Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 31 | 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 31, 2013 Step Twelve Month: all about daily resolutions because I am living, working and a human being in the moment of now and coping as best I can. Some days over the last year have been extremely difficult, on a personal level and quite a few people have perished. This is all part of facing reality. Every person still needs the denial process to help with overwhelming situations where we cannot cope on our own. Some realities do take time to sink in.
My daily mantra: step one: I am powerless over alcohol and prefer not to control people, places and things. Being powerless over alcohol is the strength and vulnerability all rolled into one. Now that I don't have to try controlled drinking because I don't drink at all, it ceases over time to be an issue. I could never imagine life without a drink all those years ago, it was my best friend after all and then my worst enemy. Step two: I can be restored to sanity when the world drives me mad as a Hatter on any given day by asking for help and not trying to do everything on my own. Step three: let go my opinions and beliefs, in good conscience surrender to the truth, love and wisdom of now. And remind myself the serenity prayer which highlights what I can and cannot do and then ask for help when needed to keep on learning the wisdom today.
If I can be kind to myself, follow the advice given to me by others about various aspects of my life and welcome the advice, I am in a better place and better informed about what is possible today. That simple admission of powerlessness to the way the burden of having to be right and trying to do everything to my own set of rules. I threw the rule book away, and started and still do explore the possibilities today. Part of my plan today is to make sure I check and keep my blood sugars where they ought to be by injecting insulin. I have recalled my mantra, which I forget sometimes and leads me into self will. And if I let self will run its course, I will become stubborn and defiant and hold on to my own precious opinions and beliefs which may be out of tune with reality.
Just because it does not occur to me to take a drink today, I did notice about six months ago that drinking, just the one did cross my mind. And it would be foolish of me to think that I know better and I can overcome anything in recovery on my own. That will always be a return to old thinking, then the old thinking becomes overwhelming and will go round and round in my head for days if I do not break the cycle of self will. I don't need to be in control of anything, especially people, because people have their own path and anything we do together needs to be by agreement and not in a controlling way. Any day we can change and keep on the path we find most appropriate, and if we are uncertain, or overconfident we always have people to ask in fellowship about what we are doing.
Always the many voices in fellowship required to keep one newcomer interested in their recovery. If a newcomer decides to latch on to one person and then expect one person can keep them sober, I do feel the burden is too great. So the answer is always solidarity, listening to many people share their experience, strength and hope and then slowly or quickly, a newcomer finds the freedom and the choices become more clear every single day. Freedom of choices and clarity, no two days of the same and freedom does not mean you will always get your own way. Let go self-opinion and deep seated beliefs, let in the world and find answers in consultation with good people you will find on your journey today.
Learning how to love without conditions, learning how to be loved back without conditions and find useful endeavours on a daily basis is the wonderfully good news about life in recovery. It is not about war or battles to overcome anything, it is about working together whatever you may be doing and always making sure that you are going with the flow of reality and coping with it, and the principles work in all conditions if we can remember them in time. Life will be sometimes: good bad and ugly, it may be all good some of the time, all bad some of the time, all ugly some of the time, or any combination because life is unpredictable. Not every outcome is happy or unhappy, loving or hateful, it is probably somewhere in between where we live most of the time.
If I don't know the answers for me, how can I possibly know the answers for you? Together, we make be able to work out some of the answers, and then in fellowship, and in life we may consult and seek advice from many in order to progress through each day. Humans are better working together, rather than at odds or in undermining behaviour. Then we can strive and live life on life's terms today.
It is a big big world, lots going on and we see most of it these days, we are becoming more open and able to see what is going on. Some things we need never hide from anyone because they need to know how we are on a daily basis. And it is extremely important to be careful with confidential and private information which is shared in meetings of the fellowship, or a one-to-one basis, or in groups. We can share about our own lives, it would be extremely disappointing if we gossiped or undermined another human being in any circumstances. And in the past, no matter how far up the ladder of success we may go, we will encounter some people who are bullies, full of pride, ego and especially fear. And if we cannot assert our own position for whatever reason, better to move on and get out of the way as soon as possible. Some people are all about status, position and power, I never was interested in those things, which made me a good target to be used and abused. And the worst was I nearly became what I disliked most, superficial and indifferent to humanity. Cherish people always, and never think about controlling and manipulating, it is a blight on your life and the lives of others.
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