Gratitude

🔥 The Quality Of Thankfulness

Gratitude – the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

What is the the quality of your Thankfulness?…

Are you consistently in a state of readiness to return kindness shown to you?…

Or are you so blocked by bitternes and resentment you cannot see where kindness has been freely given to you…

Do you continue to control your opinions of others through judgment of their defects of character…

Do you continue to resent those who have wronged you?…

It is impossible to experience gratitude when your attitude towards life is filtered through a selfish and self-centered perspective.

It is impossible to express thankfulness and return kindness when you make everything about you.

For the purpose of recovery from Alcoholism, gratitude can only come about in the absence of selfishness…

The absence of a self-directed life…

Gratitude = A God-directed life…

Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done.” These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. – The Big Book P85

After all is life not about what you can give and not what you can take?.

Paul

Not A Theory

🔥Not A Theory

“The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it” – The Big Book P83.

Are you a theorist or a Practitioner of this program?

A theorist will talk with words…

A Practitioner will talk through action…

A theorist will talk through knowledge…

A Practitioner will listen through wisdom…

The cofounders of AA found through painful experience that it was impossible for them to think and talk their way into a new way of thinking…

The alcoholic’s only chance at life was to action his way into a new way of living…

The solution to their problem HAD to be LIVED…

Not talked about…

Not thought about…

Lived!.

Chapter 6 in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is titled INTO ACTION…

This chapter includes the actionable steps of steps 5 through step 9…

If worked diligently they will create an experiential happening in the alcoholic through action…

This happening is called an awakening…

A spiritual experience…

An experience that empowers the alcoholic to pick his bed and walk and carry the message of his awakening to other Alcoholics who still suffer…

The action of carrying this message to others who suffer as we once did, will garuntee immunity from drinking…

Being a Practitioner of step 12 garuntees immunity…

Being a theorist garuntees failure…

Which one are you?

Our behavior/actions must speak louder than our words.

Paul

Sober But Stuck

🔥Sober But Stuck

Over the years I have heard many people in recovery complain about being sober but stuck.

There is a common aspect of failure amongst many in recovery…

For some it is an unseen enemy which can divide and conquer the spiritual principles laid out before you.

Trying to use self-will to solve the problem of self-will without even knowing it…

One of the Step 9 promises states that “We come to realize that God is doing for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves”…

In Step 3 we are asked to make a decision to turn our WILL and our lives over to the care of God…

Why should we do this?…

Simple…we discovered that our self-will had been running riot…

Roaring through the lives of others like a tornado…

You cannot defeat a tornado with a tornado!…

For many years we tried to do for ourselves what was impossible for us to do…

We tried to self-will away resentment…

We tried to self-will away fear, anger, envy, jealousy, despair…

We tried to self-will ourselves into feeling complete and at peace and ease…

We tried to self-will ourselves into becoming nicer people…

None of these worked.

For a while alcohol started to do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves…

Then it turned on us and started to kill us…

You cannot solve a problem using the problem…

That is why self-help books and programs do not work for people like us…

We needed God’s help…

We needed to turn our dysfunctional will over to the care of God to solve our problem…

Anything less will end up in failure…

Guaranteed…

The first sign of trying to use self-will to overcome self-will is taking personal inventory of a problem…becoming aware of the root of that problem…and advancing no further with that problem…

A common mistake many people make…

By doing this your belief system is telling you that your self-will, will solve your self-will…

There is no need for God to solve your problem.

Every single manifestation of selfishness, self-centered behavior is rooted in self-will…

Self-will run riot…

A tornado…

Step 11 talks about developing the vital sixth sense called…

A God consciousness…

A sense of flow of his spirit into us…

This vital sixth sense becomes the catalyst that defeats self-will…

The self-will that could never do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.

Paul

The Spiritual Axiom

🔥Spiritual Axiom

It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about “justifiable” anger? If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad? Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.

  • The 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.

Axiom – a statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true.

Anger – A srong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility.

Why is “justifiable anger” a dangerous exception for people like us?…

Here’s why…

We immediately make the other person responsible for our anger in that moment and will hold them responsible until they make right on their wrongs to us…

What happens if that person never makes right on their wrongs?…

We stay angry with them…

Anger becomes a resentment…

Resentment is our number one killer.

Here’s something to consider…

Facts don’t care about your feelings…

Your feelings of anger towards a person are not their responsibility…

Your feelings are your responsibility no matter what the situation…

It is not the other person who has made you angry…

It is the anger that already exists inside of you that has been activated by a certain situation or a certain person…

The fact is this…

It is your anger, your feelings and only you are responsible for them…

In the world of the spirit anger should not exist…

It is impossible for feelings of hostility to exist in a world of complete acceptance and no resistance to the flow of life.

