November 12 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "being self-aware, emotionally, prayer for direction and thinking, meditation, for clarity…" Knowing my mood, focusing on the greater good and seeking clarity about how to do this is a virtuous circle, which develops through time. If I am: HALT hungry, angry, lonely and tired, the greater good and clarity of purpose will be weakened. Being self-aware is not selfish, or being self obsessed, it is about knowing how we may help others through unity, service and recovery today…
Video For Today:
Feelings, thinking and action are all intertwined. So often we are in a rush, living and working and trying to fit everything into a crowded day of activity. We may be doing a lot each day, and continually adding extra into each and every moment. We are very good at adding more activities to do with: people, places and things. When we are asked to do something, more often than not, we say yes, without thinking about the consequences. We say yes because that is what we are supposed to do? And then we find a pile of resentments backing up and clouding everything we try to do… Sometimes we have to say no! Gandhi said something like this, "an emphatic no is better than a half-hearted yes…"
A few moments to get our bearings: how am I feeling? Why? And what to do? When asked to do more, a few seconds to pause and ask myself: do I feel right about the request? And why is it okay? And how my going to fit this into my day? And what am I going to stop doing in order to start doing something new? And when there is choice in the request asked of me, do I feel like doing it? How often do we say, "no thanks, I am not inclined, and I don't want to get involved..."
When the boss demands you do something, can you say no? And you will come to the answer on that one, and a bit of prayer, meditation and self-awareness and awareness of the whole big picture will make it clear what to do. There are different rules, laws and regulations everywhere which require compliance in some way. The only place I know where there are no rules, laws and regulations is in the fellowship of AA. Funny, I seem to fit in in the fellowship of AA, I can't tell you what to do, and I hope you refrain from telling me what to do, truthfully though I am a work in progress, and you are quite within your rights to tell me where to go on any given day…
I spent years travelling up and down career ladders, up and down in retail distribution, up and down in financial services, up and down in engineering, up an alcohol ladder and down into the gutter. Alcohol kept me compliant, a very hard worker trying to be perfect, and also trying to be perfect for any unfortunate woman who encountered me romantically. Am I being harsh on myself? Yes I am… Today is a good day, able to say yes to the right things and no to the wrong things. Sometimes I only know what is wrong, by trying something new, and the serenity prayer helps me be honest with myself and other people. Can do, can't do, and learning the wisdom to know the difference today… And the word "NO" is a complete sentence…
The problem we have with wisdom! Where do we get wisdom from? If it was not invented here in my head through experience, can I learn from other sources? We can share experience, strength and hope. Then we learn what we can do and cannot do and the wisdom to know the difference based on life, action and reality…
Conflicting emotions, not really being sure about anything is all part of life. We develop connections and bonds with many people as we open up to the world. And denial of upset or simply not being able to make sense of love, our desires and all the real truths of life is what makes reality worthwhile.
What I need from you is simple truth as it unfolds. A relationship based on truth is spiritual. And truth is the spiritual foundation of life for me. The conflict which upsets us most is denial of the truth and trying to make the world different from what it is and who we are. As the days unfold, we find the truth and we get to know more about who we are. We find ways to be ourselves in this wonderful and ever evolving existence.
November 12 2010 ~ morning feelings and mood... sometimes I have no clue how I feel or what my mood is when I wake up. Unless of course I ask myself "how am I feeling, why and what can I do?" With some reflection I can make sense of what is possible and not possible. The serenity prayer is always a good to start my day...
November 12 2010 ~ today I can love, be loved and useful... was it Einstein who said "behind everything there is purpose?" Today with some courage, faith and fortitude I can be sober, be included, have choices and freedoms, and work with the reality of now.
