[A Gentle Reminder - I Do Not Speak for AA I Speak For Myself, I Am Not A Guru - I Am Just Another Human And Always A Learner]
I do try for simplicity and then life ambles along and for many, we get the best of living and find tranquil and even serene moments. Life is busy though and much of what we encounter, we are powerless over. I feel like I may be repeating yesterdays words and maybe I need do this.
Two meetings of AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, one at Hinde street in the West End of London and another local to me at Radnor walk. Two meetings with different agendas. And each was helpful to me.
At Hinde Street I realised I am not the only one who feels out of sorts. My feelings and my outlook have been undermined. I feel sad because when we are wronged, it hurts. What hurts even more is when we are wronged, and the blame and all the hullabaloo which goes with who said what about this and that.. In the end we need to let go, if we want serenity. And we learn the lesson that its not whether we are right and someone else is wrong. It is what we do next time. And how we resolve the problem as it is. A breakdown in communication, behind it are feelings and a lot of anger.
We all have these qualities, we need them sometimes to get over whatever else is occurring. And in the final analysis, we may get to truth. Truth and being found out are limitless opportunities to learn. These opportunities hurt, as we all feel pain when caught in unhappy recollections, and quite often in half truths utilised for reasons we can only wonder about.
I realise that esteem, that positive feeling is maintained as we learn from our living and our mistakes. I get no kick from challenging others views or their outlooks. Judgment is least preferred by me. However when it comes to bends in the truth which are convenient lies to make unreal and nasty connotations, well I am like any human, subject to moments of intense anger.
This happened to me before and I usually work it through. And get to a place of bygones. We let it go as the result of truth can be unpleasant as we play Ego and worse want our way and our outlook to be the only way. Today its not me, and yet I know it can happen to me again. We are forever learners in this life.
None of this ego inflation works, it breaks down lots of people and leaves bad feelings. The way to deal with life and its challenges is often simply to keep a careful and straight path.
Often we can be forgetful of others and their sensitivities. I am less so over the years. And feel quite honestly that most of the time my open book life is there and can be criticised as much as one likes. Be smarmy and unkind about other people and I will react, and I will be angry. Drag others into personal one on one disputes with me and I really will take a dim view. And of course let it go? I need let it go or life just becomes uncomfortable. Grudges are not worth a damn.
When its none of my business, I do generally keep out of the way of others disputes, or I will resort to old behaviour? And indeed if that behaviour is not acceptable to me, why keep the associations? And why stick my nose in if its none of my business?
A hard earned commodity I have squandered in the past and deserved all the consequences. Forgiven maybe, yet the burn of those indiscretions can glow white hot again. And I need take care, when undermined I have a thorny nature. A time of forgiving is truly important as these things happen and not excuses of justifications.
Much mulling in my own mind. We were not too many tonight and its always difficult as the new year is often a bumpy start. There was a suggestion I might want to be nominated to a new service role. And I had to decline presently because I would give up the message of recovery in my own way, here in my writing and on You Tube.
We all have our way to share recovery. In this ever changing world which is more loose and far flung, the message of hope to find recovery is a difficult one. We need share as we feel is right and see how it goes.
If we keep to our position of being right we will inevitably be wrong. No one person holds the key to truth. The truth in some instances is a movable feast. Ask any politician for truth and see where it leads.
In fellowship however we are apt to get our wires crossed, to upset each other and in the end work out how to find empathy and harmony. Best done without justification, best done without resentments, and a lot of love. Love really is the final conclusion to disputes. Trust need be earned it is never a given once it is broken. And in truth we need find our own forgiveness or we really have none for others.
Life is too short, mine is for sure to keep grudges, so bygones wins always and not me.
We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs.
A.A. Thought For The Day
Have I admitted I am an alcoholic? Have I swallowed my pride and admitted I was different from other drinkers? Have I accepted the fact that I must spend the rest of my life without liquor? Have I any more reservations, any idea in the back of my mind that some day I'll be able to drink safely? Am I absolutely honest with myself and with other people? Have I taken an inventory of myself and admitted the wrong I have done? Have I come clean with my friends? Have I tried to make it up to them for the way I have treated them?
