- An Irish Friend of Bill
- I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Regarding trying to get to the bottom of things, or trying to understand stuff. I'm not really trying to figure it out as such. Just trying to live according to spiritual principles.
If I tried to UNDERSTAND the universe and all the stuff in it, I would drive myself MAD. So I don't bother. Its just not worth it. What difference would it make anyway?
'I'm not going to jump into the lifeboat until I know WHY this ship is sinking'
It takes great moral courage to embrace the contradictions and unseen crannies inherent in reality.
Its often very unflattering and confusing. I stopped trying to understand it a long time ago. All I know is that I must try to treat other humans how I would like to be treated. That's all. The rest I don't really know.
Did a 'chair' at a meeting today which was nice. Saw some new faces and discovered a GREAT coffee place afterwards I had no idea existed. A good day! Weather is STILL fabulous over here..
Have a good Thursday!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"Just because I think it, it doesn't mean it's true." Is that so? 'Some of us tried to hold on to our old ideas..'
Heres one I kind of do anyway but I liked hearing about on Ajahn Amaro's talk.
All thoughts are a bit dodgy to say the least.
Yet most of the time we do not question them, or their validity.
I find myself disbelieving most of what my head tells me. But its easy to get caught out and find myself just accepting the thought that comes into my head as if it were true.
Here are some of the ways I 'loosen' the unquestioned nature of what I find myself thinking if I feel the urge, and want to unsettle any mental ruts I happen to be in.
I just repeat any one of these statements after EVERY thought I find myself having.
Unsettling but very refreshing!
I would call this any one of these things:
Letting go of OLD ideas.
Not 'believing' what your head tells you.
Introducing uncertainty to thoughts that are taken on face value or taken for granted as being true
Undermining thoughts that are taken on face value
Undermining stubborn thoughts
Undermining stubborn 'tapes'
So some statements you could use are:
Is that so?
Are you SURE?
Thank you for sharing...(then just carry on with your day)
(More aggressive versions..)
Thank you for sharing..now ...EFFF!! OFF!!!
..Or any statement you prefer that has the same sort of effect..
I'm quite a nice person really
Is that so?
I'm such a useless student
Is that so?
I should be doing ........ Right now
Is that so?
I really fancy getting 'that' done later on
Is that so?
God 'so and so' is SO irritating!
Is that so?
I really don't want to have to make that trip later on this summer
Is that so?
I can't afford that
Is that so?
Wow that person is SO ! amazing. I am crap in comparison.
Is that so?
I'm such a lazy person
Is that so?
..Basically WHATEVER thought comes into your head, answer it with 'Is that so?'
Scary (!) but worthwhile and very freeing..
P.S This exercise is NOT designed to give you permission to act destructively if former ideas of moral or ethical restraint have kept destructive urges at bay. I am working on the assumption that you already grasp the basic understanding that destructive acts are harmful to both yourself and others. (Just in case you thought otherwise..)
It is explained in more detail in the podcast.
I got this idea from Metta - It All Belongs
A talk given by Ajahn Amaro on November 17th, 2007 during the Thanksgiving Retreat.
Have a nice Wednesday!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who likes me
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who doesn't like me
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who agrees with me
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who doesn't agree with me
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS what other people think of me
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS why people like me or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS why people agree with me or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who 'gets' it (meaning sobriety) and who doesn't.
