December 22 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "principles before personalities… And principles and personalities…" Fellowship, at the core of fellowship is love. We don't always see love, we see the people, what they say and what they do. And we will judge them for it, even when we don't want to, because… Most of us do believe that the principles and the foundation of the fellowship, the twelve steps and twelve traditions, develop our ability to live on a personal basis in an open, honest and willing way and as a fellowship in unity, service and recovery…
Video For Today:
Principles before personalities: I swallowed the notion that the fellowship is about principles and not about personalities. And the theory is fantastic, the practice is still a spiritual kindergarten, and I am one of the children. I say this because there is part of me which sees ideals, of being open, honest and willing, is something I will always be making progress practising and doing. Any time in fellowship, and we see it is simply progress and some people forget the principles and revert to their natural personality traits without drinking. And that's a good thing, because they are sober, at the same time outside meetings, I would avoid them at all costs because their behaviour and actions are just not my cup of tea…
Principles before personalities: the primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics who have a desire to stop drinking. And sometimes help those who have no idea about stopping drinking? Well I don't take it that far. Usually a person needs to turn up in a meeting or there is a twelve step call. Some sort of intervention, not to preach, simply to share the truth of what happened to me. Very difficult sometimes, and can be very stark, so I try to keep it simple and ask lots of questions and see and hear what is going on. Many personalities do not need and cannot accept help from me, and thank goodness that there are plenty more different personalities, because people need to relate, no matter what in recovery one day at a time…
Principles before personalities: the AA pledge, "I'm responsible when anyone anywhere reaches out for help, I want hand of AA always to be there, and for that I'm responsible." It might be my hand, which reaches out, and hopefully if my hand is rejected, there are many hands available with different personalities and different outlooks and simply different people. Fellowship is so diverse, from religious people to nonreligious people, to atheists and every other belief under the sun. That's what makes it work, one day at a time, there will always be someone somewhere with an outlook, behaviour and actions which will be acceptable to the newcomer and progress can be made in the moment of now, the imperfectly perfect ever present, present moment where life happens…
I have been accused of many things over the years in recovery, and the accusations in my early days were very hurtful. Usually accusations are about principles, personal conduct and the fears that disturb anyone anywhere at different times. My ideals in living have a foundation based on: truth, love and wisdom. Truth, love and wisdom keep on developing through time, and what I believed when I was younger, that is my attitudes and judgements were often wrong. And my attitudes and judgements can be very wrong today! So I only get to know the truth, by listening and asking for help, I keep on learning about love, how to love today, and how to be loved is always in the moment, accepting of love from another person is very humbling and the wisdom just keeps on happening. Being loved back… Without conditions and without judgements is profound. Twelve steps, always about learning life, nothing set in stone in the moment of now...
All emotions count: and wrapped around our emotional repertoire, our emotional abilities, is a moral code often highlighted by the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues. Hence the expression that there is good in the worst of people, and bad in the best of people. And when we are living life, even the best of people can behave badly and the worst of people can behave well. Of course it depends on your point of view, and your moral code, and what you judge is right for you, and how you judge other people. Because we do judge. We perceive the world as it is. And we judge it automatically and what is happening to us. Depending on our mood, the impact of events and how we think about them will change, and so our actions change as we develop life experience. What seems right yesterday, is often wrong today… Progress and never perfection in the moment of now…
Dear higher power, I went to a meeting last night and quite a few meetings recently where there were newcomers who don't know what to do. I know just how they feel, trying to cover up fear, putting on a brave face and very concerned. It makes me realise just how important the AA pledge is every day. All we need to do is offer help to support and encourage some faith, courage and confidence to be sober one day. That was all it took for me to try sober life, oh and of course, you!
Principles not personalities, the traditions are all about unity, service and recovery. We work together to maintain our sobriety. Service in Fellowship changes every day because we change and we don't hold on, we let go and share and include as much as possible. Thank the heavens recovery is just for today.…
The most contemptuous critic is always going to be me, when I used to look in the mirror, I did not see the real me, I saw someone imperfect and unworthy. I was always striving, and I really did not know why I disliked what I saw. Today when I look in the mirror, I brush my teeth, shave sometimes, deal with the odd spot and then get on with my day…
December 22 2010 ~ in fellowship we do learn principles of living with the twelve steps. The twelve steps for me to put in the action and improve my principles and living. When I use the twelve steps to judge you and other people, my attitudes and behaviour become judgmental and mean. Principles before personalities, judge not and my life improves daily...
