December 14 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "never talk down to anyone, and never look up to anyone and put them on a pedestal because they will fall off…" Progress not perfection: one day at a time, twelve steps to learn how to be open honest and willing, twelve traditions to learn all about living in unity service and recovery. Principles for everyday living…
Video For Today:
Each principle works just for today: powerlessness and unmanageability, restoration of sanity, letting go and asking for help, reminders of the fearless moral inventory, sharing the truth of who we are, letting go the old ways, the psychic change and beginning a new way of life, a list of our amends and willingness to make them, making amends without doing further harm, spot check inventory at any time, self-awareness, meditation and prayer, sharing our message wherever we can. A very long sentence, and putting this into practice on a daily basis does become second nature as we learn how to make progress and never be perfect. Imperfectly perfect in the ever present, present moment of now…
Just because I have found an answer just for now, I may want to shout it from the rooftops, and in early recovery, did I? No, I was still too paranoid and wary that someone would find me out, and the answers might not be acceptable to you. Little did I know if the answer was working for me just for now, it was certainly good enough and good enough to share about. Not shouting from the rooftops, simply sharing experience, strength and hope. The answers came with the help of other people, and were adapted by me and to my life situation. And that's how we learn together by sharing, it does not mean my answer works for you, it shows that there can be an answer. Even in the most impossible situations, we can ask for help…
I was watching a documentary on homelessness in the United Kingdom last night. All those rules to get a roof over our head. The assumption being these days that you are feckless and stupid and don't deserve a roof over your head seems to prevail. I remember trying to shut my eyes in the darkest of gloomy places, no roof, or sometimes a roof. When we are homeless, we do need to ask for help and accept what is on offer. An angry word can put back progress by years. And sometimes it feels preferable to live in the cold and rain rather than endure the homeless process, the legal process and everything we cannot understand when it is happening to us. I don't advocate what option you may take if stuck like I was for years, mentally ill and unable to cope. If it had not been for the twelve steps, the fellowship and learning to accept everything as it is, and the rules to adhere to, I would have been dead… There is something very wrong with the system, and the politics and the divisiveness and the assumptions and the attitudes towards those in need. At the same time, if government cannot understand and local government have to proceed as they do, the nightmare continues. A documentary highlights it, far better than I, and all I will do is contribute what I can, when I can in the moment of now…
The reason I mention homelessness, whether we are gifted and worked hard and then found ourselves on the streets, or just not able to understand, read and write, you name it, homelessness leads to complete powerlessness and ill-health for most. For a while. I felt that street homelessness was better, I was wrong. The danger is always there at night. And then years of to-ing and fro-ing, because that is the system. I needed to accept that local government do what they can with what they have. And they just don't have the money sometimes to put it all right. Rock bottom is horrible, and the worst of it is there may be another and another. No wonder so many simply cannot make it back into society. We don't even have a workhouse these days…
Anyway, like anyone else, I am affected to the impact of what happens to other people and what happened to me is very similar to the worst of stories. And then in meetings, I hear worse stories so often, I wonder how anyone survives it without help. And the worst part of it is, we have lost our capacity to ask for help often. So when I say AA saved my life, it did. And then I had to start from scratch in all respects, with no expectations and no more resentments. When the system did what it could at the time, I needed to accept it on a personal level. It did not mean it was the right way or the best way, it was the only way back then…
Even though we might feel entitled to help, it does not mean the help will come as we expect. Entitlement, basic human rights, basic legal rights, a system which helps protect us from the worst fails. By the time a person, a family is at rock bottom, they are at their wits end. Dealing with people who are desperate leads to prejudice of the worst kind and horrible judgements being made. When a government encourages divisiveness in its citizens, encouraging prejudice, there is little doubt in my mind, we have the worst of characters governing. Pulling society apart? Without a change in direction, what follows will be beyond belief…
Putting my soapbox away for today: or rather, realising I did get my soapbox out to stand upon, I need to have my feet on the ground in times like these. The twelfth step is where we keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. And I need to remember the serenity prayer, he serenity to accept the things I cannot change courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference. A radical change in attitude will happen one way or another, and those who govern will change. Those who would divide and rule cannot maintain this position. Not because of me, it will happen because the majority of people in the United Kingdom do care about one another, do strive, do want to work and do want the best, not only for themselves, but for everyone. And that applies to anyone anywhere, of any political persuasion. I do believe in the good of people, and if I did not there would be no point to living in society, even one day at a time… Good will prevail…
Dear higher power can you please help me forgive myself for being a learner today. My mistakes anger me if I feel fear and shame and try cover up. Better I share I can be a fuckwit and include them in my learning. Forgiving myself for my fuckwittery, I can forgive them for theirs. I am restored to wittery, just for today…
Our primary purpose in living might be described as being able to love, be loved back and useful. We seem to start life with love if we are fortunate. Life experience can take us to many places, to hate be hated and destructive. The upside of life and the downside of life and every place in between, and we can feel both almost in the same moment. Loving people love, hurt people hurt. Forgiveness is key…
December 14 2010 ~ A moment of clarity... I woke up one January morning, suffering as usual from the awful effects of drinking 24/7. I was still breathing and alive. Every attempt to stop drinking on my own had failed. On the brink, it felt like it could get no worse, finally I genuinely asked for help, and then everything changed...
