Friday, 11 April 2014

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 11 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory"

Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | April 11 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory"



April 11 Video


DonInLondon April 11, 2014: step four month: "fear less inventory." What have I got to fear today? Nothing! I have not had a gut wrenching feeling of fear recently. When I went to the hospital to get some test results for internal examinations and scans, it was only a couple of minutes beforehand that I experienced any grip of fear. And the outcome, is there is nothing to worry about. And there is nothing sinister to report from scans within.


And I guess with the help of Fellowship and the serenity prayer in particular, I keep on learning what I can do, and what I cannot do, and the wisdom to know the difference. Some things cannot be speeded up to be done efficiently in my time frame. I just need to know and ask about the time frame, which is being worked to any particular subject, activity and outcome. I am often in a queue when it comes to medical matters, telephone answering services and the fact that people have lives to lead which are quite separate from my own. Nothing to fear on that score, just be aware of my own impatience.


An absolute delight this week to be involved in a project being run by somebody else. I was asked to role-play a despicable husband! And fortunately somebody else had written the words, because I have never been a despicable husband, more often a fast-moving and hard to pin down partner in real life. Until now, of course, I'm not frightened and I don't feel that I need to measure up to any particular standard of behaviour beyond open honest and willing to be myself and have a go. But it was good to see how easily relationships can be made good, or can be made bad depending on what people say and do and their motives which are often hidden, even to themselves.


Less fear, more faith: an attractive sound bite. But what does it mean in practice? In the past, it would be fear of what might happen if I got things wrong, and very often the blinkers would go on because of it. Or worse, imagination would take hold and I would not measure up to what I imagined I was supposed to do, be it romance or finance. More faith in trying new things, more faith in making mistakes and learning from them, more faith in being myself and not trying to be someone else takes away the pressure I would inflict upon myself, and worse, give up my power to bullying types who are all around us all the time.


Being secure by being myself: reminding myself every single day that there will be good, bad and ugly situations and I don't know what they are going to be, until they start happening. When I interact with other people, I might be very open, honest and willing to participate, it does not mean everybody else feels the same way, and sometimes we will encounter people who have lots of fear going on. And they who fear are not only brutal with themselves, they are brutal with other people around them. Sometimes we can help and offer support, and other times we need keep our own counsel, or we get our heads bitten off.


Can do can't do: learning what I can do, change me and my attitudes is a possibility. Cannot do: it's not my job to change, you or even think I should try correct another person’s attitudes and behaviour. At the same time if somebody is being bad and ugly with me or anyone else, I can say so, because it is the truth. And then I need deal with the consequences of my truth telling. And telling the truth will not always be tolerable to other people as we trample on their beliefs and opinions about reality today.


DonInLondon 2004 - 2013


Alcoholics Anonymous | April 11 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" For example: twelve steps to help with in everyday life: what happens when you wake up? Have you got a head full of thinking about what you have to do, and how do you feel about that? I need to get up and get washed, I'm in a rush, and I’ve got things to do. And if I don't get started now, I'll never catch up. I must do this, I must do that, and I am already hungry, angry, lonely and tired! I haven't got time to think about recovery right now…


For example: I've had a sleepless night, only a couple of hours of sleep or less, my head is churning with all the things I am worried about. Deadlines, what people think of me, I'm short of money, where did my romance go, why does it always happen to me? I haven't got time to put recovery into practice right now. It's all right for some, they seem to live and breathe recovery, but they don't have my problems, and my problems are getting in the way of anything to do with spiritual. And spiritual is for wimps, emotional nonsense is not something for me.


For example: I want to follow the old dream, where I can do anything, I can be with anyone, and the world is at my feet. I am frustrated by life, it never seems to be quite what it was supposed to be. Other people got the breaks and I didn't. And when I got my break, somebody undermined me. I don't like the way the world is, what am I going to do to get ahead, and be number one in my work or family or both. When will people really see me and what I'm worth. Why don't people do what I tell them to do. Why doesn't anyone see my point of view. They undermined me, they robbed me of my chances, no wonder I drank, no wonder I had another affair, no wonder the world has gone to hell in a hand basket. There is no God. And I haven't got time for anything to do with this recovery nonsense, life is too short. Those people in fellowship, I don't know where they are, I reckon they are on another planet. A bit like Brazil, where the nuts come from…


For example: If I am pulled back into the negative way of thinking, and the madness of how it life used to be starts to rule my actions, I will completely forget about emotional and spiritual, because that is just what happens. When I forget to check out my mood, in the most straightforward way, H.A.L.T. hungry, angry, lonely and tired, forgetting these feelings will place me in a negative mood all day long. Are we that simple? In our decision-making, so often we are driven by thoughts, we forget what is driving them, feelings drive our mood, feelings drive us mad, feelings can help us get back to sanity. We are so programmed to believe that thinking rules everything and that thinking comes first, because we have been taught to think. And there are very few lessons in emotions: "feelings always drive what happens next." Using thinking to explore your emotional and spiritual life? Truth, love and wisdom: explore the truth of how you are feeling right now, explore who you love and how important love is in your life. And then ask yourself, what do I need to do today? Who takes time to understand their mood right now? Probably people who know it's a good idea to know your mood and then understand why you're thinking is quite wonky today…


For example: I feel good, I think good, and I have good outcomes, sometimes it works out my way, often it just works out the way it can. I feel bad, I think bad and the outcomes are bad, and I knew it would be that way! It felt ugly, and the more I thought about it, it was very ugly and outcomes were ugly as well. When I felt good, I was not hungry, angry, lonely and tired, but when life was going bad, it just got me down and I couldn't get out of it. And when it was ugly, I felt so angry and horrible. I could not sleep. And I missed breakfast, I was late, and nothing was going well… Why didn't I consider doing a step ten last night and writing a gratitude list, and why have I forgotten to do this for ages, or given no time to me to work out how to start again. Why don't I do the basics, basics are for wimps! Or are they?


