Surrender - what it means to me

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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Surrender - what it means to me

Postby cinderbobble » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:09 am

I read in a (ack!) Hazeldon book, that surrendering is telling the truth.

In AA, I am told that I can save my face or save my ass.

Oftentimes, if I tell my story, I usually don't spare myself much, and sometimes I seem to get a rebuff of which I do not understand. However, I asked my sponsor if I was making a fool of myself. She said I was making a fool of myself if I was worried about what other people thought! I was very sincere, because I felt that I needed the support of the people in the fellowship. She told me that I get all the support that I need from doing the steps, reading the AA book, and relying on my higher power. When I told her I didn't think the higher power was interested in me, she said 'pray anyway.' I learned in AA, that I do the footwork, and leave the results to God. Praying is my footwork, and the result are that I am sober. However, I read that I also need emotional sobriety. So, I learn that the higher my expectations, the lower my serenity level. So, I trudge on with that in mind.

After nine years, I feel that I have only gotten my toes wet! I admit, that it is not fun to realize that when some are sicker than others, I have been afraid they were referring to me! (EGO!) True that it may be, I go back to the first step, and realize that the alcoholic is a very sick person, who must depend upon a relationship with a power greater than myself who will help me with my recovery. He has done just that. I didn't have to become a saint, I didn't have to 'change' myself. I did have to change some of my reactions, but I am still me. I find that I have a greater amount of serenity than I've had in a long time. I continue to pray, and recite affirmations to myself when I am making coffee in the morning or do any repetitive activities, such as exercise or knitting. It helps.

But back to surrender, I believe we find deeper levels of surrender, some momentous, some small. I think recently I have had smaller surrenders, which are adding up. I am reasonably happy, which means that I am not in turmoil, I am not empty inside, and I have people whom I may reach out to when I am in need. (or even when I am not in 'need.'

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Postby Dallas » Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:33 am

Hey Cinderbobble!!!!

As always... I love it when you share! You come from your heart, with the language of the heart... and that's something that always gets through to me, and touches me on a soul level. So... I hope you feel very free and encouraged to keep it up!!! I'm a real sponge for stuff like that!

A couple of thoughts that came to me, as I was reading your sharing:

Somewhere I heard, or read... that telling the truth is honesty. And, I guess honesty and surrender are similar. Perhaps, when I'm telling the truth... I am being "at one... with what is"... and I heard once, that this is where the word honest originates... "hon" (at one with) "est" (what is).

I guess where the opposite of surrender would come in, would be when, for some reason, whether I'm conscious of it or not... (perhaps in a state of denial, delusion, or rationalization)... I'm not being at one with or "present" with what is. (Not necessarily in full-flight from reality... but maybe just gliding at a low altitude) :wink:

Gees! What has that got to do with anything? :roll:

Maybe, what I'm thinking of... is Integrity. When my mind and thoughts and actions and words... are all lined up and in the same place that my body is... at the same time! :idea:

There was something in one of your messages that I read this morning that influenced the thoughts that I was having later... as I was sitting on my porch with a cup of coffee enjoying some peaceful reflections.

My thoughts at that moment were: "What if... in my 10th Step, I included a list of all the things that I thought people were thinking about me... and I kept a running list all through the day... and kept adding to it, each time that I caught myself thinking that someone was thinking something about me!" Oh what a list that would be!!! I'll bet that by the end of the day, it would be a real eye-opener for me! I wonder how many days of keeping a list like that... that I would be entirely ready to let go of me thinking about other people thinking about me!

I wonder if only a recovering alcoholic would have an understanding of what I'm writing about? Or... would I be so unique that even a recovering alcoholic wouldn't understand me keeping a list of all the times that I thought someone was thinking something about me?

Wow!!!! What a tremendous waste of my energy and my life for me to be thinking about what someone else would be thinking about me... But, you know what? Sometimes I catch myself really doing that!!! I guess to see it first hand in myself, and to admit it that I do it... is honest. I don't know how surrender would fit in with it. Maybe I'll know that later tonight, or some other time.

I feel uneasy taking up so much space here... going on further... but, I'm just going to go ahead and feel uneasy... and get this one out, too! It has to do with "Expectations."

