December 1 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: all about step twelve: "having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs…" From my experience, all twelve steps are relevant every single day, the principles work in practice and as we experience life, which is relevant to the step. December for me is about step twelve, sharing a message of experience, strength and hope as I may, inside and outside fellowship through my actions. In the moment, imperfectly perfect moment of now, practising these principles works just for today…
Video For Today:
Before I got to the fellowship of AA, I became a very sorry and sad person, and I had no real outlook on the world. Everything was focused on the next drink and finding oblivion as fast as possible. It was a terrible time, trying to pretend to be okay to family and friends, I could not work either. And I constantly wished I would not wake up. If it had not been for a moment when I decided it could get no worse and I was at rock bottom, and still alive, maybe, just maybe, asking for help and really meaning it would help me. I gave up trying to sort it out on my own because I could not. And the first call I made was to a psychiatrist who I knew would point me in the direction of the fellowship of AA, but not until I was put into a charity clinic to dry out for a few weeks…
Rugby House, the name of the charity, which ran the detox unit. I was told before I got there by the psychiatrist that I needed to keep drinking until I got there, or I might have a seizure. The invite was Friday, and I checked with family what I should do. They all said go and start Monday. I was surprised by their response, I thought they would see me as a failure, and it was the hardest thing to agree even though I needed help. And drunk out of my mind on the Sunday and Monday morning with a bag packed they let me in. The detox unit was in Bloomsbury in London. I was kept isolated the first two days, put on medication and then allowed into the main population of about twenty people. Most were in just for a respite and not for recovery. And although we were allowed out, we were breath tested on our return. And if anyone slipped they were kicked out immediately…
In the detox unit: some with drugs and alcohol problems, and me, a simple alcoholic. Some of the stories shared were frightening, from a train driver who killed people whilst he was drunk on duty. People unable to cope with: loss, people who had partied hard and just couldn't cope any more. Women: who had lost partners and children; Men who are lost their families as a result of drink. Men and women just trying to keep out of jail for whatever they had done. And one or two like me, who had not yet got to jails or institutions. But then I realised the jail was only just around the corner and actually even though it was a voluntary situation, I was in a mental institution for people driven mad by life…
Even though I might not have had the experience of being in jail or have killed anyone, or have lost family and friends in the process of my drinking, I could relate to every story and the heartache behind it. Alcohol had filled an emotional void in me and everyone I met, it was very clear that we had not been able to cope with reality and sought oblivion from the pain and emptiness life offered. Most of those were highly intelligent, and our thinking had made us try to work out how to cope beyond human endurance. We were emotionally bankrupt, only feeling the extremes of grief and emptiness. And as we shared together, we started to realise that if we kept on sharing, there was strength and hope in sharing. A very difficult start on the rocky road to recovery...
How am I feeling today? I can shock myself with my story and the beginnings of recovery. I must have felt a glimmer of hope. Back then, I was suggestible, which means I was open to learning a new way to live life. And at this point, I thought I had reached my rock bottom. Unfortunately, take the alcohol out of me and then the feelings come back, I had nightmares and the fear during the day made me physically sick. I needed those three weeks, and then an invitation to a rehab, which oddly led me into homelessness and a very grim time. Only one thing saved me, and I can only speak for myself, was the fellowship of AA. AA did not punish me for being an alcoholic, AA welcomed me because I am an alcoholic and there was a way to be sober one day at a time…
All the steps have helped me cut away the “dead wood thinking, and heartbreak feelings” and keep the solid foundation of who I am and have been becoming. Space to grow and learn, indeed the greatest gift is learning life day to day. As others grow I learn from them. Emotional and spiritual, knowing how I feel in the moment of now, always the best starting point each day…
December daily reflections focus on step 12. "Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs." I was laughing at myself recently, I am becoming an old man, and a love affair is still possible I am told. Starting with love of life, cherishing people as they are, and realising we need never say never… at the same time beware the thirteenth step!
December 1 2010 ~ "suggested" was so important to me. For years I had been out of control and not able to function. The last thing I wanted in recovery was to be bound up in rules and regulations or worse, be told what to do. Suggestions, 12 steps to help me be unique and authentic, which work giving me freedom and choices for today...
