October 26 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "I need to be a trusted servant, not a leader, not a guru, not an instructor in fellowship." What I need to be is aware that the group conscience is the ultimate authority within the fellowship, where individuals express their views openly and share their suggestions. Trusted servants, the group conscience and one ultimate authority...
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The guiding principles for individuals, open, honest and willing to keep on learning life and working to the good not only for ourselves, for everyone around us, in unity, service and recovery. Which means we must listen carefully and not simply try and impose our views and opinions and beliefs on others. Everyone is a trusted servant, although some turn out to be trusted serpents on occasion. When a person says, "I'm doing this for your own good," you can almost guarantee it is for their good and not yours…
We do learn important lessons as we go through life, and most often in recovery, for me it is about learning what needs to be done to help everyone in a situation, whether it is in fellowship or simple daily life. Those who strive exclusively for their own gain, may survive, and strive and succeed and still be very alone. Not trustworthy, not venerated for anything except maybe their material gain. Those in the ivory tower live very much apart from everyone else wallowing in their own riches and out of touch with greater reality… The greater reality is that not everyone can live in an ivory tower with great wealth, the dreams of success at the expense of others are empty and hollow, just like the tower…
How do we value ourselves and other people? How do we value and understand life generally? For me it's quite simple, learning how to love people, and somehow more difficult for me is learning how to be loved by others. We keep learning and need to learn how to love and include people in our lives, and have enough self worth and love and compassion to keep learning life on a personal basis. And then we find ways to endeavour, live as best we can and not at the expense of others? These are some of my personal values and I cannot impose them on anyone else, nor would I wish to. And the usefulness we find in the endeavours we have, whatever they may be, do not define us, they are part of what we do to feel complete and worthy and part of society. So whether we are the person who cleans, the person who teaches and supports people, the person who runs a business, and even the person in a bank, we all have our endeavours. Having done all of them, and many more, what counts most is the journey, how it helps me be useful in whatever capacity, and more than anything to be included, a part of something bigger than me, and no longer alone wondering what life is about…
Plans and day to day, I need make sure I have made every effort to see and put in action what I can do. As I reach out and open up, those who can help do. Practical and realistic, can be fantastic in results. Letting go self-will, acceptance, life on life’s terms offers endless possibilities, no longer prisoner of my own making…
One Ultimate Authority ~ And It’s not me! I am so pleased to be reminded of this simple and helpful fact of life. And true too for everyone on earth. I do not speak for God and thankful I do not speak for AA or you. The best we can do is share experience, strength and hope; wisdom will grow as it may grow today…
For me the solution is letting go obsessive behaviour, persistent wants will lead to self-will running towards riot. Letting go and sharing, asking for help means I do not fear my truth. I get help and wisdom from people. Needs met, the wants go away, redundant in this extraordinary world just for today…
One Ultimate Authority ~ And It’s not me!
A simple programme for complicated people in sobriety, yes it is. We urge ourselves to keep life simple, and at the same time we are capable of the most elaborate thinking. We humans are problem solvers, from the basics of how to build a shelter, how to keep warm, how to wash, how to anything, we can find our own unique and authentic methods.
We often have signs up in meeting rooms where we encourage ourselves to think, think, think. And we do, do, do. Sometimes the brighter we think we are, the less able we are to follow a simple set of suggestions.
Maybe we are better with our feelings? After all if we are in fellowship we are on an emotional and spiritual journey of recovery one day at a time. If we are able to know what our feelings are in the present moment with a sober outlook, surely it is simple. In my experience of me, and I can only speak for me, finding out what my feelings are has been very difficult.
For decades I felt able to express my happiness and joy, and for the same amount of time, I had no real understanding of the other half of my feelings, unhappiness and sadness. Indeed anything with a perceived negative had been pushed so far down inside I did not even recognise how I was feeling.
Every feeling has a purpose, especially the feelings of anger and resentment which are primary causes of drinking, relapses and slipping backwards off the water wagon. I heard people say they had relapsed on their feelings in my early days in recovery. As I was only just discovering I had anger and resentments, it came as grim news to me. I needed to feel the anger and resentments, against myself and perceived anger and resentments at others, or how could I work the twelve steps?
