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- June 24, 2015 at 3:50 am #4488700
Happy anniversary.Nine years of marriage is a big deal.
This deal is about living, not morbid introspection. Here’s a quote from a guy named Kenneth Leech:
“Self-examination is not morbid introspection or self-condemnation, but an honest and fearless confrontation of the self and its abandonment in trust to God.”
One of my favorite activities is reading the book out loud to alcoholics. I love it because it keeps me growing. After this is a liftetime job and in spiritual growth, the job is never done. It’s not an overnight matter.
I strayed a bit there, one time I was reading the Tenth Step directions on page 84 to a guy. It talks about cleaning up any new mistakes as we go along, commencing to clean up the past and making this a way of living. I had read that probably hundreds of times before, but this time it got me excited. Fear of making mistakes kept me from living for a long time, now I get to go and live. You can’t fully live and not make some mistakes, so it is saying to me go and live! A few pages later it talks about relying on intuitive thought and inspiration, but not being inspired 24/7, I’m gonna make mistakes.
Like Sylvia K. says in her story, this is a program that allows for limitless expansion. I first met Don P. when I was about a year sober. He told me that I had been given a gift that I had the rest of my life to grow into and all I needed was a willingness to grow along spiritual lines. Those spiritual lines go into infinity.
I’ve been doing this a while and the best years of my life lay ahead of me. I’m still a novice. I’ve only barely scratched the surface and I’ve got a lot of room to grow, a lot of room for improvement, and a lot of mistakes left to make. That means I’ve got a lot of living left to do.
Big Book references from Alcoholics Anonymous, First EditionJune 24, 2015 at 6:01 am #4488709
Good stuff, Jim.
That fear of making mistakes has been on me lately. Fear of failure. Not about the big stuff so much. The annoying little day to day stuff. Stuff I should be working on… stuff I can become aware of.
A friend from my Monday meeting asked me if I was still doing Rick Warren and I said, “No!” Maybe again some time, but I’m done there for now. I’ve fired that bullet.” I need something new and fresh. Yet the Book has been so alive for me lately.
I was very uncomfortable today as I went to a meeting I don’t always go to. It used to be a strong closed book study. This one gal who was running it for a way long time has finally stopped going and I was there waiting for people to show up and it was a minute after and no meeting. Some counselor lady came in and has a bus full of guys from the Fountain Ft. Carson… addicts, maybe alkies, many PTSD guys… so finally a few guys show up and I said, “These guys want a meeting. Should we ‘open’ it up?” “Sure.”
So that meeting went on and I felt really uncomfortable Here we were in “More about alcoholism”, a chapter I can really get into, and these guys just didn’t seem to be connecting. I felt like I could just not identify with them nor them me. Since so few of them wanted to talk and we were kind of light on participation, I rapped the thing up with a sort of quick trip through all the 12 steps and what makes the 12 Step process so awesome… trying to show them some hope.
I talked to an old guy about the thing after the meeting and he gave me some ideas… some insite. He said they suffer from tramas that can hit 20 at a time or when just 1 hits, they can have a bombardment of these things seem to hit all at once. I started to wonder why these guys can’t take our twelve steps and start some kind of PTSD meeting and get through it. I talked to the counselor about 12 step vs other recoveries for them and she feels the 12 step is still the best hope.
So I was a fish out of water. But you should have seen me trying to keep water spashed onto those other fish.
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