December 30 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "truth is spiritual, anonymity, a sanctuary to understand what truth may be…" That is not the way it is written in the AA daily reflection and it is not understood that way by many. The suggestion in the traditions is, that anonymity is the spiritual foundation for the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I don't find it disagreeable, however, truth is my spiritual foundation. The more you know the truth of me, the better the choices to engage or disengage. It saves a lot of time to tell the truth about me...
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Over the years, that is my years in sobriety, the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous has been my sanctuary and the sanctuary of many other people to keep on learning how life can be without the need to fix with a drink or any other behaviour which pops up as a result of sobriety. We humans are evolving through our lifetime, and as we are evolving, the same is true for the fellowship of AA, family, community and society. The world is evolving and the understanding that humanity is gaining through time most often is learning the truth of now, moment by moment. The more we understand the truth of now, we are in the spiritual moment, ever present imperfectly perfect moment of now…
As a fellowship provided sanctuary, it also provided a way of living to a set of principles which have a timeless quality and work in all conditions. How well the twelve steps work in all conditions depends on how well I am as a human being on a daily basis. Some days I have the twelve steps in mind, and then on other days I can be forgetful about the twelve steps and life becomes more difficult. Twelve steps to help me with my behaviour, twelve steps not to judge others and their behaviour, I say it again, twelve steps to help me and not to judge other people…
A lovely meeting last night in the sanctuary and companionship of fellowship. I don't share about specifics, and I don't share about people specifically. I can share that I was there at a meeting and in a general way about the impact it had on me. A real reminder of what it is like to be a newcomer in fellowship, some completely raw and returning, some completely raw and new. Some with the years and years of wisdom living in recovery. Highlighted was step one, powerless over what has happened, and powerless over alcohol and if I take a drink, then life will get unmanageable again. The self-awareness of other people and their journey into recovery is remarkable, I was not that self-aware, and it took quite a while for me to come to the conclusion that drinking alcohol and any other behaviour which became addictive had made life very very difficult over the years. Life is still difficult, and if I accept that life is difficult and then it is no longer an issue, just for today. Principles which are timeless keep me on track and when I cannot understand what to do, I can ask for help and most often help comes my way. Living a life with humility, opens the door to unknown treasures one day at a time…
The 12 steps, are all about open honest and willing. I love this because truth and living in the now provide me with my spiritual connection to living in the moment of now. The 12 traditions, are all about unity service and recovery. Unity in fellowship, service by helping others and recovery, means I learn as much as I give.
Truth is my spiritual foundation, and not anonymity described in the traditions. Attraction to recovery is always “what you see is what you get.” Promotion offers a fix rather than a suggested program which works one day at a time. Anonymity is sanctuary to find the truth of who I am and who we are today. And my caution is anonymity can be a deception rather than the real truth of recovery. Vanity comes in many forms. “Censorship is the height of vanity” Martha Graham. The real truth of recovery and how we live is a personal journey. And anonymity will always be a personal choice.
I would rather people know the truth of me and where I am today. I'm sober and simply learning what is possible, what I can do today and what is not possible and what I cannot do today. And in that statement is truth. And when people know the truth of me, they can choose to include me as I am, or exclude me for whatever reason they choose. The genuine article is far better and sustainable, rather than a fake which may let you down. I will always be a learner, making progress and never perfect…
ANONYMITY ~ when I share experience strength and hope in a meeting, I am one voice amongst many. It is always the many voices in recovery which helps us find wisdom and identification with our fellows. All voices carry equal weight, we often find the answers to our problems today in the message shared in a meeting where anonymity provides sanctuary to find the truth right now...
ANONYMITY ~ affords us sanctuary to share the truth of now. What is happening to us, we share our problems and our solutions. Often we come to a meeting with problems which seem impossible to fathom, we have fears and concerns. Often we simply hear the answer as another shares their experience strength and hope. A simple solution for today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "ANONYMITY December 30 Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 564
Tradition Twelve became important early in my sobriety and, along with the Twelve Steps, it continues to be a must in my recovery. I became aware after I joined the Fellowship that I had personality problems, so that when I first heard it, the Traditions message was very clear: there exists an immediate way for me to face, with others, my alcoholism and attendant anger, defensiveness, offensiveness. I saw Tradition Twelve as being a great ego-deflator; it relieved my anger and gave me a chance to utilize the principles of the program. All of the Steps, and this particular Tradition, have guided me over decades of continuous sobriety. I am grateful to those who were here when I needed them."
December 30 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ - Reflections The Man In the Mirror
Who Am I?
Hello My Name is Don and I am still an alcoholic. How many times have I said this? So many times now I need not fret if someone finds out and judges me according to their views and outlooks. I am human though and merely making progress so how others judge me is bound to make an impact in some way or other. Not caring can be denial, caring too much and my ego is away and growing without much trouble… Less so today!
