November 27 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "the perils of the limelight? Pretending to be something you are not…" One day at a time for quite a while, I have been sober, but I cannot give you a copper bottomed guarantee that I will be sober tomorrow, I hope I will be sober for a while yet, at the same time I cannot predict what might happen to me and what extremes of living I might encounter. We are not built for prolonged extremes of life, on an emotional and spiritual level. Without the support of other people, and being able to be rigorously honest, there are no guarantees. The miracle of sobriety, one day long…
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The perils of the limelight? Creating a false impression, living in fear of being found out, and any combination of things which keeps me in denial about my true situation, will undermine my courage to change, growing faith in doing the right thing and self-esteem that it is okay to be me. Thankfully, in a media savvy, more open society which prefers the truth of what people are and who they are, keeping up appearances is more likely to attract negative press, than telling the truth, warts and all… In an ideal world, the principles of the AA fellowship, the twelve steps and traditions and all the understanding each person is learning would be highlighted. In the mainstream media I see nothing of the principles or an understanding of them, because those who have the malady and active in their malady are usually in denial, and those who do not have the malady are not particularly interested…
Disclosure… I can only speak for myself, and do not wish to speak for anybody else ever. Why? Because every single person on the planet is simply learning to be themselves. I cannot say who and what you are and then represent you. I don't want to represent you. I'm not a spokesperson for the AA fellowship, I can relate how it helps me keep sober one day at a time. I'm very happy that the life principles, the twelve steps keep me open, honest and willing to live life as life is. And the traditions, for the most part, help me work in unity, service and recovery. Where the traditions may fudge the issue of truth, for whatever reason, is just the way it is right now, truth is my spiritual touchstone, anonymity, a sanctuary to help me find the truth of now and then live it openly…
Equality in fellowship… I do not know what is right for you, and you may think you know what is right for me? That will always be a conundrum in judging people. Judge not, is a good principle of life, when it comes to emotional and spiritual well-being. At the same time, we will judge situations as we go along, continually taking risk assessments and deciding what to do, from crossing the road, to monumental decisions like marriage, taking a cure or the manner of our death. The last point, at least I'm not dying of a prolonged self-inflicted death caused by alcohol. However, given the medical authorities in the UK today, I better make a point of letting them know I do want to be resuscitated and not denied treatment which they can legally do presently in something called, "the Liverpool care pathway, where a clinician can sedate and let you be dehydrated to death…" Cruel and unusual punishment, I would prefer something quick and painless, when my noggin is empty and I have gone…
We do live in a world of spin doctoring, politicians telling half-truths, insurance companies taking excessive profits, banking institutions working to create surplus profits and excesses which they do not put back into the economic system... And a completely corrupted media sucking up to power as usual… No, I'm not bitter! Simply realistic and this is what counts for me… The ability to share the truth as I see it, and the ability for you to share the truth as you see it through social media. Whatever you think about your input on social media, if you are sharing your truth, it is as good as anybody else's. In this world, too often we are stopped from making decisions which we would take if we had the power of our vote and our reason. Meanwhile, we have to put up with tepid, judgemental idiosyncratic ideological individuals, full of pomp and full of ego, in the UK, now that they are fat, and live high off the hog, poncing and telling others off when they are responsible and bloody expensive to boot…
Now that have had a good rant. I feel much better! It may not change anything in your life, but I feel better and I haven't done any harm by expressing my views. This is the new power we have, to express our truth is we see it, less denial, less allegiance to the bad old ways we used to have and to be able to say and the express a point of view based on being open, honest and willing to change. The more we base our choices on truth, and get over the old denials and blames associated with the old life, somehow we feel a lot better day by day. When I had a LinkedIn account, I invented my own philosophy about leadership and people in public life, "never take any advantage away from those you serve unless you are willing to give up that advantage yourself…" And that is not a leftist philosophy, or rightist philosophy, it is just my philosophy. I gave some money to a recovering person in the rooms recently, I knew they were blagging me, and I knew it was their only way to get by right now. I do not judge their method, but I do know without a few pounds, they would have gone hungry for quite a while. And I had to smile, I was not the only one who gave up without a thought, it's not my business, but it is my business to help if I can wherever I might be…
Self-prejudice: not feeling good enough, preferring a fantasy rather than reality. What will people think if they know the truth about me? The truth is I drank for decades because life was difficult and now I don’t drink because life is difficult. I can cope with reality, be truthful and if people are prejudiced against me or anyone in recovery, I can fuck off and mind my own business today…
Should there be a public face to fellowship? I would suggest no. Fellowship has the broadest appeal to those with a desire to stop drinking because no one can represent the views of anyone else on anything. I cannot represent you and you cannot represent me. How we share experience, strength and hope is always a personal choice inside and outside fellowship. Open, honest and willing to be truthful works well for me…
Beautiful autumn turquoise skies, a few hours of daylight and I can appreciate the array. Clouds dark and light grey wispily drift. I can see with clarity in the moment, nothing else on my mind but the imperfectly perfect moment of now. There may be a million worldly worries of deep concern, and still a moment of complete acceptance and serenity listening to the universe…
November 27 2010 ~ limelight? If we are open, honest and willing in our endeavours, we share experience, strength and hope with humility. What would I do if I slipped or relapsed because of my life situation? For me to share the truth, ask for help and support where I know there is wisdom and love, in the fellowship of AA...