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who ends up being a friend and who doesn't
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who ends up wanting to be my friend and who doesn't
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS which men are attracted to me and which aren't
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS whether it makes any sense or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I can contribute or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I like it or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS what exam marks I get
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I feel like going to the gym or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I feel like eating healthily or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I get sick or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS how long I get to live
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I have an accident or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS what will happen next week or next hour
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS what thoughts come into my head
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS what feelings arise in any given moment
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS how well or badly I react to things
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am better or worse than the next person
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS how things turn out
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS how well I understand things
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS how fast or slowly I recover
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I like Sponsees or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I like sponsoring or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if things are easy or difficult
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I like it or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am getting along with everyone or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS how long I get to stay in my current employment
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am successful or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am in physical pain or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I encounter enemies or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am betrayed or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I can handle it
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS how I look. What voice I have. What personality I have
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS how long it takes to erode a destructive mental habit
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am frightened or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I experience grief or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if it feels overwhelming
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who I respond well to
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who I 'click' with
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if my lousy best is good enough
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who responds well to me
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who responds badly to me
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who I can or cannot help
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if get what I want or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I get the thing that feels most important or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I lose the thing that feels most important or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS why the world is the way it is
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if it rains or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I like AA meetings or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I look foolish from time to time
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS when I get it wrong, how often, or how badly I get it wrong
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I fail or succeed
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if my head doesn't change for a looong time
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if my feelings don't change for a looong time
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who reads this blog, of what people think of it
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am verbally attacked or blamed
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I acheive my ideal weight, or body shape
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I get the dream man or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am misrepresented or misunderstood
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I need to be alone or spend time with people
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who the best teachers are on any given day
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who tells me what I need to know
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS where I get the direction and guidance I need from
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS when I need help
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS how stubborn persistent and intractable my 'wrong view' is
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am a nice person or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am 'right' or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I manage to avoid terrible errors of judgment or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS when the people I love die or get sick
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I get the help I THINK I need or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS what people, places and things I am attracted to
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am appreciated or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I get a pleasant lifestyle or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I have financial security or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if it feels like I have achieved something or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS whether it means anything in the end or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS whether I find out later I have been barking up the wrong tree or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS how many friends I have, or where I find them
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who is important to me
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS who I manage to help
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if there is a 'payoff' or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I experience very unskillful negative mind states, and how often
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I know what to say or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I have enough patience and tolerance or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I am neurotic or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if I like you or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if there is a happy ending or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if the good guys 'win' in the end or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if evil prevails in the end or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS if humans destroy themselves in the end or not
It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS what happens!! Basically.
As you can tell. the list is ENDLESS!
Meaning I have let go of the DELUSION that I am 'the actor running the show'
I don't have a say
I don't have a vote
I don't get to rearrange reality to be the way I think it 'should' be.
I cannot control people places and things. That means you, me, the world and all that happens in-between. Everything! The complete opposite of being a control freak basically..
Don't get me wrong
I work as hard as I can
I do my LOUSY BEST
Which I can assure you, feels like going to ANY !!!! LENGTHS !! some days.
So I do NOT get to 'put my feet up' just because I am not a successful dictator of world events.
Apart from that, life is very straightforward!!
Before you get all !! depressed, read the stuff I posted under the label Insightful writing which includes the writing calledDo good anyway... By Mother Theresa
(I'm still ADDICTED to Ajahn Amaro's talks at the moment..)
Have a nice Sunday! Its GLORIOUS over here.
Thank God for freshly squeezed orange juice ice lollies!!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
The End of Love and Hate
A talk given on August 25th, 2007 at 38min 18 seconds.
"Determine for an hour to hate that person continuously
As soon as the mind wobbles and wavers from hating,
Let go of the distraction and go back to hating.
See if you can cultivate hatred for that WHOLE time.
(Its actually very hard to do) to stay in a state of aversion and sustained hatred continuously for an hour. Its extremely hard to sustain.
Its a good way to get a perspective on a mind state. Give it what it asks for. "
Just thought I'd share that. I LOVE Mr Amaro at the moment. Have a great Thursday!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
A guy in AA told me that one. Thought I would share it with you. Lovely isn't it?
Heard in a meeting
What's the difference between a Rottveiler and an alcoholic?
The Rottveiler knows when to let go.
What I'm listening to at the moment.
Ajahn Amaro podcasts of dharma talks.
