November 2 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "until we have the life experience, spiritual and emotional experiences are simply things we think about as a theory, rather than a reality…" Today's AA daily reflection is about keeping optimism afloat. Optimism is an outlook, it is also an ism. Pessimism is an outlook and it also is an ism. If I look for the good in new life experiences, I'm likely to keep on learning, and be optimistic about coping with reality. If I am looking for the worst case scenario and believe it is the most likely outcome, I might be setting myself up for something which will not happen. Optimistic or pessimistic, what the lies behind these outlooks is our emotional and spiritual condition...
Video For Today:
How am I feeling this morning? Emotionally uncertain about whether I might be optimistic or pessimistic? Not really, I feel somewhat numb awaiting news about my mother’s operation and cancer treatment. I wish I could tell you if I was fearful, or full of courage and the answer is I don't know the answer, because the feelings just are not there right now. I wish I could tell you it was denial, but it's not because I don't know what the situation is, there could be a good outcome or bad outcome. Modern science is wonderful, I'm alive day by day because of modern science, alcoholism isn't my only chronic condition. And for my mother who is eighty, there are risks and the best possible specialists doing the best they can right now. I can wait without fear and without denial for now…
After my dad died back in 1991, I can remember him being very angry about the situation when he found he only had a few weeks to live. And at the same time the girl of my dreams had left me. A double heartbreak, one dying, one leaving and a whole bunch of emotions I could not cope with and so drank copious amounts of alcohol. In the end, the feelings did catch up with me, overwhelmed me, loss of loved ones was heartbreak. There has hardly been a day when I have not talked to my mother about life in general, and all the usual day-to-day from those heart-breaking times. From my side, nothing has been left unsaid and the same for my mum. She is not done with life, and I hope this is so. Mum has courage and faith, and so do I. One day at a time…
Prayer, meditation and a sober way of life. Before I became a recovering alcoholic, I carried the burden of every expectation open to mankind, and a mind full of resentments. So these days, prayer and meditation offers me something which I never have before, emotional and spiritual serenity, which is to accept the outcomes we all face living longer and the experiences we are going to have. I cannot predict my emotional state one way or another. Dealing with the good, the bad and the ugly of life experiences is best done in the moment, neither expecting nor anticipating how I might feel, and not judging how I should feel ahead of events yet to unfold…
I don't know if other people feel the way I do when the prospect of waking up can be a bit haphazard day-to-day. Back in the day, at my wits end, my preference was to take a last drink, and never wake up. Today, I do take solace in waking up each morning, because when some days have been difficult with other ailments, and living on my own, I was never sure whether I was going to wake up or not. One of the phrases bandied about in recovery, "another day above ground," can be said in so many different ways, optimistically, or pessimistically or in my case, thankfully… I don't fear death, I like to keep trudging the road of destiny, even in the darkest hours these days…
Where did the fear start? No safe place, home felt uneasy unpredictable. A wrench in my gut and an argument ensued. Me: hiding from the anger which came with the drink. For decades, unresolved feelings pushed away and far down inside. Faith listens today, fear may rise, but I am no longer crippled and hiding in the dark…
Principles of: “truth, love and wisdom.” The truth of now: how to love be loved back; and then wisdom from everyone around me, all happening in the moment of now. Now this is the higher power working in reality and being able to cope with all my feelings as life happens…
Back in the day, events would happen; I would be uneasy and not sure. Always felt like my feelings were playing catch up. I would walk away numb, and then feel extremes of emotion and drink to stop reality impinging on my world. From fear and fantasy: to faith in reality, spiritual progress just for today…
November 2 2010 ~ "I can't believe it’s happening to me!" A good start to my day, with connection to fellowship already made. A friend calls and my spirits lift. I may not feel a hundred per cent, far from it just now, but I am connected and a part of something bigger than me, life as it is and choices to make. A ray of happiness sparks me up today...
November 2 2010 ~ Optimism with faith and courage... even when we face the darkest of days, when life is bleak, we can find faith and courage in making the best choices open to us. Faith and courage often comes from others we can turn to, friends, family and fellowship. Life is always spiritual and now in the present moment...
Real optimism is when we know the next steps and choices open to us. Often in a moment of anxiety we can freeze and have an “I can’t believe it moment” which is a shock to the system in a good or fearful way. Good shocks to the system can be as paralyzing as bad shocks to the system!
We can find the next steps and path as long as we can keep a hold on reality and what is happening. We learn how to do this every day, or we are prone to get stuck in old feelings and thinking.
When something good happens after a long period of ordinary life which may feel like drudgery, we are not sure what to do. In the olden days for me, I would celebrate with a drink, these days more likely a cup of coffee, a chat with a friend and try keep my feet on the ground rather than imagine happy times are here to stay. I do not invest time in speculating beyond the present, I need keep a weather eye to possibilities and how they might happen, if I put the action into the next step.