November 27 2010 ~ Life is full of peril, we are all subject to tragic moments, ourselves, family and communities. Anonymity serves a purpose in recovery and in recovery I have found, open honest and willing, truth love and wisdom are key principles to live my life. I am an open book today. Unique and authentic we are always...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "THE PERILS OF THE LIMELIGHT" In the beginning, the press could not understand our refusal of all personal publicity. They were genuinely baffled by our insistence upon anonymity. Then they got the point. Here was something rare in the world - a society which said it wished to publicize its principles and its work, but not its individual members. The press was delighted with this attitude. Ever since, these friends have reported A.A. with an enthusiasm which the most ardent members would find hard to match. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 182
It is essential for my personal survival and that of the Fellowship that I not use A.A. to put myself in the limelight. Anonymity is a way for me to work on my humility. Since pride is one of my most dangerous shortcomings, practicing humility is one of the best ways to overcome it. The Fellowship of A.A. gains worldwide recognition by its various methods of publicizing its principles and its work, not by its individual members advertising themselves. The attraction created by my changing attitudes and my altruism contributes much more to the welfare of A.A. than self-promotion."
November 27 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In The Life’
Altered States of Being
We never stay the same, our mood alters daily depending on what we experience. Some parts of us are long lasting, those we love, those we don’t know, those we avoid as the experience precipitates all of our emotions. We can move from one mood state to another.
All In a Day
Please Adjust Your Stress!
We wake up, we are sleepy, maybe we recall a dream, maybe we recall its going to be a good day, a day off, an exciting interlude or just plain don’t know mood, to downright depressed and confused.
Stress and Distress
Seems depending on how we feel, life helps to keep us happily stressed with enough motivation to enjoy a day and meet challenges head on. Good stress is enough to flex our emotional state to feel good, to be up a little and hopefully not too far out of balance we get distressed.
As we grow in our experiences of life, we feel distress as things don’t always go the way we want. More often we are pushing ourselves one way or another beyond what can do, or need do.
Every situation we encounter, depending on our outlook, we can cope happily, cope sadly as each situation manifests.
Trauma from recent past and often the long distant past send us memory signals to what we encounter and what we anticipate.
Fear, Brave Facing and Brittle Ego - Our less helpful self
Fear and what we recall from experience, often good teachers or harsh teaching. When we know we are in a place of distress and trouble, most often we feel wrong footed and wrongly placed to deal with challenges.
Courage Faith And Confidence
When we have enough courage, some faith in ourselves and some confidence we can feel stressed and able to meet most situations and see the truth of it.
A bit like a feeling exercise more than a thinking exercise each day before we get too wrapped in the details.
Can we be confident? Can we be Courageous, Can we have faith in ourselves?
Of course the answer is depending on our life experiences we get closer to this positive outlook than feeling a need to cover up, to put on a brave face and wear a mask of ego where we are more fearful than confident.
Love Abandonment and Rejection
As we are all human mostly! We do like inclusion to a degree that suits us, we feel better in control when we can share and be a part of life as we prefer. And what really makes us concerned and unhappy is exclusion, being left behind or even not wanted at all.
So we have complicated feelings. Needing inclusion to the right measure and feelings of exclusion when we don’t fit anymore. Or we just prefer to be excluded rather than included.
Our evidence of our mood is in our ease or uneasy feelings. Our situation changes, we more information, or we have less to keep us happy than sad. As sad and happy feelings can come and go most often we are powerless over what causes them, and at the same time if we are able, we move to places more secure and more in keeping with our need for safe havens.
