December 24 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "a sane and useful happiness…" Contingent on my spiritual condition, which is when my feelings fit what is going on in the moment of now, means most of the time I am able and coping with reality. Happiness is not guaranteed, happiness is an experience in the moment, which leads to serenity and peacefulness. Happiness when life is good, sadness and frustration when life is bad, and sometimes horror when life is ugly. My feelings working in the moment, based on reality and the now, rather than history. Today…
Video For Today:
If we are around in recovery for some time, practising the principles of the program, living the twelve steps in our daily lives, we are completely different to the old days. The admission of vulnerability, living and working with our fellows in sobriety, living with family if possible, making good on life one day at a time in our communities, and in society. We will be reminded of the past, and when we can, we make amends to anyone we may have hurt without doing further harm. And to my astonishment, those I hurt most, family and ex-partners have been graceful towards me in their forgiveness of all that happened, back in the day… And there are some I may never contact. I live in truth, open honest and willing, trusting to truth, love and wisdom which grows moment by moment…
I was chatting with my sister on the telephone yesterday, I said to her that she had saved my life more than once. And she related just how difficult it was for family to cut me off and let me fall into rock bottom. It was an act of love, not only for me, it was to save the rest of the family from torture and blame. My family just couldn't cope, and I could not cope with myself. Those who are near and dear, who see a person get well and be restored also see that the restored to sanity person is very different in their attitudes and actions...
When a priest, a Roman Catholic priest came to visit me in hospital, with his big book, I was not in a place of sanity. "Are you here to give me the last rites?" And he said yes. I told him to fuck off because I was not a Catholic. And he said, "don't be so fussy…" The irony, I got to know him over the next couple of weeks and he also cared about me. I was not very grateful, but it was a sign to me that I should not give up on life again. Even attending services at the hospital, over the Easter weekend and seeing a new-born in the congregation and a man over one hundred years old, I needed time to understand that we can begin again. No matter how long we have felt low, we can come back to life…
Starting over again, one of the hardest and most difficult journeys when everything we have done has failed to make us happy. We probably used our fix, which in my case with alcohol to fix my feelings and my responses to any situation I might encounter. Letting go of alcohol was necessary and imperative. Then learning to let go my old life, and start a new life one day at a time, was a daily grind of mistakes and emotional disruption. The hardest journey, let go and letting people help me and getting a time frame of one day to be sober. Life keeps on happening, we are prone to any conditions a human may encounter. We live longer, and we can be lucky enough to be alive to get any other chronic conditions. The good news? The good news is we can cope with just about everything in recovery because we can ask for help and it can be forthcoming, inside and outside of fellowship, not necessarily immediate or the right help, and we can just keep on asking until the right help is found. Just for today, so far so good, and I'm happy and relatively sane in the moment of now…
Today's daily reflection: “a sane and happy usefulness.” I'm reminded of a saying, “the usefulness of any vessel is in its emptiness.” When I found Fellowship, I was full of pain, remorse, guilt and shame. It did not take long to find there was a big gap growing, it was quite frightening. Then life got busy, helping others and learning a new life. I still have gaps, and they are very useful for love, peace and serenity… Now I understand what it is to love be loved and useful…
Dear higher power, how you today? I woke early, smiling and happy. A friend came round with a wonderful dinner for me. Then later I went to a meeting; with new friends red raw and old friends at peace, in harmony. All in this one day, knowing more about how to live life real, acknowledging life is difficult, and when we accept it is difficult, it is no longer daunting, and we can cope with reality.
Last night’s meeting the promises was wonderful. Full the friends, some I see almost every day, some I see just once a year. A common understanding: about pain, about love about peace and serenity. We come together for an hour, share and make sense of how we got now, and what to do just for a day.
December 24 2010 ~ enjoy today as it may be... Life used to feel like an endurance attempt on a daily basis. I realise now of course that I can have a step six day, all about endurance, extremes of fear and brave facing. Or I can have a step seven day with fortitude: courage, faith and confidence. Humility helps me be able to learn with love and tolerance of me and everyone today...