December 22 2010 ~ I have yet to meet a special and different alcoholic. I always meet unique and authentic people in fellowship, one similarity being "a desire to stop drinking." I do find like-minded people everywhere, and also people I simply cannot understand. I make friends with like-minded people and leave others to their own path today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "PRINCIPLES, NOT PERSONALITIES the way our “worthy” alcoholics have sometimes tried to judge the “less worthy” is, as we look back on it, rather comical. Imagine, if you can, one alcoholic judging another! THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 37
Who am I to judge anyone? When I first entered the Fellowship I found that I liked everyone. After all, A.A. was going to help me to a better way of life without alcohol. The reality was that I couldn’t possibly like everyone, nor they me. As I’ve grown in the Fellowship, I’ve learned to love everyone just from listening to what they had to say. That person over there, or the one right here, may be the one God has chosen to give me the message I need for today. I must always remember to place principles above personalities..."
December 22 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Open Honest And Willing are Aspirations
Small word for big living. I feel a little off key today. Sharing with integrity whatever it might be feels somehow unhappy, when we cannot be ourselves. Or we imagine too much from where we have got to in the day or anything we humans might be about.
Gently moving along and being in the world with a clear head helps me listen, see and read the world as is right now. When there is some room to imagine possibilities, I like any human being feels the pull towards happiness and excitement. Joy perceived and wondered at as a possible outcome with insufficient understanding can make us worry and fear.
A simple and uncomplicated way to live will generate happiness with our present state, when we find harmonious connections. And at the same time I need know enough to make good decisions and good connections.
The Glorious Internet
Awash with humanity all learning how to feel and make life work.
Stop Thinking And Start Feeling
I was guest speaker at an AA meeting just down the road from me. A meeting where I used to made tea and just kept happy by humans saying hello and asking for the drink of their choice. It was cool and just right. From a person still reeling and still in the grip to my friends from a few days sober to over three decades. And all the crashing of noises off made for difficult speaking and difficult sharing. We got by and it turned out ok.
I said we need stop thinking our recovery and start feeling our recovery. There is no mileage in recovering and having a degree in how to live if we forget and do not learn how to feel life.
This Issue - Feelings Never Lie
Genuine feelings never lie to us, we lie to ourselves and then we can compound our worries as we lie to others. There is nothing but heartache in sharing feelings we may wish for and cannot find. We need evidence and understanding of who and where we are in order to feel life as it is today.
The Truth Is Out There
Our truth is as good as we can experience. ‘God is Truth.’ Feelings inform us of who and where we are. What we have to make life work and what we need, and also what we want.
Wants and Need
Two different agendas. What we need is “Truth.” Truth helps us cover our needs. We need love ourselves and others, and learn what love is. We may want more love and more loving in our lives. The internet does not always tell us what we may wish to know as we plunge forwards and forget who and where we are in our living. We can gloss over unhelpful truths about ourselves. And when we wonder why information is lacking we can be careful and not too ahead in our speculations or we can be undone.
Face To Face
We can understand what our needs are, and where imagination is holding us back or moving us forwards. Reality and face to face we have a real chance to understand and love. At long distance without having a face to face and real meeting of minds we are not able to understand or share completely the reality we are. Or we may have worries about anything and everything we portray.
Hopes Wishes and Dreams
In a clear way in my local living, I understand from my own experience, strength and hope where I am today. I share openly about much of my life. And it is true, people in many places know me better than I know them. In fellowship I can be true, in my immediate world I am and can be true and this is no easy way to live without practice, I am a novice all over again. And from faraway, we can hold to truth we can dare share as much or as little of what and who we are.
Many know me well and still face to face fills in those other elements of how we are. We can imagine, we can think scenarios and have much to hold to dreams we might aspire were reality. Reality is different, immediate and in the moment.
Even face to face we can evade and brush under our magic carpet much we might deny in ourselves. We learn as truth manifests and often the bubble in relationships bursts as the truth will out.
Care and Gentleness
Reflecting just now on events close to me, I see the truth torturing and hurting those close to me. Tolerance and love is needed in all daily living, or we may brush away what we don’t know, or fear most, being found out.
Go gentle into that good night..
As if this were an ending, I have no clue where the dark starts and stops. Enlightenment is always going to happen as we either find continuity or experience nothing. In many ways the event is not determined or the outcome. Unlike the here and now, this awkward ever present, present moment of now. Where truth finds acceptance and we are the Key.
Daily Reflections December 22 2007
Principles Not Personalities
The way our "worthy" alcoholics have sometimes tried to judge the "less worthy" is, as we look back on it, rather comical. Imagine, if you can, one alcoholic judging another!
