A Thorough Following

🔥A Thorough Following

When was the last time you experienced a full day of blissful peace?…

A day of feeling permanent contentment of who you are and what you have?

A day of experiencing undiluted gratitude and completeness?

Most of you probably can’t remember.

Ever wonder why?

There are three principles that are presented to every single person who enters the world of spiritual recovery:

Willingness…

Honesty…

Open mindedness…

These principles are indispensable…

And yet very few put these three principles, let alone one principle into practice in their lives on any given day all day.

Willingness – To meet any challenges today with zero resistance regardless of the outcome.

Honesty – To not have to be seen to be right about everything today.

Open mindedness – To know that you don’t know what is best for you and to not rely upon your best thinking to solve your issues, to rather study the facts and make your decisions based upon reality and not how you feel about things.

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path”

“Our path” is the clear cut instructions laid out in the Big book of Alcoholics Anonymous as a suggested program of recovery from your hopeless state of mind and body.

Lack of willingness, honesty and open mindedness is not thoroughly following our path…

And yet there it is for the taking…

A life of peace and completeness is there for the taking…

Maybe a thorough following of our path today, not your path will yield results…

How’s your path working so far?

Share this with someone who may need to hear it.

Paul

Talk Through Action

🔥Speak Through Action

What does it mean to live life by working a spiritual program of action?

Let me start at the end and end with the beginning…

As a result of working the spiritual program of action as a design for living for many years I have learned the most important lesson in life…

I no longer listen to people’s words…

I listen to their actions.

Words talk lies, actions talk the truth.

How did I learn this?

I used to manipulate the truth and as a result walked this earth feeling like a fraud…

Obviously when your actions do not match your words you’re a fraud. Simple. That is what I was.

Guess what? We all do it! We do it until the pain of feeling like a fraud out weighs the pain of dishonesty and we have no option but to start telling the truth.

The first thing that had to happen was I had to learn and develop the principle of communicating through my actions.

I had to say what I do and do what I say…

Put in simple terms if I claim to work a spiritual program of action then I must communicate through the work I must do…

And I do the work…

Every day…

Doing the work is not reading a reading or praying a prayer or attending a meeting…

Doing the work is sacrificing my time, my own needs and plans and carrying this message to those who still suffer, intense work with other Alcoholics, giving up my spare time to go help someone who may need it…

The list could be endless…

Doing the work is being of maximum use to God and other people…

This makes me a useful person…

As a result I no longer feel like a fraud.

When was the last time you put your hand up to take care of the next 12 Step call that comes in?…

When was the last time you let it be known that you’re hungry to sponsor a new comer and give them what has been so freely given to you?…

When was the last time you did something that made you feel very uncomfortable in order to be of maximum use.

Or do you just leave all of this action stuff up to others to do while claiming to work the program?

When was the last time you communicated through your actions by doing what you say you do?

Share this with someone who may need to hear it.

Paul

Self-love

🔥Self Love

There is a commandment that just about every person has knowledge of…

Love thy neighbor as thyself.

Not much of that going on in the world today.

But what about the second part of this commandment?…

As thyself?

This is my take on it…

In order to love others I must first love myself…

I am commanded to do so…

To take care of myself before I can take care of others.

There is a common language spoken in recovery…

I always “beat myself up”.

Is that practicing self-love?

Here is what self-love is to me…

To be the best version of me…body, mind, spirit and soul every day.

That is taking care of myself before I take care of others.

Self-love is NOT…

Being lazy and disconnected.
Accepting your own low or mediocre standard of recovery and living.
Taking others inventory before you take your own.
Looking for fault in others before your own faults.
Running away from discomfort and fear.
Blaming others for your own problems before you hold yourself accountable.
Avoiding the fear of failure by doing nothing.
Holding onto the insane notion that you always have be right and others wrong.
Continuing to neglect your mind by not exercising it with material that holds you accountable to your own BS.
Continuing to neglect your body by not exercising.
Continuing to neglect your own life by not demanding of yourself the daily effort it takes to become the best version of you.

These are all the characteristics of self-abuse…

It is impossible to love thy neighbor when you are not putting in the effort to take care of and love yourself.

When did you last do something to improve yourself like sacrificing your plans to go help someone else? complimenting someone you despise? supporting someone you resent? admitting you were wrong when you desperately have to be right? Took your own inventory when someone upset you instead of taking theirs?

Let that sink in for a while.