I will believe that fundamentally all is well. Good things will happen to me. I believe that God cares for me and will provide for me. I will not try to plan ahead. I know that the way will unfold, step by step. I will leave tomorrow's burden to God, because He is the great burden-bearer. He only expects me to carry my one-day's share.
In making amends, we should be sensible, tactful, considerate, and humble without being servile or scraping. As God's people, we stand on our feet; we don't crawl before anyone.
1. 12 & 12, p.86
January 4th 2007
Hello My Name is…
"Hi! My name is.. (what?) My name is.. (who?)
My name is.. [scratches] Slim Shady
Hi! My name is.. (huh?) My name is.. (what?)
My name is.. [scratches] Slim Shady"
Weird times these days when odd lyrics spin through the sober mind. In our fellowship we announce ourselves, my name is.. And I am an alcoholic. And sometimes the connections are so strong, that song and the lyrics an epithet to living through hard knocks and desolate times.
But today has been pretty ok for me I have done good and had good done to me. After yesterday and the hypo reaction to low blood sugars, my system is complaining. Hard to sleep as the body finds ways to balance and heal how it may. I was up late and awoke early.
A good day indeed, with a two hour chat with another alcoholic in recovery. This one though finds AA a real bind as they have still to get to grips with being themselves and find AA stifles them and their outlook.
Actually AA can help lots of people, and also lots of other programmes help lots of other people with their addictions and their habits which undermine their living. My good friend and I had lots of laughter about the programme of AA and how to be ourselves. Whilst I am content with AA and find peace with others and tranquillity, it can do the opposite when your head tells you one thing and your heart is saying something else
Intellectual and Emotional Capacity
As you see from my headline I avoid this IQ, EQ (quotient amount of quality: a scale, or a point on a scale, indicating the amount, degree, or level of something (informal)
Capacity for intellect and emotions depends on experience and our raw material, brain power. Some people have lots of one and not the other, or both or none. Its really about nature and nurture and something else, our overall will and conditioning from life experiences. So the hard science of measuring IQ’s and EQ’s is really problematic as whatever we use to make a judgment falters simply because of our inbuilt prejudices about how and what we measure.
Maturity of Outlook and Experience
Are far better ways of getting along in life and how we relate with others. All to often we fill our immediate moments with prejudged labels on people and their beliefs and their conduct.
Now that is a real problem, as we can always block our own progress by simply being prejudiced and very stubborn.
Now I know my friend has great intellect and emotional capacities, and without shadow of doubt has great prejudice against themselves and others who they find either weak or unacceptable because of their outlook and their alcoholism, they forget they are an alcoholic too and judge away..
Not a good combination as the truly gifted can be truly prejudiced as they value people as commodities and as consumable objects or material for using or indeed abusing.
It is real life, so many understated prejudices exist. We might ask ourselves where and when we got so bigoted? Answer is simple from nature and nurture. How we choose to educate ourselves and make life work is always a personal choice in the end. And lots of people find it hard to choose. So some follow as others lead.
Both Me and my Friend
We agree on many things. And yet some fundamentals we will never share. For they are still full of ego, as my esteem replaces ego. And they still operate from fear, when courage makes good our beliefs and faith. So many people live in fear and therefore have to be brave and steadfast to their views and outlook and of course their ego which really makes them defend things indefensible.
It is far better to have faith courage and esteem, and value diversity of outlooks. So while I am flourishing in AA and finding out who I may be and might become, my friend is doing the same in their own way. It is not for me judge their outlook merely to judge what my outlook may be and how my life works.
I suppose, I have to acknowledge my feelings for some who cause harm through their unhelpful example. Yet we are all able to make choices as we live and get sober and understand living again.
I have chosen well for me, the route of AA makes me see the way to live a day at a time and squeeze life out of each day. This is not just for happiness, its about knowing the joy and the sadness of every part of life.
And for me, I have a lot to do just to keep body and soul together. So I listen and see how the wisdom I hear and read about can be utilised in my personal programme of living.
Choices are about finding what works for us given our overall preferences to living.
