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

 

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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.

 

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.

Great, so Now What?

I am continuing my series on principles I aspire to integrate into to my being.

So here I am having been reduced to the point of Surrender. I have arrived at the crossroad and the resulting option is killing myself, being locked up or Honesty. Having decided I want to live a free life and am in a position to follow in the footsteps of many who have overcome and flourished in spite of having been down a similar path.

Where do I go from here? Well, those brave souls I have decided to follow instruct me that I have to find and use a Power greater than myself and believe in the possibility, that I can start doing things, living my life differently, and my ability to make better decisions will result. Many will recognize step 2 of the 12 steps here. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. I had to have Hope that I could be changed.

What is wrong with this picture?

What was I thinking? I’m talking about the blatant disregard for my own and others safety. In the description of what it was like, in my last post, It’s Payday!

Ah the mind of a budding addict. I was craving a feeling of connection. I had a vast hole, or it felt like one, in my being. Something was missing. I used substances to alter my brain and body in order to feel different. The trouble is that I was severely impaired. I could care less about myself or others, while at the same time being quite self-absorbed.

I’m better now thanks to the grace of God and the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous

I have posted this song before but it’s pertinent

Honesty

Continuing my endeavor into principles that I somehow failed to integrate as I grew up. If any have any questions about that, just start from my first post and that should explain a lot. My guess though is that most get it.
So I’ve subjected myself to enough emotional anguish and despair that I have become willing to surrender. At which point, in my opinion, freedom is then possible. The next stop on our journey is honesty.
hon·es·ty
ˈänəstē/
noun
 the quality of being honest.
  1. “they spoke with convincing honesty about their fears”
    synonyms: integrity, uprightness, honorableness, honor, morality, morals, ethics, principles, high principles, righteousness, right-mindedness; More

    2.
    a European plant with purple or white flowers and round, flat, translucent seedpods that are used for indoor flower arrangements.
    09fd691d-52fe-496c-a6a1-66918b05ab88
    Clearly, I’m not talking about the flower. Honesty for me is something I thought I had always been good at. I have a problem though about being honest with myself. More about that here. Honestly?
    The kind of freedom I am alluding to is phenomenally described here.
    I believe this whole-heartedly and have experienced that kind of freedom from my days aboard ship in the Navy, while restricted to the ship and involved some extra duty. Freedom is a state of mind. Honesty with oneself is imperative.
    We admitted we…
    I had to admit that my best thinking got me here and that I must be willing to do things differently. So now what?
    more on that later. So long for now

    St. Augustine

    Return to your heart, O you transgressors, and hold fast to him who made you. Stand with him and you shall stand fast. Rest in him and you shall be at rest. Where do you go along these rugged paths? Where are you going?…Why then will you wander farther and farther in these difficult and toilsome ways? There is no rest where you seek it. Seek what you seek, but remember that it is not where you seek it. You seek for a blessed life in the land of death. It is not there. For how can there be a blessed life where life itself is not?