December 18 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "honesty with newcomers… Spiritual living is the ability to cope with reality. Right now…" Rigorous honesty offers the best foundation for life and everything we will encounter one day at a time. I don't know if the AA daily reflections meant my version of spiritual, because my version of spiritual is simply living reality. I do not know what was in the minds of the founders of the fellowship, that spiritual was in some way a religious underpinning to sobriety. And a belief in God, the God of my understanding does not require I join a particular religious body. As far as I know, a God of my understanding would never require a human to join any particular order defined by a human…
Video For Today:
A fellowship of experience, strength and hope. A fellowship where we learn the truth of life in the moment, living in the moment and coping with reality being spiritual. Good, bad and ugly as life is, as nature is day by day. It is only good, bad or ugly as we define it, when it goes our way or goes the other way, to hell in a hand basket. Nature does not differentiate in how it works for anything on the planet, we differentiate what is good for us and what is bad for us. Telling the truth to a newcomer, to the fellowship and how to keep sober one day at a time, means we tell the truth about how fellowship, a source of wisdom far greater than one person, with compassion and love can help keep us sober one day at a time. We still live life on life's terms…
Rigorous honesty: "God, 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…" My experience? God is truth, God is love and God is the wisdom we keep on learning in the moment of now. Truth, love and wisdom in the moment, good truth, bad truth and ugly truth. Enough love without conditions, not to self-harm and not to harm other people. And learn how to be loved by other people, which is one of the hardest elements of life without any conditions, because we make love complicated and conditional. The wisdom of letting go, letting good happen, dealing with life when bad things happen, coping with life, when ugly things happen without resorting to a fix...
Sometimes I do fear telling my truth, that it might be unacceptable to the people with other views, and opinions and beliefs. Why? Because they may not like me, but what is the point of being liked for being agreeable to things we don't believe in? My belief is that anyone can hold any belief and opinion and is better to express it. Then we have a truthful understanding. I absolutely love people and friends and family who hold different beliefs and opinions to me. That is the nature of human existence, we will hold different beliefs and opinions. But that does not mean I should hate or put down or be prejudiced against what you believe, because ultimately, you may be right, and I may be wrong. Truth grows when we are open, honest and willing to live life on life's terms, living and coping with reality, not spending time undermining our fellows. Whether you are a believer in God, an agnostic, or an atheist, truth will serve you well in all elements of living sober today…
And when you encounter people who hold different beliefs and opinions, why not be respectful? Why not accept the way other people are today? Why not accept what you believe today to be good enough for you? Why not keep learning the truth? The whole of life is about learning, having the humility to be open, honest and willing in the moment of now. My beliefs and opinions have changed many times over the years as a consequence of living longer. Ten years ago, I could see a quick and easy end to my horrible life. Ten years ago, the idea of fellowship made me feel ill, and I would have preferred to be dead, rather than dependent on anything, least of all reformed addicts. And yet I was dependent and addicted to people, places and things. Today I feel like I am an interdependent person, being helped by other people and helping other people to the best of my ability, in the imperfectly perfect moment, and just one day at a time…
It is not what I do that counts it is what we do which makes the difference. Asked and answered over and over, one day at a time…
Dear higher power, what a day yesterday. Newcomers in the room and as the meeting came to an end, seeing my fellows reaching out, offering help, phone numbers and where to finds. I did say hello and offered, but not needed today as some were faster on their feet. A good feeling, no need to rush, patience, tolerance and love and good company in fellowship…
Over the last few days; more newcomers, feeling red raw. And just about able to listen as we share seriously and humorously. Shocked and relieved by our similarities and our diversity. As we laugh at our misfortune and redemption, newcomers uncertain and then seeing something new; people coping with reality…
December 18 2010 ~ "honesty with newcomers" a desire to be sober so I have freedom to live as well can be given my current circumstances. I don't tell anyone what to do, simply share my experience strength and hope. Accepting life on life's terms can be difficult. I am one voice; it is the many voices in fellowship keeping me sober today...
