Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 23 | DonInLondon | Step 12 "Freedom To Choose"
Sometimes quickly sometimes slowly I am changing, now I have principles by which to live, open honest and willing, life does change every single day. 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 23, 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..." In this morning’s meeting, quite a few of the newcomers have gone away for the holidays. I have a lot of hope that they will return in the New Year. I cannot predict how their situations will go, at least they have some tools to take with them and hopefully be sober one day at a time. Being sober will mean they can cope more fully with the reality of their situation, be it good bad or ugly.
My local shopping street is the Kings road in Chelsea, and it is a windy blustery day, rain coming in torrents later. Seems like the whole world is out to shop, and is only for two days? I have added to my normal bits and pieces, and nice piece of beef, onions, mushrooms, carrots, smoked salmon, ready prepared gravy just in case I make a mess of it, fizzy water, oh and brown bread. And a couple of lemons. People seem to be somewhat distracted by the holiday season, most normal people look tired out, need a drink to relax?
I really enjoyed the early-morning meeting, chatting with people who I have known for many years and also people I have not seen and they have many years in recovery. It was a step nine meeting all about amends, and step nine is very challenging, understanding why we are doing it, amends to self amends to other people, and something much deeper, understanding how to cherish people yet again, rather than be superficial and indifferent to their needs. The deep of this is learning how to love, be loved back without conditions. And this rarely happens overnight.
Reflecting this morning, once we have put the drink down, all the other things become more profound, for example: romance and finance. We can start looking out romantically if we are not attached, we might want to improve our finances in a magnificent way. My experience is that romance is possible in recovery, probably we get a bit more choosy and look for more interesting qualities in those we meet. As to finance, it can be helpful to be secure, but it's not what makes us tick as human beings. Everything is possible in recovery, when we let go fear, pride and ego, and channel ourselves into action with courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and the confidence to engage in living. And of course feelings need to be mutual in the romance department, and letting go fear of the negative can be very difficult.
Every day we learn something, and today simply being in a queue at the butchers was quite a merry affair. People patient and waiting, not rushing at the early hour I was there. And then as the day or the morning went on, the pace of life sped up, and I am glad I am not normal, when back in the day extravagance in all aspects of this season was a way of diverting myself from the loneliness and dread, and drinking to be Merry rather than just Merry with life. And that is the difference today, whether the holidays are conventional or not conventional, I can be happy being me and celebrating the sentiment of love in reality. What a change the steps have made in my life and the lives of everyone I encounter in Fellowship. The door is always open to new life and living. And with gentle caution, new life and living will include everything, the good, the bad and the ugly as life is and not as life might have been wished in the past.
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