November 5 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "the quality of faith?" In step seven I have the opportunity to explore and develop: courage to change, faith in finding possible solutions and growing confidence to be vulnerable and ask the help when I need it. Those who can help me will and those who cannot will make themselves scarce in quick time… The quality of faith if it can be measured is probably in being vulnerable and having the humility to ask the help when needed. And most often when we think we do not need help, we are still hampered by one outlook, our own outlook…
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Step six, the old way of life. Step seven the new way of life. Or somewhere in between. Depending on how we feel, because our mood will impact on how we think and how we behave. We can have a mixture of old behaviour and actions which highlight just how difficult life used to be, and as we see the difference between old behaviour and new behaviour, we can experiment and find the benefits in the solution rather than the problem of old… Expectations of ourselves and others being far too great, and expecting things to turn out all right without real effort and without consideration for the whole big picture of life…
Self-examination utilising the serenity prayer, can do can't do and learning the wisdom to know the difference. Prayer, asking for help and clarity, and then realising I can ask for help from those around me. And sometimes before I ask for help from those around me, I do apply some meditation and reflection. There is no point asking the gas man for pastoral care, he can fix the cooker if it is a gas cooker. On the other hand, I might ask the road sweeper for help with my pastoral care, because he has proved to be very useful in this regard, when it comes to matters to do with higher powers, he has proven most qualified and available on a daily basis as he passes by… Never judge a book by its cover…
I guess for me: The quality of faith is based on honesty, openness and willingness. If I don't have the answer, with all the resources and the world which I can access, human beings being human is number one. Most of the solutions to my life's problems and the problems for those living around me are based on the truth and reality of now. I don't have the big picture on my own, I need a bigger picture and need inclusion and ask for support and support as needed, and equally simply chewing the fat, or social discussions and interacting with everyone helps everyone to gain clarity and purpose. The quality of faith is often based on trial and error, and not steadfast immovable edicts, rules, laws or regulations which stopped spiritual growth in the past… Very often, you see what I don't see, my part in it!
Reflection and meditation… when there is no answer, I need look outwards for another question. It is not so much about right and wrong, it is about what will be the solution, just for today…
Life… to love, be loved and useful. Natural living where our instincts and conscience find balance: when we feel at one with ourselves and our surroundings, all our senses alert and tuned into now. There is peace in not knowing what happens next, and open and willing, and as our universe speaks, I may listen today…
Serenity: today in not knowing the answers. Fear craves certainty, faith waits with patience as each question comes so will the answers. And when there is no answer, all I need do is ask another question, and then find what works for today…
November 5 2010 ~ faith is... the ability to cope and experience peace of mind. My faith in living improves each day in recovery when I face reality. And faith is living life, not being afraid of joy, and not being afraid of sadness. An emotional and spiritual journey of recovery and discovery made possible one day at a time...
November 5 2010 ~ “grant me my wishes” or “live life as it can be today.” Faith grows when we can live to good conscience and be realistic today. Real, open honest and willing to learn, we need not be looking over our shoulder to see if we might be found out, shame and guilt fade as we laugh and learn, learning we are human today...
Step Eleven "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” there are hundreds of specific types of meditation. The word, 'meditation,' means many things dependent upon the context of its use. People practice meditation for many reasons, within the context of their social environment.
Meditation is a component of many religions, and has been practiced since antiquity, and the in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous the same is true. As there are as many people in the fellowship, we all practice some form, formal or informal of meditation and prayer.
In my experience we all pray and meditate, to what end, and whether we know it or not, we have our conscience talking to us all the time. That inner voice which is serene or chatting at a thousand thoughts a second or somewhere in between, something is going on in our heads.
My meditations and prayer - I can only speak for myself on this step
For me, meditation and prayer are about how to love, be loved and useful. And how to cherish people, and life in general, looking at the big picture of life as it is, real life right now. And what I can do and cannot do today. Useful in my world is being useful to me and others in the communities where I live. Being able to love others as they are right now, and not some idea or fantasy and let them be themselves. To love myself was often very hard, because I always felt I ought to improve me and my situation to an ideal I could never define. So to love myself is to take an interest in living and enjoy the good and look to help when life is difficult for me and those I love.
We have an inner voice, which can tell us life is good and we are part of our communities. Or the inner voice may reflect our anger and resentments and the unfairness of life today. Or somewhere in the middle I find most days.
