Tag Archives: Spirit on the A’s

Fearing Our Feelings

The Fourth Step – Fearing Our Feelings

We may fear that being in touch with our feelings will trigger an overwhelming chain reaction of pain and panic. Page 279.

No Fear
No Fear

Basic Text, p.30. A common complaint about the Fourth Step is that it makes us painfully conscious of our defects of character. We may be tempted to falter in our program of recovery. Through surrender and acceptance, we can find the resources we need to keep working the steps.

It is not the awareness of our defects that causes the most agony, it is the defects themselves. When we were using, all we felt was the drugs; we could ignore the suffering our defects were causing us. Now that the drugs are gone, we feel that pain. Refusing to acknowledge the source of our anguish does not make it go away; denial protects the pain and makes it stronger. The Twelve Steps help us deal with the misery caused by our defects by dealing directly with the defects themselves.

If we hurt from the pain of our defects, we can remind ourselves of the nightmare of addiction, a nightmare from which we now awaken. We can recall the hope for release the Second Step gave us. We can again turn our will and our lives over, through the Third Step, to the care of the God of our understanding. Our Higher Power cares for us by giving us the help we need to work the rest of the Twelve Steps. We do not have to fear our feelings. Just for today, we can continue in our recovery.

Just for Today: I will not be afraid of my feelings. With the help of my Higher Power, I will continue in my recovery. – (c) 2018. NA World Services.

Step Two. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step Three. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Step Four. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Fear
Blue October

All my life
Been running from a pain in me
A feeling I don’t understand
Holding me down
So rain on me
Underwater
All I am, getting harder
A heavy weight
I carry around
Today
I don’t have to fall apart
I don’t have to be afraid
I don’t have to let the damage
Consume me,
My shadow see through me.

First Things First

FIRST THINGS FIRST
Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth: Job or no job, wife or no wife, we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God. – ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 98.

Before coming to A.A., I always had excuses for taking a drink: “She said,” “He said,” “I got fired yesterday,” “I got a great job today.” No area of my life could be good if I drank again. In sobriety my life gets better each day. I must always remember not to drink, to trust God, and to stay active in A.A. Am I putting anything before my sobriety, God, and A.A. today? – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.

First Things First
First Things First

Read AA Big Book Chapter 7. Working with Others.
Mature life is More than just a social hour in a room.

Step Three. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Establish priorities
Habituation transformation from bad, alcohol, to good, Higher Power.
Allegiance to God as we understand Him.
Replace the AA We term with I
Dependance on God
Manage life on life’s terms

First Thing First
Neon Trees

You are never gonna get
Everything you want in this world
First things first
Get what you deserve
It began when I was twenty-one years old
And my mom and dad were begging me to go
So I left a note and we went and hit the road
Me and Chris and all the stuff I own
I went out to find my soul and left the only comfort that I’d known
It wasn’t ’bout a girl or even California bleeding
It was all about me choosing where to go.

Keeping the Gift

Keeping the Gift

Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift. Page 276.

Gift
Gift

Basic Text, p.107. Neglecting our recovery is like neglecting any other gift we are given. Suppose someone gave you a new car. Would you let it sit in the driveway until the tires rotted? Would you just drive it, ignoring routine maintenance, until it expired on the road? Of course not! You would go to great lengths to maintain the condition of such a valuable gift.

Recovery is also a gift, and we have to care for it if we want to keep it. While our recovery doesn’t come with an extended warranty, there is a routine maintenance schedule. This maintenance includes regular meeting attendance and various forms of service. We have to do some daily cleaning-our Tenth Step-and, once in a while, a major Fourth Step overhaul will be required. But if we maintain the gift of recovery, thanking the Giver each day, it will continue.

The gift of recovery is one that grows with the giving. Unless we give it away, we can not keep it. But in sharing our recovery with others, we come to value it all the more.

Just for Today: My recovery is a gift, and I want to keep it. I will do the required maintenance, and I will share my recovery with others. – (c) 2018. NA World Services.

Step Four.

Step Ten.
We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Give it away
George Strait
https://youtu.be/KpZiGsvETKk

She was storming through the house that day
And I could tell she was leaving
And I thought, aw, she’ll be back
Till she turned around and pointed at the wall an said

That picture from our honeymoon
That night in Frisco Bay
Just give it away
She said, give it away
And that big four-poster king-size bed
Where so much love was made
Just give it away
She said, just give it away.

Forming True Partnerships

Forming True Partnerships 

But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 53. 

True Partnership
True Partnership

Can these words apply to me, am I still unable to form a true partnership with another human being? What a terrible handicap that would be for me to carry into my sober life! In my sobriety I will meditate and pray to discover how I may be a trusted friend and companion. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. 

