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January 3 2008

DonInLondon - ĎDay In The Lifeí Easy Does It - Careful Encounters

Life is Precious

Indeed life is precious. I just deactivated my face book account. Anything like face book which is worth as much as it is today, billions of pounds, is not attractive to me. Someone who knows suggested it is merely a marketing tool, and is out to make money from those who subscribe, nothing new in that.

Connections

We forget why often we have moved along and lost contact with people we have held in esteem over the years. Life gets busy in all directions where we are locally, and often we find solace in far distant connections when local ones are not too good.

Distant Connections & Honesty

In the distant connections we make, we can be as honest as we may be, and still hold back vital details which may make us more attractive to be a friend or less attractive as we hold back those parts of us we cannot share so well. Either at home where we live or even over long distance. My experience is the longer the distance, we are often able to share and bare our souls to complete strangers. And yet as a consequence we show our good and not our overall situation. We donít always show everything because if we received the whole picture then we might wonder what is going on. And worse feel as rejected as we do at home.

Honesty Openness and Willingness

A way of living for me, and in this we can still make assumptions about what we share and what we want to share. The sin of omission has made one friend feel out of place in recent weeks and hopefully that is on the mend. We do what we can, and still we need more living to make the progress we want.

Feelings of Misunderstanding Abound

We complicated humans are apt to make a meal of everything we encounter which has attractive qualities. And over the last decade I have made friends all over the world, sharing my journals and in recent years with my life turned upside down by addiction, the recovery story has featured prominently.

Just Because You Know MeÖ

It does not mean I know you, and the danger for me is there are plenty around who would wish to undermine my recovery in this world. Not because it is me, it is because they can and itís a sport for them. These things happen and many of us who blog are subject to preposterous connections as well as genuine ones. When we know the game we are alert enough to spot the dud ones and then again elaborate hoaxes can go on for a while.

What To Do?

Actually I need not worry about pranksters and hoaxes, those who perpetrate these events will and always will be reminded of their fun one way or another. I need do nothing and actually I accept there will be hoaxes, pedlars of the selective truth and people who are just not worth worrying about. The path of life and for me in recovery is about me and my conduct, not how others conduct themselves. I need not worry about them as life goes along.

Authentic and Genuine People

Fortunately there are authentic and genuine people, and they are the majority. As for when and where we realise the authenticity of some is suspect, we can with every right terminate contact and let go. There is no mileage in consideration of anything more. And it is a waste of time effort wondering why, after all its none of my business.

I do realise that in sharing openly about me and my situation, I do attract some long distance connections which present well, and yet I know in my experience and deep inside these distant friendships can be unreal. They donít always stack up in reality.

Power And Manipulation

Half of what has been troubling me lately is somehow sorted, and is nearby rather than thousands of miles away. The connections across oceans are important and remain. Those who are false drop away as unsustainable and impractical as time and complications reflect the truth.

Co Dependence

Between writing the above and now, there have been a number of calls about situations and events. It makes me realise the nature of living can be easy when we are sure of ourselves, and less so when insecurities and other matters generate connections. Co dependence is an area which is much misunderstood. And in reality the truth of co dependence is one person feels they are in control, and the other is less aware of the manipulations until something big happens.

Truth

A difficult concept for many, as much as denial of truth offers such a rich tapestry of justifications and disorderly conduct by all concerned. For those reading my words who know me locally, this is not about you! I get calls from many places on this planet, and thankfully those connections remain confidential. However if anyone feels a burning sensation reading what I write, its probably wise to have a look at your personal conduct rather than mine.

Truth is immutable and at the same time a revisionist mind can make a complete fabrication and justification. How do I know this? Why of course I have done it too. I hope less so these days, and still I need forgiveness always around these haphazard happenings.

Were life so simple!

It can be simple when we realise we can use our time to suite ourselves and be happy, we do not need to be told what makes us happy, we need make sure we donít end up doing things for the sake of it, or because we feel we should.

