- Freedom From Bondage

Freedom From Bondage




Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

Freedom From Bondage

Postby JR » Sat Oct 08, 2005 10:04 pm

I went to a meeting this morning and this story in the BB pg 544 (4th edition) was the topic. It was a really good meeting.

The whole story is one I relate to in many ways, but I really like the suggestion for dealing with resentment on page 552:

If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even when you don't really want it for them and your prayers are only words and you don't mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it every day for two weeks, and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love.

Some other neat stuff from pg. 552:

"The only real freedom a human being can ever know is doing what you ought to do because you want to do it."

"I get everything I need in AA - everything I need I get. And when I get what I need, I invariably find that it was just what I wanted all the time."

I would love to read comments about this story in its entirety or hear of examples of the above treatment for resentment.

Thanks and Easy Does It,

JR
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Postby Rusty Zipper » Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:37 am

hey, hey, JR! good morn! ya left one thing out. yes, freedom from bondage. but freedom from the bondage of "self" thats where all our probs. started. when i first started coming around, i had a few resentments. imagine that! :shock: my sponser said the same thing to me. pray for that person. wadda ya nuts? i say's! are you out of your mind? he said yes. he said i'm out of my old reaction towards my resentment. thats why i pray for the other. it takes the focus off of me. and of course me= self. i get it i say's! wow! simple huh? "Not" ... after so many years of thinking one way. i had to have the spiritual change. praying for others was another way to see this. as you see, it does build a character change. another thing we need to do if we want to stop drinking forever. JR, when i hit my knees in the morning. ### not easy for this old man :roll: #### i ask The Power! for today, please help relieve me from the bondage of self. help guide me to do your will, not mine. i also say the serenity prayer. simple, but it covers it all. and when i'm aware, i get a little bonus. ??? you might ask yup, it's a little "Wisdom" :wink: JR, your carrying the message. go JR, go! see ya, and bless! your pal, PC :wink:
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abandonment

Postby JR » Sun Oct 09, 2005 5:55 pm

Another thing I liked about this story was her discussion about her feelings of abandonment and her childhood reaction to them which she carried into adulthood.

"In time I concluded that the reason I was hurt was because I loved my parents, and I concluded too that if I never allowed myself to love anybody or anything, I could never be hurt again. It became second nature for me to remove myself from anything or anybody I found myself growing fond of."

"AA has taught me that through this simple program I may experience a change in this reaction pattern that will indeed allow me to match calamity with serenity."

I believe most of us alcoholics have a well established mechanism for not letting anyone get too close so that we will not be hurt. When I was going through my divorce I was in therapy and had been sober for 16 years. I realized that I married a man I didn't love (I knew it from the start) because he could never hurt me. However, this man hurt me over and over again. Sometimes in trying to avoid the pains of growing up we experience much more pain than we would have.

Easy Does It,

JR
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Postby Dallas » Tue Oct 11, 2005 1:46 pm

This is one of my favorite stories in the back of the book and I’m glad the whoever’s decided to keep it when they revised the Big Book for the Fourth Edition.

I’ve tried the method that was suggested by using the prayer. It didn’t work out well for me. I became more angry and resentful at the person... and then I began to get angry and resentful at myself and at God.

Evidently, I haven’t evolved to high enough Spiritual Enlightenment that I could get rid of resentments this way, without making the matters worse.

What happened was... when I became so resentful and angry at myself and God as a result of trying this approach, I had to do a 4th Step Inventory of Resentments on myself and on God, to get free of it.

For me, I discovered that I should just stick with the 12 Step method of dealing with my resentments, and follow the detailed instructions from Steps 4 through Step 10. That never fails for me, when I follow the directions precisely as they are layed out in the Big Book. During the times that I thought it wasn’t working I had to look at the instructions more closely. When I looked more closely, I discovered that I wasn’t being totally honest with myself.

I also discovered, that for me, that there was no way my resentment was going anywhere until I was able to see it from a different perspective. Forgiveness was the same way. Until I could see things and understand them differently... there was no way that I could let them go.

For me, that’s what “let goâ€
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Favorite Story?

Postby JR » Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:13 pm

Hey Dallas, why is this one of your favorite stories and why are you glad they didn't take it out of the BB?

Easy Does It,

JR
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Postby Dallas » Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:09 am

Hey JR!

Too many reasons to list them all!!!

1. It's been one of my favorite stories since I was new in AA.
2. I identified with her feelings.
3. I identified with the drinking.

I didn't identify with many of her behaviors or motives, but the feelings and the drinking really hit home with me when I was new. It caused me to think "maybe there is something to this deal with alcoholism after all."

The other things I enjoy about the story is how she uses the 12 Steps and her experience, strength and hope that she shares with using them.

