October 8 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "and when we are wrong, promptly admit…" When we become single-minded of purpose, we can believe our own opinion and reject and not listen, and some people call this dogmatic. The truth is always an unfolding and if we are unyielding in our beliefs and opinions we make no progress and truly fall short of changing times and circumstances… I enjoy realising that truth keeps changing and life keeps changing day by day…
Video For Today:
In our emotional and spiritual world, natural instincts or as some call them emotions, and some even call them a sixth sense, knowing our emotions and feelings in the moment of now is truly important. In the blink of an eye we often make a judgement about people, places and things. In the blink of an eye we can be attracted to people places and things, good, bad and ugly and any combination. Attraction to people, places and things is good when our natural instincts are working well, beware though if our natural instincts are out of balance…
Natural instincts where our needs are being met and we are attracted to the right things which are good for us, in relation to people, places and things means we are likely to find balance and serenity. When we have an imbalance in our natural instincts where we are at extremes of emotion we can be overly fearful, feel the need to hide our true intent and often driven by a superior attitude of knowing the right path not only for ourselves but everyone else too. And extremes of joy and happiness which have no foundation, this too can be a problem rather than the solution. Knowing where we are with our nature, emotional and spiritual, our feelings in the moment, is really important and worth a look every single day, "the road to hell is often paved with good intent…"
Being on the wrong path, being with the wrong people, in the wrong places doing the wrong things is very difficult. If we do not learn to promptly admit where we are going wrong, it is harder and harder to change direction because of the time invested and dogma keeping us on the wrong track. The insanity of doing the same old, same old and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. As we get our wits back in recovery, letting go the old ideas and attitudes and behaviour needs to become a daily practice so new ideas and new attitudes and new behaviour can form. First and foremost we are about restoring our natural instincts, our emotional and spiritual well-being so we can accomplish change more easily, and make progress day by day…
Typical example, I need to try keep medical people on side to make sure I get my insulin supplies on a regular basis. Over the years I know my medical practice is incompetent and cannot rectify its internal processes and technical support. Having seen the GP recently, and received a single prescription, I asked if this would affect my usual routine prescriptions for insulin and he said no all is well. When I rang the chemist, they said the usual routine prescription had not been processed by the GP practice. In the past I would be down in the GP practice making trouble. Today I will simply ask how to get the insulin soonest. I can change my outlook and attitude, I can be a little bit angry and at the same time know I am powerless over the incompetence of the GPs and how they run their domain… Deep sigh, got that off my chest, and will try not to envisage other personal remedies that come to mind all too quickly just for today… Progress not perfection!
“It takes a Village to raise a child” and a “Fellowship to keep me sober”
I never had a village to help raise me, and indeed there was no real village for my parents either. My parents, one who seemed to understand life and feel it in the moment, one who seemed driven by expectations, dreams and disappointment. One an alcoholic, drowning their sorrows, the other trying their best to cope with life as it was and is today. One dead before their time: one alive and doing pretty well considering all the hardships and wonders over a long lifetime.
As an alcoholic in recovery, my outlook and attitude to the statement “it takes a village to raise a child” has become more meaningful. In active addiction, and learning life through all those years, I realise I had no village to help me find my path. I had a pub, a bar, night clubs and so many more influences which made me “king” in my own kingdom. It was a very small kingdom, just me. Back in the day I would have argued against the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. Because I felt I knew all there was to know about how to live my life and what to do with it. I could not see beyond my own experience and success.
Sayings like pride before a fall, did not apply to me, until I could not stop falling and falling. Addiction of any type seems to be based on lack of knowledge, lack of awareness. Ignorance is bliss, then we find we are heavily dependent and into addiction. No matter what our background is, addiction can happen and does happen to anyone from any walk of life.
I tried over and over to pull myself together and to pull my socks up. I tried to stop and failed. I did not know how to deal with addiction and my alcoholism.
