Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Nov 21 DonInLondon Step 11 "Truth Love Wisdom"
"Love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy to every human being."
November 21, 2013 Step Eleven Month: "sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out." Our emotional barometer: knowing our feelings in the moment of now. A bit like the weather, feelings can be very varied any time of day, or they can be very moribund and stuck when we ignore them or we cannot find a way out of a particular mood. Feelings are very real and factual indicators of our wellbeing, we tend to ignore them at our peril.
Courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and confidence to keep on changing as life is changing are all about our motivations and our emotions. Often conventions and expectations about what we ought to be, these are thinking constructs we adopt and try to emulate. Trying to be conventional, trying to fit in, trying to be something we have yet to achieve can be expectations we cannot fulfil and entitlements we have not earned. The resulting resentments stimulate pride, ego and fear within us and we find ourselves stuck in thinking about what we ought to be and what we are entitled to. When I set my expectations to zero, every morning, it does not mean I'm giving up, it means I am opening up to the possibilities of life rather than trying to contrive something or manipulate something.
Sometimes we have ambition without a clue. This means we have a rough idea about what we like about a situation, a person, a place or something in particular. Sometimes we have desire for something and there is no reasonable idea about the outcome. We have hopes and dreams which can be divided into fantasy and a possible reality. A fantasy is good, and probably unachievable. The possible reality, where we see the first steps on a new path is wonderful. And sometimes we need ask for help and guidance to start our new journey one day at a time.
Feelings are real and feelings are facts and often feelings do not reflect our real situation, that is why there is a word we utilise from fantasy to fantastic. Our thinking can distort our outlook as well as our personal beliefs and opinions. All our opinions and beliefs, our expectations from life and our entitlement to a particular way of living can thwart anyone anywhere today. Family, community, society, "the American dream," "religion," "Empire days." All these attitudes, opinions and behaviour can be used to cover up feelings we have which may be inappropriate in reality, yet the feelings are there because of our upbringing. These real feelings are factual, and they drive and motivate us either to be open honest and willing, or often fettered, with pride fear and ego gnawing away at our soul. Of course there is middle ground!
I don't know who it was, said something like, "with all these years of wisdom, however it has turned out, it might have been useful to have this wisdom at the beginning of life rather than at the end or even in the middle!" And that is the gift, realising eventually what it is to be an emotional and spiritual being. It has nothing to do with Materialism per se, a good life is contingent on our understanding of conditions of the day, how we feel about it and understanding the can do and cannot do. And of course aiming high enough to make progress without trying the extreme of perfection which cripples the perfectionist’s life. Prayer and meditation: all about learning and living an emotional and spiritual life in the moment of now.
Many feelings we have do not fit reality. Prayer and meditation helps us discover the origin of our feelings if we choose to examine our conscience which may be operating to the good, bad or ugly. And there's the rub in all this, what is good bad or ugly for one person, might be quite alien to another person, family, community, society. It would be very difficult to be a vegetarian if all there was to eat was meat. Which is why it is very difficult to join in a Fellowship which has a desire to stop drinking on a daily basis, when drinking was the very basis of living. The newcomer is the most important person in the meeting, or there would be no Fellowship at all?
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