I LOVE Ajahn Amaro! Just right for me at the moment. Especially as post-Dalai Lama therapy. I have him on my ipod as I stroll about in the sunshine we have right now. Very relaxing! Feels a bit 'out there' when you listen to em, as he abandons all concepts of self, identity, and 'fixed positions'. Ie no ego. How fabulous! I seem to have lost the ability to debate on any issue as it is only 'taking a position' (which can only be inherently uncertain and therefore ultimately unreliable.) Yeah I know, it sounds a bit weird, but it basically means that its really hard to make a statement' or something. I just feel like there is nothing to say at the moment. Probably why I am not posting much. I just think everything in my mind is pointless. Just hot air. Not really. But you know what I mean. Of no substance. That's better. Yeah. I think of it as pointless, but I have a feeling you will interpret that as me being derogatory about my thought processes and I can assure you it is not. All thought is very insubstantial to me at the moment. I kind of don't really listen to what my head is saying as it probably rubbish. That's all. I still use my brain to figure stuff out at work, but I'm not paying much attention to the 'washing machine' rumbling going on in the background. Besides the weather is too gorgeous to 'think' about anything. London looks seriously gorgeous in this weather. Tourists are everywhere, and I get to live here all year round. Cool! I feel like I'm on holiday when I'm at home. But there you go.
The Corporation on freedocumentaries.org
I don't really watch TV as such, but I like this kind of stuff. The Corporation was a disturbing but very interesting documentary. I MEANT to see in the cinema when it first came out, but didn't get round to it.. Really puts you off buying 'stuff''. Great if you shop too much. I have to force myself to the shops so I'm in no danger of getting a shopping addiction, (or whatever they call it..)
Interesting stuff. More of the same. TV with a social conscience. Cool. Quite depressing though.. Cheer yourself up by asking 'what can I DO ' to stop yourself feeling overwhelmed by it. Great TV though. Very interesting.
I have more time to catch up on new music and I LOVE some of the stuff that is being produced recently. Besides I NEED this music to keep me going in the gym, but as usual, I am pleasantly surprised by the new material. There are loads more but here are a few on my ipod..
GREAT ! running music. (IF you like that kind of thing..)
Madonna – ‘Give It To Me (Oakenfold Remix)’ (Warners)
Rihanna- 'Take A Bow' (Seamus Haji & Paul Emanuel Remix) (Def Jam)
Rihanna- 'Take A Bow' (Seamus Haji & Paul Emanuel Remix) (Def Jam)
Timbo Nelly Justin Madonna pharrell Britney Giveit2metwice
I'm either relaxing at home or getting exited about new stuff to learn and new job possibilities which would involve some retraining and a little more excitement than usual. We shall see. No harm in a few weeks retraining in the meantime, if it means I can try something new that pays better. Whatever. It feels really nice being on 'summer holiday' even though I'm still working full time..
Hey I LOVE the full moon today and the solstice this weekend, so this suits me just fine!
Have a great Wednesday!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
'Maybe I'm not that bad'
Is a thought I get quite a lot these days. The reason I’m mentioning it here is so that you kind-of know this is coming. Later on. A lot. If you have not started thinking this already.
As far as I am concerned if you start thinking this in a sort of involuntary way in less than 5 years sobriety, I think you are doing a pretty !! good job.
Whatever. I suppose I had some ? sort of renewed faith in myself at 5 years, but this is different. Its like its very VERY slowly ‘dawning’ on me, that I MIGHT NOT BE THAT BAD.
You know, not ‘beyond hope’
Not ‘beyond repair’
Not a ‘lost cause’ in respect to certain areas I would have been CONVINCED were ‘off limits’ or ‘out of reach’.
More like I see the ‘plasticity’ of recovery.
I am starting to be more open minded as to just what can be altered.
More ? optimistic perhaps.
Perhaps I see better that you can cover A LOT of ground sometimes. If you just keep your head down and do the work, instead of giving up on yourself because it looks IMPOSSIBLE.
I’m not just talking about difficult tasks like study. (Because that really is difficult.) I mean stuff the therapists tell you JUST ISNT POSSIBLE.
The stuff they tell you CANT BE DONE.
I suppose I mean emotional work. Getting from A to B.
Hey I’m not there yet, but more and more I see my insides changing for the better. I don’t really know WHY it’s happening. I can guess. I have very helpful influences in my recovery. By no virtue of mine. I am lucky perhaps. I have no idea why people are helpful to me. That’s the truth. I really don’t know if I am doing the right things or not. I try my best but I have no idea if I am off course. I suspect I am sometimes. Hopefully not too often. Whatever. What I mean is I HAVE NO SURE FOOTING. I make my best guess and that’s it. The rest I don’t know.
