July 22, 2014
Trusting others is something I’m working on. I can’t always depend on others to follow through with their commitments – life can get in the way. There is more to life than recovery and sometimes other things can take precedence over recovery – even though it is suggested that recovery is our number one, primary, commitment. Sometimes our families do not understand that, and furthermore they often wonder why we need to go to “all those meetings.”
I have stopped making empty promises to others. I have learned to use phrases like “I will try to . .” Instead of promising to do something, I engender trust by simply doing whatever “it” is. Eventually, those around me will come to an understanding that I say what I mean, and mean what I say. If I sense doubt about a request, I can and do ask for some time to consider the request. . . not making a promise until I am sure of what is being asked of me, and checking my willingness to follow through with it. I can trust my feelings, and work to listen to what my body is telling me. If I am ill at ease, there is a reason. If I am unsure I can wait until I feel right about it. There is usually a reason why my feelings are as they are. Perhaps it is not the right time, the right circumstances, the right place – taking a little time to sort out my feelings at the onset can save me a lot of headaches down the road. I work to respond to my feelings, they are trying to tell me something – it might be that God is trying to communicate His desires for me through my emotions and feelings. I pray to remain open to all energy through trust in myself, trust in the Program and trust in my Higher Power.
Photo courtesy of Mark S.
July 21, 2014
Recovery is a priceless gift and the peace that comes with it is amazing to me. It is truly a blessing to experience peace within, absolute moments of acceptance and grace. Such a different set of emotions than the ones that were the guiding force in my life for so many years. Gone is the anger, resentments, jealousy, and the pettiness of greed and pride. These have been replaced with true humility, forgiveness, generosity, and a love for others that supersedes anything I felt before recovery. I have been blessed to feel selfless love of others. I have learned that life is not always about me, me, me.
This month is dedicated to humbly asking God to remove my shortcomings. And you can bet your bottom dollar I still have both shortcomings and defects of character. I am still stubborn and find myself wanting to be right at all times, in spite of the opinion of others. I am still capable of dishonesty, all though most of the time I catch myself and correct the lie right then. I still harbor negative feelings towards others who can’t seem to “get the program,” and I work to remind myself that I did not arrive at where I am overnight – it just takes time and no one does this thing called recovery, perfectly. Patience is not always practiced with others, and I work towards improvement there. Having faith in a power greater than me is a big step towards change at a most basic level. I am not alone in this process – I am in the company of not only my Higher Power, but others who are on the path to a higher road, a path that will take me to freedom and victory – one day at a time.
July 20, 2014
Living in the present, in the now is one of the things that truly helped me in my recovery, especially in the early days of sobriety. My mind tends to wander – to the future, to the past, it just wanders from the here and now. I have no control over the future, oh sure, I can make plans for the future but what really happens is out of my hands. Coming to an acceptance of this brings me peace in the here and now.
I will work at staying still; to listen to my breathing, to hear my heartbeat, to feel God within. I will sit outside and feel the breeze, the warmth of the sun, the peace about me. This morning my home is quiet, the world around me is still. I hear others talking, moving, sharing with others but there is a gentle pace to this. The day stretches out before me. . . tasks to perform, attendance to consider, relationships to embrace, contacts to be made with family, friends and fellow travelers on this road to a happy destiny. Enjoy your day, your time with others, your place in the world, and the knowledge of being loved by others. I am eternally grateful for all my many blessings.
Photo Courtesy of Claude S
July 19, 2014
I am grateful – for all that I have been gifted with, through the God of my understanding. I am grateful for my sobriety, my peace of mind, the program of recovery that has been made available to me, and I am grateful for this life, this here and now, this humility that I am blessed with in the face of such power, love, and acceptance. God is the teacher and my instructions are clear – pray, stay sober, and help others. That’s pretty basic when I get right down to it. This is my life and I am grateful to be able to share this life with others – both in and out of the Program.
I am grateful – for wanting to be better than I am, for striving through the Program to get and stay sober, for coming to a place of understanding of just how possible a new life is. I am no longer the troubled woman of my past, I am no longer lost in the wilderness of drinking, drugging and just plain being on the other side of the fence. This side of the fence has love, kindness, patience, and hope available to me – and humility is mine for the asking. I am truly humbled before God, for He has all power – my job is just to keep putting one foot in front of the other – to remain willing to work towards honesty in all things, to share the hope, love, and courage that I have found on this path to a “higher place.” I believe in God, I believe in the Program, and I believe in the basic goodness of my fellow members of A.A. I have become Spiritually Aware, I have faith in the process, faith in God and faith in myself that I will be just as God wills me to be.
Photo Courtesy of R.S.
July 18, 2014
Fear is an appropriate topic for me today. Violence, chaos, and death hit close to home for me the day before yesterday, and I find that my mind is entertaining fear this morning. While it is not fear relating to recovery, none-the-less it is fear – and fear as an alcoholic can be an all-consuming thing. Today’s news is full of a story about a bank robbery which resulted in the deaths of both a victim and two of the perpetrators. . .
I’m trying to put this fear into prospective, and not let it take over my life. If I focus on the here and now, the fear is lessened – what happens in the future is out of my control, and in the hands of the Master. In the Program we are urged to live one day at a time, that helps to minimize my fears. The best I can do is to take whatever precautions I can, become aware of my surroundings always, and to work towards separating the valid fears from those that could be described as negative projections.
My heart goes out to the family of the woman who was shot and killed in the melee that followed the attempted bank robbery, her name was Misty and she was a mother and a wife, she worked at my dentists office and she was a very kind person. Blessings to the other two hostages, who are bank employees, and who are recovering in a local hospital. May they heal physically as well as spiritually. Sometimes it seems like the world has gone nuts – and it has changed, but there are still many good people in the world. There are still many acts of kindness done by others which never make the news, but that does not lessen them. I pray for all who were challenged, for all who were made to feel fear, and for all who reached out and did whatever they could to end this sad event. I pray for God to heal us all, to help me rid myself of the fears that take me away from Your loving arms.
Photography by MX
July 17, 2014
Human relationships can be very complicated, in addition to being very challenging. I, personally, have witnessed many seeking recovery get side-tracked by love relationships. In Alcoholics Anonymous, it is “suggested” that newcomers maintain their status quo for a year before making any major changes, this includes starting a new relationship. I think this is a good thing – newly sobered members have a lot to learn, and this Program does not happen overnight - it takes time, and dedication. Trying to straighten out my life, work my program, maintain my family relationships, work a job; there was much that required not only my attention but my commitment, as well. Take all of that and then throw into the mix a new “love relationship,” this can be daunting, to say the least.
I found that the most meaningful relationship I could have is the relationship I have with my Higher Power. I got into “service” early in my recovery, and have remained active therein. I have the time, am learning the patience, and in many ways I view my efforts as an attempt at amends, in general. There are many “relationships” in sobriety – and love from others is in abundance, and that includes accepting the love gifted me by my Higher Power. Through the process of recovery, and the love of a caring and persistent God, I am “good to go.”
Photo Courtesy of Jaybird
July 16, 2014
Humility is equal to Step Three, turning “it” over to the care of my Higher Power. Realizing that I do not possess the power, God does. God has the power to heal, to stop the pain, to rid me of my “problems.” True humility is whereby I join forces with the God of my understanding, who gives me the power I need to mend my fences and make amends to those whom I have hurt. “It’s” not always about me, me, me! Getting out of self is another way of getting closer to the “balance” I seek in my life.
I do not have to continue to torture myself looking for answers to problems. I have learned to feel the feelings and then let them go. I have learned to “turn it over” to the care of my Higher Power, God. There is serenity in these actions, peace can be had in the midst of pain and anguish. When problems arise, a step back is a better way to approach the problem, than the opposite of taking a step forward, which puts me in an aggressive stance. Becoming aggressive adds to the problem, and does nothing to abate the issue. Yelling, stressing, demanding; these are all negative approaches to problems, and do nothing towards a solution. Taking a step back affords me the brief moment I need to simply say “Help me out here, God.” It may be that in this short span of time, it is all that is needed for God to provide a solution, or at least make several suggestions through conversations with others. I also need to remind myself that life will be as God wills it, not as I will it. Acceptance is part of humility, just as awareness is the first step towards change.