Fellowship is and remains the key to my sobriety today. I am included, a part of something bigger than me. A society of people who: share experience, strength and hope to help others into recovery from active addiction one day at a time. We can carry the message and not the person. It takes a fellowship to help the newcomer. A newcomer can pull another back into the problem, which is why the fellowship works, “it takes a village of sober people to raise the newcomer out of the problem into the solution.”
Fellowship is essential in my opinion. The many in fellowship help the individual find their way. Fellowship cannot impose anything on the newcomer; individuals simply share their story of recovery. With enough people sharing, we find similarities and then we learn steps of recovery.
Like the village, fellowship is full of different relationships. Some good and some which can prove to be unhelpful if we think we know best. The most unhelpful can be a newcomer feels one person can fix them and their problems. We end up with two people and their problems are twice as difficult.
Experience shows it is the many voices and relationships based on fellowship which help a person find sobriety and keep sober day to day. Constant and always changing, that is fellowship as life changes, with hope we change and meet the challenges of life on life’s terms.
I have the benefit of a global and local village today, and being raised in fellowship, I am learning how to love, be loved and useful as life is and not ever how I imagined, one day at a time…
Spot check inventory in the moment reminds me I can change me and my attitudes, cannot change “them and their attitudes.” Better for me to accept powerless over everything outside of me and keep to freedom to choose what next for me, based on real life as it is today. A limitless lode!
I am powerless over them, at the same time, I may try influence? Often we do influence through being open, honest and willing to change our own attitudes and behaviour. My side of the street…
October 8 2010 ~ Step ten is always our part in living, not about others. This is part of accepting the acceptable with esteem, and not accepting the unacceptable with an ego driven reaction. Some days it seems we need change everything in our attitude and behaviour, better we do than lash out in anger and resentments today...
October 8 2010 ~ when we were wrong promptly admitted it... clearing up the wreckage of the present is far easier than letting everything build up into ruinous mountains all over again. Step ten keeps us on track with our spiritual condition, making better choices, letting go righteousness so we can live free with choices today...
Benefit of doubt? Anger and resentments today... Let others be their own best friend! No matter what? Yes if we are ready to charge up our anger and resentments and let loose our barrage of venom. Or do we come to a place of serenity around our feelings? I doubt we are saints, but most often we react out of fear and loss of esteem rather than a more balanced view, where we resolve the personal conflict we have with feelings we feel.
Progress not perfection is part of who we are. And in my world, when anger sits inside me, I get overwhelmed with all the negatives life has to offer. It is me, to know in any one day, I can be happy or sad, love or hate a situation where I have a part in it. And always the steps help me today. Each and every day our situation does change, because the world changes around us. Nothing stays the same, so we are best utilising all we know to make god the life we have.
In recovery we need check out the reasons why we feel a particular way as life happens, I am still a big learner in this endeavour. I often let matters slip, don't necessarily challenge, when a gentle challenge now will inform me if matters are good or simply messy and unresolved. Not knowing is good to an extent, but without some foundation for continuing to let a life situation develop, we can be back in the land of fantasy pretty quickly. When we love we do forgive, or we hope that matters will come to the good because everyone involved is good too. The road to hell is paved with good intent.
Expecting others to have the same values, same awareness and same desire for mutually beneficial outcomes. Expectations that others will be treating us the same as we treat them are resentments under construction. And expecting others to be sensitive to our needs without being explicit is equally a disservice on my part. Praying that others will find their way and stop self harm and harming others, indeed harming me too is a fantasy, we need check out the truth, especially is we fear loss of the fantasy for reality.
Step nine, making amends for harm done by me. Step ten, not falling into the same old mire over and over... We only find we are doing this in hindsight and when we practice the step.
Step ten is always for today, we feel hurt, it is probably self harm by not being assertive when it is appropriate and when we procrastinate hoping others will see our point of view. Equally when we don't take account of others in our plans, especially when we are making choices which affect others, we need expect a rebuke for our carelessness with their feelings.
