December 5 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "a new state of consciousness… Spiritual awakenings are everyday events…" When we wake up every day it is a new state of consciousness. Emotional and spiritual awakening is simply waking up, knowing what our feelings are right now and able to cope with reality. What is spiritual? An answer given by an Archbishop in the past was, "being able to cope in the moment of now." How am I feeling? Why? And what could I do next? Feeling impacts on our thinking and our actions in the moment of now…
Video For Today:
A boss of the past, always used to say to everyone, "you need to get a grip, get a grip of things." Gripping at something is holding on with extreme intent to not let go. And another phrase this boss used to say almost at the end of each sentence, "how will this show up to the other people?" He was always concerned about how things showed up to others and needing to get a grip of his reality, his reality was often pretending that things were okay when they were not okay. I became a thorn in his side, I saw his lies and shenanigans, pretending and lying. And sadly, I showed him up to the extent that I was surplus to requirements and was dispatched to the scrap heap. I am very grateful. Looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened to me… Truth will always be the spiritual touchstone, opening the door to reality today…
We can have a new state of consciousness, and this new state of consciousness is contingent on our spiritual condition. And our spiritual condition is contingent on life as it is today, good, bad and ugly. So our state of consciousness is impacted by events, right now and how we are coping with them. Good, bad or ugly, we may be coping and living to the truth, being open, honest and willing. And when we are not coping, we share that we are not coping and ask for help. Is that so bad? Not in the slightest, a new state of consciousness keeps on happening from event to event, from moment to moment, it is not a better or worse state of consciousness, unless we have needed denial to cope and be untruthful, to ourselves and others...
What is the fourth dimension? Because of Einstein, we often call time the fourth dimension. And why do I bring this up today? A few days ago, someone remarked that they have been rocketed into the fourth dimension! And in spiritual terms, this can be very confusing. Spiritual seems to be living in the moment and being able to deal with things, or ask for help if we need it. So rather than living in the past, where we might be stuck in old ways and old behaviour and old attitudes and old ideology, being rocketed into the fourth dimension simply means rocketed into the moment of now! I hope my rocket keeps me out of the past, and does not overshoot into the future which is the fantasy I have in my head. I hope this morning I was rocketed into the moment of now, and with a little meditation, and some prayers of asking for help, I keep on being rocketed into the moment of now where everything happens and hopefully I can cope, and if I cannot, I can ask for help…
Emotional and spiritual today in my case… How am I feeling right now? The answer is calm and serene, and when I stand up, I hope the pain caused by neuropathy is less than yesterday. Why am I calm and serene? I have paid my bills, have enough food in the cupboard, my landlord has put a new boiler in and warmth surrounds me. I am coping in the moment of now. What do I need to do today? To remain calm and serene can depend on my attitudes to events over which I am powerless. Waiting for a builder, and not bothering one way or another about how well they will do. Making sure I get my insulin dosage and injections right all day long as needed. Not going too far too quickly and ending up unable to walk for a few days. Accepting the limits of my endurance and tenacity. Keeping interested in my endeavours, however humble they are in the eyes of others and not caring one jot. Being happy to be me, somewhat gnarled, somewhat limited, and still in the game of life, love and everything…
Romance and finance, some of the essence of living today. I live in London, and I feel I will never get tired of living here. If I look back at romance in my life, it was always striving to be perfect, the perfect boy for the perfect girl. Always creating events to impress and romance. I feel I wore them out, and myself trying to be perfect. And these days, being myself is always the best policy, being truthful, and knowing that history cannot help me when it comes to romance these days. If there were a romantic encounter, starting from scratch, is the best way forward, not knowing and finding out and learning to cherish all part of a new state of consciousness. No fear in telling the truth, because the truth is where we start. And finance? Well, in times like these, being solvent is good enough. And I like this because if a girl were to love me, it would have to be as I am and not as some solution to any problem they may have. And this works both ways round, to love unconditionally is most emphatically beautiful today…
From a life where secrets kept us stuck, to a way of living where we practice being open, honest and willing. It is progress and often we go backwards to reinforce moving forwards is key. Life lessons always happen, as old behaviour catches our breath, and new behaviour offers serenity even on the worst of days…
Spiritual principles to live life "real" ~ "Forgiveness" "Acceptance" "Surrender" "Faith" "Open-mindedness" "Honesty" "Willingness" "Inventory" "Amends" "Humility" "Persistence" "Spiritual-Living" "Service"
December 5 2010 ~ Self Prejudice! In recovery we endeavour to be sober from being an active alcoholic to an alcoholic in recovery, from the problem to solution on a daily basis. Self-prejudice shackles us to our past and progress is difficult. Worse, self-prejudice opens the door to prejudice of others. Tolerance and love are key today...