That, too, sparked an interest with me when I was a newcomer. I was reading about her taking actions and talking about things that I wasn't hearing much about in many of the AA meetings that I was attending.

I remember us reading her story in a BB Study, and my statement and question to the Group was, "she talks differently about those 12 Steps than we do here? Why is that?"

I love all the stories in the BB. There are also some good stories that have been removed over time and versions. I enjoy hearing alcoholics share their experience, strength and hope in AA. That's also one of the reasons that I love Step12.com so much!!!

Dallas
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Into Action

Postby JR » Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:44 am

Dallas, Your Oct. 11 post gave me pause for thought. I think it is funny that you say you are un-spiritual when you practice a program of action that gives you a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of your spiritual condition. The BB says "the spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it." I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree sometimes, so I must be missing something.

Don't you think prayer is taking action?

I'm curious about how you use the detailed instructions of steps 4-10 without constant prayer?

The detailed instructions in my BB tells me to pray while I am writing my 4th step.

Regarding resentments, BB pg. 66: This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God (prayer) to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend...God (prayer) save me from being angry. Thy will be done."

Regarding fear BB pg 68: We ask Him (prayer) to remove our fear and direct our attention to what he would have us be.

Regarding sex BB pg 69: We ask God (prayer) to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them. We ask God (prayer) what we should do about each specific matter. pg. 70 We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing.

After I do step 5 I am to return home and BB pg. 75 "Thank God from the bottom of my heart that we know Him better."

Step 6 Am I willing? If not BB pg. 76 If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God (prayer) to help us be willing.

Step 7 prayer "My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding, Amen."

Step 8 We already have list. However, we should review it and make sure it is a complete list of people we have harmed.

Step 9 BB pg 83 "So we clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love."

Step 10 BB pg 84 Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God (prayer) at once to remove them. Pg. 85 Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee (prayer) - Thy will (not mine) be done (prayer)."

I hope you can see my confusion about what you have written on October 11 regarding "taking action", the twelve step method, spiritual vs. un-spiritual and prayer vs. steps 4-10 and I hope you will help me to understand more clearly the proper use of this information from the perspective of your experience, strength and hope.

Thank you for all you do on this site, Dallas, and for giving us a place to learn and grow when a meeting isn't available.

Easy Does It,

JR
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Postby Dallas » Fri Oct 14, 2005 5:19 am

Hey JR,

I sure do seem to be a constant state of confusion for you!!! :lol:

Hopefully, you've added me to your 4th Step list. :lol: I look forward to hearing what you learn about you.

I have three questions for you, but I'll only ask them one at a time.

First question to you: “What is prayer?â€
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4th step

Postby JR » Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:46 pm

Dallas,

I surely don't know why I would add you to my 4th step. I don't fear you. I've never had sex with you. I can't think of a single reason why I would resent you. Maybe it is I who belong on yours, my sponsor says if I am pointing the finger at someone else there are three pointed back at me. Meaning, if I see a fault in others it is most likely my own fault I see. We are supposed to be cleaning our own backyard and only we can know who belongs on our inventory.

Clearly, I am trying to learn as much about staying sober as I can. You have the longest sobriety on this forum. In fact, isn't this your forum? If asking you questions makes you think I am resentful or fearful, then yes you have confused me once again.

You asked me what is prayer. Here is my answer today:

Prayer is a petition to God. Prayer can be in a formula or sequence like many presented in our AA literature (ie 3rd step prayer, 7th step prayer, serenity prayer and all the many prayers Bill W. suggests) or it can be in your own words. Examples in the BB would suggest getting on our knees to pray though I'm sure it can be done in any position. Prayer and meditation reconnect us with the Source of all Power. To defer to God, to appeal to Him is to humble our mortal, limited selves before the force of Consciousness at the Center of all things. Prayer is where we talk to God and Honor His Power to heal us. Prayer is the spiritualization of our mental habits and the disciplining of our scattered minds. We invite God into our every situation to change our thoughts and emotions; to change our orientation.

Prayer is something we do. To say a prayer is more than just to think about God. A prayerful attitude is powerful, but the actual utterance of a prayer, silently or aloud, increases the subconscious power of communion with God. In Buddhism they say "nothing is so fragile as prayerless action." Prayer aligns our internal energies with truth.

Prayer gives us access to a sweeter, more abundant life. The intellect gives many things, but ultimately it cannot give comfort. Through prayer we find what we cannot find elsewhere: a peace that is not of this world.

Bill W. tells us to be quick to see where religious people are right. So, I am sure a definition of prayer amongst the religions of the world would be much more thorough accurate.

What prayer means to me is a personal thing I suppose. What is prayer to you, Dallas?

Easy Does It,

JR
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Postby Dallas » Fri Oct 14, 2005 7:08 pm

Thank you for sharing JR.

I'm glad you're here.

Dallas
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