October 5 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "all our yesterdays, putting down our baggage…" Our history defines where we've got to and how we behave today, today being the one and only day where we can have the courage to change, keep faith in doing the next right thing and the confidence to ask for help whenever we need it. Old ideas some call baggage, they really can be a hindrance and a heavy weight making us very sluggish in the moment…
Video For Today:
If my old thinking has an impact in a negative way, "the here we go again type of situation," I am about to replay my old negative attitudes and actions. Often the negative mood and feelings which happen as life happens, leads me into old thinking and old habits. If a situation really undermines me, anger and resentment can spill over. If I actually say to myself, "this feels like the horrible times of old," I can stop myself in that moment and have a think about what next. When a situation makes me angry at what is happening, I can shut down my outlook and stop listening and stop thinking and behave the same old way. If I say to myself, "I need to stop right now before I act in the same old way." Stopping the old anger and resentment cycle, is the first step in asking for help from inside ourselves and outside of ourselves. I don't deny my anger and resentment, I need to work on where it came from and why it won't work for me today… A spot check inventory?
Sometimes we do need to look at the old baggage, we have our step four and life stories, what works and what did not work in the past. As some say, "look back don't stare," looking back enough to identify what sparks our old behaviour today and at the same time not to wallow deeply and bring the old anger and the old resentments to our new situation right now. Not very easy, if we are prone to use anger and resentment to shut out possibilities which means we have to take account of other people, their ideas, their behaviour and their actions. We are not the centre of the universe! And equally they are not the centre of the universe either and we have to collaborate and find our way every day…
With the benefit of our baggage firmly put down rather than breaking our backs, the baggage can be rummaged from time to time to remind us of what can happen, take a breath, take a moment… Step four for me is the baggage department, step six the cherished back step into resentments and fear and step seven the opportunity! The courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and if we don't know ask for help, and be confident being a learner, self-esteem knowing we don't know and it’s okay to find out today…
Have I a gratitude list for today? I wake up and wonder how it is I am alive! I feel pain, and it is okay and familiar physically. I feel right sized emotionally and coping in the moment of now. Spot check inventory always handy and available, when I respond rather than react today…
I am always taken with the sharing and honesty we find in recovery. Into reality... and hoping that as we prospect this new day, truth, love and wisdom prevails...
A head full of memories some useful and some we might wish to forget. Some say they have lost decades to alcoholism and addiction; memories are thin at best or nightmares at worst. Today I hope to cherish, and in a difficult world, learning is always now. To have compassion and passion, to love, be loved and useful. Peeling back the veneer, the hotbed of reality, can do, cannot do and wisdom in the moment of now...
Today is all about baggage in the daily reflections. Old ways of living and old ways of responding to success, failure or simply days we felt had nothing much in them, can keep coming back to haunt us. We need remind ourselves we were always there in those days back then. And back then has a lot of wisdom which still works today. We may be “reborn” developing new ways to live, and we need keep a hold on wisdom which works.
I was a driven individual in my drinking days and in many ways still feel driven today by feelings, the motives these days are different. Olden days were full of fear, feeling it was not cool to have “fear” as a companion and pushing it away. Show no fear, face up, brave face, and fight rather than flight. Somehow all my feelings became merged under a thin veneer of ego, propped up by feelings pushed down and an ocean of attitudes and behaviour and alcohol to take the sting off anything.
The edge was taken off certainly, and when feelings came through, the good ones, love, faith, courage and esteem, they were welcome, but without the counterbalance of the downside, there were no real measures for me. It was black and white and no real colour. Peace and happiness were a blur as the next right thing to do with work and home life, finding love and finding the next collectible experience. I missed the point completely, because all I knew was success, or bleak failure covered over in the oblivion of fixing myself in my dislocated world.
Loss death and addictions were required to find rock bottom, an anxiety state two years long, a breakdown and desolation. Those who have been there know and those who have not hopefully need not. Rock bottom is as devastating for each who experience rock bottom, there is no competition a rock bottom is a low as it need be, deep unfathomable, we are lost in bleakness.
