November 1 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "November: about prayer and meditation: 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.' Informally and without intent some form of prayer and meditation is happening all the time." There can be self oriented prayer and meditation, what seems more effective is selfless prayer and meditation…
Video For Today:
I borrowed a description of what prayer and meditation can be from the meditation Society of America, which you can find a little further on in the daily reflections for today. Like everything to do with the twelve steps and twelve traditions, the emotional and spiritual programme helps us focus on the old behaviour and the new behaviour. The old behaviour, the old ideas and ways of life had been corrupted by our alcoholism and made us very self oriented to the point where we could not see anything else. The new behaviour, we strive for on a daily basis is embracing sobriety, a better path being open, honest and willing, by living the principles of the twelve steps, and being selfless in unity in fellowship, being of service to others, and that recovery requires the many to help one person be sober today… From self, to selflessness…
Spiritual life: living in the moment and being able to cope with what is going on. Emotional sobriety: understanding my feelings as they are right now and being able to experience them. Emotional and spiritual living? Knowing my mood and feelings, and experiencing them in the moment of now and coping. The AA daily reflection for November 1 is suggesting there is no let up in the emotional and spiritual life. I completely agree, we simply get better at experiencing life in the moment, feelings and coping. And what about thinking? We think all day long, no matter what is going on. What we forget so often is that feelings and mood impacts on how we think and the actions that follow. Happy feelings, most likely happy thinking and happy actions. Angry feelings, most likely angry thinking and angry actions… Conscious contact with a higher power, praying and meditating in a selfless way opens the door to improving our mood and understanding of our current situation, even when we feel hungry, angry, lonely and tired… At least we know what to do…
Do I need to believe in God, to pray and meditate? Having come to the conclusion that my head is thinking all day long and if left to its own devices, it becomes very selfish and self oriented, prayer and meditation which takes me out of myself, something which helps me see the big picture of life is going to be very helpful. Self-pity, self inflicted fear, selfishness, self obsession, egocentric, narcissistic, self self self! Prayer and meditation offers a way out of self centred and self oriented living, opening up the world and helping us understand that we are part of something, hopefully that we are part of humanity and the world does not revolve around us as a single person...
How you pray and meditate in a selfless way is a matter for you. Many people like to pray and meditate within their religious faith. Many people pray and meditate in a selfless way as they keep on praying and meditating. The manner in which you pray and meditate and get results and feel like you have a right relationship with humanity and the universe is something you will keep on learning for eternity, or however long prayer and meditation is occurring in your consciousness.
When I first heard the phrase: "God works through people," I was not very receptive because it felt like God had been demoted in some way. And I really didn't understand any concept of God. Truth is though, I did not have enough wisdom to help myself and stop my self harm through alcoholism. And when I started to listen to others in fellowship who were sober and continued to be sober on a daily basis, I heard wisdom from others and simply if there is a God, he is working through others, and sometimes me…
However you develop your prayers and meditation, if they are selfless, whatever language you develop which suits you, I do believe you will feel the benefit. And whatever your language may be, from ordinary to very colourful language, if it is selfless. I do believe it will work. So if you have simple words and straightforward words which you understand, you can happily pray and meditate in a selfless way, using whatever words suit you. Don't be bashful, use the words which mean most to you and will help you be selfless today… Dear God, I would appreciate some help in not being a c%ntibollockb%stard today…
http://www.meditationsociety.com "The difference between prayer and meditation can be understood by saying that during prayer, we ask God for something, and during meditation, God speaks to us.
When we pray, it is considered advantageous to spiritual growth to pray selflessly. All religions direct their followers to have faith in God and to demonstrate that faith by having confidence that everything that happens or will happen to you is guided by God for your evolution in holiness. This being the case, it is completely unnecessary to pray for anything for oneself. Thus, selfless prayer is ideal. For instance, a not very developed person may pray to God to be relieved from their own suffering, while a highly developed person would see their own suffering as a gift or test of God to make them a stronger person. They would most likely send out prayers for God to relieve others from their suffering. So the formula for spiritual growth could be stated to be "the more selfless the prayer, the more advanced the pray-er".
