November 10 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "a sense of belonging through self-awareness, prayer and meditation…" Self-awareness, accepting our humanity, humanness and that we have feelings of all kinds, the good the bad and the ugly. When we are aware of our mood and feelings and how they impact on our thinking and the actions we take as a consequence, this awareness helps us to be part of life as life is today…
Video For Today:
The world can feel very lonely when we have become isolated for whatever reason. And the world can feel very lonely when people we love and have been in our lives for quite a long time, perish, and we mourn their loss. Loss and loneliness is a continuous process which goes on for a lifetime. I don't know that there is actually a moment where "closure," happens. Whether we understand the process of grief or simply work through our feelings, the place of acceptance is a personal matter. I do get to accepting the loss and the loneliness, and what seems to happen is I cherish the good, and sometimes bad and sometimes ugly recollections as they are. Loving and cherishing always comes from looking at the good and helped me open up to new relationships over time…
Fellowship, sharing experience, strength and hope and listening to the sharing of experience, strength and hope includes me in a bigger world than the one which nearly killed me. I feel the change in me is I have become a participant in this new world, rather than an observer. The more isolated and secluded I had become, the more I was a judge and jury on the rest of the world. That was never my preferred way of life. And I need be self-aware, be able to ask for help, and reflect on how I may be helpful and included on a daily basis. Helpful and included not only in fellowship, simply in the world as it is today. Not the chief critic, not the know it all, simply a participant one day at a time…
I've heard from many people in fellowship that part of the way forward is always to stop thinking! And start feeling! And this fits with the philosophy I had until I broke down and burnt out and then became dependent and addicted to alcohol. A well trodden path by so many. When I stop thinking and ask myself what my feelings are, what my mood is, when I wake up and then understand what is driving my thinking and my actions, I can make changes to help me be a part of life and not a critic of life today…
How am I feeling? I feel good and happy. And also very sad. And this is almost a daily emotional rollercoaster this week. On the one hand, my mother is improving after her operation and there is more to do over the next few weeks, and there is reason to be very hopeful. At the same time I do feel very sad for the loss of someone I have known for quite a few years in recovery, who died midweek. And yesterday, in a meeting many others became aware, as I did. And we all felt the nasty shock of loss. We can't process a nasty shock all at once and it will take time. A good woman, my mum,still alive and kicking, and a good man gone. And we can feel happy and sad all at once and be very uncertain about how we express our feelings at these times, grief and happiness are always intertwined as life events can be completely outside our control. I feel it is good, that we can have these conflicting feelings and understand how precious people and life is today…
Fellowship: organised chaos and an anarchic democracy kept me coming back, a place where I truly belong, freedom to find out who I am just for today...
A sense of belonging took a while when I first got to AA. Full of fear, putting on a brave face and shame and guilt could have catapulted me back out into drinking. A few people shook my hand, said it was going to be okay. I would feel awful for a while, but there was hope. Courage, faith and self-esteem have grown to help me live one day at a time, and face the music and dance…
November 10 2010 ~ a sense of belonging is wonderful when life is wonderful. And what is wonderful even when life seems full of disaster, I am not alone anymore. With fellowship and community, I learn what I can do today, and what I cannot. Open, honest and willing to live reality rather than fantasy today...
November 10 2010 ~ from exclusion to inclusion is a great feeling. To be a part of life and know we are no longer alone. Fear of being found out kept me isolated a long time, a brave face meant you did not really know me. Now it is okay to be me, feel life as it is and have a sense of purpose today, to live the life I have...
Attraction Rather Than Promotion
We had a Prime Minister come to power in the UK who stressed the need for “education, education and education!” And that I can relate to, because education is the key in changes we need keep making as life keeps changing. Or we get stuck.
Alcoholics Anonymous is unity and strength in numbers, we benefit and lean on the many who share experience strength and hope. What we see is what we get, we find those in fellowship who are like minded in their recovery and identify with them. For every person we may relate to on a personal level, there will be another we cannot fathom. And so we find attraction rather than promotion is a key to sobriety. We all lean on fellowship, if we rely heavily on one person, the burden becomes too much.
Tolerance and love, part of our spiritual living. I can recall hearing many denounce AA over the years, many in the meetings absolutely livid that “Alcoholics Anonymous” is a cult, a bunch of weird people with 12 steps and 12 traditions and a lot of “god botherers.”