Step ten seems a way to keep our balance in an extreme world, where people are driven to extremes. Always driven, tutored into finding the “x “ factor, some magic which pulls us from the cliff edge to safety. Or worse seeking some fleeting moment in time where we are recognised and worthy. Most who seem to catch the public eye and expose their “x” factor will later flounder as normality seems overwhelmingly flat.
And with all the torments endured, to find ourselves free of being noticed, free of being anything but ordinary in an ordinary life, balanced being restored daily in practising some simple steps we find ordinary living remarkable, most of the time. Of course, as we progress and get older, colour in life becomes richer and more emotional. In early days the colours of life crash in, up and down and then settling as each day we uncover or simply discover our world as it is, and not imagined.
Emotional and spiritual progress, subject to current life conditions, needs met, and wants forgotten.
We cannot stem the progress of time physically, and many of us find we get natural aging slowing down our abilities. And some of us get a raft of complications and diseases, and we don’t mind, as we say another day above ground is a success. We seem happy with our lot.
And some days, even though we may have had some close calls, and brushes with the afterlife, we will feel some resentments and anger, because we don’t hide from our feelings today. Life is always a balance in the moment of now…
October 5 2010 ~ Self-preservation, automatic responses to similar situations, old baggage’s can be a real nuisance, most often people who remind us of how we were back then, as we point the finger at them, or give them the finger, usually some fingers are pointing back at us on our own hands. Drive carefully with our new wisdom today!
October 5 2010 ~ Baggage of a lifetime... we need be careful sifting through our personal inventories of attitudes behaviour and stored wisdom. We might feel able to let go what no longer works, it is never too far away and can kick off with the right ingredients today, namely people, places and things! Vigilance and humour good today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "YESTERDAY’S BAGGAGE... For the wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 88
I have more than enough to handle today, without dragging along yesterday’s baggage too. I must balance today’s books, if I am to have a chance tomorrow. So I ask myself if I have erred and how I can avoid repeating that particular behaviour. Did I hurt anyone, did I help anyone, and why? Some of today is bound to spill over into tomorrow, but most of it need not if I make an honest daily inventory."
October 5 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Big Life Is Best
We do get a bigger life in recovery from any addiction. From the small world we found, isolated and unable to step out the front door, to simply walking freely on this earth. In many parts of the world, the big life offers great opportunity, with experience and hope, and having got the strength back to be a part of life, life is just ok today.
As happens when we put our views and thoughts out into the world, we find some will appreciate us and some will not. This is the nature of the world, we are all free to make choices, develop our outlooks and move along in the world as we may.
Indeed we do need to tread soft, as others will feel our weight on their toes and they may retaliate when provoked.
Opinion spoken as truth is not useful or truthful. To have an opinion on our own living is pretty good I feel, to have opinion and impose it on others feels dead wrong for me. And that is merely my opinion.
To utilise another’s fear of life, to hold them and push them down under the weight of opinion, well we can try it and hopefully we learn it does not work, as those who may fear find ways to abrogate that futile push to control and power.
Big life for me these days is just being the equal of anyone and everyone, no bigger or smaller. We have our part to play, and we are best served being open, honest and willing.
When a person tries impose rules which do not exist, except in the mind of those who would control, it useless to try persuade them to another point of view. And actually it’s not my job either.
As to me and recovery..
Recovery is about freedom, of choice, of outlook and how to behave with due care for myself and others I encounter.
In the last few hours very unpleasant threats have been made towards me. I pass them on to those who may deal with them, it is after all society who say what we may and may not do, not individuals with a particular outlook.
It is a fellowship, it has no hierarchy, it does not tell people what to do. It offers sanctuary to discover truth about our physical, emotional and spiritual condition. And a way to live life in an open honest and willing manner.
As time goes by the truth of life comes along and is plain can be. We need no direction or imposition to make us a certain way or genuflect to another’s point of view. We get our senses back in recovery and find a gentle path, or we end up in wars of no consequence. We can see this in the big world today.
For those who would reject my outlook I am happy for you to have your own outlook. I respect yours and have no reason to interfere with just and honest endeavour. Leave me and my recovery to my own sensibilities and that of those who live a quiet big life, happy to help, happy to support anyone wanting recovery their own way. It need not be our outlook it is absolutely about choice and wellbeing. A caveat is always there and that is to respect diversity, not to undermine others in their senses and choices.
