Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Oct 12 DonInLondon Step 10 "Reality Check"
October 12, 2013 Step Ten Month: "continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." Sometimes something is on our mind and we do not know why. In our literature HALT covers the basic emotional upsets which impact on anyone, not only those of us in Fellowship. We can be at the opposite extremes, full up, happy, included and vitally alert. Sometimes we can be overpowering towards anyone anywhere and especially in Fellowship.
The difference between anyone anywhere being impacted by our mood is that within Fellowship we are more sensitive to what is going on, as we look inwards at our own behaviour with the twelve steps and twelve traditions, we also look at the behaviour of our fellows, who can really become very wearing on our sensibilities, or as we say in the UK, "they really get on our tits!" And when other people get on our nerves, we need to look at what is going on inside us, and then decide what to do next.
How am I feeling this morning? I was yawning just a few moments ago, one of those nights of not sleeping for no particular reason. And the gentle patter of rain falling all night long. I ought to feel hungry but I don't, I ought to feel tired but I don't and I'm not angry and I am not lonely even though I am alone. Watching different channels news programmes, the nightly round of repeating the same old news over and over again is quite irritating, especially the adverts which are tedious after one viewing, and the inane links that news broadcasters broadcast about themselves. Bigging themselves up! And this can happen in Fellowship, especially those who big up their own agendas as if their agenda is better than our agenda. We all make these mistakes in the spiritual kindergarten.
I haven't heard any swearing in meetings recently. Which means I have not been going to enough meetings? Most likely. And I haven't heard any complaints about meetings and preferential treatment in the last week. Which means I have not been going to enough meetings, most likely. If all meetings are giving us a warm fuzzy feeling, all well and good if we are truly warm and fuzzy. Most likely we are not listening too closely if we feel warm and fuzzy all the time. And sometimes we need a bit of a shake to remember who the most important person in the room is. Not me!
I'm going to stop writing from moment, or least stop writing until I have been to a meeting... And it was a really good meeting, I was there at the same time I cannot share who else was there. A big meeting with newcomers, middle timers and old timers. All about dealing with feelings and understanding what feelings are about. Extraordinary that still some of the time we would wish to control our feelings rather than let them inform us about our emotional and spiritual condition.
No feeling is wrong, the feeling is real. What we need to deal with is what feelings mean to us. A feeling of anger is provoked usually, and then we are judged by our actions and not our intentions. A feeling of love is provoked usually, and then we are judged by our actions and not our intentions. Our actions are what other people deal with, they are not mind readers, and even though we think we have shared our truth, are you sure you have shared the truth?
I felt okay in this meeting, knowing many people, at the same time sitting in between two people I know from afar, and I got there early enough to strike up a conversation. Which meant, even though I put my hand up to speak, I wasn't chosen and it did not matter. At the same time I remember the overwhelming feelings of times past which I could not cope with and it made me realise that I am making progress, sometimes quickly and sometimes painfully slowly in the moment of now. And then of course we do get to the place of not knowing anything, and not knowing anything usually means we have time to understand that it is okay to not know anything one day at a time.
Emotional and spiritual: fear, pride and ego evoking the primary defects of character which can be removed on a daily basis if we are paying attention. Fear, pride and ego will suddenly rise up and smack our insides out if we are not careful and not paying attention. The shortcomings: courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and building our confidence today is entirely contingent on our own self-awareness, and the feedback we get from others who judge us by our actions and not our intentions.
One thing that struck me, people can be alone and very alone in a crowded room. People can be so disturbed emotionally that their thinking takes over and they cannot accept the truth of their condition. Don't think from moment that I am immune to all these difficult times in recovery. I felt alone for a long time trying to work out the emotional and spiritual Fellowship with my intellect, and my intellect did not help me experience my feelings, my intellect pushed away feelings I did not like or consider virtuous.
What next? Almost time for my bed and it's only 10:30 in the morning? Big smile here, I have more to do, at the same time I am tired and it's okay to be tired today or on any given day and do something about it. The sun is shining, the air is bracing, after the meeting I got out to the shops for food and a pair of new gloves for winter. Chatting with people in the shops just comes naturally these days, and being complementary and open and truthful makes for a happy day. Know your feelings in the moment of now and don't feel that any feeling is wrong, rather than be reactive, we need pause sometimes and check out the reality of now, the feelings in the now and work out what action is better than the intention we may have had.
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