Learning about feelings has been so rewarding, I want all the feelings as they happen and to know why, then I can come to terms with all that is happening to me in the moment of now. Being real about my feelings now as they happen and not building up great mountains of impossible complications. The steps helped me clear the backlog of old resentments and anger I had pushed down and drunk alcohol to escape their consequences.
If I can experience life as it is today, and feel my emotions as they happen, I keep life in the moment and make better choices. Feelings felt now are as sharp as they need be equal to the experience I am having, rather than exaggerated by old feelings and history, of here we go again.
I still play catch up with how I am feeling today, because I am still learning every moment. The delayed reaction is good sometimes, so I work out what is going on so I can respond. When I have a “gut reaction” these days, responses are better, because I am in this day and in this moment. Not always, I am still playing catch up, progress and not perfection till my last breath I suspect…
All good for today.
October 26 2010 ~ I love fellowship, we can have our own faith and beliefs, our own understanding of a god or no god, our personal culture and politics are left outside and preserved as we see fit. We share experience strength and hope, learn sober living daily, retain our authenticity as individuals and live to good principles today...
October 26 2010 ~ why do we need a group conscience when I know my conscience is good enough to direct my fellows in recovery? The answer is simply I may know what is right for me in recovery, but I do not know what is right for you! Groups with consciences, anarchic democracy, personal opinions melded into a primary purpose, sobriety in fellowship today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "ONE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 132
When I am chosen to carry some small responsibility for my fellows, I ask that God grant me the patience, open-minded ness, and willingness to listen to those I would lead. I must remind myself that I am the trusted servant of others, not their “governor,” “teacher,” or “instructor.” God guides my words and my actions, and my responsibility is to heed His suggestions. Trust is my watchword, I trust others who lead. In the Fellowship of A.A., I entrust God with the ultimate authority of “running the show.”
26th October 2006
[from XXXXX] Hi Don,
Well I did get to group today. Like you say, probably the best time is when you don’t feel like it. I think it did me good. Quite a heavy discussion, and so much sadness. The absolute misery that drink can bring to one person’s life, well many really if you look at the whole picture. And I guess I have come away just thankful that today I am safe and in as much control as I can be. And my friend. She didn’t come. Back where she knows there is only pain, a place I know too well.
I understand what you mean about self will. I do feel as though I can go out there and get what I want. And that’s not a lot really. I don't want to sound Miss "Worldly" but happiness is pretty high on my list. I've had a lot of other stuff and it didn’t work so....happiness
Understanding and compassion for all humanity. Can I be on that list today?
Thanks Don, you help
[from me Don] Hi XXXXX
of course and always on the list for happiness and compassion, don’t forget we learn from both sides of our personality. I was reminded how I nearly lost my very essence, the "inner me" in the world of big business and how it corrupted my outlook. I am glad I was humbled and actually am pleased nothing gained in that life has ever done me much good or been long lasting. I am sorry for that, there were great times and people from that era, which I have held in esteem and miss knowing in my new living. I suspect the journey meant I lost contact, and loss of everything pretty much materially was a consequence of broken times and a broken me.
It is interesting, I write my account before I read your comments and somehow we seem to be moving in the same direction. Towards the happiness you mention. Not based on possessions, quite the opposite. Actually maybe the truth is we can see our next choice and be clear about that. And we can be sure how we make decisions more likely to do good than harm. And there is something else emerging as I read, to do with acceptance of reality, for me sure, and your words steer me to conclude your path and journey is getting more deep and fulfilling as time moves along.
I am not judging I hope or comparing, merely sensing more peace than discord, more harmony with life than conflict. And more resilience and care with each step forward.
Feels good tonight, and I am glad to be calm tonight. True gifts, knowing our path is just this day, with good choices and flexibility, some humility, esteem grounding our process and decisions.
A good place to be. so here are tonight’s thoughts, and the morning post for the BBC. It won't always be like this, and that's simply the way life is.