Good Conscience is my Guide
Indeed good conscience is my higher power in life. Actually the wisdom I hear from the good conscience of the many in AA is a clear and open channel to wisdom. Sober people have good wisdom, people struggling are trying to make sense of simple living let alone anything more. So I stick to the winners and the people who adopt a good path to living soberly and with joy and happiness are their truth. And of course the wisdom outside the fellowship on all other matters besides alcohol, is so vast we may never know so many elements of living, its just what we choose as we find our path.
AA is about finding joy and happiness, people in early recovery are still bedevilled by comparing and contrasting rather than learning.
And this is where my friend and I differ. While they continue to debate big clumps of AA language, they don’t see what AA is doing for them or how to get the tool kit of living happily. Anyway that’s not my concern. My concern is to be a friend and share truth of what is working for me, and what others do is none of my affair really. Unless of course I see actual harm or dishonesty. And I may challenge if I feel it is appropriate. And the learning here is applied to life too.
There is plenty of BS about Everywhere
Yes bullshit actually, and we see it, hear it and smell it as dishonest bollocks.
When we see and know what we are experiencing, we can voice opinion or not as we see fit. We can influence but we cannot change others to our views or control how others behave overall. We waste our time when we do.
AA changes just one thing, just us, we change and find our path, the world turns whatever we do and we are as Shakespeare said, "merely players" and its about what we can change in ourselves and our attitudes, not changing the world to suit us, because we can’t change the world.
So I do adopt the reconciling understanding that I am powerless over people places and things, simply because I am. And trying to exercise power over is unhelpful in just about every social context and even other contexts unless there is danger manifesting. And even then if reaction need not be made, responses often mean others learn and do not need a Sheppard.
A bloody good meeting and full of good people who know their own minds and are in sobriety. Not many newcomers or youthful (early days) in fellowship terms so we made a lot of good noises about recovery being fun and not all detrimental.
Some of us get immense highs and lows in our lives, and mine is made slightly more extreme by clinical depression, yet I find myself with good medical support which helps me keep an even keel and be on a par with my fellowship
Fellows. Now that is the truth for me.
If I were to listen purists of revisionist AA, the purists who extol the virtues of sack cloth and ashes, and tortures and strictures of some unbelievable stupidity, namely bearing witness to sins and calamity, and not following medical advice, they can fuck off. After all this fellowship is about healing and not hostility, about forgiveness, not about retribution and self obsession with guilt and shame.
So AA is to the good overall for me. As to others who find they cannot get on with AA and its more ‘devout,’ I suppose blood and guts exponents, you have my complete empathy. At the same time the honest path to tread is finding your principles of living and finding your personal path. And that has nothing to do with any ‘rigour’ AA purists, it has to do with self development and self appreciation. We find there are stupid people wherever we are in society and life, it does not mean we need be stupid too!
As was Said
When we can let go our shame and guilt for whatever we have done, we need find forgiveness for ourselves, or we will find no peace or understanding for anything and anyone we encounter. We learn life through our good and bad judgment, make to the good with good conscience. And if God works for you all to the good. If good conscience works for you all to the good of living too.
We need find the love inside, stop judging and start loving. And also know we will often walk away from those we cannot abide. No amount of love or forgiveness will ever make some people our friends, yet we need not make them our enemies. They are busy doing that and we need not join in unhelpful and futile battles.
Everyone deserves their place in the world, we are really all equal across all the capacities we have at our disposal. We need not judge harshly others and we make life as we work life to the good, and of course good conscience my everlasting higher power.
When is judgment day? Right now, your conduct, my conduct and doing the next right thing. The true spiritual path of all humans is now in the ever present, perfectly imperfect moment of now. I am chuffed tonight my friend who does not like AA is sober their way, and chuffed with my friends
in and out of the fellowship.
After all AA is about the bridge to living a normal ordinary and extraordinary life, just one day at a time in this ever present, present moment of now! Respectfully, Amen to good conscience and the God of your choosing… Live life a day at a time, it works if you work at it hard as you would anything worth having. Sit and watch and life, it will pass by soon enough and that may be very disappointing as we take stock of our living.
Hello my name is …
Don, I am an alcoholic, in recovery a day at a time…
January 4th 2006
You Can Please Some Of The People...
