November 9 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "emotional and spiritual: self-aware, prayer and meditation…" Knowing my mood and being able to cope in the moment of now is a good place to start when learning to pray and meditate. More importantly, knowing my mood and not being able to cope opens the door to asking for help. Self-aware, happy joyous and free the world is full of light. Self-aware, unhappy, sad and trapped the world is dark, prayer and meditation helps us ask for help and looking outwardly rather than what could be dim introspection…
Video For Today:
One of the wonderful things about fellowship is that we find respect for each other and our different opinions and beliefs. And when it comes to religion, no single religion has a right to say it is better than another religion. Always it is the human beings who have an axe to grind one way or another, and cause conflict rather than agreement. The tenets of all major religions offer a path of unity, service and recovery. And the fellowship of AA recognises each and every person's right to be themselves in all respects. What manifests most in people who find serenity is there adherence to the path of: "truth, love and wisdom and coping with the experience of life day by day…"
What do we conclude, if we ask for help and no help seems to come? Probably we are asking for help from people, places and deities may not be able, not be aware, not interested, don't like what we are asking. Asking for help is seeking the truth, and seeking clarity when there is no clarity and we don't know what the truth is today. Old attitudes and behaviour will make anyone cynical, and the old attitudes are so easy to reinforce by looking for help in the wrong places. The answer was never in a bottle, the answer was simply obliterated. As we develop courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing, and asking for help from better sources than before, we are more open than closed, gain better clarity even when we are rebutted by others who are unable to help, as we close one door and shut down that complication, another door opens to a new world, and more enquiry…
How am I feeling this morning? I feel happy and accepting in this one moment. Why? Learning more about the people I love. My mother is up and about and more herself after her operation last week. A friend visited yesterday and happy conversation. A friend on the phone needing a bit of computer help and I helped. And sharing with many friends in many ways across the world. Maybe that's why I feel a bit tired this morning. And I am full of forgiveness for me and everyone, trudging the road of destiny, be it good, bad or ugly, today… Self-awareness, awareness of where other people are in our lives, prayer and meditation, all helping everyone to cope in the moment of now…
Our inner voice of reflection, meditation and prayer can drive us mad. My inner voice now very focussed on looking for answers outside me, where reality flows and the answers to my problems today. “The truth is out there” and happy to learn, feel life as it is and live reality. Accepting life is difficult; no battles to fight can do and cannot do and wisdom to learn the difference works today…
“Sharing is by raised hand and I get to choose,” said the secretary. He chose his mates, old timers and all men, except for a female visitor. With hand raised I looked him in the eye on several occasions, he held my gaze and picked others. If he had picked me, his friends would disapprove, fear of not fitting in and political correctness. Step six a key and step seven always the answer, “faith.”
November 9 2010 ~ from dark to light is a way to describe my transition from active alcoholic to recovering alcoholic. From bleak times to living in reality. Even when life is most challenging and there can be a major catastrophe, I need not drink. A sober head learning wisdom, support from fellowship and from family and community, life balance is possible today...
November 9 2010 ~ prayer and meditation opens me to a world of wisdom, working on solutions and not creating problems. I can pray and meditate for good rather than self-interest. Prayer and meditation is something we all do informally when that inner voice is talking to us. When we pray or listen for answers we connect to god or simply good conscience today...
Are You Willing?
A daunting prospect in the extreme for anyone: in a haze from alcoholism or addiction to be willing to consider giving up what seems to make life possible. Even when we have experienced so much devastation to our emotional and physical health, we cannot see what sobriety can be, we have lost touch with reality. Or simply the reality of addiction has distorted our ability to cope with reality.
From the pages of AA Chapter five:
“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.”
Broken down humans are not particularly capable of grasping anything simple, like the idea stop drinking and go to meetings, because the cravings of addiction simply make us want what we cannot do without, “a fix.”