December 5 2010 ~ Self Contempt! Makes us bitter and contemptuous of everyone. We live chained to our old attitudes of judging ourselves and others. Stuck in the problem and old thinking hampers our spiritual progress. Truth, love and wisdom will restore our conscious contact with reality if we are open, honest and willing today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A NEW STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS" He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p 107
Many of us in A.A. puzzle over what is a spiritual awakening. I tended to look for a miracle, something dramatic and earth shattering. But what usually happens is that a sense of well-being, a feeling of peace, transforms us into a new level of awareness. That’s what happened to me. My insanity and inner turmoil disappeared and I entered into a new dimension of hope, love and peace. I think the degree to which I continue to experience this new dimension is in direct proportion to the sincerity, depth and devotion with which I practice the Twelve Steps of A.A."
December 5 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Questions and Answers
Life : The Universe and Everything as Usual
A friend of mine wrote asking me some questions and my reply here is in a general way about some things we learn in Fellowship of alcoholics Anonymous. My views only.
I never speak for AA, just my understanding and how it impacts on me, to the good and less so sometimes.
thank you for asking the questions. I don't know that my answers are any better or worse than anyone else. The question of addiction and what it is, how it develops and how it manifests.
I feel the easiest answer with addictions and the behaviour is in what happens [drug dependence: a state of physiological or psychological dependence on a potentially harmful drug devotion: great interest in a particular thing to which a lot of time is devoted ]. An obsession to keep doing something which has become repetitive and deemed harmful. In the broadest sense of addiction, it can be applied to people, places and things.
This is why so many fellowships of an anonymous nature have come into being. AA is the first recognisable fellowship, but there have been many more movements and civilisations which have taken everything to the limit in obsessive behaviour.
And of course for the obsessive and compulsive nature of some, either to get it to perfection and or take it to extremes maybe is your question.
We can be addicted to love, as the song goes. Most often from a place of fear, and as often maybe from a place of imbalance. Whether it is work, love, sex, drugs, rock and roll, or a religious zealot, food, you name it we can cross addict. A place where we are stuck in a rut of behaviour which becomes out of balance harmful, and most likely a habit which seems impossible to break.
AA An Addiction?
I am not touchy about this fortunately. Can AA in itself be an addiction? I feel it can be if we choose to make it so. What AA has at its core is the twelve steps to change and become as normal as one can be, to get the balance in life back.
For an alcoholic who is stuck compulsively and obsessively drinking 24/7 or a binge drinker who lives for the next bender, or a mind twisted to extreme views, then AA might fill a void as we let go the obsessive attitudes, outlooks and intemperate living.
The stretch from culture to cult, and from dogmatic to dogma is not a long distant journey when a person just needs to fix themselves.
Addictions and Fixing
We are all apt to look for a quick fix. With addictions and alcohol, we are going against culture and most often generations of alcohol dependence. In the days of prohibition in the USA, and religions which call for temperance, freedom to choose always makes the elicit more exciting and the potential for addiction a possibility.
AA Is Not A Fix
Indeed the whole programme is against the notion of extremes and promotes middle of the road attitudes and behaviour. AA suggests steps to learn life all over again, which is a lifelong path sober and not just for a few months or a year or two.
At the same time those who founded the fellowship realised the fellowship is always just good for the day and the people in it.
And we need remind ourselves that addicts who find salvation from drink are likely mad to start with, driven insane by drink and then can become even more insane in their behaviour trying to sort out the wreckage of previous living in the hell of drink or anything else too. So the first steps to recovery require a lot of effort to find some peace in a troubled mind.
Don’t forget we can love people who are driven to obsession, our love for people who are imperfect is just what it is. So there is no amount of love to give which can stop an active addict making their lives and others lives hell. Unless the addict finds a way to relate and find a different path to be a part of or start over.
Most People Don’t Recover!
Don’t forget few make it into recovery using AA or any of another form of recovery programme, so the odds are against recovery for anyone. And the stigma of society kills more addicts than any programme trying to offer sanctuary and a place to grow again..
Some People in AA are strict and Zealot like, some middle of the road and some likely to be out drinking or cross addicting.
Cross Addictions [ your question ]
My obsessions or cross addictions were always from my nature, my natural instincts. And we become obsessive with fear often and never have safety. Fear is a candidate for prime addiction from a natural instinct.