This is not my experience of AA, but sometimes we might wonder what we are. In straightforward terms sometimes we look for the differences and not the similarities, because we do not want what some people have. I choose to look for similarities, starting with “sober today.”
Why? The Critics
We become open to criticism when we forget what the fellowship is, nonprofessional, and simply people sharing on a daily basis what is working and not working. AA is as good as it is today because we are AA and sometimes we fall short, and sometimes we get it just about right. What we see is what we get.
Daily - one day at a time
We neither over promise nor under sell; we share reality as we see it. The hazards we face daily are the same as anyone else, so in truth the people we see daily in fellowship are AA. And sometimes we do not sparkle, because that is life.
Unity Service and Recovery
Everything is summed up in the AA preamble we read out in meetings:
“ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety”
This is attraction to reality and not promotion of a fantasy!
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A SENSE OF BELONGING" Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105
That’s what it is - belonging! After a session of meditation I knew that the feeling I was experiencing was a sense of belonging because I was so relaxed. I felt quieter inside, more willing to discard little irritations. I appreciated my sense of humour. What I also experience in my daily practice is the sheer pleasure of belonging to the creative flow of God’s world. How propitious for us that prayer and meditation are written right into our A.A. way of life."
November 10 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Grudge Not Lest Ye be Grudged!
This is the birth date of my father, who is somewhere in the Universe. And in me too, we do have the characteristics of family and we are always a part of some continuing line, unless we have no children, just like me! I did love my father and realise now he battled with drink most his adult life. The horror of what we see and learn can be around and in us all the time.
Resentments : a feeling of resentment or ill will, especially one lasting for a long time. We can have these particular problems. The number one killer in recovery I am told. And truthfully we need recovery or we make no path in living at all. Resentments are our prisoners, and we as gaoler soon find the resentments make us not only the gaoler, they makes us prisoners too.
Seems one or two resentments come back to haunt me in my low moments, where I feel the pain of my life and feel the connection to others pain. Injustice is forever there as we can judge very harshly the behaviour of others in our fellowship.
Intellect, that bastion of right and wrong, when we forget our feelings drive our thoughts, then we can be caught in our own prisons, or worse find others who are locked tight in the grip of right and also their wrongs.
That useful demon which helps us keep our grudges and our imprisonment deep inside, sitting with full weight of every resentment we can still hold in the deep of our heads and hearts.
Where are you now? And as I recall you were sorry at the end, and I was glad you saw your part too. It is never easy to hear what another says so close to death. As memories blur, as the mind closes to new living, that death and loss of hope and loss of everything we might love.
There was much sadness as my Father struggled valiantly to stay in the here and now, that immense struggle, he never gave up. And stoic, and so desperate to make good on promises. He made good we knew, he made the best and did as best he could. He never knew his denial, never knew sobriety until death was close he need not fear life again. And then he died.
I know there were times when he and I fell out yet love from Father to son and roundabout was constant, and we never forget the good if we look for it.
There is “good” in Everyone
So why talk of grudges today?
Several reasons, one is it is my Dad’s birth date. He had so many grudges he had no clue how many. It is that torture I wish never to experience again. And still there are a couple of resentments still in me. Not about my Dad. Not about Family.
In truth I know there is judgment in me, I can view and see others in pain and revolving around resentments and grudges. These poisonous inner thoughts and hates and stabbing killer feelings, we are not immune.
When we hurt we are apt to lash out and not care.
‘I don’t care’ has been heard forever, I shall not care, I don’t care what you think of me. But we do, or we would let go and have no resentments. Nasty thoughts of judgment keep us resenting and not forgiving. Resentment kills love, kills our joy, kills as people continue their self-harm and poisoning behaviour.
Even When I am Right?
The killer of all compassion, is righteousness, judging others and finding they judge us back as hard and harder as they strive for high moral ground, or just plain hate us.
To have hate of, we need some self-hate to motivate. If we have hate in us, we hate others and resentments spill into abuse and violence. Hate kills living joy, and leaves the acid taste delivered as we deal with unimaginable discomfort.
Blame it on?
Grudges need blame, and in our world of blame these days, no one is looking to forgive, they look to exploit and utilise, hurt and maim more often than find peace and tranquillity.
Where is Recovery?
I realise this is more negative than positive, yet we learn in fellowship, as we pay attention and stick close to the winners, that peace is the safe ground, debate and understanding, acceptance all about recovery.