Step Four. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 

Before honestly engaging this humbling step, one AA veteran needed to write out the following and meditate on them. 

 

Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments

Ten Commandments 

A set of 10 rules given to Moses on tablets that were passed down to keep people on the straight and narrow. 

1. You shall have no other Gods but me. 

2. You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor worship it. 

3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. 

4. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy. 

5. Respect your father and mother. 

6. You must not kill. 

7. You must not commit adultery. 

8. You must not steal. 

9. You must not give false evidence against your neighbour. 

10. You must not be envious of your neighbour’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour. 

Seven Deadly Sins
Seven Deadly Sins

Seven Deadly Sins 

Seven things that are considered the worst things to do. 

1. Greed – Wanting too much of something. 

2. Gluttony – Similar to greed, but gluttony is the action of taking too much of something in. 

3. Lust – The need to fulfill unspiritual desires (not just sexual desires, but this is usually what lust is associated with.) 

4. Envy – Jealousy; wanting to have what someone has. 

5. Sloth – Being too slow or lazy at doing something. 

6. Wrath – Vindictive anger; angry revenge. 

7. Pride – Being too self-satisfied 

In forming a true partnership with a loved one or an accountability partner we create a relationship of caring and love that finds its basis in Spirituality. 

Dear Father God, Please bring respite from anxiety and pain to this believer in recovery, success and all the precious fruits of the Spirit. In your trust we commend our faith and our futures. Amen. 

Pastors Michael and Cathy Hanus 

Spirit Recovery 

Pancho and Lefty 

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard 

Open to Change

Open to Change 

Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help, we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life, the one that did not work, for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever. – AS BILL SEES IT, pp. 10, 8. 

I have been given a daily reprieve contingent upon my spiritual condition, provided I seek progress, not perfection. To become ready for change, I practice willingness, opening myself to possibilities of change. If I realize there are defects that hinder my usefulness in A.A. and toward others, I become ready by meditating and receiving direction. “Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58). To let go and let God, I need only surrender my old ways to Him; I no longer fight nor do I try to control, but simply believe that, with God’s help, I am changed and affirming this belief makes me ready. I empty myself to be full of awareness, light, and love, and I am ready to face each day with hope. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. 

Changes 

David Bowie 

I still don’t know what I was waiting for

And my time was running wild

A million dead-end streets

Every time I thought I’d got it made

It seemed the taste was not so sweet

So I turned myself to face me

But I’ve never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I’m much too fast to take that test. 

Believe

Believe in Me
Just for today, I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery. Page 165.

believe
I Believe I Can

Basic Text, p. 100. Not all of us arrive in NA and automatically stay clean. But if we keep coming back, we find in Narcotics Anonymous the support we need for our recovery. Staying clean is easier when we have someone who believes in us even when we do not believe in ourselves.

Even the most frequent relapser in NA usually has one staunch supporter who is always there, no matter what. It is imperative that we find that one person or group of people who believes in us. When we ask them if we will ever get clean, they will always replay, “Yes, you can and you will. Just keep coming back!”

We all need someone who believes in us, especially when we can not believe in ourselves. When we relapse, we undermine our already shattered self-confidence, sometimes so badly that we begin to feel utterly hopeless. At such times, we need the support of our loyal NA friends. They tell us that this can be our last relapse. They know from experience that if we keep coming to meetings, we will eventually get clean and stay clean.

It is hard for many of us to believe in ourselves. But when someone loves us unconditionally, offering support no matter how many times we’ve relapsed, recovery in NA becomes a little more real for us.

Just for Today: I will find someone who believes in me. I will believe in them. – (c) 2018. NA World Services.

Belief. Acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists; Trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.

Believe
Shawn Mendez

Hope

Hope
Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it is not strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 65.
hope
hope
This is where long-term hope is born and perspective is gained, both of the nature of my illness and the path of my recovery. The beauty of A.A. lies in knowing that my life, with God’s help, will improve. The A.A. journey becomes richer, the understanding becomes truth, the dreams become realities and today becomes forever.
As I step into the A.A. light, my heart fills with the presence of God. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
 
Hope. Feeling of Trust or Expectation and Desire for a certain thing to happen.
 
Song of Hope
Canto Esperanza
https://youtu.be/Cus53eeR3bA
 
May the God of hope go with us every day,
Filling all our lives with love and joy and peace.
May the God of justice speed us on our way,
Bringing light and hope to every land and race.