If you are experiencing angry outbursts ask yourself this question:

Which program am I working?…

The spiritual program of action?…

Or my own program?…

Your own program will absolutely include justified anger and justified resentment…

The wisdom of the spiritual axiom includes zero tolerance towards justified anger, it knows that this is the dubious luxury of men and women better qualified to use it.

Which program are you going to work today?

Paul

Stay Awake

đź’ĄStay Awake

The purpose of Steps 10 and 11 is to awaken yourself to your own selfishness…

And to keep yourself awake to your own selfishness…

Your character may have become nicer and kinder and spiritually involved…

But you are still up against the tricks of your ego…

If you think your ego has been defeated as a result of working the first 9 steps you are wrong!!

Infact the ego gets a more crafty and you need to stay awake to this…

Don’t believe me?…

Which of the following manifestations of the ego do you suffer from:

Whining, complaining and moaning…

Fear of what others think of you…

Fear of rejection…

Low self-esteem…

Judgement and Opinions of other people’s actions…

Jealousy and envy of what others possess or have achieved…

Fear of admitting when your wrong…

The thought that you permanently own certain things and certain people in your life…

The thought that it is you who overcame the adversity in your life…

The thought that you can control…

These are just a few…

How many of the above characteristics do you hold…

Or…

Do you hold all these manifestations of ego like most people do…

And for some strange reason most people believe the program they worked some time ago will keep them awake today…

Last week’s laundry will keep their clothes clean today…

Monday’s dinner will keep them fed on Friday…

Make no mistake your ego is much cleverer and a lot more crafty than you…

Ignore this at your own peril.

Paul

Decisions Based On Self

🔥Decisions Based On Self

Ever wondered why your life sucks at times?…

Why it seems people are pissed with you?…

Ignoring you?…blaming you?…criticizing you?…

Not understanding you’re point of view…

No matter how hard you try with others, you cannot maintain harmonious relationships…

Here’s the thing…

Any course of action you take in life based on self, will at sometime come into conflict with those close to you…

Why is that?…

Any decision based on self will be a decision driven by either fear, self-delusion, self-seeking or self-pity…

We step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate…

“Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt. So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves”

  • The Big Book P62

Hence the need for regular inventory in order to identify when in the past we have made decisions based on self that have come back to bite us with those close to us.

A one-off step 4 inventory is not good enough…

The instructions in the Big Book are clear.
..

REGULAR inventory must be taken…

Its called the discipline of step 10…

Continued to take regular inventory and when wrong promptly admitted it…

The end of conflict in your life…

If you do it…

Are you doing it is the question???

Paul

Cause and Effect

🔥Cause and Effect

Upon entry into the rooms I thought all I had to do was overcome my abnormal physical reaction to alcohol…

This abnormal reaction was just a symptom to a much bigger problem…

And that problem is I have a very abnormal mental and emotional reaction to life…

It takes the Big Book 62 pages to point out our fundamental problem…

Selfishness-self-centeredness driven by 100 forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking and self-pity…

This we discover is the root of our troubles.

So my problem was not vodka after all…

I had gone through life being driven…

The word driven implies you have no choice…

Choice has nothing to do with it when you are being driven…

If you think you have any kind of choice over the path of your actions in a state of being driven you are wrong…

When you are being driven you have no choice…

And what usually happens?…

You step on the toes of others and they retaliate…

You get sore about this and remain sore…

If I remain sore for too long, I will drink vodka…

No doubt about it.

The 3 Step four inventories clearly show us the cause and effect of being driven by fear, self-delusion, self-seeking and self pity. As a result of identifying the cause and effect of being driven, the exact nature of our wrongs can by seen as clear as day…

We admit the exact nature of our wrongs to ourselves, to God and to another person…

We then take the causes…our defects of character to God for removal in steps 6 and 7…

We then make good on the exact nature of our wrongs to others in step 9…

And enter the world of the spirit in ste 10…

The world of reality not the world of self-delusion.

By my count the principles of moral intervention and willingness to believe are the only effective methods to defeat the root of our problem…selfishness-self-centeredness.

The question is:

Are you still the driven?…

Or are you the driver…

The driver guided and navigated by God’s directive.

Paul

Progress Not Perfection

🔥 Progress Not Perfection

All too often the infamous quote from The Big Book “progress not perfection” is used as an excuse for half measures or no measures at all.

Expectations of a perfect life without any effort only leads to bitterness and resentment…

What does progress not perfection really mean?…

PROGRESS – development towards an improved or more advanced condition.