When a bad event happens, I also need get myself back to reality after a nasty shock. And sometimes that can be very difficult if a major change has happened.
Powerless over people, places and things is all about step one of the recovery steps for me in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. If I were to try manage other elements besides me, I always know these days the result is unmanageability, I can manage choices I have based of real life, not on a life I might imagine or wish for.
Courage and Faith
All about optimism and being realistic too, with courage and faith we can see a way forward to good outcomes. This does not mean we limit ourselves, this means we can see a way forward. And often we consult those who can help and those we trust, whoever they may be.
Prayer and Meditation Daily - Step Eleven in Alcoholics Anonymous
Good Conscience - Higher Power - God - Suggestions from another source
“Step Eleven is all about communication with your Higher Power. Many refer to prayer as talking to God, and meditation as listening. Both are required for a strong relationship. Read all you can from outside sources about prayer and meditation. Experiment with it and find what works best with you.
Try to establish a daily routine for prayer and meditation. The best times are when you wake up and right before going to sleep. The book "Alcoholics Anonymous" gives instructions for what do to when you wake up and before going to sleep. Keep track of your progress by writing in a journal. There is lots of wiggle room to allow you to discover what works best for you.”
Spiritual is often described as the ability to cope with reality, what is going on in our lives just now. Prayer and meditation can help us focus and gain clarity on best choices open to us. We live now and need focus on now. Prayer and meditation helps us develop our best choices. The serenity prayer helps in every real life situation, what we can do and cannot do, and learning the wisdom to know the difference.
“To God” - and or in “Good Conscience” “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference”
AA Daily Reflections ~ "KEEPING OPTIMISM AFLOAT" the other Steps can keep most of us sober and somehow functioning. But Step Eleven can keep us growing. . . . THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 240
A sober alcoholic finds it much easier to be optimistic about life. Optimism is the natural result of me finding how to gradually be able to make the best, rather than the worst, of each situation. As my physical sobriety continues, I come out of the fog, gain a clearer perspective and am better able to determine what courses of action to take. As vital as physical sobriety is, I can achieve a greater potential for myself by developing an ever-increasing willingness to avail myself of the guidance and direction of a Higher Power. My ability to do so comes from my learning-and practicing-the principles of the A.A. program. The melding of my physical and spiritual sobriety produces the substance of a more positive life."
November 2 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Letting Go Takes Its Toll and Time
Sometimes it is only time which makes our endeavours right and real. Patience they say is a virtue. Yet these days I can be as impatient as anyone. And also chasing pipe dreams too.
Time affords wisdom and helps us find our choices and our path. Always it seems we feel the need of companionship. And often we let people in too early simply because we are lonely. Being alone most of the time I am ok. Yet there are moments, which fair take my breathe away, and I indulge in wishful thinking and loneliness.
My thinking needs more information, so this sunny morning I am off to an AA meeting not far away. Company is good, and then my idle thoughts will get more shape and focus.
An email to a friend below explains some of my feelings this morning. As they may be.
Thank you for taking the time to explain more fully what has been happening in recent times.
You may not have seen the reply which was made without details of names, where and when, and what a person might consider doing in these circumstances.
First and foremost, I feel it is important to make sure we get the right boundaries around situations and then wonder what we may do to resolve the particular, rather than resolve all the issues at once. This is the hardest as we live complicated lives, with complicated outcomes.
As we live life, it is so simple if we can make it so, and so complicated because we often give ourselves a break and also give others a break when they are not in their right mind.
As you have discovered and really its very unhappy outcome to find we may have invested a lot of time, made it possible for another to misbehave towards us and generally make us the bedrock not just of the changes they need to make, worse they use us as the punch bag, either verbal or physical. And then we have maybe let them go on too long as we hope for better times and changes which benefit both ourselves and them.
Sorrow is real when endings come. When we feel sorrow as a normal human under stress and need grieve loss, its not self-pity, it is just sorrow, and then all the hard parts around grief.
As we learn loss, the anger, the denial and ‘I can’t believe it’ feelings give way to frustration, anger, depressing experiences and then when we are more robust we let go as we may and move on
Sometimes grief for loss and letting go is for years. The deeper our feelings of sorrow the longer we are likely to feel awful and go through this cycle of grief, for the living who left, and the dead and departed. Both ways grief hurts, and worse with people we have loved or still love those who are lost to us and still alive.
Self-Pity comes from our anger, sorrow from our inner strength and confidence. We can do both self-pity and sorrow, for the same person or different people.
What We Feel
The awfulness of this grieving process is we often realise those we grieve for have moved along either to death or for the living, to other people and places. They don’t fear our grief.
What Others Feel
As we grieve others we are often angry that their outlook if they are still about and its hard to accept, and we don’t like the mess of breaking up. And of course abusive words or abusive behaviour is often like any animal of nature, to chase us away, and make us find our own new path.
