You can Clearly Identify the “Cunning and Baffling” behind your addiction.

Which in turn helps you recognize patterns of behavior and threats of relapse.

Know your enemy.  Know your addict….know yourself.  Love your enemy, Love your addict, Love yourself.

 

Addiction Cunning & Baffling Indeed

THE BAFFLING PART OF ADDICTION EXPLAINED. How does an emotional pain morph into spiritual blindness and darkness that would cause a man to self destruct?
Clearing up the EMOTIONAL wreckage of the past makes us less vulnerable to actions of fear and hurt toward self and others. Confessing our greatest fear(s) DOES render them powerless over us. In this sense we ARE as sick as our secrets. Shame is the leverage of darkness. Yet “shame” is something humans seldom want to explore within themselves to irrigate it with light. Why?

Because we are taught to never allow ourselves to be vulnerable. The deception is that if we expose our fear to the light people will use it against us. However it’s not the people that we need to be concerned with when it comes to fear. But rather the leverage of spiritual darkness in high places who exploit unconfessed shame. Every fourth step should include a shame and fear list that needs spoken out loud. The fear list should be repeated until it becomes a way of life to expose shame and fear to the light.

If you like this you may like Laura’s book “Paradise for the Hellbound”. It is not a typical Biblical text. And the book is not bent on social status quos. Read it free: http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/paradise-for-the-hellbound/

When Sobriety Becomes a Way of Life

What is addiction?

Addiction is not a Disease, but rather it is a spiritual malady and force of habit.  It is a poor self image and the presence of a broken heart.  Our heart can be healed and our habits can be changes.  We won’t relapse if we take the time to respect ourselves enough to realize not only did we hurt others but others hurt us deeply.  The certainly taught us as children that we were inferior and bad.  So we spent the rest of our days trying to prove that it wasn’t true while our own hearts believed that it was.

Continue reading “When Sobriety Becomes a Way of Life”

We Addicts Are Programmed to Demoralize One Another

Disclaimer:  This article holds nothing back.  It is not a blame game but rather has identified common reasons for addiction.  Taking responsibility for our healing and recovery is still imperative to our emotional health.  But for those who do find addiction “cunning and baffling” this explains common causes.  If you want solutions they are all over this website but clearly this article is not solution oriented.  See The Cure:  http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/addiction-is-no-longer-baffling-to-me-and-many-others/ 

We Addicts have been conditioned to demoralize one another.

Continue reading “We Addicts Are Programmed to Demoralize One Another”

“Pitiful and Incomprehensible Demoralization”

Article written by Jobaly Timerivess 6-6-06

Bill W. scribed the term to us “pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization”.

Oh Mr. Wilson!  Yea for art thou a colorful writer to stretch your mind around such an appropriate and relate-able term as “Pitiful and Incomprehensible Demoralization”.   Oh how you must have suffered to feel these heinous words rushing through your blood and soul!

Continue reading ““Pitiful and Incomprehensible Demoralization””

The Disease Concept is a Sham You CAN Recover

If you have the cajonies to look at your life with clarity and truth.

 

War for profit shows the mentality of the men and women who rule the Earth and what they are concerned with primarily. We are roaches to many of them. And our self

esteem/ADDICTION problems are directly related to the indoctrination we suffered in schools, and our parents endured as well in the U.S. Does this mean we don’t do a personal

inventory? Hell no! It means we need to see the big picture of why our lives really went south and what was behind it. TV, education, poison foods, all part of our slave

mentality indoctrination. We were DEMORALIZED WAY BEFORE WE COMMITTED OUR FIRST WRONG to others. Credit where credit is due. THERE IS NO DISEASE OF ADDICTION. DRUGS WERE OUR

ATTEMPT AT A SOLUTION TO THE PAIN WE HID DEEP INSIDE US FOR SO LONG.

Continue reading “The Disease Concept is a Sham You CAN Recover”

Eyes Wide Shut…the addicts fail-safe

Addicts should look at and process both wrongs done and wrongs suffered to fully recover. When we enter the realm of understanding our inner child and our subconscious ideals that is when addiction is no longer baffling to us.  If we keep an open mind and get a good therapist along with a 12 step program we will figure out why we were in so much emotional pain for so long.  We should learn emotional tools that we use to process that pain, and really get to know who we are and love and forgive ourselves.

The first 2/3 of my life sucked. If someone would have told me I was in purgatory I would have believed it easily even though I didn’t believe in purgatory at the time.  Until I had a certain dream that I believe really happened.

The whole story and dream are at this link.

**** “http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/paradise-for-the-hellbound/#BOWELS OF THE EARTH: THE DREAM” ****

Continue reading “Eyes Wide Shut…the addicts fail-safe”

Are you a New or an Old Soul?

Read this story and find your answer.

There was a blessed spirit in Heaven it could fly; it was completely sustained by the light of God that was readily available in the beyond where it existed. We will call the blessed spirit Elior. Elior could travel from realm to realm, planet to planet; dimension to dimension he could take any shape he wanted. The realm that housed the seven Earths (God did create seven) were only one of the realms that Elior had toured. There was a realm called “Ecstasy”, the realm of “Wisdom”, the powerful realm of “Love”, there was a realm called “The knowledge of every universe”. Elior could help any creature or being that he desired…he did much good and had powerful knowledge as a supernatural entity.
One day during a great rebellion in Heaven by an angel named

Continue reading “Are you a New or an Old Soul?”

Alcoholics Anonymous Counterfeit 13 Steps of AA

Written by Brenda Lane

IN SIMPLE TERMS THE FOLLOWING STEPS ARE THE FAKE AA THAT IS COMMONLY BELIEVED AND PROFESSED BY THOSE WHO HAVE NOT ACTUALLY READ THE LITERATURE.  The writer does not agree with the fake steps of AA and wishes to expose them as being FAKE.

DISCLAIMER: These 13 steps are DOGMA AND SATIRE.  They are what I have seen in AA over and over.  This article does not apply to nor is it written of the true and miraculous program of fellowship called AA with it's actual 12 steps.

When sick alcoholics use their spiritual deficit to create rules and regulations based in character defects the false AA then appears.  These false rules geared in and around the people of AA become a false doctrine to worship. False doctrines occur in any group of humans who subconsciously relish religious error and mistake spirituality for legalism.  Why would we of AA be any different than typical religion?  AA is a religion in the true sense of the word, we work the program “religiously”.  So of course we have dogma and error in the rooms.  This article is to expose that error.

Fake responsibility pledge #A

A. Never ever do anything but whitewash AA as a perfect program.  Any constructive criticism no matter how true or rampant the error in AA is.  Correcting AA is forbidden.   Anyone who points out common misconceptions in AA will be shunned as holding intense resentment and belittled with name-calling and will surely relapse.

Continue reading “Alcoholics Anonymous Counterfeit 13 Steps of AA”

The Story of an Addict Who Recovered

Every addict has one thing in common, self punishment.  Until we figure out and heal from whatever it is we feel we must punish ourselves for our addiction will remain a mystery.  Clearly those who punish themselves must in some subconscious way feel they can beat themselves to a point of rendering their identity clean and clear from self loathing once again.

However, that is a sick attempts at getting well.  It’s an attempt which is seldom realized by the punisher.  And while we are in this state we also project our punishing onto those around us, often those we love most.

In The Beginning

My answer to the question “what was I numbing when I was using drugs and alcohol addictively?”
I had to numb my fear, shame, and intense feeling of inferiority.
For me, at a young age I was taught (in so many words and lessons)
that the whole world of people were all superior to me in every way. And that everything about me was wrong both inside and out. Therefore, I had to hide my
identity so no one would see how bad and wrong I was. Of course I had no idea of this at the time.
It took years of work to understand the emotional inner workings of my subconscious.

And so with this starke, devastating truth of who and what I was (inferior) I had to shut down and transform into someone else.
I (my true heart) became a prisoner in my own
mind always living/acting as status quos dictated, trying to be someone else. I was sold a bill
of goods and commenced to live up to what I was sold.

Continue reading “The Story of an Addict Who Recovered”

Wake Up or Die

Wake up! In the next 20 years technology will (if corporate rulers succeed) take, remove, make obsolete to humans HALF the jobs on the face of the Earth. That is 2 billion jobs in 20 years will be LOST to AI (artificial intelligence). No wonder the Georgia guide stones and elite rulers want to do away with 2/3 of the Earths population. Keep eating the poison people. Munch down on those heavy metals. Yum yum please put more aluminum in my biscuits. DUMB ME DOWN.

Continue reading “Wake Up or Die”

Sober Open-Minded Thinking Starts in about Year Seven of Sobriety

Author Anonymous

After being in numerous Facebook recovery groups for a number of years.  I have made numerous attempts at sharing vital information pertaining to real healing and recovery. Unfortunately,  I am convinced that the addicts head does not pop out of his own ass until the seventh year of sobriety. Omg! At least that is my own experience. It’s also my observation. What do I mean? It means alcoholics are not able to process information freely and unhindered. It’s a horrible mental state of tightly boxed/cemented ideals, preconceived notions that have to fit into the numbered boxes which the addict has created from their past interactions. Passing judgement is a sad replacement for open minded consideration and critical thinking. And these are the skills we need to develop in recovery to live in truth instead of a fairyland. It’s not until year seven that the addict can perceive without prejudices, pat conclusions, biased, and other bullshit principals that are based in fear and are nothing short of chained and oppressed mental processes. Hate me for it but FREE YOUR MIND!

Addicts Need Deprogramming to Recover Fully

The system is THE BEAST and it has programmed us since childhood. And not in a good way. Wake Up!

Addiction and self destructive habits start with a “demoralizing of our view of self”.IT STARTS IN SCHOOL OR PRIOR. We are poisoned be chemicals in the womb.
Our education did just what it was supposed to do, show us how worthless we are. That we need the system to care for and protect us. BUT NOW THEY POISON US WITH THEIR CHEMICALS, GEO-ENGINEERING, TOXIC SMOKE RETARDANTS, POISON DRUGS, POLLUTION BY DISPOSABLE CONSUMER PRODUCTS.
What did you learn in school today child?
What did they feed your soul?
What did they feed your body?

Continue reading “Addicts Need Deprogramming to Recover Fully”

Bill W. Preserves the Top of the Triangle

Disclaimer:  Recovery Farmhouse is not any sect of Alcoholics Anonymous.  RFH is providing information to anyone interested in recovery addiction step work and 12 step programs.  This article is for informational purposes only and means to incite no accusations against AA or its non addict paid servant board of directors and officers.

How did Bill Wilson preserve the power of the top of the Triangle of AA meaning the group’s members authority?

click here to read BILL WILSON’S ANSWER (OR click “continue reading” below if you’re on the homepage.)

Clearly the largest part of AA’s income comes from literature sales therefore my next article will be on how group members have or have not any power whatsoever related to those millions of dollars or any say at all in what that money is used for.  Clearly the Big Book proceeds go to the family of Lois Wilson as she instructed in her will.  She did leave much of her estate to the Stepping Stones foundation.  The Foundation, created by Lois Wilson in 1979, maintains the home, its contents … “If the fellowship is an extension of my family then Stepping Stones is home.”

Continue reading “Bill W. Preserves the Top of the Triangle”

My Message to Friends of Bill and Bob Facebook Group

It seems there is some confusion to my motives among some members of our group.  I want to clarify.  I also invite writers to share their experience, strength, and hope by sending me your articles to put into print.  Join the group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/2247449301/

Care and fear are two different things.  I care about all your opinions and beliefs.  I care about my reputation and what you think of me.  This makes me human not weak.  Can I control it?  Of course not.  Can I make you like me or change your opinions?  No only you can do that but I can shed light on my own motives.

My name is Lori, I am a recovered alcoholic. 
I got sober by several methods including  AA/rehab/therapy/white light exp./steps/spiritual seeking/and fellowship.   I advocate all of these tools including church. As for AA if you go to RFH you will see step work experience and articles all over the website. I believe in living the steps not in dependency on AA after years and years of step work and learning. The 12 steps and fellowship are AA recovery.   Meetings are gravy they are not the program of Alcoholics Anonymous as it’s outlined in the Big Book.  However meetings are a helpful tool in many ways.  
Fellowship is a vital component of recovery as I well know. I am not anti AA but I am anti AA dogma that isn’t in the Big book yet is hailed in AA across U.S. If you love the little titbits of false beliefs called AA rhetoric that have worked themselves into many people’s belief system that are no where in the Big Book or 12×12 and even refuted by our literature, you won’t like my writing. If you love status quos and misconceptions, you won’t like my writing.

Continue reading “My Message to Friends of Bill and Bob Facebook Group”

Can An Addict Really Quit Drugs On Their Own?

Charlie Sheen states he quit drugs by his own power of thought.

Update: Apparently according to online sources Charlie Seen did stay sober on his own for eleven years until he was diagnosed in 2016-January with H.I.V. Some articles state his sobriety was a farce.  The news of his HIV threw him into a deep state of anxiety and relapse apparently.  Recent information states he detoxed at his father's Malibu home in 2017-April.  Hopefully since then he is finding spiritual help.  Recent info says he is sober now and doing charity work as an HIV solutions advocate.

2011-Charlie Sheen stated that he quit drugs by his own self will.  I must admit I know people sober for long periods of time who have done it on their own.  Granted…this does not allow for any work on the core reasons for the need to numb ones awarness on a regular basis.  Nor does it introduce emotional coping skills that work for many addicts.  The article below is so accurate in my opinion I had to share it with you.  Taken from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-you-cure-yourself-of-addiction/ and written by:   By Nina Bai on March 4, 2011

I am especially impressed with the accuracy of the statement made by: “Scientific American spoke with Sally Satel, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and lecturer in
psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, about quitting drugs without professional treatment. Satel was formerly a staff psychiatrist at
the Oasis Clinic in Washington, D.C., where she worked with substance abuse patients.”

Continue reading “Can An Addict Really Quit Drugs On Their Own?”

AA Juggernaut #2

Please try to apply this to yourself or it won’t do you any good.  Open your mind to free your identity.

Prayer and step three are a prerequisite to all recovery steps and exercises for guidance and direction, for revelation, and epiphany, for self awareness and cutting through the ego .
AA status quos are the AA Juggernauts  that can kill you.  We must allow ourselves to become vulnerable emotionally if we are going to heal.  We must not allow our intellect to stifle what our heart needs to say.  The AA Juggernaut is to follow socially acceptable rules during our recovery process.  By this we would cover up our heart and hide it from real recovery.

My recovery from addiction in short has been about

Continue reading “AA Juggernaut #2”

Why Dale K Re-wrote The First 164 Pages of The Big Book

 

Why on Earth did Dale K think he had the right to change our treasured Big Book?

Some background info.  Who is AAAgnostica and Tom B?

Read original aaagnostica article here

The AAAgnostica site advocates the book “Secular Sobriety” by Dale K which is a rewrite of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book text.    aaagnostica.org and writer Tom B. are an open minded, free-thinking organization geared toward alcoholics Anonymous.  They impress on us the fundamentals of a godless recovery for those who need it. (Tom B always uses a small “g”)  The website’s “about” page states this: “When we use the word “agnostic” in relation to AA – or words like “atheist” or “freethinker” – we are simply referring to the specific wisdom of groups and individuals within the fellowship who understand that belief in a “God” (of any understanding) is not a necessary part of recovery from alcoholism.  They advocate freedom of choice where religion and spirituality are concerned and admonish religious dogma and social prejudice that lives in the rooms of AA.    Here is their email if you wish to contact them.  Thomas B writes most of the articles on the site and wrote one promoting the book “Secular Sobriety”.

Continue reading “Why Dale K Re-wrote The First 164 Pages of The Big Book”

We’re All Here for the Very Same Reason

AA Can you help me unravel my latest mistake? Damn right we can.
“You’re a little late..I’m already torn, torn.”

It is progress to realize one is emotionally torn. This is the first step in emotional healing. Emotions, Body, and spirit in us are as one….We need not label our emotions “bad” or “weak” but rather embrace them as part of us. Take up the defensive angry screaming ego known as the “committee” and nurture that part of ourselves with Love, comfort, and assurance. During step eleven meditations I can reassure that part of me which is defensively reactionary when fear is triggered.

My “addict” (persay) wears a stone cold armor of defense and blame so I

Continue reading “We’re All Here for the Very Same Reason”

A Note to my Alcoholics Anonymous Family

Alcoholics Anonymous Family,

There is so much in this world to fear. The more research I do on the condition of the Earth, food, pollution, radiation, food additives, toxins, malnutrition due to processed foods the more I am learning about THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS in 2017. So I regroup & choose faith and hope to kwell the horrible uncertainties of the future. My HP has got my back. And I know the tools that bring me back to the safety of “NOW”. Writing is one of my tools. So with all the dangers around me I moved myself on to the solutions just like my favorite AA cliche’ states; “Out of the problem into the solution”. And my 2nd fav. “Move a muscle change a thought”. 3rd “the program works”.

Continue reading “A Note to my Alcoholics Anonymous Family”

Recovery from Addiction

Jails, Institutions, and Near Death

Spring of 2006 I spent 2 months in jail getting sober for the last time. I spent my time locked up reading the Bible, The Big Book, writing ‘Paradise for the Hellbound’, and praying that the judge would sentence me to Bridgehouse. Bridgehouse (B.H.) is a rehab center owned by Meridian Behavioral Healthcare. I had been on the Methadone program there and I sent letters to my doctor to get me into rehab from jail. He was all for it. He himself later landed in rehab. Come to find out the doc was dipping into his own meds .How convenient.
On June 15th 2006 I got transported to B.H. by a Levy County Sheriff to begin my 28-day stay. Twenty-eight days…… twenty-eight days …. (reminiscent sigh). In the spring of 2006 28 days seemed like a very long time. The days were long and the nights were even longer. I had been in my addiction for nearly 35 years.

Continue reading “Recovery from Addiction”

Dr. Bob’s Last Major Talk

Click here to read Dr. Bob’s Last Major Talk

Commentary of controversy:

Dr. Bob exhibits a degree of insecurity about staying sober in the essay below.   Dr. Bob mentions that when he thinks about having a drink (at 13 years sober) he knows what to do, he goes to see the boys in detox.

Yes an ego based sense of security in recovery can be a dangerous road to relapse no matter how long we have been sober.  Sobriety time is not what keeps us sober.  But there is a thing called healthy security based and grounded in 12 step work, a relationship with God and the knowledge the program works.

Seems to me there are quite a few addicts who don’t know the difference between ego false pride the dangerous kind and healthy self confidence.  Seems some addicts think they have to exhibit false humility to stay sober.  We in AA routinely socially punch holes in our overall worth in spite of our child of God status.

So what?  If I finally learn/build some self esteem from doing the 12 step work I now need to negate it with false humility?   If we know the program works, and we have a choice then why would our sobriety be built on thin ice?  And why would me announcing my thin ice foundation be anything more than a public exhibit of false humility.

Typical statements by people with years sober: “I am no more secure than someone who just walked in AA and knows absolutely nothing about staying sober”, or “I am an arms length from the next drink just like the gutter drunk who doesn’t know the 12 steps”.  When does years of sobriety and knowledge become self confidence?  Seriously it’s not insecurity or fear that keeps us sober.  It’s not downgrading our recovery that keeps us sober.

Continue reading “Dr. Bob’s Last Major Talk”

The Heart of a Maneater the “Bad Little Girl”!

THE HEART OF A MANEATER.  By Laura Edgar

By the dime store psychologist.  If you came from FB Friends of Bill and Bob scroll past videos to continue reading.   I copied that post starting at “Introducing the Maneater” below.

Low self image is at he core of most active addicts hearts. The ego picks up where a broken identity drops the ball.

Did the Primary teaching voice of your formative years often sound like this? (granted most people don’t remember until they spend years in therapy, meditation, and prayer coupled with self-awareness exercises.)

“You’re a Bad little girl/boy!  How could you do such a thing, again?   Don’t do that, don’t act like that, don’t be like that and don’t feel like that!  You’re wrong, wrong, wrong everything that comes from your little heart is wrong”.  And then here’s the worst quote of all folks: “You shouldn’t FEEL that way! Your feelings are wrong! Your ideas are stupid and you should be ashamed of yourself.   Don’t cry!  Cry baby!  That’s nothing to cry about!  That’s nothing to be afraid of!  Chicken shit…scaredy cat..and worse. We are programmed to hide our fears, weaknesses, and hearts truths.

Continue reading “The Heart of a Maneater the “Bad Little Girl”!”

Is Your A.A. Sponsor your Army Sergeant?

What is the best kind of sponsor?

There has been a long standing debate in A.A. about what kind of sponsor is right.  The kind who is loving, caring, considerate, respectful, informative, giving, truthful, and assertive.  Or the kind who says “I am not here to be your friend, get off your lazy low-life ass and do this work.” Or as one man shared recently about a man in A.A. who “saved his life” by saying to him early on in recovery “FUCK YOUR FEELINGS”.  OUCH! I SAY OUCH TO THAT.  But it worked for him.  It got his attention he said.  But not all emotional pain is self-pity, on the contrary.  Trauma needs to be expressed to come out.

Granted keep in mind in our scenario both sponsors are teaching the twelve steps and the traditions from the Big Book.  The personalities are just an added flavor or bi-product of their Sponsorship.

Continue reading “Is Your A.A. Sponsor your Army Sergeant?”

Spirituality Is Like Swimming

Spirituality is like swimming I explained to my sister Brenda.  You dip your soul, spirit, and body into the presence of God and you swim in joyous distractions from every negative reality that once brought you low.  You feel good.  For me a burden was lifted and black cloud on my soul, removed.  After my spiritual experience the joy and peace that only the supernatural can provide blanketed me.  My choices are different than they used to be.  I have never been the same…thank God!  I love humans again or…maybe for the first time I love other women.  I was unaffected by negativity because my perception was one of spiritual insight.  I saw the good in all things. Continue reading “Spirituality Is Like Swimming”

What is Addiction Really?

What is Addiction Really?

We do not have to know “why” we became addicts to recover.  If our brains are still prone to obsession it’s understandable that our sponsors suggest to us “don’t ask why”.    For the sake of peace in the first few years we should both “choose our battle’s” wisely and choose our purposes and goals wisely.  “Out of the problem into the solution” is by far one of my most valuable mantras for recovery.

However moving on into a more mature lifestyle I am discovering my truths and who I am.  If I question nothing and never ask “why” I shut myself out to both knowledge and learning.  This flipside of the “why ask why” coin is both dangerous and lacks depth.  A lack of learning is akin to a stagnant mind and stunted emotional growth.  My mind should have moved on into sanity at some point.  If I work the steps and get some good therapy.

First let me tell you this.  I have had long periods of sobriety then relapsed.  My last sober run beginning in 2006 and still going strong.  Oddly the topic of addiction interests me thoroughly even today after years of sobriety.

So what is addiction really?  Is it cunning, baffling and powerful?  At some point we can all agree that “yes” it is.  What does the Big Book tell us?  It’s insidious,  progressive, deadly, destructive and a spiritual sickness or malady of sorts.  Some says it’s inherited and genetic.  Some say it grounded in our environment.

“From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”  Big Book fourth step.

There’s that contradiction again “spiritually and sick”.  Spirituality is in some ways a replacement drug for addiction.
Continue reading “What is Addiction Really?”

Anonymous Outcry: “Meditate and Become Self Aware”

Meditate and become self aware so you are no longer manipulated by the elite.  This is the step eleven suggestion put forth by both the Anonymous (wake up call) organization and Alcoholics Anonymous known as Step Eleven suggestion of frequent prayer and meditation as a tool to stay sane and sober.

Meditation works wonder of this I can attest.  It will both enlighten and fulfill parts of us we didn’t know were empty.  And even better it will help us expel ur demons.  See link on “how to meditate”

Apparently the Anonymous organization whoever they are (watch video CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO) knows one of the many benefits of practicing meditation. To become self aware is to become armed with many good characteristics that do allot more than just help a person stay sober. Meditation will also show you the “why” behind your addiction, journaling, prayer, and meditation combined with the rest of the 12 steps will arm you with truth, enlightenment, and epiphanies about many things. Interesting that the Anonymous speaker mentions that, “a few thousand years ago we humans were all primal with little intelligence”. Some folks believe this theory, that our race mated with higher intelligence aliens so we could become a race better serving their species. Basically we were too ape-like to be of any use to these aliens so they bread intelligence into us.

Another interesting tid bit is the old Testament scripture that lines up with such a theory. However the Bible

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called the aliens “sons of God”.  And that these sons of God breat with the daughters of man. ” when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Gen 6:4.    Basically picturing a higher intelligent being having sex with a lower intelligence but apparently “hot looking” woman to populate the earth with smarter creatures capable of understanding certain jobs these aliens presented to us. Who were these “sons of God”?  Where the “angels” like the preachers say?  Hmm more will be revealed I suppose.

http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/to-the-present-future-and-past/anonymous-2/ CLICK HERE T WATCH VIDEO NOW IMPORTANT DO YOUR STEP ELEVEN AND BECOME SELF AWARE!

Click picture of the hooded man to watch video in next page.

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Bill Wilson’s White Light Experience

In December of 1934 Bill Wilson was in Towns Hospital off Central Park in NYC for what would be his last detoxification. During this hospitalization Bill had a dramatic “spiritual experience.” Bill describes this dramatic experience in his history of A.A. (1957, p.63):

“My depression deepened unbearably and finally it seemed to me as though I were at the bottom of the pit. I still gagged badly on the notion of a Power greater than myself, but finally, just for the moment, the last vestige of my proud obstinacy was crushed. All at once I found myself crying out, ‘If there is a God, let Him show Himself! I am ready to do anything, anything!’

Suddenly the room lit up with a great white light. I was caught up into an ecstasy which there are no words to describe. It seemed to me, in my mind’s eye, that I was on a mountain and that a wind not of air but of spirit was blowing. And then it burst upon me that I was a free man. Slowly the ecstasy subsided. I lay on the bed, but now for a time I was in another world, a new world of consciousness. All about me and through me there was a wonderful feeling of Presence, and I thought to myself, ‘So this is the God of the preachers!’ A great peace stole over me and I thought, ‘No matter how wrong things seem to be, they are still all right. Things are all right with God and His world.”

Bill W.’s Spiritual Experience from Language of the heart pg. 275

In “Language of the Heart” Bill W. writes again about his white light experience at the Towns Hospital. Continue reading “Bill Wilson’s White Light Experience”

“Anonymous” and I don’t mean Alcoholics Anonymous

If you need to know how a person can stay sober click this link.  Please know it’s common for addicts to feel they have failed in the sobriety fight.  DON’T give up!

This is a recovery from addictions website.  But I watched the video below and felt it was so important I posted it “off topic”.  However this site is full of recovery tools and AA controversial topics if you are interested.

Click the picture of the masked anonymous guy to hear vital video truths about bankers and the Federal Reserve–a private and heartless ruler.

Who are these people, the one percent who don’t give a damn about the planet Earth.  If you have allot of money DO NOT keep it in the bank.  If the banks face bankruptcy they can keep your money to prevent it.  But you know what I think…they will be brought low and soon.  There are beings more intelligent and powerful than the elite 1%ers.  Soon these powerful beings who do care about the survival of the Earth and it’s people will bring low the diabolical destroyers of the planet.  The toxic waste makers, the food poisoners, the money lenders, the tricksters and blood thirsty cheaters who bathe in blood for a youthful look.  They will be brought low and soon.  This is my prophecy to the people.

The Federal Reserve by “Anonymous”  Click the Anonymous  picture to hear the video.

AA Agnostica Finally Finds it’s Way to Validation

“In January of this year the discrimination against agnostic groups by Intergroup in the Toronto area ended as a result of a settlement mediated by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. In the very next Intergroup Newsletter, called Better Times, this candid history of one of the previously excluded groups was published. Imagine that (Original aaagnostica.com article).”

 

Though Recovery Farmhouse writers do not advocate any certain Higher Power we do advocate sharing what works for you and us to stay sober.  Clearly Bill W. and the Big Book make clear no certain Higher Power is required by AA.  Where?  “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stay sober.”  Granted in the BB Bill writes that the purpose of this book is

Continue reading “AA Agnostica Finally Finds it’s Way to Validation”

Addiction is no Longer “Baffling” to me and many others

Being “baffled” by anything isn’t a stance we should fight to stay in, is it? Dr. Gabor says: “The heart of addiction is ALWAYS emotional loss.”(trauma, neglect, abuse) Thing is children have no way of recognizing this when it’s happening. The addict adult scarcely wants to process the real causes of his pain so he can actually be cured. The real cure for addiction doesn’t poise addiction as being magically stronger than an emotional healing. By far the healing from addiction leaves one enlightened and seldom if ever wanting to avoid life and reality.

Make no mistake Spirituality is a cure to anything when applied. That’s not rocket science. So, what is the allergy? The allergy component in addiction is emotional pain, shame, and fear. When that’s cleared up there’s no reason to numb one’s self. If I am not in emotional pain my body won’t react to drugs with a sigh of relief. Again…this isn’t rocket science.

But addicts will do anything to avoid seeing that their “pack” and childhood in most cases is what made them sick in the first place. Believe me I know the subconscious will to protect the pack. I know how to bury memories and avoid core feelings. The pack mentality stands guard to protect every addiction. False pride sits with it’s gun cocked and ready to shoot down any realizations of intense shame. The ego screams and shuts down any tears that form at the base of core emotional issues. “Out of the problem into the solution!” is only good advice when we are revelling in chaos, blame,

Continue reading “Addiction is no Longer “Baffling” to me and many others”

See the 5 Worst Foods for your Waistline

Food companies could be destroying your health!

Click the link or the photo.

Please Click the pic then click the play arrow in next page.  Video has a 3 second delay before start.

This video will tell you exactly what the worst foods are and what they do to us.  What is the chemical “High Fructose Corn Syrup”?  And how does our brain react to both preservatives and HFCS?

It’s no wonder our country is overweight.  This video tells how to beat a fat waistline and still eat yummy foods.

 

 

Suffering from Addiction? You CAN RECOVER!

I Want Every Addict to Know,

addiction can be a thing of the past.  It doesn’t have to be a threat to us for evermore.  We don’t have to fear it crouching outside the rooms like some powerful beast cunning baffling powerful.  FEAR is not what the 12 steps teach us.

The reason people are always on the edge of relapse or fear they will is because they have not worked the twelve steps to the point of learning to live them.  If fear could keep us sober then we would have stayed sober along time ago of our own accord.  Because fear is one thing that most addicts are well versed in.

The second reason people don’t stay sober is because

Continue reading “Suffering from Addiction? You CAN RECOVER!”

Radiolab-ADDICTION-The Fix

Radio Lab

The Fix-Addiction & Recovery

Here is the original link to this show at radio lab.

This episode we take a sober look at the throbbing, aching, craving desire states that return people (again and again) to the object of their addiction … and the pills that just might set them free.

Reporter Amy O’Leary was fed up with her ex-boyfriend’s hard-drinking, when she discovered a French doctor’s memoir titled The End of My Addiction. The fix that he proposed seemed too good to be true. But her phone call with the doctor left her, and us, even more intrigued. Could this malady – so often seen as moral and spiritual – really be beaten back with a pill?

We talk to addiction researcher Dr. Anna Rose Childress, addiction psychologist Dr. Mark Willenbring, journalist Gabrielle Glaser, The National Institute of Health’s Dr. Nora Volkow, and scores of people dealing with substance abuse as we try to figure out whether we’re in the midst of a sea change in how we think about addiction.

Produced by Andy Mills with Simon Adler

If you are someone looking for help with a substance abuse problem and want to find health care services in your area, check out this map from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.

For more on Dr. Mark Willenbring and the Alltyr Clinic visit their website.

If you’d like to hear more from Nora Volkow you can watch her speech from this summer’s American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting.

Or watch her and other top addiction researchers at last year’s World Science Fair

Silent Lucidity

Recovery is a place you learn to face your fears. Walk through the fear. But not only that express the fear in a healthy way if need be to better overcome it. Writing, sharing, crying, praying, are all healthy ways to relieve the very fear that is at the core of addiction.

Please Help with a Kitty Donation

https://www.gofundme.com/2myde2k/donate

Sick Cat

Hello,
My name is Pumpkin-head. I have been the best friend of Rick M. for close to ten years.  Rick is on Social Security and he is looking for work. You see, he’s trying to save/extend my life. Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with kidney disease. There is no cure, and sadly it will eventually kill me.
There is a special diet and there are medicines that will make me comfortable and extend my life, but they are very expensive–especially for  a man on a fixed income. Last week he put $2000.00 on a credit card that he wonders how he will pay, but he worries more about me than the credit card bill.
Until I am off of the medicines (in 6 weeks), it is costing him close to a hundred dollars a week to keep me comfortable and happy. I don’t know how much longer he can keep it up–but I’m so thankful to him. I love him, and do not want to leave him. He loves me so much.
Anything you can do to help him and me will be greatly appreciated.
Love You,
Pumpkin-head
Help spread the word!

Legal Child Abuse and Parental Neglect Iced over with Ignorance

What Beatings Did for my Self-Identity

Why I chose to become a drug addict.

Firstly who can justify beating with a belt or even an open hand little baby girls.  We were beautiful and innocent babies who had not even learned right from wrong.

My heart is broken.  I spent the first 17 years of my life learning from those I trusted and loved most what a horrible person I was.  I learned it from my father who I now loath.  Thing is I had no idea what child abuse looked like so I blamed myself for every beating, verbal belittling, rejections, abandonments, and violent strike my father gave me before the age of 5.  Who allows their little daughter of 3 or 4 to walk into a pile of hot coals?  I suffered 3rd degree burns on my butt and legs for my parents….neglect was it?  I remember the mail man bringing me home at the age of 3 because I wondered down the highway with no supervision.

Firstly how in the hell does a man justify beating a little 3 or 4 year old girl.  It sickens me.  Father; you taught me I was literally disgusting.  He taught me that my young and excited hopes and dreams were ridiculous and I could not possibly attain any of them.  He taught me who I was.  He was my teacher and he showed me I scarcely had a right to be on this earth.  All my feelings were wrong he said.  All my ideas were wrong.  By the time I was 4 or 5 I remember wanting to cut my body because it was reprehensible.

Continue reading “Legal Child Abuse and Parental Neglect Iced over with Ignorance”

Truth & Temperance

Truth & Temperance

 
What can be done in the name of “Truth”? Truth is a wonderful thing. But it should not be an excuse to carry out a character flaw or hateful act. Please candor and truth are two different things. Truth is easily used to carry out a hateful and malicious act. Truth must be tempered to be spiritual. It must be prudent and mature and ALWAYS, BUT ALWAYS BEFORE TRUTH SHOULD COME LOVE. Truth should not be used as an excuse for debaucheries such as these:
Murder
Disrespect
Controlism
back stabbing
Gossip
Hurtful and Critical and antagonizing verbal attacks
Hateful and demeaning character assassination
The ruin of a man’s life by character assassination
Vengeful Retribution
Wars
Disastrous destruction of relationships
The belittling of a young mind and heart that can never be repaired.
The tearing apart of nations.
A collapse in all that is personal, private, and sacred.
And much much more.
Are you capable of seeing how truth can be used to carry out these hateful and malicious acts?
There is a time to keep truth in it’s place….SILENT.

Recovery and Communication

Communication the front line of Love

Inside our empathic sanctuary, we seek to re-discover the natural healing rhythm of our life flow, trusting that each wave of darkness will ultimately return us to the light.
Trusting our rage to return us to peace.
Trusting our shame to return us to self-love.
Trusting our fear to return us to faith.
Trusting our sorrow to return us to joy.
And trusting the guiding light within to lead us on, ever closer to our true nature.

Continue reading “Recovery and Communication”

Father Knows Best…or does he?

Ladies,

False pride has been my most besetting character defect.  I like to think even today that I am absolutely recovered.  I like to think all my intense emotional trauma has been talked out, written through, cried and screamed out of my lungs and gone for good.  God knows I have worked on my sobriety by spiritual, emotional, and 12 step work at a very deep level. I have learned to take responsibility for the way I feel and to find the root and process it, rather than blame some silly event of person in today.

I have learned the difference between the three types of healing and malady “emotional, spiritual, and 12 step/character defect” recovery.   By receiving the solutions to each aspect of recovery separately and at different times my recovery has been educational and worth sharing.  I harp on the emotional recovery because it’s my most recent form of deliverance.  Emotional recovery involves processing feelings and events of the past.  It involves core issues and core healing.

But in the last two years I have realized by the anger I have felt and the

Continue reading “Father Knows Best…or does he?”

Does Your Doctor Get Paid by the Drug Companies?

 

Find out if your doctor is on a list of recieving payments from drug companies.  Granted it doesn’t mean the perks affect the way he prescribes medications.  Or it may mean that he is out for the money and cares nothing about your health. Be sure to listen to the evidence first in the video below.
USE THIS LINK TO FIND OUT IF YOUR DOCTOR RECEIVES $$ FROM DRUG COMPANIES

HUGE METRONIC PAYMENTS RESULT IN DEATHS TO INNOCENT PATIENTS

http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/medtronic-infuse-bone-growth-off-label-use-side-effects-severe-pain-lawsuit

AA member -medications and other drugs

Alcoholics Anonymous on Medications and other drugs

Let’s face it in my own experience some doctors have major prejudice against drug addicts.  Alcoholics not so much.  Doctors don’t care if you drank.  They do get angry though over the many dope fiends who have tried to hustle them for pills over and over and over again.  In retaliation (perhaps even subconsciously) they have been knows to withhold drugs from  professed drug addicts in desperate situations of illness, injury, emergency, and health issues.  In early recovery it’s vital we don’t walk out of a doctors office with the very instrument to bring us to our death.  But at the same time in hospitals and controlled settings, surgery, and injury WE ARE NOT MARTYRS.  We deserve the same pain relief as the next guy.  We should not be punished for our histories by which we have surely suffered enough.  If you want God to be your only pain relief after surgery fine, but don’t demand it of anyone else or infer we are not sober because we needed to take meds from a doctor.

http://draonline.org/medications.html  Another informative article with A.A. & N.A.’s views on the matter.  Though neither organizations takes into account the numerous pill pushing doctors who will be your best enablers is you take their advice.  Therefore to thine own self be true.

Continue reading “AA member -medications and other drugs”

For ANYBODY Who Wants to Understand ADDICTION

Facebook Group  Addiction Professional Referral Group:  In response to the comment that addicts don’t understand healthy fear and that healthy fear (the kind we need to survive) is somehow the culprit of addiction.  (This article is based on my own experience therefore may have nothing to do with yours. Read Disclaimer)

 

In short-Addiction is a solution to an emotional disorder defined as an inability to process feelings in a healthy way.  It is comprised of Intense shame usually because of neglect, abuse, and childhood lessons dictating that our feelings and we are all wrong.  And therepression of fear which intensifies fear.  Addiction is a solution to terror and the fear of loss and feelings.  Then- the solution goes wrong and we must find another or figure out the core pain and fear so as to find healthy solutions to it.  Simply put addicts are scared to death and have been taught they are bad, and wrong at the core.  Imagine going through life like that.  We addicts made the grave error of taking to heart what our parents taught us about ourselves.  We have been sold a bill of goods that is not easily remedied.  I don’t have a disease because I have found the core reasons for my fear and shame.  If the reasons under the reasons to drink and drug are not realized by the addict then he does still have a disease, obscure, and incurable.  Without self-awareness there can be no cure.______Laura Edgar author of Paradise for the Hellbound

Continue reading “For ANYBODY Who Wants to Understand ADDICTION”

SHOCKING Yet Valid Upside to The Rise in Heroin Overdoses

Really?  An upside to Heroin Overdoses?

“Organ banks around the country have noted an increasing number of organs becoming available from donors who have died of overdoses.” Say’s Radio Host Robin Young

I was shocked when I heard the headlines on 89.1 WUFT Gainesville, FL.  The story is from the  Here & Now show with Robin Young who discusses the issue with Alexandra Glazier, president of the New England Organ Bank and Eileen Grugan, a Philadelphia mother whose son donated organs after dying of overdose in 2011.  Eileen Grugan did an amazingly giving thing at such a crucial time.  I think many mothers would shutter at the thought of donating their child’s organs right after they died.  Here are Mrs. Grugans very words.

“When that person, when that doctor, asked if we had thought of donation, it was like a hand of God had reached right through and grabbed us.”

– Eileen Grugan

READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE NOW

The station has great news and heartfelt informative shows and hosts.   When I heard on the “Here and Now” show of the sharp rise in Heroin deaths in the U.S. I was dismayed.

Organ banks around the country have noted an increasing number of organs becoming available from donors who have died of overdoses. The New England Organ Bank notes that in 2010 there were eight overdose victims who donated organs in the region; in 2015 there were 54. Nationally, 848 organs became available from overdose victims in 2015.

Here is the link so you can read the story for yourself that I listed to on WUFT radio Gainesville.   http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/05/26/overdose-organ-donation

Charles Grugan, center, stands with his two sisters, Carolyn Grugan Noll, left, and Jennifer Grugan Whitehouse, right. Charles’ mother, Eileen Grugan and his father, Charles Grugan Sr. sit in the front. (Courtesy/Carolyn Grugan)
Charles Grugan, center, stands with his two sisters, Carolyn Grugan Noll, left, and Jennifer Grugan Whitehouse, right. Charles’ mother, Eileen Grugan and his father, Charles Grugan Sr. sit in the front. (Courtesy/Carolyn Grugan)

Recover-ING or Recover-ED? By Lori Edgar

RECOVERED OR RECOVERING? Click here to read summary

Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.

Here’s the thing.  Recovery is a process.  It can be dangerous for a person under approx. 5 to 7 years (w/variables) sober to adapt the “recovered” view point because you know what they might do.  I don’t believe anyone should stop going to meetings until they truly are fully recovered and/or know how to apply the steps in their daily life.

Who is recovered?

Continue reading “Recover-ING or Recover-ED? By Lori Edgar”

Political Obamacare-Election Survey

The “See More” will take you to FaceBook

Trump

Here’s the FB article for those who don’t want to click the link to FB.
That just sucks. It sounds like the drug companies have a magic halo over their heads and a free pass.What a joke, it’s as if this whole election is merely a play-write with actors taking cues from the one’s with the money. PLEASE HELP I AM TAKING A PRIVATE POLE!! I want to write an article NO NAMES WILL BE MENTIONED. I JUST WANT NUMBERS, STATISTICS FROM YOU. ARE YOU INSURED WITH OBAMACARE OR MEDICAID AND DOES IT WORK FOR YOU? AND DOES IT PAY FOR YOUR MEDICINES, does your doctor accept these insurances?? If you don’t want to answer publicly PLEASE message me. Public radio and politicians are clueless on this issue AND USING IT TO GET VOTES. No not clueless! Deceptive and I am appalled! On Point radio show 89.1 in Gainesville (Tom Ashbrook) are calling the premium hikes in O.C “growing pains” as if it’s acceptable to double premiums for people who can’t pay. I know people who were reeled in with cheap premiums then experienced DOUBLED PREMIUMS and half the coverage in the next six months. They call it growing pains as if The insurance companies didn’t know what the costs would be before the customers signed up. “We were unaware of the cost” said one of the expert guests (paraphrasing). They hacked up Trump by mentioning this: “Study: Trump healthcare plan would end coverage for 21M — “A new analysis reports that Donald Trump’s healthcare plan would result in about 21 million people losing health insurance and cost about $270 billion over 10 years. The analysis, from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), looks at the healthcare plan that Trump released earlier this month, which includes many popular Republican concepts.” (The Hill) They are using a lie to get votes. That just re-inforces my view toward Trump in a good way.

Faith and The Offering

Third Step Prayer short version

God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.  Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and The way of life.  May I do Thy will always!

https://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/12-step-prayers/

My Offering To God

I was telling my sponsee and friend about a meditation I do.  Once I have settled into my meditative state after saying a few mantras such as the Lords Prayer.   Then I pray a step eleven request that I be given the knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry that out.  I close my eyes.  I put some of the heavenly crystals on my chakras, throat, forehead, abdomen.  Then I envision dancing before The Lord, my Higher Power.  The dance I do is an offering unto God.  It is an act of showing my Higher power reverence, tribute, veneration, High regard, and it is a testimonial of my honor toward God.  I wear a long white dress with a sash.  The color of the dress is relevant to my mood and color is symbolic in a spiritual way.

Last time I did this meditation I was given a gift.  I didn’t expect it.  What I got was a deep realization of my creator and His care of me.  I was zapped by God’s Spirit and then I laughed at myself.  God took the time, care and Love to create me.  He will not discard me like a piece of garbage.    I fear sometimes for the future.  What will become of me I worry to myself.  Will I get Alzheimer’s?   Will I be able to walk and get around at the age of eighty?  What will my death be like?  Will I suffer?  Will I even have a roof over my head?  And what about my daughter and loved ones?  I also worry for them.  Well God gave me an epiphany of His Love and care for me.  He let me know that He is not going to feed me to the wolves.  The realization went deep into my heart into a locked door which no human could have ever opened.  It was an empty room of my heart that only the creator of me could fill.  But if I don’t take the time to move near to God.  God if left out of my life in ways that only I can choose. God is a gentlemen as they say and He will not overstep the boundaries of my free-will.

When I rely on God my needs and unhealthy reliance on mankind fads to nothing.  My faith was increased that day.  My fears were quelled.  I trust my Higher Power a little more than ever before.

 

WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

ACCEPTANCE IS A PROCESS NOT A LIGHT SWITCH

I WAS VERY SICK FOR A LONG TIME

When I got sober after 30 years of drinking, drugging, and sick relationships I was scared to death.  My self-esteem was zero.  I was afraid to make a choice about pretty much anything for fear it would be wrong.  I didn’t trust myself or my choices and hadn’t for a long time, that is unless I was in control-ism mode.  But once I sobered up certain behaviors stopped immediately other habits took some time to develop.

SOBER DREAMS DO COME TRUE

I met a nice guy in AA.  He had seven years sober.  I like him so much but I was scared to death.  That did not stop me from building a relationship.    Well the thing is I was also going through group therapy at the time.  All three of my

Continue reading “WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE”

Just quit drinking or Really Recover?

Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.

In recovery we should have at least one person we can tell anything.  Step Five (skip to Star Trek clip) Captain Kirk talks about Spoks, Bones, and his own pain.

Sharing from our heart especially the things that bring us shame, are imperative to share if we are to recover.   Recovery is not just quiting drinking but also to emotionally heal. We won’t recover without the component of emotional transparency. Oh sure we can quit drinking by the art of distraction but we will need meetings the rest of our lives if we don’t address our real reasons for wanting to numb our capacity to feel.

Continue reading “Just quit drinking or Really Recover?”

When & How does Alcoholics Anonymous Work?

My official position on Alcoholics Anonymous. I do not speak for the whole of AA or speak at a level to press, radio, or films as a representative of AA. Tradition 10 in no way means we should not have a vote or an opinion on issues of our time. Very few people ever do speak for the whole of AA at that level.

I believe AA is god breathed. I believe AA works…to an extent. It works IF your sponsor teaches you the true program AND a person does a serious step 1 and 3 especially putting their sobriety in god’s hands to start with. It works if we read the books for ourselves and do the work. It works if a person learns how to make themselves transparent by sharing their deepest fears, shame, misdeeds, and hurts. Then that person moves on to clarity and does a more thorough step four than their first one, including all core issues. Then that same person enlarges their spirituality by step eleven ongoing. Then that person enlarges their self-worth by doing ongoing step 12 in a leadership capacity. Then that person does another 4,5 because of more clarity and stuff coming up.

As for character defects, ask god to remove them but good luck with that. At some point this person needs to realize they are human and will never be even close to perfect and let themselves OFF THE HOOK. Accepting that god created man to be flawed and flawed perfection is synonymous with being human.
At some point this person should quit labeling himself with negative terms including “alcoholic addict”. Unless the word “recovered” precedes the label.
This person should learn respectful communication skills with other humans. No sarcasm, no dishonesty, no veg bullshit. We say what we mean and mean what we say. We don’t hide insults behind the guise of “kidding” or a passive aggressive jab.

We don’t use AA clichés to make ourselves look better and put a man down.

“Some are sicker than others”,

“keep coming back”

we check our motives.

We learn boundaries and what they really are. Realizing that a boundary isn’t something we tell other people to abide by. A true boundary can only be enforced by us whether it be walking away, saying no and sticking to it or not answering the phone only we can enforce our boundaries. Yes, we can let people know we won’t continue in disrespectful relationships but it’s up to us to take action. Not by directly telling people how to act. All that would be is controlism.

Writers can write what they want that is a different deal altogether. If we think we can overcome character defects by exercising other character defects that’s wrong. And at some point…we should learn to have our own voice not just mimic what they say in AA. There are many popular clichés, phrases, and terms in AA that are total bullshit and just sound good are not in the books at all.