How am I feeling this morning? When I woke up, I felt thirsty, blood sugars too high, need insulin, inject insulin. What is my mood? How am I really feeling? The true answer right now is I felt better for a cup of coffee. I felt worse, listening to the news, because I have time to do so. I felt better doing a couple of morning routines. And then of course I am reminded of my morning meditation which takes a few seconds: "step one, I am powerless over people places and things and if I try control them, life will get unmanageable. Step two, doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result is mad. Step three, let go my way, being the only way, and ask for help if I feel I need it." "Can do cannot do and wisdom to know the difference." That few second meditation in my head or spoken aloud, it takes as much time as it does to switch on the kettle, go for a pee and flush the loo. Those few seconds focusing on, can do cannot do and then the big question, how am I feeling? If you know your starting point with your mood, you will know what needs to be done. Usually if we feel H.A.L.T. Hungry or angry or lonely or tired, or all of them, we need conscious contact with someone and in recovery, hopefully we can…


Alcoholics Anonymous | April 11 2012 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" Today's AA daily reflection: "a word to drop: blame" the key for me in all this notion of blame is to remind myself of the serenity prayer, "serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference..."

Video For Today:

Step four is clearly difficult when our heads are full of old attitudes and behaviour where we may have blamed the world for our woes. In the writing of our inventory, which is sometimes called the grudge list we start to see where the blame is, most often continuing to do the same old things expecting something to happen which is different. A lot to do with step two in my case, where being restored to sanity is contingent on my ability to remember what I can and cannot do today and need remind myself on a daily basis with the serenity prayer and a reminder to self, "I need ask for help when needed!"


Practising and living life with the benefit of the twelve steps really helped in early days after step four and step ten and spot-check inventories continually let me see my part in all matters. Often my part where situations will not to my liking meant I was either in the wrong situation or expecting the situation to change with regard to people, places and things. In the past I have lingered too long in the wrong place with the wrong people trying to do the right thing! Stopping old behaviour and having the courage, faith and confidence to move on, let go and very often say no… Especially in the finance and romance departments…


Key triggers to relapse and disaster are often highlighted, especially activities involving finance and romance. Spot checks of my part in matters, where I might be wanting rather than needing finance and romance to work will always place me in risky situations. Romance and finance are absolutely part of life and if we are fearless and rigorous and honest, rather than needy and sneaky and hoping against the odds, chances are we feel better able to cope with reality, especially when we are successful…


Yesterday, a medical consultation regarding physical and emotional ailments. I set my expectations to zero, and during the hour and a quarter wait, at the diabetic clinic, I read up on what the consultation ought to be based on information on the leading diabetes UK website. If I had set my expectations to those suggested on the website as to conduct of the consultant, I would have walked away full of anger and resentment. Utilising the program and with zero expectations I was able to walk away with a modicum of anger and resentment, and reciting the serenity prayer put me back on track for the rest of the day… No blame, medical services do not set their own standards, it is a political and historical mess…


DonInLondon 2005-2011


Steps one to nine are in an order for a reason. When I came into fellowship under my own steam, my then sponsor suggested the practice of step ten, eleven and twelve were good to practice from the outset. Step ten, what disturbed me and a gratitude list. Step eleven, pray and meditate. Twelve, get to meetings every day, be there and listen...


As we wake, dreams fade, feelings and thoughts emerge. How am I feeling, why and what to do, a thousand thoughts not yet formed ~ Kahlil Gibran "In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed" -/- Step three and acceptance, opens up our choices for today...


No single human source is a higher power, truth is developed through learning our own wisdom and wisdom from many others life experiences. We can find it difficult to listen and hear truth ~ Leo Buscaglia "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around" -/- Listening and hearing truth, a human skill we can develop...


AA Daily Reflection: A WORD TO DROP: "BLAME" To see how erratic emotions victimized us often took a long time. We could perceive them quickly in others, but only slowly in ourselves. First of all, we had to admit that we had many of these defects, even though such disclosures were painful and humiliating. Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word “blame” from our speech and thought. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 47


When I did my Fourth Step, following the Big Book guidelines, I noticed that my grudge list was filled with my prejudices and my blaming others for my not being able to succeed and to live up to my potential. I also discovered I felt different because I was black. As I continued to work on the Step, I learned that I always had drunk to rid myself of those feelings. It was only when I sobered up and worked on my inventory, that I could no longer blame anyone.


As Bill Sees It ~ Spot-Checking A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of disturbances can be of very great help in quieting stormy emotions. Today's spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day's march. The consideration of long- standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose.

The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes. TWELVE AND TWELVE PP. 90-91


Step Four Video 12 And 12

Step Four Video 12 And 12


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