December 7 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "to live usefully and walk humbly…" "The usefulness of any vessel is in its emptiness…" Emptiness: room for growth and new experiences and letting go. The insanity of: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We have a storage bank of wisdom, learning from the good, the bad and the ugly of life. And we know the difference? It really depends on how we feel about life and how we find usefulness with the capacity to keep on learning one day at a time…
Video For Today:
I was chatting to a friend, about what is useful to an individual and what is useful to society. We can think that they are the same thing, but if we are useful doing something, then we are useful to society. Very often we find that our attitudes and values are shaped by necessity to survive, and a desire to be included and part of something bigger than us. And we can become confused between basic needs to exist, wants beyond our basic needs and desires and fantasies which are probably beyond our fair share. Each person needs to understand their own value system and attitudes and behave accordingly. In recovery, with humility we keep on learning life and what our values are, and how we fit inside family, community and society. To live usefully and walk humbly, achieved one day at a time, and decisions taken, often in the blink of an eye can have lifelong repercussions. A decision made in the blink of an eye is better made with a sober head, open, honest and willing outlook, with an eye to the big picture and not just our own picture of life today…
Cause and effect: take anything to excess, which offers some kind of reward and any human can be forgiven for becoming addicted to anything. Acceptable addictions: workaholic? Mobile phone? Anything which repeatedly impedes emotional and spiritual progress, can become be a harmful way to live. Emotional and spiritual progress: being able to live in the moment of now and cope with reality, and when we cannot cope, ask for help is a very clear and easily understood definition. When we have an obsession: which is beyond helpful and beyond usefulness, we are likely to be in harm's way. When we put down one addiction, we might easily pick up another one without even realising it. Sometimes you have to go back to a starting point to understand natural instincts, and natural needs and then work from there to understand how to live usefully and walk humbly…
Many people make a virtue out of their obsessions, in the field of work, education, enterprise, religion, believing in one thing to the exclusion of everything else. No balance means? When we are obsessed to the point where we cannot find balance in life and the passion, or obsession, or whatever it may be drives out our humanity, a good hard look at what is going on, will reveal if we are living usefully and walking humbly. And how do we do this? I guess we have to grow a pair as a girlfriend of mine has been known to say. She does not differentiate between men and women when it comes to growing a pair! Doing the next right thing, being alert and aware of the impact we have on people, places and things, or certainly the world will go pear shaped rapidly today…
To live usefully and walk humbly: a lifelong journey starting in the moment of now. It is not about planning the journey, it is about being open to life and the possibilities as they develop. By the moment, by the hour, and by the day. If we have a design, and ambition, which lead us on a particular path, we don't stop looking from left to right, we don't stop evaluating if we are on the right path to the exclusion of other opportunities. I really wanted to learn how to be a photographer in my teenage years. And then for thirty or more years I was driven off course, or rather into many other life experiences which make photography a very useful interest and useful endeavour today. No one needs dictate our personal choices in life, at the same time we balance what is happening in the world right now and around us and the possibilities to live usefully and walk humbly. To walk humbly, is simply to be open to all that life has to offer and be open to change, honest about what is going on and willing to live life in the moment of now…
Sharing the message of sobriety is difficult just like “life is difficult.” Denial, frustration, anger, and the inevitable depression which most experience. We find acceptance of how to live well and stop self-harm. Not only sobriety, redemption follows and new living. Just for today is good enough…
December 7 2010 ~ to love, be loved and useful. To keep learning and live to truth, open honest and willing endeavour. Those who can do, those who cannot and will not, cling to the "rock," stuck trying to control and manipulate. The view from the rock seems to be all about judging. I prefer a level playing field living with all twelve steps today...
December 7 2010 ~ God or and good conscience, what we come to believe, I learn daily if I take time to ask how to change resentments into acceptance, fear into hope and anger into love. We learn from each other, as we can be, the pedant, the inspirer, and most often from those who speak with the language of the heart, listening today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "TRUE AMBITION True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 124-125
During my drinking years, my one and only concern was to have my fellow man think highly of me. My ambition in everything I did was to have the power to be at the top. My inner self kept telling me something else but I couldn’t accept it. I didn’t even allow myself to realize that I wore a mask continually. Finally, when the mask came off and I cried out to the only God I could conceive, the Fellowship of A.A., my group and the Twelve Steps were there. I learned how to change resentments into acceptance, fear into hope and anger into love. I have learned also, through loving without undo expectations, through sharing my concerns and caring for my fellow man, that each day can be joyous and fruitful. I begin and end my day with thanks to God, who has so generously shed His grace on me."