A daily challenge to keep to truth, be open, honest and willing to change, be clear on my feelings and find out how others feel, recognise truth, and when I cannot see the truth, enquire with due care. And forgive everything, and know sometimes people come into our lives for the right reason, and we move away from those who serve only their self interest and will harm us over time. We are not here to change others; we are here to live a life with good choices based on the truth of now, not what we think life ought to be.
People can change and that is their choice and not mine. Let other people learn by their own actions and not by my instruction, I simply do not know what is best for them. I am still learning what is best for me today, how to love, be loved, and useful in the moment of now...
Sometimes we procrastinate with the best of intentions. Often around those we love. Love can help us forgive everything, and equally allow us to overlook obvious truths we are probably better off sharing.
AA Daily Reflections ~ "and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 59
I was beginning to approach my new life of sobriety with unaccustomed enthusiasm. New friends were cropping up and some of my battered friendships had begun to be repaired. Life was exciting, and I even began to enjoy my work, becoming so bold as to issue a report on the lack of proper care for some of our clients. One day a co-worker informed me that my boss was really sore because a complaint, submitted over his head, had caused him much discomfort at the hands of his superiors. I knew that my report had created the problem, and began to feel responsible for my boss’s difficulty. In discussing the affair, my co-worker tried to reassure me that an apology was not necessary, but I soon became convinced that I had to do something, regardless of how it might turn out. When I approached my boss and owned up to my hand in his difficulties, he was surprised. But unexpected things came out of our encounter, and my boss and I were able to agree to interact more directly and effectively in the future."
October 8 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day in the Life’ An Evening with Fellowship
What an evening. And it felt a little odd to have a siesta and the feel it’s all ok and I need not go to an evening meeting…
Five minutes later I felt the need, to go out and be in good company. AA, who would have thought that AA would be a place to hang out, meet people and just be myself?
Last chance saloons everywhere in the world
October 8 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Honest is the best policy
Sometimes we might wish to evade some questions and one was put to me directly around my financial status. So I mention it here once as it’s not the ,main issue for me. Financially, as asked am I always on the edge? Answer yes, as for now I must rely on the system and live on the minimum for someone in my situation. And that is as it may be.
Back to recovery!
Recovery and the fellowship is [AA - all about], all about living sober and making life work. Where the fellowship helps most is how to live with spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing or in our language, just plain sober!
Last night a share from someone I am getting to know. It was a real privilege to hear the story of experience strength and hope.
Highlight for me
Simply the highlight was how hard it is to admit where we are with living. We all put on brave faces and in the case of us alcoholics even in recovery, we will say we are ok when we are not. So people don’t look too deep and don’t make us rake up wounds raw enough already.
And in truth it is in resolving our honesty by sharing the wounds as well as the ok times. We get better by doing just that, sharing whatever it is and not hiding as if we have failed in some way.
Emotional and Spiritual
We need find our truth and tell another human being when we feel confident enough, as this is so fundamental to wellbeing, it’s hard and difficult. We are learn as we go along to find those truths about ourselves.
Today so far?
Flu Jab, other tests to do and other matters. My appointments for medical checks this week is pretty much dominating my calendar and some other repairs around the flat. With the flu jab, I can feel its effect these days, so some rest. We never know how these things may react with other medications, I am reliant often on nurses and doctors for their memory rather than what it says on the flu jab pack. Not ideal as history has taught me.
Even specialists can prescribe contra-indicated medications, this has happened in the last few months and could have done for me.. So far not yet.
October 8th 2006
A typical Saturday for Me
And it was just that. For me a typical Saturday is about plugging myself into the day from the start. And seeing where it takes me, as long as I get a meeting in somewhere with the fellowship and if possible get to two meetings. For many this may seem overkill, and it probably would be if I got nothing from them. However I do learn a little bit more each time and I go to listen as well as share my world.
And my world started early, I had some sleep, not much, three hours, I never know why or if one day I’ll go to sleep and get about seven hours at one go, maybe I will and it will feel good. In the meantime any sleep is welcome in my world.
