Life does not require us to be consistent,cruel,patient,helpful,angry,rational, thoughtless,loving,rash,open-minded,neurotic,careful,rigid,tolerant,wasteful, rich,downtrodden,gentle,sick,considerate,funny,stupid,healthy,greedy, beautiful,lazy,responsive,foolish,sharing,pressured,intimate,hedonistic, industrious,manipulative,insightful,capricious,wise,selfish,kind or sacrificed. Life does,however,require us to live with the consequences of our choices.”
I have learned how to and have the ability to love with greatness today. I would never have it any other way now that I am able. I found I can just be myself and not falsify who I am. Searching for love has not been a requirement for some time. I have love all around me today, my friends, family, and my children, which is of most importance to me. My children are the greatest gift that could have ever come into my life. Being a father is the greatest gift God has bestowed upon me. I learn right along with my children, they teach me as well on how to be a good dad, and yes, I teach them on how too be good children. They will tell me when I’m not, not always by way of words but it comes! They to are human beings and have their own make-up; Thoughts, beliefs, and actions. We may not always agree on some levels, but nevertheless, we have the kind of love, friendship, and respect that will always allow us to be in good graces with each other. I fancy myself as a good friend to my children, however, father first is a must and that kind of puts a kink in some things on their behalf. My children and I have actual, regular conversations. I am not one to govern them in any of their beliefs. I will tell them if I believe they might be wrong about something and they do so with me as well. I have never instilled into them that just because I am dad, that I am right. They are entitled to be right as well, and most often are. I truly do learn a lot from my children. They have opinions and I like to hear them. A little impatient I may be at times, but who isn’t impatient. Just really depends on the subject at hand. It is the most heart warming experience I have ever had to this date, and always will be, I believe. Sadness comes over me at times when I notice their youth going away and them turning into little adults. My oldest is already in full adulthood and I miss her adolescence to say the least. There was a time when, if I was asked by my children, something about my youth, I wouldn’t tell them the truth or I would avoid the question all together. Because the truth is, my own youth wasn’t really anything they needed to know, I felt. My youth was led by destruction, the unholy, chaos, demoralization, and reckless addiction. And I guess there are some things they just don’t need to know at the age they are asking them. However, today, the ages they are now, I believe we are past this and I can take them to a place in their minds which would show them precisely how a person can change. And I believe they could grasp such a thing today. For the most part, we all understand that if we do good, we get good. To have complete and total unconditional love for them is a true gift from God once again. This kind of love was never a practice of mine until they came along. It’s amazing just how much the realness is when it comes to a father loving his children. Sometimes I fail at putting this into action and sometimes I don’t. I always want to be readily and available for my children when they need me, not like what it was when I was growing up. This was an area that lacked in my life for a long time. So I understand their need to have an active, participating, and available father in everything they do and journey into. Sometimes I fail at this as well. I don’t always make the right decisions; I make mistakes when it comes to them, and any other part of my life for that matter. However, when it is all said and done, the love, friendship, and respect is there and it carries us through. It’s just living, learning, and loving that we have with each other. Little people or big people, we will always have some degree of difficultness when dealing with others.
