Thought Before Action

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When I get “away” from the Program, my thinking changes from “What can I do” to “What I want is . . .” and that’s where my “stinking thinking” begins, and rational thought leaves me.  When I take that step away from God’s will and towards my will, I can then expect problems and troubles to follow.   I am an alcoholic, I cannot drink with any sureness of what will follow, once I take that first drink.  I believe that for me to drink is to cut short my life span – to deviate from God’s plan for me.  Drinking, for me, is just another form of suicide.  I, for one, am grateful that I am not ready to lay down and give up my life.
Taking that one big step away from my own selfish thoughts and towards helping others, immediately puts me on firmer ground.  I place myself in the loving and protective hands of my Higher Power, God.  I pray for the willingness to want sobriety more than I want to drink.  I take whatever action I need to take, to get myself back on track – the track that leads to recovery.  Stepping up for service, in all its various forms, gives me something to do with myself until such time as my disease comes up against the brick wall of my Spirit, my Higher Power.  This spirit is called a Higher Power for a reason – it is more powerful than the disease of alcoholism.  My part is to have faith, stay the course, pray, and know in my heart and my mind that God’s will for me is to stay sober and help others.  Recovery is not always easy but it remains simple in both design and purpose.  We have a slogan that fits here – it’s “Think, think, think.” ♥
Just Good Enough

Thy Will

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” We learn that an honest desire to seek and do God’s will is necessary for humility.”  Humility is one of those words that is hard to define, at least it is for me, but this simple statement helps me to not only define it in words but in deeds, as well.  The Eleventh Step prayer keeps coming to the forefront of my thinking – with its simplicity and direction:  “Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindness and love.  How can I best serve Thee – Thy will (not mine) be done.”
Coming to a clear “knowing” of what God’s will for me is took me a little while.  I found that my expectation of a list of tasks and chores was unreal.  God’s will for me was more in the realm of my behavior towards others, and in my attitude toward those around me.  It spoke more of forgiveness, love, tolerance, willingness, acceptance, honesty, and above all else faith in the God of my understanding.  God’s will for me was to stretch out my hand in love and kindness towards all others.  To be of service to others, both those in the Program and those not in the Program.  To make myself available to the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in service and dedication that I might then serve others and pay tribute to a loving God.  For He has given me so much more than I ever expected.  My life today is full of hope, growth and change ♥
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Take a Step

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Working the Steps means that my mind, my problem gets diverted from the issue causing my negative feelings, to something that has been shown to have a positive effect on my life, my thinking and my behavior.  Choosing to work a Step means that I am looking for a way out of the morass of the circular thinking that was prevalent when I drank.  I used to think “I have a problem because I drink too much,”  followed closely by ” I drink too much and it’s a problem.”  Round and round my mind would go.  But with A.A. I have found solutions to the problems, and have learned that circular thinking is just as fruitless as walking in circles, I get nowhere.
There are many “diversions” in the Program, the walls of most A.A. meeting place usually have several of our slogans posted, prayer is another way of finding my way back to the right path, and then there are the Steps which never cease to amaze me with their intuition, depth and knowledge.  The “tools” of the Program are many and plentiful.  Working the Steps is something that is an ongoing thing in my recovery, it does not matter how much sobriety I have, I can always use the Steps to help me get over, around, or through the rough patches in life, for as I know sobriety does not remove my problems, but it does help me learn to “deal” with them, that I might then find the harmony and balance I want in my life.
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Spiritual NOT religious

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I have opened my mind and my heart to the spiritual aspect of recovery that I found in the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I did not anticipate this when I first arrived at the tables, but when I saw the slogans on the wall, I sensed that A.A. ran deeper than I knew.  It also scared me a little, as I truly thought God had rejected me as defective in my youth.  I had a lot of misconceptions, and wrong ideas about recovery in my early years.  To begin with I thought it was something that I would “complete.”  It was not.  There is no “graduating” from A.A., it is, instead, a life-long program of change and growth.

So the bottom line seems to be to keep an open mind when it comes to the spiritual aspect of the Program.  I am not alone when it comes to my search for the spiritual, and I feel truly blessed to have found my acceptance and belief in the power of a God of my understanding.  There are many sources for recovery, but the one that truly works for me, and countless others – that search ended with the phrase “I Came to Believe.”

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3 Steps to Change….

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I firmly believe that awareness is the first step towards change, closely followed by acceptance and action.  That’s my “trilogy” for change.  Awareness tells me that there is a problem, and further helps me to define what that problem is, and how it relates to my life, my “program” and my desire for change.  I came to awareness slowly, as I discounted much of my problems as being the results of  the actions of others, not myself.  When I finally began to see that it was my actions, my behaviors and my erroneous perceptions of life that were causing me problems, I could then search out a solution – I regained some control by this acceptance of “owning” my problems.  My life was in my hands and in God’s hands – not in the hands of the “others.”

Temporary discomfort from awareness tells me “Okay, there is a problem, now what can I do about it?”  I have found in A.A. the solutions that I needed, to make the changes that bring me closer to maturity in my actions and attitude.  I accept that my life is my responsibility – I am an adult, I can trust not only my Higher Power, God, but I can trust myself to know what direction is the “right” one for me.  I need only remain Honest, Open and Willing. . . The “HOW” of A.A.  Together with my Higher Power, God, I can and do find new ways of dealing with old problems.  It’s a “Step” at a time, a day at a time, and a solution at a time. Blessings to you and YOURS on Thanksgiving…and Thank you for the opportunity to serve. This commitment has helped me in more ways than you will ever know~ HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

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The Changing Seasons

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Life goes on, and on.  I can either work to “stay with the program” or I can just sit back and watch the world leave me in the dust.  I believe that recovery from alcohol is one example of the progress that we, as humans, have made in the last several generations.  Awareness of the disease of alcoholism is prevalent in society today, much more so than it was say 60 or 70 years ago.  There was that period we called Prohibition where alcohol became illegal, and the “bootlegger” was born.  Today we hear about recovery programs almost daily, as many of the “rich and famous” work to rid themselves of their obsessions and compulsions.  Plus many newcomers to the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous come to the rooms directly from one program or another.  And then there is the criminal system which enables judges to request participation in A.A. as one of the conditions of their unlawful behavior.  DUI’s almost always require some form of recovery, and most often it is A.A.

My life is ever-changing, and has been in a constant state of flux since I walked through the doors.  Others see changes in me that I may not have noticed, but I also see changes when I look back at the me of yesterday, to the me of today.  I thank God for all the changes I have made, with His help,  understanding and above all patience with me.  Today I welcome change – for the most part – and continue to work towards a life of sobriety, that I might then be happy, joyous and free.

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Love is a Blessing

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I have found  love in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and today I can give love as well as receive it. I have found a love never before expected, the love of my Higher Power, God. More importantly I have learned to express my love for others. Today I have the capacity to love many people, and have learned to express that love in a multitude of ways. I care enough to be of service to others, I care enough to want to help others, and I care enough to provide support whenever it is requested. I love the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous for teaching me how to love others, without any expectation. I accept others as they are, and if problems arise in my relationships; I look to my part, at my behavior. Today I no longer assume that problems are the “other person’s” issue, now I try to see where I went wrong.

Love is a feeling of “wanting to be a better person.” I shall never be able to fully express the gratitude that I have for what has been “given” to me. I truly feel that God guided me to the rooms of recovery, that I might then be of service to others and to that end I dedicate my life, and my love. Now I see that it was another step which brought me closer to you, the loving God I have in my life today.

Photo Courtesy of Nina

Photo Courtesy of Nina

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