About Me

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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.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The 'old life' loses its luster: "Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives."

IMAGE_213r, originally uploaded by Irish friend of Bill.

Hmm Regarding the 'old life'. The old stuff doesn't appeal to me either. When you find a real joy in ? Transcendent things that appear out of the ether after helping newcomers, it can make the rest of the world seem very unfulfilling and pointless.
You have to somehow learn to embrace the 'world' and all its ? 'hollow' things, knowing that the 'world' offers us NO real 'refuge' as such. Refuge can only be found in the ? 'realm of the spirit'. But we have to love the world anyway. We cannot turn our backs on it, just because it Is not ultimately satisfying. Besides, there IS beauty in worldly things. It is after all the place we are assigned to grow along spiritual lines. So yes, it is a bit of a 'downer' when you see the limitations of it. But that does not mean we cannot enjoy it in its own 'level'.
You are changing inside. That's all. The world looks different and feels different. This is a good thing. But yes, it places a responsibility on YOU to find ways of enjoying it that make sense to YOU.

"Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives." p83 Big Book
Why do you think the first 100 members said that?
The 'world' falls away. And all we have to hold on to, is spiritual principles. The highest of which is the desire to help other human beings get sober and stay sober. That's it I'm afraid!

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Yeah I know it sounds grim, but if you really ARE living along spiritual lines. Initially anyway, the world can suddenly seem very LIMITED in terms of what it has to offer. That new job, new car, new house etc, can suddenly seem MUCH less compelling.

"The spiritual life is not a theory. We HAVE to live it." p83 Big Book
" We have entered the world of the Spirit." p84 Big Book

If you are feeling like this. Think of this as a 'transition phase' where your job is to find things that you DO enjoy. They are often little things. You just need to refocus. To adjust your viewpoint slightly.
But yes, the cars, houses etc are NICE, but no they DON"T really change how we feel at the end of the day.
Happiness IS an inside job. But the good news, is that if you ARE happpy in yourself, those cars, houses etc can be fun things! So do not despair! Ut gets better!
But yeah. Phone a newcomer as well. Give it away to keep it and see how you feel after.

Reminds me a bit of that old post I did called
Are you hoping that one day everything will be fine and you'll enjoy everything?
Where I posted something I heard which was:
"You can enjoy everything, nothing is too small or large to enjoy.
You should learn to enjoy, in all aspects of your life.
"Tell me one thing in the day you look forward to."


Syd said...

I always get something good from your posts. I am looking forward to a lot these days and am enjoying what life brings my way. I couldn't do or say that a year ago.

johno said...

More sunny pics :) thanks. Where is it ? Everytime I looked out the window today, it was raining. Oh well. Yeh yesterday, I thought, is this it ? Doing Gods Will, and helping newcomers... I seem to have said this a few times over the "years" ... its just another turning point, acceptance, onwards and upwards.. trudging off to the gym.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Thanks syd. I'm glad you're feeling better. That's what its all about in the end, and its the best indicator that one is on track. You are clearly doing something right. Which is good to know, as it means if you carry on doing the same stuff, you cam only improve. Cool!

Well I CAN get pleasure out of other things, but for me it seems always to be tied in with heavy-duty spiritual work. meaning there is no escape from the spiritual curriculum. everywhere I look, there it is! Same ol same ol. But by far the easiest place to generate joy, is going to any lengths to help alcoholics stay sober. Perhaps I am a bit weird, but every time I chase another 'dream', work, relationship etc, I am forced to overcome (what feel like) massive inner resistance, which feels just like step 1 really. I fail. Then I practice spiritual principles, and it gets a bit better. Then I fail again, and re assert my efforts. Its like AA+ newcomers is 'base camp', and the 'mountain' is the work I have to do to build my life into a place that is satisfying. in 'all my affairs'. Family, work, relationship etc. Its very tough. Just like in AA, the answers are never exactly what you think they are going to be. What I mean Is, it is not 'cozy'. When I'm forging ahead it feels like I am outside my comfort zone. But there you go. I always end up having to employ AA principles to make it do-able. So I never really feel like I get to leave the AA classroom. Newcomers are EASY by comparison. Pure joy! Its getting my life right that's hard work! In a good way though..

Shadow said...

today i look forward to...... feeling the warm winter sun on my skin.