The souls who pray totally selflessly are most likely to be the most advanced meditatively as well. Their meditation would be empty of limited selfish desire and therefore they will be able to fill limitlessly with God's direction, inspiration, light,and love. The "Prayer Meditation" is as follows:
Sit quietly in your sacred place. Relax and centre yourself. Witness yourself praying to God. Witness silently, detached, without commentary, judgement, or comparisons. Say a prayer for yourself. Say a prayer for someone else. Say a prayer for everyone and everything. Do this again and again for a total of 3 cycles or do it for a total of 12 times or until it feels like you've done it enough. By the act of Witnessing, you will eventually clearly see that you feel really good when you pray for others. You may even be somewhat spiritually embarrassed in front of yourself when you witness yourself praying selfishly. As always, it is appropriate at times like that to simply inwardly say "Oh Well" and then go back to the meditation instead of scolding yourself, feeling sad, or in any way dwelling on it negatively. For this and for all the times you see yourself as an egotist or unevolved or whatever, be gentle with yourself and laugh and learn lovingly from your goofyness.
As you practice this technique, you will automatically become less and less self-centred and more and more selfless. We actually spend hours and hours every day subconsciously praying to fulfil our desires and ego trips. As this suffering-causing habit lessens, we become more and more ready to listen silently as God whispers lovingly to us.
Let us pray that you and everyone and everything will soon gain the bliss selflessness brings and live happily ever after."
Asking for help was my real moment of clarity. I said to myself “it cannot get any worse and asking for help won’t do me any further harm and I am tired of hiding and my will power is done.” If god works through people, or conscience tells me I need ask for help,
why not? Nothing I tried worked anymore…
Living on the edge is highly addictive with the high and low roller coaster chemical extremes, naturally manufactured or ingested. We are a chemistry set, with much more, often set to self-destruct in the pursuit of happiness...
Spiritual principles to live life "real" ~ "Forgiveness" "Acceptance" "Surrender" "Faith" "Open-mindedness" "Honesty" "Willingness" "Inventory" "Amends" "Humility" "Persistence" "Spiritual-Living" "Service"
"Step 11: 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."
"Tradition 11: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films. Al-Anon Addition: We need guard with special care the anonymity of all A.A. members.
When discussing their personal recovery with the media, members who are identified by their full names -- such as the case of those who are already well known in the media -- they should not also identify the specific name of their 12 step recovery group.
If members wish to discuss the benefits of membership in a specific 12 step group, such as Al-Anon or Alcoholics Anonymous, they then should not identify themselves except by first name only.
Many recovering members have the attitude "When I was drinking, everybody knew I was the town drunk, why should I hide my identity now that I am recovering?"
The answer is, for the good of the fellowship. The example is given of a famous athlete or television personality -- a role model for youth -- who gets into recovery and announces to the entire world that A.A. has saved his life. What happens if that person relapses?
The kids say, "Well, so much for A.A.!"
Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religion or a church.
Steer clear of A.A.’s who try to con you into believing in their understanding or name of God as being "right". They are at variance with the steps and traditions of A.A. However, it is quite proper to lend one’s own conception of the Spirit to another member until they
are comfortable with their own conception-which could be the same one, still.
A.A. has no formula or dogma about God that you must or should accept. (Although careful reading of the Big Book and the 12 & 12 do offer some pre-conceived notions that you may or may not adopt. Some of these are that God is one, all-powerful, universally
present, forgiving and loving.)
It is quite acceptable to use the A.A. Group as a Higher Power for a while, or to borrow an understanding from another A.A. member or a church. But, eventually the Spirit you come to have conscious contact with will be that which is manifest to you personally.
You may or may not "understand" your God. The extent to which you have a mental grasp of the name or nature of God is not what is being talked about. " Understanding" refers to the choosing, not the knowing.
The point of the phrase is that the name and nature of the Higher Power you came to seek in Step 2 are yours and yours alone. Your Spirit will be revealed to you as you come nearer to your Spirit.
The method of prayer & meditation: We often hear it said in meetings that the speaker "hits his knees every morning." Not being brought up Catholic or Muslim, we envisioned that slapping of the knees might be spiritually significant in A.A. When we discovered that
the act of prayer was being referred to, we asked why A.A. tells us to get on our knees to pray. We were informed that A.A. makes no such suggestion. In fact, reference to praying on the knees, in the original draft of Step 7, was explicitly removed to prevent the
misconception that such a practice was suggested. Moreover, to be on one’s knees as a prior condition to prayer will prevent prayer at many opportunities during the day. If you or your sponsor think that you should be on your knees for correct prayer, then by all
means do so. It might just be the best way to pray.