The Language of The Heart, p. 37
Who am I to judge anyone? When I first entered the Fellowship I found that I liked everyone. After all, A.A. was going to help me to a better way of life without alcohol. The reality was that I couldn't possibly like everyone, nor they me. As I've grown in the Fellowship, I've learned to love everyone just from listening to what they had to say. That person over there, or the one right here, may be the one God has chosen to give me the message I need for today. I must always remember to place principles above personalities.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
As we look back over our drinking careers, we must realize that our lives were a mess because we were a mess inside. The trouble was in us, not in life itself. Life itself was good enough, but we were looking at it the wrong way. We were looking at life through the bottom of a whiskey glass, and it was distorted. We could not see all the beauty and goodness and purpose in the world, because our vision was blurred. We were in a house with one-way glass in the windows. People could see us but we could not look out and see them and see what life meant to them and should mean to us. We were blind then, but now we can see. Can I now look at life as it really is?
Meditation For The Day
Fear no evil, because the power of God can conquer evil. Evil has power to seriously hurt only those who do not place themselves under the protection of the Higher Power. This is not a question of feeling, it is an assured fact of our experience. Say to yourself with assurance that whatever it is, no evil can seriously harm you as long as you depend on the Higher Power. Be sure of the protection of God's grace.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that fear of evil will not get me down. I pray that I may try to place myself today under the protection of God's grace.
As Bill Sees It
TIME VERSUS MONEY, p. 290
Our attitude toward the giving of time when compared with our attitude toward giving money presents an interesting contrast. We give a lot of our time to A.A. activities for our own protection and growth, but also for the sake of our groups, our areas, A.A. as a whole, and, above all, the newcomer. Translated into terms of money, these collective sacrifices would add up to a huge sum. But when it comes to the actual spending of cash, particularly for A.A. service overhead, many of us are apt to turn a bit reluctant. We think of the loss of all that earning power in our drinking years, of those sums we might have laid by for emergencies or for education of the kids.
In recent years, this attitude is everywhere on the decline; it quickly disappears when the real need for a given A.A. service becomes clear. Donors can seldom see what the exact result has been. They well know, however, that countless thousands of other alcoholics and their families are being helped. TWELVE CONCEPTS, pp. 63-64
22nd December 2006
Odd times today, I could not sleep last night, not that I was actually thinking about the person who dropped dead yesterday. I feel like I was in shock about a few things. I did relate my experience to someone last night as I mentioned, but after I was ok and felt fairly accepting of the incident. And I am not playing it down. I remember seeing the attacks on Lebanon and the aftermath for both Lebanon and Israel, loss of life is not ever going to be ordinary for me. Yet for many who live with terror all the time it must feel the worst of all.
It is without doubt a crime against humanity to keep people in a state of terror. And without a shadow of doubt the mess of Iraq, the mess of the middle east as a whole, the devastation and famine across large tranches of our world, it leaves me feeling like I cannot face news or more of the same yet I must, its real. And so last night the shock of death so close sparked off a whole riot in my head.
As we deal with death on a regular basis in my fellowship, why is it the actual presence of death really reminds me life has gone? Its because its real and in front of me. The tears we see so often, the terror we are watching as it unfolds and the killing of men women and children, its so clearly routine, we are watching expiration all day every day. And still we feel detached. I felt detached yesterday as life was gone. And yet its not gone from me tonight. I can move from one mood to another in the blink of an eye sadness to joy as we all can.
Am I weary, or am I just used to it? Neither I feel. Yet I am powerless as any other to put back life when its gone. And leaders of the free world squander others’ lives so quickly in fine principle and quick reactions when the real motive is revenge and retribution.
Life expires quickly, we have no need to hurry its ending. And yet in our warlike nature, our righteous drive to this and that, and of course democracy. An excuse for much malfeasance. We need to look at how we influence and bring this world into better times. A world like ours ravaged by our inability to let people be themselves and go about their individual business. If we don’t start it, it seems we try finish it. I am venting my spleen here. I have no desire to make criminals of anyone or undermine good intent, yet that is the way to hell. We need a better world order. And it starts with us and how we treat each other.
Its been a lot longer and more arduous and more packed with connections. I felt life is too short for all mishaps and misunderstandings. The imminent feeling I had was I don’t want this day to be over without trying to find balance and understanding, and get back to evens with the world and everyone I know. I did not ring and say let’s be friends.
I felt I needed to make sure amicable connections were in place and acceptance is my key to all this. I bang on enough about it, and I know there have been difficult times where I felt undermined, ignored undervalued and all those horrible things. It is not my way to hold bad feelings inside, it hurts me as much as anything. The comment I made that hurt people hurt people is so true. We need to stop somehow hurting ourselves and others as a principle.
