Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Nov 5 DonInLondon Step 11 "Truth Love Wisdom"
"Love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy to every human being."
November 5, 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." "Good morning God, before I do anything else I just need to check in. My emotional and spiritual journey begins when I wake up. I share my feelings with you, I feel calm, much to do this morning, and it can be done. A friend to see in hospital and it's okay to feel nervous."
When I wake up, I can forget to check in with God, which manifests in the: "truth, love and wisdom of now." How I am feeling, why and what can I do about it? It is the most obvious thing to do and often the least often thing I may do if I have a lot going on in my mind. My mind is full with: I need to drop off a specimen of my own at the local hospital. I need to be ready to go to South London to see a friend in a hospice. I need to check my blood sugars and take my injections. I need to eat something if I feel hungry. I need to write some daily reflections about step eleven. All these things are things to do. And my thinking head forgetful about feelings, and I can be forgetful about how mood can drive my thoughts. I feel okay just now and it's early.
I live on my own, and I quite like the way life is. If I had a partner, and she lived with me, I guess we would talk and share feelings on waking. And the same is true with our relationship with a higher power. Whether or not we live with others, there is a voice inside us, the inner voice of peace and serenity or the inner voice of stress and urgency, depending on what is happening in life, good bad or ugly. And to share those feelings first thing and then decide what to do. And because I live alone, if I were to feel overwhelmed, or happily okay, or whatever it may be, sharing with another human being is only a moment away. Higher powers: as you come to believe, it may be the inner voice of conscience, the God that works through love, truth and wisdom and especially people is always there.
Fellowship and especially the fellowship of alcoholics anonymous is all about love, developing our emotional and spiritual living. All about being included, all about learning what we can do and cannot do and the wisdom to know the difference. I was never a believer in prayer, and yet somehow all my life I have prayed especially when alone. Solitary is not really a natural state of being. And sometimes the worst times are feeling alone in the company of others. Belonging to a Fellowship where there is only one entrance criteria: "a desire to stop drinking," it felt very lonely in early days because the last thing I wanted to do was to stop the drink, stop the self-medication and stop reality happening. It was lonely in early days until I realised that life was possible by listening to the experience, strength and hope of my fellows in recovery. And it was my choice to be included one day at a time.
I have to understand that fellows in Fellowship are the best they can be today. Sometimes people are so welcoming, prepared to share and to help and we cannot bear the idea of being in company. There are many different types of people in Fellowship, how people are may be the best they can be, it can feel like the worst connection in the world when we feel their judgement for whatever reason, feel they wrong for us for whatever reason, and then we find other people in Fellowship just like us. Thank goodness Fellowship is full of many types of people, some we cannot get on with one-to-one and yet with tolerance and love we learn to live together in Fellowship. Everyone brings their baggage with them and shares about their experience strength and hope, not everyone realises just how damaged they have been by life and the consequences. Not everyone is virtuous and many are devious on the road of recovery. Fellowship does not automatically make people good, there are plenty of bad and ugly examples just like in ordinary life. What we all have is freedom to choose, and the path one day at a time can be very awkward and difficult. Not everyone can be your friend, not everyone can be your mentor and not everyone is equipped when we ask for help. Which is why we need to make as many connections as we can so we do find who can help and who cannot help one day at a time. And we still learn one day at a time how we can help if we have love in our hearts. And we need to be aware of our personal motives often through prayer and meditation, which will help us determine what we do to help others today.
Prayer: with courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing, and building confidence one day at a time. Some days it can feel very difficult, when we are facing hard and harsh situations which we feel fearful about. Prayer is good, it reminds me to pick up the phone, talk to someone and especially talk and ask about them. Helping other people even when we are in dire circumstances ourselves is a good thing to do in my experience. It gives me perspective, helps me share and get feedback on what I can and cannot do today. Very practical. Meditation: often starts with gratitude that I'm still breathing, my brain is working as best it can right now, my feelings fit the reality of now, and I know how my feelings impact on my thinking. Powerless over the feelings which are very real, freedom of choice in the actions which follow. Very practical and very impractical when life is difficult, I certainly need ask for help.
Many years ago, I had a moment of enlightenment, I could not stop drinking, and all my thinking on my own did not work. No matter what I tried to do, my best thinking could not stop me from drinking. I don't know to what extent pride ego and fear stopped me asking for help, I reckon it was all those years of putting on a brave face, being told to have a stiff upper lip and carry on regardless; all my emotional conditioning was to deny the problem, endure and try beat the problem on my own. One morning I did say to myself: "I cannot do this on my own." And I laughed at myself with glee and acceptance, picked up the phone and asked for help. My spiritual development is of the educational variety, and it took quite a while to understand who could help and how to go about it.
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