Lastly, we should have life goals in mind and work toward them. “Help others do no harm” is the will of God.

AA and religion are parallel. The people at church are very much like the people in AA.

It’s time to quit judging religion so harshly. AA has a boatload of dysfunctional members.

it’s time to write our own cliché’s.    Find our own truth, and quit hiding behind the mask of AA. Who will you be when you no longer have AA? What would you do right now if AA were no longer available?

Oprah and Food Addiction

Oprah and Food Addiction
Oprah’s Special Announcment
Oprah’s very public food addiction
Oprah’s Weight Watchers call
Oprah’s ongoing battle with food addiction
You must have seen the Tabloid headlines announcing to the whole world that Oprah hit the 200 pound mark again. Food Addiction is still, after all these years, a reality for her.
I actually read a whole article on this in her O magazine at the gym. I do not agree with the whole new age journey into self that she embraces. Unfortunately all of this is a far cry from her Christian roots, however, I do admire the woman’s openness about her struggle with food addiction (not that it is such an easy thing to hide). Could be that we never would have heard a word about it if it was a struggle with drugs or alcohol.

Founders Day 2016 Alcoholics Anonymous

Founders Day 2016 Alcoholics Anonymous

For registration go to this official AA site
The cost for basic registration will be $25.00 during Pre-Registration and $30.00 at the event. Pre-Registration will run from March 1st at 9:00 am through May 15th, 2016 at 11:59 pm. Mail in registrations must be postmarked by 5/15/2016. Pricing for the Package Plans for those staying at the University of Akron has yet to be determined.
For registration go to this official AA siteFor registration and info go to this official AA site

Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?

Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?

Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.

Why do addicts seem to have a proclivity towards self destruction?

Why are addicts so inclined to blame others for their own choices?

And the biggie, why do our sponsors teach us to not ask “why”?

Answer number one:  I was in so much pain that I needed to numb myself due to a life-time of hiding away my true identity.  By hiding intense feelings and thoughts away my pain lived inside me till I finally was taught how to let it all out.

Because of emotional neglect

Continue reading “Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?”

The Depth of Denial in a Sober Addict

The Depth of Denial in a Sober Addict
Is it easier to claim a life-long genetic disease than to admit core issues and work on them to heal and move on. Generational curses can be lifted and addictions can be cured. It happens. But not while we sit redundant meetings never addressing the real reason we drank and drugged in the first place.
You cannot save your face and save your ass at the same time. If we want to really heal, really overcome addiction we must go to the places where we feel

Continue reading “The Depth of Denial in a Sober Addict”

THE MASK MUST COME OFF

THE MASK

It’s no wonder most people fear showing their true self even to their most intimate fellows, with everyone else hiding behind the mask of ego and the bravado of “it’s all good” the man who is truly self-aware and acknowledges a full scale of human emotion feels odd and alone: and so festers our society of anxiety, stress, panic attacks, depression, and lastly mental illness. Bring on the pharmaceuticals cry the Americans from their bed of deception. Seems like the theme of the day is healthy “risk taking”. Without the risk of making one’s self vulnerable in a safe environment we will never grow into the person who becomes who they really are. The person who follows their own heart and God’s leading takes emotional risks.

 

When we are stripped of all self-worth by the beast of addiction we come into the rooms broken and full of resentment. After our thorough working of the 12 steps we are a clean slate. We are then sponges ready to absorb even download if you will our new programs. Oh yes the “Same man WILL drink again” therefore, if we don’t download a new program we are destined to relapse. We absorb all the good we can around us in the rooms of AA, in the re-hab, from the sober friends we choose. We shut our mouths and listen and learn and grow.

 

When fear crops up & it will, we share it with empathic listeners who will hopefully validate our feelings. Please don’t confuse this with “validating or co-signing bullshit meaning co-signing wrong behaviors and actions. I don’t know about you but my heart and what’s in it is not bullshit. How can feelings ever be wrong when they come from our own heart? They are who we are and should be given validity otherwise we are still in a process of tearing ourselves down.

 

We cannot change our own feelings but we can validate and process them. If we don’t have some intimate fellows in recovery that are open and honest enough to admit their own feelings to us they are living behind a wall of ego and a mask of bravado. It is very important for our feelings to be acknowledged so we may then move on. Our feelings absolutely should not paralyze or control us.  However, if they are intense and not addressed (the reoccurring and intense feelings) they will come out sideways by the old survival skill of blame and judgment.

 

Granted children of God, the skill of fault-finding does work to brush off fear however it usually involves hurting either ourselves or others by developing and nurturing hate & accusation which pollutes our own heart. It is important to surround ourselves with sobriety and good Loving people when we are healing from a life of pain from self-induced abuse. We need not accuse my brethren for accusations are the first fruits of Satan’s own spawn…so says the word. Rev. 12:10 THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!

Step Three Father Martin

Great commentary on step three. Made a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God as we understand him.  God’s will for us.  “Get well and stay well”.

Fourth Step Resentment. How do I get over a resentment? It is easy for people to say “GET OVER IT!” And peer down on us because we have a resentment. But what is the fourth step process by which we actually have God remove it?

HYPOTHETICAL:

I went to see Father Martin speak. He agreed to shake hands after the speaker meeting. But then after the meeting he was nowhere to be found. I get a profound and long term resentment toward him for this. Here is how I handle it with God’s help.

Continue reading “Step Three Father Martin”

ADDICTION= Nature? Nurture? or Both

Learn the Why Behind the Addiction.

Countless professionals have identified repressed feelings from childhood as a major factor in addiction.

I used to revel in the fact that addiction is hereditary, genetic even.  I used to be conformed to the idea since addiction is genetic it relieves me of all responsibility and renders me powerless over the past, present, and future.  I thought I had to pick up.  I thought I had no choice.  I was compelled and even after years of sobriety I was convinced that I was basically a victim of the DISEASE of addiction.  And that I also would require treatment for that addiction the rest of my life.  Furthermore I was conditioned in AA to call myself a never-ending “alcoholic/addict” and if I ever thought I was getting well I was in grave danger of relapse and highly delusional.

Well it’s no wonder I adhered so staunchly to such precepts considering I do come from a long line of addicts.  These ideals relived me of much guilt.  I was finally able to put a “why” on my torn personality.  And torn it was, fighting itself to not do what I was compelled at the time to do.

So what changed?  What happened?  Why do I now believe that my addiction was not cause by some obscure gene pool swimming around in my DNA.  Why now do I believe it was nurture or more appropriately a lack of emotional nurturing which caused my sickness?  Well it’s like this, after ten years of prayer, meditation, meetings, and a year of very enlightening therapy I have realized the true “why” behind my drinking and drugging.  Not only that, I also believe most people drink and drug for pretty much the same reasons I did.  Reasons being 1.Shame, 2.pain, 3. an inability to process and deal with feelings.  4. fear of feeling feelings.  5. And finally a lack of God in my life.

Once I cried and screamed out the core issues from childhood which haunted me and were so, so painful I was able to quit being so afraid of my feelings.  Once I worked step 12 for so long I gained true self worth.  Once I realized God really does have my back and finalized my step three my fears were lessened.  Once I learned how to use a fourth step to my advantage including the “fear list” which people seldom talk about anywhere in AA.  Not to mention once I saw the popular misconceptions and scare methodologies in AA and moved away from such precepts of bondage I realized, I WILL ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE.  And I always had a choice.  I am not some genetic victim who needs AA for the rest of my life.  Furthermore that is NOT what is taught in the Big Book nor was AA ever intended to be a life-long dependency.

Oh yes I see the old timers sitting around in meetings talking about how they are just as close to a drink than anyone and that they are still so, so sick.  Well true if we don’t do the work both step work, spiritual work, and therapy work yes we will always have no advantages over the wet drunk off the street.  But if a man has done the work in these three areas and still considers himself as sick as the foggy eyed newly sober man, then he is a dry drunk and has done nothing to allow himself to heal.  And if we have truly worked the program for a number of years and are no better off than the new-comer who has done no work and has no knowledge of the twelve steps then that speaks for itself a program which is basically worthless.  To say I am still sick is to say the program does not work and my spiritual condition benefited nothing from steps 3 and eleven.  These dogmatic concepts are clearly “false humility” at work.  It is both dishonest and a false testament to lie about the progress which AA provides.  It is clearly rampant false humility to pretend we are in a no better position than the new comer.

Furthermore what man sits in meeting after meeting swearing that someone other than himself “is the most important one in the room”?  More bullshit clearly or am I the only one who goes to AA for his own sobriety?  I have no control over the new comer and he is not more important than me, sorry.  Really?

It’s a choice and I choose to be well.  http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/addict-gene/

MOST COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS IN A.A.

 

Laura Edgar Author Page

My Story What it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now

 

Hi!  My name is Laura Edgar and I am a writer.  My passion is to write about the changes I myself have experienced and just how they came about.  In “Paradise for the Hellbound” the book, I tell this story.  My book also addresses many spiritual and religious topics of which I have experience with.

I don’t think I or anybody should try to write a book about something they know nothing about.  I know about and have experienced profound changes in my lifetime.  I also write about emotional issues and how to get past fear, emotional pain, stress, depression, panic attacks, and addictions.

Change can come to any of us if we do the work to get the results.  When it comes to addictions, if we simply write off our issues as hereditary and non-environment connected then we have little chance of changing.  We may stand firm in our denial and take no responsibility what-so-ever for our addictive tenancies. We simply blame our emotional condition on an obscure gene pool.   Most addicts find for themselves it’s easier to blame our behaviors on a genetic twist of events rather  than emotionally traumatic circumstances.  Simply put, it takes too much work we think to delve into the origin of past hurts and pains.  Not to mention our primal natures bent on protecting the pack (mom, dad, brother, sister, uncle, etc) are so strong protective ideologies step in where enlightenment is scratching and clawing to get out and our true hearts are desperately yearning to be heard.  And then there’s the false pride screaming at the door of truth shaming us into submission.  “Don’t share that truth!” our false pride screams.  “If you share that truth no one will Love you.  For sure, everyone will make fun of you if you express any kind of hurt or need.” So says our false pride.  Yes our own intellectual false pride is at war with our true and feeling heart.

Our own intellect condemns what our heart wants to speak.  Our intellect calls our heart “weak” and “needy” because it wants its truth to be heard and it needs to be loved for who it is.

We have learned through conditioning as adolescents that our truth is wrong and bad.  That even we ourselves are wrong and bad.  So we continue to stifle and repress every authentic truth that springs from our heart.

We submerge ourselves into our left brain where we don’t have to fear feelings like hurt and neglect.  We go to the place which we know is safe from prying eyes that would tell us we are wrong.  In our left brain exercises we are safe.

And be sure…our left brain artistic activities do soothe us and protect us from the pains of rejection and inferiority.  However our activities are but a band-aid for the original wound that begs to be expressed so it can finally heal.  Until we go back into the past and become a vulnerable child.  A child who DOES care what other people thinks of her.  A child who is allowed to say she is hurt and cries.  A child who looks at her friends and says “I want you to like me”  a child who wants to be thought of as good and is GOOD.  Yes until we allow that child who craves mommies love and daddies attention to have her voice.   Until we let our heart have it’s voice all our efforts of distraction are  merely a band-aid on a wound forever seeping.  Our emotional pain without a voice will stay infected.  And many times the infection will come out sideways onto those we love the most, those we have no intention of hurting.

Hope To The Suffering Addict

WHAT IT WAS LIKE

I know what it’s like to be torn in two.  Half of me desperately wanting to be sober and clean.  The other half tearing at me convinced that I am a slave to drugs and that I have no choice in the matter…I must use.  In this case it might have been better to have NO CONSCIENCE WHAT SO EVER.  But I could not tear the very heart of me out and replace it with a sober emotionally balanced and spiritually grounded heart.

I was squittled.  It seemed there was nothing I could do.  I was a slave to crack, methadone, morphine, cigarettes, alcohol and an emotional & mental mess I might add.  Denial was the closest thing to peace of mind that I had.  But denial was the counterfeit of Peace.

WHAT HAPPENED

On good Friday 2006 I was walking on the sidewalk when I got stopped by a cop.  I was in a county called “GilChrist”.  I had no idea it was Good Friday until the cop threw me in jail because of warrants.  Warrants I was also unaware of.  I was lost.  I screamed at the cop all the way to jail.

As I sat in the holding cell I prayed to God; “please lesson the withdraw symptoms”  The withdraw wasn’t nearly as bad as it should have been.  After about two weeks in jail my decrepit mind began to realize what I had done with my life.   The guilt in me for neglecting my nine year old daughter still eats at my heart.  Even after doing a step nine with her and all the rest of the steps.

I don’t know if a mother’s brand of guilt ever really goes away totally.  If I had a million dollars I would buy her the world to make up for my horrible horrible behavior.  Even though my crack days were limited to about a year on and off.  If was the second worst drug of them all. I was unavailable and when I did have my daughter I exposed her my addiction.   Clearly injecting Cocaine was the most horrific drug abuse.  It left me a basket case of panic attacks and shadows of experiencing the deepest fear you can ever imagine.  Those days ended in my twenties, way before I had my daughter.        I could not keep that up.  It’s a whole other story for another day.

In Jail

My head cleared up.  I prayed allot.  I remembered the first time I had gotten sober for a very long time due to a spiritual experience.  I had sought God in a little Baptist church in the meadow.  The pasture was a sweet old man.  There was also a minister woman.  She put her hand on my chest where all my pain lived as I was leaving the Sunday morning service.  She said; “God has something for you, come to the evening service”.  And so I did, and I received prayer and the laying on of hands from five or six Christian believers.

I recieved the Holy Spirit that night.  The story is in my book “Paradise for the Hellbound”    I spent a year as a student with that women Sister Petty.  She taught me allot.    There is also an article about my overdose here which lead me to seek God. .

Back to 2006

Between my first spiritual experience back in 1989 and my second stay in rehab, in 2006 and Alcoholics Anonymous I was finally able to release most of my fear and pain.  But I spent a year in therapy.  The right therapy.  It also changed me for the better.  Honestly one touch from God made me a different person.  Morally I was changed for ever.  Seek God my friend.  Seek with every fiber of your being.  God out into the world and follow your heart.  God to the church that draws you in.  And it will if you listen to the still small voice.  GOD DELIVERS HIS CHILDREN FROM BONDAGE ALL THE TIME WE JUST HAVE TO SEEK HIM.  SAY JESUS’ NAME ALOUD AND GIVE THANKS OVER AND OVER.. I found that the laying on of hands in prayer is magical.  Working the 12 steps is miraculous as well but in a different way.  Every addict should go to therapy for at least a year in my opinion.  When they get sober I mean.

WHAT IT’S LIKE NOW

When I got out of two months in jail and thirty days of rehab I began my knew life.  I raised my daughter in loving environment for the next eight years till she grew up and moved out.  I made amends.  I took meetings into the very jail I got sober in.  I shared my experience strength and hope with the women for two years straight before I got service burn out.  I started a successful business.  I wrote a book and published it.  I have been in a good relationship for ten years.  I have been sober nearly ten years also.  I have been healed by writing, sharing, prayer, meditation, telling my story, chairing meetings, doing step four and five over and over.  I love my life for the first time ever.

But without Jesus, God, I am hopeless.  Call your God by any name.  Names are not important but seeking is.  And seeking is done by the heart and the footwork.

 

 

Who are you buying Your Big Book from?

The Big Book is in the public domain.  Therefore when Amazon sells it Amazon gets the money not World Services.

After much study and research I have concluded this article I found online is the best one on the topic of The Big Book, it’s profits, and it’s copyright laws.  Editions One & Two are in the public domain.  That’s why Amazon and other book manufacturers are selling it at full profit.  Meaning AA gets nothing from the sales.  There are a few theories as to why AA failed to renew it’s copyrights.  Read the article.

Is the Big Book Shrinking?
By Meg Williams 07/09/13
The Big Book remains the place to find AA’s program of recovery. But thanks to competing publishers and free apps, literature revenues are falling. Is there anything World Services can do?
p56-57.jpg
Will AA’s publishing revenues soon become small beer? Photo via
When the 63rd General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous met this April, the delegates representing AA groups from the US and Canada passed a motion to allow AA World Services (AAWS) to “use commissioned online stores to sell and distribute digital AA literature.”

AA literature is already widely available on the web. This includes the AA website’s links to the current edition of Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. But other vendors also publish editions of the Big Book online, downloadable for free or for a nominal charge. At this point, AAWS has already lost considerable business to these other publishers. Many would ask, “Why is AA allowing this?” The answer: AA has no legal recourse to stop it.

Individual AA members must choose whom to pay for the Big Book, if they choose to pay at all.
The first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous has been public domain since 1967, when AA failed to renew its copyright on the text. AA also failed to renew the copyright on the second edition, causing it to lapse in 1983. In both cases, most sources say that AAWS failed to act simply because of a lack of understanding of the applicable copyright laws.

Of course, other theories have been proposed. Some suggest that AA let the copyright lapse to dodge any liability resulting from the fact that Bill Wilson claimed he was the only author at the time the Big Book was first copyrighted. (Other people are known to have written portions of the book, including “To Employers” and “The Doctor’s Opinion,” for example.) Moving these works into public domain then re-copyrighting the third edition and not claiming that Bill Wilson was the only author would prevent anyone from suing AA over the original copyright. These same sources add that AA’s General Service Office (GSO) claimed to misunderstood the law in order to hide its true motives. This theory needs to be qualified by saying that these sources seem to have a bone to pick with AA in general. They present evidence to support their claims; however, it is very difficult to confirm its veracity, due to the lack of documentation available to the public from the AA’s service structures.

Whatever its reasons, this apparent oversight has caused a considerable headache for AAWS and the GSO as a whole, because a large part of their budget comes from literature sales. The projected net income from sales for the year of 2013 was $7,782,800. This figure represents profits after subtracting all costs for royalties, manufacturing and shipping. This money was expected to cover 54% of GSO’s expenses for 2013. The 2013 gross income was budgeted at $95,000 less than 2012—showing a decline in sales, though not a steep one. GSO hoped to compensate by reducing production and distribution costs in order to increase the profit margin.

Although the current laws would have extended the copyright until at least 2021, AAWS must adhere to the laws that were in place when the first and second editions were published. The applicable law, the 1909 Copyright Act, dictates that copyrights must be renewed in writing after 30 years. International copyright laws, on the other…read more at “The Fix”

I validated the claims of this article by researching all day.  Here are some of the verifications.

http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/fair-use-policy  What happened to the triangle in the circle?

Sources http://aa-speakers.com/aa-big-book-copyright/

http://aamo.info/aa/history/mklibrary/openletter.htm

http://www.barefootsworld.net/aacircletriangle.html

http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-pamphlet2.html

http://www.silkworth.net/gsowatch/1939/uslaw.htm

 

Recovery from Grave Emotional Disorder

THERE IS A GOD AND I’M NOT IT!

WE DO NOT HAVE TO STAY IN DENIAL ABOUT OUR DEFECTS OF CHARACTER, WE DO NOT TAKE INVENTORY TO BEAT OURSELVES UP.  WE DEVELOPED OUR CHARACTER DEFECTS AS AN INSTINCT TO SURVIVE EMOTIONALLY.   WE NOW HAVE THE TOOLS TO CHANGE…BUT FEW CHANGES WILL COME WITHOUT COURAGEOUS SELF-APPRAISAL.

Most parents don’t have any idea what emotional nurturing is.  First instinct when we hear this parental blight is to protect the pack.  The pack are usually the very people (family) who inadvertently taught us to shut down who we really are.  Grave emotional disorder is at the core of addictive personalities.  “Grave disorder(How it Works)” is basically constipated and stifled emotions.  We addicts often  learned how not to cry and how not to share our heart.  We learned to wear a mask and hide who we are so we wouldn’t get hurt.  So we thought.  If your emotions are healthy and happy then why in the hell did you try to drink and drug yourself to death?  Come on now.  Oh right you did it because of an innate gene pool.   Well then for you there could be no cure.  But for those of us who have learned a twisted set of emotional responses and survival tactics.  We can unlearn them.  You can’t swim your way out of a gene pool.

We in AA have identified an array of character defects that are the culprits of our addictive patterns. Among these are the inclination to control everyone and everything around us. Some of us are painfully controlling while others are more passive-aggressive with their scheming. Our defects cause friends and family to run from us like we are ravenous wolves.
Some of us have learned to use other people’s control defect to our advantage. We can passively control others by handing over a certain amount of our own power to them.
Ah yes how we can puff up a gentlemen’s ego by asking him to make our choices for us. Handing over our decision making is a perfect way for a damsel to relinquish responsibility for any consequences of that decision. At the same time, it makes our Knight in shining armor feel so powerful and smart that he is more than willing to help us. The problem is the Knight is weaving his own manipulation, there are many invisible strings attached to his assistance.
When we snatch our power back and the knight inevitably becomes disturbed we will just label him possessive and take out a restraining order. Yikes! Don’t try this at home!
The damsel and the gentlemen is just one example of controlling behavior. We have all seen those who are painfully controlling, they are the one’s running around like directors on a movie screen. When the movie doesn’t play out like they want it to, they promptly fall apart or get very angry and spin around a bit screaming and yelling. Take controlism up another notch and you have obsessive compulsive disorder.
The fact is if resentment is rearing its ugly head you can bet there is a fear at the heart of it. (Pg.417 BB) Getting in touch with one’s own “God syndrome” is important during a fourth step. Once we have established the identity of our controlling side we can use that knowledge in all our tenth steps. Contrary to popular portrayal in The Rooms resentments do crop up and it doesn’t mean we are not “working a program”. People can be ass-holes and they are going to piss us off. Getting a resentment lets us know we are still [feeling] and still sober. Holding on to resentment is dangerous and can result in misery if not checked.
Finding the part of us who wants to play god doesn’t happen for everybody. Some sober people just never get it…the blame game worked for them for so long they are just incapable of trying a healthy solution. You will find them engaging in numerous sick relationships with train wreck break-ups that are never their fault.
The steps are in order for a reason meaning the third step must be done before a fourth will have that supernatural kick. With God’s help the revelation of self will happen during our fourth step.
If we realize our resentments are rooted in wanting to control other adults and the fear that accompanies a of lack of power pg. 45 Big Book then join the club, but consider yourself blessed you already know yourself better than many

You’re Right Where You’re Supposed to Be.

You’re Right Where You’re supposed to be.

Link to Twelve Step Prayers.

Your Right Where Your Supposed to Be

So many times during the first two years of recovery I felt as if I was somehow doing something wrong in my recovery or that something was not right with my progress. I used to feel like my feelings themselves where wrong. Especially if I was sad or fearful, on the edge of depression or angry. I was fortunate to have effective group therapy which when combined with Alcoholics Anonymous kept me and several of my rehab-mates sober for a very long time. We all had sexual abuse in our past and took our addiction to places we were ashamed of. But I learned THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING, EVER.

It’s completely normal to go through an emotional rollercoaster ride in the first couple years of sobriety.

Continue reading “You’re Right Where You’re Supposed to Be.”

Oprah The Magic of Gratitude

Please click the picture to see the precious video.
Gratitude Louis Schwartzberg

Oprah sits down with award-winning filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg to discuss his time-lapse nature photography and the inherent spirituality revealed through nature. Louie, whose TED talk on gratitude has been viewed more than 6 million times, captures breathtaking images on film that are often unseen by the naked eye and that celebrate the gift of life.

As Oprah and Louie view some of his most magnificent work, they discuss how nature can act as one of our greatest spiritual teachers. A firm believer that beauty is nature’s tool for survival, Louie also shares how the awe of seeing nature can make one more present and mindful and can help us connect to our inner voice. By allowing viewers to see that which can’t be seen, Louie hopes to cultivate gratitude and an awareness that nature is a reflection of the human experience.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Oprah-and-Louie-Schwartzberg-The-World-Beyond-What-We-Can-See#ixzz42FYkPj00

When Will My Loved One Finally Hit Their Bottom?

“The Mystery of the Unpredictable Bottom”

No one absolutely no one knows when they or anyone else will hit the emotional bottom that it takes to get sober. Getting clean and sober is no easy task.

However, if we have hit a nasty emotional bottom, it usually causes a deep and lingering fear within us of returning to the horrible drink and drug that planted our guilt. That fear in itself can supply the momentum needed to stay sober long enough to get a sponsor and work the steps. Unfortunately we never know when that bottom will appear. We never know when a loved one will have had enough.

Sometime the fear of going back out hangs onto to us even after years of sobriety. Reason being most of us have relapsed so many times we just don’t trust ourselves. Think about it, even if another man betrays us we never fully trust him again. We do this same thing to ourselves (most of us) by setting out to stay sober over and over and failing miserably. Therefore we tend to feel we are on really shaky ground even after years of sobriety. As a solution for that fear I would tell myself. “Self, it’s not you that is keeping you sober, you are relying on the program now, as long as you work the program, the program works! You will not relapse. I knew it worked because I heard testimony upon testimony of just that in meetings.

Typically with addicts we may feel extremely guilty and remorseful about the the debauchery of the night before and quit for a day or two. But unfortunately again addicts forget so quickly the pain of a hangover or the pain of withdraw symptoms until directly after the next benge.

What the program does if we work it is remind us of the pain we have been through so its not so easy to justify that first drink or first drug. Therefore, the rationalization and memory lapses that are required to get drunk again do not happen as readily.

So many times we addicts get sober then hope and pray our loved ones will follow suit. We think if we just share what worked for us surely they will take the same route. Why wouldn’t they? We think. But very seldom do they follow suit until they finally hit their own pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.

The more we harp on them to stay sober and preach to them about what worked for us the more it pushes our loved ones away.

So we pray “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Father Martin-Gratitude

Gratitude “The Queen of the virtues”

“Gratitude is the only coin by which man can buy God.  The most appropriate depiction of addiction is soul sickness.”  Denial is a prostitution of the soul.”  “You cannot trample on your conscious without pain.”  He tells a joke.  WOW THIS MAN CAN PREACH AA!

Published on Dec 17, 2012
Father Martin speaks about “Gratitude” in this video in such an effective way. Allow someone to view this with you so that they can get the information that they need especially if they are in need of support.
“Fair Use” Section 107 through 118 of the copyright law title 17 U.S. Code for educational purposes

Published on Dec 18, 2012
Sharing such treasures like this is important. In this video Father Martin speaks about the importance of “Forgiveness” in the “Recovery” process. Hope that you get something out of watching this like thousands of other people in recovery has.

How To Become Who You Really Are

Get To Work!

Building Self-Worth takes time and work.  But it is a priceless result when we become who we were really meant to be.  We Become who our heart screams and claws inside us to be.

Join a home group and open-up to the group.  You have to be a friend to make a friend.  Show vulnerability. (true feelings) Express your fears.  The truth WILL set you free. (don’t incriminate yourself legally) Share “what happened and how it made you feel.)  Get phone numbers of same sex members.  Call them and check in.  Get a sponsor.

Chair meetings, bring meetings into jails and institutions, go to detox to share your story with others.  Get in the middle of the boat, per-say.”  Set goals to accomplish that are fulfilling to you.  Work the 12 steps with all your heart, leave nothing uncovered where shame can get a strong-hold. 

Shame is at the core; it drives us to isolate and puts us humans on the defensive.  Put one foot in front of the other.  Do Step Eleven and don’t stop doing it.  Years pass quickly.  I challenge you and myself to meditate 4 times a week and see where that gets us.  So what I am suggesting here should supply both inner fulfillment and enlightenment. 

If we lie still, chant a mantra of our choice.  The demons (metaphor) will leave, they hate when we lie still and focus on finding our Higher Power. Or IT/HE/SHE finding us. 

Meetings every day or two a day.

Addiction is “Fear Management”

Franklin D. Roosevelt said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.

WHY does it seem addicts are far more fearful than other people?   It is a fear of feelings that drives a man to numb all his feelings including the blessed ones.  At the core of addiction lies fear, shame, and an inability to process our feelings in a healthy way.

Panic attacks, anxiety, stress, shame, embarrassment, nervousness, phobias, freaking out,, shame, insecurity, shyness, inferiority are all bi-products of fear.  Addiction =”fear management gone awry”.

Some may highly disagree with the fear theory.  They will tell us they are ashamed of nothing and don’t give a damn what anybody thinks of them!   And as they approach life through a platform of anger and wrath what they say is in some ways true.   We bathe in anger to cover fear, hurt and pain.  This is the addicts basic false-pride and denial system born from a core of fear and shame.  Shame is a form of fear.  Shame is the belief that other people are better than us and will see that we are BAD so we hide. (I do wish I was not writing my own emotional story here).

But please, before we slip into a warm cherry pie of deep dish denial and hang the messenger.

Please realize, addicts are not at fault for their deep fear/shame feelings.  In the formative years of which we were sponges learning the basics of life itself and where we fit into it, some adult/adults who probably loved us (as much as they were able) convinced us that we were of less value than other people.  These influential moms, dads, uncles, brothers, sisters, priests, pastures,  coaches and teachers were in a position to literally form our self-image at a core level.  Most likely they themselves reflected their own self-image onto us. They felt worthless and so we were worthless.  At times addict-type parents are ashamed even of their own children.

Low self esteem breeds defensiveness.  

We wear our hearts on our sleeves and we flinch and lash-out at any remote suggestion that we are bad, wrong, ugly, stupid, or any other negative connotation such as these.  Feeling threatened we immediately switch-off to blame-mode and block out countless opportunities for fruitful and productive relationships.  We routinely cut-off our own nose to spite our face.

And so as young emotionally defenseless children, we walked around with our heads hung low separate from the flock, prime prey for the abusive and distorted sex offender who reels us in by telling us what we crave to hear more than anything; ‘WE ARE OF VALUE, WE ARE LOVED’.

This my friend is the story of many an addict boys and girls alike.

IF AN ADDICT DOESN’T KNOW HE HAS BEEN  DEEPLY ASHAMED HE HASN’T GOTTEN DOWN TO “CAUSES AND CONDITIONS”….YET, IN his/her RECOVERY PROCESS.   But this is the beginning of healing, realizing the malady’s core.

We formed temporary emotional survival skills for our deep shame, but our skills, primal in nature have become destructive and push away the ones we love most and those we could have loved.  Our slip-shot solutions are destructive and hurt others.  We set ourselves up not as equals but rather as better than everyone else.  We do this through harsh condemning judgments and endless fault finding and criticisms.   We had to find a way to live with ourselves.  When we drink and drug then we are beautiful, then we are strong, then we do not have to be ashamed.

But the drugs quit working that’s why we are here in AA to find new solutions.  Solutions that do not consist of blame as their pre-requisite.  Solutions that will aid in our sobriety and our emotional healing.  And hopefully somewhere in our recovery we learn it’s ok to cry.  That crying  and being hurt are part of being human.  We MUST FIND WAYS TO PROCESS THE MOST INTENSE OF OUR FEELINGS IF WE DON’T, THEN WE WILL CONTINUE REPRESSING EMOTIONS.

THE SOLUTIONS ARE HERE WE JUST NEED TO USE THEM.

What do we do?  An immersion into AA or any 12 step group is vital. We do a serious third step.

We do step four and list all prejudice, shame, resentment, silent judgement, guilt, and all hurtful actions.  We do ongoing step work. We make a FEAR LIST.

We do step 12 chair meetings in jails, institutions, and AA itself, all service work will build self-worth.  The more the better.

We get therapy and develop emotional processes that work for us.  We hournal, write, cry, scream, groan, beat the bag, share, beat the bed.  (There is no wrong feeling therefore we don’t have to hide and deny them.)  We confess past offences.

We write a biography of the intense times in our life-What happened and how it made us feel.

Practice Spirituality-Step Eleven is priceless and should be ongoing.

A connection to nature and the outdoors is very helpful.  We go to rivers, lakes, springs, snow, sky, caves, animals, walks and more.)

Got Your ACE Score?

I AM NOT AFRAID OF DYING!

What is terror management theory?

 

 

Google is “The Teacher that Remains a Student”

Why is Google both a Teacher and a Student?

We in recovery like to use the phrase “remain teachable” and “everyone is our teacher” and we had to become teachable to get and stay sober.  Sponsors teach us what they did to stay sober.  We pass on that information to our sponsees.

Google has to continually study the internet down to the last search and little homegrown website to continue to edit their search engine’s algorithm (the way searches are carried out) to suite all users from corporate hierarchy to the one man  entrepreneur like me.  The world’s largest and arguably its best search engine serves up over one billion results out of Mountain View, Calif., every day to people like me.  If they didn’t remain teachable they would be crowded out by better up and coming search engines.  Technology is a constantly changing field.

I just want to say Google I hope you remain an advocate of free internet and open source applications.  Thank you for your service to me and my writing.

Granted not all changes benefit big business either as shown in the article below.  And of coarse Google is a teacher who shows us how to develop a website which can climb in search results.  There are thousands of “helps” with which to learn Google’s requirements.

How 16 Companies are Dominating the World’s Google Search Results

 

“FREE YOUR MIND”

FREE YOUR MIND

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

“Contempt prior to investigation is as much a symptom of alcoholism as cirrhosis of the liver.   So says  https://www.thefix.com/content/contempt-prior-to-investigation-AA-Herbert-Spencer8042 .

But not always. If an alcoholic in recovery opens his mind, he then has twice the ability to help open the mind of those who are suffering from closed-mindedness. Why? He can relate to what its like having a mind shut tight as the locks on the gates of hell. Which shuts out the light of the Spirit. He is familiar with the mechanics of a mind suddenly opening experiencing the epiphanies and spiritual awakenings of a free thinker. He can share the method by which the blind can see.

En Vogue RFH

Apparently Herbert Spencer did not originally coin the contempt investigation phrase after all according to the article found at this link (THE FIX “CONTEMPT PHRASE”).

But one thing Spencer did not write is the immortal words about contempt and investigation, according to Michael St. George, who searched the digitized library of papers that Spencer left after his death and who detailed his findings in the essay “The Survival of a Fitting Quotation.”

“Contempt before investigation” was penned almost a century earlier by another British philosopher, William Paley, whose book Evidences of Christianity contains the following sentence: “Contempt prior to examination is an intellectual vice, from which the greatest faculties of mind are not free.” Paley was writing about Romans who scoffed at early Christianity.

WHAT DOES RECOVERY REALLY LOOK LIKE?
Step Four & Five’s primary result is the sudden awareness of character patterns of manipulation and dysfunction. Starting the day from the platform of humility means we are aware of our personality flaws and can adjust behaviors and ask for God’s help throughout the day. We don’t sit in meetings advertising how sick we are after years of step work and therapy (false humility).

We don’t take hostages or use the cliches as weapons to punish newcomers. We don’t tear down the newcomer to build them back up they are already torn down. Encouragement it not poison. Sarcasm is dishonest and should be a thing of the past. We say what we mean and mean what we say. We ask for help by choice.

Our 12 step work is by choice therefore we reap the self-esteem by doing the next right thing. Having an opinion on any issue outside or otherwise is part of self-confidence not a tradition ten breach. We do not speak for the whole of AA and seldom does anyone have that official power.

Facebook groups are not CNN or the Tampa Times. I vote and engage in National politics as my freedom and right. I make opinions on vital outside issues. I discuss important topics and learn to show respect for others and their opinions. I don’t shut anyone down or invalidate their feelings which are a part of them. Sometimes anger is the appropriate reaction to life’s circumstances. I get resentments but I know how to relieve them. I don’t’ rewrite the English language to suite my views.

I don’t whitewash AA and its members. In any large group of humans there is always error and mistakes. Quality sobriety sometimes looks like a boatload of tears and cries. Happy joyous and free is not constant. There is more to getting sober than just getting sober. If I don’t discover the reason for my attempts to numb my feelings, then I have more exploring to do. It’s not a sin to ask “why”. By exploring reasons and asking why empires have been built and humans have been saved.

There is no wrong feeling only wrong actions. To say my feelings are bad and wrong is to condemn myself as bad and wrong.   No but instead I learn what to do with the feelings that I have for so long feared. Stuffed feelings will come out sideways usually at those we love most so I write, I cry, I share, I find the fear behind the emotion and ask God to remove it. I admit when I am afraid. I walk through the fear.

YOU CAN’T BUY SOBRIETY IN SPITE OF WHAT BIG BUSINESS IS TRYING TO SELL

Is AA really as horrible as some like to say it is?

pills

AA, rehab, and God all were and are the ingredients in saving my life.  In AA I have done the 12 step work many times and at many levels.  Demonizing rehab or AA as a whole would be drastically inaccurate.  I got sober at a $2 a day rehab called Bridgehouse at Meridian in Gainesville, Fl in 2006.  My therapists were nothing short of brilliant.  Not all the counselors were savvy.  The government paid for my stay even before Obama care.  http://mbhci.org/treatment-services/residential-inpatient-services/

I went to the AA bashing sites

https://aarmedwithfacts.wordpress.com/official-aarmed-blog-roll/comment-page-1/#comment-567

Recently I have done an extensive study on Alcoholics Anonymous.  Also I have been an active member for ten years.  I refuse to white-wash AA by pretending its processes and members are either ALL GOOD or ALL BAD.  I myself admit an annoyance of Club level sobriety which participates in much dysfunction in the name of AA.

That being said in my study, I have found several websites (listed at the link above) and people of reputation and high education who claim Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous are ALL BAD and literally killing people.  In some cases sick sponsors have been responsible for just that.  Because of my own open minded and sometimes  critical views on some widespread AA misconceptions, and bringing those into light I have been mistaken as an AA hater which I am not.  I have been badgered to say the least by some less mature new members.  I understand these members are in deep pain and need someone to blame.  For some newcomers if their perceptions of AA and all it’s members are not ‘perfect’ and whitewashed they delude that it reflects on them.  For their benefit I have curbed my critical articles.  In the beginning of sobriety it’s not uncommon for a member to attach their identity to AA.  Similar to my own search early-on for the perfect sponsor who in my mind had to be perfect AA to sponsor me.  Lol  I learned early on the ingredient of perfect-program requires imperfect people.  All my sponsor needs to be good at is staying sober.

THE CONCLUSION OF MY STUDY

We should go into our recovery with eyes wide open knowing that in any human arena things can go bad and people prey on weakness and vulnerability.  Desperation by family members to save their loved one’s life is being exploited full force.  We must be aware of that and not automatically trust these organizations.  At the same time we need to give both rehab and AA a chance as if we were shopping for a car from used car lots.  Pic and choose our meetings and rehab with prudence.   As you can see by my own financial rehab experience ($2 a day)  money doesn’t necessarily buy sobriety.

WILLINGNESS, OPEN-MINDEDNESS, AND HONESTY are the keys to sobriety.

A new documentary by a former rehab insider shines a skeptical light on the business of high-priced addiction centers.  However demonizing all of rehabs could be fatal.  Just as demonizing all of AA could be fatal.

It seems that some Insurance companies, big business, rehab centers will do anything to get the money of suffering addicts families, as shown in the following article:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/02/the-million-dollar-rehab-racket-that-drains-family-savings.html

The centers “paint this picture that they’re going to fix everything. These families in crisis are so vulnerable, and they want to believe what they hear.”

But in truth, Horvath says, the biggest motive of rehab facilities, some of which charged upwards of $50,000 a month, was simpler still: profit. One rehab he worked with, he said, had an employee whose job was to guide families through the process of refinancing their home to pay the tens of thousands of dollars charged for treatment.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/catferguson/the-rehab-scam

I believe big money is trying it’s best to sabotage and discredit AA so they can profit from our pain per-say.  And that they are behind many of these negative websites and are using disgruntled AAers to their advantage.  Granted these disgruntled often have truly been wronged by members.  However like addicts do they have gone to an extreme about AA.  And if it is big business behind many of these sites since Obama care agreed to pay for rehab, they are not doing a very good job of discrediting AA.   God is the author and finisher of AA in my opinion.

Glen Frye “Take it Easy” Rule 62

“Take it easy, don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can don’t even try to understand, just find A place and make your stand and take it easy yee ha!” This line has helped me lighten up on myself many times. It is basically saying the same thing to me as the unwritten rule 62 in AA “don’t take yourself so damn seriously!” I gotta say I have never ever cried over the loss of someone I didn’t know personally. But I am crying now. Listen to the song “Take it Easy” and “Hotel California” now.
CLICK TO SEE/HEAR “TAKE IT EASY”

glenn snip

CLICK TO HEAR “HOTEL CALIFORNIA” Hotel California Glenn Frye (front right guitarist), Don Henley, Joe Walsh and the gang.
Glenn snip2

Glenn Frey

One of the founding members of the Eagles, Glenn Frey, died today in New York City, his family and bandmates announced on the band’s website.

He was 67.

According to the statement from his loved ones and colleagues, Frey’s death was caused by complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.

“The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery,” read a statement on the Eagles’ website. “Words can neither describe our sorrow nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community and millions of fans worldwide.”

A Detroit native, Frey met Don Henley when they were in their 20s and new to the music business. Soon after, they formed the Eagles with Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon, quickly becoming one of the most popular rock bands of all time, with hits including “Take It Easy,” “Desperado,” and “Hotel California.” (Meisner was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit in 1977 and Joe Walsh took over for Leadon in 1975.) ABC NEWS click here to read entire article abc.com

DEMONIZING SOBER-SEX

Stop demonizing sober sex!

There is an unwritten rule in AA that is not without merit.  “No sex for the first year sober” is the suggestion.  Unwritten indeed.  The rule teeters on a scale defined as either a beneficial and spiritual quest or controlling and insane demand depending on the context by which it is administered.  Granted the “no sex” rule is not as well established as the “no relationships” for the first year rule.  But admittedly they are similar, and sex can be huge distraction in early sobriety that leads directly to the cliff called “relationships”.  After all a sexual relationship is still a relationship.

How can the rule of no sex for a year be potentially either spiritual or character defect both?  It is a spiritual quest if we choose it to stay clear of distractions and deny the flesh to empower the spirit.  And it is a decision I can change at any time preferably without being called an evil 13th stepper.     If someone is demanding that I “stop all sex for a year” no questions asked and insisting I won’t stay sober if I have sex as a blanket rule for everyone…well then it’s insanity because there are a host of circumstances in life which could prove that newly sober sexual relationships can work.  It depends on the person and the situation.  Perhaps I enter the rooms married, or maybe I meet my soul mate in the rooms.   Him with 13 years sober and me 13 days sober.  We fall deeply in love and are still together many  years later, in harmony.  And yet the frigid and judgmental call it a 13th step.  The most horrid of the AA offences, that is other than relapse.

Live by the golden rule and show others respect.

In the words of our great guru, king of the 12 steps, validator of the suffering addict,  Bill W. himself.  “We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone’s sex conduct.”   Well you sure as hell could of fooled me!  If “we” means the people at meetings I have been to that is.  Seems to me the rule forbidding sex in the first year of recovery supersedes many of the more important sobriety suggestions.   And Bill W. continues:  “We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.”  He goes on to mention that “everyone has sex problems.”    I am sure that’s true also for the majority of humans, eventually.

Are certain members of AA mimicking religious fanatics?

Yes ironically, since the word “religion” is by far the most evil word in the AA pirate dictionary.

And the interesting part about all this shame inducing sex talk?  We hear a very similar message echoing from the pulpit of many churches.  Even though the Bible itself doesn’t talk much about sex.  But rather the Bible condemns the betrayal called adultery.  The word “fornication” in my opinion implies ‘betrayal’ and some sort of hurtfulness not sex alone.  Let consenting adults alone with their consensual sex.  Why, with all the violence, torture, abuse, murders, maiming, and molestation happening does an act of sexual harmony rate being called sin?  Only for the misguided, clearly only for the misguided.  Common sense tells me that harmonious sex is no more a sin than eating food.  Sex is right there in line with eat, sleep, drink water, have sex, have babies, and breath air.  Granted I am not referring to sex abuse that my friend is another mater.

What is addiction in the arena of substance abuse?  Addiction means un-manageability.  That is the difference between using a drug to help us and abusing a drug to hurt us.  But don’t think you escape un-manageability just because your sober. ha ha ha ha

Recovery is about what we do to recover not about what we are forbidden.  (excluding alcohol and our drug of choice of course)

Recovery happens when we go to meetings and do the work regardless of whether we are having sex with a newcomer who by the way used to be a prostitute.    The program works if we work it.  If you have sex you still make your meetings.  If you have sex with a newcomer you still make your meetings and if the newcomer doesn’t make his or her meetings, well that’s on them isn’t it?

We are adults, we make our own choices.  Newcomers make their own choices.  Some programs like to take away the power of choice, even imprison or restrain adults  but Alcoholics Anonymous is not one of them and the literature proves it.

WEBSITE ARTICLES THAT ADVOCATE NO INTIMATE, SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS FOR THE FIRST YEAR

5 Signs Sex Is Undermining Your Recovery


The Addicts Prayer

Turn your recovery over by giving it to God through a more tried and true Higher Power than a door knob.

Pray this: God I realize we have not talked much, please, please reveal yourself to me that I may know you and understand what my relationship with you should be from here on out. Thank you for hearing my plea. I humble myself before you the Creator of The Heavens and earth. Amen Oh ya, P.S. Please let me know what your name truly is and that you do Love me as your child and blessed creation cursed as it has been. I fear if I don’t do something different I will end up back in the Hell that addiction has taken me. Please Help! Amen

If the above prayer makes you nauseous then you may not be a child of that God.  It’s your choice to pray the following prayer instead.

HOW TO TRULY FIND AND CONNECT WITH YOUR OWN HIGHER POWER

“A God Of Your Understanding”

 

 

NOT ALL SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES ARE GOOD-“My Overdose”

THE VISION I HAD DURING MY COCAINE OVERDOSE

From: “Paradise for the Hellbound” by author Laura Edgar
http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/paradise-for-the-hellbound/

____________________________________________________________________

“TRAPPED IN 1978″

I was deep into my Cocaine addiction. I had a few people who enabled my drug use and one was a guy name Ed. He was a drug dealer, not a street dealer mind you. He had a three hundred-thousand-dollar house in the late 70s and it was very nice. He drove a brand new BMW which was way too small in my opinion for his fat ass. Sorry I guess there is some resentment left. He was a greasy Italian not the beautiful kind like my daughter’s father. Those dark olive skin beauties with the almond shaped eyes that wear the top lid eye liner so well. My daughter is gorgeous and I am very proud of her Italian heritage. No! This man was a pale skinned sweaty, greasy, over-weight (yet judged anybody that didn’t have a models body) jet black hair, blood like ice coursing through his heartless veins, probably connected to the mafia, he sure as hell acted like it, Italian. I resent the hell out of him EVEN STILL because of what he nearly did to me and the fact that I have not let it go. I promise to work on it.
I remember one day I rode around with him back in Tampa in the BMW that smelled like cherries all the time. He stopped to drop money off to a woman at her house in Lutz. I asked him why she was receiving money from him. He talked in the “we” context about his organization of some sort. He said that basically one of his dealers (the woman’s husband apparently” went to jail while selling the organizations goods. So the woman was hand delivered compensation on a monthly basis since her husband didn’t snitch. My drug dealing friends taught me at a very young age YOU JUST DON’T SNITCH-EVER! Unlike the attitude of the people I have met in the later years of my rampant addiction who automatically snitched at the drop of a hat. I was taught that’s the lowest most worthless thing you can do to anyone.
I went to jail myself back then not long after that conversation. Recently one of my old friends from back in-the-day said the organization  almost had me killed for fear I would turn them in once I was arrested. Well, leaving town back then for a very long time may have saved my life. I refused to snitch and was on the run for thirteen years because of my principles. They didn’t know that I had refused to snitch. How would they know? I was over the deep end in their opinion. I couldn’t handle my drugs in their opinion. The drugs they supplied that is. Once I was arrested Fat Ed treated me like a bad tooth. He pulled me out and threw me away. My overdose happened prior to that. Allot went on back then but this isn’t a book about war stories. It’s a book about my recovery and how it all happened.

Our Dope Shooting Binge

We used to eat Quaalude and then break open the Cocaine bag. We snorted it, smoked it, shot it, and any other way we could find to get it into our blood stream that’s what we did. Me and “Fat Ed” as we called him were on a two-day coke shooting binge on this day. God blessed me with some very large and very strong veins. I rarely couldn’t hit myself once I learned how. However, this must have been before I learned to inject my own drugs because Fat Ed was hitting me up at this time. We were shooting up in the bathroom for some reason don’t remember why. We did shot after shot after shot but I wasn’t satisfied, it was never enough.   Long story short I kept complaining “Ed it’s not enough give me more, I want more, more, more!”. And on and on I went. I can’t say I blame Ed; he finally did what I asked him to do after many warnings. He kept saying “Lori it’s too strong, we must be careful”. But the nagging finally got to him as he fixed me up the lethal shot. He knew it would kill me, he knew what he made up would kill me. He knew it was way too much. He was sick of me hounding him. Fat Ed is still alive today from what I have heard, unlike many other of my old friends.