Ghandi

"An emphatic no is better than a half hearted yes"

"God Is truth"

Both these quotes help me resolve much of my living today. And help me find my path. Just one day, sometimes by the hour, by the minute, when we respond and not react as if we are here at others behest, life takes on new meaning as we go.




Daily Reflections for January 3 2008

POWERLESS

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

It is no coincidence that the very first Step mentions powerlessness: An admission of personal powerlessness over alcohol is a cornerstone of the foundation of recovery. I've learned that I do not have the power and control I once thought I had. I am powerless over what people think about me. I am powerless over having just missed the bus. I am powerless over how other people work (or don't work) the Steps. But I've also learned I am not powerless over some things. I am not powerless over my attitudes. I am not powerless over negativity. I am not powerless over assuming responsibility for my own recovery. I have the power to exert a positive influence on myself, my loved ones, and the world in which I live.

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When I came into A.A., I learned what an alcoholic was and then I applied this knowledge to myself to see if I was an alcoholic. When I was convinced that I was an alcoholic, I admitted it openly. Since then, have I been learning to live accordingly? Have I read the book Alcoholics Anonymous? Have I applied the knowledge gained to myself? Have I admitted openly that I am an alcoholic? Am I ready to admit it at any time when I can be of help?

Meditation For The Day

I will be renewed. I will be remade. In this, I need God's help. His spirit shall flow through me and, in flowing through me, it shall sweep away all the bitter past. I will take heart. The way will open for me. Each day will unfold something good, as long as I am trying to live the way I believe God wants me to live.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be taught, just as a child would be taught. I pray that
I may never question God's plans, but accept them gladly.

As Bill Sees It

Speak Up Without Fear, p.278

Few of us are anonymous so far as our daily contacts go. We have dropped anonymity at this level because we think our friends and associates ought to know about A.A. and what it has done for us. We also wish to lose the fear of admitting that we are alcoholics. Though we earnestly request reporters not to disclose our identities, we frequently speak before semi-public gatherings. We wish to convince audiences that our alcoholism is a sickness we no longer fear to discuss before anyone.

If, however, we venture beyond this limit, we shall surely lose the principle of anonymity forever. If every A.A. felt free to publish his own name, picture, and story, we would soon be launched upon a vast orgy of personal publicity.

"While the so-called public meeting is questioned by many A.A. members, I favour it myself providing only that anonymity is respected in press reports and that we ask nothing for ourselves except understanding."

1. Grapevine, January 1946
2. Letter, 1949



January 2nd 2007

Three Steps to Heaven

It has been a good start to the New Year with Lunch with family and a gentle conversation about doing good for ourselves and others. Being in my fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is seen as a very positive move by my family about me and keeping to safe ways of living. After the awful times of years gone by, where I was either mad with depression or mad because I was searching for oblivion, seeing me sober and making some sense of life at long last is a real bonus all round. After having a nervous breakdown in 1996 I reckon I was written off by most people who knew me, as I had no clue how to help myself and neither did anyone else. At the time because nobody could really, and my career was done and I was fired unceremoniously by my employer. It still hurts how those days unfolded. Exhaustion and depression having a mental illness are quite deniable by the sufferer and a company who enabled the ailments in the first place.

Anyways thatís part of my story and will be so for evermore. I still do forgive and wish those people well who played their part in my ending of that career. And when they sit back without their plausible denials, one day they too will see their part in it. I have no concerns on those matters, other than it is useful to know history and what would put me back in the same pickle again.

So why three steps to Heaven?

