I'm glad you find inspiration and hope here. You are doing such a good job in finding this path and following it. That says lots about the type of woman that you are.
When an alcoholic comes into the fellowship of A.A., I've noticed that they're not the happiest folks. Many of us are plagued with an unmanageable pile of problems, many of which we brought about by our own choices. Each alcoholic has faults or "character flaws" which came about from the way we adapted and thought through the circumstances of life. Some character flaws manifested before we drank - those were usually the result of our "environment" - social, physical, emotional, and mental.
If I turn back the hands of time to before I entered this world, I was alive and surrounded by my mother's womb. I never was exposed to any type of environment over which I had any control. Most mothers take good physical care of themselves, so the environment where I started growing physically and mentally was "perfect". It was the perfect place for me, not due to my mother's will or mine, but because some "Creator" designed it that way (OR the magical process of life and evolution determined, after years of practice, that the human reproductive process had finally become perfected).
I started life in a perfect environment. I believe you did, too, Lindylu. So did every single alcoholic reading this. Until I left the perfect environment of my mother's womb, everything about me was the way it should be - the way I believe God as I understand Him wanted it to be.
Some "Cosmic Force" or "Universal Intelligence" breathed life into me, gave me lungs and a heartbeat, and a brain that was capable of figuring out any type of situation it encountered to survive and actually thrive within, or to "master" the environment. All of that was a part of what I think was a "Divine Blueprint".
Something very peculiar and unexplainable was also given to me when I started life in my mother's womb. It was something that distinguished me from everyone else. It was something I believe that God put into me so that He could tell me apart from every other human. He gave me a "soul", or a "spirit" which may have been around in His mind as long as eternity. I believe that God as I understand Him knew my name before I was born.
Bear with me, Lindylu, and everyone else, because this is related to the DISEASE of alcoholism. As a result of this illness, the book says I have a "spiritual malady". It says that I have a progressive and fatal condition which can only be "conquered" by a spiritual awakening.
When I first entered the world, my soul was perfected. I had no "character defects", and was "sinless" because my life came into being perfectly, under the care and direction of a Power greater than ourselves. The ramifications of this are CRITICAL
to the way an alcoholic picks up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at their feet and uses them.
I was not born an alcoholic. I was not born a "liar, cheat, thief, mooch, and con-artist." I came into this life with a perfected soul and a morally perfect "blank slate". I may have become all of those things as a result of drinking uncontrollably and becoming alcoholic, but not at first.
The point I'm trying to make is that in order to get the most out my relationship with my sobriety, and my relatiionship with a Higher Power, and my relationship with today, I must begin to accept my "story" of life prior to, and up until
that day when my sloppy little head poked out of mom's vagina.
(Gotcha there didn't I?)
I was born with a perfected soul and a perfect moral compass. That's how I was designed according to the Original Specifications. Alcoholism is a DISEASE.
I'M A GOOD PERSON...WITH A BAD DISEASE!!!
and so are you, Lyndylu.
If you are ever told that you are any kind of a negative "this, that, or the other", or that you are a "horrible mother", or that you're not capable of thinking on your own, or that you'll need a sponsor to make decisions for you for another 10 years - that's not what recovery is about.
Recovery is supposed to bring out the very best in you. Recovery brings out the goodness that was "wired in" to that blank slate of morality you were born with. Sobriety is supposed to make the connection from your perfected soul (which never became "un-perfected") to a God of your understanding. Deep beneath all of our barriers, insecurities, defenses, walls, traumatic pains, and heartbreak, there lies a concept
of God. That is YOUR concept of God, and it's there, deep within you and me, just like the feelings we have for a friend. The book says that it is ONLY there, DEEP WITHIN each of us, that He may be found.
When you feel like this:
lindylu wrote:Impatience is a defect I suppose, I just feel I would like to get these steps under my belt soon.
If you call to mind (consciously) or remember "I'm a GOOD PERSON with a BAD DISEASE", it might help in growing to love yourself, and who you are growing to become: a "SOBER ALCOHOLIC".
This is a GREAT journey filled with goodness each day. This is a journey where I'm learning how to live abundantly, with all the blessings that come from a "loving God". It's a journey where I learn that not every single thought or idea I have comes from some "character defect" - it's really OK to ask questions and to have doubt, and above all, to seek what is True.
For me, it's a growing practice to focus on the POSITIVE aspects of recovery. Sometimes that's difficult when I go to certain meetings or talk to certain people. If I focus on the positive growth and progress I'm achieving, then it becomes easier and more fun to take unselfish CONSTRUCTIVE ACTION which helps another person and gives the world around me a snapshot of the Higher Power I found deep within me (remember "...so that victory over [character defects] may bear witness to those I would help...?).
I don't believe having doubts about "universal spiritual principles" or "belief systems" others have fashioned in recovery is necessarily a "character defect" or that I'm thinking "wrong". I recall that a certain Jewish Carpenter had doubts about his "Father in Heaven" and how he felt abandoned and forsaken. To doubt is human - but doubt is also fuel that builds faith.
Don't get me wrong, my own personal belief system was totally hosed-up when I walked into this fellowship. I built so many reactions on a set of false beliefs before I got sober. I for sure had to re-learn "right" from "wrong" and "true" from "false". But this journey of achieving sobriety teaches me to take an inventory - it lets me discard the "defective products", and it also lets me refine and improve the good things which come intuitively.
PS. is it wrong to feel pride? I saw an old friend today who thought I looked 'fantastic'. It was lovely to get a compliment, but I felt really happy about telling her why I looked well, '' its because Ive stopped drinking and Ive become a member of AA,''
I didnt feel ashamed of telling her., and for that I thank god I am in AA.
Many others here have said things I totally agree with. Someone else said, I'm learning to say "thank you" when complimented. I totally identify with that. I'm learning, too.
These kind of things are new to many of us. Like what ROBERT shared about the cop hugging him - WOW THAT WAS TOTAL DYNAMITE!!! These things rocket me off to that "forth dimension" of new life that I never knew existed.
Another way I look at working this program, and how to feel or react about compliments that come as a result is pretty simple. I'm not "fishing" for appreciation that I think is missing. I'm enjoying the byproducts
of a life well-lived.
Some famous guy who had the same name as me once said "The laborer is worthy of his reward."
Wow! What a concept. Another byproduct of sobriety!
Lindylu...you are worthy.