HE GAVE ME THE HUGE SHOT
I crashed to the bathroom floor. What they told me after I woke back up was they gave me C.P.R. and I finally woke up after a couple minutes. But it wasn’t because Ed saved my life. It was because his roommate Mike was in the house and refused to let me die. Mike was Ed’s longtime partner. He knew and didn’t approve of what we were doing in the bathroom. But it was what Mike told me about his best friend after I woke and he pulled me aside that really shocked me. Mike saved my life and then said “Lori, if you ever date Ed again after this I won’t have any respect for you.” Mike continued, “Ed told me to take you out and throw you into a dumpster. He had no desire to even try to bring you back.” He said. Those were the most words Mike had ever spoken to me. I remember his concern waking me up, “are you OK Lori, do you know where you are and what day it is?” I was so lost back then. I had no identity.   I didn’t know who I was emotionally or spiritually. I was back knocking on Ed’s door a few days later once I recuperated from my shocking overdose in spite of what Mike had told me. I didn’t know how to love myself….yet.

THE VISION

While I was out cold, apparently I fell flat on my back to the floor. I could feel myself as if I were shrunk down to nothing, my body left me. All I was, was a thought without a body. I was invisible as if I had been shrunk down into a minute fraction of my normal size so small the human eye could not have seen me. But my thoughts were still just as large as before.   My ideas were still alive. I had a consciousness about me.   I was not aware of why I was shrunk down in the center of a rock prison.   I didn’t know that I had, at one time had a body and lost it.   All I knew is I was crushed into the center of a rock and I couldn’t move.   There was no white light.  I was imprisoned and compressed inside blackness  without a body there was no time or space in that consciousness. There was no light of God’s Spirit that I could feel.  No warmth on my body from the sun, no wind on my shoulder.
Suddenly something happened to me abruptly someone was pulling me from the rock. It was horribly uncomfortable to come back out of the rock. Have you ever been awoken abruptly from a hangover sleep by a glass of cold water on the face? Magnify that by a million that is how it felt being brought back from the dead. My body screamed! My consciousness screamed! No! I wanted to be left in the rock, the rock would become my home even though I had no power at all to do anything crushed without a body or limb to move. I was ripped from the rock and my body ripped with the movement. I see the rock now it was white and black speckles. Like a rock you would see in a North Carolina river. But this rock was animated hanging me in anti-space where there is no time or space. Space is a wonderful thing I tell you. I never ever want to return to the prison I was in when I died. My overdose happened before I met my God, knew Jesus, before my third step. There was no white light my friend only a prison and a thought.   And Fat Ed would have left me there he didn’t care.   But I didn’t remember anything in my prison it was devoid of knowledge. All there was is a silent awareness. Mike was my angel that day back in 1978. Mike saved my soul from that rock prison. Mike acted in accordance with God, my God. Mike is in my prayers where-ever he may be. Please my friends seek God while it is still light. Get to know your maker lest you end up in that horrible place. Life and Love and having a vessel to call a body is the best way to be that I know of. My soul was imprisoned while I was alive, therefore when I died it was also imprisoned. I don’t know if I would have ever been freed from that prison had I not been brought back to life . In 1986 I was born again, born of the Spirit a second birth they call it¬¬. I came alive when I found that little Baptist Church in the meadow and God introduced Himself to me in a big way. (see “the Baptism of the Holy Spirit” chapter of Paradise for the Hellbound). http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/paradise-for-the-hellbound/#BAPTISM%20OF%20THE%20HOLY%20SPIRIT

What is the easiest way to get sober?

 

HOW I HEALED MY FAILING LIVER NATURALLY

Hi I am Lori a recovered addict

I can’t send you to this article until I share something with you about my own liver illness story.  This is the story of how God healed my liver from Hepatitis B and more.

Completely Healed from Hepatitis B (my story)

http://www.collective-evolution.com HERE IS THE LINK TO THE LIVER HEALING ARTICLE (someone elses story)

This past February, I was thrown off of my health high-horse. What first started as a headache, fever, and body aches, quickly escalated into an excruciating migraine, debilitating muscle stiffness, and an overwhelming sense of nausea. I was hit with what I thought was a nasty case of the seasonal flu, and it sucked. But I powered through, drinking my liquids and following the natural recommended flu-protocol, knowing that it would all be over within a few days.

My prognosis proved wrong, however. Over a week into my sickness I still couldn’t eat, and I was dropping weight like a Jenny Craig story gone right. The only word I could use to describe the feeling in my stomach was “gross.” My usually clear skin had broken out, and my urine and stool were also starting to look “off” to say the least, which caused some serious concern.

READ THE ARTICLE AT COLLECTIVE EVOLUTION

WHY THE GREEN PROFILE PIC?

GREEN PLAIN
GREEN MULTI GREEN LIME GREEN GRASSWhy have so many profile pictures gone green? Well the company behind the Life of Pi`s stunning visual effects, which made the movie possible, Rhythm & Hues went bankrupt as the film just passed the billion dollar mark in global ticket sales. The 3D & VFX (visual effects) companies that make the Hollywood blockbuster movies possible, sign on to bad deals typically at a loss, the Hollywood production companies walk away with profits, and artists who dedicate their lives to their craft get short changed on salary, over-time and eventually job security. The green is a form of solidarity and protest for change in our industry.
Take your pic of green profile pics.  Click the image then right click and save image to you computer downloads.  Then upload the picture to your Facebook profile pics.

SANDY BEACH-The Famous “Drop The Rock” Talk – 1976

SANDY BEACH CLICK THE PIC TO HEAR THE AUDIO “DROP THE ROCK”

There’s a great article in the Tampa Times about his life and legacy.  read the Tampa Times article here

AUDIO
CLICK FOR SANDY BEACH AUDIO “DROP THE ROCK”

Sandy Beach AA Life And Death

FROM THEWATERSHED.COM

THE DEATH OF RICHARD JOHN BEACH

An Alcoholics Anonymous member Randy M. brought Sandy to his last meeting on Sunday night at 7:30 pm. The two were attending their meeting at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church. The meeting was supposed to have a speaker discuss a step. While Randy went to grab some black coffee for the man, Sandy waited, perhaps looking tired. “I asked him if he was okay,” Randy explained Sandy’s last words. “He looked at me and said, ‘Thanks for bringing me to the meeting, buddy.’” Randy went to grab the man some black coffee and came back hearing his friend abruptly fell forward onto page 23 of the Alcoholics Anonymous literature, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, which ironically just so happened to discuss the first step – the most meaningful one to Sandy. As sad as the man’s death may be, Sandy lived a long life with an inspiring message sent about the gifts that sobriety can bring when you are honesty, open-minded, and willing to recover.

Khloe Kardashian: Lamar Odom Doing Well in Recovery

Khloe Kardashian: Lamar Odom Doing Well in Recovery

ABC-READ ENTIRE STORY KHLOE KARDASHIAN SUPPORTS HUSBAND’S RECOVERY.

radaronlin-Khloe continues to support her husband in his recovery

Lamar Odom blows $75k at Nevada brothel

1016-lamar-odom-khloe-kardashian-2

Khloe Kardashian continues to give her public support for her husband Lamar Odom since his overdose at a Nevada cat house.

Khloe Kardashian says former NBA star Lamar Odom is doing well in his recovery from an apparent drug overdose last year in a Nevada brothel.

read more abc news

 

12 Steps of AA with Father Martin “CHALK TALK”

12 Steps of AA with Father Martin
CHALK TALK WE CALL FATHER MARTIN’S TEACHINGS IN AA
“Bill Wilson was the man who dreamed the impossible dream till he reached the unreachable star!” Beautiful quote!

SKIP COMMENTARY GO STRAIGHT TO VIDEO

Go to video and skip commentary!

If you are one of those people who automatically agree with everything any and all A.A. Guru’s say you won’t like my commentary on this video. Take what you need and leave the rest but please don’t white-wash or blind yourself to anybody’s rhetoric as if they were perfect or a God. We are all human and all make mistakes. We all occasionally engage in a little verbal error.

THE ALCOHOLIC AND HIS INFERIORITY COMPLEX

Father Martin says (paraphrased) “psychologists say, [you are alcoholic because you have an inferiority complex], his answer to that theory is, “maybe I have an inferiority complex because I AM inferior.” Hmm well I don’t believe that, not for a minute, I believe we are all equal, he is oversimplifying a profound truth about the alcoholic including himself. Maybe he is incapable of addressing his own inferiority complex. Step 12 builds the self esteem that is needed to walk in equality with our fellow man.

 

Step One “In weakness we are made strong” New International Version 2nd Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

INSANITY

The Priest says that Bill W. stated what the insanity of the disease is and described it as this. “When the alki is completely physically sober and yet picks up the drink of alcohol that is killing him that is insane.” Emotions, the priest says are dominating the alcoholic rather than intellect when he does this. This ideal is perfectly in line with my own theory that grave emotional disorder IS the WHY behind addiction. Furthermore that theory is why and how addiction can be cured. He says don’t use

STEP FIVE

“Admitted to God, ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”                                                                                                                                                                                     He says Step Five is vital and a once in a lifetime job. Well I agree it’s vital but “once in a lifetime”,I question that. Obviously if I go out and murder a man I will need to do another fifth step for certain. How in the hell could a priest of all things not see that? That is baffling. Step Five should be a prescription that says “as needed” on the package. (i.m.o)

The Priest began a reference toward the human aspect of step five. “Admitted to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”. He goes on to say with a hint of disgust in his voice “step five is the most humiliating thing that can happen to anybody>” WOW! If that is the way people really feeling about confessing their shameful misdeeds to another human being it’s no wonder so few people that cast a shadow in the doorway of A.A. actually do all 12 steps. I have had many many sponsees who have no problem doing steps one through three. But when they get to step four…they bolt. In ten years I have one sponsee who is still sober and did all twelve steps. I don’t blame myself.

“BILL WILSON’S BEST SLOGAN ACCORING TO FATHER MARTIN, IS” “THE GOOD IS OFTEN THE ENEMY OF THE BEST”  Interestingly enough I wrote an article on that slogan/topic back in June of 2014.

STEP 12

The Father Martin call step 12 a command.  Not a suggestion, not a request, but a command.  Interesting.  And finally he tells us that Bill W. wrote the steps for the first time with the word “God” in place of “Higher Power” but he realized that he had to change the title of the entity because people were just too afraid of the prospect of a relationship with “God” .

Share this with others please. Thanks. “Fair Use” Section 107 through 118 of the copyright..

YES THERE IS AN EASIER, SOFTER WAY TO GET SOBER

‘YES AS A MATTER OF FACT THERE IS AN ‘EASIER SOFTER WAY’

sex robot
Men that want to marry cyborg sex robots.

But it’s not something you can buy or special order.  You can put yourself in a position to get it but there are no guarantees if you do get it how long it will last as your only source of recovery.    The white light experience straight from God is the only easier softer way.  Usually people who receive white light experiences go on to carry the message of Jesus Christ or God while not doing any of the 12 step work on their character flaws.  And why would they?  They are riding a pink cloud.  But pink clouds don’t last.  God will remove some flaws during this experience but seldom, well I have never ever seen God make anybody perfect…ever.  So usually these people fall into some flavor of character flaw.  Most likely they delve into judging others, get their resentment back and relapse.  Then they really hate themselves even more because now they are turning their back on a God they know exists.

I know, sad story…I am talking about myself during my first bout of recovery.  And I have seen this same pattern manifest often in others, usually Christians in recovery.  Never the less it does not mean God fails or Jesus has abandon us somehow.  It just means God clearly WILL NOT TAKE A HUMAN’S SELF-WILL.  He will enlighten us, but it’s up to us to go out and get fulfillment once we are enlightened.  Hence step eleven and why it works, it fulfills us spiritually.  Step twelve builds our self worth, and fulfills us spiritually.  Step Ten, well I have found that Ten really isn’t enough, but instead it’s step four that I need to revisit every six months to a year and do thoroughly.  When fear of relapse slips in, I remember two things, I have turned my life and will over to the care of God.  And the program works, I can turn to the program, work a step.  This is what keeps me sober after countless lapses.  Sure if I rely on me I will fail.  I rely on God, the steps, and the fact that I am being healed and healing by processing core issues.

So can I really call this a cure?  ABSOLUTELY! There are many things that humans have to do to stay well.  Such as eating, sleeping, nurturing and being nurtured.  We do not call ourselves sick because we require food.  why would I call myself sick because I require a spiritual program?

THE GAPING HOLE IN A.A.’s PROGRAM

THE GAPING HOLE IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

ABOUT 12 STEP PROGRAMS

The only hole in the 12 steps of AA is the lack of empathy by the prerequisite that we are never victims.  The rule (paraphrased see below for full quote) that when there is something bothering us it is always our fault (that we are disturbed) makes way for more shame, guilt, and self punishment.   There is a horrific absence of a way to process abuse, neglect, and emotional trauma.  Emotional hurts and pains are often written off by members as either self-pity or unfounded and selfish character defects.  Furthermore insinuating that emotions are “wrong” says that I as a person am “wrong” because my feelings are a part of me and they emerge from my heart.

pg. 417 BB

“When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation- some fact of my life- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept my life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes”

The notion that nothing happens in God’s world by accident, well that would mean we have no free-will and humans are nothing short of robots.  We do not have to go to such extremes to make the point that God works in our lives.  The reason people use extremes in conversation is they have spent a life-time not being heard and feel they must exaggerate to be heard at all.  Understandable.

If there were another set of steps to address the wrongs done to us resulting in deep wounds, and emotional devastation the program would be more successful I believe.  These deep emotional wounds have caused the addict much pain. Pain is the very reason that many of us drank and drugged.  WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO PROCESS EMOTIONAL HURTS RATHER THAN BEING ASHAMED OF OUR VULNERABILITIES AND HIDING THEM AWAY.

Trauma is not an outside issue.  But rather it is THE Issue.  Trauma and emotional disorder is the WHY behind the addiction.

Please don’t hear what I am not saying.  12 step programs are good and have helped millions including myself.   There are some really twisted common belief systems running rampant in AA and NA  .

One common dogma I have seen often is a kind of jealousy over the program.  People will get angry and down right mean if you say that therapy or church or even rehab centers have helped to keep you sober.

We shouldn’t knock supplemental  healing and recovery methods till we’ve tried them.  If people have found “a cure” for addiction and are sharing it who are we to say it’s not successful?  Many  people find answers in places other than AA.  The problem is some addicts who still suffer from low self-worth often attach their own identities to the program.   These insecure addicts seem to think if there is another solution offered other than AA it is a direct reflection on them and not in a good way.

There is an unwritten rule if we don’t wear the identity of ‘sick addict’ or ‘alcoholic, addict’ then our egos will take flight and we will relapse straight away.  If we don’t repeatedly identify ourselves as addicts we will then believe we can drink and drug successfully.  Really, AA and NA are programs designed by addicts, there are bound to be some flaws.  But now advertisements on TV and online are claiming there is a cure.   So the dry drunk AA-er feels put-down by the prospect of a true cure.  The dogma of AA teaches us that the minute we feel cured and no longer need meetings we are sicker than ever.  When really the actual danger lies in the belief that we can drink like normal people.  But alcoholics have an allergy to alcohol that will not disappear except by some rare miracle.

What’s The Cure?

If we truly work the steps, open up in long term therapy, and find our Higher Power we will be cured.  Not cured to drink again, rather cured to not want to drink again, we won’t see drinking as a solution.  Still it’s important also to have fellowship, not necessarily in a program.    Anxiety and depression can be cured as well. Why do so many people get outside help, including Bill W?   We don’t have to fear the word “emotional disorder”. All it means is our healthy emotional process has been stifled.  Often the reason we have stifled it is usually that we were taught at a young age our feelings and processes were wrong. Regaining a healthy emotional process and using it on our most intense past hurts is how we heal core issues and truly recover with God’s help.   It doesn’t mean that AA or Bill W is bad or wrong, it just means that no one taught Bill W this aspect of healing. He was human and did not have all the answers.

Any Negativity is a Character Defect

You don’t take deep pains and hurts and tag them as character defects. That’s absurd and crying is not self pity but rather a key healthy emotional process.  The grieving process starts with feeling the pain not shutting it down.  If we move straight into the “my part (what I did wrong in the past)” and character defects without processing our core pains and hurts of how we were wronged then all we are doing is putting a band-aid on an infected sore.

Why do people scream “OUTSIDE ISSUE” in the rooms whenever someone starts talking about child abuse.  Abuse and neglect are why people become addicts and those who scream “outside issue” the loudest are most likely trying to further repress their own abuse as a child.  People love to sit in the rooms after a horrific bout of drug abuse and swear they had a wonderful childhood.  Many people have no idea what neglect and abuse looks like.  But I guarantee, if these people would actually take meditation seriously and do it on a regular basis, they would most likely remember some form of childhood trauma.

Resentments are never valid-false

All feelings are valid.  Feelings come from our heart, a place of truth.  We get angry for a valid reason.  It’s hanging on to that anger rather than letting it flow out of us in a non harmful way that gets us in trouble and gets us sick with resentment.

Children don’t usually get angry toward adults for no reason at all.  If we were harmed, and many of us were then we are legitimate victims.  Not everything is ‘our fault’ so we mustn’t treat it as if it were.  Sharing our trauma with an understanding and empathic listener who will point out the validity of our hurt and show caring understanding is where the healing begins.   Statements like “I know how you feel”  or “I was abused also and the man is a son of a bitch to do what he did”, shows support, relating, caring and validation.  Empathy not spankings are needed for healing wounds.  And the thing is, many addicts are badly wounded.    Emotional issues are not an outside issue separate from addiction, they are, I believe the biggest reasons behind addiction.

 

 

HOW DO I CHOOSE A HIGHER POWER

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOUR HIGHER POWER REALLY IS?

Third Step Prayer short version

God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.  Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and The way of life.  May I do Thy will always!
TWELVE STEP PRAYERS

A DOOR KNOB IS NOT A POWER GREATER THAN YOURSELF THEREFORE IT IS NOT A “HIGHER POWER”

We want to choose a god deserving of our faith not an inanimate object that has less power than the man who installed it into the door.  Why not seek God with our heart in prayer?  Seek and we will find.  Could it be our resentment, pain, and hurt is much too deep to even consider seeking a god whom we feel is the reason we have suffered?   Or is our desire to control all things too strong in us to risk relinquishing control?   Our pain and consequences of active addiction must be more intense than our fear of the unknown and giving up control.

In Narcotics Anonymous it has been said many times and is a popular belief that we may conjure up and name our own Higher Power.  Also members have said, if we want to use a door knob as a HP we can.   They say a door knob will work just as good as if we had one of the well-documented HP’s.  Perhaps the “Door knob” is the official-unofficial HP of N.A.  But again, a doorknob is not a power greater than any human.

Many people in N.A. have major prejudices against organized religion.  It is understandable that if we expect any group of people to be spiritually perfect or to adhere to all that their religion teaches we will automatically consider them hypocrites and not worthy of our respect when they falter, sin, or make a mistake contrary to their perspective rules of thumb.  These preconcieved type-sets that run deep in the neuron-pathways of our brain will have to be set aside or we won’t find a sponsor that we feel is fit to be our guide.  All addicts have character flaws and do all religious people.

The first mention of “God” in the 12 steps of A.A. is in Step Two.  “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”.  When I did step two I believed that my HP “could” restore me to sanity.  However I wasn’t so sure that IT would restore me (if I had ever been sane).

My own HP is The Father that Jesus spoke of in the days of old.  My other HP is Jesus Himself.  If this pisses you off be sure to put your prejudice on your step four (I did).  Your feelings of resentment are there for a valid reason no doubt.  You were probably wronged by religious people.  However the steps are about releasing the baggage that deep hurt and resentments cause in our heart and soul.

Anyway personally I also believe there are many other HP’s which could actually be used as a person’s main recovery HP.  And that any of these god’s have the power available to them to keep a person sober when they learn to rely on them.  Christian doctrine would call my beliefs sacrilegious but, oh well.    I didn’t make-up my beliefs concerning Gods.  I learned to seek God and meditated for many years.  I believe that “The Most High God” and creator gave power to many other beings we can call gods.  Gods such as The Moon Goddess, The God of The Sun, and many more to choose from.

A THOUSAND GODS TO CHOOSE FROM

HOW TO TRULY FIND AND CONNECT WITH YOUR OWN HIGHER POWER

In this article I explain how to really find YOUR higher power by seeking with your heart.  There will be no doubts when God reveals itself to you.  https://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/vengeance-is-mine-sayeth-the-lord/

Is Resentment the Number One Offender?

Is Resentment the Number One Offender?

What is at the core of your addiction?  I suppose everyone must answer it for themselves.   But I think it’s important to answer it.  For me it was a deep wound.  An emotional constipation.  A deep hurt that I didn’t know how to express  in a way that was healthy and appropriate.  Shame was at the core it surrounded the wound.

So when I finally got the spiritual and emotional laxative (therapy, 12 steps, God)  it took quite some time to cry it all out.  All that’s left now of my malady is a scar and a few old habits that die hard called character flaws.  Many of the character defects I acquired through the years of addiction, like resentment were nothing more than a distraction from my painful shame.   Resentment was a place to lay blame on how a felt.   I needed to lay blame because it was myself I condemned deep in my heart.
No, for me resentment wasn’t the number one offender, shame was. I mustn’t be ashamed and keep secrets. I try to stay clear of shame and be an open book. Writing and sharing…the truth sets me free. Shame….no one wants to admit shame.  People are ashamed of shame because it is perceived as weakness.  It’s a dirty little word.
It wasn’t the wound so much as the shame I blanketed it in that made me so self destructive.

I was taught to be ashamed of who I was, and that my feelings were wrong.   And that basically I didn’t even have a right to be on this earth. That’s a hard one to shake…so I drank.

Resentment is the acceptable blame based emotion that distracts me from my hurt and shame.  I am too ashamed of being hurt cause I see it as weakness.  So I cover it all up in a nice package called “blame” and put a big bow on it called resentment.  And I carry the package around with me never having to look at what is really inside.

That is until  I got sober nearly Ten years ago.  But for the Grace of God, But for the Grace of God.

THE CURE FOR MY  ADDICTION IS WRITTEN IN PART 1 OF THIS TWO ARTICLE SERIES-RESENTMENT THE NUMBER ONE OFFENDER.  http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/resentment-number-offender/

Is Resentment the Number One Offender?

What does it mean and who said it?  “Resentment is the number one offender”

Bill Wilson co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote the phrase “resentment is the number one offender” in the Big Book.

Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal relationships (including sex) were hurt or threatened. So we were sore. We were “burned up.”

On our grudge list we set opposite each name our injuries. Was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal, or sex relations, which had been interfered with?

It means that if we hold onto resentments then we will relapse and resentment is the cause of our relapse.  But really how true is that?  Well at face value it appears that resentment toward others and anger is the cause of our relapse.  It seems to be the most dominant emotion addicts have when going back out.

However, I am not so sure the resentment for others has taken the relaps-er back out.  I rather think anger and blame in the form of resentment is the survival skill which helps us live with ourselves when we step back into a life we know will kill us.  There is actually only one resentment that sends us back out if you look deeper into our hearts, which is a resentment toward self.

But what lies underneath our self loathing?  Our self loathing is at the core of all our other resentments.  Ask any addict in the midst of a relapse and he will most likely deny to you his self-hate.  Addicts carry much shame and shame is at the core of our deception to self and others.   Un-processed shame, and hurt are at the core of our addiction.  These are the feelings stuck in our crawl.  These are what carries us to the dope man.

Addicts suffer from emotional constipation and Shame is truly at the core of that stuck place.  Shame is my #1 Offender Resentment springs from Shame to cover it up.  SHAME SUCKED MY LIFE FORCE AND LIED TO ME FOR YEARS

Bill W. touched on it when he mentions “emotional disorder” he just didn’t elaborate or realize that emotional constipation which is disorder was at the core of most addictions. (At least that’s my theory.)

Hurt transforms into anger and we can’t cope with hating ourselves so we bury the hate into a thing called blame.  We are constantly on the look-out for new people, places and things to blame for the way we feel deep inside.  We deceive us and others.  We must resent people and blame them to deal with and cover up the way we actually feel about ourselves.  The only true resentment that sends us back out is the resentment toward ourselves.

Why do people claim they have a cure for addiction?  Why are some people cured and others sign on to the belief “once an addict always an addict”.  Simply because they don’t know the cure.  Or they have done one part of the cure and left off another.

What is the cure?

Find the core issues of the original hurt and pain, usually stemming from a very early age, and emotionally process them. (cry, scream, write, share).  Transcendental meditation will show us our core issues.  While at the same time we must develop new routines, new habits, new people, places, and things.  Find new goals and a new purpose for life that is healthy.  Work the twelves steps and learn how to use the steps when needed including the fear list and steps three, four, eleven, and twelve.  Work step twelve for several years or some kind of service work to build self-esteem.  And the big one (included in the steps) get a Higher Power by seeking with your heart and stay in contact with that Higher power as much as possible.

That all sounds like allot.  Isn’t there an easier softer way?  YES AS A MATTER OF FACT THERE IS AN ‘EASIER SOFTER WAY’.  But it’s not something you can buy or special order.  You can put yourself in a position to get it but there are no guarantees if you do get it how long it will last as your only source of recovery.    The white light experience straight from God is the only easier softer way.  Usually people who receive white light experiences go on to carry the message of Jesus Christ or God while not doing any of the 12 step work on their character flaws.  And why would they?  They are riding a pink cloud.  But pink clouds don’t last.  God will remove some flaws during this experience but seldom, well I have never ever seen God make anybody perfect…ever.  So usually these people fall into some flavor of character flaw.  Most likely they delve into judging others, get their resentment back and relapse.  Then they really hate themselves even more because now they are turning their back on a God they know exists.

I know, sad story…I am talking about myself during my first bout of recovery.  And I have seen this same pattern manifest often in others, usually Christians in recovery.  Never the less it does not mean God fails or Jesus has abandon us somehow.  It just means God clearly WILL NOT TAKE A HUMAN’S SELF-WILL.  He will enlighten us, but it’s up to us to go out and get fulfillment once we are enlightened.  Hence step eleven and why it works, it fulfills us spiritually.  Step twelve builds our self worth, and fulfills us spiritually.  Step Ten, well I have found that Ten really isn’t enough, but instead it’s step four that I need to revisit every six months to a year and do thoroughly.  When fear of relapse slips in, I remember two things, I have turned my life and will over to the care of God.  And the program works, I can turn to the program, work a step.  This is what keeps me sober after countless lapses.  Sure if I rely on me I will fail.  I rely on God, the steps, and the fact that I am being healed and healing by processing core issues.

So can I really call this a cure?  ABSOLUTELY! There are many things that humans have to do to stay well.  Such as eating, sleeping, nurturing and being nurtured.  We do not call ourselves sick because we require food.  why would I call myself sick because I require a spiritual program?

I DO NOT NEED TO CALL MYSELF SICK TO BE RECOVERED.  THAT’S RIDICULOUS!  CALLING MYSELF SICK AND AN ADDICT IS NOT WHAT HEALS OR KEEPS ME SOBER IS IT?

NO.  I WAS AN ADDICT FOR 35 YEARS I KNOW WHAT SICK IS.  I WILL NO LONGER CALL MYSELF SICK UNDER THE ILLUSION AND FEAR THAT IF I SAY I AM HEALED I WILL RELAPSE.  THAT IS A.A. SUPERSTITION AND LORE WHICH IS DERIVED FROM FEAR.

The 12 Steps- every resentment, shame, every guilt, every hate, every prejudice, every intense hurt, every theft. We do this till a light goes off and we then recognize our character defect patterns.  I recommend at least 1 page of writing for each offense. Repeat the process every year and when we get bungled up.

New fellowship either church, AA people, somewhere we can start a new social life.

Therapy honest and thorough, we must go back and feel the pain and process it out in an emotional way.

God-find your God

Set goals

We can change who we are but it takes work.  So what Life is work.

Be Sure to read part 2 “Is Resentment the #1 Offender?”

IS OPRAH A NORMIE?

IS OPRAH A “NON-NORMIE”?

Basically this guy Jack Thomas had a website called non-normies.  Don’t go there though it no longer exists.  This guy -with a belly full of al-anon and a heart full of deep and painful resentment feels that non-normies… are out to destroy our country.  But his definition of “non-normies” includes ALL non-normies not just addicts in recovery.     Non-normies to Jack are any non-conformist types who don’t walk his straight and narrow criteria.  If you don’t have the conservative right wing, Rush Limbaugh type viewpoints you are out to take over and destroy the world.  And now he is super shocked and dismayed that even Oprah yes Oprah the sacred mother of Africa is actually a non-normie at heart.  Yikes!  So below we have the “about Jack Thomas the author” and then the article itself.  You be the judge.

ABOUT JACK THOMAS, a Recovering and Developing “Non-normie”

Jack Thomas, a seemingly ordinary guy with one emotionally destructive compulsion, was thrust into the ranks of Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous. There he recovered. In the process he gathered cryptic data about what may be the largest laboratory of non-normal people in existence.

Jack was addicted to relationships with self-destructive alcoholic women, stemming from his alcoholic mother. Having had numerous relationships with this type, he married a woman with a progressively worsening drinking problem.

The more he tried to cure her, including years of expensive therapy and a costly move, the worse the drinking became. Jack’s Pastor referred him to Al-Anon—an A.A. program for the co-alcoholic (codependent) relatives and friends of alcoholics.

There Jack learned that he didn’t cause her drinking and couldn’t cure it. He could only set sane boundaries. Jack told her to either go into detox or leave. At first she agreed to the treatment and his insurance approved it but, just before entering, she backed out and left.

Devastated, Jack plunged further into Al-Anon recovery, faithfully working all of the Twelve Steps and acquiring an excellent sponsor. Within two years he was sponsoring many new members, himself, while hosting the Introduction for Newcomers. During this time Jack took over the Alateen program, for children of alcoholics ages ten to teen in Torrance, CA, and ran it for three years. Then his Pastor asked him to design and lead a codependency recovery group, which he headed for several years, and soon he became a lay counselor for the church.

Fascinated with helping people recover, Jack jumped into learning even more about emotional disorders. He read the DSM III (The Psychiatrist’s “bible”) cover to cover, took courses, finished his Associates Degree and veraciously studied everything on the subject that he found.

He began to notice more and more commonalties amongst the emotionally non-normal (“non-normies”), cataloging them in a six-hundred page workbook. Also, all of them had large internal deposits of repressed anger that they didn’t want to give up—even though it appeared to be the root of their problem. Stockpiled rage had led to their developing emotionally driven personalities.

This motivated Jack to ask: If stored un-grieved (unprocessed) anger was the basis for people becoming emotionally non-normal, why would they cling to it if it was destroying them psychologically? The answer came after years of probing the hidden agendas and psyches of thousands of emotionally non-normal people that he encountered.

Those findings, along with how the emotionally driven non-normal personality was negatively affecting society, eventually resulted in the creation of the Web/Blog Site titled: www.non-normie.com

 

oprah3

IS OPRAH A “NON-NORMIE”?  Jacks article starts here.

Our “non-normie” of the day, today, is Orah Winfrey.
Say it ain’t so, Jack. Not Oprah.
Unfortunately, self-help expert Jack Thomas is holding to his guns and conducting Talk Show interviews giving reasons why Oprah is (Jack’s term) a non-normie.

The following is a column written by Jack Thomas justifying his classification of Oprah.

A week ago Monday, Bill O’Reilly did an expose of our non-normie of the day, today, Oprah Winfrey, when he pointed out that during the past two years she has had only four personalities who were even close to being mainstream conservative on her show. Those included Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani.

Conversely, the rest of her guests were virtually all polar-left non-normies. Those were Frank Rich, Michael Moore, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Al Gore, Barbra Streisand, Sean Penn, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, George Clooney, Jim McGreevey and the like.

Bill went on to identify some best selling conservative authors who haven’t been on Oprah, like John Stossle, Pat Buchanan and Laura Ingram. Michelle Malkin called her a limousine liberal.

The reason why Bill was doing this segment was obvious. He has written four best selling books, including his current one titled “Culture Warrior,” not to mention 2005’s number one children’s book in America. Yet he has never been invited on Oprah’s show. Mr. O’Reilly was definitely putting pressure on Ms. Winfrey and it worked. Within twenty-four hours, he received a booking on Oprah to be taped today for a Friday broadcast.

Now what does that tell you about Oprah? I know what it tells me. It says, Jack you were right when you declared that polar-left non-normies are all cowards and that they have a hidden agenda which they fear being exposed. Oprah is obviously a polar-left non-normie who protects her caring and compassionate image as if it was the Holy Grail itself—because it is her holy grail.

This is not sour grapes. I don’t begrudge her success, nor do I envy her money. I do envy her power to influence, which is what I hope to do with my web site and radio interviews. But, contrary to her desires, I don’t wish to control people or their thought processes. I merely wish to provide information that they currently either don’t have or have neglected to understand. Once I accomplish that, I don’t even care if it’s attributed to me. My goal is to help normies comprehend the non-normie mindset and how insidious their subtle quest for power is changing our country for the worst. In fact, unless normies eventually do grasp the evil power of this emotional disease, they’ll be defeated by it and, later, they won’t even grasp why it happened.
FINISH READING at specialguest.com

DO YOU KNOW YOUR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS?

DO YOU KNOW YOUR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS?

Very important to learn our emotional triggers in recovery otherwise…we will project every hurt, anger, and pain onto usually those we love most.  When we first get sober we are emotionally R.A.W. Ripe anger within.  Feelings follow actions not the other way around.  Meaning if I wait till I feel like doing something I am letting my feelings rule me.  At the same time denying and repressing feelings will make me sicker.  Emotional balance is what alcoholics often lack.  But for now, If we are not walking around with our hearts on our sleeve then we are not an addict in early recovery.  The thing is we usually want to Love and be Loved desperately but we continually push people away with our reactions to twisted perceptions.  WE ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE TRYING TO GET GOOD, We are Sick People Trying to Get Well.  We must rangle in our emotions long enough to get a sponsor and make some new recovery friends.

BLAME GAME HURTS ME AND MY RELATIONSHIPS

So how do we identify our emotional triggers so we don’t blame the world for our own feelings?  First we start the day with the precept of “I am responsible for my own feelings” even when I am wronged.  Even if I am wronged I am the one who must process the pain and hurt from that wrong.  I am the only one who can let it go.  So rather than trying to fix all my triggers in one day by taking my heart out of my chest and washing it off.  That would be impossible.  But what I CAN do and do have control over is my tongue and my thought processes.  I can intervene and basically “fake it till I make it” emotionally.

So when I suddenly find myself furious or deeply hurt, my face is turning red and I want to attack someone because it’s their fault that I feel the way I do…Instead I say.  “I am responsible for my own feelings.” I write out what I am feeling on paper.  I talk out what I am feeling with an empathic and understanding listener who WON’T POINT OUT MY SHORTCOMINGS AND DO MY STEP FOUR AND TENTH STEP FOR ME by taking my inventory.  My support group can help me see my triggers by their understanding and sharing their experience and their own past triggers.

DON’T BE ASHAMED OF FEAR

I must be able to admit fear or I won’t find my triggers.  I have to ask myself…”What is it that I am afraid of when angered and hurt?”  Am I trying to control everyone by making them have all my same viewpoints?  Am I playing God?  Am I afraid of losing something, like control or power?  Do I feel belittled and inferior as if the person I blame directly insulted me?  Do I feel I need to defend myself because I am afraid that I really am worthless, bad, inferior, stupid, or anything along those lines? (that’s the most common.)

HOW TO BUILD SELF-ESTEEM

We don’t come into recovery brimming with high self-worth and the self-esteem of an accomplished CEO of a large corporation.  Working on the 12 Steps however ALL OF THE STEPS will gain us the self improvement and esteem that we lack.  And that is exactly what we need to do to quell the incessant emotional triggers that hurt and anger us at a core level.

Know this my friend…nine times out of ten if I am triggered in early recovery IT IS NOT ABOUT THE PRESENT AT ALL.  It’s really about what lives in me and the baggage that needs worked through.  Repressing my emotions by denial will only make things worse.  I AM NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING! This is the attitude that will keep me sick.  All humans have fears and when I start realizing mine that doesn’t give me permission to point out everyone else’s.  But it does give me the advantage of understanding people at a deeper level.  When I realize my fears and ask God to remove them I realize often the same fears in other people by their behaviors.

STEP 11

We must go one step further in our self-examination process by finding the original “hurt” behind the triggers.  Practicing meditation will help me realize what my past trauma emotional issues are.  And remember none of the self-awareness is so I can beat myself up or condemn myself for my past.  Self punishment never has and never will get me well emotionally or stop my addiction.  If it could it would have already.  If I find myself in a place of self abasement then I say “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION.” And I practice one of the programs’ many tools at that point.

By RUTH EDGAR -feedback welcome

If the grammar and punctuation of this article makes you crazy please contact Lori Edgar who is most likely willing to make you an editor on this recoveryfarmhouse website.

 

REJECTION-WHY AM I AN ADDICT?

Suffering Rejection As Children & Adults can be devastating and should not be minimized or invalidated.

Before we can truly heal from emotional pain we must have a chance to express the hurt in a way that is acknowledged and validated.  Crying is one healthy emotion.  Letting go of hurt is a process much like the grieving process.  If we have learned to shut down pain we are omitting the first step to healing.  We must feel to heal.  Then and only then can we move on to “our part” in injuries and neglect suffered as children or resentments that have stemmed from abuse and neglect.  Often the only part we had to play in the core reason for our pain and addiction is that we were not taught a healthy emotional process.  We therefore had to resort to unhealthy solutions.

SOLUTIONS

Rejection should be acknowledged and worked through.   There is much more to recovery than just staying sober.  There is much more to working the Twelve Steps than just writing down resentments and finding our part in it.

We all have a life flow, a Spirit if you will that needs both nurturing and Love.  Nurturing includes a validation of who we are and our right to be ourselves.  When rejected at a young age by caregivers we shut down our life force in shame.  And we hide who we really are.

Rejection can take many forms.  It may be direct and obvious or indirect and subtle.  (“Your brother is doing so well.  Don’t you want to do well too?”)  It may be all encompassing (“You can’t do anything right.”  or focused on certain parts of our personality (“Stop being so curious about everything.”).  It may be depriving (neglect) and distinctly lacking in emotional contact and nurturance or it may be dominating and controlling-suppressing our natural desires and over riding fundamental boundaries.  It may be shaming and create within us a feeling of being “bad” or “defective”.  Regardless of the form of rejection, we quickly learn that simply being ourselves will not get us the Love and acceptance that we so desperately need.

REJECTION-WHY AM I AN ADDICT?

Rejection injures our emotional healing process and our ability to express and release our pain.  Without empathy, this impulse is stifled.  In homes of deprivation, we cry out in vain because nobody is there to listen.  This is nothing short of tragic.  Dominating parents might say “I’ll give you something to cry about!”  Maybe we are allowed to cry alone, but not to show our tears, and certainly not to protest against our parent’s wishes.  Usually we don’t even know that we have been emotionally injured.  Into adulthood we may admit we are addicts but never connect the dots to why we ended up so self-repulsed.

Hearing from our teachers that most of our natural impulsed are bad or wrong, we quickly learn to hide away these aspects of ourselves.  We learn to hide away our pleasure as well as our pain; our thoughts as well as our feelings.    All that brings a negative reaction from our caregivers is hidden away in order to try and get their Love.

Now we are susceptible to sexual molestation, drug addiction, or sick relationships we have not been taught what Love really is.

To survive the overwhelming pain of rejection and un-met childhood need, we shut down our life flow and shut off the pain.  We do this through defense mechanisms that block or divert painful feelings and memories away from conscious awareness.

Defense mechanisms may come in the form of extreme behavior patterns, suck as over-eating, compulsive behavior self-sabotage, crisis creating, people pleasing, leaving before being left, rebellion, etc.  Our defense behaviors serve two basic purposes:  We either struggle to meet our unfulfilled needs through someone or something else or we deny our needs and detach from our pain.

The struggle defense is an unconscious attempt to correct the past.  If we had to struggle to get our parent’s love, approval, help or understanding, we may re-create situations that elicit the same struggle and then strive for a different outcome.  In some cases, we may get into abusive relationships similar to our childhood experience.  Often we project our past feelings toward the care giver onto our partners.

Ever wonder why addicts relationship statistics are so sparse and unhealthy?  We are not bad we just were not taught, shown how to love.

We are now in defense mode not just emotionally but also physically.  We repress our breathing.  Maybe our diaphragm expands when we exhale instead of expanding when  we take breath in.  We start by correcting our breathing.  We learn deep breathing and deeply expand our bellies as we take air in.

PLEASE, we are in recovery, we mustn’t allow self or others to tell us to “get over it, it’s in the past.”  It is not in the past emotional trauma is our core reason for using and needs to be processed.

Solutions to resentment.

THE SOLUTIONS FOR DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

WHY AM I AN ADDICT?

THE SOLUTIONS FOR DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

Shame the number one offender-http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/resentment-number-offender-2/

TRUE BEAUTY LIES WITHIN? SICK RELATIONSHIPS IN RECOVERY

Before recovery and the 12 steps, in a room of 100 men I would be attracted to the sickest and most abusive.  This audio has some answers to why.

When is it safe to date after narcissistic abuse?  Part 1  By Empowered Love Radio  Relationship Recovery Expert Melanie Tonia Evans

This audio show starts a little slow but picks up volume and speed.  It turns out to be very informative and full of healing ideals and precepts.

More Co-da and Narcissist Info at Melanie’s Website

A Thought on ‘True Beauty Lies Within’

True beauty is found within but don’t pretend it can’t be found within and with-out. simultaneously   Or is Suzanne Summers the only one who realizes the prejudices that transpire toward  the beautiful?  All humans suffer from prejudice in one way or another.  Is there a man alive under the age of  60 that could overlook this woman’s beauty

perf5

long enough to hear what her heart speaks?  Or how about  a woman out there who was dealt a crappy hand in the “looks” department.  The ugly duckling is tempted  to say “beauty is skin deep”.  The envious woman insinuates that all beautiful and voluptuous women are incapable of caring love, and charity .  To infer the absence of inner beauty based on outer beauty is what?  The punishment for possessing outer beauty?  HOGWASH!  Are all unsightly women drenched with a kind and giving heart?  Certainly The wicked Witch of the West can attest.   The rejected and abandoned tend to seek out such prejudices as aforementioned.  As for this beauty below?  Her heart is as kind as Cinderella and  her beauty as stunning as Snow White.  Rather than jealousy I think an awe of God’s handy-work is in order. ________The Writer

 

 

 

 

Brilliant Website Artists

Brilliant website artist depicts the consequences of drinking alcohol.

I never play games but this intrigued me.  It keeps asking me if I can see the cannon ball.  I cannot find a cannon ball to save my life, I just keep trashing the set for fun!!  Click on the link below to play the game.

Screen-Shot-2014-10-22-at-7.04.04-PM Animal-Ratio-still-2_670

“A venue-trashing, drumset-smashing interactive music video for psych-pop geniuses Celestial Shore.” http://glander.itch.io/animal-ratio

http://julianglander.com/filter/beer/Celestial-Shore-Animal-Ratio

I ran accross two very koooL web-pages.  These artists have done work for some of the largest corporations in the country.  But this isn’t just web-art this is moving web-art.  Graphic design to be precise.  Is it CSS or is in memorex?

This one posted by Md Jewel Patoary is extremely unique

The Beer Game

http://guillaumekurkdjian.com/

 

Entitlement, Expectations, and Gratitude

Gratitude is the opposite of entitlement. I have heard in the rooms that expectations are premeditated resentments.

One thing that can make me dissatisfied often if I allow it to creep into my life is an attitude of entitlement. Entitlement is a feeling of being deserving of certain things. My entitlement issues could spring forth in any area of life really. Maybe I feel I deserve romance, sex, Love, cars, boats, money, decent family, certain behaviors out of others, even good health. But what am I really entitled to? More precisely, upon which areas of my life shall I invest my deep feelings of entitlement? Best answer: None.

Naturally we are completely valid in expecting many things. Things like getting paid for a job we are hired to do. Or, to be treated with respect and with loyal regard by those who are named as loved ones and friends. If we buy an item from the store, we expect it to do what is advertised. These are valid expectations that are natural to have. However, the fewer and more cautious our expectations the happier we will be. Hope is the spiritual replacement for expectations.

Assuming and expecting are pretty much the same thing. When we “assume” we expect without having all the facts we should but when we “expect” it’s supposed to be “based in” fact.  Some situations are highly predictable and others are not.  Some people and situations catch us totally off guard.

Firstly, we should expect human beings to act like humans

that way we won’t put too much stock (trust) where it is unwarranted.  People will mess up repeatedly, intentionally and unintentionally including ourselves.  Keeping an open mind especially were dating and commitments are concerned will save us from emotional crash and burn. If all we see in our potential life partner is the good, then we probably don’t know them well enough to marry them- yet. Granted there are exceptions to every rule but going into a relationship commitment with a well balanced view of who we are committing to is better than going into it with eyes half shut. Sometimes we want something so bad we white-wash it and then when the fairy tale phase is over…it all comes crumbling down. Addicts are famous for marrying prematurely.

Alcoholics and addicts tend to see things in an all or nothing, good or bad light sometimes. But truly good people do bad things and bad people do good things and even more appropriately,

human beings should not be labeled good or bad but rather just human.   And humans have a good side and a bad side.

It’s important to understand and know ourselves in depth so we can know others. Working the 12 steps is one of the best ways to gain wisdom and understanding of ourselves.

As children of God we deserve good things. As recovering addicts, we can’t afford to plant our hearts in entitlement. And so- we cautiously hope for good things and when they don’t happen we keep our eye on the prize which is meeting our maker. And we stay grateful for that which we DO have.

“Phuc Dat Bich” HOAX!

Man gets kicked off Facebook for having an odd name…or did he?  Amanda Meade and Elle Hunt

Original story at this link.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/nov/25/man-says-he-made-up-vietnamese-name-hoax-to-fool-news-media-and-facebook

A man who claimed that Facebook discriminated against him because of his name, attracting global media attention, has announced that it was a hoax.
Wow!  See how easily this average Joe fella fooled the largest media organizations.
“What started as a joke between friends, became a prank that made a fool out of the media and brought out the best in the people who reached out to me. It didn’t bring out the anger and darkness that we often see on the internet, but it brought a levity and humanity in a time we need it most.
“Out of this ordeal I’ve concluded not to trust the credibility of the media, it’s twisted by the hungry journalists who mask the truth … It goes to show that an average joe like myself can con the the biggest news sources with ease.”

Claims that Vietnamese man with an Australian passport in the name ‘Phuc Dat Bich’ had been discriminated against by Facebook were false

In January, a man posted to Facebook a screenshot of an Australian passport that appeared to show his full legal name was Phuc Dat Bich, claiming that he had been accused of “using a false and misleading name” and had his account shut down multiple times.

The post went viral in mid-November. Media including the Sydney Morning Herald, news.com.au, SBS, BBC.com, the Herald Sun and 9news.com.au, and news organizations in India, Argentina and other countries – reported the story, though Phuc Dat Bich gave no interviews.

In a mea culpa posted to Facebook, still titled Phuc Dat Bich, on Wednesday afternoon, the 23-year-old Melbourne man admitted that the name change and doctored image was part of a prank intended to fool the news media and highlight shortcomings of Facebook’s “real name” policy.

In a post signed “Joe Carr” (understood to refer to “joker”), he wrote: “Facebook needs to understand that it is utterly impossible to legitimize a place where there will always be pranksters and tricksters.

‘Phuc Dat Bich’: man says he created name hoax to fool media and Facebook

READ MORE AT THE GUARDIAN.COM ORIGINAL STORY

CHARACTER ASSASSINATION ON FACEBOOK

FACEBOOK IS A PRIME PLATFORM FOR CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.

So what is the legal definition of defamation of character and who does it really hurt.
Defamation of character occurs when someone makes a false statement about you that causes you some type of harm. The statement must be published like on a Facebook page(meaning some third party must have  heard or seen it).  It must be false, and it must result in harm, usually to the reputation.
Defamation of Character Lawsuits happen all the time.

In recovery, if we are in a 12 step program that means we are trying to live by spiritual principles.  It means that we have put our life in God’s care and we are making an effort to trust God with our well being.  This spiritual recipe for living takes revenge and doing harm to others off the table.  It means that when we are wronged we pray for our enemies and try to understand that when someone trashes us on Facebook they are a sick person and their actions are rooted in fears of various flavors.

