October 21 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "if nothing else was going on, practising these principles in all our affairs would be easy…" Today's AA daily reflection is all about nothing grows in the dark. And nothing did grow in the dark days before recovery except the knowledge of impending doom. Why don't we practice these principles daily? Because sometimes we probably don't want the answers that are obvious and necessary when we practice step ten, and write a gratitude list…
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Twelve steps and twelve traditions are principles, suggestions, a code, a way of life. And still when we go to meetings and see the results if we sit down and listen in judgement, some are practising the principles and living life and finding the answer just for a day and others are not. Why don't we want to practice these principles in all our affairs? Why do we swerve around the truth and avoid obvious things we need do? Of course the simple answer is we are all human and human beings are complicated especially around ideas and wishful notions, sometimes hoping for the impossible and missing the opportunities right in front of us, that reality offers a better life than oblivion, denial and unrealistic expectations and an easier softer way…
A desire to stop drinking is the simple criteria we have for anyone joining the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. And still some persist in describing themselves as, "a real alcoholic as described in the book." Forgetting of course that the point of all the stories: to illustrate that it is the person themselves describing themselves as an alcoholic. If you say you're an alcoholic, you are an alcoholic. There is no better alcoholic than another alcoholic, the amount of damage done is another matter. Some alcoholics do not endure terrible physical, excruciating emotional torture or end up in a cardboard box every night, I didn't, I found warm places under buildings. Some alcoholics do end up with nothing and worse every excruciating pain known to mankind. There is no easy way into recovery and to think and judge that there is an easier softer way for those of material wealth says more about the person judging others as, "unreal, less than alcoholics of the real kind," or not the type described in the book, one finger pointing others and three fingers pointing back at the sick man judging the well-being of others…
Other maladies happen to us in recovery, simply because we keep on living and the good news is that if we are not indulging in extreme behaviour to blot out the world, we can catch a disease, an illness and other things happen associated with age and simply being alive. It is never God's plan to inflict wounds on people, as if we need to be taught a lesson. Nature shows that things happen, life happens and does not stop happening. Giving up the grog and substances just makes it possible to catch or have other things happen. What counts probably is we can deal with most things when we are in our right mind one day at a time… And if we cannot, denial will help until we can…
Emotional and Spiritual: Every personality trait, under the influence of drink tends toward extremes of attitudes and behaviour. At extreme highs or lows there is no balance. We bring all our history of emotions into today and we can be overwhelmed. Sober, my feelings can be responsive and work in a balanced way today, in the moment feeling life as it is in the moment of now…
Good start today, phone call from my Brother and he is happy today. Deliveries and maybe some project work. My feelings? Okay in the moment, emotionally and spiritually. Bright skies and fellowship on a morning like this feels good and ordinary in an extraordinary way today…
October 21 2010 ~ Light and dark times, life and death, joy and sadness, throughout every moment we learn to cherish always. We cherish each experience, what it meant to us, what we can do differently, what we cannot change. We learn from every experience, similar or different, constantly changing and wisdom grows if we are growing too...
October 21 2010 ~ Step ten recovery is in every department of my life... When I am disturbed, the disturbance is in me, not the rest of the world. With a clear head, and support and challenge in recovery, I have the opportunity to respond rather than react to the particular situation and not a tainted history pulling me into mire today...
What have I done to deserve this? That I of all the people in the world was cursed with a malady, and then turned out to be an alcoholic. We may feel in some ways done down, made less than other people in the world. When I started sober life, the one day at a time way of dealing with life, I smile as I write because we can only deal with what is happening now. We might think we can make a plan and then carry it out. Ask any project manager, a wedding planner, a miner in Chile whatever happens as we are planning ahead and not concentrating in what is in front of us. Yes, did I deserve to be anything other than the person I am today? The simple answer is we are all subject to nature, and life as is, life on life’s terms whatever our particular present condition.
In recovery we learn the truth of one day, this particular day. And we can do everything we plan to do, hope to do, and maybe wish to do. Every endeavour is subject to change without notice. And the twelve steps of the fellowship for personal conduct help me deal with every eventuality, only in the moment when matters are going well, or matters are going off course.
Step ten in the programme, “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it,” gives me the answer to all my disturbances today, be they good or difficult.
Step eleven, “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out,” is a life saver whether we are religious or spiritual or simply answering to good conscience, conscious contact with “good.”
Step ten and eleven help me keep my right size today, no more deserving or less deserving than any other person on the planet. Prayers to good, meditation with good conscience, to the god we come to believe in or not, a power greater than us helps us keep our feet on the ground. Providing we are not putting our needs before anyone else on the planet!
Years of despising the idea that there was a god festered in me for a long while, because I saw those with plenty thanking god for their good fortune and not sharing their good fortune with anyone else! Deserving or not deserving is purely a personal view, and not one of nature or providence. We live with history and live in a very lopsided society. So the god of my understanding is a constant challenge for everyone on a personal level. The challenge is truth, love and wisdom as we demonstrate in our actions today. Or simply, God is truth, love and wisdom in action.