December 14 2010 ~ early days in fellowship, no one told me what to do. All people did was talk about themselves, they called it sharing experience, strength and hope, day after day. 2387 sober days later, the same is true, no change there! As for me, everything has changed in me and my attitudes, one day at a time...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "REACHING OUT Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him how they worked with you. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 95
When I come into contact with a newcomer, do I have a tendency to look at him from my perceived angle of success in A.A.? Do I compare him with the large number of acquaintances I have made in the Fellowship? Do I point out to him in a magisterial way the voice of A.A.? What is my real attitude toward him? I must examine myself whenever I meet a newcomer to make sure that I am carrying the message with simplicity, humility and generosity. The one who still suffers from the terrible disease of alcoholism must find in me a friend who will allow him to get to know the A.A. way, because I had such a friend when I arrived in A.A. Today it is my turn to hold out my hand, with love, to my sister or brother alcoholic, and to show her or him the way to happiness."
December 14 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Heretics Here, Heretics There!
Two Meetings And A Smile Or Two
I am smiling tonight. Emails from friends far away and nearby. All to the good. It can be very difficult when we have been in low and sad times to hear praise or read words of support. And in truth its always tempting to push away compliments, simply as we feel there may be some mistake and why are people so complimentary? Low self-esteem can walk with us hand in hand as well as we being confident and happy that we are appreciated. Indeed I do appreciate and feel more resolute that when we do compliment others in our confident moments so too others can feel the same.
Feelings Never Lie - Our Thinking Often Does
We are complicated thinkers often, and feelings are pretty straightforward. Almost like our minds worry at where and why, and what does it all mean? We make can simplify and be happy with words said, and it need be our sincerity which we can keep safe always. Truth ‘will out’ always, if we are open in our feelings and responses. Our reactions often full of denial and ‘I can’t believe it’ moments.
Two meetings AA [ All about Recovery]
One at lunch and talk of step one of the AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] how we are powerless over alcohol and life is unmanageable when we are in the thick of drinking. And it is some years now, not many, enough though for me to know I need not revisit olden times where life overwhelmed me and drink was my friend. Drink in its friendly grip of me, near did me in, indeed I had been so badly beaten by my “friend” I wonder sometimes how I ever survived. If the statistics are anywhere near true, I am a survivor of one of the most pernicious confidence tricks known to mankind. That alcohol is good for us!
Step one meetings like today, with a strong share from the chairperson on their experience strength and hope and then good sharing generally in our meeting made feel comfortable and ok. I said nothing, simply I am very full of a cold and talking was not an option.
Has had a tooth out today! [ now yesterday ] Not so good, but it was done and I popped in to see her, with some pain killers, paracetamol. Not so bad to have the odd tooth retired, and a new one on order. A singular event in many years’ service.
Spiritual Awakenings and the Twelfth Step
So tonight the second half of the twelfth step was read out. And a great humourist doing the principal “chair share.” I am enjoying the programme more every day simply because the twelve steps are a living experience for me.
Heretic - I Am To An Extent
Much of the steps of AA is simply very practical application of process to make life secure and as it can be, either happy or sad as life is.
Life is a whole bunch of life experience and understanding and gaining wisdom is the way we humans learn to live. All to the good.
God - For Me God is Truth, or Truth is God as Ghandi suggests... So how does truth help me with the twelve steps of AA? Simply we all seek truth about this one present day we have, even down to the one present moment. If we have found truth, we are likely to understand and have the right approach to our circumstances.