With grudges others have? Well it is not our gift to change another person, we are indeed powerless over people places and things. We may influence a person a bit, yet absolute choice and conduct is the reserve of each person.
We are not here to coerce or make others believe anything.
Help Me Before I Drown!
People are teachable if they can utilise their senses and learn another way of life. As with all elements connected to our wellbeing, we are often roasting nicely in hell as we stand and hold positions of resentment over others.
When a person says over and over ‘I don’t care!’
Experience teaches that I don’t care means I do care and very much so, or there would be no resentment no war and no acrimony to pollute and kill our feelings and conduct.
Are plain ugly. Defiling and degrading epithets to intolerance of others, our resentments kill our joy of living.
Truthfully I am pretty clear of grudges just now, just this one space and time where truth can count.
Sometimes we hold on to resentments. We know the outcome that others need punishment and we are just the people to do it with our resentment hammer!
Not So - Let go
When we hold on, and then realise the world has moved along we can keep behaving as we always have. No one listens, people are polite and make sure a wide berth is given. No one wants resentment some of us get it anyway as life will always offer these opportunities.
We need let go or we find we are dead on our feet and our ego is as big as the hole in our heart. I know and realise this these days. And it helps me keep safe as if there is any other safe place than this one moment. Just now!
November 10 2006
It Was this It was that - It Was Not Me
Indeed its all of that when we get so frustrated by life, we cannot find one single thing which works. And for us in a fellowship where nothing is working on a personal level, it’s the most dangerous time of our living. My fellowship is about living just one day and keeping sober. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who have a desire to stop drinking.
We have traditions and steps for keeping ourselves safe. And we argue the toss about them endlessly when we are tortured by life as it is, just plain real and very, very hard. Hard living drives most people to have a drink these days, and for some of us it ends up being all we can do. And in our early days of trying to stop this forever drinking bout, we look for anything and everything which can rid us of our addiction, and as almost as quickly look for a reason to go back out and get a drink. Because life is hard. And nobody can make it anything else. Or can we?
I was at a meeting tonight and it was one to make anyone breathe hard. A step meeting all about a step to keep living sober. And some people were just back from a break down the pub, or at home with a bottle, it matters not they were back and for me all that matters is they are back again.
The trouble though is the torture endured getting back out there to have a drink at all requires a lot of determined effort to make rubbish of everything so we can have that drink again. We have to work hard and screw up to have the courage and the balls to do it again. And when we have drunk our drink, we find it tastes familiar like an old friend and lover tastes. Absolute and complete. And then we feel what anyone feels when the drink is done. Wanting more and more and more. Until we are most likely mad again.
Or did we start getting mad long before we took that slug of hard liquor? Of course we did. And its hard to admit as life turns to crap, we can keep making the crap bigger and better and perfect to drink on. And we do if inclined.
When driven to distraction by our obsessions and hatred, and ourselves for some failure of living or our insides maybe. We get angry and cocky, and we blame everything else.
Blame the Fellowship
You know, we only need stick around long enough to see and hear all the familiar tales of woe. That someone tells us to do this and that, that we need to follow like sheep and be grateful for anything and everything. We feel like our will is being taken away.
As to self-will taken away, as we realise our anger we take self will back and we connive and make everything big and bigger and badder than we. We are full of remorse when we take that first drink, and love it because it’s the danger we need and the buzz that makes us feel like a king and our ego is as big as our bellies and the drink we have in it! As we get drunk we reminisce as we enjoy those first few and then ugly reminders haunt us as we recall our past madness and addiction to drink. And we are back in the crapper again without any worries, until we realise nothing is fixed except our oblivion and harshest of times.
We Blame the World for our Drinking
It was the girlfriend, the boyfriend, the partner that never understands, it was the job or no job, it’s the mortgage and debts. Its because I am ill and non-one sees my pain and I have all the regrets, that my life is just crap. I drink on resentment and drink on my happy days recalled, I drink on my ego and feel bad as my conscience is calling me the fool that I am.
Its all their fault
It is all their fault as we drink more and more, and we realise always the fault is all yours!
And sad little piss artists sit all alone dreading the day and what follows all along. The shame and the guilt subsides as anger builds and make it all your fault over again.