WHERE THERE IS A RESENTMENT THERE IS A “MY PART” GETTING TO THAT CORE FEAR IS WHERE I FIND MY SOLUTION TO HATE

So when I see my picture plastered all over someones FB wall with lies and vicious comments and I want to destroy the person I don’t  Furthermore I may want to call their parole officer and report them for this real crime of defamation of character.  But I don’t.  Also this is a man that I have done many good things for.  I helped him in many ways and with charity.  So, I pic up my prayer tool and pray for him.  I ask for  all the blessings of heaven and earth to cover him.  I never argue and engage in defensive strategies.  I call another person in the program and vent my anger.  I write a Step Four resentment grid that might look something like the following.  And remember just because I know that I am right and good in my intellectual mind my feelings have a mind of their own.  My heart does not have to be either logical or reasonable.  To expel the resentment I examine my own core fears.

“I resent John Doe because he told lies about me on Facebook.  He said I am bad and a liar.  He said that I have stolen from the most innocent and needy of victims.  He said that I am greedy and a pirate thief. ”  I ask myself “what is my core fear behind the resentment?”

FEARS

I am afraid that others will believe the accusations.  This fear is rooted in my own insecurity.  My heart thinks I am not good enough and not as good as other people.  I fear at my core that somehow what this man said about me is true.  (illogical but real and important to recognize).  My carnal reaction is to run to my own defense and argue and send out messages to the people reading the lies.  I fear I am not good enough. I fear that God will not protect me and that certain and sure damage will be done to me by these evil posts.  My society fear kicks in (reputation), my security fear kicks in because he is also crucifying my business websites as being unfair, evil, and dishonest.

Although I have taken no wrong action since I have resentment and want revenge I now have a “my part” that needs addressed before I can let it all go.  So what is my part?  I am not trusting God and I have certain insecurities called “fear of what people think of me”.  This is why the mans sin angers me and I am resentful.  I want this man to be righteous and he isn’t.  So I have some “controlism” in there also.  Please know that at the same time my anger is just and my feelings which want my reputation clear are just as well.  Nevertheless I want the resentment and obsession over it to be gone so I….

KARMA AND POWERFUL LOVE

I ask God to remove my character defects of fear, control and distrust of God. and to replace them with Love and understanding  I DEPLOY LOVE IN DEFENSE OF EVIL AND FEAR.  I ask God to help me trust Him and to give me understanding toward the man.

Jesus said pray for those who despitefully use you.  It is also written In Proverbs that to “return evil for good” is one of the most dangerous sins because of the karmic laws in place.  I helped this man and had good motives and actions toward him.  He took my charity and crushed it under hate and fear.  So me and this man bot have fear it’s the actions which define us, not our fear.  Without fear their is no such thing as courage and overcoming.

Proverbs 17:13

Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good.

My anger is valid and the proper reaction to being attacked.  But I am responsible for processing my anger.  The man that told the public lies cannot relieve my anger and resentment this I must take action to relieve.    And so I have done the work to fend of bitterness.  I am no longer hurt by the wrong done to me.  However the man that did the deed, unless Grace intervenes to block the karma of “evil will never leave his house” he is majorly squittled.  His hate and wrong actions toward me will never relieve his feelings of fear and wrath.  By his actions he intensifies his short-comings and he works on separating himself from his God.  He is making a spectacle of himself to the people who see through his actions.

NOW THEM BY WHO THEY SHOW YOU THEY ARE, NOT BY WHO THEY TELL YOU THEY ARE

A good and spiritual man will rarely engage in rallying support for the direct punishment of another human being.  Good people know that if we are wronged we pray for that person not trash them on Facebook.  We recognize that if someone is trashing another person on Facebook it is most likely the man doing the trashing who is actually the guilty party.

 

ANGER AND WRATH

https://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/solutions-depression-anxiety/

WHAT CAN I DO TO OVERCOME DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY?

Click here to read SOLUTIONS

HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE….YES BUT

Hurt people usually hurt themselves first and foremost by their limited ability to accept new people, new places, and new things.

What do we do if we are so hurt from our addict driven past and horrific childhood that we are unable to Love and accept others?  And why is it that a lack of acceptance and the alcoholic go hand in hand?  Our parents didn’t teach us healthy emotional coping skills or we would not reach for such destructive emotional survival skills like the drink and drug.  The thing is as long as our using (drug abuse) and blame-based coping skills worked to keep us reasonably numb & feeling shame-free we had no reason to stop using them….right? 

Why is it that the serenity prayer is an addicts most valuable coping skill known far and wide?  The Big Book reads that a lack of power was our dilemma.  Meaning when we feel we are not in control within and without we buck, we freak.  We lack acceptance when we are sick and suffering on such a grand scale that we block new, different people and ideas out of our lives.  We can’t cope with any kind of change…it’s too scarey.  But again Why? (Oh I’m not supposed to know the answers to any “why’s”? that’s first 90 days sober AA jargon.  If we are going to really be healed of our underlying emotional issues we must allow ourselves to seek & find some knowledge.)

Blame, criticism, and looking for the wrong and the bad in other people and their ideas is the most wide-spread destructive emotional coping skill on the face of the Earth used by addicts and normies alike.  AS LONG AS I CAN PUT A “BAD” LABEL ON SOMEONE TODAY MAYBE I WON’T HAVE TO SEE THE PAIN LIVING INSIDE ME.  IF I CAN JUST BE “RIGHT” AND FEEL THAT I AM “BETTER THAN OTHERS” THEN I WON’T HAVE TO SEE THE SICKNESS THAT LIVES IN MY SOUL.

I need to ask myself some questions and I have …how long have I been sober and why am I still having anxiety attacks and suffering from intense rage and depression?  Why am I having repeated migraines?  Why have I pushed all the people I love out of my life?  Why am I still isolating and beating myself up?  Have I left something out of my program? BETTER YET DID BILL W. AND THE GROUP LEAVE SOMETHING OUT THAT IS VITAL.?  Could my prejudices toward religion and therapy be hindering my healing? What can I do to really overcome depression and anxiety?

The serenity prayer and twelve step work are two grand survival skills for us.  When we share our story of what it was like what happened and what it is like now, if sincere & heart-felt processes out a little bit of our pain and sickness bit by bit.   Telling our story builds self-worth and confidence.  However it also feeds our ego and can be a deflection from our own emotional wounds.  Step 12 and chairing meetings are mere band-aids covering a wound that needs far more healing and medicine.  We need a deep and searching moral inventory we need to address our underlying issues or the infection in our soul will just keep hurting us and those around us.  The symptoms that are screaming at me are depression and anxiety.

SO WHAT THEN?  WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS TO DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY AND HOW DO I APPLY THEM IN MY LIFE?  Know this solutions will go against the grain of the disease and make us feel very uncomfortable.  PLEASE KNOW THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING, ONLY WRONG ACTIONS.  EVERY FEELING IS BECAUSE OF A REASON, AN EXPERIENCE, A REACTION TO AN EVENT THEREFORE WE SHOULD NEVER SAY…I SHOULD NOT FEEL THAT WAY.  YOUR HEART IS THE PLACE THAT FEELINGS COME FROM AND YOUR HEART DOES NOT LIE.  WE WILL NO LONGER BE ASHAMED OF WHO AND WHY WE ARE OR HOW WE ARE.  BUT WE CAN LEARN TO OVERCOME AND WORK THROUGH NEGATIVE FEELINGS RATHER THAN ALLOWING OUR FEARS AND FEELINGS TO PARALYZE US.

SOLUTION 1
Well firstly I need to work the steps more thoroughly starting with my spirituality and lack thereof.  I need to seek God with every fiber of my heart and being.  Ask my Higher Power to guide my step-work and my actions.  God answers the heart, every testimony of spiritual experience I have ever heard or had began with an intense seeking of God with one’s heart, mind and very depth of soul.  Please, shallow prayers reap shallow rewards.  Then I keep seeking, I go to churches, tent revivals, Unity God-self type temples,  Mausks, Catholic church.  I recommend Pentecostal church because they praise and more spiritual miracles happen there than other dry churches.  Just don’t let them kidnap your life.  Pentecostals are easily as dysfunctional as alcoholics.  But Jesus came for the sick He said it Himself.     People are not on their knees praying in meetings, people are not crying out at the alter for healing in meetings.  If I am not willing to take this action to seek my Higher Power then I must not be depressed enough or maybe I have just gotten comfortable in my depression.  Depression is anger without enthusiasm to that I can attest.

SOLUTION 2

Therapy, I need to open up my deepest and most vulnerable self to me and a therapist or a friend who won’t shut me down, who will let me show my pain.  I need to share my fears that I am ashamed of, I need to share my feelings that I think are wrong, stupid, weak and I am ashamed of.  I need to share my shame and guilt.  Not just in my journal but also out loud to a human or in group.  I need to let down my emotional protection in a safe place and tell people who I really am.  The child within needs to be heard.  If I was abused I need to talk about it.  If I was neglected and rejected and need to share it.  If I was sexually abused or abused others sexually I need to share it.  First write it down that makes saying it outloud much easier.  My deepest darkest shames need to be exposed to the light.  I need to get real about who I resent.  I need to put myself and God (most likely) on my resentment list.  My fourth step should have “The cause” or what happened to start the resent ment and delve into what my fears are behind the resent me.  Do I think I am unlovable, ugly, stupid, not good enough, that the person who accused me is right?  There is always an insecurity and fear of some sort crouching behind the hate for mankind.  I need to get at my own insecurities and express them on paper and then out-loud.  I need to accept my weaker-self and make myself vulnerable to others.  This isn’t part of the fourth and fifth steps it’s part of a honest and thorough fourth and fifth step.  Notice the “(fear)” and “(self-esteem)” that was written in the fourth step grid in the Big Book?  What I am explaining to you…the shame the feeling of not good enough that is what’s meant by self esteem and fear in  that fourth step grid.  If we can’t address this stuff we most likely will not heal from depression and anxiety.

SOLUTION 3

STEP 12, I need to allow the steps to work in my life.  I need to open up and say what’s really going on with me in meeting.  If I am depressed I need to share it, If I am happy I need to share it, if I am angry I need to share it, I should confess all my resentments not leaving out organizations and groups of people.  People with certain appearances.  And the big one I need to write down and confess anything I am ashamed of and am keeping secret.  I should work these 12 steps in an orderly fashion with a sponsor that will not shut me down.  I should attend step-study-meetings.  I should regularly go to jails or institutions of some type to tell my story of what it was like, what happened and what it is like now.  I should do a very thorough step 6 & 7.  Out of the problem into the solution.  Every day I should shower, put on my shoes and do at least TWO things towards my recovery.  I should clean my house and do my dishes.  I should get sober phone contacts and call people.  If I have an emotional upheaval and think I have been wronged I call someone and talk about it.  And of coarse if I want to drink or drug I confess it in a meeting and or call someone.

SOLUTION 4

I keep doing what works, I don’t stop, I don’t slow down.  I am relentless.  Four meetings a week, Church of some sort (meetings are not church) one day a week.  

SOLUTION 5

I learn and practice real meditation.  I lay down, I get quiet, and I do a mantra by trying repeatedly over and over to concentrate on only one thought.   When my mind drifts I reel it back in and concentrate on only the mantra.  I picture each sentence in my mind.  If my mantra is the Lord’s Prayer I picture each line, I see my father in heaven I think about his/her sacred name.  I picture his kingdom-coming etc. etc.  I practice meditation daily for at least a half hour a day.  I begin my meditation with a prayer.  I can use crystals or props, candles, and incense I make it a ritual.  My mind will wonder but eventually I will train my mind to stay on one thought.   After practicing for quite some time my mind will naturally empty…and I will hear God.  I will be more patient, self-aware, more tolerant, more likely to think things through rather than being sporadic and impatient.  Sometimes in the beginning it’s necessary to just moan during meditation.  When trying to lye till and quiet because of the negative energy living inside it’s hard to be still.  I remember feeling like there was an alien inside of me trying to get out so I moaned like I was taught to do to release that energy.  Then I can better concentrate on the mantra and meditate.

SOLUTION 6

GUTERAL SOUNDS

Release guttural sounds from your body on a regular basis in private in your car, alone at home.  Guttural sounds come straight from core and underlying issues of the emotions and the soul.  Moaning, Screaming, shrieking, and sound that needs to come out.  Try it, it will feel weird and insane but it works to get out the very energy that is causing the depression and anxiety.  Do it for years as long as needed.  It releases the poison from our bowels that we have stored there by pushing down our anger and hurt until it makes us sick.

SOLUTIONS 7

Diet, exercise, and nature.  These are self explanatory stick to natural foods as much as possible and to to the beach or just take walks in the woods but get outside and exercise.  Get fresh air daily, drink lots of water.  Eat lots of fruits and veggies.  Sometings exercise alone relieve a huge part of our anxiety.

 

And remember “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION”

Don’t stay in the problem spinning around.

REMEMBER NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________The next article works too.

 

Anger & Wrath  “Out of the problem into the solutions.”

“It’s not what goes into the body (food) which pollutes it but rather what comes out (my hurtful words).”

Depression is anger without enthusiasm.  Depression is a final succumbing to the relentless feelings of anger.  When I am angry I still hold some form of control of my situation even if it is an illusion.  When my feelings switch to depression I have emotionally given up.   These additional solutions are a mix of therapy and the 12 steps.  I have added an example form of a mini fourth step.  Well actually now it’s a Fifth step.  “Better to save my ass than save my face.”  I am past shame of who I am and my human condition.

Anger is a feeling which produces a reaction in us emotionally.  Wrath is an action produced by rage that usually hurts people.  One thing sure if I am angry it’s most likely myself and God I am angry with primarily.  People and circumstances are rarely at the core of my anger.  I use people and circumstances as a way to blame and vent.  I usually have a choice who I want to hang around and whether or not I am going to argue, scream, yell, or fight.  Walking away is a great solutions to wrath.

Recovery is the time for me to take responsibility for my own feelings including anger.  Even if I am wronged no one can process my feelings of anger to work through them and get them out except me.   So when I accept that I am responsible for all my feelings I can then take charge and start the endeavor toward the solutions to negative and intense feelings.  As long as I blame people, places, and things for the way I feel and can’t begin to consider the solutions.  Staying in blame is an old survival skill which I know all too well.

Exercise is a great solution but it’s a generic one, meaning it doesn’t address the core.  It’s more of a distraction that does help.  Start out with some journalling and see where it takes us.    I may find that I get the answers to what I am angry at in the words I write.  I am usually surprised at the result.  If I have deep resentments toward myself or others I do a mini fourth step on them.

My Anger/resentment List

I am angry at myself because I have not accomplished the things I know I could if I was focused.  I am angry at me because I don’t get enough exercise, I don’t eat right, I am overweight, etc.  I spend way too much time on the computer and don’t get out enough.  I neglect my spiritual exercises.  I don’t do what I know is good for me.

What is my part in my resentment toward me?

Perfectionism, critical, fear of people(isolating), sloth.

I am angry at God because of the circumstances of the human condition.  God won’t give me what I want.  I want money and I want to be a success in a new career and I have tried so hard and worked to the point of obsession.

Self-pity,playing God, I think I know better than God.

MY FEAR LIST

I am afraid.  I am afraid of getting old.  I am afraid of being homeless.  I am afraid of not getting what I need.  I am afraid my car will break down.  I fear allot.

My part in the fear list

I don’t trust God, I lack sufficient faith, (God will supply my needs He always has.  And even though times are hard sometimes God has given me so much).  I lack gratitude.  I lack Hope.  I lack Love/charity/Faith.

Oh wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death?  Praise be to my Higher Power Jesus Christ and The Most High God whose name cannot be uttered by man.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOLUTIONS

My writing has helped me realize that under my anger was hurt.  It helped me cry.  I honor my feelings by crying which is a healthy emotion.  I ask God to remove the fears and character defects I have listed.  I am separated from God and I do feel that separation.  But there are people out there who are in a much worse place than I.  I believe God has trusted me with His Vineyard it’s my job to be of help to mankind.  I revisit my Step Three and If I have not said the Third Step Prayer I say it now.  I promise you it will help.  The Higher Power hears even our weakest prayer.  And  it doesn’t matter how long or how short your clean time is.  There is always room for emotional and spiritual maintenance.

I remember that beating myself up doesn’t help anything.  Self abasement is not a solution.  I get up I put on my shoes and I go help somebody.  I openly praise my Higher Power aloud.  If I have deep trauma issues from abuse I write a “fuck you ” letter to those who have hurt me. (don’t send)   I write every little thing that I want to say to them.  I do not mail the “fuck-you letter “it’s for me to help heal.  Then I cry, I beat the bed, I beat a tree with a plastic bat or a whip.  This is the best kind of anger processing when I am in touch with the core reason for my anger.  Core anger is usually from a childhood event.

What I am saying is if I have a focus on the core issue instead of “my husband called me a bitch” or “I got cut off at the green light” when I do my anger exercise I will get the core issue attended to and begin healing.  If it’s just a blame type distraction from the present I am not processing the core trauma.  That’s why writing works so well, the pen tends to carry us to the root of our pain.

If you were abused, put the bastard in the empty chair (literally an empty chair pretend your abuser is in it)  and scream out everything you were too afraid to say to them when the abuse occurred.    There are some seriously wicked people .  Or maybe you were neglected and deprived of emotional nurturing.  Being ignored as a child is trauma as well.  We are raised often by people who have no idea what it is to nurture a child’s soul and spirit.  But you have walked into the sunlight of sobriety.  God has It’s hand on you and will not let you go.  God, I promise will protect you even from yourself.  You are a beautiful child of God.  You have suffered a lifetime and now is your time of peace.  The peace which surpasses all earthly understanding is at your doorstep.  All you need do is pick it up.

 

 

 

 

Recovering Addicts/Alcoholics Persevere

Alcoholics are strong

because of what we have endured and what we have learned in AA.  We have felt the depths of despair therefore our hearts can soar to great heights.  We have a capacity for faith even though we don’t always trust God.  Yet the steps taught us how to rely on God and that fear equals courage not failure.

Alcoholics Anonymous offers us a program of spiritual maintenance in the form of steps ten-twelve.  And if we use the steps we stay flush with gratitude and our eye-glasses are clear or rose colored.  No, this does not mean we are always happy and full of joy.  But we are free of guilt and shame if we have done the twelve step purging.

Men and women who experience the pains, trauma, oppression, depression, psychic and extreme emotional stresses of addiction and then over-come that addiction by whatever means tend to have a much greater capacity for spirituality, faith, and Love than people who have not gone through taxing suffering, whether they be              addicts or not.  We have come through the fire and now we can rest on the knowledge that God has our back.   If we fear we are backsliding we have the program to work and strengthen us back up.  “Out of the problem, into the solution” is the most valuable cliche’ of all.  The good part is we now have the solutions, we don’t have to return to our Hell.  These solutions when done in depth not only keep us clean and sober  but are also a remedy for depression, anxiety and self loathing.

For one thing we usually are forced to seek a Higher Power diligently, in which case we become enlightened spiritually and psychicly.  We then realize that there is a process by which we get fed spiritually on a regular basis.  Either by working  the Twelve Steps and 10-12 maintenance steps or by attaining our daily bread in a religious way.  We in recovery tend to set new life goals at a later age than most people which helps us to be more open-minded with a fresh new outlook on life.  All men are equal as a rule but all men are not walking the same walk.

Getting sober in our thirty’s or forty’s tends to awaken us and our brains are jump-started into a new way of thinking far from the stagnant wasteland of the alcoholic muck.  Upon awakening we consider the day.  We ask God that our thinking be divorced from self-centeredness and self-pity.  We make an effort to help others and do no harm.  Clearly a person working the program of AA joined to a fellowship of both Love and weakness are there for one another.  Many normal people have basically the same things the best of AA offers.  It comes under different labels in different flavors and colors but the same basic spiritual tools are available to most people.

The Big Book and A.A. works for so many   because the malady of addiction produces common behaviors and personality traits among addicts.  Please allow me the same luxury of speaking in the “we” context even though “we” does not necessarily mean “you”.  Even though we addicts have many similarities we also have many differences .  I am well aware of that.                                                                                                                                     We do tend to wear our emotions on our sleeves in the first few years of sobriety after all we have been through allot and usually no one taught us healthy ways to deal with our feelings.  We have the fourth step fear list which helps so much when we get bogged down with any negative  emotion.       If our sponsors have taught us the fourth step in full then we have done our fear list..  I have found that I use the fourth step when anger becomes too much for me.  Thank God for AA.

WHY IS EVERYBODY’S PROFILE PIC RED AND BLUE?

The Paris National AA Convention just took place not  one week prior to the terrorist attack on Paris.

I don’t usually post non-recovery articles but this ISIS thing is completely out of hand and our brothers and sisters who stayed over from the recent convention could have been injured or killed.   The NATIONAL CONGRESS 55th anniversary AA France Paris 2015
SATURDAY 7 AND SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2015 Just happnened.  I hope you join me in prayer for them and all those suffering from this terrorist attack.

Info on the Paris convention

Why is everybody’s profile pic red and blue is a very good question.

France came under attack late Friday Night and we by changing our pro-pic are supporting the French against the machine gun and bombing attacks.  Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Three teams carried out the attacks in the French capital which killed 129 people and left more than 352 wounded, the Paris chief prosecutor says.  Ninety-nine of the wounded are reported in very serious condition, he said.

“We have to find out where they came from… and how they were financed,” Francois Molins, Prosecutor told reporters.

He said seven attackers had been killed, and that all had been heavily armed and wearing explosive belts

ISIS claimed responsibility in an online statement. The statement said eight ISIS militants wearing explosive belts and armed with machine guns attacked precisely selected targets in the French capital.

It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Europe since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, in which 191 people died. And it came less than two weeks after after a Russian plane crashed in Sinai — downed, intelligence officials believe, by a terrorist bomb — killing all 224 people aboard.
CNN-Find out more about the attacks
Mark Zuckerberg turns his profile pic blue and red in support of France, Paris which has come under attack recently
Facebook Safety Check Helps Parisians, Company Responds To Those In Beirut Asking, ‘Why Not Us’
Facebook deployed its Safety Check feature for Paris Saturday morning, making it the first time it was ever used in connection with terrorist attacks.

Zuckerberg’s Support for Paris

Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows his support for France by changing his profile photograph.
Paris was the first test of Facebook Inc.’s Safety Check role in helping improve quick communication during acts of terrorism. The company said in a statement Saturday afternoon: “Safety Check is a relatively new feature and until yesterday we had only activated it in the wake of natural disasters. The product will continue to evolve as we learn more about how it’s used during different crises. We hope to never be confronted with a situation like this again, but if we are, we are of course open to activating the tool given how reassuring it has been for people in Paris.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE I.B.T FACEBOOK PROFILE PIC SUPPORT ARTICLE
Story by Laura Edgar
Sources CNN News Online
International Business Times
BBC Interview with Molins procecuter.

WORST TWEAKER YET?

Worst Tweaker Yet At Wal-Mart Oh my god!  This is seriously so sad and I said to my partner, maybe she is just obsessibe compulsive we don’t really know do we?  Tweaker is a good guess and an obvious appearance if you have been around that sort of thing and know the behaviors.  But still all I can do is pray for the girl she doesn’t really look that bad appearance wise, skin, hair etc.

12 Step programs really do work if yo work-em.

Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Cult?

AA

BLAME

CULTS

Is AA a cult?

Well that depends on who you ask the question.  One thing for certain about the human race…we get some kind of fulfillment out of stamping a “BAD” label on groups of people, organizations, types of people etc.   We don’t want the karma or negative consequences that harsh judgement could bestow on us so we should definitely be careful about using the word “cult”.    There are lots of articles labeling AA a cult.  But really what are the characteristics of a true cult?

  • An organization that insists on separating you from your friends and family.
  • A group of people that want to control your behavior, the way you look, act by lots of rules and regulations that are invasive and contrary to freedom.
  • A religious group that insists they are the only one’s who know God.   They drill into you that all other spiritual and religious groups are bad, wrong and evil.   And they  insist that they are the “way” to God.  Without them you will be lost and doomed to a fate worse than death.
  • They often claim to be the only prophets on the face of the Earth.
  • They make themselves as God by requiring that you worship them, him.  They require that you give you self wholly to them.  All of you your mind, body, time, and work.  They require that you give all your worldly possessions to them.
  • They ultimately require that you cross your own moral boundaries and good conscience to obey them even unto death or group suicide.  The ultimate sacrifice.
  • A cult usually condemns everyone else they claim to be all-knowing when it comes to who and what is evil.  Their primary purpose is to manipulate you into handing over all your power and choices.

Pretty vicious!  These are evil characteristics at best and clearly just another form of blame by a cults condemnation of all other things religious/spiritual .

Is AA a cult?  No, not by it’s doctrines, which are the 12 steps and 12 traditions absolutely not.   Granted that does not mean that there could never be cultist sects working within AA.  Made up of people that practice AA completely contrary to the 12 steps and traditions, but that goes for any large group within organizations.  Any group of people can go awry.

However, few if any religious organizations have the liberating and non-controlling foundation that AA has by its 12 Tradition.  Nor does any other religion suggest that you seek God and put your own vision and label on God.    AA does not hand us God on a platter served up with a cocktail of legalistic regulations of what HE looks like acts like dresses like, wants us to dress like Nor do they serve a desert of descriptive visuals of the punishment and torture God will smite us with  if we don’t obey all the rules.

Spirituality does not come in a box.  We do not come to know God by other people’s seeking God for us.  We must seek out our Higher Power on our own.  That way when we reach that pie in the sky the great creator of human life will recognize us and know exactly who we are because we prayed, meditated, sought God with our might and even helped a few addicts along the way.

Out of a desperation that only the fear of utter emotional pain, death, suffering and worse can induce.   Yes by this woe we found God and by this woe we learned that Love is an action that we take to receive back that same Love.

(thanks to Erwin Guillem for the gorgeous photograph that can be found on “your shot” National Georgraphic.)

WHY DO MEN RECOVER MORE OFTEN THAN WOMEN?

Statistically Why Are More Men Staying Sober Than Women?

Why is it that there are more men getting and staying sober in the program of AA than women?  Why is it that we women seem to have more emotional issues that need addressing than men?  Partly we just talk about our issues more, men repress on a much larger scale.  Nevertheless we woman that do stay sober are usually more of the “tomboy” type.  The very feminine and highly fragile woman rarely can get through what it takes to stay sober.  Experience teaches that us rough types even often bi-sexual type women have a much higher chance statistically of staying sober than do the frail and feminine. 

Clearly experience teaches it’s the “alpha” females who stay sober in much greater numbers than the more submissive woman.  But we must learn to make ourselves vulnerable emotionally rather than protecting ourselves emotionally. “Sobriety ain’t for sissies!”  So bone up ladies!  You can do it but it’s gonna hurt!  The bad news is…we can feel again, the good news is…we can feel again.  Yes and we have a boat load of emotional issues and character flaws to give to our Higher Power and to ebb-away at. 

Firstly, in my nine years of recovery which ya, hey it is allot of clean-time and I won’t pretend that it isn’t even if it is by the Grace of God.   I have done a hell-of-allot of work on myself, with the help of other women.  And what I have seen in AA is there is only one woman in AA that I have met whom was not sexually abused as a child.  I have silent theories this is the “why” behind most addictions.  The guilt and shame a young child will place on her-self for something she really was not equipped to resist is astounding even life-changing.  We addict woman have learned by the age of ten or younger that we can use our sexuality against men (or women) to control them, manipulate them, and force feed them guilt to get whatever we want from them.

 

We are in recovery now it is time to do our sexual inventory not absent of crimes done to us.  We write how that made us feel but rite now we are addressing our side of the street and cleaning it.  On page…ok ya page 69 in the Big Book Itgives us a long list of questions to ask ourselves.  These question help us with this inventory of our sex based wrongs.     It is imperative for our emotional sobriety that we go over this list honestly and thoroughly and own up to all those that we have manipulated with our sexuality.  Usually the men on our Fourth Step resentment list will also be a big part of our sexual inventory.  In spite of how these men have wronged and abused us it is vital that we see “our part” so we can learn to Love and keep Love close to us and in us.  Yes I am saying Love is of greater importance than anything however we are usually incapable of showing Love and acting out of Love when we are deep in our addiction so that sets sobriety up as a priority before anything else in our lives even Love.

 

Most of us when abused,  didn’t run to an adult and snitch the assailant out, we wanted someone to Love us.  We confused affection with Love and we thought to get Love we had to drop our moral boundaries.  We thought we had to be hurt to get what we needed.  Perhaps that’s what our parents ingrained in us.  And so we turned things around because we are survivors and we used our sexual power accompanied with lies and deception to get what we thought we needed at the time…usually money, drugs, & the basic things like food and shelter.

 

Some of us even sold our bodies outright for money to get drugs.  We were exposed to many disgusting and painful situations.  Some that we barely made it out of alive.  It’s no wonder we learned to hate men.  It’s no wonder we learned to hate women!  They were our competition they betrayed our confidence!  Screw woman! We could not manipulate them as easily.

 

But now we must put our “woman’s issues” on our fourth step.  We will need other women if we are to heal and stay sober.  So we pray for God to put the right woman in our lives so we can experience the “sisterhood of The Spirit”.  Men absolutely are incapable of relating to many aspects of our personalities therefore they are of limited use to us in recovery when working through these core woman’s issues.  If we have a chance to get into a woman’s meeting we DO IT!  These meetings are much more intimate and women will share things that  absolutely will not hear in a regular meeting, shares that are vital for our healing

 

We begin to let our abuses out of our bag of secrets.  We expose some shameful actions of our past in our fifth step with a sponsor and we expose other secrets in the rooms with the woman.  We will find that doing so will put in place the connection that we need to other woman.  When we listen in our women’s meeting we train ourselves to LOOK FOR THE SIMILARITIES RATHER THAN THE DIFFERENCES!

 

Finding someone to criticize is an old survival skill that deflects self-guilt.  Criticism feeds the ego that which it needs to go-on however, criticism is not what we need now…we need empathy, we need healing and that will never come whilst seeking differences so we can criticize others.  We write ourselves a note “seek the similarities don’t criticize!” and we put that in front of us in every meeting we go to until we have trained our brains and have built a bridge over the sick neuron-pathways called addiction.  Our brain-bridge is called “survival for the sober”.  Building a sober brain-bridge takes work and a supernatural kick so we start by ninety meetings in ninety days and we pray for willingness, clarity, guidance, healing, and for HP to make a way where there seems no way.

 

We have deep and imbedded trust issues that simply must be ignored to an extent so we can get what we need.  We may not be able to trust but we will nevertheless choose a sponsor and work the Fifth Step leaving no debauchery uncovered.  That which we want to keep secret the most should be at the top of our fourth step.  The Truth will set us free.

 

We put the “blame-game” in the garbage.  We are responsible for processing every feeling that comes into our hearts.  If we have sex with a person they owe us nothing!  It is our choice weather we have sex and unless we tell the person up-front a price for that sex…they owe us nothing.  Not a phone call, not to fix things for us, not to make our choices for us, nor a place to stay they owe us nothing.  If we expect something from a person we are in bed with then we should be up-front about it.  We can propose that if they are screwing other people we will have to leave the relationship.  They are adult they can do as they please.  They can make promises that they won’t keep.  If they don’t respect us then we leave the relationship it is our choice if we stay therefore blame is off the table.  Granted we can command respect but it is us who must draw the line in the sand and walk away when it is crossed.  We cannot make other adults do anything we can only request and suggest.

 

If we feel we have been wronged we should call a woman and talk it out.  If a law has been broken we may call the cops.  We may find if we talk things out with another woman that it is our unresolved issues that are haunting us rather than the person we are in bed with in the present.  We addicts tend to carry an ink-blotter stamping “guilty” on anyone we are intimate with once the fairy-tale phase of the relationship is over.  Not anymore!  Now we journal, we write “fuck you” letters (do not send) to vent our angers.  We scream in our cars if we have to.  We beat the pillow, we talk it out with woman but we do not blame anyone anymore for our feelings ever.

 

Even if we are wronged…can the person process our emotions?  No!  If others had the responsibility of processing and dealing with our feelings then we would be slaves to other people which we are not.  We are learning how to take responsibility for our lives and our emotions.  It is not easy, not for sissies but you can do it my dear because you are stronger and capable of a deeper Love than most women can even imagine.  Why?  Because of the deep pain you have suffered.

 

Your emotional pain has carved out a deep dark hole in your heart.  You will process that hurt and replace it with Love.  That is why we women in recovery are more capable of a deeper Love than anyone who has not been through the trauma that we have.  Seek God and The Sunlight of The Spirit and you shall be a vessel of joy, Love, and happiness amidst the tears that have gone un-cried for too long.

WHY ADDICTION DIFFERS BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN

 

 

 

CONFESSIONS OF A METH COOK The Untold Stories NOW TOLD!

CONFESSIONS OF A METH COOK

BLOG TALK RADIO OWNS ALL RIGHTS TO THIS CONTENT AUDIO, FACEBOOK OWNS ALL RIGHTS TO THE POSTED LITERARY CONTENT WE THANK THEM BOTH FOR THEIR KIND AND GENEROUS ONLINE SHARE POLICIES. THE LINK TO DALE GARRETT’S AUDIO LIBRARY IS BELOW. Know this: Once you post to Facebook, it belongs to the world.

The Untold Stories NOW TOLD!

Confessions of a Meth Lab Cook is an audio by blog talk radio and Dale Garrett.  Dale Garrett is a wonderful guy who takes his experience strength and hope to the people who need to hear it most.  He makes weekly audio shows at blog talk radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thereslifeafterdrugs

“AS TIME HAS PASSED MANY HAVE SENT TO ME THEIR STORIES OF HOW THEIR LIVES HAVE BEEN TURNED INSIDE OUT BY THE DECISIONS AND ACTIONS THAT THEY MADE, NAMELY ALL LEADING BACK TO THE USE OR MAKING OF METHAMPHETAMINE, NOW THEY HAVE ASKED ME TO SHARE THEIR STORIES IN HOPES THAT BY DOING SO IT WILL SHOW OTHERS THE HORROR AND DEVASTATION THAT COMES ALONG WITH THIS SO CALLED GLAMOURS LIFESTYLE,, SO I INVITE YOU TO JOIN BOTH MYSELF AND MY HOST SARAH BETH AS WE TAKE YOU ON A JOURNEY THROUGH THE LIVES OF 3 YOUNG LADIES LIVES WHO GOT TRAPPED IN THE METH GAME, AND NEARLY LOST EVERYTHING,BUT….THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, FOR YOU SEE, THEY WERE BLESSED TO BE ABLE TO MAKE IT OUT OF THIS EVIL MADNESS THAT NOW PLAGUES OUR SOCIETY, SO JOIN US IF YOU WILL..FOR OUR SHOW “CONFESSIONS OF A METH COOK “THE UNTOLD STORIES” By Dale Garrett
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thereslifeafterdrugs

WHO REALLY OWNS YOUR FACEBOOK POSTS?

Your Words and Information http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2014/10/who-legally-owns-your-facebook-posts.html

While Facebook may say that you “own” your posts, it turns out that much of the legal impact of your ownership boils down to your privacy settings. Facebook is constantly making changes to its privacy policy, but the bottom line is this: Whatever words or information you post under the “Public” setting are fair game for anyone to use.

That means if you share your recipe on Facebook, and celebrity chef Bobby Flay decides to appropriate it for his next cookbook, you won’t be getting any royalties. This is partially because recipes generally aren’t available for copyright, but most of your posts containing words and information aren’t either.

Your Photos and Videos

Facebook users have slightly more rights to the photos and videos which you post to the site, as those works are easier to protect via copyright. However, Facebook’s terms allow them “a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook.” In layman’s terms, Facebook has license to use the photos and videos you post (which you own) in any way it sees fit, without paying you, and it can transfer that license to third parties.

Typically, you could sue a company like Facebook for using your image without your permission (or without paying you) under your rights of publicity. But by joining Facebook, you’ve essentially given the company carte blanche to do what it will with your images and videos, not to mention whomever Facebook decides to share your media with.
READ MORE WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS, FACEBOOK POSTS

New International Version

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

New Living Translation
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

English Standard Version
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Berean Study Bible
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Berean Literal Bible
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

New American Standard Bible
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

King James Bible
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God.

International Standard Version
“How blessed are those who make peace, because it is they who will be called God’s children!

They Say…”Addicts Stop Maturing Emotionally When They Start Using”…

I was not able to find any scientific evidence stating addicts stunt their emotional growth the minute they start drinking and drugging to cope with their feelings.

What is emotional maturity?  A mature person takes responsibility for their own feelings and actions and learns what to do with their emotions  (contrary to repression or blame).  Coupled with the acceptance of others and the ability to NOT PLAY GOD.  They show respect toward their fellow man and do no harm to themselves or others of any form.

ANGER THE ACCEPTED EMOTION

But it’s obvious and common-sense that when we no longer use healthy emotional coping skills we resort to unhealthy ones.   Drinking and drugging to mask intense fear and inferiority issues causes emotional stagnation.  This emotional numbing process goes hand in hand with suppressing feelings.  For instance instead of crying when we are hurt we pound down a twelve pack and become an angry drunk because we think to be hurt shows weakness so we never address the core “emotional hurts” behind our anger.  The supposedly “recovering” addict can engage in a similar sick emotional process while sober.  Just substitute blame or any character defect in place of the twelve pack and we can still repress our emotions and stay in denial of fear and pain.

My own inadequacies are haunting me even after years of twelve step work, therapy, and spiritual experiences.

There seems to be no permanent remedy to character defects and perfectionism.  But rather it takes spiritual maintenance (steps 10-12) to stay positive and emotionally healthy once sick emotional processes have been introduced to the brain (especially in the formative years).

I really do dislike the fact that I can’t be fixed once and for all and that I will always need spiritual solutions BUT there are worse things.

“FEAR” THE UNACCEPTABLE FEELING

Here is what Bill W. said about “fear”;

“this short word somehow touches about every aspect of our lives.  It was an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it.  It set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt we didn’t deserve. But did not we ourselves set the ball rolling?”

Before we can mature emotionally in sobriety we need to learn how to process our feelings.  Sounds like psycho-babble right?  Emotionally healthy people use processes like this for instance.

“HURT FEELINGS” THE UNACCEPTABLE  EMOTION & SOLUTIONS

First we admit our emotional pains, insecurities and fears.  We moan, scream (not at anybody)  or cry them out, that’s why God made tear ducts.  And we write them down.  We share them with someone and then we give them to God.  Fear itself is not the character defect because it’s a feeling and feelings are part of us.  Actions however, can be defective.  We are clearly not trusting our Higher Power if we are paralyzed by fear.  We ask for God’s help with our lack of faith and trust. We can use a God box to help us let go of the things that we are putting in God’s care.

Now if you or your sponsor have labelled any part of natures healthy emotional processing techniques as “character flaws” and have deemed crying as “self-pity” and labelled sharing and writing our fear list as “self-centered & self indulgent” then it’s time to fire our sponsor and find one that is compassionate and understanding even empathetic.

Steps Ten through Twelve do work just as step four and five works to clear the wreckage of the past.  But when it comes to fear addicts and alcoholics seem to be loaded down with more fear than the average person.   I believe this is because we were introduced to fear as a result of some childhood emotional trauma and it set the ball rolling in our brains.  And so we set out for a solution to our fear based feelings and double helping of shame that came with it.

It’s imperative that in recovery we learn to open up about who we are and how we feel.  The tough girl, tough boy facade must be left behind.

We will mature emotionally if we allow natures process to flow through us rather than getting stuck.

Robin Williams Wife Finally Breaks the Silence

IT WASN’T DEPRESSION THAT KILLED ROBIN WILLIAMS IT WAS DEMENTIA AND A RARE BRAIN DISEASE (Louie body demntia)

“Was he losing his mind?” Susan-“Yes”.

SEE VIDEO NOW ORIGINAL ARTICLE NY DAILY NEWS.COM
Beloved comedian Robin Williams’ widow, Susan Williams, says she doesn’t blame him “one bit” for committing suicide — and that his final act was simply a way to wrest back control from a “sea monster” of a disease.

In her first interview since her husband’s Aug. 11, 2014 death, a tearful Susan opened about her husband’s demons on a “Good Morning America” interview airing Tuesday.

“I got to tell him, ‘I forgive you 50 billion percent, with all my heart. You’re the bravest man I’ve ever known,'” she recalled of the day Williams, 63, was found after hanging himself with a belt. “You know, we were living a nightmare.”

Susan compared the “Mrs. Doubtfire” actor’s “endless parade of        symptoms” in the months leading up to his death to a game of Whac-A-Mole, admitting she thought he was a hypochondriac at first. He would’ve had “maybe three years” left if he was lucky, she said.
>READ MORE SEE THE INTENSE VIDEO NOW

Paul Williams Tells his story of Hitting Rock Bottom

Paul Williams: Coming Back from Rock Bottom | Super Soul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network

Watch both video’s.  They are very short at these links.

http://realestate.aol.com/blog/videos/real-estate/518511534/
Songwriting legend Paul Williams says that, at the height of his fame, an addiction to alcohol and drugs nearly destroyed him. After hitting bottom
a bunch of alcoholics in Oklahoma City prayed in a prayer circle for him and that night in a black out Paul Williams finally called a doctor and went to rehab.  Above is the link to the video and also after the P. Williams video is the Oprah show that talks about Normies needing recovery too.

See him tell the story of what saved him at this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROgkQnrGUic

OMG He wrote “Just an old fashion love song” that Three Dog Night made famous but here’s his version with the mupputs. Too funny.
PAUL WILLIAMS AND MUPPETS. Also wrote “Rainy Days and Mondays” that the carpenters made famous. And

I WON’T CO-SIGN YOUR BULLSHIT!

“I WON’T CO-SIGN YOUR BULLSHIT!”

Scream the 12 step sponsors to the detriment of their heartsick fellows! There is a great need in AA to understand the difference between co-signing bull shit and showing Love by exerting understanding, compassion, and care.

There is a great need to understand the difference between self-pity and the expression of valid feelings such as anger, and hurt.

Human feelings that result from an abusive past need expressed for us to stay or get sane.

The words, “I know how you feel, you have a right to feel your pain, grieve and to process your hurt…even if, the feelings derive from years prior” are words that can heal a heart. Most addicts have stuffed down tears for years that desperately needed to be cried for us to attain emotional balance and healing. Usually when we get clean & sober all our un-cried tears come to the surface and scream to get out. We then ask ourselves: “What’s wrong with me, why am I so depressed, nothing bad is going on right now? Next our sponsors quickly tell us to “get over it and write a gratitude list” as they watch us slam the door in the face of AA.

Gratitude lists work great for those stomping their feet because things are not going their way (self-pity). However when it comes to the horrible feelings of grief that result from abuse, abandonment, neglect and other childhood trauma all our sponsors suggestion does is add to our low self-image and push us out the doors.

The most common “grave emotional disorder” that addicts in the rooms suffer from is the inability to process deep hurts and trauma inflicted as children & sometimes through adulthood. We have turned our hurt to anger and continually search for a scape-goat to blame for our intolerable feelings. Our hurts have morphed into anger because “grief”, unless short lived and a result of the death of a loved one is unacceptable in our society. When we experience any other cause of emotional pain except what’s socially acceptable we are often told to just “GET OVER IT!” So driven by shame we bone-up, pretend we are tuff-girls and boys, file our feelings under the “wrong and weak” category in our hearts and make ourselves sick till we have no other solution except to numb that which we have labeled “Invalid feelings”.

Is it no wonder that when one of us relapses so many seem to be so devastated by it…

even when we scarcely know the person who went back out? We are desperate to let out some of our grief in a way that is acceptable to our fellows. We all step up our meetings and talk about our pain and loss when it usually has nothing to do with the guy who just relapsed who we have never invited to our home by the way.

The need for validation of our deep hurt is huge and necessary for healing. It’s hard for us in recovery to see when we are stuffing down a pain that really needs to be expressed. Few of us were taught by example or in school that it’s ok to scream and cry feelings out, or that crying is a part of emotional health.

Grave emotional disorders

are not healed by just writing down [our part] and transferring all the blame from one scape goat to the next; [ourselves]. Please don’t hear what I am not saying…we addicts have boatloads of character defects that we need to work on however, not all grave emotional disorder is solved by doing a guilt based fourth step. Furthermore, if Bill W. would have had a course in empathic healing and were taught that his feelings are valid and how to emotionally process them he may not have spent at least 12 years sober and depressed trying so many therapies and pharmaceutical remedies.

Typically Bill was too hard on himself. There comes a time when we must pause from blaming ourselves for where we are at emotionally if we are to find answers and heal. There comes a time when we should realize that we were dealt a mistaken hand where our understanding of emotions is concerned and the steps don’t fix everything.

THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING

Suicide and Addiction The Hemingway Curse and Emotional Battle

MENTAL ILLNESS, ADDICTION AND SUICIDE ALL ROLLED INTO ONE COURAGEOUS AND CANDID DOCUMENTARY OF THE LIVES OF THE FAMOUS HEMINGWAY’S  Originally aired on April 23, 2013

Mariel Hemingway

Get the instant video or DVD of this compelling documentary only on Amazon

GET THE INSTANT VIDEO OR DVD ONLY ON AMAZON HERE

 

Mariel Hemingway opens up about suicide, molestation and her family’s curse in ‘Running from Crazy’

(More about sexual abuse and addiction at RFH )

National Suicide Prevention Hot Line

 Mariel admits she saw her father sometimes enter the girls’ bedroom when they were young and sexually abuse Muffet and Margaux. “I didn’t know what he was doing, but I knew it wasn’t right,” she says on camera, adding that she was never herself abused — though one is nevertheless left wondering if that is actually true. Further, she hypothesizes that unfortunate past as something relating to how extremely close to their father Muffet and Margaux were, while, again, Mariel seemed to be on the outside of the unit, closer to her mother than anyone else.

Amid all of this, Mariel struggles with the “Hemingway curse.” Ernest’s 1961 suicide is legendary but two of his siblings also killed themselves, as did his father. This in addition to Margaux. That curse is theorized as a suicide gene and the very potential of such a thing leaves Mariel racked with fear for her own daughters as she participates in charity work and suicide prevention initiatives.

READ MORE at Huffpost Live

SEE VIDEO CLIP OF MARIEL

HEAVEN BY WAY OF HELL

My Own: “Orange is the new Black”

My sobriety date is April of 2006.  I got clean on Good Friday and spent Easter weekend in a small holding cell going cold turkey off numerous drugs and alcohol.

All my senses were heightened as the withdraw pains increased and I listened to the guards just outside my dark holding cell  drink, party, and play adult games.  Not long after I heard them torturing a woman in what they later refereed to as the “Black Chair”.

Needless to say the black chair had restraints.  Granted the tiny female prisoner was drunk, delusional and played her own part in the torture I heard her endure that night.    The guards used the “black chair” title as a threat to keep inmates in line.  After several weeks of recuperation that inmate was moved from medical into the women’s pod.

After my second month of sickness with painful gull bladder attacks I was sent to ‘medical’ where another women suffered from seizures in the room next to me.  Apparently seizures are a criminal infarction in the Levy County Jail.  I ‘saw’ nothing that night but what I heard was both scary and alarming.  Let’s say I lived years on the streets, in crack traps, bars, with felons but what I witnessed in that jail to me was shocking.  I couldn’t have imagined that a female nurse could be so utterly brutal.  Funny…we never saw that patient/inmate again after the night of her seizures.  All I know is I heard her hit the floor and she went silent.  Just a few feet from me with a wall between us.  She went silent as that nursed screamed brutalized her .  She kept screaming, “your faking your seizures”!  Word was she was mysteriously released even though prior to her visit to medical there was no chance of her getting bail and her court date was a long way off.

That wasn’t the first abuse I witnessed in that jail.  But that’s not what this story is about.  Idk…maybe it should be, maybe that is where it’s taking me.

Perhaps I should mention the prettier younger girls

who got to leave jail to take trips to “McDonald’s” if they were chosen by the guards.  One of  the inmates was also my friend on the outside who just happened to be younger and prettier than me.  She said the guards would not only take them to McDonalds but also get them their drug of choice on occasion for their trip to Micky D’s.  I think we all know what the girls did for the guards, and they were happy to get a McDonald’s hamburger for their pleasure.

The pod we were in consisted of about 30 inmates 15 upstairs and 15 downstairs.   We were allowed to choose the location of our own bunks.  How it usually went down was ‘if’ NO ‘when’ someone pissed us off we would grab our gear and bunk as far away from them as possible.  I ended up grabbing my gear and heading down those stairs.  We all ended up right where we were supposed to be.

