Endigar 550 ~ Acceptance

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 22, 2014 by endigar

From Daily Reflections 19 September;

We admitted we couldn’t lick alcohol with our own remaining resources, and so we accepted the further fact that dependence upon a Higher Power (if only our A.A. group) could do this hitherto impossible job. The moment we were able to accept these facts fully, our release from the alcohol compulsion had begun.   (As Bill Sees It, page 109)

Freedom came to me only with my acceptance that I could turn my will and my life over to the care of my Higher Power, whom I call God. Serenity seeped into the chaos of my life when I accepted that what I was going through was life, and that God would help me through my difficulties – and much more, as well. Since then He has helped me through all of my difficulties! When I accept situations as they are, not as I wish them to be, then I can begin to grow and have serenity and peace of mind.

END OF QUOTE

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Monster in the Mirror

 

I responded to the chaos storms of my life by installing an internal panic button in my psyche.  Any indication, any overhead shadow, could cause me to sound the internal alarm.  The other boot of an angry, cruel God of the human cockroach was about to drop.  If good things happened, I knew I should not let down my guard, for life was just softening me up so that the inevitable tragedies would have greater impact.  If things were going badly it was probably going to get worse, until the ruling Death-god got bored with me.  Until I realized that this cruel Deity was my own reflection empowered by self-loathing, I could not find Gomu (God of my Understanding), the loving God I could trust enough to remove the panic button and accept life on life’s terms.

PICTURE SOURCE:  Abby Kroke Photography – “Monster in the Mirror”

Endigar 549 ~ Loved Back to Recovery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 22, 2014 by endigar

From Daily Reflections 18 September;

Our whole treasured philosophy of self-sufficiency had to be cast aside. This had not been done with old-fashioned willpower; it was instead a matter of developing the willingness to accept these new facts of living. We neither ran nor fought. But accept we did. And then we were free.   (Best of the Grapevine, Vol. I, page 198)

I can be free of my old enslaving self. After a while I recognize, and believe in, the good within myself. I see that I have been loved back to recovery by my Higher Power, who envelops me. My Higher Power becomes that source of love and strength that is performing a continuing miracle in me. I am sober . . . and I am grateful.

END OF QUOTE

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LoneWolf375x375

When I hear that a person learned to give up “self-sufficiency,”  I imagine a human being that has had his bones liquefied and extracted, while the resulting jelly fish man is held on life-support in a spiritual hospital of some sort.  Flopping about in his state of permanent repose he spouts off about acceptance.  This vision was not helpful for my own recovery.

So I studied and realized the Big Book is pointing out the damning effects of isolated selfishness and not counseling us to be rid of the self-preservation  that helped us walk in the rooms of recovery.  The treasured philosophy that I am cursed with is isolated self-sufficiency.  This is the old enslaver of my soul, cutting me off from my life giving Source.

Over time, my self-preservation would be nursed into self-appreciation when I see that there is good in me.  One day at a time, self-appreciation manifested in the freedom of self-love.  This transformation comes from being able to connect to others that have mine and their own best interest at heart, and by connecting with the Infinite One, the God of my Understanding (Gomu).   In nature, the Lone Wolf is a miserable and desperate creature.

“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”  ~ The Law for the Wolves by Rudyard Kipling.

Endigar 548 ~ Freedom from Fear

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 17, 2014 by endigar

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

When, with God’s help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too. We found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want.   (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 122)

Material values ruled my life for many years during my active alcoholism. I believed that all of my possessions would make me happy, yet I still felt bankrupt after I obtained them. When I first came into A.A., I found out about a new way of living. As a result of learning to trust others, I began to believe in a power greater than myself. Having faith freed me from the bondage of self. As material gains were replaced by the gifts of the spirit, my life became manageable. I then chose to share my experiences with other alcoholics.

END OF QUOTE

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wrathoftitans12

I am beginning to experience this freedom from fear and anxiety.  It is a slow adjustment, but it is happening.  In the past I desired power and position and kept looking in my isolated mind for the ability to rule.  I wanted to be the God of the Results of my life.  Material possessions have never been of interest to me.  It was always about power.  When I tried to master the results of life, I kept discovering layer upon layer of powerlessness.

“This is the how and why of it.  First of all, we had to quit playing God.  It didn’t work.  Next we decided . . . ” (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62)

. . .  that God would be in charge of the Results of Life.  I would be the Demigod of Tasks.  My only concern is to perform the tasks revealed to me by Gomu (God of my understanding).

Demigods are sired into human flesh by Deity.

“He is the Father, and we are His children.  Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.”

When I publish this article today, I will have performed a task as a recovery Demigod and I know that Gomu – the Infinite God of the Results – will take it from there.  What an amazing relief it is when I truly believe that.

Endigar 547 ~ We Stand – or Fall – Together

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 16, 2014 by endigar

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

. . . no society of men and women ever had a more urgent need for continuous effectiveness and permanent unity. We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together, else most of us will finally die alone.   (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 561)

Just as the Twelve Steps of A.A. are written in a specific sequence for a reason, so it is with the Twelve Traditions. The First Step and the First Tradition attempt to instill in me enough humility to allow me a chance at survival. Together they are the basic foundation upon which the Steps and Traditions that follow are built. It is a process of ego deflation which allows me to grow as an individual through the Steps, and as a contributing member of a group through the Traditions. Full acceptance of the First Tradition allows me to set aside personal ambitions, fears and anger when they are in conflict with the common good, thus permitting me to work with others for our mutual survival. Without Tradition One I stand little chance of maintaining the unity required to work with others effectively, and I also stand to lose the remaining Traditions, the Fellowship, and my life.

