Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 26 | DonInLondon | Step 12 "Freedom To Choose"
"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..."
December 26, 2013 Step Twelve Month: Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. Sometimes when a person talks loudly, it is because they are deaf and they shout to hear themselves speak. Spiritually, suggest they get a hearing aid. Sometimes when a person is loud and aggressive, it is because people have stopped listening to them, and this can be for many reasons. Sometimes there is fear, pride and ego protecting the individual from further harm in some way. If a person cannot listen and does not wish to hear what is said, it is very difficult to have a two way dialogue. This happens and we need tolerance and love, patience to find a starting point to start the conversation all over again.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. We can help people who want to be helped, in any area of life, because that is what we do if we are a human being a human being. And sometimes we cannot help, timing, we may be simply the wrong person to try and help. And there are many broken people in this world, who have experienced the sham, stuck in drudgery and are heartbroken by events beyond their control. And yesterday one of the meetings I attended, somebody said with passion that the serenity prayer brings them back to earth and gives some perspective about what can be done, what cannot be done and the ever growing wisdom to know the difference.
It may seem like overkill to go to three meetings in one day. At Christmas time, three meetings on Christmas Day is a way to catch up with many people I know and have come to know over the years. It is a time of gratitude. I have seen many people come in and find fellowship, find a new path and a new way of life. I have seen many perish over the years, sometimes because of longevity, sometimes because they are stricken by other ailments, and quite often because they were overcome by the disease of addiction and alcoholism. And hearing speakers share their experience strength and hope, some fairly new, some middle timers and some old timers, there is humour, humility and gratitude to hear and bring confidence to those who listen.
When we encounter people outside fellowship, they are very often driven by the old ways we used to have, extremes of behaviour, wanting rather than needing, reaching for the impossible expectations, their heads in the clouds and their feet no longer planted on the ground. These can be the loud and aggressive persons which require us to be tolerant and loving. And trying not to judge them too harshly when they are bitter and tired out by their endeavours. It is not easy to be human being human, especially when things don't go well. At the same time, if we can keep perspective we do not rule out anything, but we do know when to back off and mind our own business. Loud and aggressive persons do need help, and again timing can be the most important factor in helping another human listen to the world, rather than their disappointment and anger when things go wrong.
Quite a mixture yesterday, all good in the big picture of life. Time with my best friend, time was fabulous with friends in fellowship, time shared with family over the phone and far away. And yes of course one or two loud and aggressive persons who are vexatious to the spirit. In the olden days who were allowed vexatious were not tolerated at all, they would cut out of life by my indifference. I keep learning how to cherish, I keep learning about the pain of living for many, I keep learning that superficiality and indifference will kill people one way or another without due care and attention. Loving people and hating their behaviour is not uncommon especially when the world has lost sight of what is important one day at a time.
I certainly cannot solve the problems of the world, and even if I suggest how to help, it can be rejected because it just does not fit how others see reality. And of course I could be wrong! There is always room to try help people, and some of the things that we say directly may land badly on another person in the normal world. However I do believe that practising these principles of support and being challenging will always be the best path to tread. And knowing when to let go of my point of view is always the best starting place today. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Surrendering to the truth of now, it is a two-way Street of discussion and understanding and then planning what can be done next. Overall a bloody good Christmas Day!
Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,