I know that in AA... it seems to me, that "expectation" is almost like a "bad thing to do." And, I often hear that "expectations" leads to problems, and lack of serenity and peace... etceteras.

I understand how unrealistic expectations.... can and do create problems. But, I also believe in the value and power of positive expectations... that are very realistic... and I use them often, in what I believe is a healthy way.

When I was new in AA... I listened to people talk about "making plans" as if making plans and expecting results based upon the execution of the plans ... were one of those "bad things to do." And, as a result of that... I believe that I stunted my own growth during those periods... by being confused about making plans... and not making plans!

When I changed Sponsors, one of the first things my Sponsor had me start doing was to write a "Daily To Do List." It was my plan for the day... and I had to check in the next day... to talk about how well I did with my "To Do List". It started as a very simple list of things that I knew that I could accomplish. And, then... the list grew in complexity. And, then, I began to notice that I was feeling good about myself... and I was moving forward in my life making progress in the "other areas of my life."

One day... as I was doing my daily 10th & 11th Steps... I saw that planning and having plans was a very important component of the 10th & 11th Steps.

Now... to tie this all together... now that I've gotten long-fingered in typing this message... my thoughts can be "Gees, what are they thinking about me... looking at how long my message is!" And, I could have some realistic or unrealistic expectations in that regards... and if they were realistic or not... just having them would create discomfort! So, now here is where surrender will come in.... I'll click the "Submit" button and accept the results!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Enjoy the miracles and the moments!


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Postby cinderbobble » Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:36 pm

[quote="Dallas"]Hey Cinderbobble!!!!

As always... I love it when you share!

Thank you!! You are so encouraging. I know what you feel when you say you feel uneasy sharing.... but you would do it anyway! I feel the same way sometimes, and feel I am taking a big plunge when I hit the submit butten. (RISKY!)

Long ago I had a sponsor who referred to Step 1 as the Unity Step, and I knew that she meant this on so many levels. It is fantastic to think about! Think of it on a collective conscious level!

Another fella here talks says our program is a pair of ducks! Hence, 'selfish' program.... Far as expectations - you're probably right! Positive expectations may be something I'm depriving myself of right now. Maybe it's a lack of self-esteem. I mean, when I see somebody meeting somebody at the airport, I see a lady squeal with delight, run to the person, and jump up and down and take full flight in the arms of whom they're meeting. (OK, gross exageration), but what I mean, is seems I'm the kind of person who just stands there and barely smiles even if I love the person. Maybe the other had positive expectations. I always envied the person who could express themselves as the former. Or, I hate going to funerals, because I do not cry, or I try to feign it. I get so self-conscious because I always think everybody notices that M is not grieving! Now, if you're talking lists! I guess it is a disease. But I dread a very important person's dying because I'm afraid everybody will hate me at the funeral! How selfish is that! I mean, this person whom I love so fantastically is still alive, and I'm dreading their funeral. I see what you mean, when you say you're uneasy writing this stuff down, but those are thoughts I've actually thought!

And, I even find myself thinking nobody else in the fellowship ever thought like I did, and then I don't want to share, fearing to be shunned.

What I heard, was make plans, but not the results. I kind of interpret that as not getting too emotionally hungup on the outcome. I do, today, find making a list a great help! I mean a GREAT help! The more I accomplish on that list, the better I feel, but I do not get the expectation that I HAVE to do everything on the list, just try.

Doing the footwork, leaving results to God, was a fantastic help when I looked for work, because I didn't have to take things so personally when I didn't get the job. I'm not saying I sailed through without missing a beat, but that was a core affirmation for me.

