Archive for April, 2009

The Principles Behind Each of the 12 Steps of Recovery

1. Honesty – The operative principle behind step 1 is honesty. If you cannot get honest about the scope of your problem, and honest about a sincere effort to resolve it you will not succeed. How about a definition of honesty as the absence of the intention to deceive? Who do we try to fool? Ourselves

2. Hope – In order to engage in a course of addiction recovery, we must have hope of success. If there is no hope, why try? Perhaps we have failed on our own, how about enlisting some help? A way to instill hope is to realize recovery is not a question of ability; after all there are millions in recovery, but rather persistence and application.

3. Faith – This stage of action is to begin to employ the recovery skills being learned. You can seek out help, but it is also necessary to utilize it. Our job is to become willing to do the right thing. A simple way to view the ‘next right thing’ is don’t engage in your behavior. Have faith it will work.

4. Courage – This step is really about courage to honestly (see step 1) look at ourselves. Take a look at how our behavior has become warped to justify our continued behavior. We are here to take an honest assessment of ourselves.

5. Integrity – If we have truly done a thorough job of introspection and evaluation of our assets and shortcomings do we have the integrity to own up to it? It can be very difficult to be open and honest about our past behaviors. We accept the need for a dose of humility.

6. Willingness – Now that we have accomplished an inventory of the good and no so good aspects of our character and behavior, are we willing to change them? All of them? The important part in this 12 step principle is the willingness to let go of old behaviors.

7. Humility – Here we move further into action, in step 6 we became willing to as let go of our old behaviors, now we ask for help in actually letting go. Can we learn to forgive ourselves?

8. Discipline and Action – We are continuing to remove the barriers that can block forward sober growth. We are getting ready to sweep our side of the street clean. Make a list of all those people we have harmed both through actions and not being present to live up to obligations.

9. Forgiveness – Asking for the forgiveness of those we have intentionally or unintentionally injured is the order of the day. A key point here is to try to correct those injuries through action, not just words. It is highly recommended that guidance and help is utilized here. Asking forgiveness is not a gift to the other person, but rather an act of kindness to you.

10. Acceptance – To be human is to make mistakes. Hopefully our journey has led us to the point where we can readily admit mistakes and accept ourselves for being imperfect. We must also learn not to judge others but accept them for who they are, not our vision of who they should be.

11. Knowledge and Awareness – Here we search and become aware of following our path being aware of our purpose in life and actively pursuing it. I view this principle as just being aware, not being got up in the rush of life, making conscious effort to do the right thing and to be at peace.

12. Service and Gratitude – Having brought about a personality change sufficient to remain in recovery; we are empowered to demonstrate the new principles by which we live, in our daily life through example. We seek out and are available to help others in need.

There you have it. Simple actions you can practice each and every day to improve the quality of your life in addiction recovery and those people you come in contact with. These are the simple one word action principles of the 12 steps.

I guess I can consider myself in step 6.

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Choice

Dear Journal, what can I say?

Nobody kicks a dead dog, I know.

But in some situations you’re either ALL IN or ALL OUT.

There’s no half way.

I choose ALL OUT.

Quote Of The Night

“So, my friend, it is with all my heart that I send you my love,

hoping that you’ll always carry my smile with you,

for all we have meant to each other and for whatever the future may hold.”

Do not complain list

For a week, starting now, I will not complain of anything. Instead, I’ll list the things I would normally complain about but didn’t.

Okay, I’m listing them but I will now say it out loud or talk about with anyone.

I started half an hour ago and it already has 2 items :). Let’s see how it goes and how it feels.  And how long will be the list.

There it goes so far:

1 . problem with the entrance key of the building;

2. mandatory bureaucratic task at work;

3. new cafeteria policy at work;  [ and they keep coming 🙂 ]

4. people who need to kick dead dogs…. hmmmmmm; [a metaphore, couldn’t find a better way to describe this one without giving details]

5. situations where you MUST make up an excuse not to go…I’m not good with excuses.

City Noises

I practice meditation and I know  I’m concentrated when I stop listening to the constant city noises I have around me.

Then I create silence inside me.

At any other time, not only I have a noisy mind but also live in a noisy place, day or night.

A few days ago a couple of friends invited me for dinner on a Saturday night and it was the first time I visited their apartment, though we have gone out many times and been friends since college.

They live in an absolutely silent apartment despite of being on a noisy neighborhood.  It’s in the back of the building and inside we can hear absolutely nothing from the streets around.

I wouldn’t like to live in a place so silent.I guess I couldn’t even sleep with so much silence, because it’s an empty silence.

I like city noises, all mixed, cars, people, sirens, bats flying around the tree in front of my building in the middle of the night, the wedding songs coming from the church right beside the building.

I love that. It reminds me life is in constant movement.

If it weren’t by the city noises I guess I wouldn’t be able to appreciate so much the silence of the Moon, night after night, appearing in different shapes and sizes from our point of view, witnessing what happens down here for such a long time. And the silence of the sea [whenever I have opportunity], with its constant sound, the silence of  all the life it hides down under. The wonderful silence of mystery that says so much.

Thought in the middle of the afternoon

One friend put on his MSN phrase today: “Know the difference between insisting and persisting.”

That’s it. I can resist and patiently persist. But never ever insist.

I don’t call it giving up in this case, I call it respect.

Desire remains, action stops.

Loneliness

This came out on postsecret this week. I found it very sad.

“Loneliness is the curse of this century”. I don’t know who said that at first but it’s repeated everywhere all the time.

Not just a temporary physical loneliness of the ones who live alone like me. The loneliness of the soul.

The loneliness of not having anyone to talk to. The loneliness of never having someone that asks your help or advice or just that you listen to them.

This kind of loneliness I have never experienced so far. And hope I never will.

Though I live alone and spend much time alone, my soul never walks alone.

I treat the ones I love and who care about me like gold.

I always remind them that this door here may not offer much but is always open.

Some time ago I posted about the mother of a friend who died alone at home and he got devastated about it.

Thinking better about it now, she might have been alone at the moment she died, but she was close to her family and they had visited her the day before. That’s the most important.

I see some people that live with their families but haven’t learned how to share. Really share. They close the door even when they are surrounded by people.

I know this is not enough to avoid that most terrible kind of loneliness, the loneliness of the soul. People die, life changes. But I think it must be much worse if it comes because the door is closed.

I can bear many things in life but I would die if I lost all my loved ones.

That’s why I never say something hurtful to the ones I love. Even when they do it to me. I couldn’t forgive myself if I lost somebody who I’ve closed the door to or said something hurtful to.

Brazilian Sound

Céu – Malemolência

Dilute

1. to make fainter, as a color.

2. to reduce the strength, force, or efficiency of by admixture.

3. to become diluted.

4. reduced in strength, as a chemical by admixture; weak.

5. weaken, temper, mitigate, diminish.

I’m allowing it to dilute inside me and my life. Until it becomes absolutely tolerable and there’s nothing to suppress anymore. Ever.


I took this from a movie…

“I know I have this tendency to project my fantasies on others but at the end I know they are just real people.
And I can love to an extent nobody can imagine.
And I know I’m lucky for being able to feel that… in a way that has nothing to do with anyone in particular.”

…but it fits me perfectly 🙂

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