Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | March 28 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 3 "Your Higher Power"
DonInLondon March 28, 2014: step three month: "made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him." Survivor guilt can be very consuming in recovery. Sometimes it feels like many people have been given a very bad break in life, something goes wrong and their life seems to be over before it started. And after the punishment we gave ourselves, we feel like we ought to be taken instead of them. If I could, I would have taken my father's place in the queue when he died. Life is precious and the sorrow of loss brings up so many feelings.
Our meeting was all about feelings, and sometimes when we reach another anniversary in recovery, we feel good that we have survived another year, and can feel just as bad in the same moment, either because life is horrible, or we feel guilty to be alive at all. There is no rhyme nor reason. And when we find ourselves with other ailments, just as dangerous and easily terminal, we can lose perspective all over again. One day at a time, if we project forwards too far, fear comes knocking on the door and we can lose faith in doing the next right thing today. Very easy because when we lose perspective, that today can work, all the problems of the future can cloud anyone's judgement. Every feeling is real, and with perspective and connection with others, we can make the best of what is, rather than what might be, or what was possible in the past.
Wednesday, just two days ago felt very bleak when I couldn't get about, my transport was broken, and I couldn't do anything I wanted in the moment of now. And that bleak feeling became anger and resentment very quickly because some things just needed to be done! The answer was to share my woes, get some perspective and see what was possible and not possible. I simply forgot the basics of recovery, keep it simple, be responsive, and remind myself that the world is not against me. And it's okay to have feelings which some people might consider negative. Every feeling has purpose, and if we pause long enough to experience and understand the feeling, we know the impact on our thinking and the impact on our actions.
I wanted to speak this morning, and then I didn't. I could see pain on the faces of my fellows, not all of them, just some of them, and it was good to hear what they had to say. We all have complicated feelings about the life we have, especially when we have no control over what's going on. I don't know why I forget that I cannot control anything, except my actions and behaviour, and that's all right, I get reminded every day just what it is to be powerless in this powerfully exasperating world.
Even though I cannot make things happen in my time today, I am open to changing my plans at any stage. A great conversation this morning at around 6 o'clock, or was it five? Actually was somewhere near 5 o'clock in the morning, all about life and how it changed through the week. From Monday to Friday a series of events have made the week work out well, but of course there's always today. And even I do not know what might happen in the next twenty-four hours. I do have perspective just now, but it might change, indeed it will change as the flow of life happens, leaving me powerless and happily so, all day long.
Full Daily Blog Link 2014:
DonInLondon 2004 - 2013
Alcoholics Anonymous | March 28 2013 | Steps In Action | Step 3 "Your Higher Power" "nor ought AA membership ever depend on money or conformity." Our nonconformist fellowship opens the door to anyone anywhere who has a desire to stop drinking. If there had been any issues of money or conformity undoubtedly the fellowship would be a lot different. And I would be dead…
The longer we are in fellowship, to the old-timer who is learning the wisdom of life, the openness of our fellowship becomes more obvious. To the bleeding Deacon, still stuck in old attitudes and old behaviours around manipulation and control and wanting it their way or no way, the openness of the fellowship makes them awkward, loud, complaining and bitter that things aren't the way they used to be... I was looking online to find fellowship and recovery sites, the number is overwhelming. At the same time, face-to-face, and in meetings, I still feel the power and the wisdom of experience, strength and hope shared. And then it seems, it is shared in many places over and over again. Fellowship is working and so are other means of recovery today… Without fellowship, it is doubtful if all these other means of recovery could even be contemplated let alone available to many more who have never heard of Alcoholics Anonymous…
The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous has provided me with the backbone, and the foundation of my recovery. Without a doubt if it had not been suggested to me, where would I be? With over six hundred meetings in my locality, all different and all focused on a desire to stop drinking and share a message of experience, strength and hope, I have gratitude beyond measure. The literature, the big book of experience strength and hope, twelve steps and twelve traditions, as Bill sees it, daily reflections and lots more besides is utilised within fellowship and outside it. The twelve steps as life principles help me every day, and the twelve traditions, which focus on unity, service and recovery in the main keep meetings healthy today…
And social networks, websites of all descriptions about recovery from so many different types of addiction will prevail for a good long time. I hope they do, and sharing a message of experience strength and hope, with one purpose to help others, and require no money or subscription in the main. Some of the principles of fellowship are obvious in the way people share their experience strength and hope, and there is no personal gain. And in my experience over the years, no one is out there trying to say they know better than anybody else about recovery, it still takes many people sharing experience, strength and hope to help one person find recovery one day at a time. No single message is enough. It still takes many people to make the difference, and although social networks are really helpful, informing and sustaining recovery, in my experience, and just anecdotally, face-to-face, and in meetings will always be better if we can get there. Many, however cannot get to a meeting or spend time, face-to-face, and so the principles of fellowship can be extended if we desire to communicate through whatever network to share the best we can. Our message of experience, strength and hope requires action in all respects so we can speak and equally important, we can listen and interact with our fellows…