I love with my mind, heart, and whole being and I love others for their mind and heart. There is no separation for me, or middle of the road, it has to be both. I have experienced heart ache, but I don’t let that deter me from moving forward. I have tried to stay protected and it doesn’t work for me. Some heart ache, at times, I wished I wasn’t going through at that moment, however, it being necessary for growth and coming to different understandings at certain points in my life. A friend once told me I was a genuine man, a great father, a true lover of lovers and to never be anything different no mater what. Those who appreciate such in a person will grasp that about you and cherish it and give back to you in return. Then and only then will you have great love on a level of great love. I’ve always known that you need to be the kind of person you want to have in someone else for a successful relationship. And some people aid you in being that very person. Although I do believe this, it is hard at times to remain myself without guard and cautiousness. Rightfully so I suppose. There has been heart felt matters take place in my life, and in within my being I felt as if I had found a home inside of another person, safe and protected in the sense of being in love. Although that relationship had come to an end, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valid relationship. Also it doesn’t mean that I haven’t ever been in love again, I have been. Simply, for me, it means that what I had with that exact person is what we had, not what I would have with someone else. I spent some time trying to duplicate that feeling in other relationships. Then I realized that, what I had with that person was certain uniqueness in our own settling, never to be duplicated with someone else. The love I have experienced has had its each and own signature on my heart and great love as well. I live a life of love and kindness for the most part anyways. Yes, I get a little sideways at times, but hell I’m just a regular person with a little insight on life. And really, that is all I need today and or any day. Today I can say that my ideas have changed some. Things that used to be acceptable and comfortable have no room in my life today. Attitudes I used to carry around with me are gone. And the actions behind such thoughts and ideas have lessened, which paves the way for better living in peace, harmony, and serenity. I feel tuned into a lot of different things nowadays and sometimes I am conflicted, but yet, to stand up for what you believe in is the ultimate act of self respect you can have. Therefore, I find it hard to hold with idea to be unforgiving of others. Look how hard it has been to change ones self, and yet, there’s some sort of demand for others to adjust promptly to how we think they should be living. We’re all spiritually ill in some manner, and some strive to come to higher understandings and some have no desire to. When I look at it in these terms, it makes it easier to live and let live. Most of us are just trying to live life the best we can with what we know to be true and wanting to live life happily. We learn what we learn when we learn it and truthfully speaking, we really don’t do much to learn until some sort of pain starts to set in, and when it does, then were all for the learning. Depending on the degree of suffering we go through, determines the determination to be free from it. Now, not all is like that for me, there are significant changes that have taken place in my life without the assistance of hurt, pain, or suffering, perhaps more for the preventative of such calamity. Not placing yourself in certain situations will do a lot for a person. Yet, we have to think that way first in order to achieve it. All action is born in thought, and if we look to advance on our spiritual beliefs, we create a measure of action necessary not to repeat what it is we have always done, and if we trudge this way long enough then we have come to change. I have to have some kind of faith in me in order to carry out the steps to make such change take place. Faith is not believing God can, It’s knowing that He will. And how do I get to the “knowing.” I have to believe before I can have faith. I can’t have faith in something if I don’t believe it first. Impossible! Faith without works is dead, but works without faith is how we build faith. Going through experiences guides me to a belief and then I will have faith in a process. We didn’t grow up wanting to be jaded in certain areas of our lives, we became that way, due to whatever conditions, beliefs, up bringing, ideals and ideas we learned. We created the action in our lives and believed whatever it was to be our normalcy. Ideas, emotions, attitudes and actions are what makes up our being, always will be. We replace old ideas with new ideas, we unlearn, learn, and then we get to experience an element of freedom from what it was we were fearful of. My ideas, emotions, attitudes, and actions are still changing. I have been through the changes that have allowed me to be who I am today, and continue to be. Today I believe, trust, and have that faith in the process which is required for emotional, mental, and spiritual stability, because I have walked it, lived it, and now see it. Sometimes I can be a slow learner. Relationships are the hardest of life’s situations, the most challenging; it is through others that we learn most about ourselves. God puts them there for us to embrace, to teach us what it is we need to learn, and teach them. People normally teach us two things, what to do and what not to do. People are removed from our lives and we develop this thing for them called a “memory” and we get to hold them there. This memory will bring about new ideas, attitudes, and actions for us. Today I have faith in whatever process there is for me to experience, I may not like it or enjoy it, but I do have the belief and faith to carry me through. Only because I have experienced, trudged, changed, and moved forward in life’s journey. There is a writing I came across that has had tremendous effect in this area of my life, and it’s called “Reason, Season, or Lifetime.” At times I want to hold with old ideas which had kept me sullen about each endeavor, and this has allowed me not to. It really is a great piece; it put some things in perspective. One of the things you can count on is a forever change in ideas and belief, nothing stays as is. Everything continually changes, for it is law. Five years ago, I only believed partially of what I believe today, and maybe five years from now I will believe partially of what I believed then. This doesn’t make us liars, this makes us changed. From when I entered recovery 25 years ago to today, everything has changed. All that was involved was a simple process to follow, a process in which I had complicated for quite some time, defeating my own purpose for the sake of change. How ironic!
THE RELIGIOUS VIEW ON A.A.
Clergymen of practically every denomination have given A.A. their blessing.
