Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Oct 15 DonInLondon Step 10 "Reality Check"
October 15, 2013 Step Ten Month: "continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." Sponsorship: a relationship between equals! Equality, Fellowship and humility are all key in learning how to live one day at a time. Very often people mention their first sponsor, second or third or however many took part in another person's recovery. In this hall of sponsorial fame, some wondered off for a drink over the years. None of my "sponsors" to my knowledge have ever drunk again. There is time however for those who are still alive? We never know what is round the corner.
Sponsors are the equal of us and we are the equal of our sponsors I hope is a resounding principle. With humility being the key to learning, whether we are a sponsor or those being sponsored in some fashion, the relationship needs to be understood and mutually acceptable. There are excellent guidelines about sponsorship. And yet the supplicant may be looking for instruction beyond equality, beyond reality and way beyond expectations that any human can deliver. So if there is a misunderstanding about what sponsorship really offers, not only might one person be at risk, everyone is at risk. Knowing and understanding the nature of relationships is of key importance. First know your relationship with yourself. Second as you start to emerge in sobriety, understanding relationships is absolutely key to everything.
If you like the person who agrees to be your sponsor, it is a very good starting point. As you get to know the sponsor, you start to find how human they are, just like you. There is only one higher power greater than us and that is the understanding which works best for you. "The absolute truth in the moment of now" is usually the power greater than us and we only glimpse it most often in collaboration with the many in Fellowship and not just one other. It is difficult to be a sponsor to anyone undergoing self analysis, and intellectual study of themselves when indeed we are learning an emotional and spiritual path. Very difficult to leave one's thinking at the door, because we want to be in control and really do not understand step one offers the best freedom to learn everything all over again. I hope that makes sense.
Going to newcomers meetings is an antidote to everything we might believe could be right for another person. All newcomers may start on the: one day at a time philosophy, and then the rate of progression is equal to understanding emotional and spiritual living and then doing it for real without the benefit of intellect. Intellect and thinking, assuming we can control feelings in the moment of now, continues to offer complete and utter defeat, until we let go ego. Ego will continue to challenge every feeling over which we are powerless, and we are powerless over our feelings. Somebody tried to undermine this notion by saying to me, "feelings are not facts!" And then they rushed off, and they are right of course, feelings are our emotions which are very real and in fact we have them. It's a bit like trying to undermine an old law of physics which people believed hundreds of years ago, for example, the Earth is the centre of the universe. It isn't as most people know. And that's only because we have some acceptance of truth and we have the knowledge.
No laws, no rules and no regulations to be imposed on anyone, not even me. Apart from the waving of the yellow card to say my time is up in sharing. And I accepted immediately, because people can only take so much of me and my outlook. I believe fervently in unity service and recovery and the overall intention of the twelve traditions and those principles. Open honest and willing with the twelve steps are vitally important to understand and then put into practice if we wish to follow the emotional and spiritual journey. And the emotional and spiritual journey keeps on happening regardless of our thinking or our intellect, the quality of our experience depends on our humility and our sobriety. People have reason to be complaining if they are being manipulated by themselves and their intellect, and by other people who was a loving outlook can condemn people to purgatory when they do not know what they are doing. Which is why the best sponsor I've ever had is the rooms and the wisdom in them which is shared continually every day. My living sponsors as individuals, are less often aware of their sponsorship role, they simply know that I am asking questions and asking for their time now and again.
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