Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 24 | 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 24, 2013 Step Twelve Month: what is on offer today? It is not about me, and it is not about you, it is about us working together! That is the possibility one day at a time, out of isolation and co-dependency, into friendship and equality just for today. "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..."
The impact of recovery can be very enlightening about how we became alcoholics and addicts, learning what we can do and cannot do on a daily basis, living in reality where we can make changes. Every day the challenge is always there to: step back into fear, pride and ego or to step forward with courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and gaining confidence. And when we don't know what we can and cannot do, we have resources, to ask for help and gain the wisdom to make better decisions whatever the conditions of the day. We cannot change the past, we can change our direction with freedom at any time if we are aware of the real possibilities rather than unrealistic desires we may have in our own minds eye.
I can remember suggestions outside fellowship from decades ago when flower power and hippy sayings came from the mystical east: "going with the flow." And all sorts to do with expanding our mind and spiritual experiences. People were taking drugs to expand their consciousness. Indeed they expanded their consciousness to the extremities of their skulls and not much more. Of course I could be wrong about this. In truth however going with the flow and expanding consciousness requires a real connection to now and not something that is brought on by a mind altering substance. Maybe people freed their minds, to experience the breadth of their fantasies, usually people used substances to get away from reality. Emotional and spiritual: experiencing feelings which fit with the reality of now is beyond measure.
The more we hold onto expectations, what we think we are entitled to, what we think we deserve will hinder our ability to live in the moment of now. It may seem obvious, but when a person has been put down and then trodden into the ground by the prejudice that comes with addiction, when we stop the addiction and start recovery, we do need to clear the slate and allow everyone in, until we can make a clear decision about who we need to kick out of our immediate circle and connections to this world. Just because we are clean, it will take the world a while to engage with us and to trust us today.
Quite a few people have died this year who were in the public eye and were either alcoholics or addicts, actually both alcoholics and addicts. And there has been headline news about famous people being ordered into rehab. Whatever the rehab, it is a limited intervention to start a process of recovery. Why do people fail and end up either dead or back in the dreadful disease? The primary reason is the highs that are experienced under the influence, followed by the dread and depression and lows that follow. And the torture of trying to be the "old normal person sober" is completely impossible to achieve. Recovery is about becoming a "new normal person" finding a path where feelings fit reality and we can cope with it. Everyone wants us to cope, and we want to be able to cope, and the tragedy is that people hang on to the notion that they can be returned to a normal which other people want them to be. And the horror is normal can be quite ordinary until we realise the extraordinary is simply right in front of us every single day: that is life on life's terms with a community who supports rather than exercises prejudice one day at a time.
The unrealistic expectation that we can control life, that we have expectations which put us back into our successful mode, to enjoy life as we did is simply impossible. To learn to live life on life's terms, where our feelings match the current conditions of the day, and the current conditions of the day can be good bad or ugly, takes quite a while. To be included in family again, to be included in community again, to be included in the workplace again, to find usefulness in our lives and in society, it all takes time. And the urge to fix life and be in control of it really undermines everything until we really understand the nature of powerlessness and letting go the insanity of trying to live the old life without a fix. We don't fix life, we live it.
Christmas Eve 2013, lots of people travelling, and lots of people trying to travel and getting nowhere. It can be okay to stay at home, take the pressure off, see what is possible rather than the impossible of a happy Christmas on the road, in the air, stuck on a train. With every modern connection, if you really need to see a person, you can Skype them and love them from afar. My plans this week would have involved seeing relatives. The weather forecast is frightful! And my relatives would simply prefer me to be safe and happy and they be safe and happy and not worrying over an expectation of a visit. We are in touch all the time, and it would be nice to be there in person, it is not however a necessary part of the Christmas period today. This is me speaking for myself, and having a stress free Christmas this year. And the same time, I don't know what tomorrow will bring, so there may be some stress, I cannot predict the future, at the same time I need not fear the unknowable.
Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,