Endigar 719 ~ Overcoming Self-Will

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

From the Daily Reflections of March 03;

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62).

For so many years my life revolved solely around myself. I was consumed with self in all forms—self-centeredness, self-pity, self-seeking, all of which stemmed from pride. Today I have been given the gift, through the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, of practicing the Steps and Traditions in my daily life, of my group and sponsor, and the capacity— if I so choose—to put my pride aside in all situations which arise in my life. Until I could honestly look at myself and see that I was the problem in many situations and react appropriately inside and out; until I could discard my expectations and understand that my serenity was directly proportional to them, I could not experience serenity and sound sobriety.





Notice that the Big Book says “we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness,” and does not say “we alcoholics must be rid of selfishness.” There is a particular brand of selfishness described in great detail on the preceding pages that is destructive. It is isolated, disconnected selfishness.

Notice that when the contributor to the Reflections says that for so many of his years life revolved “solely” around himself, and then the gift of the Fellowship of AA was the capacity to practice the Steps and Traditions in “his” daily life, of having “his” group, and “his” sponsor and the ability to put “his” pride aside in “his” life. The positive form of selfishness is one that leads us to self-care through connections with the collective.

I think it is also important to tell the difference between pride and self-confidence. When someone wishes to play down their faults, their weaknesses, to hide them from others, and even from themselves, they create a wall built with self-delusions, arrogant proclamations of what they perceive to be their strengths, and they avoid the healing intimacy that only humility can provide.  This is pride. On the other hand, self-confidence grows when one takes a fearless moral inventory and sees plainly both strength and weakness, and recognizes the need to connect with their God and a trusted network of fellow seekers.



Endigar 718 ~ From My Heart

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

To those of you who drop in and read my posts, I want to say thank-you. I also wanted to let you know that my sporadic contributions of late are not because I have relapsed, but because I am working hard to get my Masters degree in education. I find the writing here to be personally gratifying, and I hope that it is as good for you as it is for me. I like the practice of reflective thinking and writing. I hope that you are prospering in your own life’s quest. endigar.


Endigar 717 ~ Hope

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 25, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of March 02;

Do not be discouraged. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 60).

Few experiences are of less value to me than fast sobriety. Too many times discouragement has been the bonus for unrealistic expectations, not to mention self-pity or fatigue from my wanting to change the world by the weekend. Discouragement is a warning signal that I may have wandered across the God line. The secret of fulfilling my potential is in acknowledging my limitations and believing that time is a gift, not a threat.

Hope is the key that unlocks the door of discouragement. The program promises me that if I do not pick up the first drink today, I will always have hope. Having come to believe that I keep what I share, every time I encourage, I receive courage. It is with others that, with the grace of God and the Fellowship of A.A., I trudge the road of happy destiny. May I always remember that the power within me is far greater than any fear before me. May I always have patience, for I am on the right road.





My dichotomy of perspective is frustratingly fascinating to me. Although nothing significant may change in my environment, my shift in emotions and perspective throws me threw the mirror glass, into the home of whatever reflection I was gazing into. For me, hope is always connected with faith in a plan, a process, a course of action. The ultimate results belong to the human collective, and is grafted into the ultimate work of the Infinite One.  When my expectations are guided by my fear of being alone and discounted, then my home is the world of the Infinite No One, the human exile, the futility of work. My expectations have been misdirected into a war with whatever scapegoat my beaten soul can wrap around.

When I am able to believe in the guided destiny of my Higher Power, when I believe in the value of the collective body of humanity, when I can breath and know that my work counts, I can make a plan in my 24 hour circle and I can feel the hope of a new and more powerful life unfolding in and around me. My hope is the life flower of deep roots in the soil where I have been planted.

Endigar 716 ~ It Works

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 17, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of March 01;

It works — it really does. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 88).

When I got sober I initially had faith only in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Desperation and fear kept me sober (and maybe a caring and/or tough sponsor helped!). Faith in a Higher Power came much later. This faith came slowly at first, after I began listening to others share at meetings about their experiences — experiences that I had never faced sober, but that they were facing with strength from a Higher Power. Out of their sharing came hope that I too would — and could — “get” a Higher Power. In time, I learned that a Higher Power — a faith that works under all conditions — is possible. Today this faith, plus the honesty, open mindedness and willingness to work the Steps of the program, gives me the serenity that I seek. It works — it really does.






It is funny to me that in the meeting I went to tonight, the topic was the third step. What is the “It” in “It works?” Let’s put that pronoun in a larger scope, zoom out and see the preceding idea that really works:

What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.

We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why.

