December 13 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "who cares to admit complete defeat?" No one, of course… It goes against the grain, to declare surrender even at death's door, like tales of battles and wars, we sense there must be a way out of this. Mythology, fiction and the truth all wrapped up in one. How do we separate out the truth and find we can admit and accept our situation. This is what faces the newcomer, and we have all been newcomers. The notion of admitting and accepting and then sharing it with another human being, let alone a room full of sober people was daunting in my paranoid state back in the day…
Video For Today:
I can still be a fantasist today, imagining the best and imagining the worst. And I feed my paranoia at my peril. I need a reality check, and a gentle reminder in my own mind, step one powerless and life unmanageable if I fall off the wagon, step two, where insanity is always available by stepping back into a dark world of drink and step three, letting go the old life and carrying on with a new life, having the courage to change and faith in the next right thing and building confidence to be vulnerable, make mistakes and learn from them. Putting myself in the shoes of the newcomer every morning, reminds me I am a newcomer in this one day of recovery. Vigilance is second nature and vulnerability a strength. I never knew vulnerability could be a strength until recovery…
Constant thought of others is today's reflection. It used to be all about me, and probably still is to an extent. Somebody used to say to me, "how may I help you?" I didn't like him, he was a bully and drew me in. And then the punishment started. When we set out to help other people in recovery, we do it because we think we ought to, and some of us do it because it's just our nature. Actually helping other people, newcomers and old-timers alike by telling the truth of my situation, is probably the best it can be. Telling the truth and being vulnerable is not a weakness, it turns out to be the greatest strength, by telling the truth we are back on track with the right people soonest rather than later. And the wrong people? Letting go the notion I can change them was one of the best things that happened to me. Early on, ego suggested I could change people and now in recovery, I realise the only thing I can change is me and my attitudes, based on the truth, based on real love without conditions and learning the wisdom to know the difference…
We all get to be judged in life. Better we are judged on the truth of who we are, rather than some pretence we put up, some acting that saves our feelings. The more we share our feelings, the more likely we are to get the right outcome, to be with the right people, in the right place at the right time. So often we try make do and mend other people. And it is a precious waste of their time and ours. Help people who really want to be helped, and remind ourselves that what worked for us will not necessarily work for them. Which is why we need every single person in fellowship to keep on sharing their experience, strength and hope so that someone out there can hear their own story shared by another human being today…
Waking up this morning I check my mood. An odd thing to suggest you may think? My mood this morning is hard to figure out, so I try not push myself this way or that. I listen to the news and can be mortified. Or I can read something to uplift me. Mood and feelings improve, my thinking improves and my actions improve. Can do something today? Yes I can, something simple and useful, be myself today…
Powerless: over people places and things… oh, and alcohol of course. Not only powerless, no need to try control or manipulate to my way of feeling or thinking today. No longer blocking my own spiritual growth nor yours. No prisoners, no wardens and no big sticks. And no need of carrots to coax a stubborn mind. Freedom to be ourselves, make the choices possible based on real life for a day…
Dear higher power, please help me avoid buying into anyone else’s bullshit today, I am quite capable of buying into my own…
December 13 2010 ~ not simply thinking of others, actually helping another person into the solution is a key feature of life for me in my recovery. Fellowship has taught me how to help again, opens the world up to new experiences. To love, be loved and useful. Open, honest and willing without conditions and without prejudice...
December 13 2010 ~ I missed helping a newcomer a few weeks back, someone else found they could. And now we both help, the newcomer is included and part of, starting to make choices and experiencing a glimpse of freedom. They have a sponsor and people who care today. We do what we can, when we can daily...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "THINKING OF OTHERS our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 20
Thinking of others has never come easily to me. Even when I try to work the A.A. program, I’m prone to thinking, “How do I feel today. Am I happy, joyous and free?” The program tells me that my thoughts must reach out to those around me: “Would that newcomer welcome someone to talk to?” “That person looks a little unhappy today, maybe I could cheer him up.” It is only when I forget my problems, and reach out to contribute something to others that I can begin to attain the serenity and God-consciousness I seek"
December 13 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Just Another Day In Discovery
How am I Feeling?
Seems like we see more deeply the longer we are silent and easy in our being.
As part of my health regime I get checked periodically by different clinics for different elements of me in my recovery, or actually my discovery of living by the day.
I met my new Psychiatrist today. I explained where I am with things generally and specifically if there had been a change in me. When I look at the you tube videos from earlier this year, I was looking rather sought into and not so good. I was in a deep of depression. A hazard of me being me, and aware these days what goes on for me.