END OF QUOTE

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Portrait of a boy with the map of the world painted on his face.

“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”  Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

We alcoholics have somethings in common with the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution.  King Alcohol was a powerful tyrant.

Tradition One:  “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.”

The individual is the group.  The group is not the individual.  The hunger and desperation of the individual alcoholic drives us into an unlikely mix.  The alcoholic humiliation is transformed into empowering humility.  It is this common need for survival and the discovery that we are more powerful together than we ever imagined being alone that make us cherish the common good.  The group cannot provide the initial desperation or the individual instinct for self-preservation needed to be effective.  The group serves to amplify the power of its members.  Thus the need of the individual creates and sustains the group formation.  The group is always a dependent organism and requires our devotion though humility.  The group needs me to cherish it.  I have come to need the group to overcome my disease.  It is the paradox of selfish altruism that AA introduced me to and that I now embrace.

Endigar 546 ~ A New Life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 16, 2014 by endigar

From Daily Reflections of September 15th;

Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. . . . Life will mean something at last.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 152).

Life is better without alcohol. A.A. and the presence of a Higher Power keeps me sober, but the grace of God does even better; it brings service into my life. Contact with the A.A. program teaches me a new and greater understanding of what Alcoholics Anonymous is and what it does, but most importantly, it helps to show me who I am: an alcoholic who needs the constant experience of the Alcoholics Anonymous program so that I may live a life given to me by my Higher Power.

END OF QUOTE

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The promised substitute for Alcoholic Oblivion once real connection in the AA Fellowship is established and maintained;

“There you will find release from care, boredom, and worry.  Your imagination will be fired.  Life will mean something at last.  The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead.”

This is a overwhelming promise from page 152 of the Big Book.  To be truthful, it sounds too good to be true.  I have a lot of anxiety in my life, and the thought of being released from that is quite attractive.  I bore easily in most day to day circumstances, and would appreciate a release from that as well.  An oh how I value my sometimes overactive imagination.  The possibility of it being fired up is an orgasmic prospect.  I have had some satisfactory years behind me and that causes me to lament their loss.  A meaningful life with even greater satisfaction would be quite vindicating.

I have not experienced this promise yet.  I have had enough good things come my way in sobriety to believe that this is possible.  Even with out them, though, I still do value my sobriety and agree with the contributor, my life is better without alcohol.

Endigar 545 ~ Peace of Mind

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2014 by endigar

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

Do we lay the matter before our sponsor or spiritual adviser, earnestly asking God’s help and guidance — meanwhile resolving to do the right thing when it becomes clear, cost what it may?   (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 86-87)

My belief in a Higher Power is an essential part of my work on Step Nine; forgiveness, timing, and right motives are the other ingredients. My willingness to do the Step is a growing experience that opens the door for new and honest relationships with the people I have harmed. My responsible action brings me closer to the spiritual principles of the program — love and service. Peace of mind, serenity, and a stronger faith are sure to follow.

END OF QUOTE

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gomu in unity

The matter that the 12 and 12 refers to when it says, “Do we lay the matter. . . ” is one in which the alcoholic could get away with if he says nothing, but almost certainly will be fired and become unemployable if he confesses it, thus accepting the consequences of his actions, but also causing his dependent family to suffer with him.  The practical wisdom of the 12 steps suggests that the matter be brought to the family and the decision be made in unison while the individual is ready, regardless of the decision, to accept the consequences of his actions.

There is one shift that must take place for this program to work.  I am not alone.  When I believed in that aloneness, I created the consequences that have been painful to face.  We are not alone, and when we give up our isolated thinking and include those who are affected by our decisions, we include those who are spiritual advisers, and we include Gomu (God of my understanding) in our decision making process, we experience the ability to let go of the past horrors, of spiritually significant timing, and the use of tested motives.

My peace of mind comes from connection with the Spiritus Mundi of recovery.

Endigar 544 ~ Repairing the Damage

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 13, 2014 by endigar

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

Good judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage and prudence – these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step Nine.   (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 83)

To make amends can be viewed two ways: first, that of repairing damage, for if I have damaged my neighbor’s fence, I “make a mend,” and that is a direct amend; the second way is by modifying my behavior, for if my actions have harmed someone, I make a daily effort to cause no further harm. I “mend my ways,” and that is an indirect amend. Which is the best approach? The only right approach, provided that I am causing no further harm in so doing, is to do both. If harm is done, then I simply “mend my ways.” To take action in this manner assures me of making honest amends.

END OF QUOTE

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Neuroscience-power-crisis

My alcoholism has the power to do damage to me and to others who become involved with me.  My disease used my power as a living being to destroy.  I became powerless, not because I had no power, but because I surrendered that power to a pathological relationship.  Once surrendered, I am enslaved.

My sobriety has the power to strengthen me and to encourage others who become involved with me.  My solution uses my power as a living being to further empower.  I become powerful, not because I had the power as an isolated being, but because I surrendered that power to a God of my own understanding.  Once surrendered, I experience freedom.

The amends process is the practical expression of this new reality for me.

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