Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 21 | 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 21, 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..." How do we find peace and serenity? Peace of mind, no longer at war, not trying to battle through something, understanding our true nature and our natural instincts. Serenity comes to anyone through acceptance of life on life's terms, what we can and cannot do, and learning the wisdom moment to moment.
We all have purpose, we will have desires, and we all have basic needs and then we have wants. Whatever our purpose is on a daily basis, we don't have to view life as a battle or that we are at war. We may be or have felt like we are at war with ourselves when it comes to changing from active addiction into active recovery. Active addiction leads to extremes of feelings and extremes of behaviour. Active recovery reveals the reality of what we face on a daily basis, a return to reality is a shock to the system. And words like: peace, serenity, happy, joyous and free can be very puzzling to a newcomer. The state of being powerless is not seen as a strength when we start our journey, and wondering what it means to surrender to the truth of now, love of now and wisdom growing now is confusing.
And of course those misunderstandings which can arise from phrases like: "let go and let God!" My understanding of letting go, is to let go what is bad for me, let go my old ideas, old beliefs and old opinions which do not hold to the truth. And of course the religious connotations in Fellowship is not one simple understanding. The simple understanding is we let go and ask for help, to understand what we can and cannot do. And if we desire or want something which is beyond reach, asking for help is critical and it is an ongoing activity of discovery. To let go and let God is very passive and unhelpful. Let go my narrow view: let in the world and its wisdom. Whatever we are going to do in recovery still requires attention, determination, a realistic outlook about possibilities. This is letting go the impossible so we can see what really is possible on a daily basis. If there is no effort, the outcome will always be bleak.
Recently in conversation, someone had an idea about being a doctor, and the idea of being a Doctor was very appealing. Without consideration of the hard work involved, without consideration of the years of study and practice, from having no medical background to wanting to be a doctor just for the sake of it, there is more chance that this someone might win the lottery and never need to work again and forget about being a doctor. Realism and reality are the foundations which make recovery possible. Achievement through endeavour will always feel more powerful and more profound than the wildest dreams we may have? Certainly in my case, in all respects, life is beyond my wildest dreams. Living reality one day at a time.
Sometimes we help each other out in Fellowship. And we learn big powerful lessons about what Fellowship is there to do in the process of being generous to others. Generosity is about care and love. And you can help a friend out of course. As soon as anything to do with money gets in the way of Fellowship and friendship, you may feel badly done to by those who will take and give nothing back. Early recovery is very difficult, and feeding somebody is a good idea when they are hungry. Give money away if you wish, do not expect it back or your expectations will lead to resentments. Give freely of yourself, and what you consider is right for you. Newcomers, develop the humility to get back on their feet, and human activities around romance and finance are key to learning real life. I have not seen anyone have a soft landing in these important areas of personal development.
Sharing a message: right time right person is good when we can help another person. Always be aware of one's natural instincts when it comes to helping people. We help people to be in recovery and hopefully we are aware of all our motives when we try help newcomers. I don't battle and I am not at war with my natural instincts, I am simply aware that natural instincts can impact on who I can help. Having a normal healthy outlook as a man or woman, with your natural desires is important to recognise when helping the newcomer. It is far easier to help people without putting the extra burden of natural instincts into the mix. Attraction, what you see is what you get is important. Promotion of oneself, with natural instincts thrown in will cause confusion without due care and attention. Promoting the idea that we rarely see people fail, this is not helpful to the newcomer in my opinion. I prefer to hear the truth, warts and all in experience strength and hope shared by truthful people who have no need to defend anything, because the truth does not need a defence.
If I had not heard the truth in Fellowship, I would have felt conned. I was a very suspicious newcomer, with far too much experience and too much thinking going on. Only when someone said the Fellowship is all about love, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, did I really understand how I was to progress one day at a time. I needed to understand the truth of now, how to love, how to be loved back and keep on learning the wisdom that reality is far more potent, deep and fulfilling than anything I could use to try and fix myself and my situation. I am still getting to know myself and the truth of now one day at a time.
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