Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 2 | DonInLondon | Step 12 "Freedom To Choose" Liberty, liberation, release, emancipation, deliverance,
December 2, 2013 Step Twelve Month: "having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs..." Living in recovery: it can be good bad or ugly, and depending on the current conditions of the day, I could be influenced into good bad or ugly behaviour. Step twelve: all about hearts and minds, carry a message with principles to guide me on daily basis. I always reflect, I could be wrong for you or anyone today. It is not about me, it is about the message.
In the twelve and twelve literature book, there is a page amongst many in the twelve step chapter which describes in a beautiful summary how the steps work which starts on page 107 of the twelve and twelve which you can download from the aa.org site. How marvellous that we can download this particular book these days. And what it relates which always helps me help others, under the current conditions of the day, and my current conditions today, can I be helpful or will I be a hindrance. Can I be supportive, or will I be dismissed as useless or inappropriate? No single person can carry the message on their own, sometimes the best we can hope for is to plant a seed which needs nurturing by the many voices a person can hear in Fellowship.
Yesterday was a particularly emotional day. A really good conversation with my brother, and we haven't spoken for months. Not because we don't love each other, simply, we seem able to pick up the conversation about whatever is going on without worrying about the time that might have elapsed since the last conversation. I do love my brother, our outlooks and interests are simply different in many ways with the similarity of love which still remains constant today. And then a surprise, my best friend popped in to see me, I call her "wife “and she calls me "husband “some of the time. We had a good talk about John who died last week and how it was at the end, and how she was able to support him in those last days. Deep feelings and upset for both of us. And yet at the same time, through remembering and sharing the sadness there is also much humour and many good memories.
Unrelated but interesting, when life gets tough for anyone on the planet, security and stability become extreme requirements when there is great fear about now and the future. All my life I had no clue about fear, when it came to jobs and career and I simply put every effort into those areas of life, to be the best at what I could do. Putting all my efforts into success made me a bit of a perfectionist I never realised that was driving me. And all my life I tried my best to be perfect in all romantic affairs, overwhelming indeed in the pursuit of happiness. I never really understood failure until career meant nothing and love meant nothing as drink took away everything and all I had was the dark, the fear and the oblivion. From nothing to nothing. And then fear struck so fierce in sobriety, there was no way out to anywhere. Fear takes away the security and stability. Learning how to have courage, how to have faith and how to develop confidence, it did not happen overnight, and yet courage, faith and confidence happens one day at a time in recovery.
Why am I saying this? I was reminded why Fellowship works so well, nobody can wave a rule book, nobody can control you with regulations and there are no laws to break in Fellowship. And same applies in real life, if we have courage faith and confidence, fear ebbs away, but we do not lose sight of danger. Imposing rules on other people, wanting things to be a certain way and stay put when the world is changing can be very confusing. A lot of people seem to fear immigration in my country, and I really wonder why. Prejudice based on ignorance and a fear of losing something, or someone else getting something for nothing really upsets many people. The issues made big by politicians, and the negative is so small, the benefit is so great. Fellowship thrives on the diversity and an open door policy, prejudice and ignorance would close the doors and ruin our democracy.
Every day is different, my spiritual awakening happens every day if I am open honest and willing to change. And yet fear can drag me back to old behaviour today or any day. And I will encounter people who live in old behaviour and will not change or cannot change and I accept that. What it means is, today I need not bang my head against brick walls, people unwilling and steadfast in their attitudes and opinions. And I don't want to be a prejudiced person ever about anything except one thing: your freedom and your choices must be your own.
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