In many ways today has been a gentle and careful one. Just moving along and keeping my head and feet more earthbound than anywhere else. I have helped another along their path today. So I feel good for sharing and being helpful.
With a lot to do in the new year, I am firmly keeping to my one day at a time way of life. Any other way, I am in history or in the future which is beyond my ability to fathom or change. Were it always so? Most likely I just did not know, that the moment of now was the one to be experienced.
I still have feelings for past partners. And not surprising as most of my partners loved me as they might and I loved them. I still cherish wonderful memories with women in my life ‘back in the days‘. And still know living in this one day they are most likely happy and content in where they are now. And for me it means I can cherish and feel good about the good times. And times of sorrow when as often happens life means we go our separate ways.
The Present - A Clear And Present Danger
Is speculation. I do often wonder what next for me. As life is for living and not for sitting and waiting. All the running repairs I can do on a daily basis keep me pretty busy, as does this website and as time is going along I am more interested in life, living this one day and finding new endeavours which may lead who knows where.
From being homeless, which has been a number of years, to having my own residence again has made feel more secure. It does not stop me having to work at living in the day.
Medical matters are as they are. Recovery, Diabetes and its complications for me, Clinical depression which seems to have a life of its own, not made well as one might wish, just made liveable as one can. Some normality in outlook as long as I keep with the programme of living in the day. There is much in acceptance to learn as chronic conditions do not improve, generally they deteriorate and we need find our courage faith and confidence daily to deal with subtle and often rather radical changes in health and wellbeing.
Gently and with Care
I am pleased to be able to help and be of use. Many people have been very kind to me, helping me put my life back together as best one can. Not the old life, that is really far from where I am now and far from where I may go next. My family have helped me beyond measure, as so too, the fellowship of AA.
It’s the journey?
It seems so, the journey we all have, to make sense of life, to experience it, to be the best we can for ourselves as well as help others to be the best they can too.
Love such a big and all-embracing word. I love and get loved back, even when I don’t know it.
As per usual in affairs of the heart, I am still a learner. And indeed I am just a learner in all elements of living. The wisdom so far has helped me find stability. And romance is something we never know quite when or where it may occur. As time goes by, I am circumspect.
A friend of mine suggested we are not the best catch of the day with the mileage we have on the clock. I wonder if that is just a reality check or just a way of accepting not being in a romantic interlude.
Advice to Self
Be open to all life offers and all we can be. And also be gentle and truthful, not shunning anything and not over reaching the way life is working. Who knows? Not I.
Meanwhile I am content and still optimistic with living in this one day as life can be, full of gentle moments, full of care and real feelings these days and not ones which were from fear or from ego. A big change for me, this acceptance is good for the soul. Progress and not perfection.
Seems we have friends where we least expect, and as our circle of friends in AA is from every background hue and is the most diverse group with one common goal, sobriety. Friends a plenty to help and support. A gift beyond my wildest dreams.
I am no longer alone.
Daily Reflections For December 31 2007
Daily Resolutions ~The idea of "twenty-four-hour" living applies primarily to the emotional life of the individual. Emotionally speaking, we must not live in yesterday, nor in tomorrow. As Bill Sees It, p. 284
A New year: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes--a time to consider directions, goals, and actions. I must make some plans to live a normal life, but also I must live emotionally within a twenty-four hour frame, for if I do, I don't have to make New Year's resolutions! I can make every day a New Year's day! I can decide, "Today I will do this . . . Today I will do that." Each day I can measure my life by trying to a little better, by deciding to follow God's will and making an effort to put the principles of our A.A. program into action.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day ~ I shall be loyal in my attendance, generous in my giving, kind in my criticism, creative in my suggestions, loving in my attitudes. I shall give A.A. my interest, my enthusiasm, my devotion, and most of all, myself. The Lord's Prayer has become part of my A.A. thoughts for each day: "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Have I given myself?
Meditation For The Day ~ As we look back over the year just gone, it has been a good year to the extent that we have put good thoughts, good words, and good deeds into it. None of what we have thought, said, or done need be wasted. Both the good and the bad experiences can be profited by. In a sense, the past is not entirely gone. The result of it, for good or evil, is with us at the present moment. We can only learn by experience and none of our experience is completely wasted. We can humbly thank God for the good things of the year that has gone.
Prayer For The Day ~ I pray that I may carry good things into the year ahead. I pray that I may carry on with faith, with prayer, and with hope.