Sometimes my head is in the clouds, but my feet are on firm ground today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "MORNING THOUGHTS" Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 164
For many years I pondered over God’s will for me, believing that perhaps a great destiny had been ordained for my life. After all, having been born into a specific faith, hadn’t I been told early that I was “chosen”? It finally occurred to me, as I considered the above passage, that God’s will for me was simply that I practice Step Twelve on a daily basis. Furthermore, I realized I should do this to the best of my ability. I soon learned that the practice aids me in keeping my life in the context of the day at hand."
November 12 2007
Reply to Questions
As always I never speak for anyone else, these are personal reflections and my observations of life. I have found my life improves by being in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, I do not speak for AA, just myself.
It is always important to mention that AA, Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship and movement, not an organisation. AA has no leaders, it is simply the people we meet in our local groups to keep sober one day at a time. Indeed this is the primary purpose of the fellowship. Beyond this simple and profound desire to be sober, many people make the best they can of living, using the principles of self help and support, and suggestions on how to live sober. Many utilise the traditions of the fellowship to keep safe. There will always be a fluidity of approach to all that AA is, and more important what it is not. AA enables a person to find their own path to living, improve their choices and get a life back. How a person relates to AA and how a person develops is their personal journey is always their personal choice and no one is bigger or smaller, more or less important. Newcomers to AA however, will always be a priority as early days in sobriety are the hardest when getting a life back. At the same time in fellowship we learn how to make the ’bridge’ to normal living. And without newcomers, we really do leave ourselves in precarious places as we need the experience, strength and hope of newcomers, as always wisdom comes in the door ready for sharing about how bad it is to be drunk, and what we do is keep learning over and over why sober is the key.
Normal Ordinary Extraordinary
As most people in recovery find, the way back to ordinary living often means we need learn what ordinary is. What I have found is AA helped me understand that ordinary living is quite extraordinary. That the spiritual connection to life is here right now, with a clear head and able to see the truth at last. Living with clarity as we understand it, living to open honest and truthful ways. As we get along we realise how often we might have denied the truth over and over about ourselves. Recovery is painful until we get the gift of living today, not in the past or troubled by the future. Just making the most of the day we have.
AA is not a sect, not bound up in dogma, does not want to convert a person to anything but sobriety. AA does have three ways to help. Physical in essence, by getting over the need to self-harm with addiction to alcohol. Second it helps a person find their emotional balance if they are able. And third, it helps with a spiritual connections to what life is all about. And as with all matters spiritual it is a personal and very much an inside job. People make their own spiritual path as in any living for any person. It is not the business of AA to substitute or undermine or judge a person’s spiritual path, merely let a person have clarity to discover for themselves what their spiritual may or may not be.
My spiritual remains in the now, right now, Absolute Truth my guide and higher power. Wherever a reference to ‘God’ might be made in my case, it is as Ghandi observed, ‘God Is Truth‘. Truth remains my spiritual connection as I have learned and what is right for me.
Blame it on AA
I don’t know if AA can be blamed for much. People in AA, or people in fellowship, look out for each other, go through all the discussions and wonderings everyone has about life, its meaning and purpose. As was said some time back, most people want to be happy and have love in their living. And as the truth of living unfolds, if our happiness and truth prevails we learn our lot in life. Our attitudes and outlook are key, our behaviour the imperative which makes for a happy life, with less denial and filters if we are able.
Just for a Day
There are clues to how we find people in our lives. When you mentioned the comments made, it's a hard and horrible expression, about self-pity and quite unhelpful. And actually its about not admitting his part in the feelings you have for yourself and him. Being upset and then treated as something "less than" and as the put down is undermining. And we may know enough about a person that such comments come from their experience and how they have been treated. It feels unhealthy to me with someone who puts a person down in order to make themselves feel better, and of course does make us question the balance of equality in the relationship.
So we can forgive those remarks as we move along and recognise if this was their best shot to deal with issues, then we are better for letting go. No matter what we have done to help another person, we can be left and can feel this is the best way eventually. We don't need put downs for our feelings which come from sorrow and not self-pity, which is where he was coming from, maybe? I cannot judge [xxxxx] that would be wrong of me.
