December 8 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "emotional and spiritual living… Reality can be a nasty shock!" Cloud cuckoo land, neither reality nor a complete fantasy. Using alcohol or any substance or behaviour to take the edge off reality is something most people practice in some way nearly every day of their lives. Anyone can be in denial about the truth of now, when it feels unacceptable, scratchy and difficult to deal with. Only when we get a really nasty shock do we tend towards grief and denial as a coping mechanism?
Video For Today:
Coping strategies? I have not mentioned coping strategies for quite a while, maybe this is because I prefer coping with reality day-to-day. Do I pray for the possible? Do I meditate about the possible? Am I aware enough about my own situation? Prayer and meditation to overcome the impossible facts of life is probably a way to cope with feelings which overwhelm in the moment. Praying for guidance, meditating about what to do next in an unselfish way and a realistic way may offer solace and clarity of thought. When we are overwhelmed in the moment of now, an exhortation or two to the God of your understanding for clarity may be very helpful in understanding powerlessness, can do and cannot do in the moment of now and just for today…
The AA daily reflection is all about service in recovery. And recovery is all about reality and being able to cope with it on a daily basis. Human beings strive well in well company. In the olden days good company for me was a bottle, a girl who drank like me and a good time. Which was more important? Over the years, girls came first, and drink made things very sociable and the good time was had by all. And then drink came first, and I lost the plot and so did girls who drank like me… Sharing a message of experience strength and hope? Relationships of all kinds with human beings being human is far preferable to any substance or thing. Learning to love unconditionally and be loved back unconditionally is all it takes to be on the path of recovery… Mind you, unconditional love is a lifetime process and not some thing we can manufacture out of nowhere…
Admitting my faults and clearing away the wreckage of the past is a great undoing of old fears, hiding and isolation and finding the humility to keep learning my emotional and spiritual path. Self-aware, meditation and prayer do help. I still don't know if I can define God for anyone else, indeed I do not want to. And happy that my understanding works today, in my world God represents and is truth in the moment and God works through people. Depending on my ability to see the truth of now, and seek help from other people, impacts directly on my spiritual condition. So when people ask me for help, it starts with friendship, needs to be equal, respectful and not based on personal gain of any kind. Giving of oneself is selfless and without conditions and without contract or qualification today…
Every human has qualities, good qualities and bad qualities or personality traits. And many people understand there can be good in the worst of people, and bad in the best of people. And I know I have good personality traits, bad personality traits and ugly personality traits, just like anybody else. Depending on my life experience will determine which ones are favoured in any moment. And anyone can be influenced into good or bad deeds. Strength of character, being able to let go old ways and reform takes time. Acceptance, learning a new path, a new life involves letting go an old life, and an old path which is neither good for us or anyone else. Humility to keep learning, make mistakes and experience every feeling known to mankind, is liberating and freeing. Knowing our feelings, the why we feel the way we do and what we can do is critically important in recovery. Feeling leading to thinking leading to action in that order in a split second, can save us from homicide or suicide at the extremes of life events in the moment. And we can live or not, live the consequences, if we are still able to make sense of our situation just for a day…
Often we feel life can get no worse, in my experience, it can… And when it does, ask for help. It may not seem that help is forthcoming, asking is the first step, then finding it is the next…
The “higher powerful” will help do what I cannot do for myself. Where is my higher power today? In truth, it is you and you and you… Powerful wisdom comes through others about sober, spiritual, dealing with my feelings, not expecting or deserving. Simply able to love, be loved and useful. All far better than a fix with a powerful high…
Am I spiritually fit this morning? I feel okay, my thinking is straight and so far I have behaved myself so far. But it’s early. Service is the key in daily reflections today and I am up for the challenge. The song "why is everyone always picking on me?" comes to the newcomers mind if I be a zealot today. Easy does it, stealthy and ready, I can be a “do gooder,” or simply do good if asked. If asked I will answer, freedom of choice is always key for everyone today...
December 8 2010 ~ Principles of unity, service and recovery, helps me keep learning how to be, "in the truest sense, an open channel of sobriety." Open, honest and willing to share: experience, strength and hope with courage, faith and confidence. One voice of the many voices finding truth, love and wisdom for today...
December 8 2010 ~ Service in the fellowship enriches us and those we help. We never lose our uniqueness or authenticity; we simply keep learning more about who we are daily. As we grow, others grow and our life choices become more diverse. In recovery anything is possible with the life we have now, based on reality and sober today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "SERVICE December 8 Life will take on a new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you. to have a host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss... Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 89
It is through service that the greatest rewards are to be found. But to be in a position of offering true, useful and effective service to others, I must first work on myself. This means that I have to abandon myself to God, admitting my faults and clearing away the wreckage of my past. Work on myself has taught me how to find the necessary peace and serenity to successfully merge inspiration and experience. I have learned how to be, in the truest sense, an open channel of sobriety."