I rarely comment on email from other people. I just keep it and file it. Just in case. Of what?
What we write over time is a body of work, it reflects what is going on in our own mind, our judgement and reaction to how we are treating the world. We go through good and bad times, we all do it and I do it.
When we treat the world with care, support and nurture, we feel it inside some way to the good. When we lash or strike out, as good people we don't want to, yet some indignant bit of us still finds time to do it...
We have every emotion in us and no exclusivity to truth. Truth is just what we see and as good as our perception this day this moment. Ask hindsight what it knows!
As you behave - So I find
Other people’s anger comes into our lives, like TV, or real to life they illuminate the day. Fractious hurt little bleats across our Universe as reality sucks to their eyes.
How we behave towards each other, so distant so close we cannot see our own demands to attend their drift to ego's hollow pit. Damned if we do, damned if we don't, the mighty sway of time served provides for ready feasts that fill that hollow gnaw where love is lost and lost as self will harms our soul.
Let go and make good our good conscience as we fire and rail against the truth, not honest, not complete in our gift to the world, we hide in insecure half lights, and half darks.
Half in and out our shadow lands we dwell, best foot forward to share to the world , our events, our wrong footed rasp. Dark drags us half confessing, half evading truths glare, lest our darkness pervades and shutters as repellent ether blocks our path.
We hold our shadow close as fear grips our honest core and holds our truth to ransom. When we take our reckoning day by day, we find that burr that sticks and clings and let it go. Or simple burr so burdened takes our state of mind to shame and guilt, as modern man is apt to hide his folly. And so guarded wounds develop and run the gamut as endarkened ramparts grow to hold the festering lies we push to silent memories.
And gifted thus we push to forgetful banks of time our lush unhappy briar which grows and grows like topsy, till just a light touch, the merest whiff to ego's will, cuts wide, cuts deep the salted wounds of time.
As you behave, so I find, we praise the poker hand, as our deft gambling shadow sucks on smoke to hide the mirrors gaze. I am no mirror and shadows smoke fills our gamblers mind, his hand is played to bluff. A grifters take on being right forever clouded to their grip.
As you behave so I find, your worth and value to the world. As I behave, so you find my worth and value to the world. Our impact true, our intent our own, we move and make our way, we show our world and make our world its might and tempest comes straight back to catch our self within.
A daily show to all mankind is how we make our way. As surely we all evolve, our delving questing selves find peace not ever in any rhetoric, for its touch is past...
How we behave is our experience and grip from wisdoms fort to show our world, we get our gift as we give and not by right or presence.
And as I behave and find the world, I find myself complete, another imperfect perfect wanderer as if in war and peace without the mask of dark.
Harsh mirrors light I find myself the equal of my fellow, not bigger or smaller, no more wiser to wisdoms fold than this day, this moment give to acceptance as the key.
When angry sores are ripped, excoriate that skin, that festered hide, corrupted smoke blown down! And breath and breathe till cleaner air pulls vision to sharp relief. Then reflections grasp helps reality to find its way and smoke is lost to atmosphere..
January 4th 2005
Even with a small bank account, the one who is contented finds himself with great wealth.
Tough times around the world. No amount of money will ever put at ease the feelings inside so many who lost so much. A person's wealth is the sum of their experience and the experiences are not often what we would wish. Sentiments abound for survivors of the great catastrophe, the Tsunami...
For a person shivering with grief, there is not much to offer from far away, for much of what we feel and express through giving will be only heard and recognised a long time from now.
We can do our best to support and help, and there will be the 'knowing' of what we did. It may be years and generations who look back and see the consternation, the sadness and immense desire to do anything to help. For those bereft and bereaved, a time of struggle, to come to any sense of belonging to humanity again.
Humanitarian aid, the hardest and most fickle response in our forgetful world, let us hope we do not forget.
The one who is most contented? Not one person on this planet will be content to see this humanitarian aid squandered, or this catastrophe forgotten. What nature threw us, we are powerless over, yet we have great resources to help those in hardship.
Our greatest gift to all our fellows in the world is our friendship as we are able to give it. Our gift will come as timely to our understanding, and to each others understanding of humanity....