Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 22 | 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 22, 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..." Letting go of: excessive fear, pride which leads to a fall and ego which stops us learning can happen on a daily basis. Life will always have its ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly which will test our shortcomings of: courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing, and confidence to keep on learning life. And we are sharing this message by truthfully speaking or writing about our experience strength and hope today.
Yesterday was good, I took the day off from meetings, and found I could relax. Like any good person in recovery, not going to a meeting can feel like I am missing something. Meetings and fellowship, all about connection, all about inclusion, hopefully most the time all about unconditional love. We learn how to love people for who they are, and their journey in recovery. Of course like any walk of life, there are those who do not practice unconditional love, they may be predators in the romance and finance departments of living. Some people are still greedy and remain so, and that is where we often learn how to live and let live.
We do develop new skills in recovery, or we find skills which have not been used quite a while. How to talk to people, and especially how to listen to people. Somehow manners are often forgotten before, during and after meetings. On many occasion I have interrupted fellows who were engaged in conversation with others, with an enthusiasm which forgets the basics of introductions. We learn somehow, that it seems to be okay to be somewhat anarchic in our behaviour within fellowship. In the outside world we might be considered quite rude and disruptive. Over time we learn our manners all over again.
Its been a good month so far, lots of newcomers coming in just before Christmas means life must have become desperate. From a few days to a few weeks, some newcomers are positively flourishing. And then these next few days, where regularity and routine get broken up, the danger of travelling and having no support over the Christmas and New Year can be daunting. We often visit relatives who have a vested interest in us being the "old normal" individual, and the temptations and the frustrations of finding ourselves in a "new normal" package can be very challenging. I suggested to a newcomer that they might get as many numbers as possible, find ways to Skype, anything to keep in touch with friends in recovery.
Something which is very important to me as an individual, is that fellowship remains an anarchic democracy, where people learn what is right for them, do not have people instructing each other on best practice. Everything changes moment to moment, and the anarchic democracy will keep on working providing we do not impose rules, regulations or laws on people. And because we are all learning about our emotional and spiritual journey, no two days are the same. What works one day will not necessarily work the next day and we need to keep on learning what we can and cannot do. Experience of life provides the wisdom moment to moment, how quickly we learn depends on how deep rooted our liabilities are emotionally and spiritually.
As a newcomer I really had no clue how to express the feelings I had inside. Many feelings that I had did not fit with my way of living. Rage, anger, resentment's and the negative feelings about life emerged when I put down the drink. Suppressing all these feelings and then suddenly experiencing them at extremes was quite horrible. I wanted recovery to be happy joyous and free without any pain. The truth of life is that these emotions have developed and become part of the human condition over a great deal of time. And all these feelings rising up at once are horrible, and it does take time to learn how to express them without harming ourselves or other people. Letting go and letting in all emotional and spiritual experiences is getting to the truth, love and wisdom of now. Even now it can be very difficult to experience some feelings in the moment, because I don't recognise what they are until later and then I can become either agitated at myself, or laugh at myself as feelings emerge later after the facts and after the experience.
Trust! "Firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something: relations have to be built on trust." I keep learning to trust myself and keep learning in the moment of now. I keep on learning who I can trust and what to do if a trust has been broken. Living in this world, trusts will be broken over and over again in all walks of life. Everybody we encounter will have trust issues and inside fellowship it is common that people forget about trust completely in relation to sharing confidential information. If a person feels that a trust has been broken, sometimes with good reason a relationship of trust may never grow again. Being mistrustful is a state of mind and impacts heavily in all directions. Unconditional love and helping each other can easily be undermined and we need to be tolerant and forgiving of many people one day at a time. Surrendering to the truth of now is a good way to build trust and observe the understandings of those we encounter today.
In our spiritual kindergarten, where everybody's learning about their feelings in the moment of now, surrendering to the truth, learning unconditional love, and gaining wisdom will cause fear, pride and ego to be raised to extremes some of the time, and will cause some to develop courage, faith and confidence and trust to the good of life with those who are good. People who are bad and ugly will become obvious in all walks of life, and their journey is theirs, as you continue on your journey with what is right for you.
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