Endigar 662 ~ Do I Have a Choice?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 20, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of January 8;

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so- called will power becomes practically nonexistent.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 24).

My powerlessness over alcohol does not cease when I quit drinking. In sobriety I still have no choice — I can’t drink.

The choice I do have is to pick up and use the “kit of spiritual tools” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25). When I do that, my Higher Power relieves me of my lack of choice — and keeps me sober one more day. If I could choose not to pick up a drink today, where then would be my need for A.A. or a Higher Power?

 

END OF QUOTE

———————————————-

mystical_paradise

If I could choose not to pick up a drink today without the aid of AA, I am not sure that I can then conclude that there would be no need for the Fellowship, or a Higher Power. The spiritual bankruptcy and social isolation that fed my alcoholism are problems that have also been addressed in AA. After decades of searching for such a solution through Churchianity, I have finally been able to develop a working faith with a loving God and an inclusive, never exclusive, permission to embrace the humanity of my fellows, mine included. Powerlessness can be a bridge from a dead world to a colony of hope.

Endigar 661 ~ At the Turning Point

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 15, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of January 7;

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.   (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 59).

Every day I stand at turning points. My thoughts and actions can propel me toward growth or turn me down the road to old habits and to booze. Sometimes turning points are beginnings, as when I decide to start praising, instead of condemning someone. Or when I begin to ask for help instead of going it alone. At other times turning points are endings, such as when I see clearly the need to stop festering resentments or crippling self-seeking. Many shortcomings tempt me daily; therefore, I also have daily opportunities to become aware of them. In one form or another, many of my character defects appear daily: self-condemnation, anger, running away, being prideful, wanting to get even, or acting out of grandiosity.

Attempting half measures to eliminate these defects merely paralyzes my efforts to change. It is only when I ask God for help, with complete abandon, that I become willing — and able — to change.

 

END OF QUOTE

———————————————

Cool-Skydiver-Wallpaper

“. . . with complete abandon.”  What an amazing place to be.  Sexual release with someone that you absolutely trust is a comparable state of psyche.  Leaping out of a flying airplane into the rushing wind equipped with a parachute in which you have invested trust.  That requires such a moment which is the point of complete abandon.  Diving into the unknown ocean depths depending on the viability of the scuba gear embracing your body is another such event.

The elements to achieve this complete abandon are finding something greater than your isolated being such as sexual energy, wide open sky, or a deep mysterious ocean, or a combination of all these found in a loving God.  Then there is finding a place or system of protection that you are willing to trust, such as skill at intimate communication, or  a parachute that can turn a fall into a flight, or gear that can give you a reprieve from drowning. All of these trust provoking situations can be found in the recovery fellowship and the pragmatic moral development of the Steps.  Finally there is that  one profound decision to let go and let it happen.   That brings all the elements to life, and begins a lifestyle of realizing the reality of being connected with One Entity the desires to care for us.  And the God of my understanding does protect and care for me, with complete abandon.

Endigar 660 ~ The Victory of Surrender

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of January 6;

We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built.   (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 21).

When alcohol influenced every facet of my life, when bottles became the symbol of all my self indulgence and permissiveness, when I came to realize that, by myself, I could do nothing to overcome the power of alcohol, I realized I had no recourse except surrender. In surrender I found victory — victory over my selfish self-indulgence, victory over my stubborn resistance to life as it was given to me. When I stopped fighting anybody or anything, I started on the path to sobriety, serenity and peace.

 

END OF QUOTE

—————————————————- 123f In one of my early relapses, I went to a meeting intoxicated.  I was just concentrating on not falling out of my seat and keeping myself from speaking.  I had witnessed active alcoholics embarrass themselves in meetings by talking and having to be silenced. My face was a mixture of stupid grins and flowing tears.  After the meeting, I was leaving and someone caught up with me.  He told me that at some point, I am going to have to surrender.  That word just flew all over me.  “I am in the military!  You only surrender to an enemy!  Is God my enemy?  In the military we do not surrender!”  And with dramatic effect I punched the side of my pick up truck.  As I was leaving, my recovery friend said, “at least let me call you a cab.”

“I drive better when I’ve been drinking.”

That night, while sitting in  jail from my very first arrest, my first DUI, and a very sore set of knuckles, I wondered if I might need to reconsider my concept of surrender. Military forces do surrender to an overwhelming enemy when all other means of resistance have failed.  The hope is that we will live to fight another day.  Retreat is a legitimate military strategy.  It is not weakness, it is a life giving necessity to recognize when you are beaten and seek the most favorable terms of surrender.  The 12 Steps of AA offers some pretty damn favorable terms.