As quickly as we learn, we can forget. And why I keep going back to meetings where I hear a clear message to good choices and more exciting living, just a day at a time.
Thanks XXXXX and hugs to you too..
Sometimes we need to rest easy somewhere. And why not? Today I needed time to let some parts of me recover and it worked. Walking too far in one day can take another two days for walking to become almost normal again. So staying put, and doing some reading and website things today has paid dividends.
It was a pleasure to walk down to the tube and get to Fulham for a really good hour of listening and sharing, and hearing real honest accounts of life today. Even me, and I smile as there were some angry moments along the way, and those subsided in good company.
I sent a happy text to a friend who may answer sometime. There are usually two extremes of things going on. It doesn’t matter actually what they are doing, it is good to know sometimes when there is silence that all is well, a part of me is suspicious it’s not quite that good, but time and patience will let me know. And patience is a key. It’s not something of a virtue in me as I prefer to know rather than not. And not that I can fix things either. This I realise more every day, people fix themselves given the right circumstances and support.
It was good to hear a newcomer expressing what they felt about our fellowship. A truly rational and gifted individual who has picked up on the loose tight alliance of the AA fellowship. Loose in as much we choose what we do, tight that support and help is but a call away if and when we need it. Not always from where we might ask, as all people are fallible, but you can guarantee there is someone out there we can count on in a real emergency. We need only ask enough times, and that’s why we hand out our numbers as one may not be there, another may.
Hearing the good and the frustrating I am realising just how much work and effort has been put in by me, on running repairs to my self-esteem and outlook. And that ownership of how I am is down to me in the main and choosing to do the next right thing.
Not a picnic
Life ain’t no picnic and as testament to all the ups and downs of life, I am still here and learning. And with on-going conditions a good day is worthy of mention. As walking will not be so good tomorrow, I can tell as the old dogs are burning now I have stopped walking. Weird, and acceptance of my lot, that the best can be made of difficult things that crop up.
And even when we are not as we were in our youth. Actually as my mental understanding and resilience has improved, even with prolonged downs, it is not surprising that good moments along the way are to be cherished. And understanding the human condition, to look outwards and blame this and that has no function anymore. It does not matter what our plight may be, just doing the next right thing will improve where we are in our understanding of life.
Frustration comes from unacceptable positions and unacceptable and impossible will. Self will, not so useful, good will and good conscience far more helpful as we go along.
There is no such thing as unfair and bad luck
Is this true? Only when we would will it different or wish it were another way. In this long journey into acceptance, where we start from this moment and move along as we may, the acceptance of real finds great potential and great opportunity still exists, whatever place we have emerged from. As long as there is breath and sentience, ability to feel and to think, in that order, there is hope for making use of the present moment. And every moment is a gift, be it dark or light. We can get back to acceptance as we go through life and denial is left where it belongs, useful on the journey back to reality.
I have been seeing gradual shifts in perception and then galloping along with greater understanding, just only to be pulled back by denials, and something in me which might suggest if only, but what if, and why not’s. Those speculations do no good in the present and only relevant as life changes.
Even now I can be driven to distraction by unkind deeds and misunderstandings, I need only pause and reconcile my reaction with a more measured response and take account of my programme and learning, and forgive the part my head has in things and own my part in my behaviour. As to others and where they are? Not on my path and full of other attitudes and opinions and culture and experience. We learn as we do, and take account of where we all are in the present, responding as we may.
Do no harm
Has always been my most preferred place so I can be at peace. With hope and careful nurture, this can be so. Doing no harm, it means what it means. And no harm to me either. It is far more fulfilling to understand how and own our part in life and let go the should’s and should not’s we might view as right for others. Other people need learn their way with support and through their experience and we or me, I need not be troubled by their ego or where mine is made proud and unhelpful. I must learn to laugh at myself more in my learning again where I am today. More at peace with myself and the world I can see.
Somewhere there are sentences, in just for today suggestions which reminds me about how to make life work:
"Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won't find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.
Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.
Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.
Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me."
The best of today? Hearing my story told by others and their experience. Being able to walk, being able to hear, being able enough to exercise good choice…
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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