As good as any time this year. Mental faculties ok, and firing as life enables. The balance in living has been made as good as has been with some due care and attention to living the programme of AA and taking on board suggestions.
Sponsor [ some may sigh with a tinge of concern and some with approval]
I do have a new sponsor with a few decades of recovery behind them, a careful and assiduous individual in recovery with much life experience as broad and deep as need be for me. This does not undermine one jot the fellows who keep me on track daily, its about having a person who can help with matters not for sharing generally in the rooms. I have yet to find things which don’t fit with general sharing as my life is pretty much an open book. Ask and I shall share has always been the way for me.
A sponsor is good to have as continuity helps when we are in specific development of key steps…
We shall see how we go.
Meanwhile Today And Tonight
I have been pondering on step six and seven
Step six - all about the elements of character which if utilised to much in life, become a deficit. That’s brave facing, fear, fear of living actually and ego run riot.
Step six and fear got me into fellowship. This is not a negative for me, it means I got to find out how to be sober and make life work a new way.
Step seven - all about courage, faith, confidence and self-esteem keep me in the programme as I learn how to have courage and faith, and then confidence which builds esteem.
And again tonight there was acknowledgement we need every element of our personality to keep us safe, a sort of balance and understanding how each character trait is useful in everyday living.
We have reactions to our living situations and events, where sometimes responses may delay our approach and in the long run we benefit from consideration rather than running at life and tripping over and over the same obstacles, that usually means my ego!
Very simple concepts, to be lived and not studied. We study with care and we experience life and the steps are best utilised in action.
All to the good.
Some friends are feeling some pressures at the moment. This time of year is difficult for many who spend time in company for longer periods than at other times of year.
And some are setting off on adventures. Which makes smile, wherever we go we are always there and we live as we may..
More on my psychiatric assessment:
Self-harm, a subject which is always asked. And presently I can say with some confidence self-harm is not for me. At the same time the medications and in particular, the use of insulin is something I need be careful about. As two insulin types are used by me. One for rapid breakdown of food and another, a larger dose as background insulin to ensure it is always in my system and keeping the body processes going. If ever a person in my situation were to feel self-harm was an answer, then the means of my disposal are always on tap so to speak. And other medications which are as harmful in large amounts are always regulated so have to be ordered frequently and no reserves kept.
Would I let myself go that far down in depression that I might consider ending matters? There were times in the past now over ten years ago that my living was so flattened I nearly did come to my conclusion more than once. Now in my fourth year, and would have been in my fifth had I been placed in better care, self-harm is low on the agenda for me.
I know and realise even when depression is at the lowest and reserves and mental faculties are stretched beyond endurance, because this is just the way it is, time and application and staying with the regime will lead me out of the dark eventually. As long I keep in company and tell people and professionals what is going on, I can minimise the impact in time. I cannot stop it happening. So in essence we, that is me and my new psychiatrist agreed ways to help when and if it gets to that stage. In other words get help and don’t suffer until it is unbearable.
All part of my day
Looking back there is a change in me, I am sharing and letting people know the extent and the depth of where I may be as it occurs rather than let things build and then wonder what to do. I live better with contact and being in good company. And so fellowship helps because I have friends who care and share. And I have help and near respite should I need guidance as and when.
Has no place in recovery per se. We need help and get it as we ask and then people will respond. And we never know quite where this may come from.
Daily Reflections December 13 [ From Recovery Reflections ] THINKING OF OTHERS Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs. AA, p. 20
Thinking of others has never come easily to me. Even when I try to work the A.A. program, I'm prone to thinking,” How do I feel today. Am I happy, joyous and free?" The program tells me that my thoughts must reach out to those around me: "Would that newcomer welcome someone to talk to?" "That person looks a little unhappy today, maybe I could cheer him up." It is only when I forget my problems, and reach out to contribute something to others that I can begin to attain the serenity and God-consciousness I seek.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
We come now to A.A. fellowship. It is partly group therapy. It is partly spiritual fellowship. But it is even more. It is based on a common illness, a common failure, a common problem. It goes deep down into our personal lives and our personal needs. It requires a full opening up to each other of our inner most thoughts and most secret problems. All barriers between us are swept aside. They have to be. Then we try to help each other get well. The A.A. fellowship is based on a sincere desire to help the other person. In A.A. we can be sure of sympathy, understanding and real help. These things make the A.A. fellowship the best that we know. Do I fully appreciate the depth of the A.A. fellowship?