If circumstances warrant, we ask our wives or friends to join us in morning meditation. If we belong to a religious denomination which requires a definite morning devotion, we attend to that also. If not members of religious bodies, we sometimes select and memorize a few set prayers which emphasize the principles we have been discussing. There are many helpful books also. Suggestions about these may be obtained from one’s priest, minister, or rabbi. Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer.

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.

It works – it really does. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 87-88)

The interesting thing is that this passage says that our isolated selfishness, even when coupled with prayer, simply does not work. But, when I recognize that I have freedom with a purpose, that I am responsible for the effort and the God of my understanding is in charge of the results, that I can trust the GOMU to care for the direction of my will energy and the expression of my life, this is the It that works. This God thing works.

Endigar 715 ~ What? No President?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of February 28;

When told that our Society has no president having authority to govern it, no treasurer who can compel the payment of any dues, . . . our friends gasp and exclaim, “This simply can’t be. . . .” (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 132).

When I finally made my way to A.A., I could not believe that there was no treasurer to “compel the payment of dues.” I could not imagine an organization that didn’t require monetary contributions in return for a service. It was my first and, thus far, only experience with getting “something for nothing.” Because I did not feel used or conned by those in A.A., I was able to approach the program free from bias and with an open mind. They wanted nothing from me. What could I lose? I thank God for the wisdom of the early founders who knew so well the alcoholic’s disdain for being manipulated.




The ruler of AA first appeared to me as the need to survive. I knew nothing other than self-preservation when I first entered the rooms. I huddled in the sanctuary of abstinence, and said, “take me to your leader, I am in need of asylum, a safe passage to sanity.” I was told to come on in and discover the God of my own understanding. In here, the Spirit of Sobriety will guide you. Trust the process. So I did. My isolated selfishness is being ever transformed to a self-care that manifests in my own personal relationship with GOMU (God of my understanding).

[An Alcoholic’s Paraphrase of Micah Chapter 7, verses 7 and 8]

But as for me, I will look to Gomu,

I will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of my Sobriety.

My God will hear me.

Rejoice not against me, oh my disease.

For when I fall, I shall arise.

When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light to me.


Endigar 714 ~ A Unique Stability

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 25, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of February 27;

Where does A.A. get its direction? . . . These practical folk then read Tradition Two, and learn that the sole authority in A.A. is a loving God as He may express Himself in the group conscience. . . . The elder statesman is the one who sees the wisdom of the group’s decision, who holds no resentment over his reduced status, whose judgment, fortified by considerable experience, is sound, and who is willing to sit quietly on the sidelines patiently awaiting developments.  (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pages 132 and 135).

Into the fabric of recovery from alcoholism are woven the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions. As my recovery progressed, I realized that the new mantle was tailor-made for me. The elders of the group gently offered suggestions when change seemed impossible. Everyone’s shared experiences became the substance for treasured friendships. I know that the Fellowship is ready and equipped to aid each suffering alcoholic at all crossroads in life. In a world beset by many problems, I find this assurance a unique stability. I cherish the gift of sobriety. I offer God my gratitude for the strength I receive in a Fellowship that truly exists for the good of all members.





The idea that my Twelve Step network is always ready to help the suffering alcoholic is an ideal that I embrace. The thing about ideals is that they push us forward to their fulfillment. There may be times when a suffering alcoholic reaches out and a member of the Fellowship responds inappropriately or in a way that is either not helpful or enabling. We fall short from time to time. Then we turn to our ideals preserved in the Steps and Traditions and try again. The stability comes to us in our persistence to meet, to connect when we can, to serve, to work to produce better more durable versions of ourselves. When others in my network stay sober and prosper, it benefits and encourages me. When I stay sober and prosper, I look forward to the opportunity to be of use to my others. It is a good life and I am grateful.

Endigar 713 ~ No Ordinary Success Story

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of February 26;

A.A. is no success story in the ordinary sense of the word. It is a story of suffering transmuted, under grace, into spiritual progress.  (As Bill Sees It, page 35).

Upon entering A.A. I listened to others talk about the reality of their drinking: loneliness, terror and pain. As I listened further, I soon heard a description of a very different kind — the reality of sobriety. It is a reality of freedom and happiness, of purpose and direction, and of serenity and peace with God, ourselves and others. By attending meetings I am reintroduced to that reality, over and over. I see it in the eyes and hear it in the voices of those around me. By working the program I find the direction and strength with which to make it mine. The joy of A.A. is that this new reality is available to me.





When you are trapped in any sense of the word, gaining the release that life’s passersby take for granted is a private miracle that is hard to describe. Only my fellow sufferers and those very close to us get how powerful living becomes in the face of this transforming program. When one ancient prison door after another begins to swing wide, the success of my journey in AA recovery is undeniable, even in my lowest moments.


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