Well, further off the topic, I was just sleeping, and had this dream. I dreamed I was custodian and boarding in this 12-story condo. (I used to clean a bldg like tht). Anyway, I went to my room to shower, to discover that some other guys moved me out. And they displaced all my belongings, and I needed to shower. Well, convoluted as all my dreams are, I end up rooming with several women, and go to bed in this haphazard upper bunk, that has been used. I discover that somebody else is using the shower, so I have to wait. When she's done, I go, and there is a bed half in the shower, with some dry clothes (how did that woman take a shower!) folded up... so I realize that I cannot take this shower. So, I remember there are public showers I can use, but then all my stuff is askew and I'm not finding anything. So, finally I think I was going to take one anyway, no soap, no shampoo, no clean clothes...
I just had this dream, and it makes me realize that I am all askew right now, and need to put some order in my life! I won't endeavor to interpret it further than that. But, that reminds me of so many crazy dreams I used to have. It just seemed to schizoid!

M (I was going to recite your quotes, but changed my mind! My mind goes in too many different directions)

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Postby ediebee » Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:31 am

Hello Everyone!

Wow! What a great topic - surrender.

My first thought before I even read anything was how I view surrender. To surrender means to "lay everything down" as they do in battles/wars. Laying naked without all the armour, moats, pretention, alcohol, drugs, any chosen artifice that we surround ourselves with that keeps "me" from showing the true me (if you will, a reverse on the theme of the "Emperor's Clothes"). The surrender of self changes the dynamic one has with everyone- most importantly with the self.

I have so adapted to the views others have of me, however painful to acknowledge, is the beginnings of the work ahead for me as I slowly and arduously go through my inventory. I've only just begun my trek of surrendering.

The piece that keeps coming to me in neon lights in this program is telling the truth to myself and others. Progress in the steps are hampered by my creation of life as I see it versus what is in fact the painful truth and my role in it.

I am going through step 4 with the feeling of this surrender. I've only just begun, and though what seems but a few areas have I peeked at, I am running back to my comfort level of lies because to take this step into this blackhole terrifies me-even if my comfort level - filled with lies, are hurting me.

Dallas, I liked everything you said - especially about integrity. Integrity is one of my values. Going through this program I sense my interpretation will undergo a stronger empetus (sp) than before. :)

Thanks very much for the "food for thought".

Good night, and till later in life....


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Postby cinderbobble » Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:52 pm

Hi - I started the steps up to four again, and I am having the darndest time. Talk about denial! I will be gone for awhile (my work takes me away), but I will keep your thoughts in mind. Especially, when I over-concern myself with what others think of me. Why is that so hard?! To try to stop that has been a class act for me. However, I continue to pray, to try to put my 'best' foot forward, and to do what they pay me to do (and go the extra mile if I can).

I missed the posts lately, there haven't been any. So, thanks for any responses, even if you're not trying to answer any of my questions.

Have a happy! :wink:

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what others think of me

Postby wareagle10 » Sun Apr 30, 2006 2:49 pm

Hi; I have read many of your posts and enjoy them. Sometimes it sounds like you either have the answer or are going in the right direction from what you write.

Caring what others think about you is not paramount in getting better, we try to smash the ego that makes us want to protect ourselves. HONESTY is the only suggestion I have, otherwise, what are you posting to us to comment on? It you or is is Memorex, (you know just a copy of something you want us to see). Recovery begins with you being willing to show all your warts. Otherwise, you are right, DENIAL, and doing a 4th step will be difficult if not impossible.

It took me 7 years to start a 4th step because I wasn't willing to be honest and that stunted my progress. I never got drunk over it, but, I sure as hell thought about it a lot. By the time that I did get around to it I had pretty much done a 5th step from the podium or from my chair at the meetings.

Good luck on your trip, hope it is successful and profitable and I will look forward to your posts when you get back. I enjoy your input on the board.

Take care and straight ahead, John.

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Postby Dallas » Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:57 pm

Hey Cinderbobble,

Hurry back! You'll be missed! :cry:

Yep. Sometimes, the board gets real slow. Maybe everybody is in meetings or helping 12 Step newcomers or something. :wink:

I guess it's kind of like in the meetings... people seem to just vanish for a while and then pop up again... and others... you can always count on them to be there, day after day. Or... others... may just show up, listen, and pass when it comes to sharing.

I used to thing "Geez, with all the new people that sign up in the forum, we'd be humming along with constant fresh messages." But, I guess after they sign up they get shy or something, rather than at least introducing their self. I doubt if I'll ever figure it out... so I don't spend much time trying to "figure" any more.