December 18 2010 ~ I do not know what is spiritual for other people, and I do not know how spiritual may work in their lives. For me, spiritual is the ability to cope with reality, my real situation today. My higher power is connection to truth, love and wisdom experienced in the moment. Life is changing and I keep learning, always for today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "HONESTY WITH NEWCOMERS tell him exactly what happened to you. Stress the spiritual feature freely. Alcoholics Anonymous Page 93
The marvel of A.A. is that I tell only what happened to me. I don’t waste time offering advice to potential newcomers, for if advice worked, nobody would get to A.A. All I have to do is show what has brought me sobriety and what has changed my life. If I fail to stress the spiritual feature of A.A.’s program, I am being dishonest. The newcomer should not be given a false impression of sobriety. I am sober only through the grace of my Higher Power, and that makes it possible for me to share with others"
December 18 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Happy Holidays
The Holiday Season
A friend of mine is off to the Sun. Smiles from me its chilly here in London UK. And the thought of jetting away to a far off destination is very attractive, at the same time I know for me it is tricky situation. I need keep to safe ground and keep my feet on the floor, even though the dreams of faraway keep infiltrating my happy head this morning.
Life goes along as it may and today I am awaiting some goods for the Christmas Day, all day AA meeting at Flood St not too far distant from where I live in Chelsea. Actually some would have me in Kensington, some would have me in Chelsea. There is always something alluring for my neighbours and I guess me too that I live in SW3. I feel ok where I am and feel ok being me. Level in my head most of the time just now.
Last night I went to one of my local meetings, it is a strange and interesting meeting sometimes, and does suffer now and then from low numbers and a need to pay the rent. This means everything becomes a little bit more difficult and somewhat hard for the tea makers and the tea drinkers as funds don’t offer the best teas available in the area for us fellowship people.
Our topic of conversation and quite up in my interest stakes lately. Step six, seven and ten, part of the daily maintenance suite of living and doing experiences.
Step six is about acknowledging our “defects” I have come to believe that they are not so much defects of character, just plain ordinary elements of who we are. Defects or the seven deadly sins manifest as a reaction to life and low times. The virtues more likely to be a response to living and learning a path of good and good conscience.
Sins and Virtues Steps Six and Seven
Pride is excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity. Envy is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation. Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires. Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body. Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath. Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness. Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.
Faith is belief in the right things (including the virtues!).Hope is taking a positive future view, that good will prevail. Charity is concern for, and active helping of, others. Fortitude is never giving up. Justice is being fair and equitable with others. Prudence is care of and moderation with money. Temperance is moderation of needed things and abstinence from things which are not needed.
These sins and virtues prevail as sort of opposite extremes of human doings. Depending on how we are from nature we might be happy at one extreme or the other.
Thank Truth [God for some]
Yes somewhere in between we humans endeavour and make good our living. We can always be bent out of shape and we can always , make good as life affords.
We need human qualities of forgiveness above all, acceptance of the then and the now, the present moment to make life experience the learning it need be.
Sort of Garden of Eden Stuff. We do cover up our shame and guilt and often cannot fathom or unravel where things have got to. So in the fellowship of AA we try as many humans do, with faith courage and fortitude to resolve our daily issues as we go.
We cover up what we covet as much as what shames us these days. And the good news is we get to restore some sort of balance on a daily basis as we learn what nature gives us and what we humans choose to civilise, often with dire consequences…
Exposed and Real
If we learn how to be real, how to utilise what nature affords and keep some level headed approach life runs reasonably well when it can. Extremes drive anyone to dogma, cultish behaviour and this is not for me.
When people accuse they often utilise their blind prejudice based on horror stories and often on bad experiences of life. No wonder so many get a bad name and so few make it to Sainthood.
From what I recall of my learning from my Dad, Jesus spent a lot of time in the wilderness cavorting, and only when he got to thirty did he notice he was a bit wayward and his Dad stepped in and had a go at him. We all have our “crosses to bear.”
That heavy load is often lightened when we realise we are merely human and we can redeem ourselves if we are able enough and seek help. We learn as we may!
Daily Reflections - Man Made God - God Made Man
Understanding The Malady
When dealing with an alcoholic, there may be a natural annoyance that a man could be so weak, stupid and irresponsible. Even when you understand the malady better, you may feel this feeling rising. AA, p. 139
Having suffered from alcoholism, I should understand the illness, but sometimes I feel annoyance, even contempt, toward a person who cannot make it in A.A. When I feel that way, I am satisfying my false sense of superiority and I must remember, but for the grace of God, there go I.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
The sceptic and the agnostic say it is impossible for us to find the answer to life. Many have tried and failed. But many have put aside intellectual pride and have said to themselves: Who am I to say there is no God? Who am I to say there is no purpose in life? The atheist makes a declaration: "The world originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere." Others live for the moment and do not even think about why they are here or where they are going. They might as well be clams on the bottom of the ocean, protected by their hard shells of indifference. They do not care. Do I care where I am going?