The most effective prayer for me any day at any time is the serenity prayer:
To God or and 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 ~ "THE QUALITY OF FAITH” This ... has to do with the quality of faith… In no deep or meaningful sense had we ever taken stock of ourselves. . . . We had not even prayed rightly. We had always said, “Grant me my wishes” instead of “Thy will
be done.” TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p.32
God does not grant me material possessions, take away my suffering, or spare me from disasters, but He does give me a good life, the ability to cope, and peace of mind. My prayers are simple: first, they express my gratitude for the good things in my life, regardless of how hard I have to search for them; and second, I ask only for the strength and the wisdom to do His will. He answers with solutions to my problems, sustaining my ability to live through daily frustrations with a serenity I did not believe existed, and with the strength to practice the principles of A.A. in all of my everyday affairs."
November 5 2007
DonInLondon - ’Day In The Life’ Similarities and not the Differences
Get a Word in Edgeways
It felt distinctly competitive for a while yesterday. I went to two meetings at Flood St, the 9:30AM and the evening 7:30 . There were about 80 or so people at the meeting in the morning, an unusually large meeting, it usually attracts about 40 regulars.
And last night too, the meeting was bigger than usual. It may be the season where we alcoholics recognise the surge towards Christmas and excess. We alcoholics can enjoy a sober Christmas as we learn in the years of sobriety.
Sometimes we feel a bit ignored in the big meetings where the speaker chooses people who raise their hands to share back. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings can be a bear market when there does not appear to be enough time to get our words out.
Sometimes I feel the nerves twitch and still I feel compelled to share back as a speaker reminds me of my experience strength and hope. How not to drink one day at a time.
Anyway I got my chances and spoke.
It’s a revelation as we share, so similar we alcoholics are, often in the past riven with fear, torn apart by old feelings as we get our fears out and polish them, in order we may let them go, just as a day allows.
As time was of the essence in both meetings I sped up my words and maybe gabbled a while, and somehow people still understand what I am about.
Its odd and quite exhilarating to share with just enough confidence to know whatever we say, it may mean something to someone else and nothing to many more.
Similarities and Not Differences
As we encourage, that is everyone is encouraged to listen for the similarities and not the differences at meetings. So often forgotten around contentious subjects like, not drinking ever again, what God might be, and why oh why am I still often drawn to the problems and not the solutions!
Fortunately the emphasis is always to make sobriety just one day long or we run the risk of projecting ourselves to worst case scenarios so quickly, the pub, the bar, the off licence, the wine, beer and spirits counters in the market make us feel so thirsty. We might seek oblivion for a moment as fear tightens the belly and old drops of acid inside make the world a darker place.
We live in the solution most of the time, that is the solution to all our problems today. Good contact with fellowship, keeping close with family who understand us and keeping close to good people who just know us enough to prompt us to solutions rather than problems.
That is how it works in fellowship. No rules for us to break, just our choices right here and now.
We alcoholics, so similar know that a one day programme for survival can be made good by the day, that’s why we keep coming back to fellowship and our meetings.
A couple of friends of mine have had harsh times. And are moving into solutions rather than the havoc of putting on Brave faces all over again. We push so hard to be normal, we think the normal others expect of us, and not our own normal as we come to understand what we can do and what we cannot do by the day. And there is acceptance when we understand what we can and cannot do each day. And then we make the most of what we have, and always find most likely that we exceed our expectations.
Alcoholics in Recovery
Usually work hard at living, and being once we get to the solutions possible. Realistic and truthful, wishful often, yet stoic and accepting of how life is today. Better for living through both the hard and difficult, better for just being here to experience what may occur. And ever careful of those inner demons which spike most of us now and again.
Demons From the Past
Some, similar to me have faced the challenges over the years, to get our truth out of us. Those suppressed and awful “did that really happen to me” moments. And some of us still have deep, deep and hard feelings about what we experienced in our early and middle years. Things inside which do burn like acid and make us flinch to recollect.
Old Stuff - Hindsight
Hindsight, where we look back with the wisdom of the years. We find our old eyes look with horror sometimes at events in our lives.
The good news is we most likely will not repeat the horrid times as we don’t need go back to old living. The bad news we need find expression somewhere.
Meetings of the fellowship, sponsors where we talk one to one and friends might not be the best process where deeply troubling matters impact still. We may seek outside help and rightly so. This is not a weakness, this is a strength as we find ways to make our outlook and living more secure in the present day, and stop the demons of the past. At least when we do feel the memories return, we can understand how we were ‘back in the day’ when these dark matters happened and see the difference in us today.
Forgiveness and acceptance are keys to these moments or even months and years of fear and discovery.