I know this so well, as any in our fellowship can tell you all the tales. And we get to a point where we have to accept, that somewhere in all this blame and crap we endure, there is one sure thing we do to make it all worse. We drink to our history, the day we live now, and say blinking get lost and let me drink till I choose. And most likely we die broken and bitter in regret.
I wonder a lot about what we need to do, just to keep our friends and fellows all happy and dry. Its merely this we need do.
We merely suggest what our programme can offer. And make of it what you will just one day at a time. And if you get thirsty get to a meeting. And sit and listen and be calm and be safe just for a while.
We know a drink will never make anything possible but lead to oblivion and lost living as well. Just stick around long enough to hear what you might do, as people suggest this and then suggest that. You can be sure something will work if you stay long enough, but its all down to you in the end and action you take to change.
When you feel you can choose and make your path work, don’t wait for something or someone to fix you and get on with some action and make a start. Don’t sit and complain it doesn’t suit you, stand up and do something as you might like go to the pub? Where it matters not to anyone what else you might do.
We ask just keep on coming back till you find your way forward just one single day with a clear head. And then keep coming back till you find your way.
We are simply a bunch of recovering addicts and alcoholics who make living work, one day at a time. No saints or supreme being who have all the answers and clues..
If you think we have magic, its only us drunks, if you think you can be fixed you are mistaken as well, as everything is geared to you making a change, and the only one who can make that happen is you as it happens. Little changes gradual or quick, the slower the better so everything sticks.
Don’t judge anyone as no one judges you, just find your path in friendship and then get the clues.
There is no right way or wrong way to be in our fellowship, just mind your business as others mind theirs. Be tolerant and respectful and live and let live.
Some people find faith in each other, some find faith they may have lost. Most find faith in their good conscience and get on with their lives. And let others get on with theirs.
Mind you, if you blame a fellowship of people like us for your ills, then all you do is blame yourself for not trying and getting to action as action is always required.
Intellect and Ego loves this disease
For those of us who are clever and have justified our place in the world. It will take you a lot longer to get with a programme that means you need change your behaviour if you wish to succeed. For you have failed if you are alcoholic in this one respect of living, and if you feel this to be true, its really up to you, what next and what you do.
Thinking will get you nowhere except for the blame, you give to everyone else, but never to you, and its you who takes the drink and points at everyone else. Ego sits with pride inside you, as you try to think it through, rather than just doing some simple suggestions to keep yourself safe.
The clever Man Fails
The cleverer you are, the harder it is, as you argue the toss and cannot connect with the suggestions, and you won’t give in. Not until rock bottom has really set in. As money is gone, and possessions too, and all our friends shun us except for those few like me and you. For we have been there and done it, and argued to near death, till rock bottom was reached where there is no willpower left.
Willpower kills more alcoholics and clever people than any other source or disease. Clever people kill themselves with their reason. Or get with some suggestions to action and going along with something new.
Defiance kills, blaming kills, those who go back to drink die one way or another, and fail to get a life, simply because they were too arrogant and self-willed to get with a simple programme of action. Ego driven to death. I fear for some people I know, and care deeply for them, as they hurl themselves at hard rocks and rock bottoms…
Just like me, until I sat and listened and took action and listened some more..
It has been a close call.
November 10th 2005
One can easily understand a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when grown men and women are afraid of the light.
Quiet reflections for my father who would have been eighty years old today 1925-1991. Fond memories...
November 10th 2004
If the mind is light you will feel carefree, no matter how the body feels.
And in these winter months, the light is needed from within. The dark, it draws in so quickly as the afternoons disappear, and gloom falls. A cheery voice, a bright fire in the grate, soft illuminations help our weighted brows. Quick to grumpy taciturn scuffs with each other, we bundle along. Its a peculiar time of year! Those who pester do so at their peril, those who slow the hurried steps to warmer moments best bite their lip and be slow to speak up if at all, and so the hurry to warmth discloses.
Feels like winters breath has found a northerly bluster, fog, damp and not yet winter crisp, the air hangs heavy, clawing and grimy.
Best wrap up well and face thin sun, watery on the horizon and stoke our inner light with friendly touches, gentle moments, silent prayers of wisdom and a weather eye to guide us home.
Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...
“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. For the content of prayer, see Step 11b that follows.” BB Bunch
November 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory
Alcoholics Anonymous | Step Eleven Reading Video Link:
November 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
November 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: