Monday, 17 February 2014

Alcoholics Anonymous | Feb 17 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 2 "Sanity"

Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Feb 17 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 2 "Sanity"


February 17 Video


DonInLondon February 17, 2014: step two month: "came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." Half term in the UK, at least some parts of the UK, including London, where I live and attend meetings. So quite a lot of people missing this Monday morning as they tend to children and family activities. The meeting felt a bit flat? Not really just me and it was all about step four: "the fearless moral inventory." And we all took part in reading the step together. And then share about it.


Whenever people share their experience strength and hope of life in recovery, I can share how it impacts on me as an individual, but never share the specifics of another person’s life. That would be wrong and break trust. And step four is one of those steps, where people share quite openly about their life experiences. So without going into any detail, the impact on me this morning was not really about step four, more about how steps in the Fellowship become principles in living a more normal and fruitful life in the moment. All about emotional and spiritual, when we engage in trying to understand how the twelve steps work means that we spend a considerable amount of time thinking about the steps, rather than their true purpose, which is to get to a place of emotional stability. Whether life is good, bad or ugly?


I sometimes wonder if I am alone in understanding that Fellowship is all about emotional and spiritual, when people are jumping through intellectual hoops to find answers when indeed they may be asking the wrong questions to start with. Yesterday I was sharing that I felt the steps cannot be regulated and put into an instruction book. And yet somehow people crave the instruction book, rather than the liberty and freedom offered through emotional and spiritual well-being. Somehow it seems the cart can be put before the horse and the horse is unwilling to head for water or drink it. Discovering feelings in the moment of now takes away control at the instruction book would seem to offer.


I felt disappointed with the almost intellectual considerations being shared. The idea that we can manufacture feelings if we do the right thing. If this were so, that we would feel right, if we put in the right effort using our thinking, that we could project manage our emotional response to life, my feelings about this morning illustrate that I cannot think my way into emotions, emotions are there and then I think about them. If somebody said to me: "follow my instructions with step four and by the end of it, you will be able to control your feelings." I know I wouldn't be able to control my feelings in this practice of "doing the steps."


A lot of people quite angry yesterday, even though it was a sunny day here in the UK. A lot of people went out to play because they have been cooped up for a long time. The frustration of trying to pack a lot into a short space of time did not give feelings of peace and serenity, a normal amount of happiness and the normal amount of satisfaction. In the main people had built-up expectations of a good day, based on sunshine, and unfortunately all the activities got in the way of good feelings through impatience, intolerance and other people getting in the way! Feelings in the moment of now. Contingent on the current conditions and your own personal expectations being unreasonable or reasonable. Unreasonable expectations about the current conditions, seems to lead to resentments? So trying to think yourself into good feelings can be almost impossible. This is where self help, self-determination, promising beyond your wildest dreams can lead you to the complaints Department in your head and the heads of everybody around you.


Step four, about realising where we have been bent out of shape by our own behaviour and actions, by the way society is today and not really understanding our own feelings in the moment of now. Not very literate emotionally and only feelings felt at extremes, rather than some place of normal, whatever normal might be. The return to reality and feeling life as it is, that is normal. Trying to contrive our feelings to fit with reality is a waste and unachievable goal.


I just feel life would improve for most people, if they could let go and experience life, emotionally in the moment of now. Rather than try think it to feel it. Which only goes to suggest there is no point trying to fake it to make it.



DonInLondon 2004 - 2013


Alcoholics Anonymous | February 17 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 2 "Sanity" | "sensible, sensitive, sensual, luscious, lush, sensuous, voluptuous... Naturally!" We are of nature and naturally we will have desires, which are all right and good. Desires and emotions in the moment of now, knowing them, and understanding them is part of reality in the moment of now. I did not get sober to be some sort of bogus puritan. I got sober to be a real human having a human experience today…


Just like any newspaper reporter looking for the story, which can make life look a certain way, sometimes we concentrate on what we fear will take us back to madness and all we need to do is look at what we fear and deal with it. Not just think about it, we need to really understand where extreme behaviour has undermined our ability to live a natural life. Natural desires are good if we understand what "natural desires" really means and how it relates to our code of conduct as a human being. And we do have to take account of a moral code, which is universally understood. Personal conduct becomes an issue of conscience and how we really are, living in reality and behaving in a natural and consistent manner with the world. Personal choices, personal morality and universal morality is all part of life today. If there is a word to describe a feeling or an action, it is common and natural for these emotions and thoughts to occur. In life we are not judged by our words, we are judged by our actions…