Zealots [People with a hard core message and no compassion]
It is true, that we rarely see a person fail if they thoroughly follow the simple instructions for sobriety. BUT with recovery I have often found the best way to encourage a person to be open, honest and willing to change is to share experience strength and hope and not to tell them what to do. If I had been told what to do, I would have done the opposite.
Attraction Not Promotion
Attraction is sharing and being open, honest and willing, so a newcomer is listening to what has worked for others and not a barrage of “truisms.”
Promotion is like the medicine man with his snake oil. An elixir to cure all maladies we may encounter. And I know in sobriety, recovery is today and just for today, contingent on my ability to deal with life today, contingent on my mood and spiritual outlook. Simply reality and always reality is the gift we get sober.
Just because you are sober, you don’t have the right to tell me what to do, but if you share experience strength and hope with me, I may be able to listen.
Willing To Go To Any Lengths?
On my first day sober, was I willing to go to any lengths when I was asked by a potential sponsor? The answer was an emphatic yes, I said yes out loud, and in my head I waited for him to say more and then work out if he was a zealot on a mission, or an ordinary bloke who wanted to help. I was ready to bolt and head for the pub if he mentioned god or anything like it.
Keep Coming Back
Were his words, and see if anything catches your attention and if it seems confusing, ask me about it. He said it is a programme of attraction, not promotion, and he could not tell me anything, or I would get drunk. He was right, drunk and death seemed a better prospect.
I did keep coming back, I did feel like drinking for a while, I did listen, and ask him for help when I could not understand. And when anyone mentioned anything I might not agree with, he simply said, be yourself and learn what works for you. He is dead, from natural causes, but he was right, attraction not promotion...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "STEPPING INTO THE SUNLIGHT" But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 10 sometimes I think I don’t have time for prayer and meditation, forgetting that I always found the time to drink. It is possible to make time for anything I want to do if I want it badly enough. When I start the routine of prayer and meditation, it’s a good idea to plan to devote a small amount of time to it. I read a page from our Fellowship’s books in the morning, and say “Thank You, God,” when I go to bed at night. As prayer becomes a habit, I will increase the time spent on it, without even noticing the foray it makes into my busy day. If I have trouble praying, I just repeat the Lord’s Prayer because it really covers everything. Then I think of what I can be grateful for and say a word of thanks.
I don’t need to shut myself in a closet to pray. It can be done even in a room full of people. I just remove myself mentally for an instant. As the practice of prayer continues, I will find I don’t need words, for God can, and does, hear my thoughts through silence."
November 9 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Seeing Old Friends
Not Old ‘Old’ Friends for some time
I had coffee with someone I regard as old friend status and they are hardly old at all. And we have common experiences and we know much about each other, a sort of telepathic knowledge neither feels too comfortable about, as we are destined to say and share the truth as it manifests. In younger days the awful truth and actuality, well these days we are more prepared for the cut and swathe to get to the bones and foundations we may need make more solid. Rock solid preferred, in life though rock solid has a fluidity we all might find unsettling, and so we gasp as each cut delivered, reveals another truth.
With some we know we will share the truth, and that for others our truth is so sharp it cuts and stabs deep into our psyche if we make it too stark, without some warming and love behind what we share of what we see. We can squeeze spiritual and be aware we bleed readily and need transfusions of care and sensitivity.
Knowledge and comprehension without compassion, feels like the surgeons cut and the pain without any way to obliterate the painful shards of truth. Not painful when embraced and acknowledged as just truth as it may be and what we may want to do about our truth.
Friends close, and friends we need. Or we find no path to find our spiritual growth. Lonesome wanderings please some and we see them far away from reality and the glare of denial blinds solidly as more chunks of blather hold our incredulity aloft. We need be resolute and share what we know or no good comes from false notions and both parties wonder if the other realises that no good came from empty doings.