One thing sure, we were on display, literally.

We had an audience called the “Screws”.  Up high straight across from the inmates second story was the guards own second story room with a huge glass window facing down on our pod.   The glass was even set at an angle so they could see everything.  They could look right down on the ladies day or night…with good intentions of coarse.  They were keeping us safe you see.  And at the same time, well lets just say as it all turned out, the ladies upstairs had much different personalities than the ladies of the downstairs levels of the pod.

The ladies upstairs kept themselves up at all hours of the night.  They were active and the guards loved it.  Apparently they knew how to put on a show.  The guards had their own big screen real-time stripper show with girl on girl pornography and it was all live.  I guess they just couldn’t resist the temptation to watch the show and buy the burgers.

The downstairs ladies used to rise in the morning and say a morning prayer together in a circle right there in jail.  We were tired of the life as addicts and criminals.

We were generally kind to one another.  There were spiritual things happening to us.  We were having a common dream about water and baptisms, pools, and rivers.  We went to church on Wednesday nights and we had AA group on  Sundays.  In between we had the library and all its recovery literature.  We were women who wanted to change.  (even if some of us did take the occasional trip to McDonald’s).  I remember that jail-house preacher told us “God is here walking the halls & working miracles.”  I believed him, somehow I just knew I was going to get my miracle.  That preacher was one judgmental, assuming son-of-a-bitch but he had some good things to say too.  We ladies were soaking up as much positive energy as we could find.

But the girls upstairs…well they hated us ladies down stairs.  My girlfriend from the outside basically couldn’t make up her mind she kept switching back and forth from upstairs to down.  She would fill me in on what was going on up top .  I considered her credible I knew her.  We were hypocrites to them.  To them we were showing pitiful weakness and they despised it.  If I had not been released when I was, well there was a women who was picking a fight with me and it was reaching a head.  She screamed at me because she was going to prison and I wasn’t.  She swore she would see me in prison and then she would have my ass.  I feel pity for her at this moment.

You know you are in recovery when you take A.A. meetings into the very jail which incarcerated you for sixty days.  Yes, for two years I walked freely in and out of that same jail.  By the Grace of God, AA and therapy with Randall Mayrovitz at Meridian Healthcare Bridge-house outpatient therapy and inpatient both I learned how to live sober.

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2012/apr/15/state-by-state-prisoner-rape-and-sexual-abuse-round-up/

Chadwick Buford Holmes, 32, a jail guard with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested on June 30, 2011 on a third-degree felony charge of sexual misconduct. He is accused of repeatedly having sex with a female prisoner in a bathroom, and was booked into the same jail where he is alleged to have committed the sex acts.

I was coming off Xanax, Crack, Methadone, Cigarettes, and Caffeine

Not to mention I kept having gull bladder attacks omg.  It’s a wonder I survived it.  But for the grace of God.  I finally got my day in court after two months and the judge gave me a sentence to rehab.  I got to ride to Meridian in decked out cop car with sixty days detox time under my belt.  I was well on my way to full blown recovery.

Jail saved my ass.  AA taught me coping skills and how to get sober.  Therapy taught me what to do with my emotions and helped me work through core issues.  The 12 steps are the essence of my religion.  Without my higher power I would not have survived addiction.  All good things are from the Great Spirit of Light and Life.  Tapping into that strengthens my faith.

Inside me is a good and loving dog and a fearful and criminal dog which ever one I feed the most will become stronger.  Lately I have been tempted to shop-lift.  Time to feed the good dog.  But one thing for sure while I am alive, I will be human.  The human condition is by default corruptible.  The program works as long as I make the choice and take the action to work it.  But without the outside help I would be screwed.

By Laura Edgar

Robin W. Alcoholic

Robin W., Alcoholic (from the writers at https://aspiritualevolution.wordpress.com)

Note: This is the first time I’ve written about something outside my own personal experience, but it’s been on my mind enough that I felt moved to.

.

When Amy Winehouse’s body was found with a blood alcohol content of .4% (five times the DUI level), lying among scattered vodka bottles like so many smoking guns, most of the media and public understood that her death was caused by alcoholism.

Not so with the loss of Robin Williams – also caused by alcoholism, but in a much subtler sense. The press does note that he had checked into rehab a few weeks prior, but his prolonged suspension of active drinking causes them to dismiss his addiction as conquered. It seems to me only my fellow alcoholics are able to intuit the close relationship between his alcoholism, depression, and the unbearable-ness of being that led him to take his life…read more…

PIERCING ABUSE HORRORS /SERENITY PRAYER

Do Not Do this to Your Tongue
CLICK HERE TO SEE PIERCING ABUSE HORRORS

TOTALLY RAD MAN…OH DO PEOPLE STILL SAY THAT? A MUST SEE.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.

Step One of A.A.

Step One

A sponsor is a person who has completed working the 12 steps and now teaches others to work them. One common first step assignment is to read “How it Works” and “The Doctors Opinion” in the Big Book of AA. Another assignment is to write five examples of powerlessness over alcohol or drugs in our own lives. And so we have begun the journey of recovery with a sponsor who has managed to stay sober themselves. What this first assignment does is brings our addiction into the light by listing our powerlessness it keeps us from forgetting we are addicts and prevents us from lying to ourselves by saying…”Yes I can drink responsibly…this time.”

The Doctors opinion shows us that we are definitely not alone and we are not the only ones who have experience the powerlessness of addiction. Powerlessness and the “insanity” of addiction are hard to differentiate between. All powerlessness associated with addiction is insanity but not all inanity exhibits powerlessness.I promised myself I would only have one drink however I woke up after a three day bender asking myself “What in the hell happened?” I promised myself I would never drink or drug again but I did it anyway. I promised myself I would never hurt my loved ones by my addiction yet, again I stole money from my daughter’s piggy bank to buy crack. Ouch! That is serious powerlessness.

Premeditated and guiltless thievery to support my addiction is insane but it is not a show of powerlessness. Accusing my ex-husband of being the reason that I drink and drug because of the way he treats me is insanity but it is not powerlessness. Good luck with your step work!

When we write our examples of powerlessness we should write also how it made us feel. The thing is we addicts usually want to be in complete control. Most of us have intense control issues even. And so we internally beat ourselves to a pulp when we cannot stick to our own using guidelines. Simply put we are expecting ourselves to control something that we are completely incapable of controlling.

We find ourselves in a subconscious state of self-loathing by which we hate us and the world. We did not create our powerlessness nor did we sign up to become addicts. We have no right to condemn ourselves for our powerlessness. We merely accept it and move on to step two.

OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION!

Is AA Spiritual or Religious?

U.S. Courts find that AA is a religious organization

By Linda R.

Inside AA, one hears members frequently repeat the well-known phrase “AA is spiritual, not religious.” AA takes pride in saying it’s not religious. But what do outsiders, such as the court systems, think about AA’s claim?

In the ten year period between 1996 and 2007, five high-level US courts — three federal circuit courts and two state supreme courts – did take a long and hard look at AA’s claim. Each of these cases involved a person who was being forced to participate in AA meetings, either as a condition of their parole or probation, or while actually incarcerated. These cases reached the highest level of judiciary scrutiny — only one level below the US Supreme Court — because they involved the critical issue of separation of Church and State. This separation is a fundamental aspect of US law, known as the Establishment Clause, and is explicated in the first amendment to the US Constitution, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

The parolees, probationers and inmates in each of these cases claimed that the State was using its power to force them to participate in a religious activity. They claimed that AA meetings were religious. Thus, their required attendance was a violation of the Establishment Clause, which requires governmental neutrality with respect to religion and a wall of separation between Church and State.   READ MORE AT aaagnostica.com

Church Releases Jarring Video: Battling Sex Addiction With Honesty

Church Releases Jarring Video: Battling Sex Addiction With Honesty

Scroll down to see video now.

The name of the Mormon website is LDS Living

In honor of National Addiction Recovery Month, the Mormon Channel is releasing a series of powerful and raw videos, which focus on the struggles and triumphs of those overcoming various addictions.

The 12-part series focuses on the personal experience of 12 former addicts who share startlingly honest and real experiences of their fights to overcome drug, alcohol, food, sex, and pornography addictions. read more…

Here is the link to the video

SCOTT PETERSON To Be Featured on ‘Murder Made Me Famous’

FAMOUS SEX ADDICT AND CONVICTED MURDERER SCOTT PETERSON, UPDATE:  Show Airs on Reelz August 25, 10pm, 9 ep/pt

The Scott Peterson, Laci Peterson, Modesto, California murder case will make the next episode of Murder Made Me Famous on Reelz.  Read more in the inquisitor…                                                                                                                                (Please know the partial story printed here was written by

Sex addict Scott Peterson lives a cushy life on death row  after murdering his pregnant wife and unborn child.  It’s said that he did it for his mistress Amber Frey who he was seeing at the time.  Consequently,  Peter Reynosa filed a lawsuit late Wednesday in Fresno County Superior Court, seeking either $250,000 or Frey’s renewed cooperation on the book, titled “Memoirs of a Sex Addict,” and the screenplay, “Myths of the Flesh.”

It is unclear if the book was fiction or a memoir by Frey, but a document attached to the lawsuit that Reynosa said is a contract says authorship would be listed as “Amber Frey as told to Peter Reynosa.”  Talk about a can of worms.

The screenplay — which is fiction, Reynosa said — was at one point known as “Orgasms of the Dying.”  Read more here:

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/crime/article24614536.html#storylink=cpy

Scott Peterson “The Perfect Husband” Crime Archives Scott Peterson Trial – Scott & Laci Home Video – July 4th, 2002
Geraldo video from March when he appealed his death row sentence.

see original article in new tab

The Scott Peterson, Laci Peterson, Modesto, California murder case will make the next episode of Murder Made Me Famous on Reelz. Last Week, the Inquisitr reported on the debut of the new Reelz show. Tonight’s Murder Made Me Famous will detail the actual events of the murder of Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant, and her unborn baby, Connor. Laci’s death made headlines in 2002 after she vanished on Christmas Eve. When her body washed ashore several months later, her husband, Scott Peterson, was charged with murder. Today, he still sits on California’s death row, where he seems to be living a “cushy’ life,” according to Daily Mail.

Laci Peterson was a bubbly, cute, dark haired beauty. By all accounts, she was a talented young woman with many friends and was a beautiful homemaker. She enjoyed being a housewife, and she loved putting together exquisite meals for her friends and family members. When you were invited to Laci’s house, you knew you were going to have a good time. And this is exactly the kind of image that Laci wanted to portray.

According to the Movies Based On True Stories Archives, Laci emulated Martha Stewart, and other shows that encouraged women to be the perfect homemakers. Impressing her friends with her beautifully organized Modesto home sure made people feel cozy, and it gave Laci lots of pride. Her husband, Scott, liked that about her, too—in the beginning.

Scott Peterson was a handsome dark-haired man who appeared to be a successful businessman. From the outside looking in, it seemed that life for the Petersons was just perfect. In reality, Laci was not was not happy with Scott. Though at times he could be charming and reassuring that he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, behind the scenes, he was longing for life as a single man. Scott loved three things: money, porn, sexy women who loved lots of sex, and himself—so that makes four. see original article in new tab
More on the Scott Peterson appeal
FULL BLOWN SEX ADDICT
Scott Peterson’s ex-girlfriend sued over ‘sex addict’ book

What is Sin?

What sin is depends on the person who is defining it for themselves. What is sin to one person may not be sin to another. My own conscience is what guides me as to whether I am committing a sin or not. If I feel guilty, truly guilty about an action then it is sin to me.

Many people suffer from false guilt at times by feeling responsible for other people’s condition. However that happens to people who feel they have way more power than they actually do. Unless I have wronged a person by literally physically or verbally disrespecting them I am not responsible for their condition. Furthermore even if I do hurt someone emotionally by my words, it is ultimately up to that person to work through their own emotions. I can’t process anyone’s emotions for them. I can’t work through your hurt for you. I can’t cry for you to get it out and I can’t let it go for you by praying to God the Serenity Prayer.

We are all responsible to process our own emotions. I can no more cry for you than I can tell you what is sin for you. Granted there are the clear cut cases of people who have no conscience and therefore have nothing to label as sin. And there are the clear cut cases of violent crimes against others that on a universal standard are easily defined as wrong. But if I am a person who can go out and kill with no guilt feelings what so ever even if I am killing the innocent, then there is no such thing as sin to me only right and wrong as defined by other people. My own conscience is what defines my sin.

“Sin” is a religious and moral term, some people have no morals in their heart, these people should abide by the law. Then there are those who feel even a cuss word is sin or masturbation or sex is sin I have one word for these people. KEEP YOUR SINS TO YOURSELF, no adult has the right to tell other respectful law abiding adults what to do. So I say bugger-off sinner.

My Seven Seconds In Hell

My Seven Seconds In Hell Dale Garrett’s story and Mark Buckner’s story of a meth lab explosion
Dale Garrett on fire
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MByysaBSKU

 

 

DALE GARRETS STORY

On December 14th 2011 the meth lab I was operating blew up and set me on fire leaving me to die in my own destructive ways. But then a miracle happened- God had plans for my life and he reached down and put the flames out. I spent several months in the hospital receiving surgeries and skin grafts and then sentenced to 10 years in the Iowa state prison. I am now out on parole and doing what I feel God has called me to do- reach out to others still struggling with addictions. I have written a book about my accident and how I have found recovry with God. The book is called “My 7 Seconds in Hell the Complete Story” and is available through Amazon both online and paperback. Anyone who is experimenting with making meth I strongly urge you to check this book out. I may very well save a life. A miraculous story of survival SEE MORE…

Or just watch his testimony/his story:

Sex Addiction

From Anonymous Sex Into the Right Body  

Huffpost On Sex Addiction

 

Eventually I landed in the hospital with a “fever of unknown origin” (FUO, the doctors called it), which lingered over 105 degrees for a week and kept me shivering under an electric cold blanket, hallucinating all the while. The following week I was right back at it, having anonymous sex as soon as I was discharged — until, sure enough, I returned to the hospital with another FUO. This time I was worried, and alone: my boss from the theater where I had started working straight out of college didn’t come to visit, as she had the first time. I was trying people’s patience; things could only get worse.

 

And then what movie aired on TV as I lay in my hospital bed but Philadelphia, in which Tom Hanks plays a lawyer who’s fired for being gay and ultimately dies of AIDS.

 

“Okay, God,” I said. “I’ll stop.”

 

But of course I didn’t. I am an addict.

 

I acted out for ever more potent highs with, paradoxically, ever more debasing behavior, so that demoralization imbued whatever self-worth I had left, until I saw myself as deserving nothing more. I began to believe what I believed other people believed about me.

 

*

 

Years and years into the cycle, reprieve would come at last in the form of recovery meetings. I needed to show up in the rooms to stay abstinent, not from sex altogether, but rather from the addictive behaviors that made my life unmanageable: phone sex, cybersex and pornography, in addition to the anonymous sex — all forms of sexual activity which were, for me, attempts to rub out the unease of being in the wrong body through forms of self-effacement.

 

The root of the problem was that I did not want to be in a male body; I never had. Anonymous sex provided an avenue for assuming the role in which I was comfortable, while covering up the longings I felt inside, if only for as long as I acted out. Since the sex was over before it began, and I never knew my partners, the underbelly of my gender dissipated upon expression. Thus I sought to suppress myself under the illusion of control.

 

But denial only exacerbated the discrepancy between my reality and my potential. The mirror of life followed me everywhere, and the shame in which addiction coated me obscured the reflections I saw.

 

Impulsion distorted any sense of self-worth, which worsened the disgrace of being unable to control my addiction. After engaging in behavior that I’d promised last time I would never do again, here I was doing the same thing once more — again, and again, and again and again — and again.

 

I ventured further into the abyss each time I acted out. Yesterday’s rush fell short of what I needed today — riskier danger, steeper precipices and more, always more. There was never enough of anything because my addiction craved annihilation above all else. Every letdown fanned the flames of the hell that life became when I acted out.

 

And yet I sought even more.

 

I wanted to stop. I promised myself I would stop.

 

I could not stop. read more…

A.A. THE CURE FOR ADDICTIONS

THE BIG BOOK (on pg 85 and more) CLEARLY STATES THAT THE PROBLEM OF ALCOHOLISM “WILL BE REMOVED IT WILL NOT EXIST FOR US ANYMORE:  

That is provided we do a certain amount of spiritual maintenance.  I suppose technically it is a cure that requires maintenance and action.  “Cured” does not mean we can drink normally, it means now we have no desire to drink and we do not consider alcohol a solution to anything.

So why is it that people in AA so often have the attitude that they are chronically ill and will never be “recovered”.  The only CHRONIC part of this disease that cannot be healed is the allergy.  We will always get a different reaction from alcohol than normal people get.

But the real reason for the apprehension to say “cured” is that most of us have relapsed so many times before we reached AA that we feel it is a disease that we are powerless over.  And just after the paragraph where Bill W. writes “the problem has been removed it does not exist for us” he also writes “We are not cured of alcoholism.  What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”

So What about this “Never Recovered” attitude?

Personally being a recovered addict/alcoholic I think it’s a negative fail-safe constructed by the addicts reasoning like..waiting for the other shoe to drop.  If we don’t accept that we are “well” then we won’t relapse because we are always working toward getting better.  Therefore hypothetically we never “rest on our laurels because we never get well enough to lighten up.  I guess the theory has it’s advantages.  This attitude is clearly akin to the fear of success and sprouts from the low self-worth that repeated relapse ingrains.  BUT NOW we rely on the program NOW we rely on God.  THE PROGRAM WORKS!  So as long as we work our program and rely on God we are good.  ANYBODY can grow into a complete and miraculous recovery if they learn the program and work on core issues.  You gotta feel to heal.

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BIG BOOK QUOTES:

We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part.  It just comes!  That is the miracle of it.  We are not fight it, neither are we avoiding temptation.  We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality–safe and protected.   We have not even sworn off.  Instead, the problem has been removed.  It does not exist for us.  We are neither cocky nor are we afraid.  That is our experience.  That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.

Title Page: “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism” (I totally agree with him on this one we absolutely do recover, at least I have.)

 

Page 20, paragraph 2: “Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body.  (here, here!)

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SPIRITUALLY FIT

Ok then what is a “fit spiritual condition” and how do we attain it? The Program is simple not complicated, simple but not easy.   “Fit spiritual condition” does not mean I am happy all the time or my life is perfect.  I am a human with human emotions.  I did not come to AA to learn how to further repress my emotions, put on a mask of happy joyous and free, and walk around saying “life is good” every three seconds.  NO THAT IS TOTAL BULLSHIT!  Life is not good all the time and just because I am sober it doesn’t mean that it’s a good day.

If people die or get sick it sucks.  If I break my toe it sucks.  If my lover has an affair IT HURTS!  Crying is a healthy emotion to relieve emotional pain.  Tears are a sign that my emotions are balanced and I allow myself to feel what my heart is saying.  Fit spiritual condition means that I have an on-going relationship with my Higher Power and I have learned to rely on Him/Her/It.  It also means that I have worked on my core issues and learned what to do with my intense emotions when they do surface.  It means that I have worked the 12 steps and know how to implement them when I need to.  I know how to revisit step three and remember God has my back.  I know how to do a step four and five when I get a resentment.  I know how to make amends if I hurt someone.  I recognize when I am slipping into complacency or insanity so I formally work all 12 steps again.  I take time to connect with nature and I get peace from that.  I eat right and show others the respect that I desire.  The wreckage of the past must be processed I must not hold on to the worst offences.  No secrets.  We are as sick as the secrets we keep.

THE CURE

The three things that cure addiction are this= 1. therapy, working on the core issues that made me want to numb myself in the first place, 2. The 12 Steps combined with the fellowship and service work, learning and recognizing my dysfunctional patterns so I can guard against them in the now, furthermore the steps teach me humility, honesty, and more  3. spirituality= a relationship with my Higher Power to RELY on God and soak up God’s strength and Love.

Leaving out any aspect of this healing recovery recipe could result in a return to addiction, dry drunk-ism, possible eventual suicide or hurting others.

Robert Downey Jr. Speaks About His Addictions

 

Robert Downey Jr. Speaks About His Addictions in and interview by Vanity Fair

Scroll:

to see video of Robert Downey Jr. at home by the pool talking about addiction and recovery.

For some folks it’s just a function of age,” Robert Downey Jr. tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Rich Cohen, on the topic of beating one’s demons. “It’s perfectly normal for people to be obsessive about something for a period of time, and then leave it alone.” When asked about the incident in 1996 in which Downey’s neighbors came home to find the actor passed out in their 11-year-old son’s bed, he tells Cohen this was “an uncommon occurrence for me. Happened to be a very public one. I was not a guy who blacked out.”  

TREATMENT CENTER AND STATE PRISON

Talking about his time at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison and the process of returning to his old life, Downey says, “Job one is get out of that cave. A lot of people do get out but don’t change. So the thing is to get out and recognize the significance of that aggressive denial of your fate, come through the crucible forged into a stronger metal. Or whatever. But I don’t even know if that was my experience. It’s funny: five years ago, I would’ve made it sound like I’m conscious of my own participation in seizing the similarities. But so many things have become less certain. I swear to God. I am not my story.” see video and read more…

 

James Taylor ‘A big part of my story is recovery from addiction’

James Taylor: ‘A big part of my story is recovery from addiction’ By Paul Sexton

At the age of 67, James Taylor has made his 16th album, his first in 13 years. After spending his early career addicted to heroin, he’s surprised he made it this far In the center of Florence, a short walk from the Ponte Vecchio, a rangy, bespectacled figure in a baseball cap clutches a cup of coffee and slips back into his hotel unrecognized. He is perhaps the definitive singer-songwriter of his generation, he has come to represent everything noble and dignified about American artistry, and he is preparing to tell me how he is amazed to be alive.

At 67, James Taylor has an air of low-key statesmanship that most senior politicians can only aspire to. A lifelong Democrat (‘I inherit my politics from my father, and my aesthetic, probably, from my mum’), he has sung for presidents, calls Bill and Barack by their first names, and is vehemently backing Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House.  See Video at this link.
read more….

Miracle’s Do Happen

Recovery Farmhouse wants to thank “Miss Anonymous” for this miraculous story

GET PAID FOR YOUR RECOVERY STORY

MIRACLE’S DO HAPPEN By Stacy Roach

My drinking problem started at 12 years old, drinking myself to sleep every
single night just to deal with (or not deal with) what my cousin was
doing to me every night after my parents went to bed. My mom found a
whole garbage bag full of empty Jägermeister bottles from where I was
drinking a whole bottle every night. My mom tried getting me help after
that for my alcoholism but I was nowhere near ready to receive that help.
My addiction flourished to popping pills and self-harming and still
drinking. When all of that stopped numbing me the way, I needed it to, I
started smoking meth. For a while, I smoked it socially (every weekend and
sometimes during the week). However, my addiction made it very clear
that socially was not enough… By 17 years old, I was a full-blown meth
addict. I met my first husband when I was high on meth and on a run for
more and he happened to be the dope man. Nine solid years of pure hell
started from that night on… Meth was my best friend and every time we
were even close to running out of her, we had to go chase her down for
more. My ex-husband made it as well so the search was never but a cook
away. When he went to prison, I was still on meth but needing something
more to numb me from the pain I felt from missing my husband so bad. I
was introduced to crack cocaine and was instantly hooked. Spent every
penny I had then whatever I could steal to get it. I was brutally raped
and beaten by the crack dealer in his trap house one night and my mom
found me the next morning walking, eye swollen shut and eyes lifeless
with tear stained cheeks. I didn’t want to live anymore. The cops treated
me like the criminal because I was a crackhead at a crack house and they conveniently lost my rape kit to prosecute my rapist. He walked free. I
never smoked crack again after that but my addiction spun more out of
control than ever after that… Abusing so much benzos, I lost many days,
not remembering much of anything. Just the way I wanted it. I didn’t want
to remember. I just wanted to forget. Every time I spoke to my husband on
the phone and every visit I came home from, I was balling like a baby. He
was so verbally abusive and mean to me. He blamed me for the rape. Mom
stayed up with me countless nights from the torture I was in mentally
from the rape and feeling like my husband hated me. It was all my fault.
When he got out of prison, on my birthday weekend we went to my sister
and her then boyfriends house and got drunk and high. I went in the guest
bedroom we once stayed in and passed out. I woke up to being punched in
the back of the head and him screaming at me and tearing my underwear
off. He beat me so bad that night and anally raped me. Telling me how
much I deserved it for letting the crack dealer f*ck me… What little
bit of soul I did have left, he murdered that night. My own husband raped
and beat me unconscious. I screamed and begged for help, nobody came to
my rescue… No one. I started shooting meth very soon after that. I was
also shooting and popping large quantities of opiates with it. Everyday,
we stayed on the road wheeling, dealing, and finding our next fix. The
beatings from my husband became a normal part of everyday life and
honestly, I didn’t care anymore. Just get me my next dose so I can block
it out. When I got pregnant with my oldest daughter, I was excited and
full of life for the first time in several years. I felt like I was
getting a fresh start to do things right and would finally have someone
who loved me unconditionally… I couldn’t even succeed at that. My
husband beat me throughout my pregnancy, cheated constantly and although I didn’t do meth during my pregnancy, I okayed it by taking opiates my doctor was prescribing me and I smoked weed. When she was born, she was the most beautiful little girl I had ever laid eyes on.

When I looked at her,
everything else faded. The pain, the shame, the guilt, the fear,
everything… In that moment, all I felt was love. God I loved her so
much and wanted to protect her so bad… But, I was a junkie. I loved her
as much as I was able to love her. I protected her as much as my
addiction allowed me to. She seen him beat me and choke me unconscious
so many times. She never should have seen that. She seen me high.
God, what have I done? In my addicted mind, I just used even more to
cover the guilt and shame I had. I got pregnant again… I was heavily
addicted to Spice. I did not use anything but Spice during my pregnancy
with her but I used so much of it daily. My ex-husband cheated on me with
someone very close to me during the last part of my pregnancy. When I found out, it tore me to pieces. I smoked even more Spice. I was so selfish…
When my baby was born, she cried so much. My husband swore she wasn’t his (she looks just like him) and he would scream at me and beat me when she wouldn’t quit crying, sometimes while she was still in my arms. I held
her pretty much 24/7 and the crying never stopped. It was my fault… I
used more. My parents got custody of my girls, rightfully so. They could
provide and do for them what I was nowhere near able to do at the time. I
was so sick and tired of being sick and tired. Tired of being a junkie.
Tired of him beating me. Tired of being a worthless mother. Tired of it
all… In 2013, my husband beat, raped and poisoned me. I was transported
to the best hospital in Alabama, UAB, and one of the best surgeons in the
world spent countless hours trying to keep me alive. I had to have
several blood transfusions from bleeding to death, my kidneys and
intestines had shut down and the doctors only gave me a 20% chance to
live. The odds were against me. This was it. He finally succeeded in
killing me… God wasn’t done with me yet, though. Eight weeks later,
after a very long painful fight to live, I got to go home. I had 30
something staples in my stomach and a feeding tube hanging out of my arm
to go home with… My poor mom had to get up at three and 4am every single morning to change out my feeding bag and when the home health nurses wasn’t there to nurse my wounds, my mom was doing it and bathing me. She helped save my life. The addict in me was still raging though… I ended
up going back to the very man who tried killing me. The beatings
continued and shooting dope was still my daily life. This was the
insanity of addiction… Repeating the same thing over and over expecting
different results every time. Different results never came. I finally
left my ex-husband for good, There is a protection order in place and I have been tempted but have not gone back. I still had not gotten clean YET. I would go on binges of shooting massive amounts of dope to popping opiates and benzos every day. When I was not shooting dope, I would rationalize my pill popping and drinking by telling myself it was better than shooting dope.

I had several overdoses, several detoxes also mental hospitals later and losing my family and homes. I was so miserable. Drinking enough to kill a horse from the time, I woke up until I passed out at night, popping tons of pills, smoking lots of weed and when able, still shooting up dope. I had lost my family. I had lost every home I ever had. I owned nothing anymore but a few cloths and pictures of my kids. Everything else I had sold or pawned for more drugs.
I had lost every decent relationship I had. I was completely alone in my disease.
Even when others were around me, I was still so alone. I was intoxicated
one evening and a friend of mine, who I call my guardian angel, made it
clear I needed help NOW… At the rate I was going, I would not have lived
another two weeks. I would wake up every single morning and cry, cursing
God for waking me up another day. Why wasn’t I dead?! This wonderful
friend (who I’ve never even met) called and got me into a halfway house
in Delray Beach, FL, the recovery capital of the world. I was on a plane
early the next morning and there was no looking back…

I knew I HAD to have a change. I could not keep going as I was. I did not want to keep going as I was. I stayed at the halfway a few days and the house manager got me a scholarship to one of the best rehabs in America called Palm Partners. I stayed there 40 days and that broken down girl that
walked in there was leaving a happy, healthy, strong woman ready to face
the world. I had some rough patches in the beginning but when I fully
surrendered and let God lead the way, change started happening. I soaked
in every single thing they taught me at rehab and brought back with me
some very valuable life lessons… Rehab was the best thing that is ever
happened to me in my life. I’ve had a complete physical, mental and
spiritual makeover. I am not the same woman I was several months ago.

For the first time in my life, my mom is proud of me. I have my relationship
back with my parents and my children. I have happiness in my heart
instead of hate. I am at peace now. Has it been a walk in the park? No,
some days have been hard. I lost a dear friend of mine that I was
in rehab with to this sickening insidious deadly disease within my first
week out of rehab. That was so hard! Nevertheless, God brought me through it.

All I have to do is get through 24 hours without using and each day that I do
that, I have succeeded in my goal. I get to my meetings and I do my step
work and I firmly believe in giving back to a program that’s given so
freely to me. I can honestly say my worst day sober has still been better
than my best day using. I may have been a sick girl before but today, I am
a healthy woman in recovery. Today, I am clean. Today, I am happy, joyous and free. Nobody ever said this journey would be easy but it’s so worth
it.
ANONYMOUS

It’s None of My Business What People Think of Me?

From the time we snuggle close to our mothers breast as new-born infants till the day we lye on our death-bed we crave care and Love.   Perhaps we are praying we won’t die alone.   It is a natural and good thing to care that our friends, lovers, and  family do love us enough to be near.  Even to our neighbors who we don’t really know we hope to look good.  We dress well, and buy nice things to make us look good.   Its natural to the human condition to want to be admired.  Socially humans are built to care about their reputations and what others think of them.

It isn’t weak or demeaning to want to be loved.  On the contrary it is a natural desire to want to be desired and cared about. A “good reputation” is a valuable component of our self-esteem.

Caring what people think of us is an important human societal trait.   Social structural norms like working toward a good reputation can change the coarse of a life for the good.    To put a healthy value on what people think of us can highly impact our goals, careers, accomplishments, and the way we treat other people.  We should treat others the way we want to be treated , this ties in closely to the desire to be liked and respected.

It is when this desire runs rampant to the point of fear and obsession it isn’t good.  Fear of what people think of us moves us into unhealthy behaviors.  We don’t need to swing to a polar opposite in a struggle to overcome the fear of what people think of us by pretending we don’t care at all or by saying  “it’s none of my business what people think of me”.  Which if you don’t go to AA you probably don’t know this statement is said allot around the rooms.  It’s a coy verbal act to overcome fear.  Even the phrase “It’s none of your business” is crass and disrespectful and typically used abruptly as an angry response.  That is not the tone I want to use toward anyone.   Saying ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks of me’ supplies a false sense of superiority.

If I truly didn’t care what anyone thought of me  I may be more prone to irresponsible actions with no value of what people would say or think, no social consequences per say.  Best I keep my natural desires to please others.  Who doesn’t like to hear the words ‘I love and care for you’?  Sociopaths, folks that thrive on hate and narcissists.

The Fear List

The “FEAR LIST”  is in the Big Book in Step Four pg.67-68  If you are happy, joyous, and free don’t read any further this article is not for you.  “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

If we expect more out of the program of AA than just sobriety we will have to go deeper into our fourth step.  The fourth step in depth can cure anxiety, depression, resentment, co-dependency and fear.  Best to begin step work with a prayer for guidance and revelation.


If the pop up window doesn’t work in your browser click here for full page link.  Big Book fear list

The fear list is an important part of on-going maintenance in recovery.  The fear list is in Step Four of the big book.       Some people teach we only do step four once.   And few sponsors teach sponcees to write down fears not associated with a resentment.  For me step ten wasn’t enough until I formally worked the 12 steps at least 5 times and learned how to use a fear list.  When resentment, depression or anxiety pops up and won’t go away no matter how much service I do  I do a mini fourth step coupled with a fear-list inventory.  The purpose of the mini fourth is to hone out what my core feelings of self-image are which triggered the fear or resentment.  Once I get to the core fear/feelings I ask God to remove them it works like magic.  

Surface fears are associated with sex, security, and society.  Meaning fear of losing a girlfriend/boyfriend, not having a roof over my head or money or losing my reputation among my friends and fellow AAers.  

Root causes and feelings go even deeper than that, they are the ones that most often we WILL NOT ADMIT MUCH LESS ADMIT TO OTHERS.  Core issues that drive fears are anchored in inferiority, unworthy feelings and low self image and are usually a little illogical, often we dismiss them by intellect.  

But the heart does not have to be logical.   Our heart needs to be heard or at least acknowledged.  It’s quite natural for an addict to feel inferior, unworthy, bad, wrong, ugly, gross, pitiful at the core of our being. Not just addicts, it is often the human condition.   It’s not our fault, we were  taught who we are at a young age it sticks in our heart until it can be released by a fear list or confession.   If  a shameful human condition weren’t common the world would not be in chaos and disarray.  When we feel high self-worth and are trusting God we are not prone to fear, anxiety, anger and depression.  Emotional balance depends on a healthy self-identity.  

SOLUTION:   First do the regular step four and five.  Then GET TO THE CORE FEELINGS ATTACHED TO THE FEARS on your list AND ASK GOD TO REMOVE THEM all.  Apologize to our Higher Power for our lack of trust and ask for help with that.   Confess to someone the way we feel no matter how illogical or even un-true those feelings are, they come from a valid place, our heart which is only guilty of believing what it was taught.

Disclaimer:  This does not apply to everyone.  This is mainly for those of us who were traumatized, neglected, and abused when we were children or young adults.

PLEASE NO MORE FEELINGS!

Which Feelings Need Addressing is Step 10 enough?

I woke up in the middle of the night with an intense feeling of impending doom. I felt like I was somehow in a position where I had no safety. I felt like I was dangling miles high in the air with no safety net. In my heart and mind I must be putting my wellbeing in the hands of the wrong thing. It is not uncommon to sub-consciously put our faith into a cigarette or a pill while in recovery from a traumatic addiction. When in that addiction our neuro-pathways had been trained to take the direction where drinking is a solution. Sometimes in recovery our brain takes a wrong turn if you will. All we need do is put our faith back on the right neuro-road where we depend on our spiritual God rather than a person, place, or earthly thing.

When I was a very young child I remember having an intense realization that one day I would die. It frightened me because there is no earthly solution for death. It prompted me to seek and connect with my Higher Power.

When I experience impending doom all I have to do is pray and tell my Higher Power how I feel (fear) and remember that He/She/It does have my back and the feeling of fear will leave me. Maybe it was the prospect of death itself that haunted me. Perhaps I had awoken from a nightmare that I don’t remember. Do I need to write a fear list? If the feeling does not let-up by prayer alone then “Yes” back to Step Four!

The fear list is an important part of our on-going maintenance in sobriety. You will find the directions for it in Step Four of the big book. “But that’s Step Four I should be over that!”….So some say. However my experience is in the matter of emotional sobriety and overcoming grave emotional disorder I revisit the fourth step as often as needed and Step Ten is far from enough maintenance to keep my emotions in check.

In Step Ten the book reads that we are pretty much cured of regarding drink & drug as a solution, this is true to any extent. “The problem has been removed, it does not exist for us.” However emotions and emotional sobriety are another matter, if I don’t stay emotionally balanced I will eventually see alcohol as a solution. Absolutely we do “recoil” from alcohol if we work the steps but will we “recoil” from being self-destructive or hurting others? Or will we just switch to another self-destructive habit?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

STEP TEN-“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

This is a very limited prospect of which is useless without the rest of the 12 steps.

Step ten works good enough for a quick apology or when simple self-acknowledgement of a defect then a little prayer will resolve resentment, shame, guilt or fear but if it doesn’t rectify my deep negative feelings a little more work may be necessary even though I have worked the steps thoroughly. Truly Step Ten is not much of anything without the rest of the 12 Steps actively in place in our lives. Furthermore without prayer and meditation we are usually not spiritually fit enough to take our own inventory anyway.

Do I have any unresolved resentments I ask myself? If so I need to pray for that person and if that doesn’t work I do a step four and five including “my part” and not eliminating “wrongs done to me” and how both of those have made me feel. If it brings up deep feelings I let myself feel them and I cry.

If I have a reoccurring memory of an event in my past and it is attached to an intense feeling; that is when prayer is not usually enough. That does not mean I don’t pray. It just means that there is something in my past that I need to explore with an empathic listener who can hopefully relate to the event. I write down what happened. Have I wronged anyone? Do I feel guilt or shame? Remember our heart does not have to make sense it just needs to express itself, raw, & without editing. I share my feelings with a listener whom will neither shut me down, shame me, nor invalidate me for my feelings.

Staying disconnected from our feelings is an old survival skill that worked. To truly process core feelings we need to connect with them 100% and write, cry, scream, talk, moan, run, or even punch (the bag, pillow) them out.

Let’s face it folks some AA, NA members are in the business of invalidation. These members will always look for the differences instead of the similarities. Furthermore they will look for the “wrong” in anything you propose to them. This may work for some people…but blame is a principle of co-dependency not a principle of healing in recovery.

Do I feel dirty, wrong, and bad? We must not allow our intellect to cloud our fourth step by invalidation. Admitting core feelings like “bad, dirty, wrong, disgusting, or cheap sounds embarrassing but these are the common human feelings that surface after living an addicted life. These deep feelings need to come out or they will make us sick. Let’s face it not only have most of us crossed our own moral boundaries when in addiction but we also have core issues that need addressing from childhood. Oftentimes adults taught us that we were just plain “wrong” and that we don’t even have a right to be who we are and feel how we feel.

Remember we in recovery usually reach out for some secondary dependencies or lesser addictions when we get sober. You won’t hear it talked about in the rooms much but that’ what we do.

There are two kinds of people in AA those who struggle and admit it and those who struggle and don’t talk about it. We certainly don’t struggle at all times and we do reach a place of peace if we work the steps but we are never finished doing the work while human and alive.

Do not be too hard on yourself for that is a character defect within itself! Come on folks! We are all doing the best we can for right now. From what I have experienced in Narcotics Anonymous the way they sometimes ostracize fellows for secondary addictions it feeds into the sickness of keeping secrets, repressing emotions, and feeds our shame issues. Some groups forbid members to chair meetings if they are on much needed psyche meds or pain meds even non-narcotic meds. Intolerance and a lack of acceptance for others and their personal medicinal status is just that…a lack of understanding and empathy.

In recovery we often struggle with sick relationships (co-dependency), cigarettes, food, sexual promiscuity, anger issues, even your non-narcotic prescription drugs…nevertheless we are doing way better than we were before AA and the 12 steps. Do not think that your recovery is counterfeit if you struggle with one of these? Believe me we all struggle at times. You will find that when one of us overcomes ALL of our little crutches we then become highly judgmental, and our control issues hit their highest peaks. It’s always something! Not a justification just fact. Best we accept ourselves and other as human and remember “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION”!

MOST COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS IN A.A.

“That Ain’t In The Big Book” or” MOST COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS IN A.A.”

I found this article on-line about AA and The Big Book.  I have picked it apart.  It is rich and full of lots of great information.  The red text is my commentary on the article.  There are many misconceptions about whats in the Big Book passed down from generation to generation.  This article clears up many of the most common.   A.A. and prayer are  how I got sober its not perfect and I would not fit in if it were.

The problem with this article found at  http://www.nwarkaa.org/aintinthebook.htm   is that the writer is unable to see that sometimes there are two right answers to one question, it can be both.  Two rights don’t make a wrong.  Not everything is black and white there are circumstances that change therefore reactions change.  The writer is also right about several of his A.A. misconceptions.

That ain’t in the Big Book article starts here,  my comments are in red.

 THAT ISN’T IN THE BOOK! WE HEAR A LOT OF STUFF SAID IN MEETINGS THAT CAN’T BE RECONCILED WITH THE PROGRAM AS DESCRIBED IN THE BIG BOOK OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. WHAT FOLLOWS ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE OFTEN HEAR, ALONG WITH WHAT THE 1ST EDITION OF OUR BASIC TEXT HAS TO SAY ON THE SUBJECT.  (Some versions of the Big Book will not line up page for page with this article like the 80 year red and yellow cover paperback, however most will)

“Remember your last drunk”

 

  Page 24, Paragraph 2: “We are unable, at times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.”  (Not a contradiction What Bill is talking about here is when we are still in our disease we are in denial hence:  we block out the bad memories best we can.  )

____________________________________________________________ 

“I choose not to drink today”

 

 Page 24 Paragraph 2: “The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink.”  (Again same thing:  Not a contradiction What Bill is talking about here is when we are still in our disease we have no power of choice but clearly when we work the steps choice returns UNTIL we put alcohol in our bodies and the allergy awakens, then we are slaves once again to the whims of demon alcohol)

 ____________________________________________________________

“Play the tape all the way through”

 

 Page 24, paragraph 3: “The almost certain consequences that follow taking even a glass of beer do not crowd into the mind to deter us. I f these thoughts do occur, they are hazy and readily supplanted with the old threadbare idea that this time we shall handle ourselves like other people. There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove.”  (Once again, once we are sober go through re-hab and are in A.A. we are able to pull up the necessary memories of bad consequences which WILL detour us from the drink.) 

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“Think through the drink”

 

 Page 43, paragraph 4: “Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.”  Once we are sober we can “play it through” and “go to a meeting” (my guess is this writer is justifying a relapse by the use of the literature and the conception of  powerlessness he is using the Big Book to continue drinking, ironic no doubt remember we addicts are very intuitive and we must justify our actions or the guilt will kill us.)

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“I will always be recovering, never recovered.”

 

 Title Page: “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism” (I totally agree with him on this one we absolutely do recover, at least I have.)

 

Page 20, paragraph 2: “Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body.  (here, here!)

 

Foreword to the First Edition: “We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.”

 

Page 29, paragraph 2: “Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered.”

 

Page 132, paragraph 3: “We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”

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“We are all just an arms length away from a drink”

 

Page 84, paragraph 4, “And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither is we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality – safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us”

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“I don’t have an alcohol problem, I have a living problem”

 Page xxiv, paragraph 2: “In our belief, any picture of the alcoholic which leaves out this physical factor is incomplete.” (hmm I don’t really see this as a contradiction, I believe in “underlying causes of addiction and the struggle with life on life’s terms why would a living problem be discounted because it’s an allergy.  Again it’s both, I have the allergy that is now in check by staying sober but also I have an underlying emotional disorder which affects my living when sober at times which is fixable by the way”)

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“Don’t drink and go to meetings.”

 

 Page 34, paragraph 2: “Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it—this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.”  (Come on writer your just fishing for ways to put down the program.  By our support group the 12 steps and meetings we now have a way to not drink and go to meetings.)

 

Page 34, paragraph 3: “Whether such a person can quit upon a nonspiritual basis depends upon the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose whether he will drink or not.”  (some are just problem drinkers and can quit)

 

Page 17, paragraph 2: “Unlike the feelings of the ship’s passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined.”(sorry I don’t get the connection here I’m lost on this one writer says it contradicts “don’t drink and go to meetings” Isn’t Bill just saying camaraderie isn’t enough to stay sober?)

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“This is a selfish program” (Totally agree with the writer here.  The program is NOT SELFISH rather it is selfless.  The 12 Steps are built on self-examination and a truthful self-awareness achieved initially by step 3 “Made a decision to turn our will and our life over to the THE CARE of God as we understood God”.  Selfish: means: taking from others, I want, want, want give me give me give me now!  Where-as self-examination and self-inventory are humble and are made of humility a spiritual principle that does not fall under the heading of “selfish” this contradiction is based on mistaken definitions and semantics the writer doesn’t know the difference between humility and selfishness, that’s  actually pretty common in AA)

 Page 20, paragraph 1: “Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.”

 

Page 97, paragraph 2: “Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. It may mean the loss of many nights’ sleep, great interference with your pleasures, interruptions to your business. It may mean sharing your money and your home, counseling frantic wives and relatives, innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums, hospitals, jails and asylums. Your telephone may jangle at any time of the day or night. “

 

Page 14-15: “For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead.”

 

Page 62, paragraph 2: “Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles”

 

Page 62, paragraph 3: “So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kill us!”

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“Meeting makers make it” (Please writer not a contradiction, going to meetings is a vital part of recovery.  And thrown in with the steps and the fellowship it’s all working toward our recovery.  TWO RIGHTS DO NOT MAKE A WRONG!  THEY ARE JUST TWO RIGHTS.  The writer is stuck in the mind-set of false comparisons and competitiveness.  As if recovery was a math test that only has one possible correct answer to every question.  Recovery questions often have several good  and correct answers.  That’s the epitome of the open-minded knowing there can be several right answers and many good things to do.)  And often where relapse is concerned “the good can be the enemy of the best in early recovery.  If I neglect working the steps and going to meetings to go to work or spend time with my children…seems good right?   After all how could anyone tell me not to spend time with my children who I neglected for so long?  Early recovery is not the time for good deeds, often good deeds are the precise sabotage our disease will use to make us relapse.)

 

 Page 59, paragraph 3: “Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery”

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“I’m powerless over people, places and things”  (Agreed)  I have choices and power the power to heal and the power to hurt and much more.  Otherwise I am a leaf in the wind.)  We doubtful never were 100% powerless I said 100%.

 

 Page 132, paragraph 3: “We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”

 

Page 122, paragraph 3: ” Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. “

 

Page 82, paragraph 4: “The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough.”

 

Page 89, paragraph 2: “You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail.”

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“You’re in the right place” (Ok some people don’t belong in AA)

 

 Page 20-21: “Then we have a certain type of hard drinker. He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason – ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor – becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention.”

 

Page 31, paragraph 2: ” If anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do the right- about-face and drink like a gentleman, our hats are off to him.”

 

Page 31-32: “We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.”

 

Page 108-109: “Your husband may be only a heavy drinker. His drinking may be constant or it may be heavy only on certain occasions. Perhaps he spends too much money for liquor. It may be slowing him up mentally and physically, but he does not see it. Sometimes he is a source of embarrassment to you and his friends. He is positive he can handle his liquor, that it does him no harm, that drinking is necessary in his business. He would probably be insulted if he were called an alcoholic. This world is full of people like him. Some will moderate or stop altogether, and some will not. Of those who keep on, a good number will become true alcoholics after a while.”

 

Page 92, paragraph 2: “If you are satisfied that he is a real alcoholic”

 

Page 95, paragraph 4: “If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience.”

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“If an alcoholic wants to get sober, nothing you say can make him drink.” (Sure our words affect people and we are affected by others words, false pride loves to say different because we often learn that it’s weak or inferior to allow a person to effect our emotions but hey, we can harden our hearts by blocking people out and not letting them close .  Or we can try to guard over our hearts but usually that just amounts to a big pot of denial.  We are human and we are supposed to be affected.  We have emotions and that we are powerless over but if we work the steps we can heal and become way less prone to feelings of inferiority and fear which trigger hurt then anger then wrath and resentment.)

  

 Page 103, paragraph 2: “A spirit of intolerance might repel alcoholics whose lives could have been saved, had it not been for such stupidity. We would not even do the cause of temperate drinking any good, for not one drinker in a thousand likes to be told anything about alcohol by one who hates it.”

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“We must change playmates, playgrounds, and playthings”  Again this is more vital during early recovery things change we change when we have some program in us.

 

 Page 100-101: “Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do. People have said we must not go where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn’t think or be reminded about alcohol at all. Our experience shows that this is not necessarily so. We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with his spiritual status. His only chance for sobriety would be some place like the Greenland Ice Cap, and even there an Eskimo might turn up with a bottle of scotch and ruin everything!”

