Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Nov 9 DonInLondon Step 11 "Truth Love Wisdom"
"Love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy to every human being."
November 9, 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." "Of course, I could be wrong." This was said by Ram Dass. And the reason why I like that statement is because whatever I say, whatever I believe, whatever I share in terms of opinion, I could be wrong. Not only could I be wrong, whatever I share could be wrong for you.
Why was I attracted to the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous? In truth, the first visit was back in the last century. I realised it was not the best introduction, driven there by a very concerned sister. And then the second visit to an AA meeting was several years later. It was not wrong to be at the first meeting, and it took some years to get to the second meeting. I was not attracted to the Fellowship of AA in any shape or form over those years. I had no desire to stop drinking; I just wanted people to leave me alone so I could get on with sorting myself out. I could not sort myself out and that was the truth.
What you see is what you get; WYSIWYG. What did I see which made it possible to keep on coming back to meetings of the Fellowship? The first few meetings felt very negative, lots of people seemed to know each other and nobody seemed to know me or show much of an interest in me at all. Most likely people could see that I was a very unattractive personality. I did not like going to the Fellowship, I went because it kept other people who loved me quiet and at bay. The pressure to go to Fellowship and the pressure of probing questions was an unattractive and difficult state of affairs. Too many conditions and too many people involved took away my privacy, my control and my desire to keep on drinking was being thwarted. I was at rock bottom to date, and there were more rock bottoms to come.
WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get. Some people new to recovery, some people enjoying their recovery, some people hating everything to do with recovery. Very confusing times. And for an atheist, or an agnostic like me, any mention of God made me very uncomfortable and opened the door to me judging the whole Fellowship as unattractive. The idea that I needed help from God whatever my understanding of God may be or may have been back in the day was completely against my experience and every thought that drove me one way or another. If it had not been an intervention at a meeting, someone reading out the "spiritual experience," appendix II in the big book, I would have left never to return? Contempt prior to investigation was very firm within me and my opinion of Fellowship.
I saw Elton John being interviewed, and he was sharing about his experiences within the Fellowship of AA. And the nail on the head when he talked about a higher power can be anything you decide what I decide as I go along. What he said made sense, the Fellowship is about a desire to stop drinking, and a bunch of people who find their way to keep sober one day at a time. And to stop judging what other people do, and to start working on what I could do to keep sober one day at a time. I could not recovery on my own and what seemed to work for a lot of people, was banding together regardless of their personal beliefs and opinions about God or anything and then sharing experience strength and hope of recovery. And Elton John said something about not judging and I cannot remember exactly what it was, but it was the opening of a door to recovery, we see everything, hear something, and find something which my keep us sober for a few hours and maybe all day long. WYSIWYG! Attraction and not promotion.
Within the Fellowship around my area, many famous faces come in and out of meetings. And sometimes we may recognise them and sometimes not. What we find in Fellowship, people are people, some good some bad some ugly. And everyone is there to be sober. Most people by the time they get to the Fellowship are not star struck, and for those who are famous, nobody is particularly interested in them because they are famous, they are interested in their sobriety and their experience strength and hope. The rich man in his castle and the poor man at his gate, all the same when it comes to getting sober, similarities are profound and the differences do not matter. Fellowship is for sober and no amount of wealth or poverty matter that much in one day on the emotional and spiritual journey.
Pride, ego and fear kept me out of Fellowship. Courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and confidence being developed kept me in and keeps me in Fellowship. WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get. On any given day people are the best they can be and the current conditions of the day which means sometimes any one of us can be good bad or ugly to ourselves and to other people. Unity service and recovery is the foundation of Fellowship and then there are twelve steps, or as I see them twelve principles of how to live and grow one day at a time. Sometimes we take steps forward; sometimes we go backwards because life and circumstances can be good bad or ugly. Twelve principles of living which helped me develop freedom of choice, freedom to be me and the ultimate freedom of being unchained and in recovery on a daily basis. It is not climbing a mountain or being the best, it is about navigating the world as it is today.
So what am I attracted to today in the Fellowship? It still remains WYSIWYG, what you see is what you get. The truth love and wisdom of now may seem corrupted by the way individuals share their experience strength and hope about the good bad and ugly times of living. Truth as we see it, the same people can be at a meeting and their perceptions of what has happened and is happening can be very different. What matters is what we give to Fellowship as much as what we receive in Fellowship. Am I attracted to bright shiny people in recovery who never had a bad day? The answer is no of course, those who never have a bad day are not learning or adapting to the current conditions which exist in the world and the reality of now. We are all human, good bad and ugly things happen and life is difficult, and of course the world does have bad days and so do we humans.
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