I am grateful I broke down and could not keep sober in the end, my life had become completely unmanageable and the insanity of drinking and an alcoholic who could not stop was a life and death challenge to me.
What saved me? The truth, love and wisdom I learned in the fellowship of alcoholics anonymous. A fellowship of men and women open to anyone with a desire to stop drinking and find a new way to live one day at a time. Simply: a way of living to truth, love and wisdom, everyone in the same day with a primary purpose to be sober so that we can meet the challenge of today.
What do I pray for? Gumption: openness, honesty and willingness. Often to improve my common sense by sharing with my conscience and god, a share step ten about what has been possible and what has not, and what can I do to improve life for the common good. Meditation comes in many forms, listening and reflections on the present and then emptying our minds making room for new endeavours. We learn to change; we change our actions daily, sometimes quickly sometimes slowly. Learning is difficult as is life.
If I had been born sooner, I would never have enjoyed an extended stay on the planet. In recovery, I was able to understand a better way to live. I also became a type 1 diabetic, and was finally diagnosed with clinical depression. Life remains difficult, at the same time, there is joy and sadness as life offers. Still above ground today…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "NOTHING GROWS IN THE DARK October 21 We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 10
With the self-discipline and insight gained from practicing Step Ten, I begin to know the gratifications of sobriety - not as mere abstinence from alcohol, but as recovery in every department of my life. I renew hope, regenerate faith, and regain the dignity of self-respect. I discover the word “and” in the phrase “and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.” Reassured that I am no longer always wrong, I learn to accept myself as I am, with a new sense of the miracles of sobriety and serenity."
October 20 2007
I have given a lot of thought to the nature of my recovery and how it has worked for me. Part of recovery for me is sharing my message of experience strength and hope.
Over the last few days I have had a lot of messages about what I might do next. As my reasons for stopping my videos is still very much on the agenda, I realise I have made assumptions about what people know about me. And in truth no one is particularly aware of my you tube presence where I am today.
Or at least I thought not until a few days ago. Most of my mail has been to suggest its ok to continue my videos on recovery. At the same time a role in fellowship which I have agreed to means the videos need stop in my view.
At the same time I have no really discussed my past conduct, nor are people particularly aware of my you tube or personal blogs on recovery in the fellowship where I live.
If fellows are aware I am uncertain whether it has been thought through completely. I realise I have not thought through all the aspects with regards to roles in fellowship. And I am beginning to realise my past conduct would probably if not most certainly be a concern for some.
So I am presently making sure that people know what I have done. And the actual truth of this might make them suggest I am not right to take up this new role. And for me that would be perfectly acceptable.
Either way it’s important people know the extent of what I have done, and what I may do in future. And in all this it’s the fellowship and how it works which is important to me, not a role I may have been asked to do without full facts or information!
Fellowship is key to recovery for me, I need not ask anyone to compromise or feel discomfort about me or my views which are not always consistent with how recovery works for some in AA. I need respect those views, and AA is far more important than me and my outlook on recovery.
October 21st 2005
~ If This Grace Were Ours ~
Samuel Howard Miller
It is the rare person who, looking back over his life and seeing what he has done to it,
hasn't sighed for a chance to redeem what he has cheaply used or carelessly ruined. If only
somehow, somewhere, there was a way to live again the days we have darkened with our blind
haste - the innumerable occasions when our indifference trod on all the pearls of God’s
graciousness( and in my view our good conscience...don DonInChelsea); the times when our pride,
or our fear, or our meanness poured the acid of contempt over the fair countenance of
another’s soul! If this grace were ours, how we would leap to the chance!
Source: Samuel Howard Miller, "The Life of the Soul" (Harper, 1951)
October 21st 2004
~ if ~
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too, If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise
Kipling, astonishing words, as is the rest of his poem of life. I learn more so every day, the meaning of humility, acceptance and letting go. What learning it is, for it is and does genuinely open doors I never dreamed would open. To an understanding of myself.
~ Relaxation ~
If you want to relax, you have to work at it.
And work hard, and harder! It is the easiest of things to mask with slight mood alteration enhanced with a drink or any form of mood enhancer. Relaxation comes from an inner place of peace. Where we are able to find contentment in the moment. Where we have closure of idling nuisance thoughts, where we can float free of the day and its moments. To relax is to capture those elemental peaceful states of being, where the noise in one's head is quiet and solitude wraps like a warm blanket releasing all tensions and anxiety.
Bliss in a moment, savoured for a thousand years is remembered as sacred. Where capacity to be in that moment is complete. Not big, not small, right sized and equal in balance. A tip toe or see saw will end that moment, another to be found another time and place.
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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