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“I’m a people pleaser. I need to learn to take care of myself”  People pleaser’s don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, we/they want people to like them and maybe fear people not liking them   It doesn’t mean that we are always being a self-seeker however the words “human” and “self-seeker” are synonymous to an extent.   If not, the human race wouldn’t survive.  We must be self-seeking to survive.  But we also help others.  Is it not possible that both are present and even necessary during certain actions…of coarse it is.  We give and we take.  The program is a giving and a taking program they are both right.  Service and step 12 is giving and step 2, 3, and 11 are taking or a better word is “receiving”.  We counsel others and then we receive counsel  or suggestions same thing both right.  In meetings we take what we need.  We also give in meetings when we share.  Why would it have to be only one way?  Who made that rule?

 

 Page 61, paragraph 2:”Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind?”

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“Don’t drink, even if your ass falls off.”   (again with the program we an “not drink” I am not sure why the writer saw this as a bullshit cliche’ except he is fishing to make something wrong and I can totally relate to that.  Sometimes I am just in that negative mind-set, our writer may be doing very well in his/her recovery right now.  This article does not make him a bad person he may have moved on quite well after this article.  idk  We should not harshly judge a man by one article.)

 

 Page 34, paragraph 2: “Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it—this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.”

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“I haven’t had a drink today, so I’m a complete success today.” ( or the way I always hear it is “I didn’t drink today so today is a good day!”  I agree with our writer:  total bull shit.  Do people really believe this?  However in all open-mindedness.  That cliché is used for people in early recovery who need badly to feel better and this is a splendid justification of everything they have done up and until the point that they say it.  It’s all good, everything is OK, its kind of a reassuring statement that we are not going to fall apart and that our feelings at the time are not going to define or kill us so, “bullshit “as it may be it helps people and that’s OK by me.  Why the opinion you might ask?  Because I am a realist who has had plenty of shitty days, great days, and fair days sober so please after 10 years you will most likely agree with me. There are bad days, good days and average days it’s called “balance” emotional balance.  Then again, it all depends on your definition of a “good day”.  One man’s truth is another man’s bullshit.  And one thing certain some AAers lover to re-define the English language.  So good day does not mean good day any more it actually now means “sober day.”  People die, people o.d, people betray, people hurt, kill and cuss you out not every day will be a good day and if we believe that story we are setting ourselves up for failure.  Comparing other peoples outsides to my insides.  Why am I not happy joyous and free all the time like Hugo portrays?  I must not be working my program right.  What’s wrong with me?  You catch my drift?  That’s why our sometimes closed minded writer put this one on his  list.

 

 Page 19, paragraph 1: “The elimination of drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs.”

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“It’s my opinion that…” or “I don’t know anything about the Big Book, but this is the way I do it…” (False humility- the act of dishonest and degrading statements about one’s self which we know are not true) Have you read the Big Book and worked the steps?  Then you have something to offer don’t you.  Please don’t pretend you don’t.  Humility-Awareness of one’s own flaws of character as patterns/ with this knowledge and the tools we can avoid committing our old patterns of character flaws. hence steps 6 & 7

 

 Page 19, paragraph 1: “We have concluded to publish an anonymous volume setting forth the problem as we see it. We shall bring to the task our combined experience and knowledge. This should suggest a useful program for anyone concerned with a drinking problem.”

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“Don’t drink, no matter what.” (Our writer has resorted to Sarcasm–the inability to communicate on an honest level for fear if we reveal our true self and we won’t be liked. so we have learned to communicate with untruths) Sarcasm is rarely literal or true.  He knew what Bill meant by this and is pretending he doesn’t.  Yes we came to AA to stay sober so we are encouraged to not drink and encourage others to not drink no matter what.  If a man doesn’t know if he is alcoholic then he can try the test of limiting his drinking. 

Page 34, paragraph 2: “Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it—this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.”

 

Page 31, paragraph 4: “We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.”

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“We need to give up planning, it doesn’t work.”

 

 Page 86, paragraphs 3-4: “On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.”

 

 

“You don’t need a shrink. You have an alcoholic personality. All you will ever need is in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.”

 

 Page 133, 2nd paragraph: “But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and bodies. Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.”

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“AA is the only way to stay sober.”  (God, thereapy, and AA)  All work)

 

 Page 95, paragraph 4: If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience. We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us.

 

Page 164, paragraph 3: “ Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little.”

 

“My sponsor told me that, if in making an amend I would be harmed, I could consider myself as one of the ‘others’ in Step Nine.”

 

Page 79, paragraph 2 “Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences might be.”

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“I need to forgive myself first” or “You need to be good to yourself” (Do both not a contradiction.  Bill is only guilty of using poor grammatical wording here.  Hard on ourself meaning be honest in our self-appraisal and ALWAYS considerate of ourself and others.)

 

 Page 74, paragraph 2 “ The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others.”

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“Take what you want and leave the rest”  ??

 

 Page 17, paragraph 3: “The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.”

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“Just do the next right thing”  More fishing come on.  Do the next right thing and also get guidance.

 

 Page 86, paragraph 4: ” We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision.”

 

Page 87, paragraph 1: ” Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas.”

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“Don’t make any major decisions for the first year”  Ok there is an exception to every rule.

 

 Page 60, paragraph 4: “(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives. (b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism. (c) That God could and would if He were sought. Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him.”

 

Page 76, paragraph 2: “When ready, we say something like this: “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.” We have then completed Step Seven.”

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“Stay out of relationships for the first year!”  I like this one I am in agreement.

 

Page. 69, paragraph 1: “We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone’s sex conduct.”

 

Page 69, paragraph 3: “In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter. The right answer will come if we want it.

Page 69, paragraph 4: “God alone can judge our sex situation.”

 

Page 69-70:”Counsel with other persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge.”

 

Page 70, Paragraph 2: “We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing.”

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“Alcohol was my drug of choice”  sarcasm again, the loss of choice is when the obsession is active when we are actively drinking.

 

 Page 24, paragraph 2: “The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink.”

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“Keep coming back, eventually it will rub off on you”  the “rub off” is that if we keep going to meetings something may eventually click and we will become willing to do the suggestions.

 

 Page 64, Paragraph 1: “Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us”

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“Ninety Meetings in Ninety Days”  Chronologically impossible back in the day.  Not enough meetings.

 

 Page 15, paragraph 2: “We meet frequently so that newcomers may find the fellowship they seek.”

 

Page 19, paragraph 2: “None of us makes a sole vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did.”

 

Page 59, paragraph 3: “Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery”

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“You only work one step a year” “Take your time to work the steps”  I never heard this one.  I worked the steps in full formally once a year for the first 6 years.

 

 Page 569, paragraph 3: What often takes place in a few months can hardly be brought about by himself alone.”

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Page 63, paragraph3: “Next we launched on a course of vigorous action.”  Writer totally took this one out of context.

 

Page 74, paragraph 2: “If that is so, this step may be postponed, only, however, if we hold ourselves in complete readiness to go through with it at the first opportunity”

 

Page 75, paragraph 3: “Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for AN HOUR, carefully reviewing what we have done.”

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“Make sure to put something good about yourself in your 4th step inventory.”  Yes,  he’s right that’s not what an inventory is for.  However I have  heard people lie about their clean time repeatedly saying “all I have is today” when they have years of sobriety.  Is it true that we only have one day sober or not?   We are not helping the new-comer by saying that we only have one day sober if we really have 5 years.  We do not have the right to re-define the English language or to lie in the name of false pride.  Please false humility thinks it has to cut itself down and deny any good thing about itself  or its considered vain and conceited.  Emotionally balanced people don’t lie about their good qualities and put themselves down to make themselves look good.  (God that is so ironic.)  SO we should not lie about our good qualities.  We don’t brag thats another animal all together.   It’s almost like many AAers think that if they admit any good thing about themselves they will fall prey to false pride and get drunk immediately.   What are the motives?  Be truthful.  Show the newcomers that things do get better not just in speaker meetings  are we permitted to mention our clean date and accomplishments.  The “I don’t know shit” routine doesn’t wear well on people put in a position to teach, lead , and sponsor.  We are building self esteem,  every time I lie about who I am and what I have accomplished it’s a step in the other direction working the other principles.  I confess that I sometimes mention my own accomplishments fishing for some validation and encouragement that I am doing well.  I get very little of that and my self esteem does sometimes revert to feeling bad or low or wrong, I have my patterns as well which get revealled when we work steps 4-7.  That is a quick fifth step to the world.

Page 64 paragraph 3 “First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure.”

 

Page 67 paragraph 3 “The inventory was ours, not the other man’s. When we saw our faults we listed them.”

 

Page 71 paragraph 1 “If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning.”

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“You need to stay in those feelings and really feel them.”  Bottom line intense feelings need to be explored.  They come from somewhere in our past trauma or they are triggered by character flaws developed in our past from either emotional neglect or abuse or trauma.  These core issues produce feelings that we want to bury, numb, deny, deflect, or blame others for.  Some feelings should be ignored others need explored and expressed by crying, screaming, moaning, guttural sounds. or they will not heal.  Sobriety brings them up in an orderly fashion.  Women more than men (I guess) need to talk them through and connect them to their core occurances.  What happened and how did it make me feel?  Journaling first makes talking about it easier.  We are a people with deep shame issues.   The experts say addiction is a shame based disease.  Every healthy AAer I know has had therapy at which time they opened up about these past issues and feelings and actions they were ashamed of.

 

 Page 84, paragraph 2: “When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.”

 

  1. 125 paragraph 1 “So we think that unless some good and useful purpose is to be served, past occurrences should not be discussed.” Whatever bill was talking about here will not change my experience with this topic.  Nobody wants to go back there I get it but when depression and anxiety get to be too much just know expression with an empathic listener is the key to healing and God.  Panic attack are from pent up unexpressed tears and there are some feelings that are so deep tears will not touch them that’s why I say guttural sounds.  I am so sorry for your pain.  My email is info@recoveryfarmhouse.com feel free to email me but put “ATTENTION LORI” in the subject.  

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“There are no musts in this program.”  self explanatory

 Now look at all the good we or I got out of this seemingly insulting article putting down A.A. :)

 Page 99, paragraph 1: “it must be done if any results are to be expected.”

 

Page 99, paragraph 2: “we must try to repair the damage immediately lest we pay the penalty by a spree.”

 

Page 99, paragraph 3: “it must be on a better basis, since the former did not work.”

 

Page 83, paragraph 1: “Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead.”

 

Page 83, paragraph 2: “We must remember that ten or twenty years of drunkenness would make a skeptic out of anyone.”

 

Page 74, paragraph 1: “Those of us belonging to a religious denomination which requires confession must, and of course, will want to go to the properly appointed authority whose duty it is to receive it.”

 

Page 74, paragraph 2: “The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others.”

 

Page 75, paragraph 1: ” But we must not use this as a mere excuse to postpone.”

 

Page 85, paragraph 3: “But we must go further and that means more action.”

 

Page 85, paragraph 2: “Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.”

 

Page 85, paragraph 2: “These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.”

 

Page 80, paragraph 1: ” If we have obtained permission, have consulted with others, asked God to help and the drastic step is indicated we must not shrink.”

 

Page 14, paragraph 2: “I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.”

 

Page 62, paragraph 3: “Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!”

 

Page 144, paragraph 3: “The man must decide for himself.”

 

Page 89, paragraph 2: “To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss.”

 

Page 33, paragraph 3: “If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind”

 

Page 79, paragraph 2: “We must not shrink at anything.”

 

Page 86, paragraph 2: “But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others.”

 

Page 120, paragraph 2: “he must redouble his spiritual activities if he expects to survive.”

 

Page 152, paragraph 2: “I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I?”

 

Page 95, paragraph 3: “he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on”

 

Page 95, paragraph 3: “If he is to find God, the desire must come from within.”

 

Page 159, paragraph 3: “Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary.”

 

Page 156, paragraph 3: “Both saw that they must keep spiritually active.”

 

Page 130, paragraph 2: “that is where our work must be done.”

 

Page 82, paragraph 3: “Certainly he must keep sober, for there will be no home if he doesn’t.”

 

Page 143, paragraph 2: “he should understand that he must undergo a change of heart”

 

Page 69, paragraph 4: “Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it.”

 

Page 69, paragraph 4: “We must be willing to make amends where we have done harm”

 

Page 44, paragraph 3: “we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life – or else.”

 

Page 78, paragraph 3: “We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them.”

 

Page 93, paragraph 3: “To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.”

 

Page 43, paragraph 4: “His defense must come from a Higher Power.”

 

Page 66, paragraph 4: “We saw that these resentments must be mastered”

 

Page 146, paragraph 4: “For he knows he must be honest if he would live at all.”

 

Page 73, paragraph 5: “We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world.”

 

But Remember… “When the man is presented with this volume it is best that no one tell him he must abide by its suggestions.” page 144, paragraph 3

 

 

 

Big Book Sexual Inventory Page 69

BIG BOOK SEXUAL INVENTORY PAGE 68-71

Now about sex. Many of us needed an overhauling there. But above all, we tried to be sensible on this question. It’s so easy to get way off the track. Here we find human opinions running to extremes – absurd extremes, perhaps. One set of voices cry that sex is a lust of our lower nature, a base necessity of procreation.

Then we have the voices who cry for sex and more sex; who bewail the institution of marriage; who think that most of the troubles of the race are traceable to sex causes. They think we do not have enough of it, or that it isn’t the right kind. They see its significance everywhere. One school would allow man no flavor for his fare and the other would have us all on a straight pepper diet. We want to stay out of this controversy. We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone’s sex conduct. We all have sex problems. We’d hardly be human if we didn’t. What can we do about them?

 

We reviewed our own conduct over the years past. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom had we hurt? Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness? Where were we at fault, what should we have done instead? We got this all down on paper and looked at it.

 

In this way we tried to shape a sane and sound ideal for our future sex life. We subjected each relation to this test – was it selfish or not? We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them. We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.

 

Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it. We must be willing to make amends where we have done harm, provided that we do not bring about still more harm in so doing. In other words, we treat sex as we would any other problem. In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter. The right answer will come, if we want it.

 

God alone can judge our sex situation. Counsel with persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge. We realize that some people are as fanatical about sex as others are loose. We avoid hysterical thinking or advice.

 

Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half-truth. It depends on us and on our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. We are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience.

 

To sum up about sex: We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, we throw ourselves the harder into helping others. We think of their needs and work for them. This takes us out of ourselves. It quiets the imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache.

 

If we have been thorough about our personal inventory, we have written down a lot. We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people. We have listed the people we have hurt by our conduct, and are willing to straighten out the past if we can.

 

In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him. If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning. That being so you have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself.

 

The 12 Principles of A.A.

The AA (spiritual) Principles &Virtues from the 12 Steps

Spiritual Principles (as found in the 12 &12)

Bill W. considered each step to be a spiritual principle in and of itself, however, particularly in the 12 & 12, he outlined the spiritual principles behind each step.  The most important of these is Humility.

__________________________________________________________________

Core Spiritual Principles of the Program:  Willingness, Open-mindedness, Honesty

AA’s Code:  Love and Tolerance of Others

___________________________________________________

We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Acceptance, Admission of Defeat, Open-mindedness, Willingness, Humility

___________________________________________________

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Open-mindedness, Humility, Acceptance

___________________________________________________

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

Willingness, Humility

___________________________________________________

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Honesty Fearlessness Willingness Humility

__________________________________________________

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Humility, Willingness, Honesty, Humility, Forgiveness, Open-mindedness, Acceptance, Prudence, Serenity

__________________________________________________

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Willingness, Honesty, Open-mindedness, Acceptance, Humility

____________________________________________________

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Humility, Willingness, open-mindedness

_____________________________________________________

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Forgiveness, Calmness, Brotherhood, Honesty, Thoroughness, Responsibility, Humility Acceptance Tolerance Objective

_____________________________________________________

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Good Judgment, Courage, Humility, Sincerity, Forthright, Generous, Willingness,

______________________________________________________

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Discipline, Acceptance, Humility, Patience, Persistence, Self-restraint, Honesty, Willingness, Forgiveness, Fair-minded, Tolerance, Love, Kindness,

_____________________________________________________

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.

Humility, Love, Forgiveness, Harmony, Truth, Faith, Hope, Compassion, Understanding, Self-forgetting, Willingness, Strength, Wisdom, Serenity,

_____________________________________________________

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Gratitude, Acceptance, Love, Honesty, Tolerance, Unselfishness, Strength, Serenity, Giving, Fortitude, Faith, Brotherhood, Service, Understanding, Courage, Wisdom, Humility,

_____________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOBRIETY CALCULATOR

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THE NINTH STEP PROMISES

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.  We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.  We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.  We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.  No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.  That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.  We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.  Self-seeking will slip away.  Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.  Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.  We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.  We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises?  We think not.  They are being fulfilled among us____sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.  They will always materialize if we work for them.

Step Five

Step Five

From the Twelve and Twelve

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another

human being the exact nature of our

wrongs.”

ALL OF A.A.’s Twelve Steps ask us to go contrary to our

natural desires . . . they all deflate our egos. When it comes

to ego deflation, few Steps are harder to take than Five. But

scarcely any Step is more necessary to longtime sobriety

and peace of mind than this one.

A.A. experience has taught us we cannot live alone

with our pressing problems and the character defects which

cause or aggravate them. If we have swept the searchlight

of Step Four back and forth over our careers, and it has revealed

in stark relief those experiences we’d rather not

remember, if we have come to know how wrong thinking

and action have hurt us and others, then the need to quit living

by ourselves with those tormenting ghosts of yesterday

gets more urgent than ever. We have to talk to somebody

about them.

So intense, though, is our fear and reluctance to do this,

that many A.A.’s at first try to bypass Step Five. We search

for an easier way—which usually consists of the general

and fairly painless admission that when drinking we were

sometimes bad actors. Then, for good measure, we add dramatic

descriptions of that part of our drinking behavior

which our friends probably know about anyhow.

But of the things which really bother and burn us, we

say nothing. Certain distressing or humiliating memories,

we tell ourselves, ought not be shared with anyone. These

will remain our secret. Not a soul must ever know. We hope

they’ll go to the grave with us.

Yet if A.A.’s experience means anything at all, this is

not only unwise, but is actually a perilous resolve. Few

muddled attitudes have caused us more trouble than holding

back on Step Five. Some people are unable to stay

sober at all; others will relapse periodically until they really

clean house. Even A.A. old timers, sober for years, often

pay dearly for skimping this Step. They will tell how they

tried to carry the load alone; how much they suffered of irritability,

anxiety, remorse, and depression; and how,

unconsciously seeking relief, they would sometimes accuse

even their best friends of the very character defects they

themselves were trying to conceal. They always discovered

that relief never came by confessing the sins of other people.

Everybody had to confess his own.

This practice of admitting one’s defects to another person

is, of course, very ancient. It has been validated in

every century, and it characterizes the lives of all spiritually

centered and truly religious people. But today religion is by

no means the sole advocate of this saving principle. Psychiatrists

and psychologists point out the deep need every

human being has for practical insight and knowledge of his

own personality flaws and for a discussion of them with an

understanding and trustworthy person. So far as alcoholics

are concerned, A.A. would go even further. Most of us

would declare that without a fearless admission of our defects

to another human being we could not stay sober. It

seems plain that the grace of God will not enter to expel our

destructive obsessions until we are willing to try this.

What are we likely to receive from Step Five? For one

thing, we shall get rid of that terrible sense of isolation

we’ve always had. Almost without exception, alcoholics are

tortured by loneliness. Even before our drinking got bad

and people began to cut us off, nearly all of us suffered the

feeling that we didn’t quite belong. Either we were shy, and

dared not draw near others, or we were apt to be noisy good

fellows craving attention and companionship, but never

getting it—at least to our way of thinking. There was always

that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount nor

understand. It was as if we were actors on a stage, suddenly

realizing that we did not know a single line of our parts.

That’s one reason we loved alcohol too well. It did let us act

extemporaneously. But even Bacchus boomeranged on us;

we were finally struck down and left in terrified loneliness.

When we reached A.A., and for the first time in our

lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the

sense of belonging was tremendously exciting. We thought

the isolation problem had been solved. But we soon discovered

that while we weren’t alone any more in a social sense,

we still suffered many of the old pangs of anxious apartness.

Until we had talked with complete candor of our

conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same

thing, we still didn’t belong. Step Five was the answer. It

was the beginning of true kinship with man and God.

This vital Step was also the means by which we began

to get the feeling that we could be forgiven, no matter what

we had thought or done. Often it was while working on this

Step with our sponsors or spiritual advisers that we first felt

truly able to forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt

they had wronged us. Our moral inventory had persuaded

us that all-round forgiveness was desirable, but it was only

when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly

knew we’d be able to receive forgiveness and give it, too.

Another great dividend we may expect from confiding

our defects to another human being is humility—a word often

misunderstood. To those who have made progress in

A.A., it amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we

really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what

we could be. Therefore, our first practical move toward humility

must consist of recognizing our deficiencies. No

defect can be corrected unless we clearly see what it is. But

we shall have to do more than see. The objective look at

ourselves we achieved in Step Four was, after all, only a

look. All of us saw, for example, that we lacked honesty

and tolerance, that we were beset at times by attacks of selfpity

or delusions of personal grandeur. But while this was a

humiliating experience, it didn’t necessarily mean that we

had yet acquired much actual humility. Though now recognized,

our defects were still there. Something had to be

done about them. And we soon found that we could not

wish or will them away by ourselves.

More realism and therefore more honesty about ourselves

are the great gains we make under the influence of

Step Five. As we took inventory, we began to suspect how

much trouble self-delusion had been causing us. This had

brought a disturbing reflection. If all our lives we had more

or less fooled ourselves, how could we now be so sure that

we weren’t still self-deceived? How could we be certain

that we had made a true catalog of our defects and had really

admitted them, even to ourselves? Because we were still

bothered by fear, self-pity, and hurt feelings, it was probable

we couldn’t appraise ourselves fairly at all. Too much guilt

and remorse might cause us to dramatize and exaggerate

our shortcomings. Or anger and hurt pride might be the

smoke screen under which we were hiding some of our defects

while we blamed others for them. Possibly, too, we

were still handicapped by many liabilities, great and small,

we never knew we had.

Hence it was most evident that a solitary self-appraisal,

and the admission of our defects based upon that alone,

wouldn’t be nearly enough. We’d have to have outside help

if we were surely to know and admit the truth about ourselves—the

help of God and another human being. Only by

discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being

willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot

on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine

humility.

Yet many of us still hung back. We said, “Why can’t

‘God as we understand Him’ tell us where we are astray? If

the Creator gave us our lives in the first place, then He must

know in every detail where we have since gone wrong.

Why don’t we make our admissions to Him directly? Why

do we need to bring anyone else into this?”

At this stage, the difficulties of trying to deal rightly

with God by ourselves are twofold. Though we may at first

be startled to realize that God knows all about us, we are

apt to get used to that quite quickly. Somehow, being alone

with God doesn’t seem as embarrassing as facing up to another

person. Until we actually sit down and talk aloud

about what we have so long hidden, our willingness to

clean house is still largely theoretical. When we are honest

with another person, it confirms that we have been honest

with ourselves and with God.

The second difficulty is this: what comes to us alone

may be garbled by our own rationalization and wishful

thinking. The benefit of talking to another person is that we

can get his direct comment and counsel on our situation,

and there can be no doubt in our minds what that advice is.

Going it alone in spiritual matters is dangerous. How many

times have we heard well-intentioned people claim the

guidance of God when it was all too plain that they were

sorely mistaken. Lacking both practice and humility, they

had deluded themselves and were able to justify the most

arrant nonsense on the ground that this was what God had

told them. It is worth noting that people of very high spiritual

development almost always insist on checking with

friends or spiritual advisers the guidance they feel they have

received from God. Surely, then, a novice ought not lay

himself open to the chance of making foolish, perhaps tragic,

blunders in this fashion. While the comment or advice of

others may be by no means infallible, it is likely to be far

more specific than any direct guidance we may receive

while we are still so inexperienced in establishing contact

with a Power greater than ourselves.

Ou0rating. Perhaps we shall need to share with this person facts

about ourselves which no others ought to know. We shall

want to speak with someone who is experienced, who not

only has stayed dry but has been able to surmount other serious

difficulties. Difficulties, perhaps, like our own. This

person may turn out to be one’s sponsor, but not necessarily

If you have developed a high confidence in him, and his

temperament and problems are close to your own, then

such a choice will be good. Besides, your sponsor already

has the advantage of knowing something about your case.

Perhaps, though, your relation to him is such that you

would care to reveal only a part of your story. If this is the

situation, by all means do so, for you ought to make a beginning

as soon as you can. It may turn out, however, that

you’ll choose someone else for the more difficult and deeper

revelations. This individual may be entirely outside of

A.A.—for example, your clergyman or your doctor. For

some of us, a complete stranger may prove the best bet.

The real tests of the situation are your own willingness

to confide and your full confidence in the one with whom

you share your first accurate self-survey. Even when you’ve

found the person, it frequently takes great resolution to approach

him or her. No one ought to say the A.A. program

requires no willpower; here is one place you may require

all you’ve got. Happily, though, the chances are that you

will be in for a very pleasant surprise. When your mission

is carefully explained, and it is seen by the recipient of your

confidence how helpful he can really be, the conversation

will start easily and will soon become eager. Before long,

your listener may well tell a story or two about himself

which will place you even more at ease. Provided you hold

back nothing, your sense of relief will mount from minute

to minute. The dammed-up emotions of years break out of

their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon as they

are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tranquility

takes its place. And when humility and serenity are so combined,

something else of great moment is apt to occur.

Many an A.A., once agnostic or atheistic, tells us that it was

during this stage of Step Five that he first actually felt the

presence of God. And even those who had faith already often

become conscious of God as they never were before.

This feeling of being at one with God and man, this

emerging from isolation through the open and honest sharing

of our terrible burden of guilt, brings us to a resting

place where we may prepare ourselves for the following

Steps toward a full and meaningful sobriety.

 

 

Step Ten Eleven and Twelve

 

STEPS TEN, ELEVEN, AND TWELVE FROM THE “TWELVE AND TWELVE” OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

 

Step Ten

“Continued to take personal inventory and

when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

AS we work the first nine Steps, we prepare ourselves for

the adventure of a new life. But when we approach Step

Ten we commence to put our A.A. way of living to practical

use, day by day, in fair weather or foul. Then comes the

acid test: can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance, and

live to good purpose under all conditions?

A continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real

desire to learn and grow by this means, are necessities forWe alcoholics have learned this the hard way. More experienced

people, of course, in all times and places have

practiced unsparing self-survey and criticism. For the wise

have always known that no one can make much of his life

until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able

to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently

and persistently tries to correct what is wrong.

When a drunk has a terrific hangover because he drank

heavily yesterday, he cannot live well today. But there is

another kind of hangover which we all experience whether

we are drinking or not. That is the emotional hangover, the

direct result of yesterday’s and sometimes today’s excesses

of negative emotion—anger, fear, jealousy, and the like. If

we would live serenely today and tomorrow, we certainly

need to eliminate these hangovers. This doesn’t mean we

need to wander morbidly around in the past. It requires an

admission and correction of errors now. Our inventory enables

us to settle with the past. When this is done, we are

really able to leave it behind us. When our inventory is

carefully taken, and we have made peace with ourselves,

the conviction follows that tomorrow’s challenges can be

met as they come.

Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time

factor does distinguish one from another. There’s the spotcheck

inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we

find ourselves getting tangled up. There’s the one we take at

day’s end, when we review the happenings of the hours just

past. Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves

with things well done, and chalking up debits where due.

Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company

of our sponsor or spiritual adviser, we make a careful

review of our progress since the last time. Many A.A.’s go

in for annual or semiannual housecleanings. Many of us

also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the

outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed

day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.

Aren’t these practices joy-killers as well as time-consumers?

Must A.A.’s spend most of their waking hours?

drearily rehashing their sins of omission or commission?

Well, hardly. The emphasis on inventory is heavy only because

a great many of us have never really acquired the

habit of accurate self-appraisal. Once this healthy practice

has become grooved, it will be so interesting and profitable

that the time it takes won’t be missed. For these minutes

and sometimes hours spent in self-examination are bound

 

 

 

 

 

to make all the other hours of our day better and happier.

And at length our inventories become a regular part of everyday

living, rather than something unusual or set apart.

Before we ask what a spot-check inventory is, let’s look

at the kind of setting in which such an inventory can do its

work.

It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed,

no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.  If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the

wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What

about “justifiable” anger? If somebody cheats us, aren’t we

entitled to be mad? Can’t we be properly angry with selfrighteous

folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions.

We have found that justified anger ought to be left to

those better qualified to handle it.

Few people have been more victimized by resentments

than have we alcoholics. It mattered little whether our resentments

were justified or not. A burst of temper could

spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably

ineffective. Nor were we ever skillful in separating

justified from unjustified anger. As we saw it, our wrath

was always justified. Anger, that occasional luxury of more

balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely.

These emotional “dry benders” often led straight to

the bottle. Other kinds of disturbances—jealousy, envy,

self-pity, or hurt pride—did the same thing.

A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of such disturbances

can be of very great help in quieting stormy

emotions. Today’s spot check finds its chief application to

situations which arise in each day’s march. The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed,

when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose.

The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and

downs, especially those where people or new events throw

us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes.

In all these situations we need self-restraint, honest

analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when

the fault is ours, and an equal willingness to forgive when

the fault is elsewhere. We need not be discouraged when

we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines

are not easy. We shall look for progress, not for perfection.

Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint.

This carries a top priority rating. When we speak or

act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant

evaporates on the spot. One unkind tirade or one willful

snap judgment can ruin our relation with another person for

a whole day, or maybe a whole year. Nothing pays off like

restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered

criticism and furious, power-driven argument. The same

goes for sulking or silent scorn. These are emotional booby

traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our first job is to

sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we

should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can

neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of selfrestraint

has become automatic.

Disagreeable or unexpected problems are not the only

ones that call for self-control. We must be quite as careful

when we begin to achieve some measure of importance and

material success. For no people have ever loved personal

triumphs more than we have loved them; we drank of success as of a wine which could never fail to make us feel

elated. When temporary good fortune came our way, we indulged

ourselves in fantasies of still greater victories over

people and circumstances. Thus blinded by prideful selfconfidence,

we were apt to play the big shot. Of course,

people turned away from us, bored or hurt.

Now that we’re in A.A. and sober, and winning back the

esteem of our friends and business associates, we find that

we still need to exercise special vigilance. As an insurance

against “big-shot-ism” we can often check ourselves by remembering

that we are today sober only by the grace of

God and that any success we may be having is far more His

success than ours.

Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves,

are to some extent emotionally ill as well as

frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and

see what real love for our fellows actually means. It will become

more and more evident as we go forward that it is

pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people who,

like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up.

Such a radical change in our outlook will take time,

maybe a lot of time. Not many people can truthfully assert

that they love everybody. Most of us must admit that we

have loved but a few; that we have been quite indifferent to

the many so long as none of them gave us trouble; and as

for the remainder—well, we have really disliked or hated

them. Although these attitudes are common enough, we

A.A.’s find we need something much better in order to keep

our balance. We can’t stand it if we hate deeply. The idea

that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the

Step Ten

many, and can continue to fear or hate anybody, has to be

abandoned, if only a little at a time.

We can try to stop making unreasonable demands upon

those we love. We can show kindness where we had shown

none. With those we dislike we can begin to practice justice

and courtesy, perhaps going out of our way to understand

and help them.

Whenever we fail any of these people, we can promptly

admit it—to ourselves always, and to them also, when the

admission would be helpful. Courtesy, kindness, justice,

and love are the keynotes by which we may come into harmony

with practically anybody. When in doubt we can

always pause, saying, “Not my will, but Thine, be done.”

And we can often ask ourselves, “Am I doing to others as I

would have them do to me—today?”

When evening comes, perhaps just before going to

sleep, many of us draw up a balance sheet for the day. This

is a good place to remember that inventory-taking is not always

done in red ink. It’s a poor day indeed when we

haven’t done something right. As a matter of fact, the waking

hours are usually well filled with things that are

constructive. Good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts

are there for us to see. Even when we have tried hard and

failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of

all. Under these conditions, the pains of failure are converted

into assets. Out of them we receive the stimulation we

need to go forward. Someone who knew what he was talking

about once remarked that pain was the touchstone of all

spiritual progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with

him, for we know that the pains of drinking had to come

before sobriety, and emotional turmoil before serenity.

As we glance down the debit side of the day’s ledger,

we should carefully examine our motives in each thought

or act that appears to be wrong. In most cases our motives

won’t be hard to see and understand. When prideful, angry,

jealous, anxious, or fearful, we acted accordingly, and that

was that. Here we need only recognize that we did act or

think badly, try to visualize how we might have done better,

and resolve with God’s help to carry these lessons over into

tomorrow, making, of course, any amends still neglected.

But in other instances only the closest scrutiny will reveal

what our true motives were. There are cases where our

ancient enemy, rationalization, has stepped in and has justified

conduct which was really wrong. The temptation here

is to imagine that we had good motives and reasons when

we really didn’t.

We  “constructively criticized” someone who needed it,

when our real motive was to win a useless argument. Or,

the person concerned not being present, we thought we

were helping others to understand him, when in actuality

our true motive was to feel superior by pulling him down.

We sometimes hurt those we love because they need to be

“taught a lesson,” when we really want to punish. We were

depressed and complained we felt bad, when in fact we

were mainly asking for sympathy and attention. This odd

trait of mind and emotion, this perverse wish to hide a bad

motive underneath a good one, permeates human affairs

from top to bottom. This subtle and elusive kind of self-righteousness

can underlie the smallest act or thought.

Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws is the

essence of character-building and good living. An honest

regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received,

and a willingness to try for better things tomorrow

will be the permanent assets we shall seek.

Having so considered our day, not omitting to take due

note of things well done, and having searched our hearts

with neither fear nor favor, we can truly thank God for the

blessings we have received and sleep in good conscience.

 

 

Step Eleven

“Sought through prayer and meditation to

improve our conscious contact with God as

we understood Him, praying only for knowledge

of His will for us and the power to carry

that out.”

PRAYER and meditation are our principal means of conscious

contact with God.

We A.A.’s are active folk, enjoying the satisfactions of

dealing with the realities of life, usually for the first time in

our lives, and strenuously trying to help the next alcoholic

who comes along. So it isn’t surprising that we often tend to

slight serious meditation and prayer as something not really

necessary. To be sure, we feel it is something that might

help us to meet an occasional emergency, but at first many

of us are apt to regard it as a somewhat mysterious skill of

clergymen, from which we may hope to get a secondhand

benefit. Or perhaps we don’t believe in these things at all.

To certain newcomers and to those one-time agnostics

who still cling to the A.A. group as their higher power,

claims for the power of prayer may, despite all the logic and

experience in proof of it, still be unconvincing or quite objectionable.

Those of us who once felt this way can

certainly understand and sympathize. We well remember

how something deep inside us kept rebelling against the

idea of bowing before any God. Many of us had strong log-

ic, too, which “proved” there was no God whatever. What

about all the accidents, sickness, cruelty, and injustice in the

world? What about all those unhappy lives which were the

direct result of unfortunate birth and uncontrollable circumstances?

Surely there could be no justice in this scheme of

things, and therefore no God at all.

Sometimes we took a slightly different tack. Sure, we

said to ourselves, the hen probably did come before the

egg. No doubt the universe had a “first cause” of some sort,

the God of the Atom, maybe, hot and cold by turns. But

certainly there wasn’t any evidence of a God who knew or

cared about human beings. We liked A.A. all right, and

were quick to say that it had done miracles. But we recoiled

from meditation and prayer as obstinately as the scientist

who refused to perform a certain experiment lest it prove

his pet theory wrong. Of course we finally did experiment,

and when unexpected results followed, we felt different; in

fact we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation

and prayer. And that, we have found, can happen to anybody

who tries. It has been well said that “almost the only

scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough.”

Those of us who have come to make regular use of

prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse

air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we

refuse air, light, or food, the body suffers. And when we

turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive

our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed

support. As the body can fail its purpose for lack of

nourishment, so can the soul. We all need the light of God’s

reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere

of His grace. To an amazing extent the facts of A.A. Life

confirm this ageless truth.

There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation,

and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can

bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically

related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation

for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of

that ultimate reality which is God’s kingdom. And we will

be comforted and assured that our own destiny in that realm

will be secure for so long as we try, however falteringly, to

find and do the will of our own Creator.

As we have seen, self-searching is the means by which

we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the

dark and negative side of our natures. It is a step in the development

of that kind of humility that makes it possible

for us to receive God’s help. Yet it is only a step. We will

want to go further.

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst

of us, to flower and to grow. Most certainly we shall need

bracing air and an abundance of food. But first of all we

shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark.

Meditation is our step out into the sun. How, then, shall we

meditate?

The actual experience of meditation and prayer across

the centuries is, of course, immense. The world’s libraries

and places of worship are a treasure trove for all seekers. It

is to be hoped that every A.A. who has a religious connection

which emphasizes m

Well, we might start like this. First let’s look at a really

good prayer. We won’t have far to seek; the great men and

women of all religions have left us a wonderful supply.

Here let us consider one that is a classic.

Its author was a man who for several hundred years

now has been rated as a saint. We won’t be biased or scared

off by that fact, because although he was not an alcoholic

he did, like us, go through the emotional wringer. And as he

came out the other side of that painful experience, this

prayer was his expression of what he could then see, feel,

and wish to become:

ELEVENTH STEP PRAYER The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

“Lord, make me a channel of thy peace—that where

there is hatred, I may bring love—that where there is

wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness—that where

there is discord, I may bring harmony—that where there is

error, I may bring truth—that where there is doubt, I may

bring faith—that where there is despair, I may bring hope

—that where there are shadows, I may bring light—that

where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I

may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted—to understand,

than to be understood—to love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving

that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal

Life. Amen.”

As beginners in meditation, we might now reread this

prayer several times very slowly, savoring every word and

trying to take in the deep meaning of each phrase and idea.

It will help if we can drop all resistance to what our friend

says. For in meditation, debate has no place. We rest quietly

with the thoughts of someone who knows, so that we may

experience and learn.

As though lying upon a sunlit beach, let us relax and

breathe deeply of the spiritual atmosphere with which the

grace of this prayer surrounds us. Let us become willing to

partake and be strengthened and lifted up by the sheer spiritual

power, beauty, and love of which these magnificent

words are the carriers. Let us look now upon the sea and

ponder what its mystery is; and let us lift our eyes to the far

horizon, beyond which we shall seek all those wonders still

unseen.

“Shucks!” says somebody. “This is nonsense. It isn’t

practical.”

When such thoughts break in, we might recall, a little

ruefully, how much store we used to set by imagination as

it tried to create reality out of bottles. Yes, we reveled in that

sort of thinking, didn’t we? And though sober nowadays,

don’t we often try to do much the same thing? Perhaps our

trouble was not that we used our imagination. Perhaps the

real trouble was our almost total inability to point imagination

toward the right objectives. There’s nothing the matter

with constructive imagination; all sound achievement rests

upon it. After all, no man can build a house until he first envisions

a plan for it. Well, meditation is like that, too; it

helps to envision our spiritual objective before we try to

move toward it. So let’s get back to that sunlit beach—or to

the plains or to the mountains, if you prefer.

When, by such simple devices, we have placed ourselves

in a mood in which we can focus undisturbed on

constructive imagination, we might proceed like this:

Once more we read our prayer, and again try to see
what its inner essence is. We’ll think now about the man
who first uttered the prayer. First of all, he wanted to become
a “channel.” Then he asked for the grace to bring
love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy
to every human being he could.
Next came the expression of an aspiration and a hope
for himself. He hoped, God willing, that he might be able to
find some of these treasures, too. This he would try to do by
what he called self-forgetting. What did he mean by “selfforgetting,”
and how did he propose to accomplish that?
He thought it better to give comfort than to receive it;
better to understand than to be understood; better to forgive
than to be forgiven.

This much could be a fragment of what is called meditation,

perhaps our very first attempt at a mood, a flier into

the realm of spirit, if you like. It ought to be followed by a

good look at where we stand now, and a further look at

what might happen in our lives were we able to move closer

to the ideal we have been trying to glimpse. Meditation is

something which can always be further developed. It has

no boundaries, either of width or height. Aided by such instruction

and example as we can find, it is essentially an

individual adventure, something which each one of us

works out in his own way. But its object is always the

same: to improve our conscious contact with God, with His

grace, wisdom, and love. And let’s always remember that

meditation is in reality intensely practical. One of its first

fruits is emotional balance. With it we can broaden and

deepen the channel between ourselves and God as we understand

Him.

Now, what of prayer? Prayer is the raising of the heart

and mind to God—and in this sense it includes meditation.

How may we go about it? And how does it fit in with meditation?

Prayer, as commonly understood, is a petition to

God. Having opened our channel as best we can, we try to

ask for those right things of which we and others are in the

greatest need. And we think that the whole range of our

needs is well defined by that part of Step Eleven which

says: “. . . knowledge of His will for us and the power to

carry that out.” A request for this fits in any part of our day.

In the morning we think of the hours to come. Perhaps

we think of our day’s work and the chances it may afford us

to be useful and helpful, or of some special problem that it

may bring. Possibly today will see a continuation of a serious

and as yet unresolved problem left over from yesterday.

Our immediate temptation will be to ask for specific solutions

to specific problems, and for the ability to help other

people as we have already thought they should be helped.

In that case, we are asking God to do it our way. Therefore,

we ought to consider each request carefully to see what its

real merit is. Even so, when making specific requests, it

will be well to add to each one of them this qualification: “.

. . if it be Thy will.” We ask simply that throughout the day

God place in us the best understanding of His will that we

can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by

which we may carry it out.

As the day goes on, we can pause where situations must

be met and decisions made, and renew the simple request:

“Thy will, not mine, be done.” If at these points our emotional

disturbance happens to be great, we will more surely

keep our balance, provided we remember, and repeat to

ourselves, a particular prayer or phrase that has appealed to

us in our reading or meditation. Just saying it over and over

will often enable us to clear a channel choked up with

anger, fear, frustration, or misunderstanding, and permit us

to return to the surest help of all—our search for God’s will,

not our own, in the moment of stress. At these critical moments,

if we remind ourselves that “it is better to comfort

than to be comforted, to understand than to be understood,

to love than to be loved,” we will be following the intent of

Of course, it is reasonable and understandable that the

question is often asked: “Why can’t we take a specific and

troubling dilemma straight to God, and in prayer secure

from Him sure and definite answers to our requests?”

This can be done, but it has hazards. We have seen

A.A.’s ask with much earnestness and faith for God’s explicit

guidance on matters ranging all the way from a

shattering domestic or financial crisis to correcting a minor

personal fault, like tardiness. Quite often, however, the

thoughts that seem to come from God are not answers at

all. They prove to be well-intentioned unconscious rationalizations.

The A.A., or indeed any man, who tries to run his

life rigidly by this kind of prayer, by this self-serving demand

of God for replies, is a particularly disconcerting

individual. To any questioning or criticism of his actions he

instantly proffers his reliance upon prayer for guidance in

all matters great or small. He may have forgotten the possibility

that his own wishful thinking and the human

tendency to rationalize have distorted his so-called guid-

ance. With the best of intentions, he tends to force his own

will into all sorts of situations and problems with the comfortable

assurance that he is acting under God’s specific

direction. Under such an illusion, he can of course create

great havoc without in the least intending it.

We also fall into another similar temptation. We form

ideas as to what we think God’s will is for other people. We

say to ourselves, “This one ought to be cured of his fatal

malady,” or “That one ought to be relieved of his emotional

pain,” and we pray for these specific things. Such prayers,

of course, are fundamentally good acts, but often they are

based upon a supposition that we know God’s will for the

person for whom we pray. This means that side by side

with an earnest prayer there can be a certain amount of presumption

and conceit in us. It is A.A.’s experience that

particularly in these cases we ought to pray that God’s will,

whatever it is, be done for others as well as for ourselves.

In A.A. we have found that the actual good results of

prayer are beyond question. They are matters of knowledge

and experience. All those who have persisted have found

strength not ordinarily their own. They have found wisdom

beyond their usual capability. And they have increasingly

found a peace of mind which can stand firm in the face of

difficult circumstances.

We discover that we do receive guidance for our lives

to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon

God to give it to us on order and on our terms. Almost any

experienced A.A. will tell how his affairs have taken remarkable

and unexpected turns for the better as he tried to

improve his conscious contact with God. He will also re-

port that out of every season of grief or suffering, when the

hand of God seemed heavy or even unjust, new lessons for

living were learned, new resources of courage were uncovered,

and that finally, inescapably, the conviction came that

God does “move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”

All this should be very encouraging news for those who

recoil from prayer because they don’t believe in it, or because

they feel themselves cut off from God’s help and

direction. All of us, without exception, pass through times

when we can pray only with the greatest exertion of will.

Occasionally we go even further than this. We are seized

with a rebellion so sickening that we simply won’t pray.

When these things happen we should not think too ill of

ourselves. We should simply resume prayer as soon as we

can, doing what we know to be good for us.

Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and

prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. We no

longer live in a completely hostile world. We are no longer

lost and frightened and purposeless. The moment we catch

even a glimpse of God’s will, the moment we begin to see

truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life,

we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence

to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human

affairs. We know that God lovingly watches over us. We

know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us,

here and hereafter.

 

Step Twelve

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the

result of these steps, we tried to carry this

message to alcoholics, and to practice these

principles in all our affairs.”

THE joy of living is the theme of A.A.’s Twelfth Step, and

action is its key word. Here we turn outward toward our

fellow alcoholics who are still in distress. Here we experience

the kind of giving that asks no rewards. Here we begin

to practice all Twelve Steps of the program in our daily

lives so that we and those about us may find emotional sobriety.

When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication,

it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price

tag on it.

Our Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing

all the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual

awakening. To new A.A.’s, this often seems like a very

dubious and improbable state of affairs. “What do you

mean when you talk about a ‘spiritual awakening’?” they

ask.

Maybe there are as many definitions of spiritual awakening

as there are people who have had them. But certainly

each genuine one has something in common with all the

others. And these things which they have in common are

not too hard to understand. When a man or a woman has a

spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is

that he has now become able to do, feel, and believe that

which he could not do before on his unaided strength and

resources alone. He has been granted a gift which amounts

to a new state of consciousness and being. He has been set

on a path which tells him he is really going somewhere,

that life is not a dead end, not something to be endured or

mastered. In a very real sense he has been transformed, because

he has laid hold of a source of strength which, in one

way or another, he had hitherto denied himself. He finds

himself in possession of a degree of honesty, tolerance, unselfishness,

peace of mind, and love of which he had

thought himself quite incapable. What he has received is a

free gift, and yet usually, at least in some small part, he has

made himself ready to receive it.

A.A.’s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies

in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program. So let’s

consider briefly what we have been trying to do up to this

point:

Step One showed us an amazing paradox: We found

that we were totally unable to be rid of the alcohol obsession

until we first admitted that we were powerless over it.

In Step Two we saw that since we could not restore ourselves

to sanity, some Higher Power must necessarily do so

if we were to survive. Consequently, in Step Three we

turned our will and our lives over to the care of God as we

understood Him. For the time being, we who were atheist

or agnostic discovered that our own group, or A.A. as a

whole, would suffice as a higher power. Beginning with

Step Four, we commenced to search out the things in ourselves

which had brought us to physical, moral, and

spiritual bankruptcy. We made a searching and fearless

moral inventory. Looking at Step Five, we decided that an

inventory, taken alone, wouldn’t be enough. We knew we

would have to quit the deadly business of living alone with

our conflicts, and in honesty confide these to God and another

human being. At Step Six, many of us balked—for

the practical reason that we did not wish to have all our defects

of character removed, because we still loved some of

them too much. Yet we knew we had to make a settlement

with the fundamental principle of Step Six. So we decided

that while we still had some flaws of character that we

could not yet relinquish, we ought nevertheless to quit our

stubborn, rebellious hanging on to them. We said to ourselves,

“This I cannot do today, perhaps, but I can stop

crying out ‘No, never!’” Then, in Step Seven, we humbly

asked God to remove our short comings such as He could

or would under the conditions of the day we asked. In Step

Eight, we continued our housecleaning, for we saw that we

were not only in conflict with ourselves, but also with people

and situations in the world in which we lived. We had to

begin to make our peace, and so we listed the people we

had harmed and became willing to set things right. We followed

this up in Step Nine by making direct amends to

those concerned, except when it would injure them or other

people. By this time, at Step Ten, we had begun to get a basis

for daily living, and we keenly realized that we would

need to continue taking personal inventory, and that when

we were in the wrong we ought to admit it promptly. In

Step Eleven we saw that if a Higher Power had restored us

to sanity and had enabled us to live with some peace of

mind in a sorely troubled world, then such a Higher Power

was worth knowing better, by as direct contact as possible.