December 7 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’
About recovery for me
No worries about the diabetes its just something I got along the way in recovery. The explanation as to why I got diabetes is maybe just a bit of a story to me now, true or not it fits with “just my luck at the time” smiles here. I had tooth extraction, the first in all my adult years, a wisdom tooth. "Wisdom" I have to smile at that. And as a consequence I got an infection, then a virus and then the shock to my system caused the type one diabetic condition. Its just a part of life.. I feel presently. My consultant said I could have missed this shock had I been a drinker, as alcohol would have made it less likely to have a general infection following the extraction. So a smile at the irony. I had ‘perfect health’ prior to the tooth extraction and know so from tests taken in years of sobriety prior to the incident and then onset of type 1 diabetes.
About God - Ghandi said “God Is Truth”
Smiles here too on the God question, its really an unanswered conundrum for us all. I do respect those who have their beliefs and need remind myself about that. I am happy with Ghandi and his definition of God, "God is Truth" which works well for me. Six and a half billion people alive today everyone with a view on God. So we can follow our path on that, we need keep safe with what works for us on a day to day basis. I like Ghandi's version, it is non-denominational, practical, includes everyone from science to faith, and is something we can understand. Truth we might accept is a working higher power in the here and now, present and available when we stop trying to make truth up...
These are my views on depression and not substantiated by anything I know other than experience and what people share, so it is the truth I know presently… not an informed view in the science sense, a view from me.
On the depression front: Again a smile here as its just my luck to have clinical depression, which is a chemical imbalance and has been a factor all my life. My only way to deal with clinical depression is follow professional advice. In the past drink afforded oblivion from the pain of depression then the alcohol overwhelmed me more.
There is a huge difference in causes of clinical depression and what are called reactive depressions. The difference? A clinical depression is based on our body chemistry and an on-going permanent condition. Reactive depressions are what we all get, reactions to life events and a glitch in our chemistry which can be treated with varying therapeutic processes or medication.
Clinical and Reactive Depressions
The feelings are most likely the same, so there is no real difference in impact as the depression happens, it is as bad as it gets. reactive depressions can pass with due care. Clinical is persistent and prolonged and often just as nature can forget a leg or some other malady physical, so too our chemistry can be missing some necessary ingredients from birth and heritage in a genetic way.
I guess there is sometimes an emphasis from me on the depth of depression we can expect in our recovery from obsession or addiction.
Does AA keep me sober? Do I keep me sober? Do my similar outlook friends keep me sober? I guess there are combinations which help as each day unfolds. Each day is different, people are different and in all this life experience is changing us or we are stuck for a while somewhere. The question as to why a person with a killer disease goes back for another go at self-harm is the key question with say a 15 year sober person as you ask.
The good news and the bad news....
The AA programme is just good for one day. any accrual of time in sobriety is just a product of living the steps, with due care and tailoring by each person to their needs.
Two people I know of, have relapsed in the last month, one with 20 years sobriety, and another at 24 years sobriety. Sad and true.
People are human, and don't forget people in AA are fighting a daily deadly disease which kills more often than not. You know this I guess from where things ended with your partner. At least and I am glad you did not join in with his behaviour.
Humans are human
AA cannot stop a person drinking, it can provide tools and framework to live an ordinary extraordinary life, full of life experience lived in the here and now, and with less delusions or filters.
And the truth of AA, typically it's a case of what you see today is what you get. And its just ordinary recovering humans trying to make life work one day at a time. Any old timer will share, the fellowship is no better or worse than its fellows as they deal with life as other humans do.
AA has no substance beyond the day people are in. It has no leaders, no organisation and no way to guarantee anything other than life happens, so simple and yet so complicated.
I have not got to the video yet , will have a look, just wondered where I may find it? [ I found the video and loved it!]
The Problem with AA?
It cannot fix humans or guarantee anything to anyone. It has some simple steps and some traditions. And it is “rough and ready” like recovery from anything major. Sometimes good and sometimes a complete failure.
Am I ok Today? [ thank you for asking ]
About my videos yesterday, was I a bit different in how I felt, actually yes I was. So in truth I guess my more acerbic delivery could have been a reaction to a long day and a lot of effort putting my web sites back to normal. And a reaction to fluctuating blood sugars and fatigue generally. I have had some problems with routine of late and much forgetfulness which puts me in harm’s way a lot of the time. There are a number of allied problems associated with all three chronic conditions..
Family and Fellowship are integral to well-being, isolation and deep solitary feeling and thinking can do nothing to improve a head full of depression. Hence my happiness with my programme, family, fellowship as close to community and boundaries I never had. As I lost my material wealth I have found a new set of values are about love and tolerance and being just me, as much myself as each day lived enables.
Like any walk of life, we meet like-minded people and others we walk on by and leave to their own outlook. So too with AA
Take Care [xxxxxxx] seeking answers, from Don without many answers except keep it in the day,
one of my old aliases on the web was “Don Tavaclue” [ don‘t have a clue ]
And hope the day and connections help you see you are not to blame for how things are today, and also maybe forgiveness might be a key?