AA is diverse, it has no barriers to being in its fellowship, it has no rules to make a fellow do anything. It has suggestion as written in the authorised and public papers available to anyone. As to private missives, they hold no sway or authority in AA, or they break a trust the founders made with God Almighty.
God Made Man and Man Made God
There are billions of people on this planet and they all have a point of view, have choices to faith and spiritual connection. Am not here to judge anyone. We find our path as life, experience and hope teaches.
October 5th 2006 [ all about last year ]
It Takes a While to Pull Ourselves Together
Yes the old phrase, "why can’t you just pull yourself together?" And “all you need is a kick up the bum.” All that useful twaddle others throw our way in early days of recovering from any significant malady.
Rehabilitation of a lifetime! This is our day at a time programme of living. No doubt the more obvious ailments get better treated? I doubt it. The world turns and minds move on as we move along at the right pace to suit us in our endeavours.
Indeed KT you are successful for each day at a time, as I am too. And we know as most in recovery do too, the days which go by with happiness and the days which go by with torment so deep, those days are the longest days. So we move along with a bit of verve sometimes and other days with grit and determination, not wilful, just as we do, at our pace and speedily when we can. That’s human and normal.
Our action centred programme requires deliberate responsive action, and less of a reaction with a mind set to right our world, just a mind and a world to live in and inhabit. To experience it, real as it is and without any filters we might have used to deny our part in it.
Overall a great Day?
Well I am writing this morning now. Reading the words above, it sounds a bit bleak. Last night was a good meeting for me. After a day helping my friend and close confidante with stuff, issues and how to do some practical work, well I was quite worn out. A visit down to see my furry friend in the heart of Chelsea and feed her, the Tiger cat. And then on to a meeting.
Seems my pace had slowed to a crawl yesterday. The exertions of the last few days and trying to ride the bike have caught up. Smiles my whole system seems to have seized up, and my head is like cotton wool! And I slept for four hours again…
All the attempts to do the next right thing it seems need to be tempered and paced. It is a good thing to try and be normal and be fully engaged in living. But the consequences, goodness me I am completely shattered by normal.
Lessons learned, to pace myself, to be aware yet again, that being up to the challenge and what can be done as anyone else’s normal puts me at a disadvantage overall. Indeedy I am not the man I used to be.
Improved in some elements of emotional and mental acuity to rise to the challenge and then today, feelings and thoughts are as sluggish can be. Physically the limits are made for me now, as every part of me complains. Another learning, one which must be heeded or there is no balance between the days. Pain medication goes only so far.
Well yesterday evening I was fine and my head seemed a little tired. Numb might be best to describe it. And sensitivity was impaired.
We had newcomers and old timers and a great share I enjoyed all about experience, strength and hope. And there is much in this world which offers us despair as some work with great issues of our time to do with aid and help across the world. And others involved in caring for their families and their nearest who need support and nursing.
Seems we do get back to normal life with a passion and great compassion for our fellows everywhere, at home and abroad. And we care deeply. To the point where we recognise our powerlessness in many respects and the grief we endure as we care for anyone and everyone, and get worn out by endeavours.
Working hard to recover and put back all we may to as great an extent as we can muster causes us much grief as well as joy when we make a difference. When we cannot make a difference we are challenged in our acceptance of our limits and people we care for cannot be made whole again. It is a hard road, acceptance of reality and our equal part in living, no bigger or smaller than anyone else. And our ego’s or confidence can be knocked to bits when our ability to help yields little success, Being human can be a real bummer!
All the lessons learned I must reflect, and accept with some inner peace I did much to help, and in one case maybe could have done more, had my mind been sharper and more able. This thing of being human, and seeing our limits makes us more able to accept, but it does not take the sting out of grief, when our capacities to make another’s world work for them are not good enough to make a difference. Rightsizing is not always what we may wish as we might wish our power greater than it really is, merely human size..
Acceptance can be our reluctant key to living.
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 :
October 2012 | Playlist All About Step Ten :
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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