Seems hard in some ways…
Truth and Denials
We humans are good at selective forgetting. Often the truth of our situation is not easy, we feel less loved than loved, less a part of things and more on our toes looking at safe places, safe people and safe in our surroundings. We like control of who and what we are. Insecurity can be a nagging ill feeling.
The more truth we have the better. And still we can be selecting our truths to fit us and what we need and want. We exclude information unhelpful to our outlook.
Denial of the “Bleeding Obvious!” A term coined years back by someone. The obvious is often what we deny because we want our own way and security. Truth is hard to find as our feelings rule most of what we do. Truth and evidence can be harsh and we dismiss truth often favouring denials.
We are Human
In a day we shift moods and move as we may in this labyrinth of feelings, truths and denials. There is no way to control our feelings, they are as they are. We can change mood however by our choices and truth.
We have them when we find and see truth, we need not pretend or go along with half-truth, half of this or that unless we negotiate it so. And even then every human sees the world with their own eyes.
Now revealing we are most often is when we encounter things wrong footed and our ego, our brave face which feels like its turning red, and our ego cover the hurts of life.
Can help for a while, can be very unhelpful long term. Denials keep us safe long enough for us to adjust as we feel loss and grief of something precious to us. At the same time we need find our truth and adjust ourselves to it or we are truly in for long term worries.
The Truth Is Out There
And more often inside us when we uncover and turn over the rocks where we hide those indigestible lumps of truth.
Life and Storms, Calms and Ripples
Life is life, we are best informed with truth than those “I cannot believe it” moments and we settle in our moods as we move through time.
Time is the Healer or our Gaoler
We can get over things, readjust as denial gives way to truth, we can stay with denial and find we are prisoners of the past.
Better we are, living in the day!
27th November 2006
Restore me to Sanity - Don’t leave me this Way
As if anyone can? What we often fail to realise is what we feel is precisely what we are meant to feel. They are our feelings, what buggers up the works is when we rely on others to make us feel anything at all. We need to feel right or wrong in ourselves because those feelings tell us what is going on. That we have a right to feel the way we do, or that we are feeling this way because of something external to us or more likely something in us we find disagreeable.
Restoration to any form of sanity is really a daily chore involving honesty, openness and willingness to go with how the world really is today. The path of truth is quite a daunting prospect overall. We think we feel we know everything, and we know pretty little when we are reliant on external factors to make our conscience and our way of looking at the world real.
Sanity is maybe a work in progress I know it is for me, and sanity is sometimes hard to come by as we live in a reality which can make us all mad as hatters.
From small things which trip us up, to big things which bring us to untold lows. All things have their place in our lives.
Forgiveness is Paramount
We need forgiveness for everything and everyone, as we move through this world we are walking disaster areas, and through the disasters we learn most of what is really important in life. Stoicism is absolutely helpful as long as we don’t suppress our feelings and ignore them.
Acceptance is the key to everything actually, as to reality and our next best thing to do. Wisdom comes from letting everything be what it really is and not what we might wish. Easy as knitting water!
Meeting just recently in my Fellowship
This was a grownups meeting of our fellowship where people talked of their deep and compelling return to sanity. It was truly magnificent to see and hear real people making reality work. The years of endeavour to make this so, it was deeply moving and deeply meaningful for me.
As I look back now to where I felt wrong with this world I can see my part in it and everyone’s part too.
Doing Our Best
Doing our best is as good as it gets, we all do our best even when we do the worst. We are intent on good outcomes all the way for ourselves, and not always for others, yet we do our best. We do it from what we know and what we learn.
When we learn that some people’s best and our own best is quite wide of the mark and not realistic we get better at life if we learn how to get back on track. Some never do, others like me are maybe learning every day. What I do is my business, and what you do is none of my business unless of course it impacts on me. What you think of me is really none of my business, maybe, maybe not. We learn our path and have forgiveness in our hearts, and consequences to face.
I am trying to find mine these days, they must be somewhere, and yet I cannot find one now which is fully developed and active. Something has happened in my way of looking at this world, it’s a fundamental change. From dark based on history, it seems to have gone. From dark without cause, it still haunts me and is not a reaction to my history.
Has been an eye opener for me. As I see my path and get on with life as best I may. There are big challenges every day to keep some balance and keep to my path. I am not righteous or gifted with anything other than human qualities and all the good and bad this entails. As we emerge with our understanding of life in real terms, we accept how things are. And this I do today.