From A.A. COMES OF AGE
"The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. The A.A. Steps & Traditions are neither rules, regulations, nor laws. Perhaps the secret of their power lies in the fact that these life-giving communications spring out of living experience and are
rooted in love." ~ "We find it amazing that the newcomer can start the A.A. program without any specific beliefs or, for that matter, without any beliefs whatsoever. All a person needs is the open-mindedness and the willingness to believe that WE BELIEVE this
November 1 2010 ~ November and step eleven, prayer and meditation. I am free today to make choices based on the reality of now. Prayer is not wishing for something impossible, prayer is hope based on the possible and practical. Meditation is listening... what is
your meditation today?
November 1 2010 ~ We cannot change the wind? Some elements are beyond our powers to change, indeed for me I am happy to be powerless over people, places and things. At last I see more clearly what I can do today and cannot do today. Freedom of choice
and my consequences delivered as life is and as I learn who I am today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "I CANNOT CHANGE THE WIND" NOVEMBER 1 It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85
My first sponsor told me there were two things to say about prayer and meditation: first, I had to start and second, I had to continue. When I came to A.A. my spiritual life was bankrupt; if I considered God at all, He was to be called upon only when my self-will was
incapable of a task or when overwhelming fears had eroded my ego. Today I am grateful for a new life, one in which my prayers are those of thanksgiving. My prayer time is more for listening than for talking. I know today that if I cannot change the wind, I can
adjust my sail. I know the difference between superstition and spirituality. I know there is a graceful way of being right, and many ways to be wrong."
November 1 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day in the Life’ Why did She Leave Me
Thankful and Forgiven
Its been a good day or so, and most things technical seem sorted on my computer. But! But I have lost some emails on you tube for some reason which involves me. So I am sorry id some have not received replies.
Why did She Leave Me?
I was reminded of the pain of separation from my partner some years back. And my reply follows to the questions raised.
I have learned more than anything in this life we need keep our path as it may be, with open and honest endeavours. And the truth which eluded me for so many years was about grief. I really am learning grief in the day and by the day. Everyone gets losses and we are not so well equipped to let go, especially those we love, even though they love us they may well leave us for their own sanity and ours.
I now know and I always did that loving can be as hard can be when its not leading anywhere or going to be that one relationship we have been looking for all our lives. And in truth to find everything we need in one person is not that easy. We grow to this, or we grow apart. We live with life, best with support and kinship. Fellowship too in my case.
Reasons why a person need move along without us? Even if we know, I did before it happened, I was in denial half the time and mad the other half knowing I was losing my best friend, She had to go and I knew it, yet even to this day I love the memories and times shared, and realise the person loved does not exist the same as back then. And we have both moved along. Yet denial and grief play their part daily still. That is life I guess. Good I feel these things now, as meant, in manageable pieces, and not great chunks of hurt unmanageable and horrible.
So a reply - Not the answer as each situation is as it is
I appreciate your videos as I just found them today. Funny I never thought to search for AA on you tube.
I was involved with someone who is . [part removed] During that time I have only witnessed him getting worse. I thought the alcohol was what made him as angry and verbally abusive as he had been. But unfortunately, maybe he is the same person with a lot of anger about everything. Alcohol was just an excuse.
I encouraged him to go into AA--and after three years, he has decided that he needs to move on without me. He has a new group of friends that understand and can empathize with him. His sponsor encouraged him to leave old relationships behind.
Can you tell me in your own words and from your own experiences, how a sponsor can have that much control over a person? Maybe we are better off apart. This has been an incredible journey for myself as well as him. If I had known that at the end of all of my support, he would leave, I would have left in the beginning to save myself from heartache. He gave me his first year chip and this time last year I was at his 2 year birthday. I haven't spoken to him in two months. I won't go to the birthday; he doesn't want to see me. I don't want to go to al anon. I am just trying to get thru the devastation he left behind. Does it ever get any better?
