Endigar 702 ~ Taking Action

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

From the Daily Reflections of February 15;

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 84).

One of the most important things A.A. has given me, in addition to freedom from booze, is the ability to take “right action.” It says the promises will always materialize if I work for them. Fantasizing about them, debating them, preaching about them and faking them just won’t work. I’ll remain a miserable, rationalizing dry drunk. By taking action and working the Twelve Steps in all my affairs, I’ll have a life beyond my wildest dreams.

 

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It is not extravagant to believe that my Higher Power will honor and empower my work in recovery. The Gomu (God of my understanding) that has the power to overcome my alcoholic addiction and does so, is motivated by a specific loving interest in seeing my dreams fulfilled. If I invest myself in this reality, my life is guided by daily work in spiritual inspiration. It is a good life and I am grateful for it.

Endigar 701 ~ Expectations vs Demands

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of February 14;

Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 98).

Dealing with expectations is a frequent topic at meetings. It isn’t wrong to expect progress of myself, good things from life, or decent treatment from others. Where I get into trouble is when my expectations become demands. I will fall short of what I wish to be and situations will go in ways I do not like, because people will let me down sometimes. The only question is: “What am I going to do about it?” Wallow in self-pity or anger; retaliate and make a bad situation worse; or will I trust in God’s power to bring blessings on the messes in which I find myself? Will I ask Him what I should be learning; do I keep on doing the right things I know how to do, no matter what; do I take time to share my faith and blessings with others?

 

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I am tired of not knowing how my years are going to play out. The fear of the unknown swirling chaos of life tears open my chest and invades me deeply with a great sense of being in exile. I fight back to regain my solid self and take a piece of the planet that responds when I say “mine.” There is no way to escape the echoes of loss or the years of waste. I am here.

The Gomu (God of my understanding) does not seem to be offended or disgusted or panicked by my fearful expectations when we meet and find one another, each day. I relax and take it easy. I have something personal, intimate, and specific to me as an individual because my significance is revealed in this new trust with an infinite Entity some call God.

Endigar 700 ~ We Can’t Think Our Way Sober

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of February 13;

To the intellectually self-sufficient man or woman, many A.A.’s can say, “Yes, we were like you — far too smart for our own good. . . . Secretly, we felt we could float above the rest of the folks on our brain power alone.”  (As Bill Sees It, page 60).

Even the most brilliant mind is no defense against the disease of alcoholism. I can’t think my way sober. I try to remember that intelligence is a Godgiven attribute that I may use, a joy — like having a talent for dancing or drawing or carpentry. It does not make me better than anyone else, and it is not a particularly reliable tool for recovery, for it is a power greater than myself who will restore me to sanity — not a high IQ or a college degree.

 

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This reflection should be entitled “I Can’t Think My Way Sober.” It is the power of my intellect to separate me from others in recovery that is deadly. It is not intelligence, but lazy skepticism, perpetual argumentation, and terminal uniqueness that empowers my disease to divide and conquer. Intelligence without humility fuels the starving, mangy loan wolf within me. The 12 Steps are never successfully an I process.

I have heard some in the rooms say they had to dumb themselves down to make this program work. I have personally lamented that stupid people seemed to be the happy ones, but I do not believe that AA was designed to make us giggling idiots. In my case, I had to learn to seek the simplicity that comes with serenity. Complexity in my communication was not intelligence as much as it was a distrustful attempt to control my social environment. It seems to me the truly smart people learn to listen, investigate, and connect. I have heard it said in AA that “we stay sober, I get drunk.”

Endigar 699 ~ “The Root of Our Troubles”

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

From the Daily Reflections of February 12;

Selfishness — self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62).

How amazing the revelation that the world, and everyone in it, can get along just fine with or without me. What a relief to know that people, places and things will be perfectly okay without my control and direction. And how wordlessly wonderful to come to believe that a power greater than me exists separate and apart from myself. I believe that the feeling of separation I experience between me and God will one day vanish. In the meantime, faith must serve as the pathway to the center of my life.

 

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“Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62).

The phrase “this selfishness” refers to a particular kind of selfishness described on the previous pages. It refers to isolated self will.

