Endigar 563 ~ “The Acid Test”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of October 2;

As we work the first nine Steps, we prepare ourselves for the adventure of a new life. But when we approach Step Ten we commence to put our A.A. way of living to practical use, day by day, in fair weather or foul. Then comes the acid test: can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance, and live to good purpose under all conditions?   (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 88)

I know the Promises are being fulfilled in my life, but I want to maintain and develop them by the daily application of Step Ten. I have learned through this Step that if I am disturbed, there is something wrong with me. The other person may be wrong too, but I can only deal with my feelings. When I am hurt or upset, I have to continually look for the cause in me, and then I have to admit and correct my mistakes. It isn’t easy, but as long as I know I am progressing spiritually, I know that I can mark my effort up as a job well done. I have found that pain is a friend; it lets me know there is something wrong with my emotions, just as a physical pain lets me know there is something wrong with my body. When I take the appropriate action through the Twelve Steps, the pain gradually goes away.

 

END OF QUOTE

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So it would seem that the mission of Step Ten is to maintain sobriety and emotional balance which leads to living to good purpose under all conditions.  The daily application of Step Ten is a way to maintain and develop the Ninth Step Promises that were catalyzed by my moral inventory, prayers for the removal of my short-comings,  and subsequent amends.  Personal pain and disturbance signals a real need to go ahead and use the daily inventory to find my part in that painful disturbance.  This is not a courtroom procedure.  Finding my part transforms me from a fearful victim to a transformed and empowered child of the Fatherheart.  Step Ten is a necessary and desirable daily ritual.

Endigar 562 ~ Lest We Become Complacent

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 15, 2014 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of October 1;

It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.   (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 85)

When I am in pain it is easy to stay close to the friends I have found in the program. Relief from that pain is provided in the solutions contained in A.A.’s Twelve Steps. But when I am feeling good and things are going well, I can become complacent. To put it simply, I become lazy and turn into the problem instead of the solution. I need to get into action, to take stock: where am I and where am I going? A daily inventory will tell me what I must change to regain spiritual balance. Admitting what I find within myself, to God and to another human being, keeps me honest and humble.

 

END OF QUOTE

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Step 10:  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Perfectionist Fear;  Wanting to perform at a level that is beyond reproach or not at all.  Usually the latter.  Rejection Fear;  Wanting to hear voices of validation, thus I decide to perform anyway and obsess over the prospect that I am being ignored, my voice is not being heard.

Results in an apathetic mind and an anxious heart.  Cannot stay in such a state of being.

GOMU Conference;  He is responsible for the results and I am responsible for the day’s tasks.  Calm down and work.  Surrender the results to Gomu (God of my understanding).  Help this to be a normal part of my being.

Endigar 561 ~ The Circle and the Triangle

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

From the Daily Reflections of September 30;

The circle stands for the whole world of A.A., and the triangle stands for A.A.’s Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service. Within our wonderful new world, we have found freedom from our fatal obsession.   (A.A. Comes of Age, page 139)

Early in my A.A. life, I became employed in its services and I found the explanation of our society’s logo to be very appropriate. First, a circle of love and service with a well-balanced triangle inside, the base of which represents our Recovery through the Twelve Steps. Then the other two sides, representing Unity and Service, respectively. The three sides of the triangle are equal. As I grew in A.A. I soon identified myself with this symbol. I am the circle, and the sides of the triangle represent three aspects of my personality: physical, emotional sanity, and spirituality, the latter forming the symbol’s base. Taken together, all three aspects of my personality translate into a sober and happy life.

 

END OF QUOTE

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24 hour reprieve

 

I can take the basic circle and triangle and leave it simple or make it very complex.  I am tired and a little numb this evening, but I am grateful for each day of sobriety, each 24 hours that I can hold in my hand.

Endigar 560 ~ Exactly Alike

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

From the Daily Reflections of September 29;

Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.   (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 89)

A man came to the meeting drunk, interrupted the speakers, stood up and took his shirt off, staggered loudly back and forth for coffee, demanded to talk, and eventually called the group’s secretary an unquotable name and walked out. I was glad he was there – once again I saw what I had been like. But I also saw what I still am, and what I still could be. I don’t have to be drunk to want to be the exception and the center of attention. I have often felt abused and responded abusively when I was simply being treated as a garden variety human being. The more the man tried to insist he was different, the more I realized that he and I were exactly alike.