Meditation For The Day
We may consider the material world as the clay which the artist works with, to make of it something beautiful or ugly. We need not fear material things, which are neither good nor bad in the moral sense. There seems to be no active force for evil--outside of human beings themselves. Humans alone can have either evil intentions--resentments, malevolence, hate and revenge--or good intentions--love and good will. They can make something ugly or something beautiful out of the clay of their lives.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may make something beautiful out of my life.
I pray that I may be a good artisan of the materials which
I have been given to use.
As Bill Sees It
Rebellion Or Acceptance, p.293
All of us pass through the times when we can pray only with the greatest exertion. Occasionally we go even further than this. We are seized with a rebellion so sickening that we simply won't pray. When these things happen, we should not think too ill of ourselves. We should simply resume prayer as soon as we can, doing what we know to be good for us.
A man who persists in prayer finds himself in possession of great gifts. When he has to deal with hard circumstances, he finds he can face them. He can accept himself and the world around him. He can do this because he now accepts a God who is All--and who loves all. When he says, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name," he deeply and humbly means it. When in good meditation and thus freed from the clamours of the world, he knows that he's in God's hands, that his own ultimate destiny is really secure, here and hereafter, come what may. 1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 105 2. GRAPEVINE, JUNE 1958
18th December 2006
Sunday Rambles, I love it, I used to
[extract from a friend] It's been another of those fast moving days for me. An early start for being out, a few bits to get done. Then I went to read the paper quietly and fell asleep! I guess I must need it.
I read your journal this afternoon. I found it very moving actually. I know we touched on the fear, bravery and faith and courage subject in the week. The way you write it, it makes sense. It's funny, but when I write to you, I know sometimes it's a real scramble. And I wouldn't actually write stuff like that to anyone else, to worried about getting it all wrong. And when you write about hitting rock bottom.
It's hard to believe that people you only know in recovery and well, ever hit that low. The pain that goes with it. I hate to think of that part of someone's life, wish they hadn't had to live it but also know that hearing it is important. Also I guess that without that journey, I would still be living a pretty shallow life. It's funny, but with AA, I feel almost protective of people I meet. May be the wrong words. But it's the way people who sometimes barely know each other, are so willing to open up and be honest about the pain and suffering they have gone through, or are going through. Maybe helping someone else get there. Certainly helps me with faith and courage.
Sorry, I seem to of rambled a bit again. But I don't think it's that 'do your head in' stuff I sometimes manage I hope not.
I hope you are ok today. The weather was lovely, hard to believe it's the middle of December. Take care [from me] Sunday Rambles
It is very easy to understand everything you write. As if the book of words and explanations are unnecessary. It is after all the truth we may speak when we feel confident, at the same time it may be read with confusion if people had had life without the ups and downs. We need to be happy writing as we may. and you will be quite surprised that mostly we are understood. what we share often goes unwritten and unsaid.
Its been a good day with two meetings. I went to the early Flood St, at the remembrance hall. And we had a got discussion about broken relationships as a consequence of the changes we have made in our outlook and character. A lot of people find their near relationships founder often as we change, our nearest stay the same, or the balance is altered. Some big moves in attitude and behaviour make us unacceptable in some ways and often they too feel the same as we do.
I can hark back to great moments of love and connection with past partners, now most likely married or not, I don't know, some for sure, some making their way as single parents. Some single and so different now that we have nothing much in common, except maybe some good memories. As resentments in me are less than at any time in my life, against myself and anyone, there is calm to the day. I know though that connections to some bring up every horrible feeling imaginable and I need not trawl history to far back to feel dislocations and sadness of extreme poignancy. Its easy to see my part in events and know it was never just me or just them, it was everything. so no need to blame or make them or me feel less than human these days.
That first meeting this morning reminded so clearly that there is only one thing I can change in this world and its me and my attitudes. As to how others feels and how they respond to me, it is outside my power to control, or even endeavour. There is always hurt under the surface trying to fix history, we cannot and are better to accept bygones and old feelings are past.
