The Wonder Of It All

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The Program teaches me to “pass it on” and while this refers to the Steps and Traditions, it can also mean the life lessons that I have learned in the process we call recovery.  I pass on what has been given to me by means of sponsorship, and just the simple acts of learning to live in sobriety.  There are life lessons every day and I look to others for the knowledge they have gained through working the Steps, attending meetings, and all the literature that is available to us.  I pray that I remain open and willing to continue to learn from others, be they my sponsors, my friends and all those in attendance at meetings.  I am truly blessed to have had the “teachers” I have had in my life.  From my life experiences to the lessons in recovery, it has been a marvelous and wondrous journey on my path to sobriety.  I have learned that there is much to learn, and that I will never know it all.  Nature is a teacher, life is a teacher, and A.A. has helped me to know that I will never quit learning about living a spiritual life, if I am Honest, Open and Willing.

I Am Confident

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I still doubt myself and my ability to speak, but I do it anyway. I honor myself by living a spiritual life, and I honor the God of my understanding by choosing a life of recovery.  I have faith today, faith in a Higher Power, and faith in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  My thinking has changed and now encompasses positive thoughts followed by positive actions.  I am capable of loving others, I am capable of generosity, humility, patience, and I trust in the Program, and in others.  I can and have changed my behavior, which in turn has changed my feelings.  Today I have hope for a better life. I believe in the power of faith, and in the power of forgiveness.  Sobriety has empowered me to live a life I could only dream about. A life I found when I walked through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Goodness

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It was not always an easy thing to do, to face another and admit my deceitful, and hurtful ways.  My amends were heartfelt and sincere. It was not about forgiving others, it was about finding the courage and wisdom to forgive myself. To acknowledge and accept my imperfections.  To pledge myself to change and grow spiritually in the light of a Higher Power.  How I behave directs how I will feel.  When I am kind and generous, I feel good about me.  When I am self-centered and selfish, I do not feel good about me.  Recovery cries for change in how I feel about myself, if I am to remain sober.  Good deeds result in good feelings.  Random acts of kindness are suggested as a means of raising our egos off the floor, but they must be done without fanfare or discovery. There are many ways to change my behavior, and therefor my self-image, and that, in turn, changes how I feel about myself. I do have value.  I believe in the power of God and in the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Right Direction

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I remember the days of old, waking up in a fog, not remembering what I did last night, where I was and with whom I was with.  The sheer misery of blackout drinking was always the “unknown” aspect of it.  Then there was also the physical aspect of it.  Why did I continue to drink, when drink made me so physically sick, not to mention the mental anguish of having black holes in my memory.  This was not normal drinking, and I was not a normal drinker by the standards expressed in A.A.  I had a sickness of the soul, one that would beat me down, and bring me to the edge of insanity many times.  A.A. offered me a solution, one that had worked in the lives of millions – there is no other “program” that has had the “success” of A.A.  I believe that the spiritual aspect of A.A. is the difference between the A.A. Program and other programs who strive for sobriety.  Sharing the load with a Higher Power has lightened my burden to the point of being successful in abstaining from alcohol.

I Am Grateful

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I make choices, all the time. What will I wear today?  What will I eat today. Who will I talk with today?  What will I “do” today? Will I make progress in my recovery by means of a meeting?  Or will I choose to practice my faith in God by means of reading, writing, praying, or contact with others through emails, messages, phone or calls.  Everything I do or say requires choice.  My gratitude comes in when I look at the way things were before recovery and then the way things are today.  I have changed and grown in the Program. I am not the person I was, nor am I the person I will become as yet.  I am right here, right now.  I am just another alcoholic searching for recovery through the Program.  I found the “solution” and it was faith in my Higher Power, faith in the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and faith in myself to overcome all obstacles, shortcomings, and character defects.  With God’s help I will survive to live this day; sober and clean with a healthy attitude of gratitude.

Looking Back

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It really felt good to make an amends, to clear the air between me and another.  To simply admit my part without justification or rationalization.  I had to step up, say I’m sorry in some manner, and then release it.  How my amends was received, or not received, was not my business – my job was to simply admit my part and to sincerely identify my own wrong behavior.  The next part of this process was to come to an understanding that Step Eight and Step Nine are to be continually worked for the rest of my life, though the cleansing of Step 10 efforts.  A personal inventory is also another “suggestion” that enables me to come to terms with my wrongs and misbehaviors.  I did some damage to myself and others, before recovery, and now with the help of the God of my understanding, it is my job to stay sober and help others.  I pray that I might find the willingness and courage to face my disease, and to know that there is a way out of the darkness of addiction to alcohol, I need only have faith in my Higher Power, and to know that all things are possible through recovery.

A Look Backward(Daily Reflections)

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First, we take a look backward and try to discover where we have been at fault; next we make a vigorous attempt to repair the damage we have done; . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

As a traveler on a fresh and exciting A.A. journey of recovery, I experienced a newfound peace of mind and the horizon appeared clear and bright, rather than obscure and dim. Reviewing my life to discover where I had been at fault seemed to be such an arduous and dangerous task. It was painful to pause and look backward. I was afraid I might stumble! Couldn’t I put the past out of my mind and just live in my new golden present? I realized that those in the past whom I had harmed stood between me and my desire to continue my movement toward serenity. I had to ask for courage to face those persons from my life who still lived in my conscience, to recognize and deal with the guilt that their presence produced in me. I had to look at the damage I had done, and become willing to make amends. Only then could my journey of the spirit resume.

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