December 1 2010 ~ when it was suggested I needed to quit drinking, I was angry and resentful. Drink had made it possible to survive a horrible life, and now a fellowship to help me stop! In the end I realised my plight, and it was suggestions which helped me let go what was killing me. Steady sober progress works for me just for a day...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "SUGGESTED" STEPS ~ Our Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing all the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual awakening. . . A.A.’s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106-107
I remember my sponsor’s answer when I told him that the Steps were “suggested.” He replied that they are “suggested” in the same way that, if you were to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, it is “suggested” that you pull the ripcord to save your life. He pointed out that it was “suggested” I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save my life. So I try to remember daily that I have a whole program of recovery based on all Twelve of the “suggested" steps..."
December 1 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ I Was Heart Broken and Forgiving
Affairs of the Heart
I have been sharing about my life for years now, and over the last few weeks in correspondence, the truth of heartbreak and separation from partners has been discussed.
When we are heartbroken, and this applies to both men and women, we take account of everything we know to find our part in matters. And probably deny what is happening if we are the one who is left rather than us leaving.
I realise I broke some hearts and some broke my heart. And every time it happened the feelings as the heartbreaker were entirely different to that of being heartbroken. Either way, one leaves and the other feels loss and abandonment, the other a sense of freedom to move on as love has left them.
Either Way Forgiveness
We need to remind ourselves of the human condition, that sometimes we don’t fit into a relationship, yet denials keep us there and persevering just in case. And sometimes we know and leave as soon as we may. And other times we stick with whoever because it looks right so we try to make it feel right. And still we can be deluding ourselves.
"To err is human; to forgive is divine." - Alexander Pope - Well he is right I feel. As we learn we are human and make so many mistakes, or rather we live life and it turns this way and that, and we make progress, and have never the need to feel we might attain perfection, or there would be no more point to living.
And earlier in my video I mistook the quote attributed to Johnson and its actually Pope!
Is the very essence of living as we learn. We cannot be perfect, we make some progress and sometimes we carry on a long time in denials of what we are achieving and often who we are trying to love. When we don’t feel love in a relationship, it is as much our doing as our partner in imagining how it will be and its nowhere near it today.
And Delusions and Denials
It is human nature not to let go, to keep on trying and being good at endeavours. We have to learn we cannot make a partner love us and their best way to help is to leave or we leave.
No matter What?
What about the house, what about the benefits and security. What about the impact it has. And of course the longer we stay, the more tangles and the more awful the outcomes and endings. With family and children too. It is no easy matter to make a way forward for either. So many variables each case need be lived as it may.
Forgiving ourselves and others is hard as hurt breaks us down and leaves as sad can be. Love and loss and being lost are all features of living.
Love is forever? Seems indeed it may be, and love comes from every direction even when the one direction we would prefer has run away.
Easy to let Go?
I have found it can be years in letting go as confusion and self-harm got in my way, and of course my lack of experience and knowledge meant I needed to learn so much, and had so little time to assimilate these horrid changes to my living.
Certainly I ran into the arms of countless suitors for a while. And I am pretty certain many of these relationships came as lonely hearts needed the love lost along the way. So as I might have been broken I am almost sure many women I encountered felt the same way too. We just pretended we were ok and inside the torments from past encounters left much repairing still to be undertaken.
I ran into the arms of lovers. And they were like me, bereft often and still hurting from the past.
We need to forgive how others may treat us, I have found those who treated me indifferently had learned how to long before it was my turn
to be an object of consideration rather than someone with affection.
So in truth as life teaches we are all prone and capable of being loved and loving, being rejected or left and abandoned. It depends from where we are to where we may go next.
Forgive and Acceptance
Even now years later, love is not lost. Love remains and heartfelt thank you to this world for teaching me we can love and hate the behaviour of those we might cherish. We need not lose love of life, we need find our way back to esteem and sorrow for loss rather than hate and ego and self-pity.
Every emotion for every occasion
We humans have every emotion for every occasion, indeed we need understand ourselves more deeply than run at living and still trip on that first cherishing step, to love ourselves enough to know we are worthy of human contact and love as it may be.
I guess this soft old romantic cherishes and lives more with due care and attention to impacts feelings and love all around. Glad it is so, today and just for today I may feel it.
1st December 2006
Friends and Enemies
Sometimes it can be difficult to work out who are friends and who are foes. Its quite hard to know the difference when friends we keep close and enemies even closer. Sometimes we just don’t see the enemy within.