Being restored to sanity by a higher power, “the truth, love and wisdom available to me today,” and not being made into a Puritan, not fearing our feelings, simply understanding them first of all. At the beginning of my journey in recovery, I truly had no natural emotional connection to anything, least of all, myself. And the extreme feelings which erupted and could no longer be quelled or medicated to oblivion, meant I certainly had no grip on reality, or sanity. There is no fix to dealing with feelings in the moment of now, because if our feelings are working correctly, they are simply what they are. At the same time, I had enough gumption to realise that my feelings were quite extreme and horrible in my early days and I needed a safe place to sit some of the time, vent some of the time, and listen to everybody else, similar to me in the fellowship of AA. As is often said, time is the healer. True that time is the healer, as long as we are learning where we got to, why we got there, and what to do about it. Just for a day and then another day and another till my wits returned…


What is it like being restored to sanity? To get to a place of acceptance, where I can cope with the good things, the bad things and the ugly things of life, first I needed to recognise my situation, admit and accept the truth about my rock bottom. And then realise that any state of mind is contingent on asking myself what it is and asking for help to keep me on track. Those who have tried meditation and prayer, no matter what you think you may be praying to, God, good conscience, the universe: the action of prayer and meditation provides focus and clarity in the moment of now. I can see when my emotions are out of kilter, in balance, or just plain difficult. And if I feel like I am in "two minds," and then I really do feel the need to ask for help…


If only there was a qualification we could pass which would certify our sanity! And then we wouldn't have to worry would we, or about anything anymore? Fortunately there is no qualification when it comes to sanity, and there is no qualification to emotional and spiritual living. No matter what we are doing today, the impact will cause an emotional and spiritual awareness, where feelings are happening, and we are either coping, or not coping in the moment of now. We will still encounter good, bad and ugly today and the quality of our emotional and spiritual experiences will depend upon our personal impact on the situation by what we do, or do not do, moment to moment. Your choices, your actions are your spiritual experience today…


The serenity prayer becomes more and more important to me in any given situation. And when the serenity prayer is backed by the principles of living to truth and love, and continuing to learn the wisdom of life, we are being open, honest and willing to change. Regardless of my religious beliefs, and anybody's religious beliefs, the serenity prayer is a way back to sanity when there is insanity and extreme feeling in the moment of now. Learning what we can do right now, and learning what we cannot do and now, and developing this wisdom as we go, will lead back to serenity even when we cannot resolve issues immediately and today. We learn the progress in the endeavour we undertake, we learn what is natural and right, how truth and love steers us to integrity and fairness and equality. One day at a time… At least that is where I am and not necessarily where people I encounter may be today…


I'm so pleased that I have got my natural instincts back, not so pleased that my natural instincts have been impacted by maturity, very pleased and fond of genuine good times to be recollected and cherished and extremely pleased that sanity can be restored on a daily basis. The can do and cannot do, natural fears, natural courage, as nature intended? Nature intends we learn and keep on learning until we reach our expiry date, whenever that may be. And today, whether we behave to the good, bad or ugly of who we are will be the best we can be today. And when we encounter other people, it is the best they can be, good bad or ugly in the moment and for today. Our actions will always speak louder than the words, and that is the price that every human pays…



Alcoholics Anonymous | February 17 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 2 "Sanity" | Today's AA daily reflection: "from fear and punishment to love and acceptance." As the Beatles said in their song, "all we need is love" and this can be very difficult to understand after a long period of near drinking ourselves to death. We have no esteem, the brave face covering up our fears and trepidations and our worthiness to be alive at all…


It takes time to understand what redemption means in recovery, that there is opportunity to redeem ourselves and find what is possible in sober living. Our self-reliance and self-harm, self-loathing and isolation is almost impenetrable in early days. The notion that a power greater than us can help restore us to sanity just for a day is very difficult to accept. Whatever we choose to be a higher power in our lives, needs to be based on love and forgiveness for ourselves and every single person we feel may have wronged us in our journey of life…


As newcomers, we may be impatient to be fixed and as regular members in our fellowship we can be impatient with newcomers. No single human in the context of recovery can assume responsibility for another without the danger of undermining the greater power and wisdom available in the fellowship. The accumulated wisdom of the many sharing experience, strength and hope is more balanced and broad than one single view, including me!


