and managing my choices based on life as they are, real options based on reality today…
October 19 2010 ~ loved and accepted. To be loved and accepted we start with ourselves, for being human and fallible. Amends made and forgiveness for how we have behaved in active addiction. With humility we keep sober, we can forgive everyone everything. There is one path, the human path of living. Forgive always, accept and deal with the consequences.
October 19 2010 ~ when we are new recovery life, it is very difficult to shake off shame and guilt. We forget we have a malady. Admit and accepting our alcoholism is the first step, there is no shame and no guilt once we accept, we need deal with the consequences, and then live a new life one day at a time. Amends and humility always…
Pots and Kettles! Sobriety is very funny sometimes, especially with the twelve steps which keep us focussed on our behaviour and not the rest of the world. Under pressure, when we are hungry, angry, lonely and tired, or simply anything happening which disturbs us, we put on our judging hats and become unpleasant.
Frank Sinatra sang “My Way” and the song resonates. Sid Vicious made a cover of my way, which I enjoy from time to time. And behind each version maybe a whole lot of things are being expressed. One way seems gentle; one way is expressed with venom. Both versions of my way can be very difficult. “My way or the highway.” Selfish we can be and often an excuse for putting others down or simply making our way more important than others.
We forget that we all live in the present moment, that this moment is defining the next and the next. When we have anger right now, or as we might surmise from step ten, there is something disturbing us and what can we do to “fix” this disturbance? Step ten used in the moment, how am I feeling, why and what can I do? Step ten is alarmingly helpful. I feel put down, not considered, not happy, not something. I am feeling something. Am I feeling a thousand hurts or the one I feel in this moment?
We can drag our whole history into this one moment. And this is not helpful. Having got to step ten, we are dealing with what happens now. If our whole history of feeling comes flooding in to form a red haze of indignation and resentment, we need some help most likely and fast!
In recovery every imagined hurt can come back in a flash. Some people go to anger management; some people make sure they are thoroughly working the twelve steps. Yet the twelve steps is only a paper exercise until we live them as principles in all we do.
As we know in recovery we make progress and are never perfect. Same goes for everyone we encounter; life right now is our teacher. And as we treat others they will most often return our conduct with fair measure or unfair measure as the moment offers.
When we feel serene, it is because we are at one with our environment, when we feel disturbed, it means something inside us is disturbed, or we are reacting to a disturbance. It is for us to learn what the most appropriate response is and not something we dig up from the past.
We live in the moment, best we are able to respond to the moment and not our history. In addiction all perspective was lost, and we were most likely stuck seeing the world one way. In recovery we are asking ourselves to change, not the rest of the world.
Feet stamping and how dare you, can be immediate and then the actions happen and we feel defeat and wounded as get back what we dish out. Responding, asking the question, “what is really disturbing me now” we get the answer and then an appropriate response. We feel anger, we say “I feel angry because” and that is ok. I can feel hungry, angry, lonely and tired anytime. I just need work out why and what I can do. Dealing with my feelings and then responding provides perspective on the “now” situation without dragging me back to, “why does this always happen to me?” The answer is in what we decide to do.
We need to learn not to react as always, or we remain in the insanity of old behaviour and people respond to old behaviour with their old behaviour.
Forgive everything, learn and change our responses. Be assertive not aggressive. Learn and change is what I need to do, not change others.
There are always consequences to our actions and behaviour, and same too for people we know long term or short term. Step ten for disturbances in the moment; our actions and behaviour define us, not them. Sometimes we need let go and move on with love and cherish what is good. Saints and sinners all in one we are, and so are they, whoever they may be…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A. A.’S “MAIN TAPROOT” the principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung and flowered. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 21-22
Defeated, and knowing it, I arrived at the doors of A.A., alone and afraid of the unknown. A power outside of myself had picked me up off my bed, guided me to the phone book, then to the bus stop, and through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous. Once inside A.A. I experienced a sense of being loved and accepted, something I had not felt since early childhood. May I never lose the sense of wonder I experienced on that first evening with A.A., the greatest event of my entire life."
