Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 28 | 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 28, 2013 Step Twelve Month: "strive to be happy." "Take it easy." "Accept what we can do, and what we cannot do today." Recovery can be quite confusing when we first encounter the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. "Work it [the twelve steps principles] because you are worth it." So on one hand we need to take it easy, relax into recovery over time. And on the other hand we have to strive to be happy? And what about serenity!
Recovery is all about humility: in my case to learn how to be a human being again from scratch. I was certainly paranoid when I first got to recovery, I felt that the world was watching me and it turned out that the world was not particularly interested in one individual trying to get sober. My first discovery as a nonentity was that I was frightened and fearful of not being good enough in all respects. Fear of living was far worse than the consequences of an early grave from active addiction. At the same time I was completely surprised to find so many sober people in my neck of the woods, working together in fellowship.
This morning I am at peace with myself, have a good deal of serenity and providing I don't look at the global news for a little while, I might concentrate and reflect on how to help people face-to-face in any walk of life. Sometimes it simply comes down to a good morning to someone we pass in the street. Sometimes it is holding a person close while they shake with fear of the unknown. I no longer fear the unknown, I like not knowing, because then the journey of enquiry and inclusion begins. Not knowing the answers, well even before that, I need some questions to start the day.
Do I feel powerless over alcohol this morning? The answer is yes, and if I take a drink life will become unmanageable, because one drink will lead to another and a thousand is never enough. Am I angry about something? This morning the answer is no, so I'm not circling round and around a problem looking for a familiar solution. Should I know the answer to what needs to be done today? The answer is no, if I don't know how to do something I can ask for help finding the right people in the right place hopefully. Am I aware of my assets and liabilities with regard to my historical behaviour? Yes I am, and I need humility, courage to change and confidence, and faith in doing the next right thing. I can always share my problems and ask for help. Fear pride and ego will set me back, courage faith and confidence will help me go forward.
I can be at sixes and sevens today: step six, fear of being found out? Prideful about something? My ego stepping in to protect my feelings? Or the courage to share my situation, faith in inclusion and the confidence that not every human being is against me today. The inner voice inside my head sometimes erupts in a nightmare of olden times, and then I wake up to reality and thank my lucky stars that I am sober, can ask for help and be myself today.
I have trampled on people's toes in the past, and people trample on my toes in the present. I can continually make amends whenever amends arise these days, and I can avoid treading on the toes of others some of the time. And I can only share what is right for me, because what is right for me might be quite wrong for you. Just because my opinion and belief is wrong for you, you are not my enemy, you can be a really good source of knowledge, support and challenge on my journey of life. No single being has all the answers and probably has no answer when it comes to another person. Everyone is at a different stage in their development of their own life, we might exist in the same moment, and yet the experience of the moment will be quite different for each individual.
Every feeling known to me seems to work in the moment of now: emotions fitting with reality. Sometimes reality is to extremes, and so my feelings run high or on low in the moment. My feelings are working and they are real. How I respond in the moment of now will depend upon my feelings which drive my thinking and my actions today. Knowing my mood and how it impacts on my thinking, means I can take the time to work out what actions are appropriate. And actions speak louder than words, and the words expressed to other people have a direct impact on how they judge me in the moment of now. The phrase: "judge not, lest ye be judged," we all need to ponder on our impact on other people or we lose sight of truth, love and wisdom in the moment of now. We perceive and judge the world all the time, hopefully we put some humility, understanding and love into what we do from one moment to the next.
Our English Prime Minister, sometimes his impulsiveness and lack of restraint puts him in the public eye with unfortunate consequences. He went to Egypt after the revolution, and that was unwise diplomatically. And yesterday he went on tour to see the devastation in some of our English counties where flooding and lack of power has made life horrible for the locals. Unprepared and without a script and without any real understanding, he was lampooned and wrong footed by an inhabitant who was justifiably angry at having their Christmas ruined. Suggesting that the UK needs to get better equipped to deal with erratic weather is no answer to those who are inconsolable about their plight. Words without action, words without a plot, in other words, a man without a clue is no help at all. There is no photo opportunity in chaos and misery. Meanwhile behind-the-scenes, you can guarantee a lot of people are working very hard to put things right. So taking the photo opportunity, and making a hash of it, made the people who were suffering even angrier; and those helping the suffering would have felt very unhappy as well. In other words a bit of a dick head? I don't feel able to answer that question.
This morning, I confirm again I am at peace with the world and feel quite serene in my being. But it is early and there is plenty of time for serenity and acceptance to be lost, and then found again as life unfolds today.
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