The 12 Step program is the ultimate act of practicing self-love as it will demand of you to love thy neighbor through taking all the uncomfortable actions you have spent your life running away from.

The question is…

Are you actually doing it? Or are you just talking about doing it?

God gave us brains to use, a body to move and a life to improve…

You and only you can make that happen.

Share this with someone who may need it.

Paul

A Life Worth living

🔥Live a life worth living

What does accepting life on life’s terms really mean?

There are 3 guarantees about life…

Death, Taxes and hits…

Life will hit you over and over again, it will be relentless.

Whether it is emotional, physical, mental or financial the hits will keep on coming.

Expecting life to be fair will keep you sulking in self-pity.

When did life last supply you with comfort?

I wasted 35 years waiting for to be dealt life’s fair deal. It never came!

What did come were a lot of hits…

Which I met with self-pity…

That was living a wasted life.

The expectation of a perfect and comfortable life is a fairytale delusion of many. This only leads to insecurity, low self-esteem and regret.

My number one resentment was towards life, it hadn’t done for me what I had expected it to do.

For many years alcohol did for me what life wasn’t doing for me, then it turned on me too.

More reason for self-pity.

Navigating life through a spiritual program of action has taught me this:

To ACCEPT life on life’s terms.
To LIVE life on God’s terms.

God does not make terms too hard for those who seek him.

God’s terms do not include expectations, self-entitlement or self-pity.

God’s terms dictate that our past becomes our greatest asset.

The hits that come with life leave scars…

I now wear my scars proudly. The lessons learned are put into action daily. The past becomes the greatest asset not the toxic resentment.

Every day is an opportunity to show the world that no matter what happens your past becomes your greatest asset through acceptance and the lessons learned.

Be thankful for your scars, wear them proudly and enjoy a life worth living on God’s terms.

Share this with someone who may need it.

Paul

Sacrifice

🔥 Self-sacrifice

There is a simple spiritual law of averages…

Without self-sacrifice no surrender can take place…

It is impossible to surrender to anything in life without practicing the skill of self-sacrifice.

I used to verbally declare I had surrendered, but in reality I hadn’t sacrificed nor was willing to sacrifice the false beliefs that had defeated me in the first place…what a bunch of BS!

A verbal declaration of surrender does NOT mean you have surrendered…

If you believe this you are delusional…

This is a taste of what self-sacrifice should look like in your life…

Sacrifice your needs…

The need to control.
The need to always be right.
The need to be comfortable.
The need to have people always approve of you.
The need to have unrealistic expectations come true.
The need to grow unhealthy dependencies.
The thought that you can change without any help.
The delusion that your best thinking is your guiding light in life.
Your exaggerated sense of self-importance.
The selfish, self-centered values that are killers of life.
The values based on pleasure.
The false values and beliefs of alcoholism.

These are just a few the needs, values and beliefs responsible for the self-destruction of the alcoholic…

There is a lot of construction that lies ahead…

But first a ton of demolition must take place…

Demolition of the ego that feeds off the toxic self-needs and beliefs of the past…

Fortunately the 12 Step program has simplified this immaculately…

The ultimate act of self-sacrifice an alcoholic can make is in the Step 3 prayer…

“God I offer myself to thee, to do with me and build with me as thou would”

The question is this…

Do you practice the Step 3 prayer every day to 100% of it’s capacity?…

Are you allowing God to build with you in every aspect of your life?…

Or just a few aspects of your life? The aspects that feel comfortable to sacrifice?…

The spiritual way of life is an “All in package”…

A part time, half-arse approach is doomed to failure…

Self-sacrifice is 100% all in or it is nothing!

Share this with someone who may need it.

Paul

Sanity

🔈Message For The Day

The Basic Requirements For Sanity

Sanity – To see and report things a they are. Seeing things accurately and reporting them truthfully.

The 2 basic requirements to be restored to sanity are honesty and taking responsibility.

Honesty is heavily emphasized in the Big Book for a reason…

The common language of the chronic relapser is dishonesty and lack of responsibility in their lives…

By chronic relapser I mean those who are Sober but live in and out of anxiety, are discontent and constantly in collision with their fellow human beings.

Until a persistent effort is made to stop lying to yourself and others, sanity will NOT prevail over your life.

Lying clouds my truth and instantly impairs my relationship with God and my fellow humans.