Eddie Cochran:

"Now there are Three Steps To Heaven
Just listen and you will plainly see
And as life travels on
And things do go wrong
Just follow steps one, two and three"

Yes my AA meeting tonight was all about step three of the AA programme of rehabilitation if you like. Step three is a bit of a tall order for some as it requires us to have some understanding of God. Step three reads:

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives our to the care of God as we understood Him"

God and Good Conscience

For those of you who read this, and before you click off with the mention of God, that is if you havenít already, God is completely optional in AA. There are some who are strong believers and some like me, who without doubt know that we all have the capacity for good conscience. As to God, well we donít need debate God, if we do, God exists in some way in your head. As for me, my understanding as clearly stated, we get from Nature and Providence, our good conscience and our best way of living, which without a doubt is without drink or drugs, its quite obvious, unless you are an addict like me and thirsty.

I wonder why the three steps to heaven lyric came to mind.. Well for me step three is about simply activating our trusty and often rusty good conscience.

For me in AA I get heaps of wisdom from sober people who live well and get on with life. Some believe in God, some believe in Good Conscience and some believe in Father Christmas. I know what I feel I believe is right for me, and its not Father Christmas.

So when we hear people share their experience strength and hope in meetings, we listen for what will work for us.

AA Tool Kit of Life

Actually the AA tool kit of life is simply the combined wisdom of people, their experiences and any literature we care to read about making life work without our addiction being active. So we are in recovery and not discovered pissed or stoned on the streets anymore.

Now please respect other people and their faith. Even those who believe in Father Christmas, you donít have to, to find wisdom and how to live sober. No one else gets close to keeping people sober like AA. And you never get people coming back saying how marvellous their trip into more addiction was.

A lot of people donít like the God element in the AA programme. By the time I set foot through the doors of AA properly four years back, I was just needing somewhere to go and be sober. And the God bit only got to me when I felt angry at all the sober people being happy. I soon discovered the number who believe in something was very high, but everyoneís idea of God was quite different.

So it is the God or the Good Conscience part which you choose. Both work brilliantly as a guide to behaving to the good and not drinking, injecting or snorting large amounts of unhelpful substance which is killing us. And the proof is most people who get addicted and donít find an anonymous fellowship either live miserably, or worse just simply die early or sooner through overdoses and misery.

Insanity is addiction and addiction is insanity. So if we are comfortable with asking God or Good Conscience to be our guide, then all well and good.

And as there is only one qualification for joining AA, it is simply a desire to stop drinking, we have every faith, every hue of non believer and every element of humanity in our fellowship.

Our Chairperson or principle Sharer

Yes indeed, they were a firm believer in God. And good for them, as they gave a great example of using faith and or their good conscience to good effect in living.

However we get the message to stop harming and self harming ourselves, I really donít care if its God or Father Christmas, good conscience comes out strongly either way for me.

The Room was Packed

I enjoyed our meeting tonight full to the rafters as there were other meetings closed for holidays. And we all packed in and drank tea, which I enjoyed making for everyone.

And being in a room with all these people with their own beliefs and me with mine with a single purpose, just to be sober today, well it bloody well works for me!

And of course it teaches me so many things, from basics to big things I really never realised every time I go to a meeting.

Sobriety

When we have lived for decades with alcohol or drugs, drugs are not my story really but itís the same, and now to be sober a day at a time, with a fellowship where I go share my stuff as I need to, its blinking marvellous to be free of worries and desire to drink at all.

Dealing with my Issues

I get to deal with my other ailments as I may, two of them are really quite hard work. Depression and diabetes are not seen as fun to have, and I can testify to that! It drains and makes me weary very often.

I donít talk about my other complaints much in meetings, only if asked or if I do the Chair. Or if its relevant.

Happy in my silence

I was tonight, and it made sense to be silent, as many were aggravated and felt the need to share.

Celebrations Too

Some people were sober some years and got their chips for years sober, the highest tonight was thirteen years. And in the room there were many with decades sober. I am glad to be in their company and how they help me just keep sober one day more.

