Thursday, 18 July 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | July 18 | DonInLondon | Step 7 "Courage To Change"

July 18, 2013 step seven in mind: how am I feeling this morning? Emotional, spiritual and physical in the moment of now. Contingent on the current conditions I feel: calm, and collected in my thinking. My mood is happy. And because I am happy right now, my spiritual moment is quite serene. Physically, the current heat wave is having quite an impact because of my type I diabetes and so I suffer the hypoglycaemic, "Hypo" where blood sugars went really low and being the middle of the night, it can be quite a lonely business finding balance. Of course it is one of those things that can be quite fearful on one's own. Half a pound of honey later, my blood sugars were very high, and then the next 24 hours of getting them back to some place of stability and in the single digits…

When I express and write my feelings about things that happened to me, it does not mean I have a perfect response to all situations. A low blood sugar event for me, topped off by an extreme reaction to put it right does lead to a few days of difficulty. I would rather be running a high blood sugar level than a low blood sugar level because I am alone at night. And the way insulin works on me seems to be affected by so many things, and now a new one, the ambient temperature around at the moment. The other part of that is the impact of neuropathy which is extremely painful. Now, oddly enough it does not get me down and make me feel depressed, it's just part of the condition of living. And it is good to be alive to have to deal with these matters most of the time because I have been alive long enough to get the condition!

Chatting with a friend this morning, I never mentioned anything to do with my overnight problem; we just had a general chat about life in helping people. It does not occur to me usually to share anything about mishaps like last night because there is nothing another person can do. We were more concerned about a mutual friend who cannot let go of something which is undermining their whole life presently. And although I need not mention the issues, I can relate to them because some things similar happened to me over the last few months. And in my case, matters have been resolved with an apology and a conversation about the present and future impact on how matters can be resolved better. I have acceptance because of Fellowship and the 12 steps which help me see my part in matters, and the part others have played. But when ego and pride are evoked, because of the fears that we used to have, then becoming fears in the extreme in the present, a person really finds it difficult to let go.

With step six we learn that fear pride and ego from past events can often haunt the present. The scenario of fear starts with, "here we go again," and then pride and ego rise up to protect our inner being. When we are hurt, fear pride and ego can be the first port of call in our thinking. And with step seven, developing our ability to have courage to change, faith in doing the right thing and letting go the wrong thing can be very difficult. When we get to recovery, we have a mountain of old pain and hurt and expectations. Depending how we have been treated in the past and how we have treated other people can rise and become uppermost in our minds. Developing a different approach, understanding our part in matters, how we behave and act can have a big impact on the behaviour of other people we encounter when we are trying to sort out our problems.

Sometimes people will be objectionable, unpleasant nasty characters because that is what life has taught them. And when we encounter objectionable unpleasant nasty characters, and behave the same as them, which makes it even worse than it could have been with a different approach. Just because we are right and justified in our outlook, it does not mean we ought judge others badly all the time, because if we do the result will tend toward the bad and ugly. If we want life on life's terms to be more to the good, we need to accept people are doing the best they can with what they have even when it seems like the worst outcome for us. I know I am not here to change you, only you can change the way you are. And we can only change if we learn from the experience of life and the experience of life in the moment impacts directly on our spiritual condition, "the ability to cope with reality as it is right now."

In our modern world, including the political and economic, there is a move towards something which is quite ethical and correct; the word used is "transparency." Transparency evokes an idea of people and organisations being truthful and ethical and not hiding from the reality of what has happened and is happening today. Courage to change, faith in being transparent and developing self-confidence that this is the way forward is contrary to many attitudes and behaviour which prevail in people and organisations currently. Part of the steps that those of us in recovery is about transparency in what we do, how we behave and learning to have attitudes which keep us trudging a happy road of destiny. As the world seems to favour transparency as an objective, the likelihood that some people are able and some organisations are able to change will cause great internal conflicts in attitudes and behaviour. In this world, "to thine own self be true," helps an individual find their personal balance and outlook. And the world is a difficult place where truth does prevail, usually at a great cost to the personal objectives of those still full of contempt, prejudice, grandiosity, pride and ego… I suspect I was driven that way until it broke me, and the rebuilding of me is still under construction.

We can all learn from the spiritual, coping with the reality of now and learn new ways, new attitudes and new ways to behave. And we can be pulled backwards when we are hurt and unloved, better not to hurt the world or the people in it, better to find love and forgiveness in our actions and our attitudes. Nothing is gained by point scoring other than righteousness, and there is no satisfaction or love in that world of pain.

It can be very difficult to accept being right and the rest of the world being wrong? Really does depend on truth love and wisdom. Truth, with love as a balance, forgiveness always and the wisdom learned from events we experience is our guide to serenity. And the serenity prayer, even though I do not know who or what God is or can be defined as, that prayer helps me immensely in the moment of now. The reminder of what I can do, cannot do and the wisdom to know the difference will always help me understand the path not only for myself the path of experience we are all having to tread one day at a time.

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