Edward Dowling, S.J.,* of the Queen’s Work staff, says, “Alcoholics Anonymous is natural; it is natural at the point where nature comes closest to the supernatural, namely in humiliations and in consequent humility. There is something spiritual about an art museum or a symphony, and the Catholic Church approves of our use of them. There is something spiritual about A.A. too, and Catholic participation in it almost invariably results in poor Catholics becoming better Catholics.”
The Episcopal magazine, The Living Church, observes editorially: “The basis of the technique of Alcoholics Anonymous is the truly Christian principle that a man cannot help himself except by helping others. The A.A. plan is described by the members themselves as ‘self-insurance.’ This self-insurance has resulted in the restoration of physical, mental and spiritual health and self-respect to hundreds of men and women who would be hopelessly down and out without its unique but effective therapy.”
Speaking at a dinner given by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to introduce Alcoholics Anonymous to some of his friends, Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick remarked:
“I think that psychologically speaking there is a point of advantage in the approach that is being made in this movement that cannot be duplicated. I suspect that if it is wisely handled—and it seems to be in wise and prudent hands—there are doors of opportunity ahead of this project that may surpass our capacities to imagine.”
* Father Ed, an early and wonderful friend of A.A., died in the spring of 1960.
In my dreams since I was a child, I watched you move about in the terrace with low dimmed lighting. I never saw your face, just your long hair that covered you beautifully. I was sitting over near the the entrance, where the plants of ivy wrapped around the wall near you. My heart would pound and my stomach filled with butterflies, I would long to see your face just once, once! After you completed your walk around the place, you exited behind the wall. When I would go look there, you were gone and I would wake up. This dream started around the age of 7, and continued off n on for about 30 years. Throughout time I have often thought and wondered about this dream. I would wake up sad after having it, from the very first dream. I still remember every single move, colors, and backrounds. Interesting :))
Charlie P., (of Charlie and Joe Big Book Study) passed away on April 21st 2011. I doubt that I would have the life, understanding, and knowledge I have, and the good life that I enjoy today had it not been for the work and efforts of you Charlie! You saved my life and helped me to find a new one! I am, and will be forever grateful, to and for you! Charlie P. and Joe McQ, RIP, from Arkansas, USA, carried the message of Alcoholics Anonymous —the Big Book, to literally hundreds of thousands of members in our Fellowship in dozens of countries all around the globe. Many in our Fellowship have been helped and had their lives transformed as a result of following along with Charlie and Joe, in their Big Book Studies, that were often performed at Conventions, Round-ups, Retreats, Conferences and onboard Sober Cruises. I believe that Charlie and Joe —were the spark and the flame, that generated a much needed fire in the belly of the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous —to get back to the basics of recovery by Taking the 12 Steps —using the Big Book, as the guide and source for the precise instructions on “Having Had A Spiritual Awakening as THE result of THESE Steps. Their efforts and work was reproduced on millions of CD’s, cassette tapes, and MP3 files that have been downloaded to continue to carry the message of transformation, change, recovery and hope.
Does anyone know how to or how I can reply to posts left on my blog. I always have to go to your blog and “ask a question” in order to reply to something.
shareascare asked: i like your blog, please check out the first anonymous social network support group at www.shareascare.com and join a community like no other, made up of individuals going through similar things as yourself or become a friend/supporter of somebody that may really need your companionship, or simply help us spread the word about our message that no one has to be alone...thank you!
Thank you, I’ll check it out. Im still trying to figure out Tumblr lol
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood ideas we have about ourselves is, change. We have an idea of what and who we want to be and in the process of getting there, we lose site from moment to moment. Then the almighty discouragement steps in and we throw our hands up in the air. Set backs are common among us. It’s the same ol’ same ol’ jive. However, it doesn’t take long for us to get back on track, or does it. The 12 and 12 tells us that rebellion dogs our every step. A whole lifetime geared to self-centeredness cannot be set in reverse all at once. Step 7 in the 12 and 12, to me, is one of the greatest writtings besides the 4th step on human instincts. It deals with a multitude of change, desiering to let God take us and do with us what he wishes. Growing emotionally. Failure and misery transformed by humility. We have gained some measure of release from our more devestating handicaps. Gaining a new prospective was unbelievably painful. At this stage of our progress we are under heavy pressure and coercion to do the right thing. We are obliged to choose between the pains of trying and the certain penalties of failing to do so. We can’t work the steps out of the 12 and 12 because there are no directions in it. The directions are in the Big Book. There is freedom to be had in our lives from what once used to haunt us. And im not talking alcohol, im talking about defects of character. That’s what brought me into the program, and that’s what will take me out. Change does happen, but we have to work for it.
Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. If we look at the word “Achieve”, it doesn’t mean just sit back and tell newcomers “90 meetings/90 days”, “get a sponsor”, or “just don’t drink”!! Really people!!! If we are alcoholic, we can’t just not drink! I couldnt and niether could many others. Then, when we don’t see the newcomer again, what do we say?! They don’t want what we have to offer. What the hell did we offer them?! Here’s what we offered them, words without actions. So, the word “Achieve” in most dictionaries I have come across means; To get or to gain; To get or attain as a result of exertion; (exertion means physical effort). Feel free to check for yourself. It’s the complete failure in 12 step work as outlined in our book, Alcoholics Anonymous, in case we have forgot. Sounds like I am preaching? Yes and no, because I have failed as well. We have a whole book with a proven success in recovery from alcoholism, if we follow what has been outlined for us. A design for living, it tells us. We hear alot of psycho babble bullshit around the tables today. People come in the rooms and try to work the steps off of the wall, and the directions are in the book. Simple ones at that. Or, they try to work the steps out of the 12 by 12, great information and helpful as it is, but there are still no directions. The directions are in the Big Book. What scares me is not the people still drinking and dying, what scares me are the people who are sober and dying, and they dont even know it! In order to help other alcoholics “achieve” sobriety, we must first have it ourselves. Not drinking is the bearest of the beginning. Our lives kind of hinge on a sponsor in the beginning, for we dont understand some things yet. If we have right sponsorship, then we have a good foundation. But when your new, how do you know this!? I can even go a little further here. If you are in early recovery and your sponsor has not taken you through the book, then you do not have and are not learning what Alcoholics Anonymous has to offer the alcoholic. But what you do have so far feels good and is working for you, right? Well, no, not for long. Good is often the enemy of best! Of course well feel good so far, we better, right. I did. All that is, is were not liviing in the chaotic nightmare on a daily basis, so of course we feel better. We must work the program of recovery or we die. I have seen it and so have you if you’ve been around here for any length of time.
OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE - E.S. & H. OR E.&.K?
The following is an article by CLIFF B.
When the Text Book for Alcoholics Anonymous was introduced to the public in April 1939, Bill W. stated the primary purpose of this book as follows:
“We, OF Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary. We think this account of our experiences will help everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all.” A.A., pg xiii
He then laid out some general guidelines followed by Doctor Silkworth’s opinion regarding alcoholism. His opinion has since been found to be medically sound.
Interestingly enough, “The Doctor’s Opinion” is the only opinion to be found in the Basic Text. The Authors recognized that expression of “opinions,” not based on fact, could kill alcoholics. They therefore made clear what would be found in this Book regarding the Problem – alcoholism; the Solution - God as we understood Him and - the practical Program of Action which promises recovery. They declared they would share only their EXPERIENCE and KNOWLEDGE. That declaration is found on page 19 of what members of Alcoholics Anonymous call their Basic Text, “The Big Book.” It is:
“We have concluded to publish an anonymous volume setting forth the problem as WE see it. We shall bring to the task OUR COMBINED EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE which should suggest a useful program for anyone concerned with a drinking problem.”
Of course, “setting forth the problem as WE see it” would be based on the experience and knowledge of recovered alcoholics, not as seen by untreated alcoholics or non-alcoholics. Unfortunately, a great deal of how “they” see it has filtered into our meeting rooms. Since understanding the problem, alcoholism, as WE seeit is absolutely essential to being willing to surrender to the Program of Recovery, we must rely on the “Doctor’s Opinion” for a clear statement of the Problem and the demonstration of that Problem as is seen in the stories of recovered alcoholics.
Those who accepted the responsibility for the lives of newcomers restricted their “teaching” to the content of that Book. The result was most who were seriously seeking help found lasting sobriety.
