Japanese jar recreated with g gold to be more beautiful jars of clay
Jesus enters death embraces decay then dies
healing is imperfect here; never, ever to be complete; go on
this tent will decay; but on eternal soul attached to your, our human body will live by Spirit
How can I live my the spirit every day?
London women’s voices
‘ I am so happy for you
He sounds so nice, a serious guy
It’s only been a week
Yea but he sounds like a truthful guy someone you can believe…
… better get on that,’
Let me step out of the formless and empty abyss,
Into the fullness of a new and happy beginning.
my life is a step. 1 Peter 2:21 has the Apostle Peter writing, ‘To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.’
I have had life long trouble following in Jesus’ steps. I have slipped and fallen. Slept and cried. Sat and not moved. Stayed in bitterness and remorse. I have remained still.
I believe in the 12 Steps; in Jesus’ steps. I believe Dr Bob and Bill W knew this verse from a Peter, a man who tired to follow in Jesus’ steps but denied and betrayed him. A man who fell as he walked on water and looked down and not at Jesus. Peter relapsed often.
But, he rose, got up and took a step.
The 12 steps is all about that first step: I step into his control, his live, his steps.
One by one.
As I, we, move toward the end of this series on the 12 steps, I reflect on another text, Ecclesiastes 7: 8a ‘the end of the matter is better than the beginning.’
Endings don’t just happen and this Step 12 did is not randomly placed here, at steps end. This step is not the last of the 12 but the first. Bill and Doc Bob only saw success when they shared: the message and themselves; with another sufferer or a wife, husband.
I can share without truth; honesty; willingness. And Step 1 begins with these qualities when I am first by myself, and then with my higher power. These are internal moments.
Step 12 is my external moment. Outside of myself, I am now active with my home group, my fellowship and men I sponsor and my sponsor. All is service.
It is said in the fellowship that, ‘ I can only keep it ( serenity.., ) by giving it away. What is it?
All that is me, my peace, my silences, my speech, my service.
Step 12 is giving myself.
Freely, I give.
‘Namaste! Hearing the voice of recovery reminds us that participation is key to harmony. By doing so, we are Twelve-stepping each other by showing up for our life and recovery. Pass-it-on: We, who have found serenity and a better way of life through recovery in the We Program, turn to the Traditions for guidance because we want the opportunity for recovery to continue to be available to us and to those who come after us. We observe the Traditions because they work. We refer to this as “obedience to the unenforceable,” and our survival as organization depends on it. Therefore, our individual recovery is as intimately bound to the guidance of the Twelve Traditions as it is to the Twelve Steps. The singleness of purpose shared by the individual member to get help (Tradition 3), and each group to carry the message of recovery by keeping the rooms of recovery open (Tradition 5)
brings us together to help each other and heal under the care and protection of the We Program and our collective Higher Power. Longtimers reminds us, “Steps are healing us individually, and Traditions are bringing us together as a group to help each other and feed our recovery by sharing experience, strength and hope.” We are blessed for having a lifetime family, the We Program….I recover at my own pace without the fear of what other people think of me. This is genuine democracy in action. Take care my friend and and stay well. I love you. Happy to be alive, the rest is a bonus. Gratefully, Wassie’
“we are not alone.” from Wassie
“Relief, help and hope is a share away. Pass-it-on: Learning to listen, and listening to learn the new language of recovery, “the language of the heart” had taught me to hope again, gather my scattered life piece by piece, and start over to live, love and trust again. As I kept coming back and listening to the healing truth of recovery being spoken in the language of the heart, I began to identify with a sigh of relief. It was like they were talking for me, and felt comfortable and safe for the first time in my life. Slowly but surely, the seed of hope for a better life was planted within me. For the first time, I was moved with a great feeling of gratitude. The feeling of, “finally! I found my tribe that speaks my language and understands me was huge and priceless.”
Day-by-day, share by share and drip-by-drip, I got my smile and voice back, and began the journey of recovery, “to feel, grieve my losses, and heal by way of sharing and identification.” Out of the millions of people all over the world who qualify for membership, support, acceptance and the unconditional love found in the We Program, I do not know why I am one of the lucky few to receive it. When I finally overcame my tendency to blame either myself or other people for the hurts that came from alcoholism, I allowed love to re-enter my life. My life is not perfect today, but I have so much support that even on my bad days I feel that I am a valuable person. Having the We Program and our collective Higher Power first place had changed everything. We are blessed.”
Listening to others, sharing with others, being with others is Step 12
Step 12 is about being a living message to others as we, I, serve. What is that message? Family, I am now in a new family. Serving and loved; heard and seen; in community and without fear. Wassie shared this with me today,
“I once heard a Longtimer say that the will of God will never take me where the grace of God will not protect me. I believe God loves me always. I can now be alone without being lonely, and I can now spend time
with strangers, casual acquaintances, employees and friends without feeling such fear of close contact. I have been affected by a terrible disease. But because of my recovery in the We Program, I will not continue to let it rule my life. I am becoming free. Through the simple experience of sitting and sharing with recovering members I have to realize that I have found a place where I belong. I find I can take this experience of community out into the world, bit by bit, and that, as I do, my sense of isolation from God and humanity falls away. As a result, I no longer live controlled and dominated by silent suffering, fear, loneliness and isolation. We are blessed for being given a loving and caring new family.”
Step 13 is about family, a new family.
23 ‘ Mark well that God doesn’t miss a move you make;
he’s aware of every step you take.
The shadow of your sin will overtake you;
you’ll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark.
Death is the reward of an undisciplined life;
your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.’
Step 12, can have missteps. The Book of Proverbs, ( Old Testament ) especially the first sex chapters ( steps) can also be read as a description of step 12 actions going the wrong paths. This quote from chapter 5 proverbs speaks of how our Higher Power views all steps.
Picking up, pursuing the wrong steps, leads only to dark deaths. Stumbling all over and g sh arming black and blues and bleeding.
Serving steps brings life.
Step 12 is how, how, all the twelve steps work together. This is a ‘how to’ program. Go into any bookstore ( if you can during this virus ) and go to the ‘how to’ section. It is enormous. And diverse, from how to play poker to how to water colour.
But these ‘how to’s’ really benefit us as we practice Step12.
Step 12 allows people who have worked the program to work with others who are still struggling, which benefits both the person in recovery as well as those who are still going through the program. Being of service to others can:
- Remind you of the early days of recovery (and why you’ve worked so hard to move past that phase)
- Keep you accountable and prevent you from becoming complacent in your recovery
- Give you a sense of purpose
- Enhance your fellowship with others
- Inspire someone else to stay the sober path
- Help provide insight to someone else in recovery
- Allow you to become a trustworthy person for someone in recovery
But the greatest Step 11 benefit for me is to serve unselfishly, purely, without any ego, without desire for personal gains, without my controlling self.
I serve freely. Freely I receive, now I free give with no attachments, no strings.
So, how do I serve in AA?
I serve the same here as I serve, served, anywhere: schools, intimate relationships, parents, siblings, sister, brother, children and aunt, mother and father.
speak truth; act truth in love
But if I pick up to kill pain, emotional pains of silencing, betrayals, liars, rejections, I am done; my servicing stinks if it has any odour at all. Resentments, angers, hates, just emotionally keep coming and in order to feel my love, my Higher Power, my Jesus, and to let, let Jesus feel me i
pause; breathe 4 times in; breathe out 8 times; pause and breathe again, first 4 Jesus breathes in, then 8 Charles breathes out
emotions flow out as a breathe
now I pick up the other and not a drink