December 24 2010 ~ there is a book called "Drop the Rock." Letting go unhealthy old ways and beginning afresh each and every day. From dropping the old thinking and feeling different about life. From endurance and hanging on to enjoyment. From dark to light even when life is as difficult can be we keep learning just for today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A “SANE AND HAPPY USEFULNESS” we have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travellers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 130
All the prayer and meditation in the world will not help me unless they are accompanied by action. Practicing the principles in all my affairs shows me the care that God takes in all parts of my life. God appears in my world when I move aside, and allow Him to step into it."
December 24 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Marley’s Ghost DonInLondon A real spectre
Past Present and Future
How far back do I need go to find where life took an unfortunate turn. A series of unfortunate events and with me, a built in melancholia for living. Don’t feel sorrow for me! And here these days there is no pity in me for now at least, more acceptance of life as is and living in the spiritual moment of now.
In the past, me, a child with no clue really. As others seemed happy I pretended to be happy too, trying to join in and be a part of. I never really seemed able to connect with playmates. And was content in the company of my family, one sister, one brother and a mother and father. Now I realise had I known it, all there was always in essence, was a misunderstanding in me and my surroundings.
Life was not easy, often hardships for my mum and dad. They always and definitely always did their best. We moved around a lot, not so good for a child trying to make sense of anything. And I knew there was fear in me, and fear bred fear. So like anyone in this dilemma, the brave face in place, I pretended much was good, that life was ok.
It was never really ok, haunted by something, fearful without cause and deep sorrows as life seemed a struggle and never a joy. As soon as I was able I would escape, solitary, then as I learned to read and write, escape always in fantasy. I rushed at life always, always because I was fearful of something I was never able to define.
As I grew, I learned to cope with these fears, they were never far away, and always I knew as any pessimist knows, that life could go bad and unfortunate things would happen. A Lemony Snicket childhood for sure. Events and times, some were good and many forgotten as fear seemed always there. I was not that able to follow my own path, and I was taught to undermine myself often as a child by educators, so a poor education I got. I learned to hate school and retreated to safe ground and books. I was a lanky kid, buck teeth and no real sense of happiness inside.
As that start made for difficult times, I just learned to fit in, middle of the road, and then as I grew, I got rebellious just like my Dad. And followed him in his ways and learned how to put a brave face on anything that often occurred. And drink for oblivion as he did, I did.
Unstable always wanting to fit in, the older I got the more I wished for oblivion and really did not appreciate anything I did. I often set out to please people and got security in doing what seemed the right thing. And I learned to self-medicate my sadness and sorrows away with alcohol of course. Somehow I missed out on illegal drugs simply because I feared being caught. Booze caught me and that was enough.
Over the years much success, and modest in the main, I just kept going at whatever was asked. I met and fell in love many times with women similar to me, we see that birds of a feather often flock together. And with a backdrop of live hard and play hard, so we all did. And then as others settled down, I just accelerated all I might be and lived beyond the safe and secure world’s most find perfect and I found fearful.
Work over the years, to the outside was good, and inside of me it left me with nothing but wanting more that might find some peace. I encountered many scrapes and successes, and one or two failings along the way.
I had an addiction or two now I look back as everything is seen best in hindsight I find in those years. Addicted to love, to relationships always, and wanting and not understanding how to be me all the time. I was lost. And then work and career filled the emptiness inside, and still the gap persevered and I filled it with booze. Compulsive, obsessive always to find that perfect time, next came health and exercise for hours on end. Every day to exhaustion until my head would eventually shut up.
We cannot and I could not sustain the life style I had, to work to exercise, to be in relationships and still my fears and insides were never right. No wonder oblivion, which is what I sought through all of these times, was well feed by alcohol and it me made me mad inside my head and desperate too as life held no meaning for much of the time.
I fell apart. A decade ago and more, as life tumbles, just like humpty dumpty, never able to put myself back the way I had been.
Coping with Living - Coping Strategies
In my line of work, all about people, I learned over and over new ways to cope, till in the end as the breakdown occurred I had nothing left and just me in the dark. Years and years of pain and fear, bravado and ego, all lost in that present. A past lived in fear of my shadow and of others too.
Years later and in the present when I look back at all that misery, good times with nothing inside, and joys lost to things I never really knew. I coped well and too long and burned bright and then snuffed myself out.
Today, I see more clearly as I went at life with all the speed one can muster, all the energy I could generate, and still tried to fit in and cope. I did it my way, and was lost.
