Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 29 | 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 29, 2013 Step Twelve Month: the New Year is just around the corner! And then I start looking at step one for the whole of the month of January. I'm not sure if I will concentrate exactly on the step and tradition, or I might try something new which is to look at one step a day? The more we are familiar with the steps, the more we are able to practice these principles in all our affairs. In other words live the steps rather than just know them or think we have done them and can move on to something else?
It is a good time of year to reflect on what has happened over the last one. Quite a lot of health issues for me personally, quite a lot of issues to do with where I live. The health issues are on-going, and most of the horrible possibilities have been investigated and I don't need to worry, nothing is falling off, no more chronic ailments have been added, and even my "willie" works with a little help from the medicine cabinet. I am laughing at myself, not defects of character, simply dysfunctional as a consequence of age. These days, it doesn't matter what is going on providing I am able to be honest, open and willing to share the truth. And as to minor repairs required to my abode, I can let go trying to manage it, and hand it over to the landlord whose job it is to make good on their part of the bargain.
December, has been a good month even though there was a funeral and although it was sad to lose someone, the celebration of their life was a hoot. Fellowship, we see all sides of life more clearly and although someone has gone, we learn how to cherish them and remember them in all their facets of character. Newcomers in abundance over the last few weeks. And I am hoping they have survived Christmas, and will survive New Year. I don't care if they relapse, I simply hope they keep coming back and find life can be highly illuminating and entertaining, and that whether it is: good, bad or ugly, facing reality and coping with it and feelings fitting with the moment is far preferable to being out of it, out of control and lost.
Sometimes we do face conundrums. Romance and finance are always the ones which can cause upheaval. And somehow we come to a balance of knowing the difference between what we need, and the wants which will lead to the extremes all over again. If our basic needs can be met, wants can be forgotten. And the simple elements of being human, is that we can be human. Unconditional love where we are able to cherish rather than to raise our expectations is good. But there can be deception in that because we are full of natural instincts. Sometimes we pull back from romance because we fear losing friendship. Only to realise that if romance flourishes elsewhere, friendship changes as more intimate connections are made. Life changes all the time and this is good.
In conversation over the last year, when people in recovery breakup romantically, it is not as before if both individuals have been honest with each other. Deep connections happen naturally and this is the nature of human beings. At the same time if there is truth, love and wisdom developing between two people, either intimacy flourishes or diminishes which is absolutely normal. There is no reason to feel that we ought to be something ought to be doing something just because it looks right. Even though things might look right on the outside, it is what is going on inside that matters most and needs to be expressed. Never hold on to what is not working, and there is no need to blame when people are truthful and honest with each other.
The good news about sobriety is we never have to be lonely, we develop connections and friendships with like-minded people. And there will be people who we have no connection to and they don't share the same values and outlooks, and we can let them go without any unpleasantness and any hindrance. And sometimes people try to latch on to ask for help which is good and we can. At the same time we do not need to be false to ourselves or them. To thine own self be true.
I don't know why, or other I do know why I haven't been asked to sponsor anybody this year, and nobody has asked me to be their sponsor. And thankfully, I am okay with this, I prefer to be a friend rather than named as a sponsor to anyone. I get no kick from any elevation above my station. Equality in all matters is my preference. The preference being, to be helpful in the moment of now and recognise that redundancy is always key to opening the door to new experiences every single day. I feel we are often better helping in the moment rather than being a long-term source. People need to keep on growing and finding their natural connections one day at a time. And sometimes the best outcome for any sponsor is to become a friend rather than a mentor, the burden being too great for one individual.
In all the years of sobriety, it has always been the many voices sharing their experience strength and hope which keeps me sober today. The wisdom grows from all the voices sharing, and one voice, especially my own is never ever enough. And that are the two reasons, there is always more in the world I don't know about and therefore cannot comment will suggest. And secondly, I too have a life and I need to ask for help and respond and absorb new experiences every single day.
The greatest gift we can give is unconditional love, understanding the limits we have as individuals, learning what it means to cherish rather than be superficial or indifferent. And if we do not know what the meaning of a word is, for example the word "cherish," we need to take time to reflect through meditation what the word or words mean emotionally, the feelings and how they are working in the moment of now. Life is difficult, beautiful, ugly, extraordinary, and ordinary all the same time. We can cherish always.
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