DonInLondon 2005-2011


The next right action is often a combination of all our personal attributes: some believe in God, some do not, and some who believe God exists have no faith and some who do not believe have faith! Fear, a brave face and ego exist in all of us. And courage, faith and confidence too. All these attributes exist and play their part in how we live, useful when in balance and harmful at extremes. Each attribute an asset or liability in our lives today...


We all have our mountains of problems, unravelling them gently with help as each day passes, we stop climbing and start walking the potholed road of happy destiny.. Socrates "If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart." -/-


Problem to solution ~ Edward Hodnett "A good problem statement often includes: (a) what is known, (b) what is unknown, and (c) what is sought." I knew I was being driven mad, I did not know why, I asked for help in a moment of clarity "I cannot do life well on my own.." Fellowship was and is the key…


Potholes and puddles on the trudge of destiny are always a part of our happiness overall ~ W. C. Doane "Life has no smooth road for any of us; and in the bracing atmosphere of a high aim the very roughness stimulates the climber to steadier steps till the legend, "over steep ways to the stars," fulfils itself." -/- Without the sad, we could not know happiness and the difference we learn to cherish..


Denial comes before the madness, then the madness keeps us stuck ~ G. K. Chesterton "It isn't that they can't see the solution, it's that they can't see the problem." Ignorance is never bliss...


Embrace everything and ask for help when help is needed ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti "If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem." -/- Call your sponsor, ask a friend, seek professional help, let go self will, let in experience strength and is there if we ask the right source at the right time.. Don


Embrace both 6 & 7: Step 6 too much of [overly stuck] brave facing , fear and ego blocks us to; step 7, our need to develop [short on] courage, faith and confidence. Balance in life is always in the day, ~ Ralph J. Bunche "You can surmount the obstacles in your path if you are determined, courageous and hard-working. Never be fainthearted. Be resolute, but never bitter.... Permit no one to dissuade you from pursuing the goals you set for yourselves. Do not fear to pioneer, to venture down new paths of endeavour." -/-


"science" of life, reliance on self-determination based on isolated thinking, "art" of life flowing with our feelings and thinking illuminated by our inclusion in the world and openness to learn ~ Bernard M. Baruch "The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them." -/- 12 steps of providence..


AA Daily Reflection: THE LOVE IN THEIR EYES ~ FEBRUARY 17, Some of us won’t believe in God, others can’t, and still others who do believe that God exists have no faith whatever He will perform this miracle. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 25


It was the changes I saw in the new people who came into the Fellowship that helped me lose my fear, and change my negative attitude to a positive one. I could see the love in their eyes and I was impressed by how much their “One Day at a Time” sobriety meant to them. They had looked squarely at Step Two and came to believe that a power greater than themselves was restoring them to sanity. That gave me faith in the Fellowship, and hope that it could work for me too. I found that God was a loving God, not that punishing God I feared before coming to A.A. I also found that He had been with me during all those times I had been in trouble before I came to A.A. I know today that He was the one who led me to A.A. and that I am a miracle.


"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity"



Step Two Video 12 And 12

Step Two Video 12 And 12



Step One Video 12 & 12

Step One Video 12 & 12


AA Big Book Video | Chapter 1 | Bill's Story |

AA Big Book Video | Chapter 1 | Bill's Story |


AA Big Book Video | Chapter 2 | There Is A Solution |

AA Big Book Video | Chapter 2 | There Is A Solution |



AA Big Book Video | Chapter 3 | More About Alcoholism |

AA Big Book Video | Chapter 3 | More About Alcoholism |



AA Big Book Video | Chapter 4 | We Agnostics |

AA Big Book Video | Chapter 4 | We Agnostics |



AA Big Book Video | Chapter 5 | How It Works |

AA Big Book Video | Chapter 5 | How It Works |


Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

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