Which means I am still capable of making crippling errors of judgement from time to time. That’s scary. When you REALLY realise that. That ALL your knowledge and ALL your experience, and ALL your ‘good intentions’ WILL NOT SAVE YOU from your own ..fallabilty.
To err is human. Unfortunately.
We are all in the same boat. None of us REALLY know what we are doing.
We all LIKE to think we ‘know’ left from right.
But it’s not that simple.
Anyway. The issue of uncertainty aside.
I just hear myself saying to myself in my head 'Maybe I'm not that bad' in a sort of bewildered confused surprise. Like I just learned that black is white or up is down. It’s a confusing perception, but feels like a gradual dawning upon my senses that all this time I was wrong, and things really are NOT what they seem.
The reason I mention this, is because I tend to sponsor people with very low self-image. Way WAY !!! off the reality chart. They think they are second-class citizens or something. The thinking is SO pervasive and habitual, they don’t even notice it till I point it out. The look of aghast surprise when I tell them they have a DUTY to themselves to NOT permit others to mistreat them repeatedly comes as a HUGE surprise.
So what I’m saying is they are very LOW confidence, LOW self-belief types. (I might add that learning to NOT be a doormat is NOT as easy as it sounds. Those with persecution complexes for instance need to be VERY VERY !!! careful with this one, as they see ‘attack’ everywhere, and are frequently wrong.)
Anyway. I hear them saying later on, in the same slightly surprised tone I hear in my own head, saying ‘Maybe I’m not that bad’. And it makes me realise that we are having the same experience on some level or other. Which always cheers me up as I want sponsees to feel and experience the things I have felt in the process to getting well. It reassures me that I am passing it on. Thank god. You have to give it away to keep it. And I plan on keeping it.
Don’t get me wrong. I have a list a MILE long of stuff I want to be different. Stuff I have NO IDEA how I will crack. Seriously. Makes study look like a piece of cake!
I have SO many things I want to be different. But I have NO idea when or how it will happen. I’m just ‘plugging away’. Doing my lousy best. Seeing what happens. Some of this stuff I have been working on in some form or other for YEARS. And I am VERY stubborn!! Heheh. Even though I KNOW something is GOOD for me, I DO NOT LIKE HAVING TO LET GO OF OLD IDEAS and CONSIDER THAT I MIGHT BE COMLETELY !!!!! WRONG !!!! ABOUT SOMETHING.
Unfortunately that’s the ONLY way I know how to change things!
First. Consider the ! possibility that I am COMPLETLY !! WRONG about something!
Basically you have to eat a LOT of humble pie.
Eat your words.
Reverse ones ideas about things. All kinds of stuff.
Basically as they say in the U2 video for the the song ‘the fly..
EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG
Heheh. Its TRUE.
Horrifying isn’t it?
Heheee well you just gotta get used to it and get used to eating your words.
And here’s the thing.
As I am writing this. I KNOW that at some point in the future, I might ! look back at this and think..
W o w
I was S O wrong about that .. and I had NO idea. No clue at ALL.
But hey. On that cheery note! I may as well head off to the gym and all that stuff.
But do you see? Nothing is really certain. That’s what I mean. And even when we are quite nice human beings, we still have terrible, glaring weaknesses we have yet to discover, or fully appreciate. But glaring weaknesses are all part of the deal of being a human. So no big deal. What’s new?
That’s why I think its funny that people look at old timers like they ‘know the answers’. Anyone with ANY sense KNOWS they don’t know the answers. But I am CONVINCED that new people are attracted to people who have been around simply because they can SENSE that the ‘old timer’ can TELL that there are no ‘right’ answers. That ability to rest comfortably in uncertainty is what makes them look ‘safe’. Gawd knows.
Right. Gym beckons.
By the way, this ‘I’m not that bad’ stuff. I’m not fishing for compliments. I KNOW I’m alright, but I’m just sharing with you the conversations I have with myself regarding my own pervasive self doubt.
