Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Nov 26 DonInLondon Step 11 "Truth Love Wisdom"
"Love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy to every human being."
November 26, 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." Eastern philosophers: mind body and breath in the moment of now? I'm sure we all conclude that what we see in this world is reality in the moment of now. Often we don't like it, often we do like it and I guess with mind body and breath in the moment of now, we get to choose the next step with the wisdom we have. And so often, we may know what works as much as what does not work and we can need help working out what to do.
Some principles which work for me and are constantly challenged: as an individual, to be open, honest and willing to learn life today. As part of any community, to work in unity, be of service and try see the world with clarity. Sometimes it is difficult to cope with reality when times are at extremes, extreme states of feeling lead to those moments of, "I cannot believe it!" When we cannot believe something is happening to us or people or the world, denial is all part of the process of understanding. Every human has two processes going on at the same time when we are perceiving reality: our emotions and our thinking. Emotions drive everything, thinking and understanding leads to action. Denial often suppresses the heightened emotions and thinking drives our actions. If we get stuck and cannot cope with our feelings, our thinking often takes over and our actions become those which are expected, or we keep on doing the same thing over and over again and don't get a different result until we sort our feelings out and live them and experience them as they are.
Capt Kirk, all about feelings and emotions, Dr Spock all about logic and thinking. Amplified, these two characters in science fiction are two halves of one individual's personality. And of course some of the time we are Capt Kirk, emotions driving everything, and other times we are Dr Spock with thinking and logic driving everything. I suppose if we evolve long enough we might become "Admiral Spirk!" And our feelings and thinking operate in unison guiding our actions with clarity of purpose today. Most often when we have been through extreme endeavours, we value thinking and logic and reactions which follow because it is easier to deal with actions? The truth is emotional and spiritual living is all about our feelings and thinking and actions in the moment of now.
Whenever I meet newcomers, which is very frequent, imprisoned by drink, understanding powerlessness over alcohol is seen as taking away the icing on the cake, the cake and all its ingredients and the means to make the cake. Admitting defeat and not being able to stop drinking on my own, surrendering completely and asking for help did not feel very liberating of the time, it made me feel extremely happy to give up trying to give up on my own. And then the cold reality of no drink anymore left me with the jitters. Cold sweats and nightmares and fear without substance and without any respite. As the number of sober days increased, powerlessness seemed more like salvation and freedom. And yet the utter tedium of filling the hours of sobriety seemed only possible in the company of like-minded people. The few like-minded humans who made sense of reality one day at a time. And then I learned what it was to be happy and ordinary just like other like-minded souls on the planet, without the addictions which had blurred my freedoms and my choices by night and by day.
As time goes on in recovery, it is a frustrating business if we forget just how difficult early days of recovery can be for anybody. We can hear the words we used over and over again, the torment being suffered and if we are not careful we forget and lose our patience and tolerance because we now have a plan of living today. I can still remember a fellow traveller in early years suggesting that my recovery was easier because I had no choice with other complications physically. They were very irritating, and yet I persisted to be their friend all through the trials and tribulations caused by defiance and a desire to be in control of everything. I have not heard from them in quite a while, I did not abandon them, they moved away and are following whatever path they have chosen. It would be good to know how they are, maybe I will know one day.
Clean house: letting go the old ways and starting over is quite a stark outlook. Letting go old attitudes and behaviour, and having no clue and no rules, laws or regulations of governance in Fellowship felt like an impossible proposition in recovery. A licence to make mistakes within Fellowship, learning the emotional and spiritual path. And all that people seemed to talk about were practicalities without the mention of the emotional and spiritual living. Prayer meditation, whether we believe, are agnostic or atheist, we need the practicalities first and then the emotional and spiritual can develop.
Wisdom is available in all sorts of places, there are books and there is media beyond the comprehension of one single human being. And recovery can seem to be a labouring job because we have to have a clean start before the wisdom comes along. Anybody can buy the best software in the world, the right books with all the answers and find media anywhere which enlightens us humans. Without a platform and firm foundation none of the software of life can work. Recovery requires a clean reboot of the physical and emotional components for there to be any progress one day at a time. And as you write your book of life, some bits are let go, some bits become redundant and some bits we defiantly hold onto because we think the answers are there. A clean reboot physically is a starting point for the emotional and spiritual journey to continue with well-being one day at a time. And of course we can be stricken by anything in recovery, the funny thing is we most often do cope today, and if we cannot we can often ask for help along the way.
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