Thursday, 1 August 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | July 31 | DonInLondon | Step 7 "Courage To Change"

July 31, 2013 step seven in mind: "courage to change, faith in finding the next right thing to do, and the confidence to develop a new way of life." In early days, I read the 12 and 12 over and over again, something to do, something to think about, something to get good at and then be able to share with an air of confidence about them: the 12 steps and 12 traditions. It doesn't work that way, one day at a time I am learning how they, the 12 steps and 12 traditions become a way of life.

One of the posters on the wall in many meetings of the Fellowship suggest: "think, think, think." And that's all we do before we get to Fellowship. Think about making sure there is a supply of our chosen substance and behaviours. Think about where we can indulge ourselves, to feel life be it good bad or ugly. Thinking of ways to make each day work with a killer malady. Think about giving it up as a bad job and still needing oblivion from this horrible existence where alcohol has power and we don't. Sobriety to me is all about knowing and feeling right about the moment of now, that the moment of now is just the way it is and there are things I can do to live in the moment of now and have freedom of choice based on the current conditions of the day.

Freedom of choice, based on the current conditions means I know exactly where I am, what I can do and what I cannot do and keep on learning the wisdom to know the difference. Psychic change? It might be that acceptance and serenity are contingent on me my attitudes and behaviour. And I only really find out what my attitudes and behaviours are when I share them with a power greater than me, namely anyone anywhere at any time who has wisdom and can listen and help me sort the can-do cannot do one day at a time. All the world's a stage, and we are merely players, each player connected to the other, each with a part to play.

This emotional and spiritual life: feelings in the moment of now and coping with reality. Looking at a world which is driven to control just about everything. As I was listening to others sharing recently, there seem to be common goals depending on society and everything it suggests is right for us. I was not a great believer in following the normal patterns of society, I was rebellious which made me consider and think about a lot of things, but when I realised I had to toe the line to a greater extent that I felt happy about, drink provided oblivion from the reality of now.

To have love in our lives, to learn how to love and to learn how to be loved back. To be happy. In many ways we display our worthiness to the rest the world. In Fellowship we know we are judged by our actions and not our intentions. And yet the world is encouraging people to believe in intentions rather than reality quite a lot of the time. I don't know why, Facebook believes that because my profile says I'm single, I need to join as many romantic dating sites as possible to fulfil my wildest dreams of finding the perfect girl, the perfect relationship and then everything will be okay. I must admit I prefer the notion of an imperfectly perfect girl trudging a similar road to myself, and I know I am far from perfect and prefer to be imperfectly perfect just as you may be.

In the world of dating sites, I guess it is the same everywhere, we might if we indulge in dating sites, advertise intentions rather than realities. We may be flicking through profiles, judging on face values: this is never going to offer a greater understanding of other people, we are still judging them before they have said anything beyond intentions. We still have to meet them understand them and go through all the romantic interludes, or just simply finding out about other people and what makes them tick? Far better in person, no matter whether we are in or out of meetings, whether people are inside or outside of Fellowship, if we know ourselves well enough to tell the truth of our story and who we are, I feel we are better equipped to listen and hear the true story of anyone anywhere today. And of course in life, depending on our age and our outlook, priorities change. So even though we may have a particular outlook and identity, better to check if that outlook and identity are real and attractive by being open honest and willing and not trying to fix something which is not broken, now that is difficult. Why? Because we are still thinking about what it ought to be: life in the moment of now.

In reality, one day at a time freedom of choice offers the best opportunity to find out who we are, how we tick, what and where happiness comes from, how we accept ourselves as the way we are and find serenity. It rarely comes from thinking we ought to be a certain way; it comes from feeling right and believing and having confidence and faith in our humanity. Judging what life ought to be, judging others and how they ought to be towards us leads to un-real expectations and resentments being constructed in as many directions as our thinking may take us today. Can we be happy knowing the truth and coping with reality in the moment of now?

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