In 1947, a member of the editorial staff of the “Grapevine” authored the presently used “Grapevine Preamble.” It reads, in part, “Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women who share their EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH AND HOPE with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from alcoholism.” Only those who had been blessed with a spiritual awakening as the result of the Steps were permitted to talk in the meetings. The newcomer listened to the EXPERIENCEof the recovered alcoholic (what they were like, what happened), the obvious STRENGTH AND POWER (and what they are like now) s/he had received as the result of having taken the Steps and the HOPE the recovered alcoholic had for his/her future, the future of our Fellowship and for the future of the newcomer. The newcomer could then take a look at what was required to recover and see the results in those who had achieved that goal. They could then decide if they were, in fact, willing to go to any length to survive.
With the initiation of discussion/participation meetings in the late 1960’s, the content of the meetings began to focus more and more on the experience of untreated alcoholics and even non-alcoholics. More and more, the topics of meetings were the problems unique to the person stating their personal problem rather than the common problems of alcoholics. There was less and less sharing of the strength of recovery as well and any hope for the future. The decrease in the effectiveness of the meetings was offset for a number of years by the great influx of persons referred to Alcoholics Anonymous by members of the treatment industry and the professionals who attempted to guide those who had come to them for help. In the format of these meetings, there was no longer a focus on the EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH AND HOPE from the recovered alcoholic based on their EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE of the Program of recovery. The result of which has been and continues to be a shrinking number of alcoholics who have approached Alcoholics Anonymous in hope of escaping death or permanent insanity by drinking being denied the information that is vital to survival.
The real underlying source of this tragic situation is weak and ineffective sponsorship. All too often, members of the Fellowship who are not drinking but have never attempted to take the Steps will assume the responsibility for the life of the innocent newcomer. They have no understanding of the simple but highly effective set of instructions for leading a newcomer to the Solution for all their problems as outlined in the Chapter, “Working With Others.”
Step Twelve reads, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
In Step Twelve is stated the REAL PURPOSE of the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous; “Our REAL PURPOSE is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.” Within our REAL PURPOSE is our PRIMARY PURPOSE, “we tried to carry this message to alcoholics.” The question is, are we trying to carry this message in our meetings or are we feeding the misery?
Bill W. wrote,
“In the years ahead A.A. will, of course, make mistakes. Experience has taught us that we need have no fear of doing this, providing that we always remain willing to admit our faults and to correct them promptly. Our growth as individuals has depended upon this healthy process of trial and error. So will our growth as a fellowship.
Let us always remember that any society of men and women that cannot freely correct its own faults must surely fall into decay if not into collapse. Such is the universal penalty for the failure to go on growing. Just as each A.A. must continue to take his moral inventory and act upon it, so must our whole Society if we are to survive and if we are to serve usefully and well.” (A.A. Comes of Age, pg 231)
We now know what the problem is and we know what the solution is. Unfortunately, we have not remained willing to admit our faults and to correct them promptly. We have been and are plagued with large doses of apathy and complacency. The problem we are trying to live with is needlessly killing alcoholics. The solution promises recovery for those who are willing to follow the clear-cut directions in the Big Book. So, let’s make certain the ES&H we share is limited to the E&K of OUR Program of Recovery as is outlined in our Basic Text, “ALCOHLOLICS ANONYMOUS.”
Do you want to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution? Simple, but not easy; A price has to be paid.
Many discussion meetings are a lot of talk but recovery is a very short walk; the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, that is!
I have been clean and sober for just over 25yrs now. Sometimes I lose interest in whats going on in our fellowship. I have been involved on so many different levels of both programs (A.A./N.A.) over the years, that sometimes I want to take a break. Not a break from meetings, but just from the service aspect. It doesn’t matter what area you are from, there are always just a handful of people handling it. It has always been like this as far back as I can remember. I believe it is due to wrong sponsorship. When I came into the programs and I obtained a sponsor, it was required of me to get into service work and do my part. Give back to the group what it gave to me. I learned the value of service work, it gives you the sense of belonging, duty, and it is spritual in nature. I can never fully repay my debt to the program, but I can give of me, until I get burned out and just want to relax some. Everyone should be involved at some level of service work for their group. Just make coffee, chair a meeting, talk to newcomers, clean up some, our list goes on….
New post on my Blog.
The Greatest Thing in the World ~ By Henry Drummond.
Im not a Christian in the sense of believing Jesus was an immaculate conception. I love alot about the Bible and stories. I like Paul’s story and this is what “The Greatest Thing in The World” is about