Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 20 | DonInLondon | Step 12 "Freedom To Choose"
Practising these principles in all my activities means I keep on learning life in the moment of now. Humility "open to learning life today," surrendering to the "Truth, Love and Wisdom in the moment of now," step twelve: liberty, liberation, release, emancipation, deliverance, forgiveness, tolerance and love.
December 20, 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 the principles, learning about how to be open honest and willing under all conditions makes life a lot easier. If the twelve steps were burdens, nobody would choose to live by them. The only place the principles work is in the moment of now, the impact of living the twelve steps means we keep on learning and we keep on living with the wisdom we are developing. Our wisdom grows and we learn wisdom from everyone we encounter in recovery.
There is always something new in recovery. We are no longer trying to control the world in which we live, we can change our minds about our direction and about our conduct. It is not about being a Puritan, it is about living the life which is open to us. Not everybody gets the opportunity to get to the top of whatever mountain there may be in society, at work or in the family. Indeed many just don't aspire to those particular ways of living. A happy and useful life is something each person needs to determine for themselves. Our purpose on the planet? I suppose it could be quite difficult to determine what our individual purpose is, maybe it's best to start with living to the truth, love and wisdom of now?
When it comes to step twelve, anyone anywhere who is living the principles of any particular Fellowship, our primary purpose is to help newcomers find their way into sobriety. Different strokes for different folks, simply means that we can be helpful to some people, and completely unhelpful to other people striving to restart life again. Fellowship can seem a daunting prospect for any newcomer. It is so easy to forget that newcomers may feel that any Fellowship is a very last place they want to be. In truth many newcomers want a return to the old life without the consequences. At first such a desire is completely understandable, and a desire to be able continue life as before, I have not seen it in all my years of recovery. From step one, the good fortune of being powerless over something, is not seen as good fortune it is seen as misfortune until of course we realise the freedom which follows.
I love being part of Fellowship, at the same time, I know I'm not everybody's cup of tea. And this is absolutely right, because if I wasn't challenged in my outlook every day, I would make no progress at all. Being challenged is good. To be on good terms with the world in general, to be able to communicate and participate in all aspects of life without fear, pride and ego getting in the way, is something I have always preferred. It does not mean that life is always easy, because we encounter difficult people who will hold different outlooks and often can be quite objectionable if they have strong feelings. The good news, in recovery we are not here to convince everybody to our point of view, we are here to learn what our point of view might be, and value diversity and value differences because that is what makes the world go round. At least I hope so most of the time.
This has been a challenging week, just being me is quite challenging. And a funeral, and world events always have an impact. At the same time, having been to meetings regularly over the last few weeks, it is plain to see how difficult newcomers find recovery and old timers returning from another spell in hell. And I had a bad dream about drinking earlier in the week. Bad dreams about drink! When these dreams happen they are so vivid, it has been a few years since my last one, and then waking up with a start to realise it was just a dream, well whatever the cause, I felt relief that it was just that, a nightmare. I hope one day at a time, because that is the timeframe, to continue sobriety and keep on learning about humans and how to be human, how to love, how to be loved back and feel useful as each day permits.
Letting go my opinions and beliefs, surrendering to the truth love and wisdom of now is always my preferred way forward. Learning to let go self-prejudice, which means I cannot be prejudiced against anyone else is always a good start. Live and let live.
Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,