The persistent use of meditation and prayer, we found, did

open the channel so that where there had been a trickle,

there now was a river which led to sure power and safe

guidance from God as we were increasingly better able to

understand Him.

So, practicing these Steps, we had a spiritual awakening

about which finally there was no question. Looking at those

who were only beginning and still doubted themselves, the

rest of us were able to see the change setting in. From great

numbers of such experiences, we could predict that the

doubter who still claimed that he hadn’t got the “spiritual

angle,” and who still considered his well-loved A.A. group

the higher power, would presently love God and call Him

by name.

Now, what about the rest of the Twelfth Step? The wonderful

energy it releases and the eager action by which it

carries our message to the next suffering alcoholic and

which finally translates the Twelve Steps into action upon

all our affairs is the payoff, the magnificent reality, of Alcoholics

Anonymous.

Even the newest of newcomers finds undreamed rewards

as he tries to help his brother alcoholic, the one who

is even blinder than he. This is indeed the kind of giving

that actually demands nothing. He does not expect his

brother sufferer to pay him, or even to love him. And then

he discovers that by the divine paradox of this kind of giving

he has found his own reward, whether his brother has

yet received anything or not. His own character may still be

gravely defective, but he somehow knows that God has en-

abled him to make a mighty beginning, and he senses that

he stands at the edge of new mysteries, joys, and experiences

of which he had never even dreamed.

Practically every A.A. member declares that no satisfaction

has been deeper and no joy greater than in a Twelfth

Step job well done. To watch the eyes of men and women

open with wonder as they move from darkness into light, to

see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning,

to see whole families reassembled, to see the alcoholic outcast

received back into his community in full citizenship,

and above all to watch these people awaken to the presence

of a loving God in their lives—these things are the substance

of what we receive as we carry A.A.’s message to the

next alcoholic.

Nor is this the only kind of Twelfth Step work. We sit in

A.A. meetings and listen, not only to receive something

ourselves, but to give the reassurance and support which

our presence can bring. If our turn comes to speak at a

meeting, we again try to carry A.A.’s message. Whether our

audience is one or many, it is still Twelfth Step work. There

are many opportunities even for those of us who feel unable

to speak at meetings or who are so situated that we cannot

do much face-to-face Twelfth Step work. We can be the

ones who take on the unspectacular but important tasks that

make good Twelfth Step work possible, perhaps arranging

for the coffee and cake after the meetings, where so many

skeptical, suspicious newcomers have found confidence

and comfort in the laughter and talk. This is Twelfth Step

work in the very best sense of the word. “Freely ye have received;

freely give . . .” is the core of this part of Step

Twelve.

We may often pass through Twelfth Step experiences

where we will seem to be temporarily off the beam. These

will appear as big setbacks at the time, but will be seen later

as stepping-stones to better things. For example, we may

set our hearts on getting a particular person sobered up, and

after doing all we can for months, we see him relapse. Perhaps

this will happen in a succession of cases, and we may

be deeply discouraged as to our ability to carry A.A.’s message.

Or we may encounter the reverse situation, in which

we are highly elated because we seem to have been successful.

Here the temptation is to become rather possessive

of these newcomers. Perhaps we try to give them advice

about their affairs which we aren’t really competent to give

or ought not give at all. Then we are hurt and confused

when the advice is rejected, or when it is accepted and

brings still greater confusion. By a great deal of ardent

Twelfth Step work we sometimes carry the message to so

many alcoholics that they place us in a position of trust.

They make us, let us say, the group’s chairman. Here again

we are presented with the temptation to overmanage things,

and sometimes this results in rebuffs and other consequences

which are hard to take.

But in the longer run we clearly realize that these are

only the pains of growing up, and nothing but good can

come from them if we turn more and more to the entire

Twelve Steps for the answers.

Now comes the biggest question yet. What about the

practice of these principles in all our affairs? Can we love

the whole pattern of living as eagerly as we do the small

segment of it we discover when we try to help other alcoholics

achieve sobriety? Can we bring the same spirit of

love and tolerance into our sometimes deranged family

lives that we bring to our A.A. group? Can we have the

same kind of confidence and faith in these people who have

been infected and sometimes crippled by our own illness

that we have in our sponsors? Can we actually carry the

A.A. spirit into our daily work? Can we meet our newly

recognized responsibilities to the world at large? And can

we bring new purpose and devotion to the religion of our

choice? Can we find a new joy of living in trying to do

something about all these things?

Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming

failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either

without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness,

loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity?

Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet

sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter,

more glittering achievements are denied us?

The A.A. answer to these questions about living is “Yes,

all of these things are possible.” We know this because we

see monotony, pain, and even calamity turned to good use

by those who keep on trying to practice A.A.’s Twelve

Steps. And if these are facts of life for the many alcoholics

who have recovered in A.A., they can become the facts of

life for many more.

Of course all A.A.’s, even the best, fall far short of such

achievements as a consistent thing. Without necessarily taking

that first drink, we often get quite far off the beam. Our

troubles sometimes begin with indifference. We are sober

and happy in our A.A. work. Things go well at home and

office. We naturally congratulate ourselves on what later

proves to be a far too easy and superficial point of view. We

temporarily cease to grow because we feel satisfied that

there is no need for all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps for us. We

are doing fine on a few of them. Maybe we are doing fine

on only two of them, the First Step and that part of the

Twelfth where we “carry the message.” In A.A. slang, that

blissful state is known as “two-stepping.” And it can go on

for years.

The best-intentioned of us can fall for the “two-step” illusion.

Sooner or later the pink cloud stage wears off and

things go disappointingly dull. We begin to think that A.A.

doesn’t pay off after all. We become puzzled and discouraged.

 

Then perhaps life, as it has a way of doing, suddenly

hands us a great big lump that we can’t begin to swallow, let

alone digest. We fail to get a worked-for promotion. We

lose that good job. Maybe there are serious domestic or romantic

difficulties, or perhaps that boy we thought God was

looking after becomes a military casualty.

What then? Have we alcoholics in A.A. got, or can we

get, the resources to meet these calamities which come to

so many? These were problems of life which we could never

face up to. Can we now, with the help of God as we

understand Him, handle them as well and as bravely as our

nonalcoholic friends often do? Can we transform these

calamities into assets, sources of growth and comfort to

ourselves and those about us? Well, we surely have a

chance if we switch from “two-stepping” to “twelve-step-

ping,” if we are willing to receive that grace of God which

can sustain and strengthen us in any catastrophe.

Our basic troubles are the same as everyone else’s, but

when an honest effort is made “to practice these principles

in all our affairs,” well-grounded A.A.’s seem to have the

ability, by God’s grace, to take these troubles in stride and

turn them into demonstrations of faith. We have seen A.A.’s

suffer lingering and fatal illness with little complaint, and

often in good cheer. We have sometimes seen families broken

apart by misunderstanding, tensions, or actual

infidelity, who are reunited by the A.A. way of life.

Though the earning power of most A.A.’s is relatively

high, we have some members who never seem to get on

their feet moneywise, and still others who encounter heavy

financial reverses. Ordinarily we see these situations met

with fortitude and faith.

Like most people, we have found that we can take our

big lumps as they come. But also like others, we often discover

a greater challenge in the lesser and more continuous

problems of life. Our answer is in still more spiritual development.

Only by this means can we improve our chances

for really happy and useful living. And as we grow spiritually,

we find that our old attitudes toward our instincts need

to undergo drastic revisions. Our desires for emotional security

and wealth, for personal prestige and power, for

romance, and for family satisfactions—all these have to be

tempered and redirected. We have learned that the satisfaction

of instincts cannot be the sole end and aim of our lives.

If we place instincts first, we have got the cart before the

horse; we shall be pulled backward into disillusionment.

But when we are willing to place spiritual growth first—

then and only then do we have a real chance.

After we come into A.A., if we go on growing, our attitudes

and actions toward security—emotional security and

financial security—commence to change profoundly. Our

demand for emotional security, for our own way, had constantly

thrown us into unworkable relations with other

people. Though we were sometimes quite unconscious of

this, the result always had been the same. Either we had

tried to play God and dominate those about us, or we had

insisted on being overdependent upon them. Where people

had temporarily let us run their lives as though they were

still children, we had felt very happy and secure ourselves.

But when they finally resisted or ran away, we were bitterly

hurt and disappointed. We blamed them, being quite unable

to see that our unreasonable demands had been the cause.

When we had taken the opposite tack and had insisted,

like infants ourselves, that people protect and take care of

us or that the world owed us a living, then the result had

been equally unfortunate. This often caused the people we

had loved most to push us aside or perhaps desert us entirely.

Our disillusionment had been hard to bear. We couldn’t

imagine people acting that way toward us. We had failed to

see that though adult in years we were still behaving childishly,

trying to turn everybody—friends, wives, husbands,

even the world itself—into protective parents. We had refused

to learn the very hard lesson that overdependence

upon people is unsuccessful because all people are fallible,

and even the best of them will sometimes let us down, especially

when our demands for attention become unreasonable.

As we made spiritual progress, we saw through these

fallacies. It became clear that if we ever were to feel emotionally

secure among grown-up people, we would have to

put our lives on a give-and-take basis; we would have to

develop the sense of being in partnership or brotherhood

with all those around us. We saw that we would need to

give constantly of ourselves without demands for repayment.

When we persistently did this we gradually found

that people were attracted to us as never before. And even if

they failed us, we could be understanding and not too seriously

affected.

When we developed still more, we discovered the best

possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself.

We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness,

and love was healthy, and that it would work

where nothing else would. If we really depended upon

God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows nor

would we feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection

and care. These were the new attitudes that finally brought

many of us an inner strength and peace that could not be

deeply shaken by the shortcomings of others or by any

calamity not of our own making.

This new outlook was, we learned, something especially

necessary to us alcoholics. For alcoholism had been a

lonely business, even though we had been surrounded by

people who loved us. But when self-will had driven everybody

away and our isolation had become complete, it

caused us to play the big shot in cheap barrooms and then

fare forth alone on the street to depend upon the charity of

passersby. We were still trying to find emotional security by

being dominating or dependent upon others. Even when

our fortunes had not ebbed that much and we nevertheless

found ourselves alone in the world, we still vainly tried to

be secure by some unhealthy kind of domination or dependence.

For those of us who were like that, A.A. had a very

special meaning. Through it we begin to learn right relations

with people who understand us; we don’t have to be

alone any more.

Most married folks in A.A. have very happy homes. To

a surprising extent, A.A. has offset the damage to family

life brought about by years of alcoholism. But just like all

other societies, we do have sex and marital problems, and

sometimes they are distressingly acute. Permanent marriage

breakups and separations, however, are unusual in

A.A. Our main problem is not how we are to stay married;

it is how to be more happily married by eliminating the severe

emotional twists that have so often stemmed from

alcoholism.

Nearly every sound human being experiences, at some

time in life, a compelling desire to find a mate of the opposite

sex with whom the fullest possible union can be made

—spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. This mighty

urge is the root of great human accomplishments, a creative

energy that deeply influences our lives. God fashioned us

that way. So our question will be this: How, by ignorance,

compulsion, and self-will, do we misuse this gift for our

own destruction? We A.A. cannot pretend to offer full answers

to age-old perplexities, but our own experience does

provide certain answers that work for us.

When alcoholism strikes, very unnatural situations may

develop which work against marriage partnership and compatible

union. If the man is affected, the wife must become

the head of the house, often the breadwinner. As matters get

worse, the husband becomes a sick and irresponsible child

who needs to be looked after and extricated from endless

scrapes and impasses. Very gradually, and usually without

any realization of the fact, the wife is forced to become the

mother of an erring boy. And if she had a strong maternal

instinct to begin with, the situation is aggravated. Obviously

not much partnership can exist under these conditions.

The wife usually goes on doing the best she knows how,

but meanwhile the alcoholic alternately loves and hates her

maternal care. A pattern is thereby established that may take

a lot of undoing later on. Nevertheless, under the influence

of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, these situations are often set right.*

When the distortion has been great, however, a long period

of patient striving may be necessary. After the husband

joins A.A., the wife may become discontented, even highly

resentful that Alcoholics Anonymous has done the very

thing that all her years of devotion had failed to do. Her

husband may become so wrapped up in A.A. and his new

friends that he is inconsiderately away from home more

than when he drank. Seeing her unhappiness, he recommends

A.A.’s Twelve Steps and tries to teach her how to

live. She naturally feels that for years she has made a far

*In adapted form, the Steps are also used by Al-Anon Family

Groups. Not a part of A.A., this worldwide fellowship consists of

spouses and other relatives or friends of alcoholics (in A.A. or still

drinking). Its headquarters address is 1600 Corporate Landing

Parkway, Virgina Beach, VA 23456.

better job of living than he has. Both of them blame each

other and ask when their marriage is ever going to be happy

again. They may even begin to suspect it had never been

any good in the first place.

Compatibility, of course, can be so impossibly damaged

that a separation may be necessary. But those cases are the

unusual ones. The alcoholic, realizing what his wife has endured,

and now fully understanding how much he himself

did to damage her and his children, nearly always takes up

his marriage responsibilities with a willingness to repair

what he can and to accept what he can’t. He persistently

tries all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps in his home, often with fine

results. At this point he firmly but lovingly commences to

behave like a partner instead of like a bad boy. And above

all he is finally convinced that reckless romancing is not a

way of life for him.

A.A. has many single alcoholics who wish to marry and

are in a position to do so. Some marry fellow A.A.’s. How

do they come out? On the whole these marriages are very

good ones. Their common suffering as drinkers, their common

interest in A.A. and spiritual things, often enhance

such unions. It is only where “boy meets girl on A.A. campus,”

and love follows at first sight, that difficulties may

develop. The prospective partners need to be solid A.A.’s

and long enough acquainted to know that their compatibility

at spiritual, mental, and emotional levels is a fact and not

wishful thinking. They need to be as sure as possible that

no deep-lying emotional handicap in either will be likely to

rise up under later pressures to cripple them. The considerations

are equally true and important for the A.A.’s who

marry “outside” A.A. With clear understanding and right,

grown-up attitudes, very happy results do follow.

And what can be said of many A.A. members who, for

a variety of reasons, cannot have a family life? At first

many of these feel lonely, hurt, and left out as they witness

so much domestic happiness about them. If they cannot

have this kind of happiness, can A.A. offer them satisfactions

of similar worth and durability? Yes—whenever they

try hard to seek them out. Surrounded by so many A.A.

friends, these so-called loners tell us they no longer feel

alone. In partnership with others—women and men—they

can devote themselves to any number of ideas, people, and

constructive projects. Free of marital responsibilities, they

can participate in enterprises which would be denied to

family men and women. We daily see such members render

prodigies of service, and receive great joys in return.

Where the possession of money and material things

was concerned, our outlook underwent the same revolutionary

change. With a few exceptions, all of us had been

spendthrifts. We threw money about in every direction with

the purpose of pleasing ourselves and impressing other

people. In our drinking time, we acted as if the money supply

was inexhaustible, though between binges we’d

sometimes go to the other extreme and become almost

miserly. Without realizing it we were just accumulating

funds for the next spree. Money was the symbol of pleasure

and self-importance. When our drinking had become much

worse, money was only an urgent requirement which could

supply us with the next drink and the temporary comfort of

oblivion it brought.

Upon entering A.A., these attitudes were sharply reversed,

often going much too far in the opposite direction.

The spectacle of years of waste threw us into panic. There

simply wouldn’t be time, we thought, to rebuild our shattered

fortunes. How could we ever take care of those awful

debts, possess a decent home, educate the kids, and set

something by for old age? Financial importance was no

longer our principal aim; we now clamored for material security.

Even when we were well reestablished in our

business, these terrible fears often continued to haunt us.

This made us misers and penny pinchers all over again.

Complete financial security we must have—or else. We

forgot that most alcoholics in A.A. have an earning power

considerably above average; we forgot the immense goodwill

of our brother A.A.’s who were only too eager to help

us to better jobs when we deserved them; we forgot the actual

or potential financial insecurity of every human being

in the world. And, worst of all, we forgot God. In money

matters we had faith only in ourselves, and not too much of

that.

This all meant, of course, that we were still far off balance.

When a job still looked like a mere means of getting

money rather than an opportunity for service, when the acquisition

of money for financial independence looked more

important than a right dependence upon God, we were still

the victims of unreasonable fears. And these were fears

which would make a serene and useful existence, at any financial

level, quite impossible.

But as time passed we found that with the help of A.A.’s

Twelve Steps we could lose those fears, no matter what of

material prospects were. We could cheerfully perform humble

labor without worrying about tomorrow. If our

circumstances happened to be good, we no longer dreaded

a change for the worse, for we had learned that these troubles

could be turned into great values. It did not matter too

much what our material condition was, but it did matter

what our spiritual condition was. Money gradually became

our servant and not our master. It became a means of exchanging

love and service with those about us. When, with

God’s help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we

could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still

suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too.

We found that freedom from fear was more important than

freedom from want.

Let’s here take note of our improved outlook upon the

problems of personal importance, power, ambition, and

leadership. These were reefs upon which many of us came

to shipwreck during our drinking careers.

Practically every boy in the United States dreams of becoming

our President. He wants to be his country’s number

one man. As he gets older and sees the impossibility of this,

he can smile good-naturedly at his childhood dream. In later

life he finds that real happiness is not to be found in just

trying to be a number one man, or even a first-rater in the

heartbreaking struggle for money, romance, or self-importance.

He learns that he can be content as long as he plays

well whatever cards life deals him. He’s still ambitious, but

not absurdly so, because he can now see and accept actual

reality. He’s willing to stay right size.

But not so with alcoholics. When A.A. was quite

young, a number of eminent psychologists and doctors

made an exhaustive study of a good-sized group of socalled

problem drinkers. The doctors weren’t trying to find

how different we were from one another; they sought to

find whatever personality traits, if any, this group of alcoholics

had in common. They finally came up with a

conclusion that shocked the A.A. members of that time.

These distinguished men had the nerve to say that most of

the alcoholics under investigation were still childish, emotionally

sensitive, and grandiose.

How we alcoholics did resent that verdict! We would

not believe that our adult dreams were often truly childish.

And considering the rough deal life had given us, we felt it

perfectly natural that we were sensitive. As to our grandiose

behavior, we insisted that we had been possessed of nothing

but a high and legitimate ambition to win the battle of

life.

In the years since, however, most of us have come to

agree with those doctors. We have had a much keener look

at ourselves and those about us. We have seen that we were

prodded by unreasonable fears or anxieties into making a

life business of winning fame, money, and what we thought

was leadership. So false pride became the reverse side of

that ruinous coin marked “Fear.” We simply had to be number

one people to cover up our deep-lying inferiorities. In

fitful successes we boasted of greater feats to be done; in

defeat we were bitter. If we didn’t have much of any worldly

success we became depressed and cowed. Then people

said we were of the “inferior” type. But now we see ourselves

as chips off the same old block. At heart we had all

been abnormally fearful. It mattered little whether we had

sat on the shore of life drinking ourselves into forgetfulness

or had plunged in recklessly and willfully beyond our depth

and ability. The result was the same—all of us had nearly

perished in a sea of alcohol.

But today, in well-matured A.A.’s, these distorted drives

have been restored to something like their true purpose and

direction. We no longer strive to dominate or rule those

about us in order to gain self-importance. We no longer

seek fame and honor in order to be praised. When by devoted

service to family, friends, business, or community we

attract widespread affection and are sometimes singled out

for posts of greater responsibility and trust, we try to be

humbly grateful and exert ourselves the more in a spirit of

love and service. True leadership, we find, depends upon

able example and not upon vain displays of power or glory.

Still more wonderful is the feeling that we do not have

to be specially distinguished among our fellows in order to

be useful and profoundly happy. Not many of us can be

leaders of prominence, nor do we wish to be. Service, gladly

rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well

accepted or solved with God’s help, the knowledge that at

home or in the world outside we are partners in a common

effort, the well-understood fact that in God’s sight all human

beings are important, the proof that love freely given

surely brings a full return, the certainty that we are no

longer isolated and alone in self-constructed prisons, the

surety that we need no longer be square pegs in round holes

but can fit and belong in God’s scheme of things—these are

the permanent and legitimate satisfactions of right living for

which no amount of pomp and circumstance, no heap of

material possessions, could possibly be substitutes. True

ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is

the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the

grace of God.

These little studies of A.A. Twelve Steps now come to a

close. We have been considering so many problems that it

may appear that A.A. consists mainly of racking dilemmas

and troubleshooting. To a certain extent, that is true. We

have been talking about problems because we are problem

people who have found a way up and out, and who wish to

share our knowledge of that way with all who can use it.

For it is only by accepting and solving our problems that

we can begin to get right with ourselves and with the world

about us, and with Him who presides over us all. Understanding

is the key to right principles and attitudes, and

right action is the key to good living; therefore the joy of

good living is the theme of A.A. Twelfth Step.

With each passing day of our lives, may every one of us

sense more deeply the inner meaning of A.A.’s simple

prayer:

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,

Courage to change the things we can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Newly Sober but Rehabilitated Addicts in Alcoholics Anonymous, still on Probation can Find Honest Work?

How Newly Recovering Addicts and Alcoholics can start a whole new career via Etsy Seller.

First I have to say, Etsy, Amazon, and eBay protect their buyers from being ripped off just like eBay or Amazon would, if not more so.  But also, none of these selling platforms won’t ask you for your work history or your criminal history.  If you are responsible, and can be relied upon for respectful communication and treatment of customers and you sell a good hand made product, they WILL give you a chance to excel in their seller platform.  If you show yourself unreliable and customer unfriendly, well then you should not be in sales anyway and you would not grow in Etsy seller.

All you need to start is a product and a Paypal or bank account for the sales to flow into.

Common Scenario of a sober recovering addict

Your clean and sober but no one will hire you locally because you have a criminal record.  You have changed your ways, buy no one sees that.  All they see is the fact that you stole a candy bar in 2015 and went to jail.  You were drunk at the time and have recently gone to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.  You got a year probation and NOBODY will hire you even though your more honest now than you have EVER BEEN.  All your AA sponsor can say is “expect distrust you have earned it!”  UHG!

Well guess what?  Online work may be right up your ally.  Not to mention sober recovering addicts tend to be very creative.  All we need do is practice our step eleven meditation, use our imagination, find our artistic flare and start creating something people want or need.   Then we put our products or art on a listing in Etsy Seller and be patient for the sales to start happening.

Don’t quit before the miracle happens.  It took me a good year to start making money on Etsy.  In the mean time I settled for an eBay and Amazon seller account which, just didn’t make the grade compared to Etsy systems and software.  Amazon and eBay started with a bang and fizzled out with a soft cry, while my Etsy store did a slow-grow-dance, the system testing my business along the way, as it flowered into a thriving burst of colorful energy painted with authentic handmade jewelry and outfits galore, with a steady income to boot.

Continue reading “Newly Sober but Rehabilitated Addicts in Alcoholics Anonymous, still on Probation can Find Honest Work?”

Suboxone Maker’s Criminal Scam to Profit off Suffering Heroin Addicts

Suboxone Creator’s Shocking Scheme to Profit Off of Heroin Addicts

The company behind America’s most popular drug to treat addicts actually claimed its pills could kill kids to get a new patent and $1 billion.

Reckitt Benckiser’s patent for its opiate-treatment drug Suboxone expired, opening the gates for cheaper generic versions of the medication to hit the market. At stake was the loss of the company’s 85 percent hold on the market for medication-assisted treatment, which was booming thanks to the growing opiate epidemic. Hundreds of millions stood to be lost from the patent’s expiration.

Continue reading “Suboxone Maker’s Criminal Scam to Profit off Suffering Heroin Addicts”

Accept the Human Condition of Fear

And Begin To Heal from Shame & Repressed Fear of who we are.

We have a choice to make today toward our fellows posts and in meetings. We either search our psyche & heart to RELATE to what they are saying and promote healing, OR we take out our RED PEN and GRADE their share as if we are the disgruntled school master and the share was written by the bully of our classroom whom we want to hurt because we were so badly hurt. Or worse, he made us look inferior we perceive. And finally if someone posts something we don’t agree with we must DEFEND

Continue reading “Accept the Human Condition of Fear”

IS GOOGLE BEING BULLIED BY THE CHINESE TO CENSOR AMERICANS?

Is Google on our side?  Do we have good reason to Love Google?  Or are we deceived?  More will be revealed, and more to come

I am watching to see as my most informative Youtube channels of truth seekers are systematically deleted. Lets hope Info-wars reports are wrong about this and that Google does have our best interest at heart as I hope to believe.

Mike Adams’, The Health Ranger YouTube channel has been terminated.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAZa…

“Paradise For The Hell-bound”

Copyrights reserved and conditional. Please don’t plagiarize.   Feel free to post or copy as long as full credit is given to me “Laura Edgar”. I Laura R. Edgar reserve by copyright all monetary rights 100% and rights to title and trademark. To thine own self be true.

Truth

What if under one condition could a man write books of wisdom and still be respected by his peers. And the condition was this, every author must obey all his own words at all times for, if he doesn’t he shall be considered by one- and-all a hypocrite undeserving of the pen. I then say to this, thank God for and behold thy faithful hypocrite. For truly good men do evil. And atrocious men do good if only for display. No man [mankind] is at his best through every passing juncture of the season’s change. Please my fellows allow our writer his birthright of human perfection which is in fact, God’s calculated plan for an imperfect being. But for our many wise authors allowing their God-selves to surface, by clawing through the dark, narrow, natural mind. They do then spring forth into light. And we through time stock our libraries with Love-filled words of Wisdom and Grace. We devour the very words by our appetite of Hope.   And then our wise authors fade away from their best sparsely enabling the wisdom they know works. Thank God then for thy faithful hypocrite.___________________Laura Edgar

 

Hebrews 2:15
“And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” KJV

 

Prelude

Paradise for the HellBound is about complete life transformation.  How do we overcome depression, fear, stress, and anxiety?  How do we both know and accomplish God’s will?   Peace of mind is at the forefront of a worthwhile life so how do we attain peace? Is God as hard on us as we are on ourselves?  Do rules and regulations equal spirituality?  How do we improve our relationship with God and become enlightened and fulfilled?  Paradise for the HellBound shows us scripture which portrays God as Loving and forgiving.  The book shows how to rely on God rather than rallying to be God’s advocate as if we were on equal footing with God Himself.  God does not need our endorsement as if the creator were a brand of tennis shoe to promote.  And if a man seeks not his maker with his whole heart we cannot force him to believe at the heart level by intellectual teachings.  We are neither qualified to change a man’s heart, nor have we the temperance to properly judge our brothers heart.    But if a man seeks peace and serenity he is a willing candidate for achieving it by directions and spiritual exercises.   You will find the directions to your own personal and authentic spiritual experience in Paradise for the HellBound.

PARADISE FOR THE HELLBOUND
A BOOK ABOUT CHANGE

Prelude

Dedication
To my sister, Brenda who never had a fair chance at self-Love yet was many times my only true spiritual encouragement. Her Grace-filled forgiveness rings forth beyond eternity.

CLICK ON THE “here” TO GO TO VARIOUS CHAPTERS OF THE BOOK.

Table of Contents

“FEAR NOT”skip to fear chapter “FEAR NOT”- here

click here to read UNHEALTHY FEAR

click here to read THE FACES OF LOVE

TRUTH THE MAGIC CARPET RIDE TO LOVE
click here TRUTH

click here to read JUST LIKE JONAH

click here to read PERPETUAL GRACE

click here to read THE DREADED SIN OF FORNICATION

click here to read REPENTANCE AN UGLY WORD OR A GRACIOUS GIFT

click here to read WISDOM

click here to read MAYBE SATAN?

click here to read LAW VS LOVE

click here to read ARMOUR OF GOD

click here to read BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

click here to read GOSPEL OF PEACE

click here to read SHIELD OF FAITH

click here to read HELMET OF SALVATION

click here to read THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT

(don’t click on the word prayer it will take you to “prayer” articles on this site.  CLICK ON THE “here”) thankyou.

click here to read CIRCUMFERENCE OF PRAYER

click here to read PRAYERS OF SUPPLICATION

Click here LAMENTATION OF PRAYER

click here to read WARFARE PRAYER

click here to read PRAYERS OF DELIVERANCE

click here to read PRAISE, WORSHIP, AND THANKSGIVING

click here to read OUR WEAKEST PRAYER

click here to read SPIRITUAL GIFTS

click here to read BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

click here to read DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

click here to read THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD GIFT

click here to read INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES

————————————
Click here to read GIFTS OF HEALING AND DELIVERANCE

click here to read MY SUPERNATURAL HEALING FROM HEPATITIS B

Click here to read BRINGER OF LIGHT

Click here to read CARRY THE MESSAGE NOT THE MAN

Click here to read COMMUNICATION And TERMINOLOGY

Click here to read GOATS AND SHEEP

Click here to read MARY AND MARTHA

Click here to read DREAMS AND INTERPRETATIONS

Click here to read DREAM IDENTITY

Click here to read “BOWELS OF THE EARTH”: THE DREAM

Click here to read THE OUT-OF-BODY DREAM

Click here SNAKE DREAMS

Click here to read VISIONS

Click here to read OUR VISIONS CLARIFY OUR TRIALS OF FIRE

Click here to read THE VISION OF DEATH (Death is my servant)

Click here to read THE VISION DURING MY OVERDOSE

Click here to read A VISION OF JESUS

Click here to read WILL YOU TRUST ME NOW?

Click here to read MEDITATION IN CHRIST

Click here to read HOW TO MEDITATE

Click here to read MANDOLINA

Click here to read MEET ME A VISION

Click here to read THE PINNACLES OF TIME

Click here to read THE PINNACLES OF TIME 2

Click here to read THE MYSTERY OF THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN

Click here to read WHAT ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE?

Click here to read DENIAL

Click here to read JESUS THE MAN

Click here to read PARADISE FOR THE HELLBOUND
________________________________________________________________________________________________

“FEAR NOT”

Tears are an expression of feelings that words cannot cradle tears are pure heart-spoken truth. Our hearts truth is oftentimes illogical from the minds perspective. Our minds distort and misconstrue that which our heart speaks to us because it views the heart’s feelings and opinions as weak, fearful and even ridiculous. The ego abides in our mind and tells us; “Your heart makes no sense it is wrong moreover you should be ashamed that you are fearful!”

Our intricate thought mistakes our heart’s words as pitiful and a threat to its own survival so it changes our soul’s deepest truths to fit that which (ironically) shame itself dictates. The mind has such a great capacity for reason and yet our sometimes-enlightened psyches fail to understand and accept our own hearts voice.

The whole person being void of the courage it takes to set out toward a quest to know and embrace itself, flounders. Our ego transforms our hearts truth into an egotistical rational of perceptions therefore, how and when will our heart ever truly be expressed.
I drove by a little elementary school in a small town in Florida. On the sign out front in bold black letters, lit up with white light it said; “Anxiety workshop every Tuesday 3pm in the auditorium.” I thought to myself Wow! Thank God a school that is actually helping the children with the ever-growing problem of anxiety. I asked my 16-year-old daughter who sat in the car with me “Would you like to go to the workshop?” She snapped “No Mom!” I did not expect her to comply she rebukes all my suggestions pretty much.

Anxiety is a pretty word for fear and our world is living in fear yet very few people want to address it much less admit it. That is understandable. Most of us were taught at an early age that it is a shame to be afraid. Fear represents feebleness, weakness, pansy, scaredy-cat, chicken-shit, and yellow-belly not to mention a few more choice words that I won’t mention. With labels like these branded into our innocent adolescent psyche’s why would we do anything other than repress our fears? Stuff it down into the depths of our bowels where unfortunately it makes us sick both physically and emotionally. In this book are the solutions to fear.

In The Bible we have been instructed to “Fear not” by God, Jesus, angels, prophets and so on. Well, that is easier said than done. One of the main reasons that I have published this book is to share the practical ways I have found to overcome fear. Although it seems as if fear is wrong and bad, it is not. Emotions or feelings are never wrong but rather the wrong lies in hurtful acts committed in response to fear. If I label my emotions wrong, I label myself wrong. If I label my fears wrong, I am more likely to repress my fears and stay in denial of them rather than doing self-appraisal so, I can move forward to the solutions for the fear that I feel. How can I ask God to remove a fear that I am too ashamed to admit that I have? Repressed fear causes all kinds of problems in life. Knee jerk reactions to fear damages our relationships.

It has been said in churches and among some Christians that fear and faith cannot abide in a person at the same time. That statement well-meaning as he who says it may be sets us all up for failure. Since fear is a human survival emotion, the phrase calls all of humanity faithless because all of humanity have fears.

Most would agree that Hope is a beautiful thing, a godly, spiritual virtue. The Bible teaches us “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”. Without the presence of fear, neither courage nor hope could exist. Where hope lies there is usually an underlying fear that the hope will not be fulfilled therefore fear is simply a part of the human condition and can be dealt with by courage, faith, and an abiding hope. Furthermore, if we label all fear Satanic I must be the walking incarnate of Satan himself.

I do not want to leave out the kind of fear that keeps us from doing not so smart stuff. The kind of common sense fear that preserves life. Without the fear rooted in self-preservation, the human race would not exist.

Hebrews 11:7
 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith, he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.”
 Of course, it was not Noah that condemned the world but rather his faith helped him to believe the world would be condemned…and drowned.

Ironically, this scripture is taken from the part of the Bible that Christians and Bible scholars alike call “The Hall of Faith”. It is said often in the church that faith and fear cannot inhabit a vessel at the same time yet…this scripture about the building of the ark shows us otherwise. Noah acted initially out of “holy fear” when building the ark yet he also applied faith to his giant task of saving humanity. I suppose he just wanted to save himself and his family and probably did not think too much about saving the entire human race.

Genesis 6:13
“So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.”

Without healthy fears, the human race would not survive.

“Unhealthy Fear”

I recall when I was a young born again Christian thumbing through my bible opening to different pages randomly, hoping God would give my poor sinner’s conscience some relief. Desperately I studied different translations, deeper Greek definitions, topical studies, character studies, references, depictions and on and on. I attended Bible studies and heard many different preachers of all denominations. There was no doubt in my mind that The Bible was the anointed word of God. Yet it continually triggered my guilt and shame as often as I read it. I could find only condemnation in this intricate book of law and Love.

What possible reason could I have to continue reading a book that regularly condemned me, me a born again still struggling sinner? Why continue walking in these churches of judgment? I had experienced a grand white light spiritual experience in a little church in the meadow where I first met Jesus. Therefore, I would not give up on His Holy Bible nor would I give up on myself! My walk with God had begun by my investigating a Gideon’s Bible. I remember reading Paul’s struggle with his besetting sin and I so related to his struggle and to his self-condemnation for it. However then to my own shame, I could not overcome sin nor could I reconcile with the harsh Biblical words that I read and yet I continued my studies.

In the beginning of my walk with God, some religious authority or another uttered the dreaded threats of Hell fire. Me, being an impressionable young and recently born again Christian I cringed as the preacher harped on the things that I was still doing that would land me in Hell.

What is the bibles definition of Hell anyway? Here are some definitions taken from my Strong’s Bible Dictionary.

She-hole- From Hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat) including its accessories and inmates-grave, hell, pit. (From Old Testament Hebrew)
Tartaroo, from Tartaros- the deepest abyss of Hades; to incarcerate in eternal torment-cast down to Hell.
 Gheh’-en-nah- used figuratively as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment.

Yikes! Hell is not a happy place to think about, it strikes fear into the minds and hearts of those who believe in its existence. I surmise from the definition of “Tartaroo” that there may be levels of Hell. Seemingly, the deeper one goes into Hell the worse it gets. It reminds me of a four star hotel where the finest penthouse is at the top floor. I am not here to explain away anything in the Bible I just want to understand it and share my understanding with you.

I do believe Hell exists, because it is in my Bible. I believe my Bible because of experience not blind faith. My beliefs came much like Apostle Paul explains in this scripture:

First Thessalonians 1:5
 “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of The Lord having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.”

The people I know including myself that have peace of mind and usually live by the golden rule; have a grounded relationship with God. That relationship sprouted out of an intense need in their life. A need that they could not resolve by themselves. We reached a point of powerlessness or in other words a state of intense neediness with no solution in sight. Therefore, we sought God for help. We then learned to rely on God and it worked.

The fears of death, life, and condemnation are real. Fear can permeate our everyday life in a negative way if not put into perspective. Using fear to control other adult’s behavior is wrong. Living our lives in constant fear of one thing or another is an unhappy existence. Going to church out of guilt to find yet more guilt and shame adds insult to injury. Listening to preachers who continually address their perceived sins of people who they think will go to Hell is condemnation from the pulpit. These types of sermons usually reflect some unresolved issue or sin in the heart of he who harshly judges. It is certainly easier for us mortals to look at the sins of others than point that high-powered perception at ourselves, for then we may have to change. Change may seem too difficult or even impossible. The thing about sin is that, oftentimes the shortcomings we detest in others we have done or still do ourselves.

John 8:7
 “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Saint John 8:1-10 tells a short story of the Pharisees condemning an adulterous woman. The Scribes and Pharisees wanted the woman, an adulterer violently punished stoned to death for her alleged sexual crime and betrayal! I wonder what could have been in their hearts. Jesus took a different attitude toward this sinner. He said compassionately; “Neither do I condemn you” He showed understanding not condemnation. Therefore, we should also and so should the speaker from the pulpit. Commonly, when a preacher or minister begins his judgment sermon of railing accusations toward those he feels are of lesser value than himself the most judgmental in the crowd will be shouting amen the loudest. Those who harshly judge consistently apply examination to everybody but themselves.

What about this fear God thing? Here are some definitions of fear.

Fib-eh-o- To frighten, i.e. revere to be sore afraid, fear exceedingly, reverence. (Strong’s Concordance)
First Peter 2:17
 “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

Taking into consideration the root word or Greek Bible definitions of fear, I prefer “revere” God rather than to be “sore afraid” of God. But then again, I am not the one looking at a burning bush or a fiery angel of God. Until that happens, I will visualize God as Loving rather than scary.

The reason that I refer to Greek dictionary translations is that the New Testament was first written in Greek with some Latin and Aramaic as well. Therefore, to understand a scriptural word thoroughly I refer to its root Greek definition. Here is a little more explanation of the New Testament according to Biblica a bible website.

“The New Testament was written in Greek. This seems strange, since you might think it would be either Hebrew or Aramaic. However, Greek was the language of scholarship during the years of the composition of the New Testament from 50 to 100 AD. The fact is that many Jews could not even read Hebrew anymore, and this disturbed the Jewish leaders a lot! Therefore, around 300 BC a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek was undertaken, and it was completed around 200 BC. Gradually, the Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint became widely accepted and was even used in many synagogues. It also became a wonderful missionary tool for the early Christians, for then the Greeks could read God’s Word in their own tongue.” (Reference http://www.biblica.com/en-us/bible/bible-faqs/in-what-language-was-the-bible-first-written/)

In conclusion, our lives can become consumed by fear. There is the healthy fear and then there is the fear that can become anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, stress, sleeplessness, paranoia, fear that causes violent and harmful reactions, fear of loss that provokes all kinds of grasping, stealing, lying and cheating behaviors. Fears that cause all manner of insecurities, vanities, and the list goes on. There are solutions to these fears and that is what this book is about…changing fear into Love.

THE FACES OF LOVE


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At any given point in time I can stop, breath and choose Love. I do not always feel Loving sometimes; I just have to walk through my negative agitation praying that I don’t hurt anyone with my words.

Some people believe in a condition of “Oneness” that everything we see and feel is an illusion and there is really only Love. However, I am a finite being of flesh and blood; I understand some things are truly destructive for me. If all things are Love then my understanding of Love is wrong. The infinite does not negate the finite for the temporal is part of the eternal my flesh is temporal and I do not believe “everything is an illusion except Love.”

First John 3:18
 “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but indeed and in truth.”

In an attempt to fully understand the “fear of God” term, I will start by trying to grasp the depth of His Love for me as His child. Would my own mother throw me away or would I throw my own child away? God is mine as much as I am His. One example of God’s Love is illustrated in the most famous scripture of all.

John 3:16:
 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

My initial reaction to the story in Genesis of Abraham sacrificing Isaac in relation to my own child is hell no! Not even! In all reality, I am not sure any circumstance could allow me that kind of faith. Although I do believe it is possible to believe and trust God that strongly. I believe with God all things are possible (Mark 14:36). I would have to know beyond any doubt that sacrificing my child would vastly benefit him and the masses. Even then, I do not know if I could follow through. To follow through would require a clear vision of wonderful results. Mother Mary must have had that vision when she let go of her son Jesus to be sacrificed. Abraham must have had that vision when he moved to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:10). To know to some extent God’s Love it is necessary to invoke the ingredients of faith and hope. Faith and hope are planted by God and grow in our hearts by our own experiences with God and life. Faith and Hope are gifts but allowing them to grow by exerting and exercising them little by little is where the real strength comes from.

These Biblical stories of great faith and Love simply remind me I have much room to grow to reach the level of spiritual awareness that Mary, Jesus, Abraham, and God Himself had to be capable of exercising such intense acts of sacrifice. (Bear with me while I assume most believers know these common and basic church Bible stories) Again, to connect with God’s Love we should keep in mind our own experience with His Love. Grace is a prime example of Love.

Grace is the unmerited Love and favor of God toward mankind (Webster’s) But more importantly his favor toward us as individuals.

Grace happens when I do not reap the negative and typical consequences of my own foolish actions. This saving grace creates thankfulness in my heart and helps me to realize God’s Love toward me. Keep alive your times of grace they will surly strengthen your faith! We can call this kind of grace “divine intervention” and it is.

Romans 3:23
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

Without realizing our mistakes and gaining life’s’ lessons we do not see God’s grace working in our lives. So then, what fresh reasons have we to feel grateful or thankful toward God?

Loving grace is evident when God forgives us. Pure forgiveness (no strings attached, no grudges, payback or keeping score) by God or me reeks of Love! How do I understand that God forgives me? If God teaches words to live by from the Bible, does He not also live by them?

First Peter 4:8 “Above all things have fervent Love for one another, for Love will cover a multitude of sins”.
First John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up strife, but Love covers all sins”.
First John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanses us from all sin.”
Cover – To procure pardon of them from God, Not to regard or impute them. (Thayer English Greek Lexicon to the New Testament.)
First John 4:8 “He who does not Love, does not know God for GOD IS LOVE.”

I have had a revelation of the truth of God’s word. These scriptures tell me I have His forgiveness and I believe it. If I confess my sins to God and repent with an honest heart conveying that I AM sorry (be real with God) I will receive a relief from the guilt, pain, and shame of my sins. Of course if, the sin has hurt someone else I may have an amends to make before feeling truly cleansed of guilt. Sometimes I need to confess my sins to a non-judgmental third party before deciding the best action to take regarding amends. Someone who cares and relates to my mistakes, a person who is empathic will definitely provide the best relief when I confess my sins.

James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much.”

Thank God confession really works! When I feel the relief from guilt in my heart, I know God has forgiven me. Here is a scripture even more direct on how to cover sin.

James 5:20 “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”

Confession by the guilty, in spite of how foreboding most feel about it not only hides the confessor’s sins but also if the sinner is turned from the error of his ways, the spiritual dynamic also covers a multitude of sin for the nonjudgmental, empathic listener he confesses it to. The process though uncomfortable at first is absolutely miraculous and wonderful!

Luke 6:37
“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”
 Testing these types of promises from God are one way our faith is built and our beliefs are forged."

Is this process of expelling guilt a recipe for the justification or rationalization of sin? Have we found a way to continue basking in our on-going sin? Simply confess and then be on our debaucherous and merry way? We could interpret and apply the word of God that way; Lord knows The Bible has been twisted and shaken every way possible. However, Personally I do not want to continue to struggle with guilt and shame. I want to overcome sin. What I understand with my heart from all of these words is; by loving others, by showering forgiveness and grace I actually am loving myself. I am creating good consequences in my life rather than painful ones.

These scriptures tell me that I am human, and should accept it. When I do make mistakes, I need and want relief from guilt. If I do not get relief this way, the right way, by confession and amends guilt will come out in self-hate and hate for others, it will come out sideways! Guilt will either direct me toward distractions or direct me toward solutions
There is a huge difference between struggling for unattainable perfection failing to live up to it then beating ourselves to a pulp in our minds and heart thinking that somehow if we flog ourselves enough THEN we will be good and acceptable to our self our Lord and pears. Verses the pure and anointed process God has set down to relieve our guilt by confession. WE ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HAVE THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO CONDEMN OR PUNISH OURSELVES. The decision to punish or not to punish lies in the realm of our Higher Power who is qualified to judge fairly.

The most common distraction from guilt is to focus on being intolerant of others. Intolerance, the big red flag that says self-examination is in order! When bathing in guilt’s turmoil I do not like you or God so I jump on the condemnation bandwagon yee-ha! I could write-off the word of God all together because of the God given repercussions of sin. In this guilty frame of mind all I get out of reading or hearing the word of God is an uncomfortable yucky feeling with every sentence. Perhaps our heart tells us that we do not deserve forgiveness. Would a God of Love create us with weakness on purpose without showing us a practical way to overcome them? Would a God of Love not help us to become a joyous Christ like human about which the Bible speaks? There is a recipe for human success in The Holy Bible if we can just open our minds to new thought patterns and amended behaviors. Open-minded, willingness is the vital ingredient for spirituality.

I don’t know about you but when I came out of the womb, I was not all-knowing. Neither did my parents teach me how to live a Christ-like abundant life. The doctor did not hand me an instruction manual for achieving fulfillment and joy. Nor did he give me directions on how to not feel hurt or fear without negative reactions. I have struggled through life repressing emotions and fearing what people think of me. Unhappiness with myself drove me to self-destructive actions…..and what about this Love thing.

In first Corinthians 13:13 Apostle Paul states that Love is a gift, the greatest gift of all spiritual gifts. Maybe you’re thinking, “Oh no not more of this new age love stuff!” Preconceived notions and contempt prior to investigation stunt the possibility for spiritual growth. God is Love; maybe there is something to this gift of Love. Can God’s type of Love improve my daily life? If Love is a gift, I want it! If it will make me happy and content and I can deploy Love in defense of misery please God, give it to me! Am I aware that I do not show enough Love towards others? This is an important question. Do I show Love only toward those that Love me and resent the rest of mankind or visa-versa? All I need do is ask God for His Love.

First John 5:14&15
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.”

According to God’s word, we know that it is His will that we feel and show Love. Therefore, we are asking for something that He wants us to have to further our walk with Him and become fulfilled, and content. In times past, I thought my own selfish desires were what I needed from God. Experience has shown me that once I started asking for things He says I need I got much better results for myself. I found out that what I want is usually not what my heart and soul needs. It is time we started asking God for what he says is good. Changing our prayers to God requires faith because we are resisting our instinctual carnal nature. It begins by realizing all the stuff I thought I needed, has not brought me peace. Our coveted carnal needs are merely distractions from our true soul’s needs. God knows what I need more than I do; I think I will allow Him to give it to me!

Mathew 18:3
“Verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted and become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

We must smash our concept of a condemning God along with our condemnation of ourselves. We have learned not to trust people. We have found that if we trust, we are then vulnerable and get hurt. Even most of our parents at some point lied and hurt us. With our already fragile trust barometer how can we expect to trust and depend on a God that religion teaches, by law will send us to death and Hell? So far, these rules and regulations brought forth by the church have not helped us find anything except fear, guilt, and shame. I can remember thinking while in church; “are these people really as perfect and obedient as they appear? They seemed to have all the answers and portrayed perfect lives. However, Jesus said that we should “become as little children”. Un-corrupt Little children do not have all the answers! Little children are open-minded to learn. Little children are naturally honest. They have humility and enjoy listening rather than struggling to be heard. Children have the capacity to learn.

Proverbs 18:2
“A fool has no pleasure in understanding, but delights in airing his own opinions.”
NIV

If I hope to receive any good thing from God’s word, I must honestly look at myself and ask how spiritual principles apply to me. God’s word does me no good if I continually apply it to others! I must receive it concerning me to gain the wisdom and knowledge it offers. Awareness of other people’s sin does not benefit me unless I can see the little bit of them in me. I need also to realize God’s Love for me in a way that brings me some peace of mind, a way that assures me He will not cast me into Hell and torment. I do well to envision that Hell simply does not exist for me so why should I judge weather others are headed that way. How can I truly trust God? However, trust Him I must to be willing to do His will! In all paradoxical reality, when I finally surrender to God’s Love and direction I find a new freedom a true “walking in the Spirit”.