Happy or Sad
Life is like the curate’s Egg “Good in parts!” And like anything which has a start a middle and an end or many middle experiences, we can live to the good and the sad of life, sort our feelings out and be assured life goes on. Or it ends as abruptly as it started, we are of nature after all.
I have a spiritual path, in the moment of now. It is not bliss as such for every emotion we have makes us able to make sense of life as we know it. Spiritual and bliss as some seek may not be compatible bedfellows, some seek joy only and reject the sadness. However can we learn the difference if we only have half of the life experience?
Obviously we cannot live in joy all the time, or live in sadness either through ignorance we might construct as life in the light offers utopian qualities never present in our world or the Universe.
We humans can find truth and still we can bend truth we have to suit our outlook and deny much of life we cannot accept.
Acceptance is a Key
December seems to be very much about acceptance for me and friends all over the world. And acceptance is the hardest lesson some of us learn over and over again, until of course it sinks into us if we have time to learn.
Gift of Life
Sometimes the gift of living seems almost without meaning at all as life deals hard blows. This year has been very sorrowful for the loss of friends and also my sisters partner who was a friend to me. At the same time relationships which might have blossomed, foundered and quite rightly for me. Truth was scarce and made for misunderstandings and actually I made assumptions way ahead about integrity and other situations and circumstances. We can assume often that people we know operate and live in similar ways to us and then we find their values and outlook quite different and far from safe to engage. I learn over and over the lessons of simplicity.
Joy has its rightful place in our living.
Sorrow has is rightful place in our living.
Truth is the Path Preferred by Me
And truth works, it does not help us find bliss as is often desired. Truth provides the background the template for a more fulfilling existence.
God and Truth
In a simple and practical way. An exhortation to truth is good for me and my conscience. So I may find more courage faith and confidence in living.
Devil and Lies
The devil in us, that we can try bend our outlook to be true, to be able to turn our outlook preferred is often a deception which we make so. And others can join in and the devil in this is we live to delusions of comfort and safety which have no root or grounding in truth..
My Secular God [ Truth as we come to understand]!
Truth does not dismiss the purpose behind life and this Universe. Truth does not deny or confirm a God we may understand. I can merely suggest my progress and understanding as it is today. I am a scholar of living experience and not easily persuaded by the Metaphysic inside me these days. We witness and live life, tell stories, embellish and liberate fantasy to help us digest that which cannot be consumed… the unknown beyond our present ever present experience.
So when I say the serenity prayer today with good intent and good conscience for today
God [ my exhortation to truth]
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Truth present perfect, imperfectly present always in this spiritual moment of now. Amen!
REACHING OUT Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him how they worked with you. AA, p. 95
When I come into contact with a newcomer, do I have a tendency to look at him from my perceived angle of success in A.A.? Do I compare him with the large number of acquaintances I have made in the Fellowship? Do I point out to him in a magisterial way the voice of A.A.? What is my real attitude toward him? I must examine myself whenever I meet a newcomer to make sure that I am carrying the message with simplicity, humility and generosity. The one who still suffers from the terrible disease of alcoholism must find in me a friend who will allow him to get to know the A.A. way, because I had such a friend when I arrived in A.A. Today it is my turn to hold out my hand, with love, to my sister or brother alcoholic, and to show her or him the way to happiness.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
The way of A.A. is the way of service. Without that, it would not work. We have been "on the wagon" and hated it. We have taken the pledge and waited for the time to be up with impatience. We have tried in all manner of ways to help ourselves. But not until we begin to help other people do we get full relief. It is an axiom that the A.A. program has to be given away in order to be kept. A river flows into the Dead Sea and stops. A river flows into a clear pool and flows out again. We get and then we give. If we do not give, we do not keep. Have I given up all ideas of holding A.A. for myself alone?
Meditation For The Day
Try to see the life of the spirit as a calm place, shut away from the turmoil of the world. Think of your spiritual home as a place full of peace, serenity, and contentment. Go to this quiet, meditative place for the strength to carry you through today's duties and problems. Keep coming back here for refreshment when you are weary of the hubbub of the outside world. From this quietness and communion comes our strength.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may keep this resting place where I can commune with God [Truth of Now]. I pray that I may find refreshment in meditation on the Eternal.