We are all too quick to jump and react, when we might say “hold on what are we doing and what are we about?”
And yes there are bad people about, made worse by more torments we mete out through neglect and without finding one shred of forgiveness.
For me we need forgive everything, as we can for in the end we do no better than we can or have been taught or we are lost to principles and to social law and order. Our fabric of society is ripped by torments and accusations from the poor to the wealthy in all of the world. From have nothing, to have a bit, to obscene wealth held and not shared. I have no fight with wealth. Wealth has a struggle and cannot be maintained unless we accept inequality. I am no communist, but this world and how we help each other is very, very primitive.
Powerless I am
Except to speak as I live in a democracy. But I cannot point and blame, I can suggest we need to more and help more. War wins no friends. Food and support and sharing makes for a better world.
How long for our big picture to change? Nature and economy will move the balance of wealth as it will. There is no protectionism which will ever work, as the Soviets have found out, so too western democracies will see the rise of new markets and wealth elsewhere.
What is on my mind tonight
Well apart from all that nonsense that just came out. I have helped a friend with a lot of stuff. I feel I am a friend and can remain so, even if they choose a different path to living than me, and truly It is their choice. I can do so much and be ok. I am not tempted by their way right now at all, been there and now live differently. Its my choice and my path, and I cannot turn my back on a friend in need. Nor should they feel I might. I hope they are ok.
And this reminds me too I need be the equal of my encounters and be me.
The meeting tonight
Well indeed a lively funny share about dealing with our shortcomings. And so funny, it cheered me up. I went to a step meeting which was about step seven:
"Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."
Now as many will know I have adapted the God AA mention, and higher power of AA to suit me and my faith and my belief and my take on spiritual progress.
Any mention of god, is about “good conscience” for me, any reference to higher powers, is the collective wisdom of the people who have learned to be sober from being addicted. So in good conscience and with a higher power of AA wisdom at my fingertips daily, I get my spiritual progress. My spiritual progress in the day, as we all know, living in the moment. The mind, body and breath we have utilised to best effect in this present moment of now - now that is spiritual. And as most people know you don’t get spiritual by mind altering drugs or alcohol, you get pissed and stoned, and your world is as big as your head. Your ego tells you are tripping, and in fact you probably are, over your feet as you slide into oblivion…
Our speaker with great presence extolled the virtues of self. Being self-aware and the right size, knowing that we all make ourselves too big and important sometimes and too small and too timid other times.
The trick is this as I see it. And this is my story. I relied too much reliance on fear, bravery and ego. And not enough reliance on courage, faith and confidence to see me through my living.
Whatever the reasons for my shortcomings in this world, I learned them and got them as life deals the deck.
Now I know what has happened and where I am I can just get on with the day, adjusting as I walk, or in my case often ride my bike, with courage faith and esteem, not in fear, being brave because of fear, and using ego to make myself feel big enough to get on with the challenge of today. Faith courage and esteem work for long periods. Fear Bravery and ego, well they work in the short term when we are not ourselves or we have been laid low by ourselves or events and worse people who make us feel less than them.
After hearing this I was going to stay on for a few chicken legs, which was part of the festive fare, and other delectable’s which play havoc with my digestion. So sensibly I got back here and have been experimenting with “you tube“, and writing.
So in between rants I hope my words come out clearly. And I enjoyed trying the new media, time will tell where it may lead. Somewhere is my endeavour, and hope just for today. It was fun, dark humour, exhausting helping and supporting and all about doing the right thing. Less connections to haunt me, and most hopefully restored and amicable. Love is all we really need. A day at a time!
December 22nd 2005
Gorillaz in the Mists King Kong
We are fascinated by nature and we draw on it to find meaning. Sometimes songs and film evoke more than we expect. A mood, a time, some misty recollections, waking up in good cosy company and letting the mystery of the day start to unfold through sleepy eyes.
This is a romantic time of year, the season draws night quickly and there are a few hours of light, sometimes so piercing and bright we might get giddy.
Cold tramples through us as we move about and catch steamy breath. The muffle and then sharp relief of noise, that crispness of sense about us. When we find it difficult to express our sense of now, and memories are captured, we tip ourselves into pockets where we recall cherished moments.
And music and film pinch our sense as sensibility is lost in raptures well-worn fondness.
Bitter sweet and sweet again as a tear is caught before it drops and we come back from sharp to sharp relief...
December 22nd 2004
Crown Of Light
There is a crown of light on those who are carefree. If you are worrying about anything you carry the baskets of burden on your head. Which do you prefer? Do you prefer the basket or the crown of light?
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