19th October 2006
[from KT] Hi Don,
Reading through your post, and then the ending where after a sleep you are back down to earth. Sounds like one of those days you go through to maybe get another step ahead?
With friendships I wasn’t sure if you were referring to recovery friends. If so maybe some people get so wrapped up in their recovery that they become blinkered to their own survival. Also reading what you say, something that came to mind was what your dad had said (from an earlier post) about indifference and superficial. I may be way off the mark here
Today has been a middle road kind of day for me. So that’s OK. Group was good for me, seeing friends and being understood without having to explain too much. But there's a lot of sadness. Seeing someone you care about who just seems to be slipping away. And that's not me being dramatic by any means. It's that old one of being powerless over people etc. etc. Maybe something will click. I really hope so.
Anyway life goes on. 1-1 tomorrow, more CBT and so it chugs along a day at a time
Hope today has been a good one, and as always take care KT xx
[me Don] Thanks KT,
Actually today has been better and in the true spirit of friendship made a difference to the one person I was really worried and concerned about, and they gave me thanks which was a great deal more than I had anticipated. We don’t count the cost with friends and I realise this all too well both in and out of recovery.
Smiles here it is the indifference and superficiality which offers me the best measure, and whether we are being cherished or used. It applies in the male and female sense, ad friends come in all shapes and sizes, colour and creeds and race in my scheme of things. My cosmopolitan bag of friendships is good and I know who cares and doesn’t. Even if they don’t.
After quite a day of exploring and making good using you tube to add something to my website, I guess from seeing me and reading me people will know me as well as can be portrayed in the world of websites. It’s odd actually that I don’t know some people as well, but connect completely on some levels. A gift from working many years with people. In one way or another my work with people is probably 35 years, and actual working is as long if not more. Working with my Dad started very young and it was an experience beyond measure.
So Tonight Right Place right Time
As footy was big in Fulham tonight I went local to a step meeting and it was just right for me. A small group of people in the right place at the right time, maybe with one exception who is working life out in the raw still.
But for me and my head it was good. And the step was number twelve which is also right as I’m talking about it tomorrow and doing the speaking at the beginning. Twelve is about:
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs"
Blimey when I read it over and over it’s like a summary of all the steps made into one. Which is why the twelfth step is divided up either into two bits or three for people to really digest what it’s all about.
Actually it is quite simple, it’s about all the principles of AA and the use of the steps in life to make life work. And on top of this it’s about sharing message of AA with us hapless ones still not quite sure how to get out of our trouble with alcohol and live sober a day at a time.
If nothing else tonight help me consider where I am today. How am I doing with my programme? And today I realise that just for a day at a time I am more able to use the tool kit of the steps and understand the twelve step programme enough to make life work. To get on the bridge to modern living.
We can become more adept and skilled as we get older in the programme, we can have good days which work and bad days which feel like a drink is needed. We can be above all things human again.
And being human means simply turning up daily for a life as is meant, real and unfiltered by chemicals which take the edge off. Or worse make us completely mad and dependent.
This spiritual key to living. It sounds full of promise as if there is magic. Actually the magic we encounter is Providence and Nature. As nature is and as our nature manifests without a drink inside us.
We deal with ups and downs as they happen. We get balance in our outlook and don’t over dramatize life, but feel it’s true joy, and deep sadness when tragedy occurs.
Our message to the "still out there drinkers" who have crossed the line is simple and follow a simple routine, by example and attraction to being sober a day at a time. We share with care to the capacity that others can hear and listen, and help them talk out what their problem may be. We don’t tell or offer professional opinion, we are not Doctors, mere recovering people who know our path to recovery. And we can share how we go about it. Not big or small, just right sized and equal to the endeavour of offering a hand in friendship, properly and in good conduct, to help a person find a path if they want it.
So I am more satisfied I am on message and in the right place tonight, far from perfect and far from over life, if daily I keep to my programme and make a life work.
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
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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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