As Bill Sees It ~ Ourselves as Individuals, p.281 There is only one sure test of all spiritual experiences: "By their fruits, ye shall know them." This is why I think we should question no one's transformation--whether it be sudden or gradual. Nor should we demand anyone's special type for ourselves, because experience suggests that we are apt to receive whatever may be the most useful for our own needs. Human beings are never quite alike, so each of us, when making an inventory, will need to determine what his individual character defects are. Having found the shoes that fit, he ought to step into them and walk with new confidence that he is at last on the right track. 1. Grapevine, July 1963 2. Twelve and Twelve, p.48
30th December 2006
End Of Days For Some in 2006
We get news in our fellowship when people we know about have died. Its extraordinary how we feel about the death of an active alcoholic. Especially when we have seen them around for years, and known them for being in meetings, outside meetings and never really here at all. And tonight news of one more on the roll, taken early by alcohol.
Odd really this time, it was not a surprise and yet it is. For this particular man I knew by sight and the odd word, seemed unable to ever stop drinking. But actually as I saw him quite frequently in the last year, I saw him go from stout to thin, from being a bear of a man, to practically nothing. And I did not know he was that close to ending, or had denial, actually no I felt he had lost his battle. So finding out tonight, as the meeting opened made me reflect he is not the only one taken this year I have known.
It is very poignant and sorrowful, yet for most in the fellowship seeing this man tragically lurching in and out, asking for money and pleading for anything, it makes me wonder how and what anyone can do to stop us when we are so far gone. He is no different to me in my worst days. And I wonder if anything could or may have made the difference. In the years I had known this man, I never really saw him drink a drop. And how much of his mind was left to feel anything beyond a desire to keep drinking, is beyond my imagination. I would have perished long before if it had been me.
So this does always make me feel wary and careful and just confident enough to “keep on coming back” to meetings whenever there is a slight misunderstanding about anything. And keeping close to fellowship friends who know we do what we can just one day at a time.
As we go along in recovery we see ourselves in others, and the reminders of just how easy a bit of ego, a bit of fear, and a need to find some bravery can undermine the solid person in recovery. It is so easy to pick up again if we don’t keep ourselves in the day.
I hear so much of what ails us and so much about success shared. We need to hear success and actually success in whatever medium it may be, and find similarities and sometimes the differences, so we can find our own path in society as we may.
Often success sounds like material development. And most often we hear calamity around wealth and its loss. This is the usual tipping point for many of us as we forget the programme we follow.
Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Well Being
Nothing in AA literature is really about material development. It is a spiritual programme one day long for us all.
Its not a surprise to me to understand how we may develop our spiritual selves at all. After all we all come equipped to develop our gifts and talents as we may and society enables.
Great misunderstandings exist about spiritual progress in our fellowship and I guess for many how look for purity and purpose to perfection. There will be no perfection unless we consider we are imperfectly perfect. We come to life and make of it what we can with what we have. Pretty much the same template from Nature and Providence for everyone. And as we gather our spiritual wits about us we operate spiritually in the present moment, hopefully for we cannot make our spiritual selves any bigger than any deed we may endeavour. We are not storehouses of spiritual, for spiritual is ephemeral, only as good as the moment.
The Misunderstanding made by Man
Indeed there is only one misunderstanding ever made by anyone, that is they are in some way superior to their fellows. That through any amount of living there is more right to anything from Nature and Providence. From this misunderstanding most of mankind’s problems become apparent.
No matter how we may argue rights over others, we have none. And when we exercise choice its about our life and living. Anything beyond is manmade and made to be misunderstood.
As to how this makes me feel, its ok to me. I can be myself and make simple choices to help to endeavour and be the equal of living again.
A great share about how to get to AA. We all have our story and we need know them for it explains our misunderstanding about how to live to the good of life.
Our sharer was great, clear on history, clear on where they are now. Some many years actually into sobriety, every foible and every emotion we have, because they are from Nature and Providence. We don’t make the rules, we sure do bend them. We learn if we lucky how to be well and adjust ourselves to daily life.
So often we think ourselves back into old ways if we leave our fellowship or don’t relate to others who face the same problems of living, just for the day in the world of reality.
And sometimes people feel themselves superior in some way or other to their fellows. It stinks when we hear it, its called bullshit and it is our ego speaking.
Still we can all do that, and so have I. what counts in the end is the progress we make and what we do with it. The gift of fellowship is we share it and try our best. And this takes me back to tonight’s sad news.
With good conscience I must examine my part in life. And not that I am anywhere near perfect at all. Of the people who are dead this year who I have known, I do ask myself what more might I have done? And truly I am not sure I have done enough in these respects. For today is a reflection on what may follow in other days, and I hope with some due care and some more attention that I may help others get the gift of sobriety.