Meditation For The Day
The Higher Power can guide us to the right decisions if we pray about them. We can believe that many details of our lives are planned by God and planned with a wealth of forgiving love for the mistakes we have made. We can pray today to be shown the right way. We can choose the good, and when we choose it, we can feel that the whole power of the universe is behind us. We can achieve a real harmony with God's purpose for our lives.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may choose aright today. I pray that I may be shown the right way to live today.
As Bill Sees It Anonymity and Sobriety, p. 299
As the A.A. groups multiplied, so did anonymity problems. Enthusiastic over the spectacular recovery of a brother alcoholic, we'd sometimes discuss those intimate and harrowing aspects of his case meant for his sponsor's ear alone. The aggrieved victim would then rightly declare that his trust had been broken. When such stories got into circulation outside of A.A., the loss of confidence in our anonymity promise was severe. It frequently turned people from us. Clearly, every A.A. member's name--and story, too--had to be confidential, if he wished. We now fully realize that 100 per cent personal anonymity before the public is just as vital to the life of A.A. as 100 per cent sobriety is to the life of each and every member. This is not counsel of fear; it is the prudent voice of long experience.
13th December 2006
Let go Ego - Let in our Confidence
So often we all get hooked into things we may feel are right to do, and things we feel we must do, and things we are better off not doing. it’s the easiest thing in the world to become involved and then wonder where we are at all.
As someone with a sense of good, and an honest disposition I realise all too often I say yes, when a no is required. Or simply not now, not ever or never. And the words we choose often when we try to ameliorate, try to be diplomatic, try to make others ok about our no, it often just comes out as a yes, or a half-hearted feeling of what have I got myself into now?
I meet lots of people these days who have trouble saying no, and saying yes when they mean no. And I am as bad at saying no to things where I may be helpful, have a skill, have a desire to be good at. And the yes turns into long periods where I wish I was busy elsewhere, or into things which in themselves are to the good, and then go horribly wrong because I am not able to influence the outcomes, the endings and the actual fact that I got in there in the first place.
So easy to say No
Is it, I hear lots of people say no thanks, and it always sounds right to me, especially me as I often hear it when I ask, the answer is no. And I honour it usually. And don’t think much more about it.
So easy to say Yes
And in some ways we feel good saying yes, over and over till we are worn out and used up. Or we realise we have been used all along. And in my living, so often it seems the yes button pressed, the agreement is made and then the crap hit’s the fan in my life. And when we are good and productive, we are often forgotten as there is no problem, and of course for us doing the hard work, the praise is often forgotten, even to a simple thank you. And of course we need just say no at the beginning.
Resentments people feel at the beginning, well better they are small and then forgotten quickly. But if we are relied upon to do donkey work and all the crap, we will be overlooked as our potential in others eyes is diminished. I know there is nothing wrong in doing the hard graft, for its in the hard graft we get the nuts and bolts of everything we can learn. And hard graft deserves its reward.
As to other things we get into, for the good of a cause and the good of our fellows, we may be more circumspect as we find our good principles are not shared by others.
Manipulators and Freeloaders
Plenty of those about I hear you say, and we may be kind in our no thank you to them. Of course we need to spot them too. And time wasters, and bulls hitters, and big ego’s and small brains, and big brains and big ego’s too, although they mostly get wiser in time.
We need not Waste our Talent for nothing
We who have pleased over and over, we who have learned that hard graft and hard work has its intrinsic reward, we who don’t mind some menial and some brain power, we know better as we wise up and get over our pleasing for the quiet life, pleasing because we feel inferior, pleasing because someone throws us some scraps of attention or more, in fact some people will trade everything to get what they want, even themselves in the end. And that’s plain wrong, and happens all the time, until we wise up.
We might find our reward in hard labour, as I have done over the years, there is something splendid in the thick of hard work. It pleases me greatly and makes for good times. And in my life it has often been the best of my times. And now when its less easy, and more of a problem, I need turn my skills and my labour where it may fit. There is nothing wrong in any honest work, for honest work gives us confidence and good cheer.
Abounds in this world as people see their equality and their rewards made up in unequal shares as lives are lived in shadows and others reap great rewards…
Where are we now?
