To persevere, trusting in what hopes one has, is courage. The coward despairs. Euripeds
There is a time for sadness and regrets, but it is one thing to mourn and quite another to refuse to go on. Before the program of OA I had no path to follow. There was no end of misery in sight. Today I have a way to go, people to be with, a sponsor to guide me. I may not feel like doing anything, but I know now that the answer is action, just as it was when I walked into my first meeting. God gives me the courage to trust, to take that first step, to reach out to a friend.
For today: With abstinence, and the support of OA, I have the courage to live.
My takeaway: Action.
Voices of Recovery:
“Unity does not mean uniformity. In OA we learn we can disagree with other people on important issues and still be supportive friends.” – The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonyous, p. 115
Service in Overeaters Anonyous has taught me many things. Perhaps the most important is that I can love and respect someone with a different point of view. We are members of the same Fellowship; we share the same compulsion. We are both trying to do what is best for OA, and we can “agree to disagree.” Through OA I’ve learned that we can have different viewpoints on an issue without jeopardizing our friendship. Just because someone disagrees with me doesn’t mean that person doesn’t love me or want my friendship. I don’t have to take it personally. Our group conscience decides an issue. If I don’t agree with the decision by group conscience. I can nevertheless learn to live with it. I trust that others also have the good of OA as a whole in mind, and I can learn something. I can learn that not only are there other views that mine, but that they may be right.
My takeaway: Yes, I’m having lessons in the car lately… 🙂
Some of us won’t believe in God, others can’t, and still others who do believe that God exists have no faith whatever He will perform this miracle. – Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 25
It was the changes I saw in the new people who came into the Fellowship that helped me lose my fear, and change my negative attitude to a positive one. I could see the love in their eyes and I was impressed by how much their “One Day at a Time” sobriety meant to them. They had looked squarely at Step Two and came to believe that a power greater than themselves was restoring them to sanity. That gave me faith in the Fellowship, and hope that it could work for me too. I found that God was a loving God, not that punishing God I feared before coming to A.A. I also found that He had been with me during all those times I had been in trouble before I came to A.A. I know today that He was the one who led me to A.A. and that I am a miracle.
My takeaway: My Higher Power is loving. All goodness, light, life, and joy. And wants same to me. A nature, universe, spirit of all good Higher Power. I am so grateful.
As Bill Sees It:
Out of Defeat . . . Strength
If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that some day we will be immune to alcohol.
Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one’s old life as a condition for finding a new one.
My takeaway: Okay yes.
How to Sit:
WHAT IS ESSENTIAL
What is essential is to train to sit quietly and mindfully. The more you train yourself, the more you can reach the deeper aspect of what you are thinking and feeling. You might think: “I’m bored!” “This is stupid.” “I need to do something else right this minute.” There may be old habits and old stories that are creating those thoughts and those feelings. What is getting in the way of your being able to experience the present moment? Keep breathing. Keep sitting. This is the practice.
My takeaway: Keep breathing. Keep sitting.
How to Love:
A DEEP THIRST
Sometimes we feel empty, we feel a vacuum, a great lack of something. We don’t know the cause; it’s very vague, but that feeling of being empty inside is very strong. We expect and hope for something much better so we’ll feel less alone, less empty. The desire to understand ourselves and to understand life is a deep thirst. There’s also the deep thirst to be loved and to love. We are ready to love and be loved. It’s very natural. But because we feel empty, we try to find an object of our love. Sometimes we haven’t had the time to understand ourselves, yet we’ve already found the object of our love. When we realize that all our hopes and expectations of course can’t be fulfilled by that person, we continue to feel empty. You want to find something, but you don’t know what to search for. In everyone there’s a continuous desire and expectation; deep inside, you still expect something better to happen. That is why you check your email many times a day!
My takeaway: Wow! Me! “Sometimes we haven’t had the time to understand ourselves, yet we’ve already found the object of our love. When we realize that all our hopes and expectations of course can’t be fulfilled by that person, we continue to feel empty. You want to find something, but you don’t know what to search for. In everyone there’s a continuous desire and expectation; deep inside, you still expect something better to happen. ” This was really me.
And I’m glad it wasn’t ONLY me. It is human condition maybe, until we know better. I know so much better now. Not 100% but so much!
How to Eat:
BOUND BY A HUNDERD STRINGS
Eating is a practice. The practice must be nourishing for us, for our bodies, and also for our minds. If you eat but you are bound by a hundred strings of worries, anger, irritation, stress, and projects, then these one hundred strings are pulling you in one hundred directions. Your food and your experience of eating will be empty and worthless. So you have to plan properly and have the intention that whenever you eat, you eat in freedom.
My takeaway: Wow, that caused a deep sigh-breath of relief. Eat. In. Freedom. Ahhh.
How to Walk:
LISTEN TO YOUR LUNGS
Let your own lungs determine your breathing. Never force your breath. When walking, match your steps to your breath, not the other way around. you might begin by taking two steps for your in-breath, and three steps for your out-breath. If, as you continue to walk, your lungs say they’d be happier making three steps while breathing in and five steps while breathing out, then you make three steps and five steps. Of course when you’re climbing a hill, the number of steps you can take with each breath will naturally be reduced. In walking meditation, I notice I usually breathe in for four steps and breathe out for six. But when I climb, I do two steps for each in-breath and three for each out-breath. When it’s very steep, I sometimes do one step for every breath in and three, two, or even one for every breath out. We have to adapt. Listening to your body as you walk will help make every step pleasant.
My takeaway: I love this. On various levels. That he tells us specifically what *he* does. And that, since that day long ago when I did qui gong, I have felt bad that my out-breaths are longer than my in-breaths. I wish I hadn’t wasted all that time feeling bad. AND – HE does it too! Also, to listen to my body. It’s very calming.
How to Relax:
HAPPINESS AND AWARENESS
Please do not think we must be solemn in order to meditate. Whether or not we are happy depends on our awareness. When you have a toothache, you think that not having a toothache will make you very happy. But when you don’t have a toothache, often you are still not happy. All of us have the capacity of transforming neutral feelings into pleasant feelings. If you’re rested and relaxed, all living beings will profit from your relaxation and energy. This is the most basic kind of peace work.
My takeaway: “If you’re rested and relaxed, all living beings will profit from your relaxation and energy. This is the most basic kind of peace work.” Oh, I ~love~ this!