Alcoholics Anonymous Blog Video September 22 2014
Amends and letting go. Making amends without doing further harm is really important. In my own life, owning up and telling the truth always gave freedom and choice back to everyone involved. And being truthful about my own beliefs and opinions, attitudes and behaviour opens the door to engaging with like-minded people in the right place and at the right time, in the imperfectly perfect moment of now. And the better news is, an understanding and acceptance that often my own beliefs and opinions, attitudes and behaviour may be right for me and wrong for you. And this is a two-way street, sharing beliefs and opinions is not about confrontation most of the time, it is finding common ground and the real truth of now: "emotional and spiritual, where it can only exist in the ever present, present moment."
Wrongdoing and bad choices are usually made when people have no understanding or access to doing the right thing and making good choices. It is so simple to write that statement and recognise immediately how difficult it can be for me or anyone to make good choices not only for ourselves, good choices for everyone. And so the importance of step nine is about a personal journey into what anyone can do to follow their path, their emotional and spiritual path based on truth. Just living to truth does not stop people doing bad things, and that is a matter of conscience. Each person develops and experiences life in their own particular way and the steps alone will not make a person honest with themselves, or the rest of humanity, steps offer a way forward to freedom of the spirit in the moment of now.
I feel better when I can be myself, have nothing to hide, have no reason to fear anybody for any reason that I might be found out to have done something wrong or just feel inadequate. One of the old hazards covered up by my drinking was the feeling of inadequacy, that I was not good enough in some way. And as a consequence of not feeling good enough, I would work harder and harder, become more and more successful and the more successful, the more isolated I felt. Isolation is not a good way to be as a human being, and any sort of success which isolates rather than celebrates can undermine any person. The good fortune of fellowship and the twelve steps and the twelve traditions is a complete understanding that it is okay to learn, to make the same mistakes as many times as needed and find our esteem through endeavour. Courage faith and confidence to ask for help is a great amends. And even when we don't get an answer when we ask the first time, the answer can be to stop barking up the wrong tree, and find another tree with better fruit.
Life is full of automated threats, letters, emails, bills, and worst of all challenges to our way of life which may not appeal to others. Our automatic reaction, or my automatic reaction in the past was probably trepidation and fear, which came out in interactions of anger and irritable and fruitless endeavours to put my point of view to customer service departments wherever they may be. The complete waste of time involved in these processes, derived to create silence still irritate today, only momentarily and then I change what I can about me and my behaviour. If I were a legal person, I would have a lifetime’s work, in recovery it may take only a few minutes, and then I get onto the real business of living, caring about what matters to me and the people I love. Amends to self, avoid hitting my head against brick walls and expecting other people, places and things to change to fall in line with me, because they won't.
A couple of meetings over the weekend, one the spiritual experience on a Saturday afternoon, and another being a step meeting for "men only" last night. Both remind me just how much I learn by listening to the experience strength and hope of other people. As usual I can't say who was there, but I can say I was there. And of course I cannot share the particulars of what other people said, because it is confidential. What I learned though, is that I am just an average human being learning how to live life and I am not alone. And the sharing helped me understand the difference in how I live my life today, and how inadequate an ocean of alcohol was in providing any sort of solution of the emotional and spiritual kind. Personal amends to self: learning wisdom every day is far better than isolation and personal destruction. I guess the most important part of this is learning how to cope and be there for other people when needed, and also knowing when I'm not needed.
My favourite pastime is being able to get about and photograph London and people living their lives. And getting about is difficult, at the same time I am energised by human beings. Just popping out, I bump into people from Fellowship and this is all part of living in a community of vast diversity. I revel in diversity, and the similarities and the challenges of understanding how we all get on together. I love people. And most of the time I love their behaviour.
Step nine Reading 12 & 12
Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,