Presently in recovery, a few extras to deal with. My life has changed completely. From addicted to life and experiences beyond anyone for long, I was slowed down by my health and by fellowship to live in the day.
This present moment, I reflect on a busy life of thirty five years of work, of relationships and of success and a spectacular spiral into the murk of all we can find in the desolation of depression. Now I find peace and serenity in not coping at all.
Human Doings - Stop Thinking Start Feeling
I let my feelings guide me and let my hear think less as feelings tell me truth as my thinking offers a denial. I am learning to stop thinking and take account of my feelings on a daily basis.
Feelings do not lie, and I have written this often. And still I realise that my thinking can lead me back to coping and then all manner of deceptions as I try deal with my life.
I keep to the daily present. Feel my way carefully, share when I feel right and definitely share when things feel wrong. I merely learn this as the days go by. I am not drifting I am learning.
I do not know for sure where this leads for the ordinary person and living in the day. Seems to me many of us end up in strange places when we cope too long on our own.
By the day
In fellowship, I can share my feelings, my thinking which goes too far often to imagination and then fears creep in. Feelings shared we learn and develop how to live, not how to cope. Maybe this is a key. Feels so today…
Some givens for me, an addict in recovery , just by the day, a type 1 diabetic and dependent I am on insulin and also depression of clinical chemical kind which won’t go away. And everything these conditions throw at me day after day.
I know this and have acceptance that is where I keep safe and with fellowship in the main deal with each moment. Sad or happy its just as it is. Acceptance always the key.
As future becomes the present - Today
I do have acceptance and serenity just in this one moment of now. And this will change as my head and my heart encounter living with good conscience a day at a time.
Today Truth is my friend and constant companion as I am aware of my feelings and don’t push them away. I can lie often and share profound stories as if it were just so, the pain on the way is something I need to let go.
Truth is spiritual for me, this moment of now. My higher power I feel just there as it may be. I check my truth in fellowship, and find a balance as one mind may do. God is truth as is often said, and God is Love may we learn how to love. No pink clouds surround me today, as last night was profound and in unity I see, we make sense of a world which can be beautiful when we can see. Truth is elemental, bigger always, right and something I learn as time goes by. I know the difference eventually even when I am lost in the moment of my denials and deceptions.
We can live for today and make of it what we will, peace and good will to all mankind is my wish for now. In the meantime I may concentrate of me and my family and fellowship which helps me deal the profound joy and sadness as life deals and time enables. And somewhere in the middle a balance is found.
Sometimes and never quite as we may anticipate or expect, life happens as we happen.
Meditation For The Day
A deep gratitude to the Higher Power for all the blessings which we have and which we don't deserve has come to us. We thank God and mean it. Then comes service to our fellow men, out of gratitude for what we have received. This entails some sacrifice of
ourselves and our own affairs. But we are glad to do it. Gratitude, service, and then sacrifice are the steps that lead to good A.A. work. They open the door to a new life for us.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may gladly serve others, out of deep gratitude for what I have received. I pray that I may keep a deep sense of obligation.
As Bill Sees It
EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY, p. 288 If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its
consequent unhealthy demand. Let us, with God's help, continually surrender these hobbling liabilities. Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to twelfth-step ourselves, as well as others, into emotional sobriety. GRAPEVINE, JANUARY 1958
24th December 2006
Slow Progress & Not to Perfection
What an interesting day its been, for me and my programme of daily bliss achieved with the help of fellowship. Its odd really, the bliss has been trickling through here and there, and as if its not for me, there is sometimes guilt in being happy, even for a moment or two or even a lifetime.
As things are with the life issues I contend with to be just ordinary, quite a considerable effort is involved. I have noticed sometimes there is a creep back to a feeling of guilt and shame anytime I laugh or find life joyful. As if in some way I deserve to be living in hell all the time.
When I went completely bonkers in 1996, I was very much of the opinion that life was over. I was as I have mentioned before, completely exhausted by work and a social life which to some would seem pretty exciting. And to me one way and another nothing would make me happy and I thought happiness was gone for good.
After my Dad died in 1991, and my Partner went off on a long trip at the same time, and got herself pregnant intentionally with an American, it was like parts of me had been wrenched out of me. And the gap , the dark, the desolation just grew and grew. Nothing at all touched that cold desolation, as dark and roomy a cavern in hell, except my heart froze to ice.