We need keep safe and find our path today.
5th November 2006 [all about last year]
Making Life Work
Seems an odd subject, tonight though its close to my heart. It seems even after what was once a good age to get to, I am still learning basics, day in and day out. As the world turns life is more complex and complicated. We can find ourselves marooned if we fail to be in touch where it will go.
And life can be equally good at keeping us in touch or making us left out. And some hard knocks we get along the way, they can keep us out of our game forever as isolation and closing our eyes to the world makes it easier to cope. Coping is merely a means to find room to get ready for the next day in my humble opinion. When we are coping too long we are not living the days as we may, outwards and onwards.
Time to Get with it
And in my case some time was needed and still is from time to time, as my inner workings do what they will. A period in recent weeks where life has become rather normal and workable, just for a day at a time. And as I know with experience as my chemistry determines there will be times when the depressions occur. And how I deal now is quite different to before, with inclusion and connection, the hard times work best. And not in isolation where darker moods can develop, its easy to say this in a time when my head is just even. And as hard as breaking rocks when the dark inevitably descends.
I am lucky for a period of calm and peaceful living. Some things to work on and a programme to live by instead of mind numbing and aching hardships endured over the decades. As each day is lived with care and attention to now, the past does not haunt me, and the future is there. And what works best is connection to this one day, alive and in good company. All matters in inclusion make all of the difference…
A world of communication:
In our world we have every advantage ever known to mankind, to be in, and keep in constant communication with anyone we know. And as we get more adept at learning how we can, we make friends across the world as we know through modern means. As we share ourselves differently across the media and space, we reveal more honestly what we are, and find we have an acceptable face. We forget also what we don’t reveal when we are sharing our truth, little bits we forget, or are conveniently overlooked as we go. For often we have forgotten them. Some would accuse of denial, and it is surely there, yet its not always so.
Friends all over and friends in the Now
And as we have friendship and reveal more than we dare, we need remind ourselves just what we do and how living and friendships work. We know most about those who we meet in our community, or so we may think, it depends really on what’s going on inside and it really takes a lifetime to know. And as we are all able to portray ourselves our way, we are choosy always, and even face to face, there is much we don’t ever give away. Unless we are dealing with life as we go, a day at a time and its easier to know.
We need Know Ourselves
How often are we surprised by what we don’t know, especially about ourselves and revealing much more, a look in the mirror and trying to get honest, reveals complete deniability of much that we are. I am not criticising myself, nor anyone else for it is inside everyone, that we pick our best way, to portray and conduct ourselves with greatest aplomb, and hide from ourselves what we may in case we don’t like what we have. Or worse we might be judged as we are, in the eyes of those we meet...
Our Capacity to Know one Another
In essence as we get good at learning ourselves, we learn most of all about each other and our humanity shows through. Two tools are apparent and very necessary no matter who we are unlock our true natures, that is forgiveness and acceptance of the me and you, and who we really are.
I saw an expert consultant on Friday about my overall health. And he went through everything until we came upon one matter he was sensitive to reveal. Its my alcoholism, and now my recovery he felt awkward about. I said with some joy that recovery is my route, and well into year three, it feels right for me. And as it reveals unpleasant and true, actually acceptance on my part has freed me from my prejudice. As to others and their sensitivities, I accept them as well, and in my honesty anyone can help me or choose not to at will.
As to Others and how they may view me
Some will carry their views and exclude me from them, others are just pleased I live the way I do. And some will be worried I reveal too much to them, of what they may be if a drink goes too far. As to Anonymous, I belong to this fellowship where anonymous means many different things. Most of all it reveals our true nature, if we can stand to look. And get with a programme to live life right now, instead of being haunted by past deeds and sad times. We can remember the joys and the worthy parts of life and living as we get well, and keep to a path which opens all the world and what it may offer as we get on with life. From plain ordinary, to spectacular, to horrid and sad, lived soberly in the moment we carry less baggage. We keep our memories as memory enables, and forget our worries as quickly as they happened and then become past.
As to the Future
We learn in the present, from all that we encounter, and develop our fellowship and humanity as we are able. And we make friends in person and all across this world. What works well, is if we work living and life as we can.
And serenity even in those darkest moments when despair comes to visit, we can live on as we may and our being allows:
A meditation to good conscience using: God or Good Conscience as you may
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference..
The serenity in learning all of our nature and fellowship, through the darkest times and the best of times enables life as it is, real, hard, warm, cold, desolate, abundant and forever in this moment, the ever present, present of now. This is the gift of life.
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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