December 8 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ High Noon To Glamour Hour
Newcomers And Resentments
Two meetings of AA, one at Eaton Sq. and another at the Bolton’s. Odd when I go to so many meetings that each and every one helps me see the world not just through my eyes, but the eyes of many sharing their experience strength and hope.
A big meeting for a lunchtime on this particular day. And someone I met in my early days was speaking first as the “chairperson.” the chairperson is the invited speaker at a meeting. Sometimes we have a chairperson lined up and booked and more often than not the secretary of the meeting asks a person who just turns up like the rest of us. We do the chair usually even if we are shy or nervous, because its ok to be a normal and unpractised speaker. Its just normal to speak our experience strength and hope.
Anyone sharing their experiences and talking about their problems, then their solutions and often not knowing the solutions, well in the main we feel better for sharing, and better able to receive some kind of feedback as people join in after we finish our story for the day, or our life generally.
A Newcomer spoke
Indeed a brand new person to fellowship stood up and quite graciously and courageously explained their current predicament. it’s a privilege to hear a new person speak, it reminds me how I felt in such a situation. And its good to be reminded of those churning moments of admission and then wondering what to do next.
This Morning Saturday [ out in the cold and rain]
And thinking about last night where the glamour hour was less glamorous and more serious as a few shared their life stories. Its always going to be a hit and miss meeting, we never know with a meeting which way it may turn. Sad last night as some are in emotional pain.
This Morning [Saturday Dec 8 2007]
All about emotional sobriety in our meeting today at Radnor Walk. It helps me calibrate who I am today..
So far ok and more than ok with smiles in my feelings. Its just as may be. Friendship and fellowship, always good starting points and then with laughter and fun moments.
A return to fellowship, for someone who knows recovery inside out. Driven to the deep of where sadness lies, and then some, a returning and gentle person looking for a path for mending once again. Life is never easy!
Clinical Depressions and versions thereof ..
We need seek professional help for them or we miss the opportunity to get on the field of play where recovery and back to ordinary living is lived. So easy to want nothing to impede our progress and recovery which drives us to unmanageable living without help or support of professionals, we want to be ok and yet realise there is a deficit in us which precludes normal living without some chemical support or the right form of therapy.
An exhortation to sensibilities!
We need find the right help from the right sources for what ails us or we are living on a thread often. Not quite understanding our folly in slippage is really expected and not a wilful endeavour. Black despair is not resolved with wishing a normal path, we need understand what science and professional support can do to help keep emotional sobriety by the day. Was it ever so? No is the simple answer as many people left this world too soon because there was no help from the dark of depressions. I need remind myself where those black dog days are, in the past for now, and yet ever present if I am not watchful and examine my path.
8th December 2006
In my humble Opinion!
I realise the humble and opinion lead us all to react with, here he goes again! Yes opinions we are all stuffed with opinions, what is good for us, what is good for our neighbours, the world and his wife as is often said. And today I have offered one or two sharp opinions as to cause and effect. Being in the helping people business for many, many years, I strive to have no opinions in the main about what is good for anyone.
My humble Opinion
Is to develop ways of living which suit oneself, that fit and integrate with our immediate reality, where we may live and be ourselves as others live and be themselves. That is my opinion.
Process and finding our Way
Not such an easy subject. For in my experience I have tried multitudes of others advice and opinion to help me along and help others along too. And yet everyone develops with luck their own way in life and makes their authentic and unique stamp on themselves and their living. We do it our completely unique yet similar way. We have our quirks and foibles and why not? We are better for them and give us personality and things we cherish and others cherish in us.
Some of us get Contorted and Tortured along the Opinion Route
Through lack of confidence or trying to emulate what we know is valued or be a celebrity, or have just enough presence to fade into the background and not know our true identity. Some of us are not put together as well as the perfect model, indeed very few are for there is no perfect model, just what we learn to cherish and honour.
Yet we do find conditions which hamper progress
And today I have been pondering if I did the right thing to share with another part of their behaviour and how it impacts on me. In truth I need tell them, in truth its nothing they want to hear. In truth its their business and not mine, in truth I cannot relate to them as they are. And in truth I have let go and forgiven and accept my fate. The bringer of news not wished for, and resented and disliked. For in truth telling the truth of recent times to those who are not even aware of their demeanour and behaviour it is a nasty denial to take on board.
Denials and Behaviours
In truth the denial is complete as they cannot see their behaviour, and if they do now they will resent knowing now its in the open. And in truth it may be too hard to accept. For the truth is it is hampering them in their living. And as I am the deliverer of a suggestion to the good. Albeit given in good faith, I feel their power and anger and hateful knowledge there is truth in what I say. Ego is masked with charm, and in some cases truly dysfunctional behaviour parades in many attractive forms to the onlooker and participant in the affair. Affair in the sense of event not affair of the heart in this case.
What Lies Beneath this Behaviour
Truly what lies beneath this behaviour is a truly wonderful person who has a habit and a preponderance to behave in a protective way to their inner being. Not a bad idea overall, except when all learning is filtered through their defensive process of least harm and hurt.