I was asked casually to be a sponsor today, not by any connection to the above. I hesitated and then relented and in relenting and the next encounter led to denial of a connection at all. Rebutted with ‘not here’ I retreated firmly and carefully and made no more mention. Some cannot see their weakness is in denial of those who can help as much as trying to get the help. In this case some simple steps to make life work a little more easily.
In essence I will wait another time if opportunity is made. Or leave as things are, slightly out in my opinion. Control and manipulations are not easy to understand as in asking with conditions leaves me powerless as is the other asking for help. Level relations are not anticipated in this enterprise most likely lost to time.
Two meetings today.
One good meeting and some mending from years back and acceptance in me at least and in a strange and roundabout way another made amends for times past in friendship.
Another meeting better for revealing a host of resentments. Not about me but about another and where they are in their journey. Helping others yields no expectation in me, and at the same time I feel the antipathy of many, and ridicule has hurt another who has given much service and found themselves unappreciated. Its true, and the unfortunate way we humans are we don’t share all we know as we can recollect that gossip does kill as surely as a drink forced down an alcoholics throat. The first gulp and the fire is lit. It takes a strong person to come back from the brink. And it cannot be done alone.
Prejudice & Judgment
I see there has been prejudice without warrant, And judgment and some undermining going on without malice intended or am I misunderstanding the cruelty others can inflict in their intemperate views?
Only just an alcoholic - nipped it in the bud
I heard this clear tonight, and I a proper one at that! I guess these things are seen as they may be, I do not warm to prejudice and devaluing any person. People do their best and some who do their best are learning so much forgiving need be done. And without prejudice.
Yet another reminded me of actions to harm me earlier in the year and they still feel the sting that caused me much hurt, which has gone from me. My lesson learned indeed. The deed being do no harm at all if one can manage. Or the consequences lead back to harm’s way for all concerned. And crosses generations as is written in testaments in history. I need not go there now.
An odd sort of day all round. The time of year, rain and bleak hours where daylight was at best dim. And the harsh truth of living.
I am ambivalent tonight, conflicted by some recent events I wish no further part in. And still I know with truth and informed reason the story is far from done. We need be careful and live honourably I feel, hard indeed as some truth to share presently is not exactly what others may wish to hear.
I am satisfied however that all due care has been taken to review requests and some answered in due course may feel resentments knocking as I close the door to some enterprises roundabout that need no help from me.
9th November 2006
Insanity - the denial of reality
A definition of insanity and sanity:
“insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different to happen.”
“sanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different to happen.”
In my fellowship, a group of men and women with a single purpose. It is merely to stop drinking and we have whole bunch of suggestions to ensure we keep sober and stop drinking. And it’s a whole lot more, because life is a whole lot more.
I am sad this morning and not depressed because a friend of mine in the fellowship found life so tormenting, they decided to try insanity all over again. And you know what? I was powerless and unable to make a difference which could stop insanity.
Its definitely a two edged thing, this madness that drives us to drink in the first place. All based on dependence and obsession. We are literally driven to drink and then unable to make life work with it, and as we find without it, if we don’t change how we behave and who we behave with.
On our own
On our own and isolated as drink prefers, we look out from the bottom of a bottle and hate ourselves and hate the world. On our own we feel desolate and we feel it’s the world which has done this, or a person a place or thing we cannot deal with or bend to our control. We are driven to drink and drink drives us bonkers. If we let our self-pity get us we cannot fail in our mission of self-destruction.
The destruction of self so easily accomplished if we keep to isolating and keep to our obsession and pity. Whatever drives us to be so obsessed, if we feel we need keep it, the obsession that is, it does not control us and we are controlled by it. Indeed we are powerless over our obsession when we drive ourselves singularly to self-destruction. And then life is truly unmanageable.
When we cannot manage, when we cannot control, when we feel excluded from making decisions and we feel there is no friendship about, we can be overwhelmed find everything unmanageable. We are completely beaten and we drink again, or find another option as worse and awful. We find some way to fix the immediate feelings of hate and love unfulfilled. Hate is ours, self-hate our creation.