Of recent times, in the last few months there is maybe some sadness and acceptance, that as things have turned out, I had to separate and be myself rather than try to so accommodating of superficiality and indifference, caused by what I may only leave to history I most likely will never know. As I have said recently hurt people, hurt people. And in being honest hurt was evident, and not really understood. Doing other and letting it be felt like slow torture and I feel it could not be any other way at the time.
As to family, well we are ok to an extent, and know where we are I hope. As hope was a key message this morning, and reminding ourselves that we are powerless over people places and things, it helps, and it was good to be there to hear everything.
Tonight we nearly were left on the pavement until someone worked out the code for the alarm on the door. Fortunately all went to plan, we got in a bit late. And a big meeting, a surprise for me as an old acquaintance who lived close to me turned up out of the blue. Its truly good to see other people I have known from my early days, well just making life work. We both agreed at the end how much BS we had used to have, and how sorry we were for harm caused to family as we were back then.
The beauty of recovery, and amends made, and willing and honest as you say. well it does make all the difference.
Consequences came up too, as a consequence of others actions and our own. some things had got broken beyond repair. We all have consequences and we all realised again, that some things are beyond fixing. again the acceptance, of leaving others and sometimes more often them leaving us was as it may be. We cannot trust or be trusted sometimes when we have or they have made other ways of living. and as honest featured heavily tonight, most of us could see our part in delusions and putting up with sad situations. As well as of course others totally unprepared for our insanity through addiction. Well the news is hot off the press, we need to be open and honest as you mention and trust in being willing to make life work just for a day.
It was good to see my old neighbour, we may meet up this week or the weekend, we shall see. As life and the world turns every 24 hours its good to let the good of life and as well as face life as life is, the reality which is made possible by just being sober, and of course every ounce of work we do to make it possible. We found a general theme, that hard work, that is just the hard work to be moving into ordinary life take such a lot. to get over addictions and into recovery, and that old thing of recovered.
Tonight I reckon a few new people got the message loud and clear, recovery is life long, and as long as the day, no more or less. And it is hard work, its maintenance. and we are better for it as we learn open and honest, and care really does work.
All these challenges. As life makes us sit up and take note. we cannot deny one moment of life to now, we can comprehend what it means and understand all we did, and others have done. And simply we can change our outlook as we may, to make the most of what we have.
I made a new blog, and may make it public, its called the chuff list. As we often talk about gratitude, an old word for being chuffed and a little more I suspect. The idea of the chuff list is quite appealing. I will think more about it as time permits.
Overall a good day indeed. As you say a sunny day. I got a lot out of concentrating on this one day, not being worried about tomorrow and what I cannot do anything about. Honouring feelings from the past, and realising some people places and things are gone forever, that acceptance is just one more key. And in many way a sense of calm for once, neither driven or inert. Just somewhere in the middle of life in a day. Enough for now.
December 18th 2005
Time of year
This time of year, well in my world, it seems busy and fraught with so many trying to do so much and getting tired and frustrated to boot! Everyone I know is trying to make the best of the holiday season. And for some its not holidays, its just another day In my world these days, every day is just another day. And my approach to the day is to experience it in its totality, the good and the bad, the easy and the hard as best I can I will not succeed every day, I will sometimes feel like I have more to do and there will come a day when nothing more can be done.
If ever we have an understanding or a contract with this world, we might find we have just one, with ourselves and how we conduct ourselves, and if we are lucky we will realise this gift and if we achieve more than our goal, recognise our humanity and humility, our wonder and our astonishment at life and feel lucky this day and every day we awake to experience it!
December 18th 2004
Consider time to be a great treasure. Never waste a second. We need to respect our time, and the waste of time that can happen, whether we are waiting for others or expecting others to be in the same time and place as us.
We are often forgetful in our own hurry, we forget others we know are not in the same place of understanding. With great emotions flowing through us at all times, our single minded nature can make us forgetful.
Recall those times, when we love someone, and they are hardly aware we do. Recall those times when we hate someone for their behaviour and they have no clue to our feelings.
Time and temporal matters, as we live in comfort as others starve, where we can care for ourselves and have no power to help others in need.
Never waste a second of time.... A harsh consideration, when time itself marches on.
Tread soft with our treasure of time and consider. Times treasures are finite, and so as the world turns, time will run out, for this life, so cherish moments shared in harmony, they occur less often than we might feel.
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