The bruises we get, the functions we rely upon to keep ourselves together, so often mask the truth of us we cannot accept our true state. We find there is some denial as truthfully imperfection has ever been our strong point.
And yet when do acknowledge our behaviour and see how modification lets in so much more than we experience through our filters to manage our fears, we might do well to listen.
And this applies to me too
We all have filters and things we use to manage our reality, when we stop filtering and let reality in we are surprised that there is nothing to fear in finding out, and everything to gain in our understanding ourselves.
I could be so wrong in what I see, and although what I see is based on observance as I used in past clinical environments, it does not help the other in the spotlight to have something so personal shared as bluntly as I have. And how else could I do so, when in reality it hampers everything they do. And at the same time accept our connection is gone in the process. I accept that totally today.
I need not hurt on their behalf or be hurt by them
And that was the risk as always in these matters, where I go against my instinct and against the evidence I have over a long time. Snap judgments in the past have helped, and in this instance with so much else to contend with I have let something continue in the spirit of fellowship which deserved an ending long ago.
As to my opinion tonight
I hold to the opinions I have, and know with certainty it needs further investigation by them and not by me, my role is done in this instance and maybe one day will be understood. So many of us go around deluded for years, and when we hear the truth embrace or deny it, it depends on what we fear most. Exposure or support, and tonight neither will ever do.
So acceptance may be the key, as I have always found in matters like these that others will find their way as they will, and not as I may suggest. And that is always the case.
Was actually hard to hear and easier as the time went on to hear the next step in my journey and who I let close in to my fellowship as each day passes. Most likely everyone as per usual and with a more balanced and understanding appraisal of the rightness and the connection. It does me no credit to have taken so long to let this matter go along. And truth is I knew no better, and time affords our decisions made just as they can be, in the moment. There is never a right time for anything, just the time when they occur, these decisions and connections. As they will be and as they are.
December 8th 2005
Our spiritual health
spirituel, from Late Latin spiritualis, from Latin, of breathing, of wind, from spiritus of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit...
In matters of spiritual health, silence, noise, happiness, love, and openness are important elements. Happiness leads to good health. Only we can give this 'medicine' to ourselves. Some of us bring illness to ourselves through anger, greed, unfulfilled desires, expectations, and most often suppression of feelings. Especially in our relationships when true love is elusive. A healthy spiritual self acknowledges all emotions for what they are,
nature's gift and used in their true value, indispensable Look inwards to our spirit, we will find where our ailments began. Helpful ingredients for a
healthy life include: paying attention to our living and undoing our worry; using time in a worthwhile way; understanding our feelings and thoughts, moving ourselves to positives and building our strength. Recognising our negatives and working ourselves out! When we let our spirit free we recognise every emotion, its value, its place, its worthiness and our value, right sized and right on!
~ ying yang bang ~
Our light our dark,
Our plus our minus
Our Ying Yang bang
Its not so stark
There is something we forget about ourselves. We spend much of life in compartments, we have roles to play, we this thing to one person and that to another. We are the good for many we meet, and they value us and we are the bad that some would never wish to meet. We are of this inside and we really do forget what we are. Inside us, we recognize our good and lesser qualities. Yet the best of us is bad, and the worst of us is good. We cannot separate our experience of life to the good and the bad. We see our mentors and heroes.
We value what we see of them and we forget what we don’t see, won’t see. We do not learn to be good without learning how to be bad. We may sit and judge for the good and miss some of the bad. But we don’t know the value of bad till its experienced. And often we go so bad, we find it hard to get back to our balance. For millennia, the wise souls we seek out, they make it plain. We can experience both good and bad times.
We need both to make sense of the other. Why do sayings repeat these learning’s for us? So we know how to find value in all our experience…. We need our sadness to make good our joy. We need our dark times, so we make light of the light and know the difference! We need lose our sanctimony, our squeak of clean and emerge the better for our dark days, weeks, months and even years. We pay the price. When we go to extremes, we experience with intensity. The height of success and depth of failure. With both in our life, make our contract of living. Without one or other we have no balance,
Our Ying Yang Bang
Goes on forever,
Bigger or smaller
Keep your Bang and
your Ying Yang
Life’s Maybe Merry go Round!!!
December 8th 2004
Let sweetness in my thoughts, words and actions be the most visible of all virtues.
Some of these sayings I find, well they are sometimes hard to imagine in my own mind. The sweetness of thoughts... its hard to grasp. It comes after a long time, the notion that there are just pleasant thoughts. Translating these into action and deeds is sometimes almost too far out of sight to bring to reality.
The world, it often seems to spin on hostility and fractious doings of humans. When inside we would appreciate being given just enough space to breathe, not be under pressure which slows us, rather than speed us up.
We can in our own way slow the world in our head, to experience joy, we can slow it enough to give way to sadness. We damp down to often the emotions and so live in denial so easy, its called the fast lane, let go and moving on to the next. We lose our sense of fulfilment when ignore happiness and sorrows in full measure.
Best to let the feelings flow their natural course, lest we lose our feelings forever more.
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