In my experience, and this is just me and not any informed opinion from counselling or from AA. When a person stops self harm with alcohol, it means there is nothing to suppress a lifetime often of feelings never really experienced to the full. So in the first year or so, so much comes to the surface and this is often rage and anger directed towards the person themselves. They feel much guilt, shame and want to be perfect again. Sadly and the sorrow is most often we find there is no one to blame.
Alcoholism or being an alcoholic is an on-going chronic mental disorder. Untreated a person drinks. ’Treated’ a person finds a way to keep things working in the day. And actually as a person develops a new outlook and new understanding, they keep well and very functional. They make progress and cannot be perfect ever, a realisation we all get I guess.
At the same time a person obviously changes. I know I did. The harshness of this is realising we have probably hurt a lot of people because of the malady. And the feelings of remorse or no remorse, depending on how grown up we are make an impact not only on the recovering alcoholic, me in this case. I then realised I was truly changing and at the same time it’s the hardest thing to come to terms with everything.
Alcoholism - Is not a self-inflicted wound
Most realise that the disease is just that, something some people get and have and some don’t. And still we who are alcoholics need find a way to make amends which is truly human and what anyone would expect. We are good at the blame game in early recovery, we blame everyone and then only blame ourselves. This to and fro between the horror of pain caused goes on a long while for some of us.
Then we realise that we have a disease and its no one’s fault. At the same time we can find we are changing and moving closer to people we love already or we realise we are not true to anyone and not to those we felt near and close to and we are very uncertain about love altogether. Self-hate and wanting some place of security can lead many to change all aspects of their living.
Love - A Problem and Solution
We can love a person and still hate their behaviour. We can love a person and know we are not right for them. We can be loved and still find the problem or the solution. Sometimes the awful solution is to move on and stop the pain either way.
I don’t know the specifics of what you shared. I do know three years of sobering up to a new outlook is as hard for the person trying, and even harder for partners and close family who often support unflinchingly during early recovery.
We can also see changes we don’t like as people sober up, and as you rightly mentioned anger and self-hate, well they spill over as projecting blame still can happen. It can take forever or a moment for things to change. And still we might never feel that trust and love once experienced.
Sponsors and Control
I do understand your feelings for your ‘ex’. And did AA make your partner leave you? Or the sponsor? In truth I don’t know, and really the only person who can answer is the ex.
A general rule of thumb for sponsors is for them to stick with the steps of change in the fellowship. Sponsors might ask the ‘sponsee‘, your ex in this case, if they are open and willing try a new way to life sober and be prepared to go to any lengths to get back to living some sort of normal they may never have known.
Sponsors who are good, they make no judgment and certainly don’t tell a person what path they may choose. Good sponsors just help a person work through the steps to make living happy or sad as life is.
Where things can go wrong:
As a person sobers up, they have to face the music. Some things a person does, they feel cannot be shared with family or partners because they feel so awful. And this is where communications breakdown maybe.
Open Honest and Willing
The programme is supposed to encourage this approach to life. To be open, honest and willing. At the same time there need not be deliberate hurt inflicted when truth out there can break much more than heal. Some find it better to move along and not hurt another close anymore (a partner), including the awfulness of facing up to old behaviour and horrors when drinking alcoholically.
Some who Sponsor
It is like anyone we might encounter. People are only as good as their experience and wisdom of living.
If we can choose someone to help us, we usually choose wisely and those with experience. Sponsors in AA, they are just people with some recovery. We are not good or bad as such, just as good as we can be on a day to day basis.
As with any fellowship there is folklore about the type of sponsor we can have. Some are made out to be strict and controlling, most are just honest laypersons like me these days, trying to help a person make their choices.
This is the truth of choices. When a person gets sober, they get all their feelings back in a great big dump and it can take a lifetime to sort them out. Love and Hate and everything in between comes up and makes us quite mad at ourselves and our circumstances.
The steps in AA helps a person deal with the reality which has been lost for some time or a lifetime. Sponsors bear the brunt of this. And some sponsors try keep the lid on for some they encounter.
Still a person does make their choices. And sometimes the calamity at the time where people make a different life without us is harsh. My feelings about this?
Like it is for anyone, I have been abandoned in the past and still to this day, I feel the loss of that intimate partnership in living. Still I know now that life is just as it may be.
