January 25 2008 DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ AA Daily
Alcoholics Anonymous Daily - Step Five Telling the Truth
Ghandi "God Is Truth"
I have been a regular in fellowship meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous for over four years now and an irregular sceptic for more than 8 years. I am not sober that length of time, it took me a lot of attempts to recognise the truth that I am and will always be an alcoholic. Currently I am sober since June 1 2004. In my fourth year about three and a half years since my last drink. Learning recovery and how life may be, sober for some years helps me immensely living my life as it is today.
Truth and Spiritual
As time has gone by, I have observed how my progress has been going by writing my journal and putting my journals on the internet. This helps me try understand how I am doing with living and making life work a day at a time.
This is me sharing experience strength and hope, gently and as truthfully as can be as each day adds to my time in sobriety. And my endeavour to understand what is Spiritual and this elusive purpose we have in living. We all have purpose although how we understand our purpose we might not necessarily understand a lot of the time. And that is made more difficult when some of us are or have spent a lot of time in denial and in a state of misunderstanding about the purpose we have in living.
God is a good epithet for Truth
And God willing or my willingness to find the truth of living is certainly helping me make life work with quite a few deficits these days. And of course the best part of sobriety is the opportunity live as was intended by nature and by providence.
Truth spiritual works for me these days and the acceptance I now have for the way life has turned out is quite amazing for me. Once driven by fear, by putting on a brave face, and so concerned what people might think of me, I froze and became unable to function at all at any level of life. A horrid time made worse by learning from life which was particularly unhelpful. Society can drive us mad and then as we get more madness and find ways to self medicate, we eventually end up in self harm with a predisposition to fix ourselves in inappropriate ways.
[ Step Five from the big book bunch:
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
The Big Book is clear that once you have finished your step four writing, you are to review your lists, analyze what they mean, and learn something from what you have written. Your analysis will be augmented in step five, but you should not leave all the thinking up to your guide.
Read page 66 again. We are reluctant to repeat the book. However, some of the points it makes cannot be left without comment:
The world is, indeed imperfect, and our lives have been touched by injustice. Our typical reaction has been to try to fix the world. When that didn't work—it never does—we got good and sore and bitched and drank at it. Only in sobriety have we learned there is but one thing in this universe that we can and must try to influence. You guessed it—self. Many of us have then discovered a miraculous truth. When we set about to have our Creator manage our lives, we are often empowered with incredible influence over people near us and in the world around us. The catch (wouldn't you know there would be one) is that we must not attempt to exercise self-will.
The power of resentment far exceeds any conception we had of negative thinking. Were you aware that:
..a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness.
The hours in which we allow futility and unhappiness in our lives are not worth while. Resentments waste our lives.
Resentments shut us off from the sunlight of the Spirit, thereby preventing the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience.
When shadowed from the sunlight of the Spirit, the insanity of alcohol returns, we drink again, and we die.
Harbouring of resentments is fatal.
Most alcoholics have a deep—almost pathological—sense of justice. If we are wronged (meaning often that we did not get what we wanted), or even conjure up the notion that we might have been wronged, we find full justification to express anger or harbour resentment. It then seems almost a duty to carry a justified resentment. Otherwise those who have wronged us would get off scot-free. And that wouldn't be right, would it? So, we waste our God-given lives judging and punishing our fellows. Relinquishing a justified resentment is one of the most difficult experiences known to the alcoholic.
Yet, it must be done! There is striking evidence that resentment creates a physical poison in our bodies, in addition to the mental and spiritual maladies it feeds.
And, how do we rid ourselves of resentments? Hopefully, this process began in step 4. Our list holds the key. ]
As in all matters of recovery we find our own path. With help and support we really can find what will work daily for ourselves. We always need to respect boundaries and others views, and we need find our understanding as we find support, help and challenge through sharing and understanding. Long may it be so…
January 25th 2007
Hard Enough Just to be Ourselves
This is my hard learning at the moment. I really felt I had made significant steps forward in my recovery, and then find myself right back at square one. Well not exactly. I realise the truth will always bite us on the behind as we get to understand ourselves better.
The trouble with Alcoholics anonymous is its full of people learning to be human again. And some are pretty advanced and some like me, feel learners and wonder what on earth I have done for 50 years.
Odd? Not in the least, as time marches along and we have a sober head, someone we can talk to, a sponsor we see and relate to. And making friendships as we may. We are sometimes beguiled and find safe havens with good friends and then we start to wonder, imagine and sort of wish for more, when more is really not what we want at all. For me in this case maybe a yearning to be as normal as can be, and yet I know now I am not as normal as I may try behave.