As I grew, I am guessing because its hard to understand ourselves without someone there to hold up the mirror. So for me fear was always there in some way. Fear leads to being brave, brave facing, and worse never really understanding peace. Ego holds a key to how we resolutely put on a mask to the world and be brave. Esteem is a distant desire we cannot see or articulate…
So as I grew, academic seemed a good place to dig in the trenches, a poor student and maverick interpolator , then later a scholar at life and much more academia along the way . Always a fascination with everything female and as a maturing male adult, girls were always on my mind. As home life was not good and there was no real safety, work came next, then money and underpinning all this for me was drink [ my father taught me how] which afforded oblivion from pain and obsession. Until drink was all there was. No amount of drink would suffice, no amount of success with relationships, so many and so superficial gave me peace in my early years.
How long had this been going on? From early years in truth.
Along the way were great relationships. At the same time though we can attract like for like. And men and women have similar experiences growing up so no one is immune to life experience and where it takes us.
Back to your experiences
With your partner in the programme, and it seems sharing much of what had been going on in their recovery, and worse finding out much from the past you might wished never to know gives clues to why things have turned out as they are.
AA how It works
As a lot of people want a guardian of higher power, the programme is about letting in some light to the dark living hell of addiction. As you partner was not able to share why the “AA way worked” is quite a common feature for many in recovery. Many prefer a little mystery and some belief and faith that things may go well with confidence and esteem gained in sober living. In truth the fellowship works because people put the work into their recovery, it’s a self-healing process [ I hesitate to say a process intervention on a daily basis as eyes glaze over and no one really cares as long as life does not involve a drink ]
My Higher Power so far - as Ghandi said, “God Is Truth”
And to truth I aspire on a daily basis. Progress and not Perfection, and not needing more confusion beyond the truth of now.
Early days and Maturing and Changing
As people come into the fellowship wrecked beyond belief usually, a profound shift can happen, slowly or quickly as people get sober. An appraisal of how one has been living, now preferring sober even grudgingly at first means a person is going to change, or die of their problem.
People Change - The AA Fellowship remains constant in its principles and traditions. The principles and traditions do not stop us being a horses bottom if we are gifted so, or anything else in “truth.”
People do change. And those influences they encounter in AA, are simply others in recovery, they arrived with no clue and are simply learning. Mad people make people madder! Hurt people often hurt others… and so we go
If we find people we like in AA, we most likely form friendships and fellowship. Some are very hard core AA and nothing else, most are middle of the road and getting along in life, and some as mentioned leave and never come back. Many die because the road to recovery is so hard, its just too hard to live anymore.
People keep changing as their recovery moves along. Change is the key. Being open and honest and willing is part of this. We are all learning these principles in all we do, and we are not or ever will be perfect specimens.
Getting honest about? Cross addictions is a part of this changing outlook.
For me these days, I realise obsessions are around the corner and very tempting. I strive for balance. And if all of my past comes out and I am sure it will over and over again, I need live with consequences. That is some will accept me as I am and others with a sensible heartfelt understanding will not want to know me at all.
The Big Book of AA - Stories of recovery and how it all works for recovery to happen. We can read it many times and realise the clues, and then as we live life again, we understand how to live sober by doing rather than thinking.
Living Life not watching Life
Is truly as you have identified the key these days in recovery. No fixing as a patch to cover up, but really taking everything on the chin owning up to how things were and how things can be. It can be a truly hard and horrible path for a while.
A rather unhelpful word utilised by the zealots, and truly not utilised as in a dictionary definition, to be helpful!
Love is the Key
We can be enabled to stay in addiction, and often the cross addictions manifest after some sober time has happened. The gap inside, and love, need to love and want to be loved. Need for control, need for inclusion all there always as our fear creeps in the shadows.
I guess the long and short of it is what happens this one day.
For every word written, for every word which describes the situation some of us encounter, it has happened millions of times to untold millions.
Just for a Day - Good News
We can make our minds up how we wish to be, to behave, to believe, to endeavour, to have an outlook for doing the next best thing.
Just For Today - News
We make progress and not perfection. We endeavour feel we are doing the next right thing and it turns out different. More practice required for ever and ever. And never perfection merely progress.
What goes around comes around? Always if we stay the same, or we move gently and with grace and humility and as gentle as we can, just for today.
5th December 2006
Hurt People “Hurt” People
It is true, really hurt people go around hurting others till their pain is somehow equalised. Its rough and hard to be hurt, and we are human after all and are we not allowed to hurt? This is really a problem for us on a path of spirituality, especially when we are just human beings and learning from life as it presents. If we went around the world looking and asking how to stop hurting, people would look at us as if we are mad. For everybody is hurt sometime.