LYING ABOUT ANYTHING, CORRODS THE ABILITY TO SEE TRUTH ABOUT EVERYTHING.

Dishonestly in one part of your life WILL cause damage in other areas of your life.

This was a huge part of my lack of recovery for years!

But how do we achieve rigorous honesty…

By living openly and responsibly…

Ask yourself this question…

What is my current dishonesty?

In other words what parts of your life are you processing through your thoughts and feelings and not processing them through the facts…the truth of your reality…

Are you still making decisions in your life that are better left up to God…

By that I mean are those decisions based upon how you feel about the issue? or the facts..the truth about that issue?

Here’s a fact…

Being honest can feel very uncomfortable at times…

One of our basic flaws is to seek comfort…

Dishonesty can be very comforting at the time…

Think about that for a while…

Then ask yourself again…what is my current dishonesty?

Share this with someone who may need it now.

Paul

Good Habits

🔈 Message For The Day

The One Thing That Determines The Outcome of Your Life

If you have a genuine desire to change your life and stay changed…

Then take a close look at the habits you practice on a daily basis…

Your habits WILL determine the outcome of your day every day…

This fact applies to all of us no matter who you are or what you do.

There is no greater method in your life and recovery to achieve success…

What habits do you practice daily from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed?

What time do you get up?
Do you practice Step 11 “Upon awakening”?
Do you express gratitude for this ridiculous gift called life?
Do you approach your day with vigor and enthusiasm?
How do you treat people you come in contact with?
What do you eat? How much exercise do you get?
Do you practice the step 10 running inventory all day long?
Do you do the Step 11 evening review and ask God for forgiveness?

Some of the habits I practice I suck at…

But I do them anyway…

I love the affect of good habits practiced regardless of how I performed them.

Good habits practiced = A good day achieved.

Good days achieved = A good life lived.

Developing a manner of trusting and rely upon God to solve your problem can ONLY be achieved by practicing good habits ALL day every day…

No other method will do this…

The question is…

Will you carry on allowing life to dictate your success or failure…

Or will you dictate your success in life by practicing the habits you already know you should be practicing.

Share this with someone who needs to hear it today.

Paul

The Surest Way To Stay Unhappy

🔈 My Thought For The Day:

The Surest Way To Stay Unhappy and Miserable

The deciding factor for my 19 years of sobriety was not admitting I had a problem…

It did not take a rocket scientist to work out I had a problem with alcohol…

It was admitting I was WRONG about my problem…

I held onto the insane notion that I was right about my problem for 21 years! That I could control my drinking. That’s pathetic!

In a moment of clarity God granted me grace from my ego…

In that moment of clarity I admitted and accepted I was WRONG and had been wrong all along…

This saved my life no doubt about it.

Here’s the thing…

There were and still are many things that I am wrong about.

I had an ego that desperately needed to be seen to be right every day…

A very large and very fragile ego that was willing to destroy me in order to live and in order to live the ego HAD to be seen to be right about everything! Not just a few things…everything!

Freedom from the bondage of self (ego) can only come in the form of 2 things…

Admitting you are wrong and abandoning the sick notion that you always have to be right…

Admitting that you have been wrong about your control over alcohol, your judgements and Opinions, that others are to blame, that you know better than others and what’s best for you…

And the greatest thing that we have all been wrong about…

That life is supposed to be easy….

That life is supposed to be comfy and do good things for us…

If you still feed into this narrative you will remain Miserable and unhappy.

Life was NEVER ment to be easy…

The truth is life sucks a lot more than it comforts…

Life = Suffering

Surrender = End of suffering.

Simple.

In other words to achieve surrender one has to first admit they are WRONG…

To look past your ego that needs to be right…

To develop the skill of NOT having to be right about everything all the time…

This is the key to freedom…

Do this on a daily basis and your life WILL be rocketed into the fourth dimension of existence…

For after all it is not about BEING right, it is about what IS right.

Paul

Are You Going To Do It?

🔈My message for the day.

If you make a serious decision to turn away from your old way of thinking and living…

If you REALLY mean it…

Nothing can stop you.

No negativity, no depression, no failure, no one else’s BS can ever affect your progress in recovery and in life.

Just make the decision.

One more step…

One more act of service…

One more day of living your life on God’s terms and not your own…

One more day of thoroughly following the 12 Step path.

Concentrate on the task ahead and move towards God’s perfection whilst you are doing it.

Do this every time.

And I guarantee you…

You will feel like an unstoppable freight train.