Cold arctic winds are blowing from the east across the UK. And the weather is not good for those who cannot get about so easily, so I am grateful for social networks and ways to connect with fellow members of Alcoholics Anonymous. And of course, I can write a letter, talk on the telephone and invite people around. I still prefer meetings, of course, because I have learned so much from listening, shared what I have heard and can keep on doing this as the weather improves. Recovery is still a haphazard process and it would be unhelpful to promote a fix, wherever we are, we are nonprofessional, and that is the power of the personal message, we share wherever we are, in a meeting, in a home, via a social network, it is still a personal and non-professional message. We are not professional in fellowship, we are simply human, human beings. Sharing our emotional and spiritual experience one day at a time…
And anonymity, the sanctuary to find out how to be sober, to share with a sense of security and confidentiality is so important. No matter what, the principle of anonymity is only as good as those who will keep what they hear on a specific basis to themselves. And we are aware that gossip kills! If one alcoholic undermines and disrespects another alcoholic and their anonymity, the breach of trust is often found out through gossip. When others breach our trust as a newcomer, the damage done can be the worst calamity. There are things I have shared which have come back as gossip, and the problem with gossip is whatever I shared to start with, now has become something bigger and usually more horrible than ever was. Chinese whispers… These days, and because of the fellowship I have developed a more open way of life, courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and the confidence to be me wherever I am, an alcoholic in recovery… I may feel okay and not worried about what people think any more when it comes to my history. And the fact that I am an alcoholic. I do not feel self-prejudice or any humiliation by being an alcoholic. That is not the case for many in recovery and respecting anonymity feels right and sacrosanct today. I don't feel there needs to be a leader in fellowship and certainly no spokes persons speaking behalf of anyone. We can share how it works, and why it works, and we can share our personal journey if we wish to, and always for me, always respectful of the anonymity of my friends and fellows, and being respectful in our nonconformist and anarchic democratic fellowship today…
Alcoholics Anonymous | March 28 2012 | Steps In Action | Step 3 "Your Higher Power" 2012 | Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "equality…" Steps and traditions work when we work at them and have a timeless quality about them. Timeless in the sense of them working just for today and they remain fresh and instant in our attitudes and actions… Not tablets of stone to weigh us down, more often wisdom to lift us up…
My personal understanding of the steps and traditions is always being developed to meet the needs of my life today. With every breath, truth love and wisdom grows as my life experience grows. This is my personal evolution and sometimes revolution. The first step in my revolution was to completely stop drinking and have a desire to stop drinking. Breaking the habit of a lifetime is a revolution. And then the evolution began…
Equality! I am not bigger or smaller or more or less important than anyone else on this planet. Sometimes because of culture and the way society works some people are elevated or feel elevated. Day-to-day I am a learner, and with inclusion I can share my experience, strength and hope. Sometimes it can be wisdom sometimes complete nonsense and nonsensical to the listener or reader. One man's meat, turns another man into a vegetarian! Living your own experience, develops skills and wisdom to be shared where and when we are included and not excluded…
In the fellowship of AA with a desire to stop drinking, we are included which is the very foundation and opportunity to find unconditional love. The newcomer shares about what it is like to be on the front line, the old-timer about what it is like to be sober more than a day. And then of course there are those obvious to everyone else, "bleeding deacons" who find fault with anyone and everyone not just for today, every bleeding day…
"Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity...After joining A.A., I found the way of life I had been searching for. In A.A. no member is any better than any other member; we’re just alcoholics trying to recover from alcoholism"
Our spiritual moment of now is here, same for everyone, to experience; truth, love and wisdom of everyone we meet. Our spiritual experience is contingent on our attitude and behaviour toward; truth, love and wisdom of others. Letting go, we have room for new living, happy or sad, it is "real spiritual life" today..
AA Daily Reflection: EQUALITY ~ Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 565
Prior to A.A., I often felt that I didn’t “fit in” with the people around me. Usually “they” had more/less money than I did, and my points of view didn’t jibe with “theirs.” The amount of prejudice I had experienced in society only proved to me just how phony some self -righteous people were. After joining A.A., I found the way of life I had been searching for. In A.A. no member is any better than any other member; we’re just alcoholics trying to recover from alcoholism.
As Bill Sees It ~ Gratitude Should Go Forward ~ "Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward. "In other words, if you carry the message to still others, you will be making the best possible repayment for the help given to you." No satisfaction has been deeper and no joy greater than in a Twelfth Step job well done. To watch the eyes of men and women open with wonder as they move from darkness into light, to see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning, and above all to watch them awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives -- these things are the substance of what we receive as we carry A.A.'s message.
Step Three Video 12 And 12
AA Big Book Video | Chapter 1 | Bill's Story |
AA Big Book Video | Chapter 2 | There Is A Solution |
AA Big Book Video | Chapter 3 | More About Alcoholism |
AA Big Book Video | Chapter 4 | We Agnostics |
AA Big Book Video | Chapter 5 | How It Works |
Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,