Ego is King
As we move off our sober path, the ego and all that is negative is surfacing, our feelings so hurt and all the world is against us and wilful desire to get our own back or hide in a hole and make ourselves better with oblivion. We cannot face our feelings we project all the blame elsewhere or at ourselves for our powerlessness over everything. We are tormented by our will, our inability to cope with reality. We want it our way, or no way.
We find we can blame anything and everything, its them, it’s the world, its my bad luck and I, I, and I again am on my own fighting the world and making sure everyone feels my pain. This is blame at its best, its all we are and all we have ever encountered which drives us back to drink. We fail to see our part in events and we right royally feel the world has dealt yet another blow. We are big in our own minds and everything is beneath us. King in Ego, enslaved once again by impulse, compulsion, blame and torment to drink.
This is the insanity, a trip back to drunken oblivion serves to remind us, as if we really needed, that we can be self-destructive, and feel we deserve to do this because we are one with nothing but pain and pity inside us.
The Return To Sanity
As the cold light of day dawns and the worst is confirmed yet again. That any amount of drink might afford anything but a fleeting removal of this pain becomes apparent. It may be we get another moment of clarity and realise our mistake, or we go under and emerge sometime later, and most often with any addiction, we never surface again. We can languish at death’s door for an age or a day, knowing our fate is sealed if we choose a path most end up walking. Sanity is knowing that we can do something over and over, and knowing the result is a sober day without all those torments, if we take a grip on our choice just one day at a time…
Sanity in a Mad World
Yes indeed to develop a path in fellowship, our personal vehicle to keep our identity and our sanity, to simply be ourselves if we choose and make a choice.
The hardest and most definitely difficult thing we must do, is change our outlook and change our behaviour or the guarantee is oblivion and the hardest of times. Drink and drugs kill in abundance, we know it and love it and hate it at the same time.
Why am I Writing this Today?
A friend is out there in the world of insanity, just back and tormented and no doubt sorry as hell. Driven mad by issues beyond their control, and wanting control so badly the madness returned, and we might ask them if ever they dare admit it, did the madness ever go away? Or had they made good their ego’s drift into more madness, when they chose not to change their attitudes and behaviour, scorned that which might save them, and make real life work?
Real life is just what we see and just what we know. And in a tortured mind we want it our way. We will pretend all the things that we see are beyond us and inside we feel we can change it to our way. This is the madness, the unacceptable truth which pushes us towards more insanity, rather than let it all go.
From a book of suggestions “As Bill Sees it”
“Free Of Dependence, p. 63
I asked myself, "Why can't the Twelve Steps work to release me from this unbearable depression?" By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer: "It is better to comfort than to be comforted."
Suddenly I realized what the answer might be. My basic flaw had always been dependence on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security, and confidence. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionists dreams and specifications, I fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.
Reinforced by what grace I could find in prayer, I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people and upon circumstances. Then only could I be free to love as Francis had loved.
Grapevine, January 1958
A friend just sent me the reference for the quote above. I felt it summed up much of what I might say.
For my friend back after such a short slip into madness, I can be there to support as best that I can. And as to where I fit in with this fellowship of friends, always there in a meeting, on the phone and always on message, when my life allows me. For indeed I am no better or worse at this way of living life simply, just daily as we can, one day at a time.
As is said, and we don’t see it till we see the madness we have had, but for the grace of God, and in my case “good conscience,” go I.
We only have a daily reprieve from a madness that has killed more than we can count since mankind and humanity founds ways to alter our outlook and fix with something outside us, what we cannot fix the inside without some help.
Fellowship is the key, acceptance our practice, wisdom learned in action and not lived in our minds.
A fellowship of action a day at a time, builds firm future’s on the bedrock of truth and reality. So hard to experience, when insanity is easy, and reality sucks till we find our path to new life and living in the ever present, present moment of now!
