Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | March 19 2013 | Steps In Action | Step 3 "Your Higher Power"

Alcoholics Anonymous | March 19 2013 | Steps In Action | Step 3 "Your Higher Power" my morning mantra: "step one, powerless over alcohol, people places and things and if I try to be powerful over anything, life will get unmanageable. Step two, I can be restored to sanity at any time, providing I stop and pause and don't react badly today. Step three, to make good decisions today. All I need do is ask when it is important and the impact of my actions will have causes and effects on other people around me. Let go needing to be right, and letting in others in the decision-making is always a good idea. Today…"

Video For Today:

"Powerlessness Is Powerful"

Most of the time, I am right these days, when taking decisions and including others in the decision making process. Conversations are better when I am able to be equal with everyone. Including people and helping them help me, and me helping them is all part of living with everyone around me. Where things go wrong? When I have expectations that people will do the right thing by me or I have an expectation of their part. And I feel I have entitlement to something? If I moderate and really recognise that expectations which have no foundation and other people don't recognise are resentments under construction. Just because we think and have an attitude of entitlement and a right to something, every time we think that way, we are on the road of unhappy destruction and insanity. No expectations and no entitlements in my head this morning, and therefore, no resentments and no insanity being constructed in me, first thing today! Of course, it is early in the day, and sanity is moment to moment, just like recovery…


I used to travel for business reasons and for a good 25 to 30 years, somehow I liked the isolation and being away from home, home was good and I kept it as a sanctuary for myself. Travelling, smart hotels, smart restaurants and smart bars where lonely people could have a drink, and find company. Lonely man travelling, often meeting lonely women travelling. It was a way of life, full of fun and spectacular times. Strangers in the night is a song, not a good way to live over and over. Sometimes we just don't see the insanity because that's all we know and we cannot break habits. Drink, strangers in the night, and a workload without end, three addictions rolling along. Only when we stop, or we burn out, and I did burn out, do we actually see the madness of the years…


People talk about denial, that we need denial when life is extreme, because we cannot cope with the reality of what has happened when we have a nasty shocking life experience. Elizabeth Kubler Ross described the denial process in five stages: first, the events which happened and we cannot believe what is going on, and for me having a nervous breakdown, I was in denial about what happened for quite a few years. Second, denial comes and goes as our emotions go to extremes. And we cannot cope. Third, we go through bouts of anger and frustration, anger because the events just shouldn't have happened, frustration, because we are powerless over what has happened. Fourth, we dip down into depressions as we feel loss and waves of sadness and desolation. These four stages will continue to roll forwards and backwards over time. And then eventually, we may find acceptance of the unacceptable truth and shock we have experienced. And even though we get to acceptance of the truth. Our feelings will roll forwards and backwards for as long as it takes. Acceptance of the reality can lead to gaining perspective of our losses over time, it is not a matter of closure and ending because we still have all the memories which we sort out and find what is acceptable to cherish as life continues. If we are fortunate we do find acceptance and how to cherish the good, and hopefully the bad and ugly is replaced with new events and life experiences. Many human beings get stuck in denial of the truth and cannot move forward at all, because the reality of what happened can play not only in nightmares, past events encroach and fill every waking moment with the horror and the shock we cannot let go. It took a long time to realise how many shocks and traumas I had lived and over the years, hidden by my three addictions, drink, strangers in the night and an endless workload: skimming the surface and ignoring the deep and rich emotional life every human can experience when we unlock the doors of our prisons and break into the reality of now available every single day…


I'm really pleased I was able to talk about the deep of life with my father before he died. And his words really helped me immensely, although at the time I felt I didn't want to hear them because what he said was true about himself and also true about me, me being a chip off the old block. Like father like son, my father by his way of life taught me my way of life. And he said to me that it is better to cherish people and cherish them deeply and to love them, and to learn how to love them through time. He, of course, was talking about his relationship with my mother. My dad said he had always cherished my mum, and yet was unable until his dying days to share this with her. He said he had been superficial and indifferent in his ways. All of his life, he had avoided the deep and cherishing with love that he had. No doubt he loved deeply and yet he behaved superficially and with indifference, being too close and intimate was too much to handle. Those three words: "cherish" all about the deep connection, "superficiality" always skimming the surface of feelings, "indifference" and the selfishness and ignorance towards others and their point of view. Those three words, I did not quite understand them at the time, I was already in denial about my life and heartbroken as my girl was far away and lost to me at that time… Powerlessness really sucked back then, and the irony is that powerlessness is really useful to me every day!


We are human humans, and we don't come with an instruction book and there is no blame we can attach to parents who themselves have had no instruction book on their delivery into the world. And yet society will punish with prejudice and attitudes which prevail to dehumanise human beings who have been broken over the years. The attachment of blame and judgement and labelling people, makes life very difficult for anyone trying to stop the old life and start a new life. Nobody wants to be an addict, and the problem is that humans become addicted to behaviour which helps them cope when life is difficult. Some people stop and can find peace along the way, if they have the right support and help from family and community. Less so these days, the problems of the past, they emerge in this generation and future generations. And what happened in the past is always passed on to each generation. In my case, there is a long line of addiction either to substances, a way of life, and focusing on things and trying to be perfect when imperfection and learning are critical and key. We will never break the denial, unless we face the truth of who we are, what happened and how we can be redeemed by learning life all over again from scratch, and with the wisdom of the past within…..


