Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Dec 5 | DonInLondon | Step 12 "Freedom To Choose"
Liberty, liberation, release, emancipation, deliverance,
December 5, 2013 Step Twelve Month: "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..." This week is proving to be a good learning week about fellowships. I have no prejudice when it comes to going to any particular Fellowship and hearing the experience strength and hope of anyone anywhere in recovery. Although I am an AA Fellowship man from the start, the good fortune to have NA meetings and other meetings on my doorstep is proving to me that I do belong in any Fellowship today. Of course it does feel awkward at first and then the sharing is wonderful, it is about spiritual reality, and thus it was today.
Why did spirituality jump out at me this morning? It happened during the reading of step five from the NA big book. I have never heard it read aloud before and it was good just to absorb. I know I talk a lot about spiritual: feeling life as it is in the moment of now. And for some reason hearing it in relation to step five helped me greatly.
I realised that from an early age I was growing into a culture of work hard and play hard. The harder we worked, the reward was to play even harder. This work hard play hard ethic, it seemed to have no bounds and I had no clue that I was capable of being addicted to anything. And I do realise I was addicted to work, the money, romance and relationships, and alcohol in the end, because somewhere along the line, if we don't have the good sense to slow down a bit, we will break emotionally and spiritually by what we have done and keep on doing because we cannot stop. And I realised the answer in all this could have been to: work well, and play well one day at a time. Working well is to the balance of needs met, and play well is to be a participant and to be able to let go making it the only goal in life.
I also realise that life taught me how to grow into being a certain way, to become something I never thought I would, a half rebellious and yet compliant hard worker with perfectionism at my core. Of course I did not realise this perfectionism was going to be a problem, I simply went on "doing" when everyone else had gone home to rest. So as I grew into addiction in any direction, stopping the addictive behaviour, first I needed to know I was an addict, an alcoholic and capable of obsessing on anything anywhere back in the day. And today, one day at a time I keep growing in a more balanced way, understanding spiritual and emotional and the truth of now. I feel really good right now, even though there was a difference of opinion about reality not so long ago.
Spiritual reality, this is the very core of living. And to listen and hear those words in the NA step five, was very gratifying. And there was mention of step ten which is a continuation of our own personal behaviour on a daily basis, being very helpful in understanding our extreme feelings in any moment are real. We have feelings and they are real, we then respond to our feelings by thinking, and then the actions which follow. We might have extreme feelings about something, and then our thinking tempers what we do and the actions we take. If we just responded with the reality of how we feel in extreme moments, I think the population would diminish considerably in no time at all. Spiritual reality! Always learning this is the condition in which we live in the imperfectly perfect moment of now.
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