Alcoholics Anonymous Blog December 31 2014 "Freedom To Choose”
Year-end, 2014 has been a remarkable year on a personal level. Sober one day at a time and then the rest of life is possible. Actually sober one day at a time means a great deal more than life is just possible, life remains possible depending on the current conditions today. But the good news is that I cannot change the past, and there have been incidents in the last year which have been exceptionally wonderful personally, and also events which do mean that there has been both joy and sadness on a regular basis. Being sober, at least I can tell the difference between the good events, the bad events and the ugly events and experience them as they are.
To thine own self be true, a good friend said how difficult it was going to be to practice this principle because being true to themselves meant that a lot of people would not like their truth. Throughout the years of my life, whenever I have deviated from the truth, first I'm lying to myself, and then I'm lying to everyone else. I can always tell when I've not been truthful to myself and to other people, trying to control people places and things, trying to control feelings and thoughts of others always leads to disagreeable personal conduct. And to be true to myself, I need to practice step ten and gratitude, and check with people around me that I am telling the truth. Denial of truth is very easy when we don't like it, the truth that is.
If I don't tell you the truth of how I feel and what I am thinking, I am stunting my emotional and spiritual value and worse taking away your free choices to make free decisions based on the person I am. If I promote myself as something different to the real person, you may never find out who I am, and even worse, I take away your free choices and decision-making to include me in what is going on or to exclude me from what is going on. It's taken years and years to recognise the real me! Actually I am a human being learning my choices day by day, hopefully based on truth about me and the truth you share with me about you.
I don't expect anyone else is any better telling the truth than me, and I don't expect that I am any better at telling the truth to you. It's something we all learning all the time. And there needs to be truth, especially in personal relationships that we have with the world and everyone we encounter. If someone tells me that they like me, I don't need to be suspicious, and people don't need to be suspicious when I tell them I like them. Love people, and recognise that we are all learning together how to relate. And when we don't know how to relate, we can share this truthfully and work it out together.
Expectations of other people, to relate well with us means we need to be ourselves as best we can or we are leading others on. And if we lead people to believe that we like them and love them, when we are not sure, or we have changed our minds in some way, this is where truth about how we are changing our outlooks is most difficult. Be in a relationship romantically, realise it's a mistake is best done soonest rather than later, or we end up married with children and then, and even then only after we have got married and had children, we might wonder why we did it in the first place. Unfortunately for me, I never got married and I have never had children, or rather fortunately for the female population of the world, by the time I might have been capable, it is too late. I smile writing this, I'm not putting myself down, but it took me a long time to realise the difference between reality and fantasy. Reality is better even if it takes a long time to get there.
Taking away the freedom of others to make free choices based on truth, it is a horrible and profoundly unfortunate deception. If we do not learn that truth is based on understandings as we go, and the more truthful we can be living together, the better the options are all round. And it is really okay to share the truth as we go, because the horrible calamity of saving up our profound and unfortunate deceptions often leads to horrible heartbreak. And even when we know the truth, love of another person and a desire to be with them, we cannot make other people be the way or feel the way that we do. And most often if we are learning the truth as we go along, those horrible cliff-hangers of denial and shock and grief are less profound and devastating. Not easy to be human.
One of my feelings about the world and everyone in it, "forgive everyone everything every day." And if you are finding it difficult to forgive either yourself for having got yourself into hot water, still keep forgiving yourself and you can forgive others for the same misfortune. Forgiveness is an action which cannot happen just because we say it, and sometimes forgiveness takes a long, long time, because we have spent a long long time doing things which need forgiving to ourselves and other people. One day at a time we can make progress into good solutions, or we can regress or standstill and feel that pain of fear ego and pride causing denial. We do need denial, we do need forgiveness, or we do not learn about love and cherishing. I always recognise that I am still learning how to be human one day at a time, and hope for forgiveness every single day because I do not know the answers to life until I am in that life situation in the moment of now.
Step Twelve Reading 12 & 12
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