We Work Hard

We do, we have to because life means we work it, and make it worth it. Anyone who thinks they may come sit and be cured get very pissed off very quickly, because the magic only happens if we work at life and living sober. The gift is beyond measure, from ruin to living. Now if you feel that is a miracle, you may find faith where you had none before. Indeed why not? As for me, I am happy in good conscience always and resolve it is my responsibility to make life work as I may, with all the help that is there.

I will always respect others faith and judgment for themselves, as they do me, at least I hope so.

And I do pray and meditate. Now what on earth do I do this for? Try it and see. Spiritual and meditation and prayers to good conscience work without doubt for me.

Any mystic or gifted and peaceful person reflects and meditates as do we all, with focus and aplomb. The difference is in how we behave as a result and how we live.

So if you are new to trying to live sober, be open minded and let a little humanity back into your heart, and see what happens. At least if you are at a meeting, you are more likely to be drinking tea. And if you are not sober, we donít mind in the least, just keep coming back, after all you are worth it, so work it if you please.

Overall

A good night out with a load of friends who know how to live life on lifeís terms, just for today! What more might we wish for? Well I will send Santa a note next Christmas.

I write partly with humour for we need to remind ourselves this programme is about fun and life, not death and torment. We all who become fellows of AA are well aware of torment and death, most likely we have stared it in the face too often. And often many donít make it. Very fierce, this addiction malarkey, it kills with ease, and we see denial every dayÖ, all you need to know is, it need not be you.

January 2nd 2006

Greetings To 2006

a year of promise, and many changes for me. A recognition of my humanity. A recognition the world has more synchronicity than I ever imagined and difference held in conflicts thrall.

One day at a time, last year has been magnificent in teaching me lessons over and over about the way of this world and people. Beyond my wildest dreams? More a confirmation of our potential for the good and less good.

That we learn slowly and quickly, move forward and backward with each passing event. That we understand ourselves less then more. Then we discard reality as quickly as we acknowledge every element of living.

Hapless and happy, hapless and sad, we move on. Sometimes we move to new days and leave old ones where they belong in the past. Increments of time passing as we learn to make good our days or make the same moves over and over, pleading to our insanity to make things come out the way our will desires.

Waking to new year, no difference from one day to the next? Maybe there are similarities and there are differences as we open eyes to days with hope and happenstance.

When we acknowledge we move forward not backward, we hear our own call to new prospects. New prospect are to the good and to our learning, we move forward as we programme our living to change.

Living to change. Luck for the luckless, the winners, there are no losers in this chaos so perfect it might as well be our plan. Chaos in perfect order, we time travellers know there is no root back to the past.

When past is accepted and placed with true value, wisdoms key unlocks this day and every day. Perception as complete it must may inform our next endeavour, with an open mind of course, maybe, the ever maybe we will hark to history and leave dark glooms. Or indeed, recall our best of times and loves, I do this day.

Many moments of love and glorious memories tinged with a glow and gratitude that every love based on rock holds good its foundations, and every moment was meant to be.

Superficial and indifferent were never my stock in trade, most evident to cherish and care for lovers as best this soul could muster for those times and places.

And with fondness of memory, moving forward loving as always to new days and times. As we grow old our times are renewed a plenty, with the gift of hindsight to cherish the ever-present present. To cherish our future potential for Nature's gift...

Love

January 2nd 2005

still those inner voices of doubt

Resolutions abound this time of year. Where remembering and memories make us think about old habits and new beginnings. Our heads are full of history, and our feelings to improve our lives sends us to dreams for our future. Sometimes it is best to sit and let our voices go quiet. Pick a small fancy for the future.

Something which requires little thought or feeling. Maybe as we wake, we start the day, with just a simple expectation? To expect nothing. To keep our mind open, to forgive everyone, especially ourselves. And from nothing expected, comes something or nothing... as has been said,í the usefulness of any vessel is in its emptiness' and an empty head has much room for the day, for love, for understanding and enquiry. Be generous to ourselves and let in the day...

-/-




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Be Tolerant

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.






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Ghandi

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.




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Ghandi

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.































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