My folks are back and Cat sitting duties done. They were pleased and happy to have had ten days away in Crete, and I am happy they are back. We shall see each other as and when. And hearing they are fine makes me feel good. And they appreciate the help and house sitting as did the cat I feel. Animals are better with their owners there, and it can be miserable for them alone. After all they are a reflection of humans and wear their hearts on their paws usually. Pity we humans can’t do the same thing.
And it was to the hospital this morning for the early meeting at 8-30AM. And a good share which reminded me all about the fears I have had over the years. My shyness and how I got over it using a drink and anything to make the feelings go away, as one does. Living life fearfully as if I may be caught out, it was a way of life for a long time. I am glad to be less fearful these days. Odd really with my diseases, that life is more liveable and fears less now I face life without any filters or mood altering substances, like beer or vodka.
Odd too as I listened, that I am like many others who went through life with success and never really got to enjoy anything it gave me. Well the money helped? Not really as it locked me into a way of life I was never made for, but just got good at it.
Now my learning is another way, and facing life as it is, far preferable to other times when my life was always so edgy.
How any partner I had over the years, how they coped with me and my job and career, the big way to hide from myself and my feelings. And fear of course. How much I loved them? I did of course, and as much as I may have loved them, they were always short changed by my fears and feelings of inadequacy and my best friend, drink.
So I am learning what it is to feel as these feelings really are, the good and the crap ones and what I may do as they affect me. Only took me fifty years to learn the basics, yet so many of us never learn how to express them. Or we are so consumed one way, what we express is merely a part of the whole, and the whole is often suppressed by life itself, and our rules and boundaries of behaviour.
And in Between Morning and Evening
I tried to find a small set of speakers for the TV as its own speaker is not working too well, a quest and best done patiently, as prices are high this side of xmas, I am better to wait till new year, if the TV holds out till then.
I missed a couple of calls in the afternoon, forgetting to switch on the sound, and missed a couple of mates and a chat. But that’s life. I emailed them.
A great meeting at the old curiosity shop, a charity shop with a back room for the likes of me.
Again the focus on our feelings. Seems this Saturday was just that, all about feelings we suppress over the years and never really get to grips with till sobriety and our programme help us face all our nature, including fear, love and living. And I shared.
And I also signed up to do some twelve step work, which is taking newcomers to meetings around here. I hope this was a good move. But it may mean I stop sharing so much about life and meetings and such. The deeper I get involved, the more the anonymity issue raises for me. And I don’t want notoriety particularly, it serves no real purpose in our fellowship at all, as in life if ego is present, then our motives are lost to time, where esteem and confidence grow, and we work the fellowship programme, then we will work well with life. And we need no accolades!
Motives for my journal and stuff
I am always questioning my motives for things I do, and this journal is making me address issues as they come up, and sort out feelings as I go along. It is after all, my personal journey and I try to maintain a balance, where I share about recovery and keep it personal to me. I fear it could become ego driven without due care and attention to my own development.
Writing is a joy to me and writing about what I know works, to make life better, it surely is the gift to share how to live life and do it on life’s terms? I need remind myself again and check my motives as I go.
AA and it’s still great to be Anarchic
In the nicest possible sense, that we are individual, we all have the same set of tools and aptitudes which are shaped by our interest and opportunities. We are all equipped with the same emotions and same truths of living. And we are able to make of it what we will and through circumstances.
Freedom to choose a life, so many of us nearly ended our living and get a second go, or whatever attempt we may be currently working.
I am peaceful in my outlook, as today has gone by without thought to change my world from real. And denial is less, and honesty improving a day at a time.
I know as any human being, how easy hard lessons are easily forgotten and I need keep going back into my fellowship as learning needs reinforcement through life and wisdom at a day at a time.
As a philosopher will tell us, we can study a lifetime to become what we are, and in this present moment make best use of what we are by just being ourselves. No simple task as we humans make life as complicated as we can and see sense eventually, just today, for now, and for a moment…
Till tomorrow, just like groundhog day!
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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