Also this is more relevant to those from the self-doubt end of the spectrum. I meet newcomers who have FAR too much confidence for heir own good. They reckon they are ‘A-ok!’ when they CLEARLY are not. Those people need a WHOLE different kind of conversation going on!! This is more for the people who CANNOT see no matter HOW hard they look, that they are ALRIGHT.
So there you go. See? You ARE MUCH better than you think. You just don’t know it yet. Yes and you have terrible flaws too, that you probably cant see either, but what I’m saying is that EVEN WITH THOSE TERRIBLE FLAWS, YOU ARE OK.
Flaws are normal. Even the terrible blind ones.
But YOU are OK. You are really quite a nice person. Yeah. ! Even you!
So what's the moral of the story?
ACT AS IF YOU ARE NOT A PIECE OF SH*T
Because you will be MAD !!!!! at yourself in years to come when it FINALLY dawns on you that actually.. YOU ARE NOT THAT BAD!
You will be KICKING yourself for all the wasted opportunities and things you just figured were IMPOSSIBLE or OUT OF REACH, when you realize you ARE ok.
So save yourself a LOT !!! of heartache and beating yourself up later, by ALWAYS AIMING HIGHER THAN YOU THINK YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO. (‘Beyond your wildest dreams’ as they say..)
The worst thing that can happen is that someone will tell you ‘No’.
But I would MUCH rather someone ELSE told you NO,
Than YOU told you NO.
See? The IDEAL ‘no’ comes from SOMEBODY ELSE, not from YOU.
so basically. Don’t discount yourself from stuff. Nice people, nice places, nice jobs, you name it.
Because in YEARS to come, LONG after opportunities have come and gone. You will FINALLY realize that you are a !! nice human being. That other people want to be around! Even the nice ! people want to be around! You know. Properly.
So there you go.
‘Simple but not easy’ as the saying goes.
See y’all. Have a fabulous Thursday!
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Hope you guys are well and dandy. Thanks for popping by and offering encouragement and support. Its appreciated!
I had a great ! time in Nottingham though I'm not sure I did the initiation the justice it deserved, but thankfully my lousy best is good enough. I saw some AA's there and that made it all the more enjoyable as we were able to compare stories on how blissed out we were feeling by the whole thing. It makes all the difference when you get to share an event like that with other AAs. They hadn't been to see him before and they were blown away. It was really cool. Its something that only really makes sense when you see him in person. Gawd knows what it is, but it is really cool. You kindof want to adopt him or something at the end of the teaching!
I'm resting my brain for a bit, but I worry my brain will lose its edge if I don't keep learning new stuff. I think the exams were ok, but not in the ? High end of the scale. Alright but nothing dramatic in terms of impressive grades. We shall see when the results come out I guess.
I learned a lot about how to eat well to stay awake for long periods of time. That was interesting. I have a 'routine' of exam food now.
So yeah. Just relaxing at the moment. Watching POINTLESS films such as sex in the city, Indiana Jones, forgetting Sarah Marshall, and am now a bit bored of films..
Anyway I've got catching up of general stuff to do and usual life stuff to be getting on with, so I'm trying (!) to get all that back on track. Neglected gym, grooming etc, so I've no shortage of stuff to do and I want to prepare for term in otcober during the summer if I can summon up the discipline.
In the meantime its trips to the hairdressers, and getting back to a neglected home and work routine. So I'm not realy in a blogging mood at the moment. I've got to make decisions about October, make applications for further training and find out what grades are needed for different types of applications. Ie what the top end of the scale requires, and what the more mainstream applications expect. I dare say it changes year to year. Probably gets higher!
Programme stuff is just plodding along in the background so to speak. I have nothing new to say, or else I am too focused on sorting out study queries to think about AA stuff at the moment.
Plus is too ! sunny to think about anything meaningful at the moment! Weather is ! gorgeous and for once in a long time I am well rested, and have a little free time to indulge myself with, which can only be a good thing. So hope you all have are having a great time and if I can think of anything useful to add here I will, but my head is still swimming with study issues that need to be resolved this summer. Until I have figured that stuff out, I will be fairly preoccupied I think..
Hope your Wednesday is as good as the one over here is looking!