My antidote to loss of two significant people in my life, was to work harder and play harder, and be as best I could, active to fill the gaping wounds inside. No amount of work, no amount of girlfriends helped. I was trying to mend my insides with external elements. I had no love for me and no plan for any recovery from those hurts. I came to believe the only way forward was with oblivion, I started drinking long before this and it would be many years before I crossed the line to alcoholism.
Broken people tend to break other people, we become negative forces and truly in my madness I hurt myself and others as badly as anyone who holds to indifferent and superficial behaviour to make life work. On the surface using bravery to cover my inner fears of never being good enough, I indulged on a spree of girlfriends and drink, and worked as hard as I might, to fill every day as best I could. And as exhaustion took away any inner me, in 1996, with a realisation that I was never going to be able to make work, work, I fell apart completely.
Driven mad in fact by a boss who had power I never even saw. And of course being a wilful son of a gun myself, I learned his rules and suddenly found myself without any soul to speak of. When we are bullied and we realise it, often we adopt that behaviour and our world suddenly turns to pain and more pain. Hurt people hurt people, bullied people bully people. And that was my utter and most desolate place of living, turning into a bully like the boss I had. And it made me so sick in the head, I truly broke down with psychosis, into an anxiety state and deep reactive depression.
Suddenly realising I had or was becoming what I despised most in life, made me wretched. And it has taken years of oblivion and years of gradual progress to realise the damages done to me and my life. And why? Because I was in fear, and braving the most utter and impossible degradations delivered by humans to each other. Emotional and mental tortures. I am culpable in all this as I was not really equipped enough to make sense of my situation. Work harder was my recipe, and that was how my boss undid me. And love harder and more often and as many women I could be involved with.
Good friends from decades suggested I might try a different way. I could not hear their good advice as drink started to get me. Alcohol, it was there and as I was told by mentors much later it was self-medicating away my pain and lack of any self-esteem at all. No wonder, as death, loss of a companion and soul mate, loss of job, loss of living, loss of my dwelling, loss of my health. All these elements play a part in my recovery to now.
I was asked by a counsellor once, “how many rock bottom’s do you need before you try to recover?” It was a good question and the only one which made any sense. I guess now, the rock bottoms were just as they could be, and the causes were there and I knew my part in them. Denial has run deep in me about others behaviour towards me, and I can see my and their part in all matters these days. My denial is done. And forgiveness? it’s a daily thing. And the consequences are still about in me. I need not revisit the past or maybe its cathartic, it is really and necessary.
Actually in the fellowship we do revisit our experiences regularly, and doing this helps us see our part in all matters and events. It is good to be able to do this, and it is cathartic. And truly we can let go resentments and forgive as work on what we are capable of in the circumstances and to our level of understanding. I do forgive where forgiveness is warranted. And forgiving does not mean letting bad influences in or my defective behaviour to run riot again using alcohol as the driver. We take a stand for who we are and what we prefer. Forgiveness yes, tolerance yes, where it may be. And love does bring us back to where we need be in our own good conscience.
Good people can do bad things, I did, bad people can do good things, they do. And its how we deal with all this that is important on a daily basis.
Today, well as if that pile of stuff I just dropped onto the page is not enough. The present day has been pretty ok. As life goes on we go on too. Today left me with good wisdom from this morning, connecting with people I care for and care for me. And even bought me a coffee. I am truly gifted with friends.
Presently a work in Progress
And for me this is critical. I like the fact of my life being turned around, focussing me on good conscience and living a decent type of life. Recognising my vulnerable parts, and getting courage, faith and spiritual in this one day in the life of me.
A work in progress and making the best of what is today, is different to working at breakneck speed, always doing more and never dealing with the pain of living at all. And the dreadful superficial me, all that was left, empty and one of the walking dead.
The walking dead
When we are like this, we live and consume everything, we may give something to others, but its not really got much authenticity or any substance either. We are walking dead simply because we have lost our way. And getting to live in the moment of now, its quite an achievement.
Present progress is perfect...
Indeed present progress, to be an ordinary and a unique me. To appreciate being. We are all ordinary when we get right sized, unique and authentic in our way of living in the day. And with an extra ingredient.