There are certainly gaps in me, new areas to learn all over again, it’s a rehabilitation fellowship on the go and nothing stays the same from day to day.
I want to feel I belong, want is a difficult concept in AA, as experience is our only teacher and the teaching is from living. And what is so wrong with that? It does not fit my willing to be a certain way, it does not help me care less, it makes me care more about my honest, and open and willing to learn being just in the day.
And tonight this appeared to be a big part of who and where we are. We are finding ourselves through the steps of our fellowship. It feels like I may know myself as best I may on my deathbed at this rate.
If we are engaged in the steps of AA, reading the books and studying diligently we will find whole new areas and vistas open for us. Not as we might will them, more as we live them and keep changing. We have to live life, there is no other way. And waiting and wondering, and especially imagining, these are not good ways to live. The what if of life is not good for me, the actuality is.
Hard And still Harder
It gets to be an ongoing and deliberate change, made more easy as honesty comes with the territory of AA and the fellowship. We have to acknowledge truth on a daily basis. Stop being wilful and deal with life as is.
A phrase used to day "we won’t ever die of emotional pain." I feel it is the opposite.
If I hold things inside, try make myself will me to be a certain way, I am completely undone. And I guess in my own way, I have been looking to future’s that may never happen and have no legs to them at this moment in time.
I have a huge gap in my head, where there is room to feel and think more. To start to experience the real of now. And the reality is right in front of me in this moment. And were it different and a safe environment where I could will myself to be a certain way I feel like I would. Yet I would be waiting on life.
Life with my head in clouds and in the past. I have done this too much and never found my path easy this way. As reality stares me in the face every day then its just the way it is. And no amount of intent can fill the rightful gap I have, because its there for a reason. It is to be filled and empty as life moves along in the here and now.
Have I ever been realistic?
I feel so, yet self will creeps in wishing me different and something else I may imagine. The truth of me is quite arduous and deliberate in making each day work.
Love is the very essence of living. From love comes our reason and unreason, our intent and contempt for ourselves sometimes. Without it we are less than our capacity. And we need it for life.
We need appreciate through even older eyes the folly of the past, and also the lure of imagination as we find our way.
Even though we are as careful with others as ourselves we can wish ourselves to be so, in love and engaged in reality. Yet me for one can be as deluded as ever, unless I do take reality checks which my sponsor shared tonight.
I am not right at the moment in how I may be. And feel less than I can be, simply because of this gap. And the gap can be filled with real life and in my face connections which grow in time. Indeed to find enough of myself, and this is an ongoing process, and there is much work to be done.
Living in the moment, and where it takes me must be a key as is acceptance of how I am today. Still learning and finding out who I am. Just a day at a time with a few steps to help change me and my outlook, and not the world to my will and preference. So true and sometimes so hard to accept. Life is what it is. I cannot will myself different, fifty years of trying, and still I am me, with changing attitudes and behaviour as life offers, and a fellowship with wisdom beyond me…
It will always be so.
January 25th 2006
Thought for the day from inner space
Worry is otherwise known as 'fantasised catastrophising' where we create an image of the future and use it to frighten ourselves! Be aware that you are doing it, then stop doing it, otherwise the image will become a self fulfilling prophesy. Imagine only the brightest future, and so it will be. Besides there is nothing to worry about... unless you are under the illusion that your well-being and security are dependent on material things. If they are, then you will have many ways in which you can create worry. Possible loss, damage, separation, uncertainty are but a few. Look, you're killing yourself with worry, all because of the misuse of your imagination. Don't do it.
This is true to an extent. The extent to which this is true, is individual and unique. We learn from our own catastrophising and we learn where danger lies, there is balance in all we may encounter.
January 25th 2005
Love blinds us to people's faults but dislike blinds us to their virtues.
An observation on an inside job. We can feel love for others and see their virtue. We can dislike others which means we see nothing of the good they have. Its the same with ourselves. When we have love for ourselves, we are full of virtue. When we cannot love ourselves, we cannot imagine or see any of our virtues.
The inside job...to blind ourselves to the good parts, to only see the detestable, that is the inside job.
And it is this which hurts us, undermines us and undermines our picture of the day. It happens....
A little it of hope, not amiss, yet inconceivable when gripped by self doubt. This too will pass as time marches and seasons change. A reflection always, an image, the mindful mind's eye blinkered often, hiding and searching for safety amongst our memories...
You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.
It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.
And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.
There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.
A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.
You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.
For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.
Don In London Not For Profit Progress Not Perfection
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DonInLondon Day In the Life, DonInLondon You Tube, DonInLondon, Don Oddy
DonInLondon Day In The Life | DonInLondon You Tube | DonInLondon | Don Oddy |