Alcoholics Anonymous August 22 DonInLondon Step 8 "Amends And Willing"
August 22, 2013: "step eight can lead to unacceptable expectations of others. Just because we are on the road to redemption, it does not mean it is the same for other people, often they are on the road to perdition." Indeed, the behaviour attitudes and prejudices that other people have keep them on this road of ruin and there is no emotional or spiritual enlightenment. It could be that they live their whole lives with very dark outlooks. If there were such a word it would be "endarkenment."
Many people have found themselves judged and then accepted the judgement of other people. They have lost their adaptability and tenacity. They have lost the ability to be open, honest and willing in a world which seems like it is closed down, dishonest and unwilling to include them. And although step eight is all about redemption, clearing the wreckage of the past, we will encounter many caught up in their own wreckage and ruin. Are we here to change them? The simple answer is no. The more complicated answer is what we do by example, and by example we can illuminate the world. We can still be open, honest and willing, and see the truth of now. Those on a path of enlightenment and those on the path of endarkenment.
Truth love and wisdom are critical elements which keep a body and soul working well. When we have found ourselves on a path of truth, we often temper our responses to people with love, and let them get away with things which we would not do ourselves. Anger and resentment is brewing. And we need to remind ourselves that we are all on the path of learning, that we don't have to go back to step two, doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity. We give people leeway, we learn from the wisdom of life and we make decisions which are fair and honest as we find fairness and honesty. Don't forget a lot of the world has been taught to be dishonest and trying to get something for nothing. If there is no effort, endeavour and toil, nothing changes.
A friend of mine mentioned that the world can go to hell if good people do nothing. And it is true, if we do nothing even if we are good, the results can be very bad, because we are putting up with things which are just wrong. Why am I writing this? Because I was beaten down by alcohol to the point where I lost all judgement about what might be true and what might be false. Self-esteem issues, fear, pride and ego can undermine recovery and put us on a backward trail very quickly. We need the courage to change, developing faith in doing the next right thing and having the confidence to rise to challenges as they happen. If we procrastinate, complain rather than explain, we find ourselves back in the darkness of here we go again.
And I know it's not easy to have the courage to change because I found it so difficult to seek out truth and wisdom from others when things were going badly. And I ended up in an industry which was all about profit and had no integrity whatsoever. And the bonus system may people ugly, greedy and out for themselves. I was lucky enough to fall out of that type of industry, suffered excruciating years in the wilderness of life. And then found a wilderness and then a Fellowship put me back together again, the help of many helping me as a single person find my voice and outlook again. A different voice a different outlook, sober, with the opportunity to be happy joyous and free depending on the current conditions of the day which could be good, bad or ugly or all of them in one day.
Certainly in Fellowship, we have the opportunity to live and work together with the twelve steps and twelve traditions providing sound principles and a good starting point. And in many organisations, family, community and society the same is true because integrity, openness, honesty and willingness to learn still prevail. And we also know there are many places where there is nothing which holds people together, absolutely nothing. And these days I have learned that we can live with the enlightened and let go those who have become endarkened and ruinous to themselves and others. People can change if change is what they need and want. People can change, but I know I am powerless to impose those changes which might be desired by me and not by them. Influence yes, impose a change, no way.
Having had poor service from my landlord's agents over the last few years and a specialist expert attending and basically condemning all my plumbing, I feel happy joyous and free because I was right all along. I feel sad for the agents who did nothing but botch and patch and never tell the true story. And there are consequences for my landlord, anyone being sent by them will be signing in, I will have a signing in book. The signing in book will require that they show their current credentials, current qualifications, that they know exactly what they are here to do in terms of instruction from the landlord, time in and time out, name and telephone number. I might also photograph them, and tell them there will be a Webcam watching their progress for the time they are here to repair anything. And I have also banned certain individuals from being involved in current or future activities who cannot provide adequate qualifications be they a surveyor or a surface cleaner. And their personal conduct and their interpersonal skills need be good or they will be ejected summarily if they fail to get the job done properly and in a timely way.
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