I have been hurting myself over and over with the same long standing relationship, one which goes along with bumps and never really resolves itself. Until now maybe. And I say maybe because this time the utter truth which I can share without further harm is the other person involved has stitched themselves up in their own dishonesty. And even saying this feels like there was intend on my part to set a trap. Actually it was the complete opposite, I wanted this relationship to work out as their friendship was extremely important to me. And if the truth of it is, I am merely worth knowing for the support I can give, without any care of me, and this has been proven more than once. And without any underlying other motives. Then I wish I felt better about the situation. There is nothing worse than abandoning a person when we wish we could help, but actually to help hinders any progression at all. Let alone the truth that they could care less about me.
Hurt people do hurt others, most often without thought or intent, they just plain do, because they don’t know what they are doing. This is me hoping to be kind and also believe they are so deluded they cannot see their intent. I prefer this to the absolute truth beyond their desperation and worry, and asking for help. It was so plain this time, it was merely me as a resource and not me the person. And it cheapened me quite horribly.
When people describe you as a best friend, a best mate, a friend, a good friend, a close friend, and worse a dear friend, we start to get graduations of affinity and closeness. As most people like me are careful with intimacy, we don’t need be led up the garden path of friendship by another who cannot give or deliver on their friendship. Maybe we wish we could let others be as they are and still be their friends? Sadly not as friendship is like any other relationship involving two people. It is a two way street, of connection, friendship love and all that might entail. I mean love in the unconditional sense and not with any conditions. And there is the fly in the ointment already, because when we are truly involved with unconditional connections we have our problem right there. There are no needs to be any other way than the way we are. And actually, we accept the other in all their good and their flaws. However when the other is so flawed they cannot even relate honestly, then we are in an area of hurt. Hurt by and hurting. We hurt because we are not significant enough to be worthy of care.
And that is not love, of any kind actually, its superficial and indifference. Its not cherishing and its not bloody well good enough. So I have been hurt again, and truthfully I don’t want hurt like that anymore. Yet I know it will come my way, if I let myself be open and willing.
I may choose and be more careful
Yes I can choose and be more careful, set some boundaries and be open and honest and willing. It is the hardest thing though, if like me, I felt I wanted and liked the person concerned in my life. I let down my guard and let them walk all over the place. Even when I felt bad about it, I gave more room, and eventually, this time let them fall into their own traps and I need not blame myself for misunderstanding. This time is was as clear can be, and they did it all the same. I am hurt to an extent, but I don’t want to hurt anyone.
Do no Harm
Its one of my principles and forever it seems I end up doing just that as I make clear the harm. And the hurt of course, to my insides, be it from undermining confidence, to undermining some way I feel I might be treated. It makes my ego stir, and I dislike my ego as much as I prefer confidence. Hurt people hurt people, it’s a rotten fact we learn to evolve out of, if we have time and inclination.
Do no harm! It can be hard enough when we see that others might be vulnerable, but how else do they learn if people keep on letting them do it?
As a people pleaser all my life
And yes I have been, it has afforded me the greatest of life experiences and worst of life experiences. Yet I know these days like it was said in a film “I’m as mad as hell and I won’t stand for it anymore!” Until the next time of course.
Hopefully not with the same using conniving people as before. Fuck em and go bugger someone else’s time and living. The consequences make me feel loss. But what have I lost? A liar and dishonest person from my living and near circle. I need no cheaters in my life, or I cheat as well, as I flex my principles and let them back in, unless of course they see and admit their part. As this is a don’t hold your breath situation I ain’t. And at the same time I hope one day they are enlightened and see their part in things. Its not my job to hurt people or do harm, self-harm is there in their indifference to others they are indifferent to themselves and don’t cherish themselves either.
Its taken me forever to see blame, and that hurt people, hurt people. I never liked it or wanted it in my life again. And it will happen as often as it may. And this life. I might see it sooner with a calm mind and not a mind with vulnerable and needy feelings. I best keep living and learning as they will too, and not at my expense. Its not a tough stance it’s a way of living to good conscience in the day we have. And spiritual comes in acceptance and forgiveness as I may learn for myself and them. It is a two way connection and involves more than just one outlook.
I do well to look at me too and see how I may improve and reduce the risks of hurting myself and others, and others hurting me.
I had a good day today(written last night 4th December), my Mum is celebrating quietly and is in good form for her 75th Birthday. I saw her and wished her well, she was happy and content, I hope it has lasted all day!
My meeting tonight was good, it helped me honour some good feelings and endorsed my understanding of my principles of living, with great care for others I encounter and with great humility too. I am merely human sized and equal to learning how to live another day. I reflect it is unlikely to be as long as I might have believed one time, and accept my consequences as they arise, one day at a time…
December 5th 2005
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
we need be gentle with all our dreams. And in our real world mindful, some dreams remain so and others rarely match our wistful pull. When in acceptance we let go and find freedom in an open world, no debt to honour...
December 5th 2004
If we get involved in fears about the future, we shall miss the chances that the present offers us.
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