Can we Reconcile and Get People Back?
It really does depend on the other people we may have lost to time. The truth of this is its unlikely once a person has lost their love for us and no longer wants companionship, its better to let go.
Really departing people do us a favour. And actually we can thank them once we are clear of grief or the harshness has worn away from these early times. This took me years to appreciate as my grieving over the years, was genuine sorrow a lot of the time and then self-pity as well as I felt so broken for many a year.
Verbal or physical is never acceptable in my opinion. I have encountered partners in my life who could only connect to me through abusive behaviour, especially around love and intimacy. Either I packed my bags and ran, or they were let go as soon as. I cannot do abuse at all in relationships and was horrified I could be sucked into tolerating and then worse joining in. It broke me quicker I am relieved to write. No one need bully or abuse, its just not good.
We Can Love a Person and Hate Their Behaviour
This is the conflict we often find. We can love deeply and see flaws and stick around too long to feel more pain, which takes its toll on us. We love someone who is not with us or that real to themselves. Although the outcome is real, love abused and lost unrequited as the abuser is not loving in truth, just abusing.
What we can do?
Get help, support, talk find friends to share our feelings. Let go the pain as nature and time allow. We need grieve even the bad of living and sometimes the good is simply moving on.
Sponsors in AA
Ordinary people with difficult outlooks often. Learning how to be human. Some are controlling and project all their values, which is not good sponsoring, it’s the opposite of sponsoring. Its codependence, the absolute pits where control and power is abused most likely.
Sponsors and people. All the same, where we find interdependence we may find a great connection and help and support and love too.
Love is behind everything I seem to find these days. It may seem old hat, and it is. Love is forever and in most of us. We need nurture it for ourselves and others.
I realise there are no answers in what I write specifically to you.
And it really is about you and me, we make our choices. We can love wisely? I doubt that actually, nature can draw us one way or another.
We can feel and think our way, a path where we know what we accept and don’t accept from others.
You know, all experience has its place. If we survive and learn to cherish, we are on a path of good living. If we learn to live superficially and with conditions which alter our interdependence with others, we can be 'unglued' in no time and be scared to let go. What hurts and fascinates and make us stick where we are best to let go very often because of our living and our history.
When we learn all over again, it seems unfair and really makes us boil inside. Yet the truth is we have space as we let go.
I seem to say this frequently. Its my reminder to me to keep safe. All I need do is let go.
As we get the gap, we can recuperate, indulge out best way to live, find our own inner peace. The gap fills then with the good of us and whatever sorrow we have is for times past, not times present.
What would life be without it? I realise these days the journey, the moments we learn again, the choices become more informed, and we greet life differently. With room for us to grow as humans and not as some adjunct to another’s misunderstandings on life. We let them go in peace, and close that door as best we can. The door opens and closes as many times it takes for us to accept the truth we experience today.
Best it is so.
And as you mentioned You Tube - I started expressing my views and understandings made on life. It has been cathartic and helpful to me. I cannot make recommendations on whether this is good or bad to do. I do enjoy it in my own way.
Where we are unhappy with others its best often, to find help and support as we change our outlook.
We humans, we make progress. This human, me, is slow and steady these days.
2nd November 2006 [All About Last Year]
Day by day we breathe new life
Indeed what a day, was it typical or just the way it was meant to be. In my living I tend to let the day be whatever it will, not my will. Sort of letting the day flow and take me where it may. I help people a lot. And find there are many who appreciate some help. And what of me?
Simply I am knackered and have been listening for a few days, so my head is full and it needs no more poured in till I let it all out. Sometimes we need a quiet day. And being suspicious of quiet days I go out and do something. Is there a gap in me? Not presently, and yet I know there may be a gaping hole in times future. Inevitable for me.
Long chats last night depleted my capacities. And left me wondering about some things to do with me. Not too deep as there was little room for me in my noodle.
Watching news of far flung places and closer to home: the chaos of life and little serenity in it for anyone. We seem over populated and driven by want and not needs. Wants so strong the needs of life forgotten.
Simple small things were difficult to do. And motivation was missing. And my temper is on a short fuse. I don’t have much in the temper department usually, but I can feel the prickle of disaffection.
Connection to life is everything and keeping connected to life means being out there and involved. Not spending large volumes of time trying to think it one way or another. Living and doing and helping and supporting and hold on, there is time for me in this isn’t there? I need be careful with these next few days or I will forget myself. And my philosophies…
Forgetful of self? Is a virtue, as long as there is balance. Being of service is of great value, as long as service is not measured or left as debt. For me it is never in debt. And there is still the balance to be found as always in these matters. Care needed and for all concerned. Carefully we find our path as we move along the journey of life.
It beats the roller coaster life spent for decades past. And now those decades pay their debt to me in new living. A day at a time…
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
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