November 9th 2005
It is much easier to believe that it's snowing, than to experience the snow. If we just believe, we can stay inside, stay warm and avoid the cold. That's why we are sometimes led up the garden path by others beliefs. It's easier and warmer. And all this 'believing stuff' starts in childhood. In the context of our spiritual or personal growth, believe nothing, experiment and test everything, in the laboratory of our own experience. Only then will we be able to separate truth from falsehood, reality from illusion, and lead others with integrity. Challenge and check at least one belief every day. And if it's found wanting, chuck it or change it. Challenge, check, then chuck or change, now that's a master at work.
Or maybe we learn that mastery is not the goal, or an achievable end. Maybe we learn than learning itself helps us become more skilful, more adept in an ever evolving world…
November 9th 2004
Love can never be exclusive. The sun does not choose to shine on some flowers in the garden and not others. Love is inclusive and has many faces - caring, listening, sharing from the heart, just accepting someone for what they are right now, are all acts of love, as long as you seek nothing in return. It all starts with acceptance of yourself - you're just fine as you are right now, warts and all. It's not that you will stay that way for ever - but you might, if you don't accept. The secret key to the greatest door called love is acceptance. First yourself, then others (especially the ones you currently resist) and eventually ...all.
I am having morning coffee in central London sat wrapped in writing my diary. A man I know from the street wanders in and sits and asks a neighbouring man at his table for a cigarette. I see the defeated and reluctant man hand over the cigarette. He hears another say to the borrower that he does this all the time. The man takes the cigarette anyway, lights up and then wanders off. The atmosphere is tense with anger.
In my lifetime, I guess the man who asked and the man who gave, they will not be able to change those feelings of that moment. The beggar, he will remain indifferent to his impact and continue requests, the giver, he will modify his thoughts, the heckler, he will remain embittered. And in a second, prejudice is profound.
I was contemplating the plight of the less regarded, the ill, who without physical defect, run a thousand times round in their minds, the trouble they have and misunderstanding of others. I don't anticipate in my lifetime a change in attitude to mental illness, for the prejudice runs hard and cold. Dealing with physical ailments are indeed imaginably hard, mental illness baffles and is unimaginable. Both intense, oft permanent, excluding the afflicted. It is a sadness, and an opportunity, one day there will be change.
Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...
“The method of prayer & meditation. We often hear it said in meetings that the speaker "hits his knees every morning." Not being brought up Catholic or Muslim, we envisioned that slapping of the knees might be spiritually significant in A.A. When we discovered that the act of prayer was being referred to, we asked why A.A. tells us to get on our knees to pray. We were informed that A.A. makes no such suggestion. In fact, reference to praying on the knees, in the original draft of Step 7, was explicitly removed to prevent the misconception that such a practice was suggested. Moreover, to be on one’s knees as a prior condition to prayer will prevent prayer at many opportunities during the day. If you or your sponsor think that you should be on your knees for correct prayer, then by all means do so. It might just be the best way to pray. For the content of prayer, see Step 11b that follows.” BB Bunch
November 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory
Alcoholics Anonymous | Step Eleven Reading Video Link:
November 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
November 2012 | Video Reading Into Action :
I do not speak for Alcoholics Anonymous I speak for myself. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of unique and authentic people who speak for themselves where they will to share experience, strength and hope about recovery on a daily basis. Anonymity affords sanctuary to find how to live sober and be open, honest and willing to learn life day by day. For me "truth," "love" and "wisdom" offer the best spiritual experience by living reality today. Into the fabric of recovery from alcoholism are woven the Twelve Steps and the Traditions: steps to be open, honest and willing to learn, traditions to live unity, service and recovery.
Spiritual principles ~ Forgiveness Acceptance Surrender Faith Open-mindedness Honesty Willingness Moral-inventory Amends Humility Persistence Spiritual-growth Service
About Psychosis And Depression: