Sunday, 11 August 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | August 10 | DonInLondon | Step 8 "Amends And Willing"

Hurt People Hurt People

August 10, 2013: "often we step backwards in order to step forwards." Emotional and spiritual living is a two-way street involving ourselves and other people. What we do, our intentions and actions can be inconsistent, we intend one thing and act another way. We keep on learning how to be open honest and willing, at the same time we can be driven backwards into closing down, dishonest dealings and unwilling to face the truth of now. If I don't let on that I know something, and hide the truth from those concerned, not only am I living a lie, other people face our consequences and our actions.


I like to know where I stand with people, and I hope people know where they stand with me. I need to be an open book, not hide my truth, not hide from the truth of my feelings and inclinations. I prefer my intentions and my actions to be clear not only to me, clear to everyone around me. There are no surprises? Of course there are surprises, the more we tell the truth, the more truthful life becomes. We make the right decisions with truth. And if we don't tell the truth to other people, we deprive them of living the truth of now about what we are up to, our intentions and actions. If we put on a mask, we are masking something about ourselves. If we put on a mask, you can guarantee that people will mask their intentions and actions. And then we face the world of intrigue, dishonesty and trying to gain something at the expense of other people.


Confidentiality, now this can be a problem. Sometimes we are told things which are confidential to other people. And there is no point in accepting information from others which is confidential if we cannot keep confidentiality. The role of a sponsor in Fellowship does require discretion and confidentiality. People often need to be up to share their story confidentially and feel like they are in a sanctuary where it is safe to learn what it is to tell the truth. And whatever agreement we have with the people around us, we need to be respectful and agree boundaries, within the Fellowship the boundaries are clear. Life in general is a great big tangle usually, where people may tell the truth, or people may tell lies, half-truths, tiny slivers of the truth and a great big mountain of gossip. In governments, this often comes under the banner of diplomacy. Diplomacy is often underpinned by gossip and elicit information which often has no grounds or basis in truth.


Outside of Fellowship, within family, community and especially work, all sorts goes on emotionally and spiritually. In work, we are often competing with our fellows if we are a worker, the boss, the owner. And sometimes we find we can reward others really well, and then at other times, when life and the economy is not so good, we may have to take something away, reduce wages, reduce hours. Or we are at the receiving end of poor management and supervisors who bully and make life difficult. And we may have experienced it both ways round, where either we feel angry and resentful because we cannot reward people as we want, or our wages and hours have been reduced because there is not enough work to do. Anger and resentment will focus on people, not the situation or circumstances which created the issue in the first place. Open honest and truthful produces truth for everyone. And yet how often do we take action without explanation, or withholding some vital clue to what is really going on.


In these difficult economic times, our expectations do not often fit with reality. The opportunities for advancement are usually more limited and more difficult. Money is tight and everyone is cutting back. When people know the truth, when we know the truth of our situation we can make plans. But if we do not face up to the truth, or we have problems with the truth or we fail to share the truth about situations, expectations become big resentments and people, anyone anywhere can start to feel like undermining and cutting back on their efforts, when effort is greatly needed to get out of the difficult times. A downward vicious cycle of rebellious resentment will be created.


How we relate to other people is the way they can relate to us, we teach people that we are open honest and willing and truthful. Or we teach people that we are closed down dishonest and unwilling and deceitful. As we behave towards others in our actions, so too they reflect our actions in what they do. We all need room to learn and grow, we will need room to make mistakes, and once we have made mistakes hopefully we learn from them or we step back into the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.


We can often carry our intentions and actions from one area of life to another of life. If we behave dishonestly and get away with it in one arena, we tend to behave dishonestly in other areas of life because that is what we keep on learning. And the awful truth is a dishonest life serves no one. We don't have to tell everyone everything all the time, we do need to share what is relevant, our intentions and what we are generally up to when it involves other people. Life becomes very lonely living dishonestly, it takes ss ten steps backwards sometimes to realise this before we start to make one step forward to learning how to be ourselves all over again.


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