Justice

We I’m here, writing again about principles that I work toward living by. Today I am writing about justice, which is aligned with the 9th step. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

For me though, the step is taking direct action out of love for my one self. I have done a great deal of harm toward others by acts of commission and omission. And in doing so damaged my spirit, my being, this damage led to a pain of the sort that compelled me to continue using. At this stage of working through the 12 steps, I have gained a better knowledge of myself and my frailties. I have also become more sensitive to the effects of my behavior on myself and others.

I must do what I can too, to start healing myself. If I delay, I will endure discomfort and continue to crave relief, leading to all kinds of odd self-seeking self-gratifying and potentially harmful knucklehead activities. I must reach out to those I have affected and offer to make things right. No apologies, I merely acknowledge the infraction and the desire to make it right.

The Promises

This excerpt from The Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous is often recited at meetings and they have all come true for me.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway 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 insecurity 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. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us–sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

That is all

 

pink
On the job finding beauty

Love

Continuing with my venture into describing principles acquired, developed, learned, what have you, recovering from addiction. It is my assertion that the 12 steps and the order they are in, are divinely inspired. All of the previous steps and principles are needed to make progress to the next.

So we’re at step 8. Made a list of all the people we harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. 

Old timers say that the principle here is brotherly love, there seems to be a bit of debate about this as I have seen a few others. Willingness, discipline among others. I contend that it truly is Love. 

I have realized that what I do to or for others I inflict or provide to myself. My spirit is damaged or enriched by the actions I take toward others. Even just in thought.

If I am to heal my being and become a decent human, able to interact and function in society. I must be rid of the hurt I have caused myself and others. Writing down the names of those I have harmed and becoming willing to bridge the chasm created by my behavior is an imperative exercise on the road to recovery.

Contemplating the love of God is invaluable in this undertaking. God knows my heart and all of my history and Loves me. I must do, be that love to work through this.

 

Right Sized

On the brink of May 2017, I am continuing to share my experience with spiritual principals learned and incorporated into my life as the result of following the program of recovery from alcoholism. The 12 steps in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Today we’re at step seven, “Humbly asked Him, to remove our shortcomings.” The principle behind this one is Humility. I’ll start with the definition then relate what I’ve heard and learned.

Humility

noun

  1. the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

Humble

noun

  1. not proud or arrogant; modest
  2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc
  3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly
  4. courteously respectful
  5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size 

Now considering all of that and what I know of humility it’s just a bunch of words trying to describe something that is on the verge of indescribable.

Being humble or having humility is, I have heard, “Not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” “Being Right Sized”

For me, it is the polar opposite of what we’re taught to be. Consider others before myself. My importance is derived from what I have to offer, not what’s in it for me. If I’m in pain or struggling, that is within me and not the result of what I may think has been done to me. I’m responsible. I’m willing to be a cause in the matter.

If you want to make a difference, start with the person you’ve known, longer than anybody else. Me 😛

I’ll leave you with this inspired piece of music

 

Willingness

“If you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it.” Then you are ready to take certain steps. From How it works. Here we/I are/am at step 6

Were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.

So I have identified and shared my less than savory aspects of my behavior. I have also discovered where I have been deceitful to myself and others to achieve my objectives and the self-centered fear behind all of that.

How does one become entirely ready for anything, much less having all of my survival mechanisms removed? I must first recognize that they might not be and that it’s not up to me that they are removed. As with all the occasions where I find that I am reluctant, I am instructed to pray.

As I become willing for my character to be repaired, I am faced with being an active participant. Namely, where I have been dishonest, I need to stop lying. Where I have been lazy, I need to get up off my ass and do something positive/productive. Where I have been disingenuous, I need to learn how to say no.

The most important thing, in my opinion here, is to have and cultivate greater faith that all is well and I will be allowed to make mistakes to learn valuable lessons. And that is not only ok, it is Good.

 

 

How does that lead to Integrity?

Welcome, if you’ve not been following along on our trip, investigating the spiritual principles behind working the steps found in the 12 Steps, primarily from the book Alcoholics Anonymous

So here we are at Step 5 Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. I am not going to talk here, about how it’s done, or why, or the ways to overcome the inevitable reluctance to performing this step. There is a plethora of writing on those subjects.

I want to relay my experience of how admitting the sheer wretchedness of myself leads to integrity.

Integrity- noun

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished:

3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.

 

When I first learned that integrity was the principle behind this, I automatically thought #1 here and was confused other than the idea of integrating my entire past, however repulsive, by honest admission.
I have found, though that this step is imperative to arriving at #2 being whole.
Throughout my life, I denied or fought my demons or impaired myself to escape it. In doing so I gave these secrets power, which in turn pushed me to even more erratic insanity. I have to be a member of the human race and society, however painful it is. By sharing my weaknesses and flaws with another, healing my battered character can begin.

Courage

Courage is defined as noun: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery

I’ll take this definition a step further. As the quality within to take action in spite of fear.

Why? you may wonder, do I need to be courageous. As I am progressing through my endeavor to rid myself of the compulsion to destroy my being, attempting to escape the agonizing feelings of being an addict.

Having navigated my way from Surrender and making my way to the doorstep or possible recovery by way of Honesty and developing some hope Great, so Now What?

The next task is truly a frightening prospect. Requiring all the courage I could summon. Step 4 Made a searching and fearless moral inventory. Which I might add, after doing the previous steps thoroughly was immensely easier than I thought, upon first examining the steps suggested.

I had never until this point take an honest look within to ask myself who and what bother me. What happened, how it made me feel and the most important part. What part did I play in that situation, relationship?

By recognizing, acknowledging and embracing the absolute worst I am capable of. I have discovered that I am now liberated to behave in entirely new way.

Faith

Here is the 4th in my series on spiritual principles.

Faith to know beyond knowing, beyond the intellectual mind. Faith is described in the New testament- Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is the conviction concerning those things that are in hope as if it were these things in action* and the revelation of those things that are unseen. Frome the Aramaic Bible in Plain English.

This where in the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous suggests we Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the are of God as we understand Him. In the beginning, I was ready because my best thinking got me to the point of Surrender and the resulting arrival of a new Honesty with myself.

At this point in my recovery, I believe that I was always have been under the care and protection of Him. So for me, Step three is a daily dedication to cooperating with that Power instead of ignoring, or discounting it all together.

On a mindfulness angle, we’re talking about manifesting abundance. Raising my vibration and what have you. I just say it differently. If I am positive and I know it, positive things happen. Mind you things happen that may not seem positive while they’re happening, but experience has shown that even what seems like the worst imaginable, has turned out for the best.

I blogger I was recently followed by, and I, of course, followed back, wrote a lovely piece that is an excellent example of faith Mind over Matter  See I consider it a miracle that she followed just today, Easter Sunday 2017 Thank you!