Actually [xxxxx] I made many friends along the way in life. And there are a few out there with busy lives. The concept of long term friendships are about where we live and relating frequently. I know there are people who have been friends in the past, and yet life becomes fragmented, and somehow circles of acquaintance seem more in keeping when life is so much a movable feast or famine.
Truth for me I had partners along the way. And women and love. I loved deeply maybe a few times, I can count on one hand. And also many short and not too close relationships. This is me being honest, some girlfriends along the way were exactly like me, in need of comfort, physical contact, intimacy, and just plain lonely, again the same as me. And much of my career was travelling and a travelling life affords for lonely encounters with much passion and much missing.
Friends in and out of Fellowship
I don't know that I was that able to form bonds with people [xxxxx] until I started to understand why I felt loneliness. Today I have boundaries, and its based on truth. Truth of me? Simply I am still learning that we can have friends inside and out of fellowship based on real honesty and truth. We can still end up loving the person we cannot have and or loving others who can be very undermining, if we have not sorted out our own sense of self and purpose. Our purpose is to love and have love in our lives and feel life is worth it, because we are worth it. That is some jargon from the fellowship in case you were wondering.
At the same time we need realise we only get to know what we want often by not wanting what we have. A horrible feeling actually and makes us feel awful inside.
And we struggle to give up on partners who we have been intimate with and still hold close in our hearts. I once shared with my closest partner from back then, that she was my best ever lover. And of course that was not what she wanted to hear. She wanted to be forgiven, and I could do forgiving once I knew she had done the best thing ever, to leave me!
We hold to how things have been and feel it is hard to let go. Even now if things were different.. Those if's. Truth is we, me and she, are both changed beyond recognition and so much has gone by, the love back then is never going to be the same again. So I have loving sentiments and feel its best as she said, "to draw a line in the sand." And that was that, and I can share honestly that her suggestion and probably insistence, hurt as much again as being left in the first place. And then it came to meeting her again, and I could not. My fear was I would not love her anymore, and she did not love me. And every feeling would then evaporate. She had moved on and it took me near twenty years to accept it. Not her fault, just me bereft and lost for a long while.
I guess what is best, we need realise who we are now. And who they are now. The difference? Well we need not devalue one moment of the good. And we need let go our pain. As I mentioned I went bonkers and slept with as many available and unavailable women as possible. It made it all worse and cheap, hence my oldest girlfriend from college describing me as a male tart. She understood me and fortunately moved a distance away so I would not look for solace with her, a smart Lady!
We can do better things to get our system free from old connections. A better way, its harder and not so easy. We need find our self-esteem and make ourselves stronger with good company and friends we may find as we go out more, or friends we have already.
AA and Friendships
I feel I was not a very good friend maker. And as I was often a lifesaver rather than someone to be saved, and the work I have done over the years was very much about people. Most my life I exhausted myself working in more than one career and making me look right on the outside, and inside there was always a scared small person who never felt able to be close. Knowing the human condition is a nightmare when it came to love. I know now it was my fears, not my knowledge or ability to help others, it was me. Only now do I feel able to make ‘inside’ friends in AA, the ‘outside’ friends are there and far away and always there I guess. And fortunately round here people utilise AA as is meant, a bridge to modern living, not an escape from it! I do have one or two close friends as life affords. Social networks? I was the best social networker you could have met ‘back in the day’ and was told so often, these days I don't do this, I just live as life is. And friendships are as they may be.
I don't know if there is a difference. Certainly we relate and understand there is one reason for fellowship: that is daily sobriety.
