- Too personal of a question?

Too personal of a question?




Personal experiences with a Higher Power of your own understanding.

Too personal of a question?

Postby Frananne » Thu May 10, 2012 7:30 am

I met a fellow AA'er for lunch because I wanted to get to know her better. In the course of the conversation she asked me " how is your spiritual life?". I was rather taken aback as that is really personal to me, on par with asking how is my relations with my husband are. What are your thoughts on this. ( by the way I am joyous about my spiritual life is the short answer)
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Re: Too personal of a question?

Postby Dallas » Thu May 10, 2012 2:06 pm

I wouldn't be offended, or consider it too personal for myself, if anyone, especially an AA asked me about my spiritual life. If they asked me about my political views -- I'd most likely refrain, or at least attempt to refrain from discussing those -- unless I was reasonably certain that we held the same political views.

For myself, personally, I'll often dodge questions on religion. My religious views and beliefs are very personal and I discuss those with very few people -- unless it would be in a formal debate type setting -- where the object was to debate. I like debate -- I'm an ex-Gavel Club member. And, my Gavel Club experience was very beneficial in regards to personal communication and logic, and thinking skills. :-)

The AA program is a spiritual program -- but not a religious doctrine. The 12 Steps are a spiritual-toolkit, to be used to bring about changes and to transform our thoughts, attitudes, personalities, and our behaviors. And, they are also referred to as "A Design for Living" that works.

Our Big Book suggests that we never apologize for our belief and faith in God.

And, it also has some suggestions about cautions -- when discussing God, things of a spiritual nature, and religion.

When I'm talking w/ newcomers, or on a 12 Step Cold Call -- I do attempt to steer away from God topics or spirituality discussions. The reason is: Bill W. discussed how harmful that can be in our first approach. And, he explains how AA nearly never got started, had he continued his God-talks. And, my own experience pretty much parallels the experiences that Bill W. describes.

If I'm talking to an alcoholic that believes they are atheist, agnostic, or deeply religious, my primary objective is to be helpful to them and not to harm or close the door on being able to help them in the future. It isn't in my "AA Job Description" to convert them or to get them to believe anything at all about God, or religion, or spirituality, or how I think it should be done. My job there is to simply do what I can to convince them that -- Yes. Help is available. And, that they can recover and get well -- despite anyone.

Great topic and question! Thanks for posting it!
Dallas
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Re: Too personal of a question?

Postby Toast » Fri May 11, 2012 5:17 pm

Good topic Frananne,


Whenever i see someone who's feeling down or whenever i'm down the question is always asked ' and what are you doing to maintain your spiritual condition?'

And 9 times out of 10 thats the answer, we've been busy chasing some material reward or pushing ourselves to the limit to please someone else we've forgot about keeping a conscious contact with the god of our understanding. Basically are we still working on the solution or have we forgot already that we were ever as sick as we were?

Taking some time out alone with God does wonders for folks like us.

Be well.
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Re: Too personal of a question?

Postby Frananne » Fri May 11, 2012 5:58 pm

Dear Toast and Dallas,

Thanks for the input! Being just under 4 months I am still finding conversations outside the rooms but with alcoholics a bit odd. Women go to lunch. (I don't know if the guys do.) I have been finding that a getting to know you conversation is awkward. Asking what do you do in your spare time, do you have kids, etc results in unexpected answers.

I already know the person is an alcoholic. I hear very intimate thoughts in the room. For me going out to lunch is an effort to know you outside the rooms as a social occasion. I would like to know if you read or play rugby or whatever. I guess because my life was not destroyed(only my soul) I have to remember that some ladies may not have any other conversation and to not be surprised.

Happy Friday night! Went to see Dark Shadows with my hubby this morning so I am off to hit an evening meeting.
Frananne
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Re: Too personal of a question?

Postby Dallas » Fri May 11, 2012 10:22 pm

Happy Friday Night! :-)

Frananne, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences in early sobriety.
Each time that you do -- it takes me back in memory to my own early days.
It's a great thing for me to keep it fresh in my mind "where I was at, what happened,
where I've been, the stuff I've gone through, where I am today -- and, most importantly,
what it would be like for me -- if I give up on these daily practices that have been maintaining
my sobriety and sanity.

The early days memories are very precious to me. The tears, the laughter, the good times,
the struggling times, confused, trying to not only figure this recovery and sobriety thing out,
but also trying to figure out "How do I live -- sober?" I didn't know how to live sober. I didn't know
how to cope w/ my feelings and emotions. I didn't know how to interact w/ other people -- sober.
How do you talk to someone -- sober? What kinds of things -- do regular people do?

I had been under the impression that I was doing wonderfully well. A high achiever -- and once in a while, a bottom feeder.
I had accomplished some great things -- and I had been to the bottom of the barrel. I had no clue -- and would never have thought that "all these years -- my life, my feelings and my actions and my thoughts -- have been unmanageable."

Today -- and everyday, it's so helpful for me to remember that "Yes. Dallas. Your life really was unmanageable! And, even though you've made great progress in sobriety -- your life is still unmanageable by you alone, without God's help and guidance, without sponsorship, without the Fellowship, and without the 12 Steps." I have to remind myself of this daily. And, it's not easy to do! I want to feel and believe that "Well. After 25 years of sobriety and doing this deal -- I'm well enough that surely I can take over sitting in the driver's seat of my life!" Surely, I can be the Pilot of my own plane, and the Captain & Master of my Destiny! And, those are the thoughts & drives -- that lead me away from dependance and reliance upon God.

I love what Toast mentioned above: The getting involved in the material stuff in life. Starting to make the material stuff #1 instead of God, and God's will for me and my life as #1. Thinking about myself. my stuff. My success. My of my oh my! LOL. The very root of all my problems! :-) Returning to my roots -- which left me in self-destruction and pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. Forgetting what the REAL solution is. A God consciousness. And, the realization that I MUST live my life based upon spiritual principles -- or, I will have no life.

I used to think that the people who talked that way were just still "trying to convince themselves" and trying to "preach at me" about what I SHOULD do. I considered them to be nuts. Really nuts! LOL. Now, it seems that -- I've become one of the biggest nuts of all! LOL.

Thanks for your posts above! Love & hugs to you on this beautiful Sober Friday Night!
Dallas
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Re: Too personal of a question?

Postby Toast » Sat May 12, 2012 4:55 am

Morning all,

Great topic.

Before coming to AA all my conversations were about what you had rather than how your were doing mentally, physically or spiritually. Thank God its no as boring as that today.

Today we speak the language of the heart, we 'dare to believe' in God and are not afraid to discuss it openly among like minded people.

And that's the moment all our fears finally leave us, when we 'Dare to Believe!'

Do you dare?
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