I am no “do gooder” in this endeavour. And I reckon I need be kind to myself and others who do try, and maybe we know now we can try some more, for it is the worst and most lonely way to die of a broken heart, on a cold night on the streets of London or anywhere without love inside or out. Part of the grief in all this is mine and anyone who tried to help, it hurts twice over, for not doing enough and not being able enough. Yet we all know the insanity and grip of this disease. We all know it could have been us, and we get a daily reprieve from the madness we had. And know what its like to be that man.
I doubt I will ever have a hard word to say for any person so bedevilled by their addiction, that death comes too quickly always, and in fellowship we need not hurry it along. Life is short as it is, and goes so quick a day at a time. Keep coming back we say, I shall just for today.
December 30th 2005
We like to believe we are forgiving, or do we? A big assumption on my part, some people don't want to forgive, don't understand forgiveness and some never will. And some people seem able to forgive some things and not others. Incidents, from small to extreme hurt against a person, they are all there to forgive. If we want to. When we are hurt, we don't find forgiving anything easy. Simply because we are hurt. And hurt can be felt as rage, anger, frustration, disbelief and much more. Hurting and being forgiving are a long time overcoming when we feel broken inside. Don't get mad, get even then forgive? Or just get even and simmer in our own hate. Even if we do get our own back, at what cost? To live in hate and hurt. Especially when we try to get even hurt comes to town, we don't want to hurt others do we, really? Sometimes we do. And we suffer till the age has passed and either we let it go or we moved on... That’s what counsellors would wish us to do. Forgive, let go, move on and live life.
It’s a real bind when we attach blame onto things we feel hurt over. It was them, I want my pound of flesh, my compensation, my revenge. And while we are exacting our penalty, we are stuck in it too, not letting go, not able to move on and not able to get on with life. I am human and human means I feel hurt and pain as much for what others have done to me and what I have done to others. Those are the consequences of living, me and everyone makes mistakes and suffers until we get out of blame, get to forgive and let go our atrocities. To forgive, we gave to a God to do, it can be that hard and our life is shadowed in hurt if we let it be so.
To forgive we need start with ourselves. I need to forgive myself for all I have done. And at the same time accept the consequences of my actions. I can be forgiving of me providing I live with and learn from everything I have done. Consequences mean we gain and lose elements in our lives. We lose the trust of others in actions of betrayal, and we need accept the consequence and live differently. We may not ask for forgiveness from others, but they can bestow it!
I have forgiven over and over the betrayals I have felt over the years. And when I feel forgiveness is taking time, when I feel the fuck ‘em feeling, then I forgive myself again for being involved, I forgive them for doing their best and their best leaving me vulnerable and hurt. I keep forgiving humanity its less than perfect being. I forgive every element of wickedness towards me. I am learning to forgive completely, so I can forgive myself.
I accept the consequences of life on life’s terms, real life and not a self-willed version I might wish to pedal as reality. I forgive myself for mistakes I have made and will endeavour to learn and be a better person. I will try to be myself so others may find the real me acceptable, and if they don't accept that consequence. I forgive betrayal. I forgive violence toward me, and I forgive malice meted out to me. And consequently, I will be more aware and careful with my fellows and where they are with the world and accept their capacities for honest dealing or not.
Honesty, a commodity in scarcity in a world where front and bravado keep our world secure and the real world at a distance. We need be forgiving when this world lets down our expectations, and find gratitude in our acceptance of everyone and everything. We can move on and away, we can find our true self along the way, as we let go and renew our world. And we continue to make good choices on truth we learn, not what we think it might be. Forgiving ourselves and being human, knowing we can stray each day and every day off a path where open and honest gets the best results, even when they are not our desired results. Knowing that as we let go we make room for new and as we forgive ourselves each day, we don't pile up lifetimes of junk we can never see through.
And when our life junk is getting us down, let it go and share and toss it away as best we can. If you hate someone today, you can be certain they hate you as much. If you can forgive yourself as victim or forgive yourself your "sin" then you are on a path ward equality with your fellow man. If you accept all consequences whatever they may be, then you have found the path of redemption. And if with hindsight and wisdom you travel a way, the path is easier and smoother, life gets better and different. And because of our actions, consequences are what they are, exacted and accepted. Others may wish us harm and in harm’s way, another consequence of life beyond our control. Choice informed and learned from every hard knock makes for real living in the real world. Holding on to illusions? Best make sure we know reality and fantasy, both essential elements for the discerning human being making good.
And what might you forgive in yourself this day?
December 30th 2004
If you wanted but didn't get, maybe you don't need it... Complete, it might compete with serenity. Serenity and complete, are best moments when the world fills our mind and our mind absorbs to greet our world. An absolute, so fleeting, not a capture more a rapturous moment of collision.
Serenity is in the knowledge, complete is somewhere close to capacity, rapture so embracing our emotional ocean, storm quelled in the glut, our mind sedate.
Tis but a moment as our vessel empties, night dreams create a swell and daybreak a fissure...
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