It is easy to be confused over our general outlook and friendships. Being schooled in the belief that everyone operates to the same principles has cost me dear over the years, and certainly made me as much an enemy along the way, as I learned how to be an enemy too!
What I mean is we do pick up good and bad habits along the way. I recall being really big in a small company, I had much influence and held the purse strings to a small fortune in some ways. I had a bully for a boss, and in the end started to behave like him, it gave me a nervous breakdown for my trouble! Actually having got the notion that people are generally good and have the same outlook, I learned the opposite and got completely stuck in some middle ground of complete misunderstanding. It truly made me insane for a while.
I am back to believing that we are all basically good. And as time has gone on, my behaviour is generally to the good. Good behaviour in principle and sometimes unavoidable and inappropriate sometimes, as things are never clear cut. We learn and apologise and move on. Its pretty much the way of things.
Yet it seems to me most people don’t have good ideas about testing out their behaviour generally. Some people like me for instance still get caught up in others dilemmas too easily. And we get good helping others when they do little or nothing for us. And you know I am just learning something Ghandi said many years ago:
Mohandas Gandhi Quote
“A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”
Now why is it I don’t follow his advice more frequently and get on with my life? I do actually quite a lot of the time. And yet I am part of a fellowship of men and women who help each other to their best ability. And certainly I get a lot from it. In amongst all the stuff we do though, there are those unfortunates still full of ego and still full of crap who give us a lot of concern and waste our time and effort. We think we are doing the right thing, when actually we don’t.
Maybe some of us need to learn the word No. No is such a small word and so often keeps us doing the right thing and not doing others work or duties for them.
A phone call tonight left me very concerned about another person’s ability to listen to the word, that word is NO! So it really is important that people can hear it. It starts with an N and ends in an O. No, No, No!
As to their ability to hear anything at all, if they cannot hear no, then they cannot hear anything else most likely.
So when I say No, it means no. No means I won’t do the job for you, no means won’t do the job for free on the back of fellowship, and no means I don’t want you suggesting me doing things for others by dropping my name to them as a source. No is no.
Odd really as most of my life has been about saying yes. And although its never been really half hearted, it does not do me any good at all. Saying yes when no is more appropriate is never lost.
And if we lose a connection in the process, then its better we do, as often we get more requests for more shit to take on board.
The art saying no is simple, we say no.
Saying I am sorry is not saying no. No means get on with your own stuff and don’t include me in your mess. And don’t assume yes is always going to be the reply.
No on its own is sufficient. It needs no extra effort. We just need to be sure we are saying it loudly and clearly, with just effort to express the word itself.
As most people are taken unawares and don’t expect a no, it may end there. And their resentments hopefully will be big enough to keep them at arm’s length.
Or maybe they may ask rather than assume something will be accepted. I don’t really have time concern myself with those scenario’s.
As time is precious in life, and speaking as one who has gone past half way, it seems to me appropriate to really get with our programme of living, and not helping everyone live their lives.
So learn to say no, with good grace. And if its not accepted, accept that those who cannot deal with no, are not on our side at all. They are users and fuck ups who cannot do it themselves. No this may sound a little extreme just realise however, the person requesting and using your time and talent gives no consideration to you. Unless of course they reciprocate in some way.
One way friendships and one way traffic are draining of our resources. There is no love or concern just using. And this person writing is pretty much aware where people are these days. I don’t want or need patronage. And I don’t want your shit. Fuck off!
Overall Though Tonight
I had a good meeting have listened and shared. Enjoyed good company and tolerated a couple of arseholes, somewhat distant and not in person who won’t ever realise their shit. For them the journey is asking others and not me. And I am glad of this, because they will never help me one bit in any way.
I have great connections long distance and short distances. We need only recognise the good as we go, and where we get used, then let go. Or we get bitter and twisted.
Why am I so resolute?
A good friend of mine is in the same boat, and along the way we have lost our regular connection all because of other crap. And fortunately they are aware enough of my nature as I am of theirs, that we are merely learning our path. We need not pave the way for others who will just walk over us, we need to be walking happily on our way to tomorrow and the next day. Helping in good conscience and not being used and abused by those with no conscience and no sincerity or integrity.