 

END OF QUOTE

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Angry-man

A birthday of lamentations.  A friend withdrawn in personal pain.  I hijack that pain and make it about me.  I make a public display, aided by facebook.  Exactly alike, indeed.  Seeking solution that lasts.

Endigar 559 ~ Love Without Strings

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 12, 2014 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of September 28;

Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 89)

Sponsorship held two surprises for me. First, that my sponsees cared about me. What I had thought was gratitude was more like love. They wanted me to be happy, to grow and remain sober. Knowing how they felt kept me from drinking more than once. Second, I discovered that I was able to love someone else responsibly, with respectful and genuine concern for that person’s growth. Before that time, I had thought that my ability to care sincerely about another’s well-being had atrophied from lack of use. To learn that I can love, without greed or anxiety, has been one of the deepest gifts the program has given me. Gratitude for that gift has kept me sober many times.

 

END OF QUOTE

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I am surprised at how much I want to know this reality.  I want to be able to do and feel all of this.  I remember in a galaxy far, far away a group I admired while in the military.  They were called the Navigators, founded by Dawson Trotman.  He died lifting up another.  Why does that appeal to me?  It just seems like a good death.  It even seems like it might be a good life.  I liked the Navigators pragmatic approach to spirituality and see that duplicated in the 12 step recovery program.  Is it a real possibility?  It makes a good story.

Endigar 558 ~ Without Reservation

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 11, 2014 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of September 27;

When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, . . .  (As Bill Sees It, page 37)

While practicing service to others, if my successes give rise to grandiosity, I must reflect on what brought me to this point. What has been given joyfully, with love, must be passed on without reservation and without expectation. For as I grow, I find that no matter how much I give with love, I receive much more in spirit.

 

END OF QUOTE

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After a world of hurt I experienced in 2003 that had nothing to do with active alcoholism, I made a profound commitment not to love or be directed by the need for love again.  By 2005 I had utterly failed to protect myself from it.  I was all on board with the Nazareth assertion that Love hurts.  Over time I have gained a perspective change gained through AA and my intimate others that refused to surrender me to my social suicide.  Love is about connection and empowerment.  It grows in effectiveness as it is shared.  I desire the potentially infinite empowerment of being able to share without reservation.

Endigar 557 ~ Our Children

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 11, 2014 by endigar

From Daily Reflections of September 26;

The alcoholic may find it hard to re-establish friendly relations with his children. . . . In time they will see that he is a new man and in their own way they will let him know it. . . . From that point on, progress will be rapid.  Marvelous results often follow such a reunion.   (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 134)

While on the road to recovery I received a gift that could not be purchased. It was a card from my son in college, saying, “Dad, you can’t imagine how glad I am that everything is okay. Happy Birthday, I love you.” My son had told me that he loved me before. It had been during the previous Christmas holidays, when he had said to me, while crying, “Dad, I love you! Can’t you see what you’re doing to yourself?” I couldn’t. Choked with emotion, I had cried, but this time, when I received my son’s card, my tears were tears of joy, not desperation.

 

END OF QUOTE

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This has become a painful area for me.  I lost a stepson to this disease, and my other son is not communicating with me he because of my disease.  He is in his own world of pain.  I am responsible for some of it.  This is out of my hands, and there is nothing I would like more to be under my control because the relationship is so very significant.  My isolated self ego sees injustice and does not want to succeed on someone else’s terms, not even someone I love.  My righteous indignation is a call for emotional suicide.

I will not get or stay sober because anyone I love wants me to.  So, what will I do then?  What will those like me do?  I am so tired of hospital visits and brushes with the law for chemically induced stupidity.  I am tired of my ambitions leaving me spiritually bankrupt.

There is a solution.  I believe that.  I will keep coming back.  If I fall seven times, I will get up eight.  I have experienced recovery in bits and pieces.  And maybe I can have a good story of restored relationships, as is recorded here.  My first restored relationship must be with my God.

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