The idea is simple but not easy.

The question is…

will you stick to your decision

Are you going to do it?

Paul

The key To Permanent Freedom

The Path Of Most Resistance – The ONLY Way Out

Willing to go to any length is the fundamental skill you need to overcome addiction. There is NO other way. Why do we need to take such extreme action? Why can’t we just trundle through recovery and live happy ever after?

The alcoholic finally gets to a point where he has ONLY two options and one choice that he can make. These options are; Die the alcoholic death or work a spiritual program of action. To me some of this was extreme action. If you are alcoholic then deluding yourself into believing that there may be easier, softer options available could be fatal. In my case as an alcoholic I either need a lot of vodka or a lot of God. My disease will not settle for anything less.  It is not possible to have both, my disease will take one or the other and that is entirely up to me which option I take.

What does being willing to go to any lengths mean? It begins with the alcoholic accepting the truth of his/her situation, the truth of his/her reality.

Acceptance of one’s reality as an alcoholic is defying the law of addiction. It is the act of surrendering a deluded mind warped by our drinking into accepting that we are in fact not in control of our drinking and we are indeed lost in the wilderness of addiction.

Acceptance of one’s own dilemma can be explained in many ways:

I like to explain the act of surrender with a heart warming story about an Elephant that completely defined her own life purpose against all the laws of nature and logic. My understanding of surrender to my reality came through powerfully as I witnessed the event I am about to describe.

During a weekend vacation at a wildlife sanctuary near Harare we came across an astonishing example of perspective re engineered. A few miles into one of our game drives in the park, we observed the massive shape of a female elephant emerging from the afternoon shade of the Msasa trees. The elephant was closely followed by a substantial herd of buffalo following her in an organised single file. The elephant came to a halt 50 metres from where we were parked and the buffalo immediately surrounded her and set about their task of peacefully grazing. The elephant stood guard over the grazing buffalo with a watchful eye.

We realized at once that we were witnessing a complete freak of nature right before our eyes. It was almost impossible to accept the scene taking place in front of us, and yet there existed a sense of natural acceptance within this total mismatch of nature. It was easy to see that the Elephant had accepted the buffalo as her tribe, and was the fearless matriarch of the herd. The buffalo were at peace whilst feeding under the protection of their larger than life leader. How had this happened?

The elephant was a rescued orphan and had been the first elephant to arrive on site a few years ago. There were established herds of buffalo roaming the plains of the game park and the elephant had chosen to set about her task of acceptance into what she perceived to be her tribe. Her natural instinct for survival had obviously driven her to adopt and dominate the herd of buffalo. She had gone to the extreme lengths of putting her life at risk to achieve her place in the herd by defending her leadership against potentially dominant male buffalo who had made the mistake of challenging her authority and she had fought many of them oblivious to her physical differences and was at peace with her tribe and her role to play as leader of pack.

This elephant had achieved what we may consider impossible. Our game guide had mentioned in the beginning that the elephant was mentally and physically confused. I had to disagree, to me she had ended up in a situation which left her no option but to accept reality of being the only elephant on site. She obviously had identified this fact by becoming part of the buffalo herd which was her only chance of survival and she had become willing to go to any lengths to achieve that regardless of her differences to the others.

Here was a wild animal accepting her reality and setting about the task of adapting to her situation to suit the new environment she found herself in. In other words instead of trying to change the world around her to suit herself, she changed her attitude to suit the world around her. As a result one could see she had found freedom within her adopted herd and lived together in harmony. Impossibility had become a small miracle of nature.

Before taking Step 1 we are asked if we are willing to go to any lengths to achieve sobriety. Being willing to do this is a requirement; it’s what qualifies us to work the program of recovery.

In other words we are being asked this question: “Are you now willing for the first time to adopt a new attitude towards life? Are you ready to disengage from your drinking, cease fighting anything and everything and become willing to change your attitude from insisting that the world fits into your life to suit you, to you fitting into the world around you?. Are you willing to join a new tribe, a new herd and adapt your attitude to suit the herd and not your own selfish means that have nearly destroyed you?

I call this requirement of willingness to go to any lengths Step Zero. It is a futile exercise taking Step One if you have not taken Step Zero. If you have not accepted the truth of your reality then Step One is a wasted exercise. If you have not accepted your lack of power over choice and control over alcohol, then taking Step Zero is impossible.

Paul Nobes

Author