Alcoholics Anonymous Blog Video August 3 2014
Eighth month, eighth step: listing amends and be willing to make them. Patience, tolerance and love, and forgiveness. The good news in Fellowship, we are all fellows in the same moment of now, and what we do in the moment of now is the best we can be in the moment of now? I suppose it does matter in the moment of now, because that is who we are, and that is the person that other people see. So patience, tolerance and love, and forgiveness might need to start when we look in the mirror every day.
Step eight, that pesky list of amends and learning how to be willing to make them. Amends to self: step one is to admit and accept powerlessness over alcohol and that if I drink again, life will go to hell in a handbasket, and be completely unmanageable. Sometimes we are tested beyond our ability to cope by people who really do evoke the most horrible feelings, and I was talking about this with a friend recently. The question that they raised was very simple when it came to anger, rage and resentment at somebody in the moment of now: "do I want to end up in prison as a consequence of my feelings in the moment?" And the answer from a sane person would be no. Even when the insanity suddenly rises up emotionally to hurt another person because of what they have done. They answer is no, not ever.
Addiction is self-harm, and very harmful to anyone involved. From happiness, to sadness, to madness. And if we cannot really understand the ailment, the disease of addiction, it is very hard to find any sort of forgiveness for the addict by the addict. Which is why the first step of admitting and accepting the disease, it is a powerful understanding, and yet this disease can take away reason, evoke emotional dependence in any moment of now, if we are not aware and do not practice the emotional and spiritual path. I don't know what it is, something can remind me of the olden days, the good old olden days when life was fun with a drink in hand. It is not about ignoring these moments of dalliance with death, it is about admitting and accepting what the consequences would be and the havoc to be wrought in the moment of now. Relapse can be based on rage, and at the other extreme, relapse can come from joy and forgetfulness. A desire to be normal once again. I forgive myself for those thoughts and feelings that cause them. To be like everybody else, to abandon caution can happen in any moment of now. So every morning step one, step two and step three are a good starting point to every day I wake up and enjoy my sobriety hopefully all day long. That is my first amend to self every day. Forgive, forgive forgive.
I speak to my mum or my sister every day, and the reason why is very clear, I love them and feel better knowing they are going about their daily living. They used to live very close, and now they are quite a distance away. And I feel better knowing that life goes on, whether it's good, bad or ugly. My sister overstretched at Pilates last week, and my mum is getting used to a new regime to regulate her blood and her heart rate with new medication. Mum at home, doing a giant crossword as per normal, my sister had bought tickets for theatre, and she went on her own, because mum did not feel up to it. I will go see them soon, it's a need, and it is because I love them. And oddly enough, even after the horrors I put them through, they love me. Living amends based on love and connection and most of all inclusion, and still learning love along the way.
Recovery is not a theory, amends are for real in the moment of now. It becomes pointless to be enraged when old feelings surface when we face characters who evoke them. Sometimes, by sharing our feelings as they happen, owning the feelings we have can build a bridge. Sometimes it can be made solid and we become connected and understand ourselves better and learn to understand others and what we have done to them. Sometimes, and quite often we may simply need to change direction and move away, there are toxic people in all walks of life, just as we had become toxic in the past, and it took the Fellowship to help us one day at a time. Just because we know the answers, it does not mean those answers are appropriate for them. The judgement to walk away, it can be the best answer in the moment of now. Willingness, judge not, tolerance and love, forgiveness becomes the essence in the moment if we are prepared and practice one day at a time.
Step Eight Reading 12 And 12
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