I will remain open honest and willing always, and when people learn reciprocity, and a little humility it makes it worthwhile. We need never grind ourselves down on others hard rocks or we surely will fail at living this one very precious life. Time is short always…
Chronicles December 2005
December 1st 2005
Jack Of All Trades
In the last fifty years the notion of being a jack of all trades has become firmly established in the minds of many intellectuals. These intellectuals seem to be proved right in establishing an individual can perform many tasks and become skilled in their deployment.. And it is with pride and determination that we apply ourselves to these multiple tasks and feel satisfied we are accomplished human beings. In fact we get rewarded for our ability and when we perform well, the rewards can be significant in any currency we value. The main currency we value in our multitasking is money, then to varying degrees, the emotional currency of joy and happiness. In our societies, the multitasker is revered more and more. The benefits to our society are evident, where we have skills we can use in more places and more places where our skills can be used. This might seem a fantastic move forward for all of us. For we are living longer and have more experience to gain and share in our lifetimes. And we get rewarded for our abilities.
Anyone who enjoys life, tends to enjoy many experiences. These experiences are either continual new experiences or refinements of ones we have found satisfying over years and years. We can all imagine experiences we love to keep and enjoy more, and new experiences which keep us interested in life in general. From early school days, we learn more and more over broad topics, to find our interests and aptitudes. We develop preferences in our experiences and become more expert in some over others. This is a natural and obvious development. Some like hard science, some like soft science. Some are drawn toward books and some to materials, some to art, some to engineering. And all these endeavours are building more expertise and experience, put to use in work and in our playtimes.
In our "formative" years, the broader the perspective, the greater our choices in life. We get great satisfaction in learning, if we are lucky! And we learn what we enjoy and we learn what we will to make a living.
The market for labour demands more skill, more aptitude and a more "rounded" resource. And we know as experience teaches, we need be flexible and open in our approach to work these days.
We know too, that expertise comes sometimes from years of learning, doing and refining. And we learn that rewards for expert powers command premiums, where the "jack of all trades" command minimums. And in our world we are told that we must develop our multitasking, but no one suggests which and for what and for when. So we need be mindful, we need be careful how we develop our portfolio of skills and expertise. For we may find great disappointment and unfulfilled aspirations if we multitask where everyone multitasks. And worse we might multitask where no one wants our skills and expertise.
And we might consider our leisure interests and our skills and expertise. What we do for pleasure, may be quite different from our work. Or if we are quite able and astute we may study where our overall interest lie and find ourselves in vocational disciplines, combining both interest and rewards in all aspects of our lives. Let us be hesitant in our aspirations and our "jacks" of all trades.
Masters of Nothing
When we learn and develop our lives, we pay little heed sometime, we live in the moments and put to chance the future. And I am no exception, for the future is not here, and we might never see it! We are sometimes that pragmatic.
We need become masterful over parts of our lives, to sustain us, to enrich us, to find depth and texture. For as a Jack of all trades we find our superficial application leaves empty depths unexplored and never understood. Masters, we observe across our known Universe, give pleasure and joy to the eye, our hearing, our touch, and every sensibility we have. We relish the feasts of the Masters of our age, we feel our imagination stretched and our appreciation so deep, we feel moved in the works of past masters and present practitioners.
Masters of our Universe
One element we might become master of is ourselves. We might find ourselves more completely, with a weather eye to our happiness and a watchful eye to the world. Be mindful of likes and good experiences, dislikes and poor experiences. Be mindful of our expert gifts developing and other gifts we must learn to get by in our world. Be masterful in making choices and developing opportunity, be careful of redundant and wasteful activity. Be aware of your preferences and leisure, and thrive in difference and diversity. Be accepting of your choices in multitasking, that they are enough to get by, and be expert where it makes the difference and rewards in your currency are high!
When we learn to be expert where knowledge and skill are high, that trade-off is not lost to multitasking where superficial is our ability and lower are the rewards. And be aware our rewards and where they come from. For our rewards in life are most often in satisfaction than material gain. Material gain makes good our misery, Mastery of our own Universe fulfilling beyond measure.
Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...
Awakening as the result of what? The result, or consequence of taking the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is a Spiritual Awakening. Please reflect that this step does not say the awakening comes as the result of taking steps 1 though 11, those preceding Step 12. On the contrary, the awakening comes as the result of taking these (all of the twelve) steps, including Step 12. (If you disagree, that is wonderful. Keep on digesting these steps.)
November 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory
Alcoholics Anonymous | Step Twelve Reading Video Link:
November 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
November 2012 | Video Reading A Vision For You :
November 2012 | Playlist All About Step Twelve:
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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