Step three, all about our higher power. I do quote Gandhi quite a lot, he was a sensible individual and practical. And whatever else he did, and I'm sure that history can be written good or bad or one way or another. When he said that God is truth and God is love, I feel he was right. And facing up to the truth is letting the higher power work for us, rather than living in denial and self-medicating and fixing with substances, people, places and things, we can get help and ask for it. By asking for help with humility we let go trying to work out the truth of life on our own. We think we ought to be able to work out what the truth is about what we did and how we are today. Step three helps us be more independent by getting help to get to the truth of who we are. Letting go self will, and indifference toward others wisdom, it opens the door to interdependent relationships and the more useful universal truth develops about our life and how we fit with the world today… "Care of God as we understood him" and for me this is about letting go being right and somehow righteous and belief that my way is best. My way was not the best way, drink dependent, relationship dependent and work dependent became addiction in so many ways. I certainly needed the help, to ask for it. So I could get to the truth and start being human and free again…


I would not have considered that being powerless would ever be the great liberator in my life. Freedom from self, freedom to open up and learn life and find acceptance about me, simply another human experiencing life in the moment. If I don't know what to do, asking for help with humility will open doors far faster than a demand or an entitlement. I like life on life's terms, gratification is never immediate if it is going to mean something. The quick fix, led to addiction and I never realised I was just as susceptible as anybody else on the planet. I was always driven to prove something, but I never knew something was until I found myself in recovery with real humans who had been broken, just like me. Not having to cover up, not having to hide away in fear of being found out in some way. And being powerless and accepting everything as a new learning experience helped me let go of the old uncomfortable man who simply misunderstood that the destination is unimportant in many ways, what counts is the journey and living in the moment of now offers everything if we are open, honest and willing to engage. And I can live everything and understand the good, bad and ugly or whatever emerges today…


Alcoholics Anonymous | March 19 2012 | Steps In Action | Step 3 "Your Higher Power" Today's AA daily reflection: "prayer and meditation works…" We may not be in the company of others, at the same time we are never alone. We have an inner voice which is continually sharing what is going on, how we feel about it and what we can do. That inner voice is prayer and meditation for me, it can be random and unfocused, or through practice a way of looking at what we are giving to the world and our part in it…

Video For Today:

2009 - 2012


In my final drinking days, night and day had merged and all the voice inside me said, "where is my next drink and when will this end?" Today the inner voice wakes up with me and starts with immediate clarity on how I am feeling. I can feel good or bad, joyful or sad and as I collect my "self" I can become more focused on what is good for me in the moment and just for now. I try remind myself briefly of steps one, two and three and the serenity prayer. Concluding on what I can and cannot do today…

Even when I focus, pray and meditate, that inner voice may still be confused, fearful and make me feel like isolating and hiding away. And I need to let go my feeling and thinking about doing this alone. And conscious contact with others helps me find balance in what I can and cannot do. This is not a defect of character. The defects of character are thinking I need to do it on my own and become a failure if I cannot show you I am free and independent because I am not. I am interdependent today…

Long ago in the organisation's I worked in, teamwork was an absolute necessity. And sometimes a person would be a leader, sometimes a doer and sometimes anything that need be required to get the job done. And life is like that in all that we do in family, community and society. Yet shame and guilt will lead us into the realms of endarkenment, rather than the enlightenment which comes as we share our truth of how life is today… Prayer and meditation are key in being open, honest and willing to live life on life's terms today…

We give away our experience strength and hope of recovery in order to keep it. It becomes an attitude of mind which impacts on all aspects of living inside fellowship, family and community, work and society. Prayer and meditation helped me see how I can be included day-to-day, my contribution and how it fits with others. We often hear when a person is rewarded with an honour, "I would like to thank the following people" and many include God in their gratitude. And why not? As God works through people in my understanding of a higher power, the honour and the award is always shared and never owned by a single individual… I am alive today with gratitude to every power who helps me share a message in the moment of now…


DonInLondon 2005-2011

I try emphasise always I speak for myself and not for AA. I may share how AA works in my life, not how AA works for anyone else. In AA what you see is what you get on any given day. You see and hear the experience, strength and hope of many and how sobriety is working just for today. People living sober today...

Open to life and new living, we stop hanging on to old fears, let go and open the door ~ Phillips Brooks "A prayer in its simplest definition is merely a wish turned Godward." -/- As we come to believe it may be Godward and or Goodward. Courage, faith, prayer and meditation develops our choices and personal beliefs..

These days I know sober there is only one safe option from this list ~ Frank Sinatra ~ "Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels." -/- Prayer, we all pray, sometimes we don't know it, or realise how to focus, seems like it works with a good conscience and knowing life is always on life's terms..

Life on life’s terms, sometimes the answer is yes, and sometimes the answer is no ~ Mary Baker Eddy "Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the blessings we ask for in prayer." Spiritual is being able to cope with reality, fixing we live in a world of our own, fantasy..

As we reflect on daily activities, life works whatever the outcome ~ Marianne Williamson "I deepen my experience of God through prayer, meditation, and forgiveness." -/- Our attitude and behaviour changes with wisdom, life always our teacher


AA Daily Reflection: PRAYER: IT WORKS It has been well said that “almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough.” TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 97

Having grown up in an agnostic household, I felt somewhat foolish when I first tried praying. I knew there was a Higher Power working in my life - how else was I staying sober? - but I certainly wasn’t convinced he/she/it wanted to hear my prayers. People who had what I wanted said prayer was an important part of practicing the program, so I persevered. With a commitment to daily prayer, I was amazed to find myself becoming more serene and comfortable with my place in the world. In other words, life became easier and less of a struggle. I’m still not sure who, or what, listens to my prayers, but I’d never stop saying them for the simple reason that they work.


Just For Today, and every day cherish always...


AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections


AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve


January 2013 | Step One Reading Video Link:

Step One Alcoholics Anonymous Reading

January 2013 | Video Reading How It Works:

How The Twelve Steps Work

January 2013 | Video Reading A Vision For You:

January 2013 | Playlist About Step One:


don@doninlondon.com |

"music for airports" By Brian Eno | http://www.enoshop.co.uk/ |

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