We learn to cherish the moment of now, where all reality unfolds as we develop our connection to living in the day and the hour and this ever present, perfectly imperfect moment of now.
Cherish with care our own conduct, and how we choose to be. Now that is empowering. And it means we see the world as it is, to the good or too a way we prefer not to be. To the good of “good conscience” and not to the deficit where we live on borrowed time and in ego.
Where we utilise fear and bravery, where we have no foundations. Ego’s drift is towards self-inflicted wounds by our own hand, merely helped along the way by similar types who live in the veneer of life, so thin when we dig below the surface there is nothing inside but dark and confusion and self-obsession.
Forgiveness is a key
We do need forgive everything, as we know too well, but for the grace of God, or as I suggest “good conscience” go I.
Two Meetings today
So good to be able to connect and hear the message progress and not perfection, forgiveness and hatred, tolerance and love. We do better in good conscience as we learn life in this present moment of now. With a clear head, we can feel our feelings, think our thoughts, rely on our own and others wisdom and most often see bogus and false doings around us.
We are powerless over everything but our next best choice, based on what we know and where we find our boundaries are working well.
Overall not a bad day at all, much acceptance, more connection, more forgiveness and truly we need to understand what made us this way. Then we can choose our way informed and with clarity.
Forgive everything, let go resentments, live and cherish as we may, the ever present, imperfectly perfect moment. And we work to progress learning as we go, and find perfection in the imperfect of all living. As one who has found clarity in the moment, it fades and becomes another understanding in time. Where wisdom learned helps us make sense of living, happily a day at a time as we may choose in the moment of now.
December 24th 2005
A place of fascination, the mind and where it wanders. How we grow and develop our outlook is very dependent on our worldly contacts. Years and years influenced by drives and motivations learned at my Fathers knee.. Not quite for my father was often missing in my world. Absent with intent to build a life fit for his family. Lost in battles where winning and losing were the measure of man and mankind.
Deep felt philanthropic ideals and harsh times make forever the lonely ambition to be master of a Universe. A universe where law is written and code established to keep a wolf from any door. And as my master and leader led me where culture and climate pushed, we made our way with intrepid bravery against hard rocks and hard knocks.
Caught forever in self will and ego's drift to be all powerful and indestructible. So lost to the world of materialistic acquisition and boldness beyond the pale. As ego's drift captures minds, and pulls all to commodity, so we place value on output to corruptible ends, so brazen as measures of success in this material world. Value on the obvious. So obvious in the measure of man and his pocket. Caught in flat value, flat worlds where instant fix and pleasure are valued beyond all else we have, or have not as the mind is crushed to obvious value in this world dispensary. Yes that drift imperceptible, not seen or considered as man toils and ends life in our world of commodity.
Drift and drifting deeper and deeper in our world where the measure is what we see is what we get. Where our harsh measures leave passion as surface and love beyond grasp, for love is lost and only a banner for forever more we find to fix that empty void as wide and deep as imaginations cold. For every love is ego's drift, where love beyond sensibility is held to ransom, we learn our path and balance, where there is neither wrong nor wrong. From ego's drift my vision stirred forever wondering, where fractured torments basked in completed moments where love stretches across forever. Peace comes to torments hour, and we find our gift across oceans of time holding promise in a moment’s bliss. Be reminded where in Ego we drift and where we find loss as great as loves touch, in a moment holding our Universe complete and journey never done.
December 24th 2004
What We Wish For
Its easy, to be wishing for the stars, and the stars remain where they are. Every day we have wishes which we have firmly in our minds eye. We wish for simple things like love, like a good day and for many smaller complicated matters connected with people. We frustrate ourselves when others don't deliver what we want. We get consumed by others and how they are with our world. We get caught in a thousand memories of pleasurable times, and ten thousand more when things go wrong with our way.
Sometimes it is best to dream our wildest dreams where harmony is complete and the stars shine down on us. When we have those dreams which are so clearly impossible, we may apply the same understanding to others in our lives. It is impossible for others to fit perfectly with our day, for they have no real idea of our perfection. So forgive those close for their part, as we would the stars in the sky.
What we wish for is best kept simple, to keep safe our conduct, to bend with others as the day flows, to smile as our plans alter in the pattern of the universe...
Then the impossible dissolves as the possible emerges and we don't have to imagine a perfect day...
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