I would rather “live life” than watch it pass me by - take care Don x
7th December 2006
Where am I?
I sent a text to a friend or may I say a fellow of the fellowship? I guess an awkward fellow at the moment as they are out having one or two tipples I guess. We are not really friends as such just acquainted in a fellowship, we are equals in all respects except for their desire to keep on drinking and my desire never to drink again. And I feel I challenge myself because I know with this particular malady, any consideration beyond a day is not helpful to robust sobriety. So a desire to keep sober is as good as it gets. A disease like mine and my fellows who also have it, can catch us when we least expect. Even after years and years. So there is never a complacent moment for me.
Tonight and texts
Actually I sent a couple of texts I guess may yield pain more than friendship, as truly I feel I have clobbered them with unacceptable truths and this is not really helpful. Yet not to say anything is as dishonest as going along with things I find totally repulsive, falseness and denial makes me shudder. I shudder at my own denials most of the time and have no idea how others deal with theirs, except maybe take on board what they may be and work on them.
Desist from pen and tongue
It is impossible it seems to desist, that we may let others find their way. And that is the truth of me, for indeed if I am caught up in others denials of irrefutable bad deeds I need not condone and say nothing. I need make my feelings apparent and move on, let go and let them get what they may from it. This enabling and colluding malarkey goes on all the time as when learn life all over again and again and again. It never lets up.
The whole programme of AA as it states is so simple we might wonder why some people feel it is the greatest legacy of the twentieth century, and others feel it’s a load of bollox. The bollox contingent feel so as the AA programme requires a person to examine their living and make good on some elements of life we are forever in denial about. That is mainly our part in life completely and our undeniable responsibility to live it as it were, in control of the real facts and not some version we concoct to satisfy our outlook. And AA is a load of bollox for the “deniables” people who deny their part in their life. Deniability helps people smooth over rough edges to live they prefer are not there, that they can behave as they will and self will is allowed to run riot. AA mends people who have broken themselves if they desire it strongly enough, that they may try be honest enough to be a work in progress and to learn life all over again!
We experience more drop outs from drop outs probably than any other community or fellowship, as our cause is to let go addictions and get back to living in the modern world, it is hardly surprising many opt for the oblivion afforded as life on life’s terms is quite horrible some of the time and only joyous now and again… No wonder so many cannot or will not join in. And I don’t blame them one bit, because I was like them too. A drop out of life person who would prefer oblivion and death before I got to a place called rock bottom. And then experienced some more rocks and hard places.
In my heart I accept every bit of what I have done, good, bad, indifferent and the consequences faced so far and others to follow. I am an imperfect study, perfectly able to take on the chin all that life will mete out. And I must or I am done for. And the same applies in all my doings hereon. I need to find honesty when I prefer dishonesty and white lies. I don’t feel smoothing over cracks and making simpering platitudes helps ever. Indeed before I went completely mad I know I was very good in the honesty department in many respects, but an abject duffer in some other areas of living.
And its no good blaming anything or anyone
Tonight was one of those meetings where everyone was somehow grateful for every rock and hard place, every desire to give up and die, so they knew truly in their own hearts how bad life can be. Some say it’s the point where we get to our last gasp, our desperate understanding to get out of this malady or die. Indeed we all felt tonight that death would have been preferable overall, and then we are back, some days, weeks, months and years sober, knowing that even death and oblivion is never the answer. Seems odd really that last gaspers and no hopers would find a way back
It cannot get any worse?
Yes it can, we find all too frequently that life can be worse than imagined, yet for this very reason we live again in a perverse sense of acceptance of who and what we really are, equal and open to life as life is.
Yes its there if you view a clear head, which feels pain, sorrow, hardship, abject despair, and then joy, hard work, study, application and renovation. All that is spiritual nonsense some find so wicked a truth. The truth is spiritual is living life as is, not some God fearing bollox dreamed up by some romantic notions of heaven and hell. Life is spiritual when your experience is joy, heaven, its hell, desolation and something in between. Its all the hell and all that we feel heaven may be, just as it is right now. No filters, no denials and no fucking about, its as it is right now. And that’s the nonsense we learn if we are lucky.
What do I know though
With two texts I may set the record right and let go, and then I might capitulate, and let all go back? I doubt the opportunity for indeed I don’t want things back the way they were. The falseness was depressing me beyond measure.
All emotions are felt
Yes we get the full repertoire of emotions back, and particularly unhelpful is judgment along the way, judgment is born out of emotion and not intellect, although it might not sit well in people‘s minds that way. So important we let go and do no harm to others, and yet do no harm to ourselves too. Is it right to be honest, to point out the folly, when another is not working to good conscience? The answer is truly yes, and in fellowship when and if it is appropriate we may say it. Truth is immutable and not negotiable, we need be true in all our dealings in this world, or we live with denials making this world worse. And that is undeniable!