Endigar 659 ~ Total Acceptance

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 3, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of January 5;

He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 152)

Only an alcoholic can understand the exact meaning of a statement like this one. The double standard that held me captive as an active alcoholic also filled me with terror and confusion: “If I don’t get a drink I’m going to die,” competed with “If I continue drinking it’s going to kill me.” Both compulsive thoughts pushed me ever closer to the bottom. That bottom produced a total acceptance of my alcoholism — with no reservations whatsoever — and one that was absolutely essential for my recovery. It was a dilemma unlike anything I had ever faced, but as I found out later on, a necessary one if I was to succeed in this program.

 

END OF QUOTE

———————————————–

Armitage_Siren

“He will wish for the end.”  There is a sickening seduction in the call to Oblivion.  I do not understand it.  Many of us sailed across oceans of alcohol only to find our own isles of Sirenum scopuli.

As mysterious as the siren song to our tragic end is the power of sanity found in “hitting bottom.”  Some of us have a higher bottom than others, while some of never lay hold of it at all.  There is no spiritual bankruptcy like the bottom we find.  It gives us a particular brand of loneliness that few know. There is no scientific formula for the first step.  It is found in the capacity to be truthful with ones self.

I think one clue to the magic of hitting bottom is that the truthfulness that later translates to sanity comes when “we admit” that “we were” and see the problem of powerlessness in “our lives.”  WE do not have to face the shadow of death alone.

Endigar 658 ~ Begin Where You Are

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 2, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of January 4;

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.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 19)

It’s usually pretty easy for me to be pleasant to the people in an A.A. setting. While I’m working to stay sober, I’m celebrating with my fellow A.A.s our common release from the hell of drinking. It’s often not so hard to spread glad tidings to my old and new friends in the program.

At home or at work, though, it can be a different story. It is in situations arising in both of those areas that the little day-to-day frustrations are most evident, and where it can be tough to smile or reach out with a kind word or an attentive ear. It’s outside of the A.A. rooms that I face the real test of the effectiveness of my walk through A.A.’s Twelve Steps.

 

END OF QUOTE

———————————————-

t-ring

Concentric circles.  The first circle I must establish is the protection of my sobriety.  Upon that, GOMU will reveal the next outer circle of my life that I am ready to take on.  I do not move to the outer circles until the inner circles are tight and strong.  As power returns into my life, my prayer life includes what I can now “pack into the stream of life,” as page 86 of the Big Book talks about.  Each new outer circle protects the inner circle if I have the humility and patience to make sure each circle is closed and complete.

Endigar 657 ~ Powerless

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 1, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of January 3;

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.  (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 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.

 

END OF QUOTE

————————————————————–

death-comes-those-wait

To recognize that I am powerless over what others think of me, of missing the bus, or how others work the Steps is relevant in accepting a change in perspective of that which I have the power to change and what I do not. The only potential problem here is my potential reaction to that powerlessness.

This is very different than recognizing that I am powerless over alcohol. Powerlessness itself becomes a problem. It is like admitting that I am powerless over my compulsion to play Russian Roulette or to stand on the ledge of very tall buildings. This powerlessness must be overcome. It is also a recognition that we cannot overcome it when we are isolated and given over to self-deception.   Our solution is a Step by Step process to gain power over alcohol, which begins with honesty about our life-threatening situation.

Endigar 656 ~ First, the Foundation

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 19, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of January 2;

Is sobriety all that we can expect of a spiritual awakening? No, sobriety is only a bare beginning.   (As Bill Sees It, page 8)

Practicing the A.A. program is like building a house. First I had to pour a big, thick concrete slab on which to erect the house; that, to me, was the equivalent of stopping drinking. But it’s pretty uncomfortable living on a concrete slab, unprotected and exposed to the heat, cold, wind and rain. So I built a room on the slab by starting to practice the program. The first room was rickety because I wasn’t used to the work. But as time passed, as I practiced the program, I learned to build better rooms. The more I practiced, and the more I built, the more comfortable, and happy, was the home I now have to live in.

 

END OF QUOTE

—————————————

building-your-home

So what is that big, thick concrete slab that allows me to erect a house, or a heart able to carry recovery?  It is the bare beginning, a spiritual awakening that allows me enough sanity to stay sober.  Yet not drinking or hurting other people is a starting goal and never the finished product.  There is no doubt that no other progress can be made without this beginning, but obtaining sobriety is a catalyst for the final goal and not the finished product itself.

My big, thick concrete slab is to realize I have been living my life on my knees before a power greater than myself and that merciless mistress of my fate was alcohol.  I have been living with an abusive spiritual dominant that has left me battered in an unmanageable life.  The program teaches me to take my habit of surrendering and turn it toward a Higher Power that truly has my best interests at heart.  I will abandon my alcoholic skill of self-deception and learn the sanity of my GOMU’s to embrace truth.  This is what I will erect my recovery structure on.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 231 other followers