Of people I know in partnerships, most often one is AA the other not in AA. It seems women in AA prefer men who are not in AA!! Smiles here this is truly sad for some men [ me too I am able to accept these days, as there are many lovely and very together women in fellowship ] who thought they might find the woman of their dreams in fellowship. Where partners are both in the fellowship they often seem to go to completely separate meetings, and they don't mix up their personal recovery with each other’s life together. So in all inside or outside AA, people have choices in who they partner, and as usual love is blind and all the understandings and misunderstandings abound as per usual. We humans! Time needed and time to make good our understandings, there are no short cuts to living.
Love is Key
I feel many people make do with half what they need [xxxxx], because of misplaced loyalties and love maybe we feel we have. In truth often love can be a one sided affair, so it's a one way street.
The ‘Gift’ He Gave You
For you it's a symbol of something achieved with your love and support and he gave it to you with sincerity I am sure. In early recovery this is often done. Sincerity is something near to authentic, yet it changes as we change in honest living. We either grow together and share, or grow apart in sadness, sorrow and hopefully not self-pity.
Maybe the best thing is to place this ‘gift’ somewhere which is significant to you, far enough away not to be a constant reminder, but handy enough to honour as you may do, the reality of the love you had for this man at that time. It was absolutely right for you then to support him and love him.
And now its about let go maybe, slowly and not dishonouring anything. Place the ‘gift’ in some place, say a beach or particular walk or somewhere when you can revisit and remind yourself the love was never wasted, the feelings you had were genuine and the symbols need be distant enough not to be constant reminders or get in the way of new living.
That's my feeling just now, we change every day. I am sad I kept little from my big time relationship. But realise now I had been undone and left. Abandoned indeed! So I chucked all her stuff in the trash. It felt good for a moment and then as awful can be. Not a recommended item on my to do list today..
And then I abandoned myself. So in my experience.. As you might see by now, there has been a lot of mending and repairing over these last few years. And in truth I wish all my ex's, love and happiness, and maybe always there will be circumspect feelings. Love is best, honour it, and know there is love for us all where we find it is in happenstance and taking care of ourselves with love and care inside first, or we may miss our next partner along the way.
As to friends who drink, smiles they are ok and happy. I see them outside bars, more often in cafes or places not designed for drinking. Or if its an event then accept it, keep safe and don't let people buy me a drink. Friends can do silly things and I need be vigilant no one takes my choices away and puts me on a path which might take a while to find sober again. Sober is simply being ok with ourselves by the way, like normal people not in stressful situations…
I hope this helps and best regards, Don
12th November 2006
How To Be Myself - “All we need is Love”
When I awoke this morning, I was not quite myself. Something was out of balance. It was me! Sometimes when we have changes in our lives, we have not control over, we might apply measures to ourselves which are unhelpful!
How to Define Me
This may seem obvious to some, for we are forever comparing and measuring something of ourselves and others. This may be helpful sometimes. Most of the time we need find the real gifts we have each day to endorse the human we are “being” today.
I am part of a fellowship which tries to help make sense of life. We have some values and principles. We look to develop our emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. So here we have three measures we can apply on a daily basis and work out how we are feeling and why.
When I feel well and right in my own space, it is likely that my emotional well-being is maintained for this day on what is inside me. I need not feel better or worse by what others may say or how they are feeling. I may be happy with myself and my emotional balance. If I need external help to buoy me up, this is perfectly acceptable to get a view and make good my inside understanding of me. I need not fix myself on others and how they are towards me.
When I know I am feeling well in my body, that I have enough to maintain my present satisfactory state, I need no more. And if I need alter some way I live to help me stay as able as I may be, then I am keeping myself as well as can be. Even with my physical impairments, associated with age and with ailments which cannot be fixed, I can be happy I am doing as well as I may. I need not compare myself to others.
We develop our outlook and way living to make best use of each day, the ever present, present moment. Our spiritual path is our conscious contact with real life as it presents, as Nature and Providence afford. We live in our conscience, our spiritual nature and with good conscience, we develop our spiritual perceptions and way of living, a day at a time. All humans are equal in this gift, we are able to develop our spiritual outlook to appreciate the life we have just for today. Spiritual connection is as good as it may get in just this one moment. How we make this connection is through endeavour and practice a day at a time. Spiritual connection is as good as we may make as life affords our opportunity and our understanding. We are all equal in this respect.