A bloody good evening in my meeting tonight
It was and made me realise I am extremely grateful to have opportunity to try make amends for all the crap I have lived and shared inadvertently with family and friends. My conduct as a man has been exemplary sometimes and the worst it could in my deniable past, no so obvious denials might make me cringe but its not possible to deny and amends are due. When time and opportunity, without harm to others afford, they can be made.
As to now, open honest and willing to learn my dishonesties as I get real with life. I am not as bad as all that? Yet even small deviations make me cringe inside and I cannot function in a dishonest way. Yet life throws dishonest at me all day long. And you know, I wonder at our lives, but carry on to the best I can, this work in progress. After all we are learning if we are open all our lives till death comes often too quickly I feel.
We need forgive everything and everybody, know there are consequences and we are unable ever to deny our part in living. We need make good as we may, we need have forgiveness for everyone, and this is really the truth. No matter how bad and awful we may feel things have been, we can forgive everybody everything. We need only look to their living and how they evolved, as life dealt all the blows which makes someone who they are. And all we need do, as we forgive and understand, is ensure safety is there as all we learn helps us decide. And for the unrepentant who don’t really have a clue, retribution, revenge and resentments have no value once we understand our humanity and their predicament. Some are incapable and need care and separate ways to make anything of their life. And we may judge them safer elsewhere.
I did not like to mention that last part, because we always believe there may be some redemption for everyone, I guess acceptance also makes me realise there may be some way somewhere, and yet in the process out of harming others and our lives today.
It was an exceptional meeting of extra ordinary survivors of a killer disease. And as we all felt the better for it and can live another day sober? Let us hope just one day at a time. With a bit of emotional, physical and spiritual learning, just enough to make some sense of nonsense. And to make our way to ordinary living in the moment of now, accepting our part and how we may be a part of this world all over again! Just for this day, with a little help from my friends… and a fellowship of men and women with a desire to stop drinking, no how hard is simple? As hard as any living may be in this real world.
December 7th 2005
Lightening Up and Experiencing life's Murk ~
Light Some days start a bit heavy and lighten up as they go. Other days go the other way. So why depend on the day for the pattern? Why not set the
pattern ourselves? Why not decide tomorrow is going to be light and easy, right and breezy? And then when we awaken, make sure our first thoughts are filled with..."YES"! If we are not accustomed to creating the atmosphere of our day in this way, it may sound strange, it may feel false or difficult to start with. But if we persist, and determine to be light, it will become the norm and not the exception. Say YES now! The gift the alchemists drift takes us into visionary deceptions.
Experience is our Chalice
And of course, when we cannot shape our day with the power of will, when our internal rain can come cascading fast even on the brightest days in our minds eye. Our self will, to determine our day is as good as we feel. There may be positive shaping to our day. We can use a mantra, a prayer, all sorts of devices. And still we can fall down in the dumps. No amount of self-delusion pulls us back from 'black dog'. When nothing else works, when the will is broken and the world is seen with eyes of acceptance, we learn a lesson of great value. The value of this lesson is beyond measure and can only be experienced. On another day where reality bites. Where life is experienced without our brush with denial, and the world takes on its true gravitas, grit and pithy redolent, frisson as senses are awash with life's murk... Acceptance! Nature's gift, is one of many a keys to a Kingdom where elemental relish feeds our soul, and fills our inner Grail, common to all of us...
December 7th 2004
It is an almost automatic reaction to see the differences we have to others. Often we see that difference in the blink of an eye. When we see difference we embark on a journey so easy to fall into, prejudice, and we might never know our prejudice exists.
Lifetimes are spent in happy equations with our world. We make assumptions and calculated risks in a never ending trail of events. We make prejudice our beacon, our handle with care, our automatic default to situations and events. We make inevitable an irritability in life if we take note our prejudices and make them our masters.
Similarities we take for granted. We don't judge the familiar, and we don't necessarily put a value on similarity as we do prejudices and differences. Without doubt we have similar characteristics as people, and notions about the world and our desires for ourselves. Happiness and love, tolerance and care, less to worry about, so we harness our imagination to our contentment.
When we experience similarities, we should value them far above differences. Difference is about diversity, about challenge to our stable condition, and worthy of opportunity to understand and enable change.
As we come to understand our similarities, and realise their value, so too diversity and difference can be viewed as a rich treasure unfolding. Difference without prejudice.
We are gifted with similarity, so diversity is our challenge and our salvation, for without diversity we would for evermore be unmoved and dormant in our human growth.
In these times we may embrace diversity and challenge for without them, we are hapless and lost as dinosaurs, too close to extinction and a page of discovery in a book of dust.
In God's Eye and Nature, everything is perfectly as can be, imperfectly perfect...
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