Love is deep and always with us, as is the opposite when we feel bereft in some ways. We learn our path to enlightened times as we learn the gift of life. Some of us lucky to experience all elements of love, and we may cherish what we learn. Or we may do disservice to ourselves and others through our indifference and superficial reactions when responses bring joy and understanding.
My day has been good and solid in reminders of how easy we can become unhinged and unable to see the real world as it is. A place of opportunity and fellowship if we look for it and understand as we walk this path so do everyone else, as complicated and simple as can be. We make our lives as we can, and from where we start. There is no equality of experience. Yet we are all gifted as best nature and providence can provide.
How we work our day and living is as experience and our understanding enable. Sometimes its good and sometimes as bad as can be, and if we emerge with good conscience and with evenness we are better able to make the most of a short life and existence.
There is no right or wrong path to our ending, just many beginnings a day long and a day at a time. With luck we get a balance somewhere in all this turmoil and find love along the way. Unconditional love is best lived in the moment, without doubt and without remorse or resentment, for indeed we find it lives within and not without, merely now and in the moment of the ever present, present moment…
So when I suggest don’t leave me this way.. It is merely me and not you who leaves me this way. We need own our feelings and consequences, we need own for sure our part in living and consequences, I am always here and present in this moment of now. Best I keep finding how, and let history rest where it is, behind me, and the future will be here soon enough, and just make sense of this one day present. It is the source of all experience and informs choice to next steps.
Listen to your heart, accept reality, and move with grace in the moment, as if we may? We may as life offers and not as our will might suggest. The truth will out.
November 27th 2005
Strength in vulnerability
As we grow, we often get reminded of our vulnerability to life and what it entails. Vulnerable always, we might wish for more strength and resilience. Yet resilience, whilst a great quality actually can undermine learning and growth. We find that we all revere strength and energy and aim for vitality. Yet when we break all elements we can acquire or have from birth, there is one element we can overlook, our need for balance. In discussion with a friend, some observations came to mind... "As to the use of vulnerable to describe elements of our human condition. Vulnerable means open to and absorbed and influenced by something or someone. It is a strength when we apply ourselves to conditional vulnerability. Like you point out though' in matters men and women, the vulnerable are not to be the prey of predators.
Predators do need boundaries imposed generally or they harm with extreme prejudice and without a sense of morality we might expect. What offends us in the predator is our self-knowledge and restraint. Now that is a hard topic, for all of us and one which is not explored or understood.
The revulsion we feel is what we know is in anyone's capacity, even our own, and our recoil in such matters. And what we get to understand as inappropriate as we grow and learn, is often in the context of love, for we do not choose those we love. And we always apply an adults view to our whole life experience, when we might be better able to understand our history and others, through their eyes at the time and in the circumstance. Our adult perspective is hindsight, a loaded gun and one often with a hair trigger and enough power for us to self-destruct." The balance of life is we will experience elements most unwelcome as we learn the "right" of life for ourselves. And we will through experience gravitate to our preferences and our understandings. Most elements of life are self-determined and life itself offers endorsement through our life experiences.
When we find through nature and nurture, the good of life, we often apply our learning and it becomes something we have in our "good conscience". The most difficult elements of good conscience are they become ritual, so that ritual then dictates what is to the good and what is evidently bad. And as ritual develops from our good conscience, so too all manner of taboo which are then put to laws of mankind.
In our wisdom, these notions of good conscience formally ritualised take on mythic and pre-ordained qualities, a really important journey towards the spirit of the age, and zeitgeist. And the obvious improvement on this development of good conscience is its application to divinity. Now there is a leap in faith!
November 27th 2004
where there is stillness there is depth.
When our minds are full of moments remembered its so hard to find the inner quiet where we are peaceful in ourselves. So many experiences tick by with a clock as long as life itself, adding piquancy to treasures stored. Every experience a priceless trinket to add to our powerhouse of understanding the world.
Every experience we feel gives depth to that blank unfilled mind we are equipped to fill. Feelings are so enriched, with moments of high drama, to the least significant and sometimes in the detail we are lost to our true nature. Nature fashioned us, nurture enriches us.
Our balance and depth comes from all life experiences, those which give pleasure as do those which burn our very essence. Without pleasure we cannot measure the burn, without the burn we cannot comprehend the pleasure. So life enables and informs us of the familiar of life.
Stillness is time to recollect the experience to add and broaden depth of feeling and thought. Reward in the stillness is time in reflection, spent understanding our life and moments deepening texture and context.
Silence, our greeting to remembrance and fancy. Emptiness, space to let our imagination soar and a roar into the echo of time.
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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