Prayer

Honest Prayer

Although honesty is difficult to practice, it is most rewarding. Page 163.

honest
honest

Basic Text, p. 96. How difficult we find it to be honest! Many of us come to NA as confused about what really happened in our lives that it sometimes takes months and years to sort it all out. The truth of our history is not always as we have told it. How can we begin to be more truthful?

Many of us find it the easiest to be honest in prayer. With our fellow addicts, we sometimes find that we have a hard time telling the whole truth. We feel certain that we will not be accepted if we let others know us as we really are. It is hard to live up to the “terminally hip and fatally cool” image so many of us portrayed! In prayer, we find an acceptance from our Higher Power that allows us to open our hearts with honesty.

As we practice this honesty with the God of our understanding, we often find that it has a ripple effect in our communications with others. We get in the habit of being honest. We begin to practice honesty when we share at meetings and work with others. In return, we find our lives enriched by deepening friendships. We even find that we can be more honest with ourselves, the most important person to be truthful with!

Honesty is a quality that is developed through practice. It isn’t always easy to be totally truthful, but when we begin with our Higher Power, we find it easier to extend our honesty to others.

Just for Today: I will be honest with God, myself, and others. – (c) 2018. NA World Services.

Honesty
Billy Joel

 

Challenge of the Day

Meeting the Challenge of the Day

The decision to ask for God’s help is our greatest source of strength and courage. Page 153. 

Challenges
Challenges Ahead

Basic Text, p. 26. A challenge is anything that dares us to succeed. Things new and unfamiliar serve as challenges, whether those things appear good or bad to us. We are challenged by obstacles and opposition from within ourselves and from without. New and difficult things, obstacles and opposition, all are a part of “life on life’s terms.” Living clean means learning to meet challenges.

Many of us, consciously or unconsciously, took drugs to avoid meeting challenge. Many of us were equally afraid of failure and success. Each time we declined the day’s challenge, we suffered a loss of self-esteem. Some of us used drugs to mask the shame we felt. Each time we did that, we became even less able to meet our challenges and more likely to use.

By working the NA program, we find the tools we need to successfully meet any challenge. We come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, a Power that cares for our will and our lives. We ask that Power to remove our character defects, those things that made our lives unmanageable. We take action to improve our conscious contact with that Higher Power. Through the steps, we are given the ability to stop using drugs and start living.

Each day, we are faced with new challenges. And each day, through working our program of recovery, we are given the grace to meet those challenges.

Just for Today: I will ask my Higher Power to help me squarely meet today’s challenge. – (c) 2018. NA World Services. 

Precious Lord Take My Hand 

This Is Not a Test

This is Not a Test.

“We have found a loving, personal God to whom we can turn.” Page 39.
Basic Text, p. 27. Some of us come into recovery with the impression that life’s hardships are a series of cosmic tests designed to teach us something. This belief is readily apparent when something traumatic happens and we wail, “My Higher Power is testing me!” We are convinced that it is a test of our recovery when someone offers us drugs, or a test of our character when faced with a situation where we could do something unprincipled without getting caught. We may even think it is a test of our faith when we are in great pain over a tragedy in our lives.

But a loving Higher Power does not test our recovery, our character, or our faith. Life just happens, and sometimes it hurts. Many of us have lost love through no fault of our own. Some of us have lost all of our material wealth. A few of us have even grieved the loss of our own children. Life can be terribly painful at times, but the pain is not inflicted on us by our Higher Power. Rather, that Power is constantly by our sides, ready to carry us if we can not walk by ourselves. There is no harm that life can do us that the God of our understanding can not heal.

Just for Today: I will have faith that my Higher Power’s will for me is good, and that I am loved. I will seek my Higher Power’s help in times of need. (c) 2016 NA World Services

Iroquois Prayer of Gratitude
We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with waters.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicine for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters, the beans and the squashes, which give us life.
We return thanks to the wind, which moving the air has banished diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and the stars,
which have given us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all things for the good of his children.

Thank you
Thank you

The Science Behind Cultivating the Attitude of Gratitude and How It Works.

The benefits include health and Wellness, better sleep, feeling more alive, reaching out and receiving compassion, even helping build a better immune system. – Derrick Carpenter. Happify. http://www.happify.com/hd/the-science-behind-gratitude/

How do we get on with cultivating an attitude of gratitude?
Freshen up the Thanks.
Make a Game about Noticing New Gratefulness each day.
Get Real about Your Gratitude Practice.
Be Both Optimistic and Realistic.
Make Thankfulness Fun by Mixing it up.
Be Creative in Engaging your Gratitude activities.
Get Social about your Gratitude.
Write a Gratitude letter.
You are on your way to positive life changes to better yourself.

Gratitude
Beastie Boys