Posts tagged Alcholism

The Promises

Yesterday, all of the trees where we live were covered in the most beautiful twinkling frost!  We were all smiling at the sparkling beauty before us!  We could have ignored it.  In fact, there was a time where I wouldn’t have looked up to see anything but the ground as I lamented the poor condition of my life.  Now I have a choice.

The 12 Step programs help us to lift our heads to see beyond our previously so limited view.  Beyond ourselves, to see others in our world.  We can choose to see the icing on the cake.  It seems a good day to remember the Promises as they are part of the foundation so apparently divinely inspired many years ago that lead us to this new perspective.  At the bottom of page 83 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Promises read as follows:  If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.  We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.  We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.  We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.  No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.  That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.  We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.  Self seeking will slip away.  Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.  Fear of people and of economic insecurtity will leave us.  We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.  We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves

Now, I wouldn’t miss the view for anything.  Each morning I look out our bedroom window and see the beautiful day just waiting for us.  I’m grateful and feel so blessed.  And it’s not forced – it comes naturally through the blessings of the Promises and my Higher Power.  Miracles daily!

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am grateful for today. ”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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Learning My Limits

I’m sorry that my posts were sparse this last week.  My course load in school is heavy and it’s causing me to learn about reasonable limits for my time and energy.  In fact, it’s also teaching me about perfection.  This week I was confused about what was due, when, and in what classes.  Very unsettling.  In fact, for the first time in my life I handed an assignment in late.  Ugh!  But, you know it is showing me how human I am.  So I lost a few points. It gave me an opportunity to apologize to a teacher.  A new experience.  He understood, and he now has the assignment, even if it’s a day late.  I’d already done all the reading, so it was a simple fix.

This is a new experience for me, and while humbling, it’s not the end of the world.  There was a time where guilt would have hounded me.  I’d have racked my brain about how I could have made such a mistake.  I’d have beaten myself up for not being perfect.  No more.  There are tradeoffs for the choices we make in life.  With 6 grad school classes anyone is bound to get a little confused.  And I wasn’t the only one who was confused.

So, no harm done.  My dignity and self esteem are in tact. I’m resigned to the fact that this semester is a challenge.  And one of the solutions is to double check with a classmate about assignments due.  In each class, there are a couple people whom I feel comfortable enough to call for confirmation on what’s due.  They’ve all been happy to help, and it lowers my stress level to make sure I’m on track in this simple way.  It’s also helping me get to know people who will be my colleagues in the field when we all graduate.  Relatedness is a good thing.  I feel very blessed by their kindness and the opportunity to be human with myself and others.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am learning to be more human.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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Doing Step 4

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One of my newer sponsees is just starting to do her 4th Step.  She tells me that she’s had two other sponsors who didn’t give her direction and guidance on doing the 4th Step, nor did they give her any deadline by which to finish the Step.

While these aren’t an excuse, what I’ve learned from experience is that it’s helpful to actively move through the action or process of doing the Steps with the people I sponsor.  My first sponsor did that with me and it helped me process through the Steps and make progress.  This particular woman felt lost, confused and had been overthinking the 4th Step for many months, over 2 years, with two different sponsors.  When I told her she had a week to do the inventory for Step 4 she thought she’d heard me incorrectly.  I assured her that she heard correctly.  The reason for this instruction is that it’s important to get through this particular exercise as briskly and thoroughly as possible.  Once we start the process, information comes to us quickly.  Then, we take the next week to see what else floats to the surface that we didn’t recall during our intentional action of doing the inventory.  The act of seeking the information starts a process in the brain that can continue involuntarily over the next several days bringing more memories to our awareness that we’d long forgotten.  After this following week of letting memories percolate to the surface of her awareness, we’ll proceed to the 5th Step.

I suggest also, that sponsees inform family members and spouses that they will be doing some work that may lead them to seem a bit anxious or out of sorts at times over the next few weeks.  If the sponsee doesn’t catch themselves in a , their family members can also gently alert them, with a predetermined phrase, and the sponsee can call their sponsor or another member of 12 Step programs for support and help to process any upset so that it isn’t impacting loved ones at home.  We are responsible for our actions through the process of doing the Steps too.  The process isn’t meant to happen at other people’s expense during this or any other phase.  It’s a journey, and we are not alone.  Many have gone before us.

The brevity of the two week time span also offers us a target date, a light at the end of the tunnel.  It limits the amount of time that one spends in the recall of actions and feelings that we’re not proud of or enjoying thinking about again.  Remember, Step 4 inventory is who we aren’t.  We call these memories forth as a tool to honestly face our past – where we became lost – and to help us later right our wrongs, our mistakes, so that we can move forward unencumbered by the guilt, shame, embarassment, anxiety and discomfort we feel at the thought of them.  The end result is we have a spiritual awakening and we become happy, joyous and free as the Big Book promises – as a result of doing these Steps.

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 Affirmation for the Day – ” I am willing to grow.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – Let all things be exactly as they are.

Practice – In Let me not be Your critic, Lord, today, and judge against You.  Let me not attempt to interfere with Your creation and distort it into sickly forms.  Let me be willing to withdraw my wishes from its unity and thus to let it be as You created it.  For thus will I be able too, to recognize my Self as You created me.  In love was I created, and in love  will I remain forever.  What can frighten me when I let all things be exactly as they are? 

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