It is important to me that this need to remove isolated selfishness does not also purge away my ability to exercise self-care. Without a strong dose of this good kind of “selfishness,” I will become a martyr to co-dependence. The false image of a powerful self standing alone requires self-deception and a lot of alcohol to replace the blood of humanity pumping through my body. My intrinsic confidence is replaced with fantasy-protecting pride and I grow deaf to the God that will only speak to me with truth.  It is important to me that in my iconoclastic zealotry for humility, I take care not to destroy my good self-care crops while pulling the weeds of addiction up by the roots of my self-centered hermitage. This is a selfish program in that it only works when I care about myself enough to surrender my isolated selfishness. This, to me, is the powerful paradox of AA, and many other spiritual pursuits.

 

Endigar 698 ~ The Limits of Self-Reliance

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

From the Daily Reflections of February 11;

We asked ourselves why we had them [fears]. Wasn’t it because self-reliance failed us?  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 68).

All of my character defects separate me from God’s will. When I ignore my association with Him I face the world and my alcoholism alone and must depend on self-reliance. I have never found security and happiness through self-will and the only result is a life of fear and discontent. God provides the path back to Him and to His gift of serenity and comfort. First, however, I must be willing to acknowledge my fears and understand their source and power over me. I frequently ask God to help me understand how I separate myself from Him.

 

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I am sometimes afraid of relinquishing self-reliance even though it does not work to enforce my isolated will on a connected Universe. My limitations and rebuffs and struggles to stand alone are familiar failures. The constant dose of fear is so normal it is an invisible affliction, until I slow down and take an inventory.

So what now? Can I trust the God of my understanding? In my moral circumspection I see that I have a place in the Universe. In this connection with my Higher Power, I suspect that the will of God fulfills the desires of my heart. They are not mutually exclusive when I discover where the true me exists and the anti-me resists. For me, this is the process of being restored to sanity. I am willing to believe there is a God of my understanding that will allow me to relinquish the illusion of control.

Endigar 697 ~ Grateful for What I Have

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 18, 2015 by endigar

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

During this process of learning more about humility, the most profound result of all was the change in our attitude toward God.  (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 75).

Today my prayers consist mostly of saying thank you to my Higher Power for my sobriety and for the wonder of God’s abundance, but I need to ask also for help and the power to carry out His will for me. I no longer need God each minute to rescue me from the situations I get myself into by not doing His will. Now my gratitude seems to be directly linked to humility. As long as I have the humility to be grateful for what I have, God continues to provide for me.

 

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The twelve Apostles, Australia

I had difficulty with the concept of humility. My mind would envision someone with head bowed and spirit beaten down into mindless servitude. This reminded me of the humiliation of alcoholism. Such a view of humility was not helpful to my recovery.

So I looked at its opposite. An antonym for humility is arrogance. In my own mind I would often stand high above all others and imagine myself in a fantasy of isolated superiority. I regularly became guilty of contempt prior to investigation and rejected any challenge to my delusion. Now I can see that humility is not demeaning myself, but lifting up others in my own estimate. My personal perspective is to be considered on an equal field with those of my fellows. Because I have been accustomed to withdrawing to the fantasy world where I alone reign supreme, humility will involve some ego deflation.

I have discovered that my needs and desires can never really find fulfillment in the isolated fantasy of addiction. I have to enter the interactive reality of the human family through the gateway of humility.  I can never settle for the life of the lazy skeptic. It has been a long road getting from there to here, but I am grateful to those who have stayed with me throughout this process to include the loving God of my understanding.

Endigar 696 ~ I Don’t Run the Show

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 16, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of February 10;

When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn’t. What was our choice to be? (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 53).

Today my choice is God. He is everything. For this I am truly grateful. When I think I am running the show I am blocking God from my life. I pray I can remember this when I allow myself to get caught up into self. The most important thing is that today I am willing to grow along spiritual lines, and that God is everything. When I was trying to quit drinking on my own, it never worked; with God and A.A., it is working. This seems to be a simple thought for a complicated alcoholic

 

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If there is an area that I decide I cannot trust my God to provide power and guidance, that one area will become a source of isolated self-will for me. This particular brand of selfishness will make that area more important than all others. The isolated self-will of my addiction will gain control once it gains my attention. I know that for me, my devotions have to be all or nothing in the face of this disease that is so prone to chronic recurrence. If I progressively entrust more and more to the God of my understanding, I will grow in serenity, power, and wisdom.

 

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