Phyllis here; chunkie, drunkie, junkie...clean, sober, abstinent since May 20, 1972
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
I PRAY I MAY CONTINUE TO GROW IN UNDERSTANDING AND EFFECTIVENESS; TO TAKE DAILY SPOT CHECK INVENTORIES OF MYSELF; TO CORRECT MISTAKES WHEN I MAKE THEM; TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY ACTIONS; TO BE EVER AWARE OF MY NEGATIVE AND SELF-DEFEATING ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS; TO KEEP MY WILLFULNESS IN CHECK; TO ALWAYS REMEMBER I NEED YOUR HELP; TO KEEP LOVE AND TOLERANCE OF OTHERS AS MY CODE; AND TO CONTINUE IN DAILY PRAYER HOW I CAN BEST SERVE YOU.
A lot of words come to mind regarding this step. Honesty, willingness, commitment, persistent, awareness, tolerance, self-restraint, self-appraisal, courage, humility, and, NO, you can't leave the room!
AA 12x12: "For the wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until s/he is able to admit and accept what is found and until they patiently and persistently try to correct what is wrong". "When a compulsive eater has a terrific hangover because she ate compulsively yesterday, she cannot live well today. But there is another kind of hangover which we all experience whether we are eating compulsively or not. That is the emotional hangover, the direct result of yesterday's and sometimes today's excesses of negative emotion--anger, fear, jealousy, etc. Sound familiar? If we are to live serenely today and tomorrow, we certainly need to eliminate these hangovers."
I am constantly amazed as I go through the books, of the wisdom of the writers of this Program. If it is exciting now, I can't imagine what is was like when this information was first spread. We are indeed lucky.
We are given the ability to plead guilty and beat the rap! We will learn to share the feeling immediately, promptly...in this century! We set a format to avoid acting compulsively, impulsively,and repulsively. We will examine our motives. Self searching must become a regular habit.
We must stop unreasonable demands. How can I do better? Build up your assets: honesty, love, faith, etc. Congratulate yourself when you do well. No more games..I am not responsible for your actions, only my reactions. We sometimes see life as black and white to protect ourselves from the pain of ambiguity, duality, and from the uncertainty of a "grey" world.
Some people do a 10th at the end of the day, write it down, share it with a sponsor. Others, and I am one, do it constantly during the day. Having gotten this far in the Program and familiar with character defects, you cannot fool yourself when there they are in all their glory invading our lives. So some ask, "but I asked G-d to take them away" Yes, and He did. Isn't it amazing that you recognize the defect immediately or sooner now. No more building up resentments for years. Oh, the pain we caused ourselves.
Making living amends removes defensive walls. A stammered, embarrassed honest apology can become a building block healing the wounds of a misunderstanding. We are bigger than our acts and more than a one time statement or action. In the process of amends, we will be reminded of many of the good times of life. We weren't always self-centered. We were born joyous and only by the "facts of life" were we fashioned to be compulsive, obsessive, addictive people. Having said that, how lucky we are to be where we are today, given the opportunity to make it right.
I've heard some interesting descriptions of this step. "Promptness is of fire alarm importance when we find ourselves wrong". We don't want to pick "wrong" up, touch it, think about it too long or it will cause misery with which we have become very personally aware of. It has been called the here and now step. "Tidying up a shambles" is not enough. A light once over every day is necessary.
When we are in the disease, it is difficult to tell the difference between right and wrong. For so many years, what I thought was right was wrong. All my thoughts were based on my feelings..no thought or consideration about another person. Well, I was compulsively self reliant and had to take "care" of myself. No one else cared. That was wrong. Anything I had to do for myself emotionally was right! It's taken many years to be able to admit the discomfort that comes immediately something wrong has been done. It's a "gut" feeling and I have learned to pay attention when that happens.
It's interesting to see the changes that come with building bridges instead of walls. Those walls were stumbling blocks of enormous proportion and kept me from evolving. I wish I came to Program when I was 18. If I did, knowing who I was, I would not have listened.
How will you do your daily inventory?
Will it be a scorecard?
Do these awareness's scare me?
How quickly do I accept forgiveness?
What are my strong points?
Are my motives honest?
How do I feel about my progress so far?
At this point, sometimes I would think I had undergone an identity crisis..I have...I am no longer G-d. Then the woman I was meant to be is forthcoming and I am learning to love her and to give her development every opportunity to evolve...and I am getting older anyway.
A daily inventory is an on-going process. There is no holding bin. We keep doing what we are doing because that is the way we grow.
I am amazed and delighted that so many of you are participating in this study group.
Working the Steps
The Twelve Steps