As Bill Sees It
A Mighty Beginning, p. 298 Even the newest of newcomers find undreamed rewards as he tries to help his brother alcoholic, the one who is even blinder than he. This is indeed the kind of giving that actually demands nothing. He does not expect his brother sufferer to pay him, or even to love him.
And then he discovers that through the divine paradox of this kind of giving he has found his own reward, whether or not his brother has yet received anything. His own character may still be gravely defective, but he somehow knows that God has enabled him to make a mighty beginning, and he senses that he stands at the edge of new mysteries, joys, and experiences of which he had never before dreamed. 12 & 12, pp. 109-110
Walk In Dry Places
The best of the Past Living today.
We're told that we should forget the past when we come into AA. Since we can't change it, we should not waste time and energy reliving it. Let's be careful, however, not to take this advice too literally. There was much in our past that was good, even when we were drinking. We have a right and a need to treasure these important things. The real dangers of living in the past come either from brooding about its mistakes or from thinking that our best days are already behind us. We can think of the past as a foundation for the good we expect today and in all the days ahead. I'll preserve the best in my memories of the past, knowing that these helped bring me to my present state of recovery.
14th December 2006
Here, There and Everywhere
Yes it feels like this tonight (written last night), I did try to get out and about today. Its always a judgment call with the old "dogs", my feet that is. The "dogs" have been barking like mad today. I sometimes wonder what will happen as time goes by, will the pain go away as nature and age takes its toll, in this case aided by type 1 diabetes kills off the nerves in my feet. Sooner or later these changes will happen and at the best of times now, the pain is continuous and does not let up.
So to Hinde St, a bit of a trek? Not really for the able bodied. But with dogs like mine the excruciating pain comes back just after getting off the tube at Bond St. And I am slow and shoppers are fast on their pins. Its like a challenge and a torture these days. I got there just about in time for the mid-day share in our fellowship of AA. Recovery is a tricky business for anyone and with a couple of things thrown on top, well it does mean sometimes I am unable to make it as I might wish. Powerless over things like diseases. We learn and that of course acceptance is the key.
And getting about as best I may. And it was worth turning up, recognised one or two people I know from other places. And of course listened quite interestingly to the sharer today. A person still at odds with their will and how things have happened and where they are now. There was bravado and solace and all sorts of comic moments as the share went through every twist and turn to avoid that truth we come to accept, that we are alcoholics and we best get wise to what this means for us.
And acceptance is the key to my recovery today. I had a good morning with much to change to make my words more accessible on the internet, then to Hinde St and a very careful journey home as I was jostled and found I was mostly in the way. Its not good sometimes to look ok when in fact there needs to be a sign which says "please pass" slow moving pedestrian. I got home and wondered where the day was going, too much time to go and get back it seems. A quick wash and brush up and this time on the bike to Fulham and for the evening meeting.
Travelling by bicycle, strange but true, the exercise and the pressure is less on my feet, and I can get around reasonably, and with less pain than walking. Odd it seems to me, that one form of movement causes extreme pains and another less so. Just as it is. And the eyesight of course is affected as it is, its like which sets of pains and deficits can I make do with today and still get about.
Sharing with a friend on matters connected to diabetes, it was not quite as I expected but helpful nonetheless. And with some sharing of the conditions and some understanding gained it turned out as good as a fellowship meeting in many respects. Its always good to share what experience we have, what makes us able to anything and hope for better managed days. We live and we learn.
The meeting in Hinde St helped me see the mistakes made as to what we really mean about many of the foggy issues we have. For those like me, who realise the spiritual connection is to now, it seems so odd that its complicated and made so incredibly mystical. If it were supposed to be as hard as this to understand, that we have to believe in a creator and all sorts we cannot perceive. And in the truth as we find as we journey along, the true spiritual path lies straight in front of us and nowhere else. Its merely this passing moment we have.
As demonstrated with aplomb our sharer today made clear he had been diligent and had gone to the ends of the earth to find his nirvana just to find he was still there. As his search covered years and many terrains, he had ambled along as if he was searching for his Holy Grail. And as we all find with sobriety, the Grail resides in us, it’s simply the moment we have right now, and then another experienced as we may with no aid but our conscience and our comprehension as we move along.
The road to spiritual enlightenment is quite simple, we learn as we go, wherever we may wander its always with us as we see with clarity and without denials the world we can perceive, just as nature and providence make possible to greater degrees. With wisdom of course. We make better contact to the moment of now.