Some of us are wising up, some of us understand all those games played out in our societies and in our back yards. Some never get it, their using and their abusing, and its truly my business if I am supporting anything like this, even when its only apparent as times goes by. I need to get out at all costs and leave them to it. And that is my feeling tonight. Harm no one, and no one may harm us, we need to be productive and get on with our lives. There is no mileage ever in hate or resentment, we need move along as we may or get others to get out. Safest options as I see them is better boundaries set, as early as possible so we don’t upset. And of course getting out from under horrible people without undoing them, as who have fragility and much hate in them for their cause as they see it the good. Wherever we end up, we need look to our conscience and be able to look ourselves in the mirror of life.
Who wants to be recollected for their poison and their resentments, for pummelling and destroying what could be put right? And after all, when things go wrong, there is never a right course, as no one ever comes out without a feeling of loss. And often we feel as badly as if we were the instigators, and even when we realise where things have gone wrong, we need remove ourselves as best we can. Those who feel they have won something have lost their connection to most likely the right path in life, for not material compensation will ever be enough to fill the gap where ego is our emptiness inside. Faith and courage are better in all respects to fear and bravery, most often mistaken as Ego plays its role in defence of the inferior self.
Low Cunning and Clever Wits and Cover ups
Some learn to have low cunning and clever wits about them. It does not mean ever there position is tenable. And yet as we go through life we will always encounter lots who manifest as good when intrinsically they are bad, or bewildered, or just plain horrid indeed.
Tonight I heard plain truths
Yes indeed a good meeting tonight on how to live to good principles, like open honest willing and caring. And I have experienced some of the time quite the reverse in recent times. So in all we learn a little bit more about life as we go. And we learn acceptance of mistakes and of people we choose to include or to exclude from our lives. We learn each day a little bit more wisdom and little bit courage and keep faith with our principles. We need not accept resentments or have them and others hostility need not be ours, or be part of it ever if we choose. We can make modifications in our behaviour as we learn our true way to living, just one day at a time.
We learn as we go, we can be sucked in and actually get out, we need not suffer as consequence we find our values to the good compromised even when there is truth in others argument and why they make war, when peace is all we ever need. Peace is in acceptance and always there when we learn how to make our day work for us and the common good of good conscience. We need only check our boundaries and put right mistakes we make. An not indulge in silence which makes us feel like we are part of something we cannot agree to. Life is too short to be making war, and hate and resentment abound in this world, we need not add ourselves to it, and we make our path as we may.
We may only change our own behaviour and outlook and lead by example, we cannot change others that is their journey in life.. Acceptance is the key.
Tonight acceptance and forgiveness are truly my feeling for this precious ever present moment, this moment of now.
December 13th 2005
Some laws of success (not mine) ~
The greatest mistake - Giving up
The greatest crippler - Fear
The greatest handicap - Ego
The most potent force - Positive
The greatest thought - God (or good conscience)
The greatest victory - Victory over the self
Mind you, we might adjust our horizons and feelings towards notions of success and equally failure. We might adjust our concepts of right and wrong in the sense of mischief! Although there are absolutes when we encounter wrong doing. And similarly doing the right thing, is an intellectual hypothesis, when emotion and integrity might push our conscience another way.
Thoughts and feelings...
Our expression and understanding sits upon experience. Our minds eye travels the shortest routes and encounters memories. Our gift is letting in our perception to qualify and quantify what we sense. The gift of intuition is the gift we might prize when the adept will practise scrutiny. All gifts have their awkward sides as we place faith in our judgement and good conscience. Sadness haunts fanatical troughs where obsessions hold sway over sensibility. Track with careful eye and encounter truth hard and majestic, separate from wilful interpretations. Make good to truth and hold our impostors stare with gentle enquiry and respect. Relish diversity and beware our bigots niggle where society and history witness importunate prejudice, the very devil of society and upbringing!
December 13th 2004
Blasphemy is in the eye of the beholder, implies the beholder is already corrupt. Regulate oneself , don't regulate others
Blasphemy, the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for [Nature and You]. It is easy to let others have a say about you, that you will shrug off with humour. It is the easiest means to self-admonishment. We can lose our sense of self in gradual steps as the world encourages our misunderstanding. We become what we are by reference to how others treat us. We come to understand the human being we are as the world takes us on journeys to realise our potential or give it up.
Beware, when we identify with how others see us, it is merely their view. Find a path to know yourself and fulfil with gentle purpose, and try not to hinder another’s progress towards their dreams.
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 through 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.)” Big Book Bunch
December 2012 | Playlist About Step Twelve: Step Twelve Playlist
AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve
AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections
December 2012 | Step Twelve Reading Video Link:
December 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
December 2012 | Video Reading A Vision For You:
December 2012 | Video About Grief And Depression