Love People - Hate Their Behaviour
When I say we can love a person, we can hate their behaviour, because they leave us and we feel pain and need grieve their loss. Especially hard when they choose to live without us and we cannot see living life without them. We have a broken heart, and this takes its toll and we do need time to make our way. For me it took years.
I am glad it took me years to grieve losses. It meant I cared and loved. The hard news that a person leaves us and is still out there somewhere is part of the awful torment of letting go. There are no easy ways to grieve, except one important understanding, that we are allowed our feelings and our grief, and we get on when the time is right.
So in a long reply - We need to recognise that even our closest connections and those we love have choices as we do. And no matter what influences them, we are better free and clear if another wants a different path. At least they have the courage to do this. It would be awful indeed if they stayed because of their weakness and lack of courage and for some reason which lends itself to self-pity and debt. It would be awful to live a half-life. Those who leave us do us a favour, so we may find our truth and happiness in living.
So if this helps anyone I guess it might make clear some things.
We are all human and just good for today
Most people who sponsor in AA in my experience, offer wisdom and help people make their own choices in living. A Sponsee is not directed, a Sponsee makes up their own mind and makes their own choices.
Some sponsors are full of it, just like people in ordinary life
We learn to recognise those who do us good and let us get on with living as we can, we never stop learning.
We can spot do gooders and leave them to their own divine plan and their own insanity.
We can forgive those who leave us, they were probably right to do so, and we are better thanking them rather than hating them. Their exit gives us a gap to make new living right for ourselves. All we need do is find happy connections and not grab the next shiny best thing that looks like the old one. Better to find another with a similar outlook and free to love us as we deserve.
1st November 2006
Extract from a letter to a friend
“Thanks for your kind words and feelings.
With one of my friend’s it’s a rollercoaster of emotions, if you could pack a lifetime of torment and love into a week, then this is his intensity right now. And his stuff runs as deep as an ocean. Its his stuff so I take care not to share detail.
He is a friend indeed and he also reminds me, well of me of course over the years, and all the things we are all capable of when in love or in pain. In pain I was a very lost to sensible relationships and although I looked like care free individual soaking up life women and song, inside I was empty and searching to replace love lost and wanted back to no avail. So I broke hearts as mine had been broken.
And this still bothers me, although my ex's say all is forgiven as they were doing similar things too. An ego trip not exclusive to gender, just the province of broken hearts..
I don't pry or ask the question of you about relationships simply because it is your personal stuff and would not presume to tread on your toes. And of course you really know me more than I you. So yes I am happy and come from the old school of care and support. And trust is something we need keep with ourselves first and share as we choose. It is never anyone else's business unless you share it when that time is right with the right person.
I don't feel you are likely to return to grim times as long as you keep in good company and find your path your way. the danger always is pushing too far too fast and ending up stranded with no support. And its always at your pace. Trust is given when we feel its ok. And not before. And there is also that risk.
I overcome most my trust issues as each day unfolds, simply secrets keep us imprisoned, honesty and sharing with the right environment sets us free. The BBC post was a liberation of me in public to a large extent. Because if I am an open book, people know me and my capacity and vulnerability. If someone chooses to share and be involved its fine, and its also fine to find your own level of trust and comfort. Open books are well read and usually in reprint as the story unfolds day by day, and just a day at a time.
I will always do my maintenance work daily, by sharing and being open, and then there will be few secrets and no shame or guilt, as forgiveness finds a way as we go along just for the day. And if others don't feel so comfortable with our life and honesty, then we are best knowing and moving on to more helpful connections. Not hard or easy, just done daily, it never gets too big to share.
Don't forget the step 5 in our fellowship, which is sharing your innermost times of past, is for a person of your choosing, to clear the decks, and then you proceed with the programme. As often suggested it may a professional, or someone of your faith or likely a sponsor. And some things you need only share with your God (of your understanding) or Good Conscience, like a letter to be read honoured for what it contains and then burned and let go, as that is past and done, it’s who you are now and emerging, in good conscience and with faith of your understanding.
Sounds too good to be true? Just a day long makes it ok to work with the present, for indeed this is all we have and its by far enough as we let go past which we can honour as part of our journey to wherever we choose. “
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 Eleven Reading Video Link:
October 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
October 2012 | Video Reading Into Action :
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
About Psychosis And Depression: