Alcoholics Anonymous Blog December 11 2014 "Freedom To Choose”
Sharing a message: experience, strength and hope today. Every person in the world broadcasts a message of experience strength and hope. And sometimes it feels good, sometimes bad and sometimes ugly. It can be sad, it can be happy, I always feel happier hearing the truth as is for other people and hopefully I can be truthful as well. What is the point of pretending to be okay?
Phrases which undermine the truth, or maybe only reflect part of the truth, for example, "put your best foot forward," "put on a brave face and suck it up," "happy to be here, thank you for asking." Small things said to cover up the big things we don't wish to share about. When we are selective about the truth, we are ignoring what is going on inside, because we might be seen as weak?
Listening to other people, I often pick up on the years I spent unaware of my own feelings going on inside. Fear, fear of being found out. Pride, not wishing to be seen as weak. Ego, cover up to pretend that nothing was wrong. What is wrong with being vulnerable and saying so?
The learning in recent years about vulnerability has been a bit of a torment, and only because I had let a lot of feelings be pushed away, because I thought that if I shared the real truth of me back in the day, ridicule and bullying would result. And it took a long time to realise that vulnerability is an imperative, vulnerability to share true feelings with other people who we care about, it is one of the most important and powerful tools in recovery. Do I need to cover up anything today?
Sharing experience strength and hope, I love the meetings in fellowship where we can truly express what is going on. And when we are vulnerable, we find people able to share similar experiences from which we can learn. We can get feedback from those who have wisdom in areas we don't. At the same time some people will be very irritating and we can see them casting eyes upon others about our sharing in a derogatory way. Life is not about cover up or sniggering at the expense of other people, and when others do this to me, the anger and resentment boils up. And then I need forgive them, because in my own twisted way before recovery, even though I was an honest person, there was much dishonesty in the way I treated myself and other people. So when people enrage me, and this happens because I am human, I need to forgive those feelings I have, and I am very happy that in the UK nobody is allowed to have a gun, or we would be a very lawless country.
In the heat of any moment, people, places and things can bring back big memories and horrible feelings. These horrible feelings I have inside me from time to time help me understand my life and the torment others feel in life. Fortunately, these enraging moments, often are about my lack of awareness about myself and what I covered up because of fear, pride and ego. So when we hear sniggering, laughter and people glued to their telephones in meetings, that is exactly where they are meant to be. Sadly, some of those who came to Fellowship for a fix, they are now dead. And sometimes I realise whatever we do, although our message is one alcoholic talking to another alcoholic, no single alcoholic can mend and fix another alcoholic on their own.
Over the last few weeks I've been very privileged, my mother is surviving, she still has all her mental faculties, but her body is not so well. And it was her eighty-third birthday last week, and the flowers I was able to send are still alive and thriving. This is good, but there is always that nagging feeling and the worry, because I love her. So being in touch with her each day, simply to chat and be challenged on what seem to be even more difficult crossword clues, simply makes me smile.
I am also very privileged to be hearing the experience strength and hope of many people, and going to as many meetings as I can get to. Sometimes I feel I do over share, at the same time though, experience strength and hope changes every single day. People share different aspects of their recovery and their challenges, some of which are truly difficult. The more difficult these challenges may be, we realise that experience strength and hope and the wisdom we learn is vital in all aspects of life. Life continues, and it will always be difficult?
People in some of my meetings, newcomers and old-timers are still wondering what spiritual is. People talk about spirituality as if they know what it is, they may know what it is for themselves, but it does not mean that they understand spiritual the way I do or other people do. I try to keep it simple, if other people feel they are building a bigger spiritual understanding beyond reality and coping with it, I look forward to that enlightenment which continues to elude me on a daily basis. My sister's late partner, she reminded that he commented that I would be an excellent religious person in any religion, the only problem being that I don't believe in God as other people do. And thankfully my outlook prevents me from suggesting what belief is right or wrong for me or anyone else in this world.
Twelve Reading 12 & 12
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