I've sure enjoyed the new and fresh messages that you always bring to the site. Maybe it's contagious... if we share... others will be less shy about sharing. Or, maybe they do like I do sometimes and start thinking "Gees, it looks like my name is on everything... wonder what they're thinking!" That's when I discover that I'm into that "What are they thinking?" again... which is a good place for me to stay away from.

Good luck on your journey through the Steps again. Hurry back!!!


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Postby JR » Mon May 01, 2006 12:58 am

I really enjoyed this thread. Thank you for sharing about surrender, honesty and what other people think.

I grew up in a very large family. I have 5 sisters and 3 brothers. The family was very dysfunctional. As adults we have all tried to sort things out about what happened and I found that every one of us has a different story. All but two of us grew up in the same household with the same parents and yet we all have a completely different perspective about what happened in that house.

I find it just as difficult to agree on the truth in just about any place where there is more than one perspective. Everyone has their own story based on their own filters of experience. It is an absolutely insane place for me to go in trying to consider what others are thinking.

I really liked what Cinderbobble said "surrendering is telling the truth". And then Dallas said that "perhaps when I'm telling the truth I'm being at one with what is."

"Being at one with what is." What a concept! Yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. To accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation. To relinquish inner resisitance to what is.

As Bill Sees It Pg. 218 (also in BB) "We are sure God would like to see us happy, joyous and free. Hence, we cannot subscribe to the belief that this life necessarily has to be a vale of tears, though it was just that for many of us. But it became clear that most of the time we had made our own misery."

I believe happy, joyous and free vs. misery is a choice I make every day by every deed and thought I choose.

Love each day,


Rusty Zipper
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Postby Rusty Zipper » Mon May 01, 2006 1:14 am

Geez, i'm stil here... but i'll pass lol.........nah... Cinderb, edieb, nice to hear your shares... i'm real sorry i have not been around much... i have just surendered to a whole bunch of people, places and certantly things stuff...... hey, i got a doozy for ya's... Mr John, hold on to your ribs... Mr BB... dont fall off the pink cloud on this one... a sponsee of mine was squawk'n, stamp'n feet, wining, Boo-Hoo'n about what the hell is there to surender too besides booze, and drugs? kids, let me tell ya... this boys a mess... makes Felix Unger look like Oscar... fusspot, to the max... lol....well the other night we were going to a meets together ### broke, ####... as we go outside, he freaks.. what matter i said... look, look he said... look at the big, and it was big, Bird chitz that was on the window... YIKES !!! it looked like a Taradaktyl had landed one... sorry, but it was a mess... i said now hold on to the Windex bottle... you said what is surender... heres my chance... i said see if you can make it thru the night without wipeing it off... WHAT! he said, yep, just see if you can do it... that my friend is babys first step in the fine art of surender i suggested to him... well ya know what, he did... of course he was as nerved up as Barnie Phyff with a loaded gun.. as we speak, the Bird chitz is stil on the window... he did say he was pray'n for rain... lol...... today, he's one li'l step closer in his change to his reaction to life, and himself... cinderb, you nailed it....... be back soon i hope... all good wishes, and of course, teach only love ((((( Trish ))))) ((((( Patrick ))))) that one was for you Trish :wink:

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Bird doo

Postby wareagle10 » Mon May 01, 2006 1:40 am

Mr. Zipper: I missed you. That is not only funny, but, being Sunday and there is no rain, I got to wash my truck. I park it out front under a street light. We have a lot of crows/ravens around here and they love to perch on the light. Well, of course, there under the light is my nice washed truck. What a target. Yeh, you guessed it all over the side of the cab and both windows on the passenger side. I took the hose with the high pressure nozzle and squirted it at the top of the light to get rid of the damnable birds and then got out the sponge and washed off the crap. Just before going on the board, its about 7:30 PM now. I looked out the window, and, yeh, they got it again. The smart thing to do is move my truck back about 7 feet and they hit the street not the truck, but, nooooo, my truck is still parked there. Maybe I am teaching myself about surrender, or something.

Good to see you back on the board, I miss you, bud.

Take care and straight ahead, John.

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