Any sage, or wise person, a guru or cleric, all will set to testament one simple truth we can share, we live just this moment and another and another as we go. And what we see without filters or deniable mysteries is what we can connect to right now in the ever present moment where we feel this life flow. Simple as we let go nonsense and metaphysical dreams and engage our mind’s eye to where we are simply now in this day. And as we may or may not, experience its truth, as witness to the ever present, present moment of now.
I am home safe and happy to report, nothing in this world need ever be too big to handle when we have fellowship close to us. And when we don’t understand or try will things our way, let go and make good with what we have and change ourselves as we may. We cannot and may not change anything, or place, or situation from what is right now, just move and make good choices as we learn what works in our lives, and work hard as we can, because after all we are all worth it, as we find our true path to serenity. And serenity is always in the moment of now, it is as elusive we may feel as any perfect state, for it’s in the imperfect perfect that we find what we create, serenity is in acceptance in all respects as life is today.
December 14th 2005
An Eye For An Eye very old testament
"Former gang leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams has been executed by lethal injection, 24 years after he was convicted of killing four people." testament: a covenant between God and the human race I have argued for all forms of vengeance over the years. From no vengeance to revenge in all its gravity. From forgiveness to an eye for an eye. I fall into the forgive everything category presently, and I hope I can maintain my view. How do we keep to the track of forgiveness, and how do we keep to our track of an eye for an eye? Both propositions are based in tragic events, prevention of catastrophe on personal and global proportions. Both are applicable and inexplicable to our rational world. And both are rooted in our emotional reaction to events most often outside our control. So we get to blame, redemption and execution of our will. Tookie Williams, a man I have never known is executed today and I am moved to wonder if we have seen justice. Justice for lives lost and the loss of this life.
When I look at the sparse background and information I can see the law is the law, it has put him to death and the state and the people justify the outcome. I find it harsh and against my principles and values and still I can accept the view taken of punishment to fit the crime. Or do I? How would I feel, as the victim, as the bereaved, as the instigator, the murderer? Our world has moved toward forgiveness and redemption, yet we are pushed backward to vengeance and punishment.
It is the very nature of this world to survive, to get ahead, to push forward and be strong. It is no wonder that violence is never far away, our nature both offensive and defensive. We are a merely a few generations away from a violent past where humans were no more than animals wandering this planet. And our testaments of old make clear the covenants of life and death, written not long ago, where life was of questionable value, depending on birth and strength. We are evolving, we are learning, we are becoming more human. And we are equally caught by our nature and nurture. We hold fast to our emotions and feel as we do, and our nature and nurture do not evolve at the same rate across our world. We live in a world of catch up, developing at our own pace. As individuals, societies and cultures we are growing one way or another. We have modernism and traditions, principles and values, folklore and law, a higher power and our power. We are evolving.
And what I understand in freedoms of spirit and mind becomes a better way of living as we learn, grow and accept our world, our lot and our place in it. When we take our reckoning, our own inventory and put it to our test of principles, values and life lived, we find our meaning and our value. For any individual who has caused wilful destruction, there are many outcomes, at their own hand or that of others. There is denial and justification, or there is acceptance, and the consequences are what they will be. Destruction of another will impact on everyone according to his or her code. We learn the code from our fellows and we deliver our outcomes. How we live as a consequence, or die because of it, is our personal journey and our society. In my country with no death penalty, the consequences are I suspect, as fearsome as those who excise an "Eye for an Eye". The impact is felt differently and the consequences may offer no peace to those who grieve. And for those put to death by our laws, their suffering is done. When we look at societies caught between and betwixt, we challenge our morality and our humanity at every turn. We learn from experience as bitter can be. Our journey to forgiveness and acceptance is as long as life itself and maybe eternity...
December 14th 2004
Personal Protection Plan
When I am faced with pressures, a loving attitude towards myself will protect my peace of mind.
We need to remind ourselves that we are good inside. Sometimes life and circumstance shape us to do or say things we live to regret. We cannot take things back once some expression has been made. We can change that expression to something else and put right harm done from harm’s way. And sometimes we express a thought or deed so difficult to unravel, it would take a lifetime to put right. A lifetime is just for this day, how we express ourselves and make good our conduct, and make good for ourselves our expression and motive. If ever we cross the path of another where we felt wronged or the wrong within us got the better of peace of mind, share if practical a new outlook and move on, careful and understanding of the possible.
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