Spiritual, Emotional and Physical:
These are the true ways to understand our progress merely a day at a time. When we are confident in who we are and what we are doing in relation to our aims, we can make progress daily and just for today.
Being right sized
We humans are equal, and equal to the life we have with Nature and Providence. We succeed and see our success in how we apply ourselves to just this day. At the end of this day, when we look openly at our endeavour we may view our progress honestly and endeavour to make changes as we understand them…
If we see we have kept to our endeavours and made progress in terms of spiritual, emotional and physical well-being as best we can, we can accept our lot in life.
Status and the Material World
We so often place our value on material worldly measures and our status in society, or in our endeavours beyond our human nature. We so often compare ourselves to celebrity and success we see in material forms and status. What use are measures of status and material success when we try to define our progress daily and in our own understanding of our living?
The answer maybe for you, and certainly for me: The answer to how I define myself and my endeavour is most helpful when I understand my emotional, physical and spiritual well-being for just this one day, the ever present, present moment.
We cannot accumulate better definition or gravitas for ourselves through material or status driven measures. Indeed we will never be happy if we apply material or status measures to ourselves, for we always compare ourselves to others and their relative worldly wealth. True ways to define ourselves are merely progress and moving with our evolution throughout our living.
We May Find Acceptance
We will find happiness is a work in progress, not perfection, for we do travel and evolve and never stay the same. We make good our living when we develop our daily connection to real life as life is. We encounter sadness as life offers, and make use of our learning and develop our wisdom of life.
Indeed we find Serenity in accepting life
Accepting the things we cannot change
Changing the things we can
And developing the wisdom to know the difference
Above all, “all we need is love” of one another and ourselves to make life work as life is…
As we come to understand
Fear requires Bravery in equal measures to just be alive when there is no spiritual connection to living.
Faith develops courage in equal measures to make life work as we work at living and our spiritual connection is made, just one day at a time. We become equal to life and living equally as we endeavour…
Let it be…
November 12th 2005
Chill Pill - Panacea Counsel!
Etymology: Latin, from Greek panakeia, from panakEs all-healing, from pan- + akos remedy : a remedy for all ills or difficulties
I was engaged in conversation for a couple of hours last night. A stranger to me, we talked generalities until old memories came flooding to my companion, caught in a whirlwind of anger and sadness.
This happens to me regularly and I go with the conversation, its too late for the stranger to stop, raw feelings expressed through tight lips and rasps.
"Why am I telling you this?" The question to me and I have no ready answer. We sit and recollect hard times together. After the storm of words subsides, more talk, exploration and questions find their answers as my companion problem solves some heavyweight memories. And the weight is lifted for a while as we part. There were times when these conversations were fearful and awkward for me, less so with time and…. More time!
The world needs to listen and we need to listen to the world. Counsel and counsellors the world over learn with experience, to be listeners in process.
Counsellors and counsel find wisdom in experience and no panacea. There is no panacea for the human condition beyond self-learning and acceptance of the ever present, present.
November 12th 2004
The foundation of stability is looking after my mind - making it peaceful, loving and thoughtful at all times.
We are touched everyday by things closest and with a world so connected we become aware what we do in our part of the world directly impacts across oceans. So hard then to keep house clean in one’s own head, and be alert to our family, our community and the world. It is oft forgotten, that keeping our inside clear, our thoughts and feelings with our nearest and dearest is the much of the answer we can understand. We keep our side of the street clean, and the rest is outside our control. Keeping oneself together is as much any one of us can do. By example we encourage, by example is the best we must expect. We will not change anyone or anything, we can just change ourselves. Free will is a precious element we all have, tread with care if you would bend the will of others...
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
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