Progress is our responsibility…

And God takes care of the perfection.

The program is not about re creating yourself in your own image…

Working the program is about becoming God’s ever advancing creation…

An ever Advancing creation progressing towards God’s perfection….

Progress towards perfection…

God’s perfection not your expectation of perfection…

Here’s the reality of most people’s truth…

If you were to look back over the last 365 days of your life and ask yourself this:

How much progress have I made in my life situation?…

In my relationships?…

Do I treat people any better than you used to?…

Do you hold less resentment towards others?…

Are you driven by less fear than before?…

Do you pray a lot more to God and trust and rely on him more?…

Do you admit when you are wrong more than you used to?…

Do you apologize more than you used to?…

Do you think about others, of what you can pack into the steam if life more than you used to…

Are you doing more service than you used to?…

Are you more patient and tolerant with others more than ever?…

Have you gone on more 12 Step calls than ever?…

Is there much less ego at play in your life and more humility than ever?…

Do you show more gratitude than ever?…

These are but a few of the characteristics of God’s ever Advancing creation…

Just a few…

The hard reality here is most have made no progress in a lot of these departments…

Here is an even colder truth…

Most have digressed in these departments…

Infact forget about the last 365 days…

Just look at 1 day…

Yesterday…

Where did you progress?…

We are up against a progressive disease…

This means if you are not progressing you are being taken over by the thing that can and will destroy you.

This is why no middle if the road solution will suffice…

You are either progressing out of bondage…

Or digressing towards the gates of insanity once again…

There is indeed no easy way out.

Paul

A God Centered Life

🔥 Living A God-Centered Life

Having discovered the root of our problem being grounded in the tenets of self-centered thinking and behavior…

All principles based on human solution centeredness had failed…

A new center was needed…

A non human centeredness…

A God centeredness…

In Step 1 the delusion of self-control over our problem is smashed…

In Step 2 we became willing to lay down our prejudice towards God…

In Step 3 we made a decision to turn away from our self-centeredness towards God-centerdness.

In Steps 4 through Step 9 every single character defect of self-centeredness was removed…

In Step 10 we entered the world of the spirit…the world of God-centerdness and continued to grow this world in understanding and effectiveness…

In Step 11 we set about the daily grind of taking the actions of God-centerdness…

“On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives

In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle.

We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only.

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.

It works—it really does”.

-The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous Pgs 86 – 88

These are just some of the Step 11 disciplines that we are instructed to follow and put into action in order to grow and maintain a God-centerded life…

What center does your life follow?…

Most will work the program but retain self-centeredness by not practicing the disciplines of Step 11 every day…

How’s your God-centerd life going?

Share this with someone who may need to hear this.

Paul

A Subtle Foe

🔥 A Subtle Foe

“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe”. – The Big Book P85

It is my experience that not many Alcoholics who get sober die sober…

This is fact…

Why is that?…

Alcohol is indeed a subtle foe…

A foe that is on my case everyday and is trying to convince me that my Step 1 experience is a load of nonsense and I do infact possess power over life, over others and over alcohol.

I am willing to believe that a power greater than myself can solve my problem because of my step 1 experience of lack of power…

I made the step 3 decision because of my step 1 experience of lack of power…

I take regular inventory because of my step 1 experience of lack of power…

I promptly admit my wrongs, ask God to remove them and make right on my wrongs because of my step 1 experience of lack of power…

I continue to carry this message to others like me who lack power because of my step 1 experience of lack of power…

The only reason I am sober today is that my step 1 experience is current and therefore my need for a power by which to live is current.

Alcohol is a subtle foe…slowly…gradually it will strip down your step 1 experience to nothing…

Slowly but surely you won’t need as many meetings…

Slowly but surely you won’t need meet with your sponsor regularly…

Slowly but surely you won’t need to sacrifice your own selfish needs…

Slowly but surely you won’t need to take regularly inventory…

Slowly but surely you won’t need the disciplines of 10 and 11 because “you got this!” You managing quite fine without God thank you!…

Slowly but surely you won’t need to help others who lack power like you…

Slowly but surely you won’t need God to solve your problem…

Slowly but surely the subtle foe has convinced you that you do not need a current step 1 experience…

Slowly but surely the thought that its ok to pick up the first drink will come…

And when that day comes…

You won’t even know why you just commited the most insane act sober.

Without a current step 1 experience of lack of power…

Alcohol the subtle foe is as powerful as nature…it always wins.

How current is your step 1 experience?

Share this with someone who may need to hear this.

Paul