Galatians 5:22&23
“But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance: against such there is no law.”

John 5:24
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

It is easy to tell you “Believe what God says!” Hearing and believing are two different things. Believing with my intellect and knowing in my heart are also two very different things.

The father of a very sick and emotionally tortured child came to Jesus for help; the father said, “If thou canst do anything have compassion on us and help us”. Jesus said to him “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

Mark 9:24
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord I believe; help thou my unbelief.”

The father of a very sick child believed Jesus could heal his child yet he feared. He acknowledged his own doubt. He was aware of his unbelief and confessed it to Jesus promptly in desperation to have the child he loved cured of the torturous malady or “dumb spirit”. The ingredients of honesty, Love for his child, desperation and the fact that he knew he needed help (humility) saved his child. Not to mention he was open-minded to the possibilities of a miracle in spite of his “unbelief”. These simple ingredients, though not easily invoked are the same ingredients used to accomplish many great acts of God through man. When I have fear doubt or lack of faith, I ask God for help and He does help in one way or another of this I can attest.

Let us investigate more about the gift of Love.

First John 4:20 and 21
“If someone says “I Love God” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not Love his brother whom he has seen, how can he Love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must Love his brother also.”

Mathew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (New International Version)

These scriptures are quite a lot to digest. If someone came to me and asked me to sum up the entire New Testament in two suggestions I would say to them: Love God and Love others.” Well, how in the heck do we accomplish that?

The word love is one of the most words in the English language; it has been confused and misused. The word has been invoked to manipulate and control and used to try to appease. I have found at least thirteen different definitions in my Webster’s’ dictionary alone defining love. Definitions range in extreme from God’s sacred Love for us to sex and passionate desire. Our Biblical translators are not a lot of help with the confusion. These brilliant writers have stamped the word “love” over several and varied original root Greek terms throughout the New Testament. Our King James Version scholars felt apparently that some of the Greek love-type words are more akin to charity and translated accordingly. After much study and my own confusion, I have concluded that there are four types of godly Love.

Firstly, our own God inspired, caring, respectful and thoughtful Love toward others whom may or may not Love us. This includes Love towards others in spite of their own unloving behavior. I say God inspired because either we do not feel the Love and yet we show it in giving (charitable) actions because we know it is the right thing to do or we are filled with that giving, precious feeling of godly Love and we show it, again we show it. (Action)

The second definition for Love transpires from me to God. A particular part of my heart is only for Him, the One who will never let me down, even if sometimes I do not remember that.

The third type of Love is portrayed in the Bible though it is neither explained nor addressed this is the Love of self. “Love my neighbor as myself” implies I know how to and do Love myself. To me this means knowing how to respect myself, nurture myself and do what is most beneficial for me spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have lived most of my life having no idea how to Love myself truly. I know what it means to feel contempt toward myself for not doing that which my own heart urges. How could I have possibly carried out the command to Love others without my own self Love? Self-Love is learning to be godly toward one’s self.

Fourth and last is God’s Love toward me, this kind of Love deserves an all-together separate Love category. The powerful Love that God holds in his being toward me would blow my mortal body and mind to pieces if it entered my flesh in its fullness and power. Next, my spirit would be blasted to another dimension where it need not be enslaved by space or time, where Love is at home…..and we simply stamp this embodiment of spirituality with our standard definition and call it “love” oh well, I think it at least deserves a capitol L.

Let’s see what great attainable wisdom the Bible possesses about Love.

First Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love suffers long and is kind, Love does not envy; Love does not parade itself, it is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails”…

I am no spiritual giant, full Of Love, never getting angry or resentful. I am no authority on this Love thing. I do know that when I received Christ as my savior I also received a new Love for my fellow man. I felt the Love and I acted on it. We can grow toward living these scriptural examples of perfect Love. It is said “Gods not done with me yet. If I would like to make progress spiritually, I can compare myself with perfection and pray for improvement. If I compare myself to the hooker or the drunk to make myself feel superior or justified, I stunt my own emotional and spiritual growth. Ironically, that kind of belittling view of others is a character flaw in itself so; I am using bad character (false comparison) to make me feel like I have good character. False comparisons are nice, they make me feel good, and I like feeling good and at one time, that kind of ego boosting was good enough for me. Then I started doing honest self-appraisal, not to condemn myself but to begin to change.

People do not usually change where character is concerned. I have received a recipe to accomplish good change. If you are fearful, miserable or life just plain sucks for you be grateful. Self-sufficient, complacent people are not usually motivated for rigorously seeking God. Miserably unhappy people often are very willing to find relief from God for their emptiness. Self-sufficient people are the ones we observe and say, “Darn Mrs. Smith down the road always has it so together! And look at all the neat stuff she has, she seems to want for nothing.” I hope that by the time Mrs. Smith reaches her deathbed she will take the opportunity to cry to God. I do want to point out though, if she waits until then to seek God; she will not have had the opportunity to know (as humanly possible) the wonders of God’s Love while on this wondrous earth. Nor would she have the blessing of sharing that Love toward others. Therefore, as it is said so often human misery can be a blessing in disguise. Though it certainly does not feel like a blessing at the time, I can attest to that.

I believe Love is an action”. Ask yourself in an honest self-appraisal what are the true motives behind the actions you choose to take. Are you acting out of fear or Love?

Suppose a man goes out of town on a business trip. He finds himself calling his wife ten times a day telling her he loves her. We could label his obsession Love or fear, depends on his level of self-awareness. Hypothetically, we can now see his heart, it is full of fear, fear of losing her to another man because he is not there with her to guard over her. He fears he is not enough for her sexually or emotionally. He fears if she leaves him no other woman will want him. He is really checking up on her not overflowing with feelings of good intention and godly Love. He is insecure, un-grounded spiritually and let’s not judge him by his obsessive behavior he has not had an education on building self-esteem. He has not been exercising the faith that builds strong, self-assured character. What do you think would happen if he realized his own heart and told her his fear then prayed about his shortcomings? It would be a heck of a start in the direction of Love and healing. We know his actions are not from Love, because “Love thinks no evil”, “It rejoices in truth, and does not seek its own” all he is thinking about is “his own”! He is not communicating with her on an honest level. His repeated mantras of “I love you” are really saying, “I am scared”!

Visualize this: A couple meet and have a strong attraction toward one another. They spend a few months together, of course; they are on their best behavior. She is attracted to his sports car and he is attracted to her blonde bombshellism. He feels proud (false pride) when he gets her around his buddies and she is proud to drive that prize of a car. He tells her “I love you” often but does he really? I think he loves the temporary fix he is getting for his feelings by being around her. Let’s align his “love” for her with the Bible.

First Corinthians chapter 13
“Love is not puffed up and does not parade itself” Uh-oh! “Love sides with truth.” Has he told her, “Hey babe I only want you around for the hood ornament effect because, actually I am suffering from intense feelings of inadequacy and you’re my best shot at a good life.” Fat chance! I think he better pray for honesty and start his path of truth by admitting to himself his motives where the blonde babe is concerned. Next, he needs to get very honest with his God! Does this mean for him to live a spiritual life he can’t be in a relationship with a good looking women? Let’s hope not, but right now he needs to work on himself.

We can carry this kind of fake love into relationships with even our own children who we Love dearly. Bailing them out when they should be reaping consequences of their own actions is another counterfeit for Love. Often it is easier to yell and scream at them than to follow through on well-considered discipline. It is easier to try to fix them then realize they need to feel and express emotional pain to be emotionally healthy. Shutting down their tears with candy or money because it makes us uncomfortable to see them cry is selfishness not Love. Showing them, we understand just what they are feeling and care is so much more healing for them than shutting them down with quick fixes. It takes a relationship with God to exhibit empathy and tough Love.

I was talking to a woman about God, she asked, “How can there be a God of Love in this world? Look at the pain, suffering, and war, all the abuse, perversion, murdering, backbiting, and the list of horror goes on, atrocities, diabolical profit taking schemes, etc.” I am definitely not sanctioned to defend God for how he made man. I will not attempt to protect God He can take care of Himself. I can however share my understanding of the circumstance of Love, yet suffering. I believe we are spiritual beings in earthbound, fleshly bodies. I believe we are here to learn what we need to take to the next life. These bodies are destine to grow old and deteriorate from the get go, our bodies are temporary.

First Corinthians 15:50-54
“Now this I say then brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For the corruptible must put on in-corruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written; “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Personally, I do not think human conception was my first beginning; I believe I was with the Father before my human origin and chose this human experience. This possibility does not nullify my need for or faith in Christ. We clearly do not have the complete spiritual story. One thing sure, I need to grow spiritually to be happy. Would my Father not afford me this loving opportunity? Would not your God afford you this opportunity? Life’s most valuable lessons have always come through difficulty. We are to be over comers, this implies obstacles. (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26 etc.) My flesh or self-will is the very thing I need overcome. Apostle Paul in Romans 8:37 said,

“We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

The real battle lies within our own mind. Overcoming is about conquering our own human nature to gain continual connection with the Spirit of God. By relinquishing my selfish, will to God and asking for His teaching and knowledge. I will open myself up to all manner of spiritual enlightenment and growth. The things I see with these eyes are a very small part of the bigger picture that I do not see.

The greatest and most precious things in life are gifts. We think we can acquire them, to our own dismay. Gifts are given if we can just receive them. When we give away the things, we feel we need the most we are fit to receive the greatest gifts in life. We need to open our spiritual eyes and see the view. Things get very stale in life if we only see with our carnal eyes. Expanding our view in daily life for us, is impossible, for God to expand our sight is His pleasure; He created us for just that. I must communicate my heart to Him even if I feel unworthy and guilty. I had a friend who feared over life’s numerous and foreboding tragedies I told her that, to change by seeing life in a better light is a gift from God.

ONE LITTLE GIRL’S TALE OF LOVE LOST

To tell a Love tale I sit I ponder.
What have I to offer?
Have I memory of God’s great gift?
Put down on paper Love never quits… Everlasting to everlasting.

There was a girl who felt alone.
Feared the world hid at home.
Ran out doors asked the question:

“How do I Love through suffering and pain?
I cannot see to behold my joy!
Memories of anguish heartless men.
Long for comfort need to Love.”

No answer night and day!
She posed the question over again.

An odd day a walk outside,
No people where had they gone.
The streets empty no cars passed by.
No squirrels not a sound.

She sat quiet a wondering mind.
No one to answer her question dear, she realized then a paralyzing fear.
She had the answer all along; a look inside she…. did belong.
The time had passed to Love the strange the not so pretty…

They are gone.____________________________________________

“TRUTH THE MAGIC CARPET RIDE TO LOVE”

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Psalm 91:1-4

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty I will say of the LORD, [He is] my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely, he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, [and] from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler.”

Truth is pure and flawless it protects and purifies he who speaks it.

Some do mistake hurtful and inconsiderate candor for an act of principled loyalty to God’s truth. Just because something is true does not mean I have the right to shout it from the rooftops in the name of my own good character. It is not deceptive to quench truthful yet unkind words. When we avoid hurting people, we also avoid poisoning our own heart by not planting that spoken root of bitterness. If my mother asks me how she looks I can say “fabulous” and she does look fabulous compared to many people I have seen. I could just say “You look fine mom.” rather than saying, “Mother you look overweight, pale and full of fear”. If I try I can see some good in the way my mother looks. I could point out how the color of her outfit suits her so well. Compassion, respect, and truth are Godly principles and the precepts of God never oppose one another because a house divided against itself will surely come to desolation. Meaning I do not have to lie to be considerate and find an encouragement or compliment to bless someone with.

Mark 3:24
“And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”

First John 4:7

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”

Chances are, if you are anything like me after reading the scripture you are wondering; how do I love everyone all the time? Or, maybe you’re thinking…I don’t have this Love thing down pat, I must not be “born of God” or “of God”. Do not feel alone, I doubt any of us have the wherewithal to Love our enemies or even to Love those who Love us, all of the time. Who wants to go to the pastor and painfully tell of our lack of Love toward our neighbor? We could just stay in complete denial of our loveless condition but that would be spiritually harmful. Honestly, I have at times been so far detached from my own true feelings I had a complete misconception of who I was. If we see ourselves with clear self-honesty; then and only then is there a chance to change and allow more Love into our lives. The worst thing about not admitting negative feelings or thoughts is they tend to fester and grow into larger and darker emotions. The prerequisite to most spiritual growth is the ability to exercise self-honesty.

Pinocchio’s nose grew and grew with each lie. Telling the truth is a kindergarten concept. However, allot of us have developed far more comfortable strategies for dealing with life’s difficult situations. We have perfected dishonest survival techniques that do not place truth as a priority in our dealings with others. We are older now and have boatloads of experience with truth. We believe we have gleaned wise conclusions from said experience. This kindergarten concept of truth that most have brushed aside as childish and ineffective is one of the keys to our happiness and peace of mind. Truth sets our hearts in position to receive joy and lowers our susceptibility to stress and fear. It is no accident Apostle Paul listed truth as one piece of the “amour of God”. (Ephesians 6:14) Hearing and knowing this scripture myself for years did not help me until I put the truth principle into action.

It is not easy to admit hidden and shameful truths about ourselves. Suppose I do not want to admit some deep-rooted resentment toward someone or confess, I have hate in my heart.

John 8:22
“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”.

I want to be free! One of man’s most important truths is to realize what lies in his own heart. Knowing our heart will provoke us to seek God. Suppose I admit the truth “Lord I hate my neighbor and I don’t know how to Love him!” Let’s face it folks we cannot reach down into the depths of our heart and pull out everything unholy by the root. At times I wish I could, however if I could spiritual cleanse myself of darkness I would have no need for a Great Physician! I prefer a Savior rather than a legalistic God who puts a big red X on my report card every time I fall short of perfection. This kind of spiritual traffic cop would surely land me in jail I mean Hell. When I am being crystalline honest with myself, I realize parts of my heart do not line up with the Love scriptures in 1st John and what’s more, I cannot possibly change myself to match them. Here at our wits end we can either “forget this Bible stuff” or learn to rely on God every day of our lives. Then I pray: “Lord I admit I have hatred in my heart please help me to remain honest with myself. Please remove all the things that are not good for me and others.” Then hold on and remember all difficulties in life will reveal a lesson in one form or another if we are watching and self-aware.

In the movie “Forrest Gump” a man named Lieutenant Dan was in Vietnam and lost his legs. He was furious at himself, the world and mostly God for the tragic injustices he suffered. He tried to suppress his emotional pain by drinking liquor and running wild. Then he fled to Forest’s boat and got in touch with his hurt and anger. He expressed his feelings to God in a way some Christians would consider blasphemous. While sailing through a tumultuous storm he screamed and confronted his God. A movie yes nevertheless, it illustrates my point very well. Lieutenant Dan told God exactly what he thought of God’s world. The result was peace of mind and joy. I have found the results of this kind of assertive and honest prayer to be healing and liberating.

Jesus is our advocate with God He has experienced the same temptations as us. He was flesh and blood, born of woman, the seed of man, human. He experienced the streets of Nazareth. He understands our pain, grief, anger, weakness, shame and guilt.

Hebrews 4:15
For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

He did also experience His own fear and doubt while on the cross.

Mathew 26:39
“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed saying “Oh my Father if it is possible let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Mathew 27:46
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabaachthani?” That is “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

How can we get real with our repentance without self-honesty? We would do well to realize God knows it all. He is God yes but He was also human, flesh and blood, having a lower nature as all humans do. Again, He was tempted as all humans are. Jesus asked His Father, “take this cup from me, nevertheless thy will be done.” Do all we believers suppose that the only time Jesus was tempted was that famous temptation from Satan in the wilderness and on top of the mountain in Mathew fourth chapter?

I understand the struggle with trying to give up my will for Gods. My flesh cries, “God’s will for me will be unpleasant; I know best what is good for me!” It seems like my will is better than God’s then I do a reality check, where has my will really gotten me. What are my priorities when running on self-will? Money, possessions, getting my way, I want to feel good and let’s not forget vanity, boy do I want to look good! Where will all my favorite things get me spiritually? Has my will gotten me peace of mind? Have my fun toys gotten me true joy unspeakable? Has my will profited me a guilt free life of abundance I can enjoy? Can I truly enjoy a day at the beach or a vacation absent of the Love of God?

By active, working truth, I can have a relationship with God. It has been tricky figuring out what I need to have true well-being and how to get it. Most folks assume truth and godly Love cannot be the answer to contentment, it sounds to cliché, and childish. Our fears fight against the truth. If I am running on fear who knows what or who will rule my life. I must not allow fearful thoughts to direct my actions.

Here are some examples of some fear-based actions.

A man thinks to himself, my wife might leave me for another man so he grasps and clings onto her until she is annoyed and wants to push him away. He thinks he is getting old and ugly so he searches and struggles to stay young. He has all kinds of surgeries, make-up, expensive clothing etc. until he has maimed his body by too many operations and depleted his monies. He is so fearful of losing his job and security that he obnoxiously sucks up to his boss, again annoying him until his boss wants to push him away. The man then over-works himself to near exhaustion all the while thinking he is protecting himself from insecurity and poverty. By reacting to fear, he has twisted and turned himself into a state of anxious turmoil all the while struggling to be in a safer more secure place. “If the journey down the road runs on fear, the destination won’t be much better.” I have concluded through my work toward complete self-awareness that the fear in me is ONE yet I can project it onto a million different circumstances and react to it in many different harmful ways.

There was a time in my life that I thought dishonesty was sometimes the best policy. I was honest with some people and deceptive with others. I would justify, “My husband can’t handle the truth!” I did not like the results I got when I was truthful with him. In romantic relationships or partnerships if communication is not truthful, they will not grow far together in Love or trust. We too often look at our partners as the enemy. We often perceive them as an opponent because of previous hurtful relationships (baggage) from which we have not healed. In school, the teacher did not show us how to process hurtful emotions. The Bible does not offer help in that area until it is deciphered correctly. It took me years to understand the Holy word constructively. It required guidance and long-suffering to gain a usable understanding of the Word of God.

There have been instances when truth has gotten me into trouble. It is much easier, of course to be honest when we have nothing to hide. Guilt is the primary reason for dishonesty. Mischievous motives are generally followed by lies. The confidence to be honest in all areas of our lives is not only self-liberating, it exercises godly Love and triggers respect from others. Furthermore, it induces self-respect and much needed self-esteem. To achieve across the board honesty we do well to begin with honesty toward God, and ourselves then work our way toward honesty with others with God’s help.

Someone wrote these words about their deep, realized relationship with truth, it is beautiful:

TRUTH

What can be said of truth? It eluded me I could not grab hold!

I was sure, if I embrace her, she would hurt me

I thought, if I stand by her what I want would be gone

Oh sure I’ll embrace her when she serves my needs

I will hold her as a last resort

I could not see her beauty; invisible to the eye

I mistook precious truth for an enemy

So small in spiritual depth is the human eye

Truth, a peculiar beauty seen only by the heart

We see by good conscience we see by our soul.

Finally, I held truth every way I could

In casual words, in relations, in view of self

By respecting truth, I fed her beauty to my soul and was healed

Oh truth, you no longer elude me_____________________________________

Wait a minute! This is starting to sound like a namby-pamby (goody two shoes) self-help book that is going to get me into a lot of trouble! So far, I have suggested the following principals to consider with life goals and relationships in mind.

The first idea I submit is our concept of God may need some rethinking where “fear God” is concerned. I suggest that we meditate on examples in our own life of God’s Love for us. I also suggest we rethink truth on a completely different level, how it can work FOR us rather than against us. I submit that we ponder how self-honesty will help us improve the way we feel although initially it is sometimes uncomfortable.

If you are an avid churchgoer or have been at some point in your life the word deliverance may come to mind at the suggestion of overcoming sin and shortcomings. So many times, I have heard prayers in church like “Oh Lord, deliver this man from the throngs of alcoholism.” Unfortunately, the alcoholic man at this stage of his illness is miserable whether drunk or sober. Does the minister or the alcoholic once consider the practical action of joining a program of recovery? Oh no, that would involve work! Besides who wants to hang around a bunch of pitiful alcoholics? Personally I would rather lie at the altar of the church of my choice fasting and praying in travail of my addiction passively begging God to lift out every part of me that is feeble and dependent! PLEASE GOD JUST TAKE IT OUT OF ME! Unfortunately, from what I have seen God usually doesn’t totally extract character flaws from us. Nor does he take away our free-will.

I have seen the drug addict delivered in church and I have experience the alcoholic delivered from his addiction through the fervent prayers and intercession of prayer warriors, deliverance believers. What sometimes happens after these deliverances is that the delivered addicts somewhere down the road experience emotional difficulties in life. Perhaps they experience a hurtful divorce or death of a loved one, financial disaster etc. They have not learned plausible, practical coping skills and self-will or “free will” tells them the quickest way to erase emotional pain is in that bottle and they believe it. Fear takes priority and the delivered man relapses. Like a mother who forgets the pains of childbirth and delivers yet another child the addicted man, ninety nine times out of a hundred, under severe emotional pain will forget how bad drinking really was to get whatever relief the bottle offers.
It takes time and teaching for a person with long-term addiction issues to learn to rely on God in times of intense emotional pain. Hence the programs of AA and NA, God breathed I believe provide the addict direction simple and true on how to live life drug and alcohol free.

Undisputed, God has given us free will. Free will for a delivered addict is the freedom that very likely will be their undoing. Long term thought patterns die-hard. The Lord, I believe is without limit to what He can do for us. Free will or self-will has caused disasters from Eve and the serpent to Jonah and the whale, even Lucifer the mighty angel received grave consequences for his free will. God just does not remove all shortcomings from a man. Sometimes God does extract ingrained behaviors I can attest to that. Most times we must make a constructive effort with active reliance on God to change. Being aware of our faults is the first step in being an “over comer”. Change is uncomfortable at best. When working toward honesty with others, we will have fearful uncomfortable situations. Talking with a trusted fellow¬ about our own spiritual growth experiences is priceless in the way that it helps good change come into fruition. Sharing the pains the joys the fears and successes in life is fulfilling and needed. We are social creatures we benefit when we have friends and companionship both. Living a spiritual life is not only to please God but also to feel better and enjoy life when possible. There are times when enjoyment just is not appropriate or beneficial. At times of sickness, disease, dying, loss, injury it is right that life becomes burdensome. That does not mean we are not grateful….it could always be worse.

“JUST LIKE JONAH”

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Jonah 1:2&3
“Arise go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. “And went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.”

Jonah and the whale everybody has heard that story. Three days three nights in the belly of a whale and I read it is scientifically possible for a human to survive three days in a great white. That’s the gist of it there you have it. Seriously, though I am shocked at how much I have gotten out of the old story of Jonah.

Jonah received instruction from God to go preach to the Ninevites. Nineveh was a famous city. Nineveh was the capitol and at the center of the great and powerful Assyrian Empire. It was located two hundred and eighty ml north of Babylon on the eastern bank of the Tigris River in a very fertile plain. Today the ancient ruins of Nineveh are located in what is now called Iraq. It was called the robber city because it overran and robbed other cities to enrich itself.”

I am guessing that when Jonah was ordered by God to go preach to those terrifying men he thought to himself “heck no! I am not going to tell those vicious killers to repent of their ways; they may kill me or worse!” Whatever he thought, he ran like hell to escape the call of God set before him.

Jonah’s actions show that (thank you Jonah) he did not trust God to see him safely through the task at hand. Keep in mind, during this study on Jonah; he was a chosen prophet of God. Most likely Jonah’s’ little story was inspired by God not just for the Ninevites benefit but also for ours. By it, we are able to see that the men of the Bible were not very different from us. Therefore, Jonah the man of God who heard the voice of God possibly audibly was experiencing doubt concerning God’s will as being good for him.

I surmise Jonah assumes he can quickly outrun the Most High ruler of the universe. Therefore, he catches a boat headed for Tarshish. A fierce tempest begins in the salty waters. Jonah is asleep in the birth of the boat. The ship’s sailors are scared to death of the storm. Fearing death or worse each man cries out to his own god. Maybe they prayed unknowingly to the Most High God unaware of His name.

Acts 17:23
“For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.”

Apostle Paul went to The Areopagus a marble hill famous now (Mars Hill) in Athens (Acts 17:23-30) and ministered to some strangers. He had observed them worshiping a God they called the “unknown God”. Paul pointed out to them that the God they worshiped is The Most High God. Luke the beloved physician wrote this account of the men who were ignorant of God’s identity. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at.” (Acts 17:30) I won’t ask how The Apostle Paul new that God winked but I interpret that as God thought nothing of it, “Truly then God overlooked their times of ignorance” (KJII). Should we not show patience and understanding as well for those still ignorant of whom their God is while they search for Him in their own way?

The mariners sought their god next; they remembered that Jonah was sleeping in the birth of the boat. Jonah was a loving and honest man, what he did next shows it. He was truthful with the mariners and told them the reason the tempest came upon them was because he had fled the presence of the Lord. He then said, “cast me into the sea then it will be calm.” (1:12 Jonah). He was willing to die so these sailors could live. Jonah was not perfect, obviously, he had fear, and he did not trust God and disobeyed God’s instruction. Nevertheless, Jonah portrayed Love, honesty and courage. The mariners’ exhibited their own righteousness and Love. As scared as they were, facing death, they did not take lightly the idea of throwing Jonah into the ocean even to prevent their own death. They felt compassion for him or maybe they thought it would be wrong to kill Jonah. The men just kept rowing hard to get the ship to land (Jonah 1:13). When they finally decided to cast Jonah into the sea, they first prayed for God’s mercy, forgiveness, and grace; not as a clan of vicious self-serving idolaters as it’s said, but as conscientious, God-fearing men with principals.  They did it, they tossed poor old Jonah into the raging sea.   “And then the “raging ceased”. No longer ignorant of what God they worshiped they then praised The Most High God in their own way because of their escape from sure death.  Let’s face folks they were relieved as hell to not die.  Fear of death is the mother of all fear. (Jonah 1:16).

Jonah chapter 2

A great fish swallows Jonah now he takes time to pray to God.

Jonah 2:2

“Out of the belly of Hell I cried” said Jonah. This reference to Hell in the book of Jonah is one example of a living hell. This kind of reference to hell is common throughout the Old Testament.  Obviously it means a living hell, a state of heart and mind while alive. It is unfortunate for the apprentice bible reader that translations allow for generalized blanket terms on words with various meanings. (Words like “Love & hell) These blanket terms promote confusion and disagreement in church and bible studies. Words with more than one meaning can be studied in the Greek and Hebrew lexicon and dictionaries to be thoroughly understood. Jonah’s living “hell” is defined in Strong’s Hebrew dictionary as “world of the dead”. Obviously, Jonah has not stopped breathing; his heart still pumps blood as far as we know nevertheless, he feels dead and in hell, and so he is.

I can relate to feeling as if I am in Hell… At those times I feel hopeless even if I know I am not I still feel hopeless. A person may live in bondage to addiction, depression, mental illness, self-serving lifestyles of hate and violence, or are in destructive relationships all these can be described as a “Hell”. Perhaps you are living a life that consists of just work; bills, more work, and no joy little fun and few laughs. Many situations could generate a living hell. Psalms depicts this state of being often

Psalms 18:5
“The sorrows of Hell compassed me about, the snares of death prevented me.”
In Hebrews 2:15 there is one very informative and simple truth:

“And deliver them who through fear of death were their entire lifetime subject to bondage”.

Fear and bondage go hand in hand. In this scripture, the type of bondage referred to is very real. This bondage does not imply being physically chained or imprisoned. Though no chains are visible, we can feel the oppressive and hindering shackles that sometimes rule our lives.

Romans 8:15:
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Ab’ba Father.”

Paralyzing, unhealthy fear permeates from the mother fear, the fear of death. Although death is not always our mental focus when spiritually paralyzed, I do believe it is the underlying fear. Fear is the culprit of all our dysfunction. Fear is spiritual in nature and requires a spiritual solution. We can lie at the church alter and ask God to take fear away and He very well may. We can lay in bed depressed for weeks, months, and years, unfruitful in our existence. Wondering why we were dealt such an unjust hand in life blaming everyone around us for our plight. We can anesthetize our fear with drugs, alcohol, a little Prozac, a few Xanax, or perhaps another piece of pie. However most of us have found no real solutions in these futile attempts to change our own state of mind.

We can put acceptable labels on fear such as, anxiety, boredom, nervousness, annoyance, obsession, jealousy, possessiveness, controlling, the list goes on. If we have reached a place of hopelessness as Jonah has in his living hell we may then be in a position, if open minded and teachable to receive a fresh understanding of God’s word. We may now learn to receive the “Life more abundantly” that Christ spoke of in John 10:10.

Jonah cries from his living Hell to God. Jonah was already a chosen man when the burdensome instruction from God was assigned. Remember the whole mess started when God gave Jonah a mission and Jonah’s reaction is, he wants to get away from God’s presence and now he has, to his own dismay. He is finding out his own self-will is much worse than his fear of God’s will. Now, he is realizing his mistakes and becoming teachable himself. I believe Jonah has arrived at a point of powerlessness. Meaning he feels no hope without God’s help. He is to the point of total surrender to God. He cannot fight, run, or blame. Now all Jonah can see is his mistakes and the hope that God will deliver him out of the Hell he has run into. I have found through my own living Hell that giving up on trying things my way then seeking out God’s will works wonderfully to create positive change. Being at the end of my rope affords me the realization that God’s plan is better than my own.

Jonah 2:2:
“And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord and He heard me; out of the belly of Hell cried I, and thou heard my voice.”
Because of his affliction, he cried! Oftentimes these living hells are the only thing that prompt us complacent Christians to seek God. I mean really seek God cry out beg even! It would be nice if I could learn to live life in peace and harmony with others and remain in continuous contact with God every day. It can happen; it begins with a desperation like Jonah in our own Hell.

Jonah 2:8:
“They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.”

“Lying vanities” are the deceptive statements our minds make that distract and remove us from Gods peace and plan for our lives. In Jonah’s case, his deceptive mind told him that running from God would be better than following His will.

Jonah 2:10
“God heard Jonah’s prayers and the whale spit him out on shore.”

The Lord came unto Jonah a second time and told Jonah what to say to the Ninevites.

Jonah 3:4:
“Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Said The Lord

Next, the bible reads

Jonah 3:5
“The people of Nineveh believed God.”
To be overthrown by God does not sound good. Apparently, it did not sound too good to the Nineveh homeboys because their reaction consisted of fasting, praying, and repentance. (Moreover, you know how strongmen Love their food.) I suppose the people of Nineveh felt their own Hell approaching and took positive action to change, they sought the solution. They believed Jonah was truly speaking for God. There are many unanswered questions where the Bible is concerned nevertheless it tells me enough for what I need to learn, which leads me to the next touching scripture.

Jonah 3:10:
“And God saw their works that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil that He had said that He would do to them; and He did it not.”

Repent- to be sorry in a favorable sense (Strong’s Hebrew and Chaldee dictionary of the Old Testament)

Evil- Bad or evil, adversity, affliction, calamity. Harm heavy hurt, misery, naught, sorrow, trouble etc. (Strong’s dictionary)

These scriptures present two examples of God’s nature toward us sinners. In view of God’s decision to change not only His mind but also His decree toward the Ninevites exemplifies He really did make humans in His image.

My view of God has changed through the years of my born again faith and rightly so! Our relationship with God should grow and change in a positive way as we get to know Him better. The “written in stone” rules and regulations God-type that some churches portray is strictly contraindicated in the book of Jonah and throughout the bible. Here God has mercy on those violent and hateful men that He told Jonah He would destroy. He changed His mind or heart or His spirit decided differently. (I feel describing Gods choices with earthly words is somewhat lacking to say the least.) The bible declares, “He would have done evil against them, but repented”. The Lord and Most High God repented. I will not speculate on what the Lord may have been thinking while planning their destruction. I will not speculate on God doing “evil”. Of this topic, you may draw your own conclusions. I will only elaborate on the facts. He showed them mercy, Love, and forgiveness in spite of themselves, this is the nature of God I need and Love.

Apparently, Jonah did not see it that way; he is dreadfully upset about God changing His mind. He is perplexed because of God not doing what He said He would do to these so violent, heartless city robbers.

Jonah 4:1 `But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.”

Jonah 4:2 “And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee 0 Lord, was not this my saying when I was yet in my country?”

Jonah is very displeased with the way God is handling His affairs. Why did Jonah have to leave his comfortable home for this? Jonah said he thought God should show mercy on them from the get-go without Jonah’s involvement.

Jonah 4:3 “Therefore now Oh Lord, take, I beseech thee my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.”

Jonah literally wants to die right now! Relating this to myself, I can see how in past times I have tried to manipulate God in my prayers to get done what I think ought to happen. Subconsciously thinking my way is better than God’s way. Even when praying for others my heart struggled to control situations and manipulate people’s behavior by my influence with God. I have learned that what I think I may need or others need oftentimes is not God’s will or the best thing. Sometimes my will is self-destructive and hurts people. The flesh strives against the Spirit in me. My flesh is the child who will eat chocolate until she is sick. God knows what I need and He gives it to me when I let him.

Psalms 37:4
“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

This scripture has a twofold meaning, not only will God give me my desires but He will place Godly desires in my heart that I may better do His will.

Matthew 6:33
“But seek thee first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

According to Jonah, he is not getting what he needs nor is God acting right! It is making Jonah very unhappy! If God would just do what he wants, then Jonah would be happy or would he?
Jonah wants what he wants and he wants it now! Now, he wishes only to die. I wonder if he really thoroughly wanted to end his life or if his reaction was a spoiled emotional response to his hurt feelings. It sounds like Jonah has slipped into some self-pity.

Jonah 4:4- “Then said the Lord”, Doesn’t thou well to be angry?”

A question rather than an accusation is a good way to prompt us to look at our behavior. A little self-examination is in order here. Where is this righteous indignation getting us that we may hold unto death? The only one Jonah’s hurting is Jonah. I say “righteous” indignation because yes, the Ninevites were voracious killers they robbed cities, families, and the innocent. If they were to continue hurting others, they needed to be neutralized, overthrown and sent to the lethal injection table no doubt! Again, I say “righteous indignation” because God did say forty days and they would be overthrown. Jonah has his valid reasons for being angry.

Not to add insult to injury, Jonah walks into the outskirts of the city and it gets hot, The Lord then prepares a Gourd for Jonah, a plant that would provide shade from the hot sun and deliver him from his grief. Jonah came to be glad for the gourd. God then prepared a worm to smite the gourd that it withered. Poor Jonah woke up hot angry wishing to die once again.

Jonah 4:9 “doesn’t thou well to be angry for the gourd? (God asks Jonah again) I do well to be angry, even unto death.”

Jonah 4:10&11:
“Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which thou hast not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night and perished in a night; and should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six-score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?”

In this passage, The Lord explains to Jonah one reason why he spared the people of Nineveh. Simply
put, they are ignorant of right and wrong. I surmise they, being raised from infants in their violent society and social traditions knew no better. I am not justifying their murderous behavior; I am only pointing out that the conditions we grow up in mold much of who we are and how we think. They are God’s people and he chose to bestow grace upon them rather than annihilate them. The Lords mercy and compassion are prominent in these scriptures. Even in these Old Testament times of law and punishment, The Lord God is Love. These verses also portray the Lord’s patience with Jonah as God walks him carefully through his lessons. God teaches Jonah as a father would teach his well-loved son, in a way that he can grow emotionally and spiritually. I empathize with Jonah because I have felt the same emotions Jonah revealed in this story. God the Father has walked me through my life as he has Jonah. Teaching me what I need to learn either the easy way without defiance on my part or the painful way where I rebel and defy God until I learn from my mistakes. As for the Ninevites, God looks upon the heart; He is not ignorant of our capabilities or deficits of sound reason. He will save us to the end, utterly, oftentimes from our own selves.

So ends the story of Jonah

*(Nineveh-Archaeological Supplement, Thompson Chain
reference bible, KJV, Fifth improved edition, study Bible.)

The sign of Jonah is that a man can drastically and miraculously be changed. People don’t often change. The sign of Jonah repentance Look up scripture in Matthew. EDIT Bible scholars have tried for centuries to figure out what Jesus meant about the sign of Jonah.

“GOD’S PERPETUAL GRACE, FREEDOM FROM GUILT”

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One definition of “grace” is unmerited favor; this is my favorite biblical definition. I feel it is most precise judging from my own experience. One of the benefits of this kind of Grace is “to not receive the negative consequences I deserve by my wrong actions. This kind of grace allowed me to be fairly functional and sane while living a self-destructive life. It is not of my own merit that I have survived to the age of 50 and am healthy. It is not by my own merit that I can write the words on this page and understand them with my heart. It is by God’s precious grace.

I was born again at the age of 27 and received a large dose of the Holy Spirit at age 30. After that, I felt I had everything I needed spiritually. I had lived most of my life refining and practicing the art of disobedience and defiance. I now assumed I had obtained the ability to live by every Godly law. In addition, why should I not believe same? My Holy Spiritual experience was the awakening of a lifetime. I was enlightened, strengthened, and healed both physically and emotionally. I had a psychic change as well, now I would merely know what is right and do it. Sounds simple huh?

I grew up practicing the concept that you learn something and then you know it. You learn division or addition then you get your grade, which is your reward. There should then be no further need for burdensome learning of addition or division. I assumed my spiritual lessons could be learned and retained in similar fashion. Spiritual laws are not the same as earthly carnal laws. I had to let go of my misunderstanding of spiritual concepts they reeked of self-sufficiency and left no room for further grace. I was looking for the prize, I thought I could do all the right things for God and the rewards would be thick!

What I really needed to learn was an active daily reliance on God. I needed a practical way to remain spiritually in tune with the “mystery of God’s will”. Paul in Ephesians chapter one calls God’s will a mystery. This mystery requires consistent acts of dependence on God to behold daily. When I failed at self-sufficient obedience to Gods law, I once again slipped into a rules and regulations perception of God by my own standards.

With my own guilt at the helm my God became a penalizing disciplinary rather than the omnipotent Father who loves me unconditionally and allows me to learn by my mistakes. I was unaware that as a human I would be spiritually fallible to a point the rest of my life. Although divinely awakened I had never experienced an emotionally healthy relationship how would I then have an ongoing healthy relationship with God without further lessons? Learning requires effort and work I did not want to work. I did want a supernatural good feeling continually without any more effort than some occasional prayer and church attendance. Consequently, I fumbled through years of sin all the while knowledgeable of God’s wonderful truths.
Romans 7:18
“For to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not…”

Struggling with sin while born again was torturous. I saw myself as a complete hypocrite. I knew what God, Jesus had done for me by my deliverance and on the cross. I could not muster up the good behavior to honor and repay him. Free will was winning out over my desire to do what is right again. The guilt and shame was now deeper and more debilitating than before my deliverance. Was I lost for good? I continued praying for His help. Finally, God showed me through my brothers and sisters a proactive recipe to walk in the Spirit of Love by grace. The exercises outlined in this book are all exemplified in the Word of God. They are actions toward freedom if followed as a daily way of life.
Guilt will either direct me toward solutions or direct me toward destruction. The more I distract myself from truth, the further I get from a simple, peaceful life.

“THE DREADED SIN OF FORNICATION”

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I was delivered by God from heroin and cocaine addiction by receiving prayer in a little Baptist Church from five or so parishioners including the preacher. At that time my life changed dramatically and so I was born of Spirit or born-again as the expression goes.
Not terribly long after my born again experience which by the way included; water baptism, baptism of the Holy Spirit and I’m sure the baptism of fire (Luke 3:16). (All the Christian credentials). I met another Christian I liked very much that was quite an attraction for me. I was single, young, impressionable, and very much desired to live by the rules. We dated for a short time. I believed in sexual abstinence before marriage because that’s how I understood the rule in the Bible. I believed God wanted me celibate and had gone a year with no romantic relationships (a very strange concept to most people I think). However I had such strong passionate desire for this man I felt I had better marry him before I commit the dreaded sin of fornication. After all God had saved me from drugs and alcohol. I didn’t realize it at the time but I felt obligated as if now I owed God my obedience. I felt as if there were strings attached to my deliverance I did not have a pure understanding of God’s grace and Love. I was viewing a spiritual even from a carnal and earthly standpoint

I was totally frustrated with abstaining from sex. Between my unreasonable fear of God and my raging hormones I was about to make a huge mistake. My solution for my overwhelming frustration and fear was to get married and so I did. Not long after our union my young and handsome husband began popping Xanax and drinking in excess. He stopped working and became very much an obnoxious drunk.

I have learned the doctrine of marriage from attending various Christian churches. Some teach that I should have actually submitted to my husband and stay married. I was attending Narcotics Anonymous and still newly sober. Some churches will callously disfellowship or excommunicate a woman by disciplinary counsel for divorcing her husband under any circumstances. Biblical teachings on this subject can be misunderstood resulting in oppressive beliefs and doctrines. Some church members said I should have persistently prayed for my will to happen in my husband’s life meaning, for God to change him into what I want him to be and now! I could have wasted away praying for his transformation all the while living a life of servitude to a drunk. I would have been mourning and grieving daily about my husband. Me miraculously set free only to put myself back into bondage to an unfulfilled unreasonable expectation.
I recognize my readers may not agree with all I am writing. Christian divorce is a very sticky subject. As the preachers declare, “Sin to one may not be sin to another” I have found this to be true.
I married so I could Biblically and lawfully have sexual relations against the advice of my spiritual teachers. I married hastily not knowing the man well enough or long enough. Most people are on their best behavior when courting for the first 90 days.
Marriage is many good things but it is confined by intention when thought of as only a solution to sexuality. I quickly divorced Slim. I had not considered his well-being when I married him. I had ignored the glaring red flags I saw in my soon to be husband so I could get what I wanted. The union was based on selfishness. I broke the marriage vow and regretted the entire incident.

Should I have stayed in the marriage and sinned by self-induced oppression? Or should I have sinned by divorce and breaking a marriage vow? I deduced that I should not, by God live in my sinful mistake the rest of my life. The worse sin would have been rejecting my freedom to Love by staying with a man in a graceless institution by my immature ignorance of the higher law of Love.

Matthew 5:32
“But I say unto you whosoever put away his wife saving for the cause of fornication causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever marry her that is divorced commit adultery.”

What does this scripture really mean? It is saying God’s law is higher than man’s law is it not. Even if the woman in the scripture was legally divorced, she still commits adultery states Jesus. The Judge signed the divorce decree, put his state seal on it and yet in Gods eye she is still obligated to her first husband. God’s law prevails. His law deems the divorce occurred for the wrong reasons, only infidelity it declares will allow such a separation and freedom to unite with another person.

My question is this; are your beliefs in traditional marriage so lawfully bound that there is no allowance for grace? Does forgiveness stop when we consider the laws of marriage? I do not think that is what Jesus really meant. Matthew 15:1-9 talks about the scribes and Pharisees who asked Jesus

“Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?” Jesus answered: “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of tradition”

In my ignorance and fear of breaking traditional biblical law, I abandoned and breached the higher law of Love. I placed my fear of the law first and married with selfish motives in my heart. The act of sin to one may not be sin to another because of the motives of one’s heart. Certainly, the act of marriage in of itself is not a sin but I believe it may be a sin depending on our heart.

Suppose I help someone because of the kindness of my heart and Love. Later I help someone again this time I’m doing it because they have something I want and I’m trying to manipulate them into giving it to me, I covet and lie to get what I want. Two of the same deed one sin, one Love. Indubitably, a big chocolate cake is not sinful but to the obese man it could be the tool of his self-destructive demise. In his heart, he lusts for it putting it before God, man and himself. The cake rules him it is his god. What about TV do I put it before my family and God? The same rule applies, what is in my heart?

Hebrews 4:12
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Matthew 15:8
“These people draw near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”

Matthew 5:8
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
Romans 10:10
“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.”
We have biblically established that what is in our hearts is the bottom line with God unto life and salvation. Given this knowledge,
I would like to be capable of placing with my hand what goes in and what comes out of my heart thank you! More self-sufficiency, Please!
Self-sufficiency does not jive with the realm of The Spirit. Let’s examine the fornication issue a little further. Suppose on the flip side I meet that special man of God. A man of God, meaning he lives by the golden rule. This is the man I have been praying for, the man I want for my life partner.
We make a promise of fidelity to each other and keep it. We embark on a long loving relationship free of guilt and shame. We consider each other before ourselves often.
We do not legally marry or vow a vow because we are unsure of what tomorrow may bring and we have both been married before. Would I be living in sin? Would I be fornicating? I think not. Our motives are pure and within the boundaries of Gods higher law of Love.
Some men asked God this question,
Mathew 22:36-40
“Teacher which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him “You shall
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it,
Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the
Law and the Prophets.”

My point liberally spoken as it may be is if the motive in my heart is pure and my actions Loving, traditional do’s and don’ts are not relevant. Moreover, this child of God is not bound by their meticulous and complicated tuition. Some may call these traditions religious bondage. Fornication as I understand it is committing a wrong act done out of twisted immoral motivation, selfish in nature and hurtful to people. Love cannot fornicate, only God can see my heart and yours. Setting moral boundaries for me and identifying what is and what is not sin for me is one crucial ingredient of my spiritual maturity. No one else can decide how I abide in good conscience toward God except me.

A proverb written by a friend of mine reads, “Of guilt I can’t relieve you though you’re sorry and I believe you.” So often, when we go against our own beliefs and convictions (otherwise known as apostasy) we seek justification and approval from others. These confirmations give us temporary relief from inner guilt but do not cleanse our soul. Justification distracts us from our guilt and turns it to blame. Blame being a much easier emotion for our egos to handle. However, our hearts suffer the loss. Unchecked guilt usually results in self-hatred and snowballs into various sin. A little guilt can spin into more wrong action and create a downward spiral toward Hell.

Another spiritual succubus is un-forgiveness. Un-forgiveness also lives in our hearts and minds causing negative action due to negative feelings. I believe if we could see spiritual entities, these emotions such as guilt, hatred, blame etc. would appear as black clouds going down into the pit of our stomachs (like the graphic illustrations of disease in the movie “The Green Mile”) and if unchecked, fill our bodies to the brim resulting in feelings that are unbearable. These feelings often spill over in a bad way. These individual sins should be checked daily and confessed to God and man.

The bottom line of my message to you is illustrated here so perfectly in First Corinthians.

First Corinthians 6:12-15
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly and the belly for meats but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body.”
AMEN

”REPENTANCE AN UGLY WORD OR A GRACIOUS GIFT?”

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Acts 5:31 “Him (Jesus) God has exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins”.
Acts 11:18 “When they heard these things they became silent and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the gentiles repentance unto life.”
Repentance should not be a one-time thing. It is necessary for salvation at the beginning of any Christian’s spiritual walk. Water baptism is referred to in Mark 1:4 as “A baptism of repentance.” This baptism is a formal act of Christianity. It is symbolic of dying to the flesh and rising in the spirit. Following such a monumental and decisive action of seeking God’s will there will be evidence of God in our lives. There will be affirmative indications of God in us such as charitable Love toward others or “loving others as ourselves”. In addition, we will be stepping into a process of spiritual growth that shows improvements gradually in our behavior. I heard a preacher tonight say repentance brings back the manifestations of God in our lives. We get re-aligned with the will of God and Things get easier when God is an active part of our life again.
I have yet to see perfection in any born again believers life. Often good change comes accompanied by difficulty and painful struggle. Repentance is a gift from God. Without it, none will grow spiritually or grow toward God in His likeness. Repentance usually results from guilt followed by honest self-examination. Solutions for remorse are found by conversations with God. The repentance process starts something like this. I realize I have hurt someone or myself by something I have done this causes an uneasy feeling inside of shame, remorse, guilt or utter horror. Our good conscience alone will let us know when we have done wrong. The Lord God has given us each good conscience for a reason, to use it to our own benefit.
Unless I am a sociopath and have no conscience or I have hardened, my heart against blessed emotions and am in deep denial I can recognize my guiding light my hearts nudge. Maybe I realize I have been living life wrong for a long time and have a whole river of tears to cry toward God. It is surely a gift when this point comes in our lives. Best we follow our own hearts nudge rather than what appears to be working for others. I have found that my heart will not accept the deeds that another’s heart seems to accept peacefully.

When my moment of clarity comes, I should seek God with honest and humble prayer saying I am wrong and asking for forgiveness. Thorough self-examination should be done nightly. A repentant heart admits when it is wrong without excuse or justification. This repentance is how I keep a free heart; it cleanses my soul and is a big part of my ongoing relationship with God. If I am not capable of admitting, I have been wrong to God or another person I can ask God to help me learn to repent.
As it is said if you cannot remember the last time, you were wrong, something might be wrong.

First John 1:9
“If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
So often in a situation when we are not doing what we know is right for others or us we ask God for strength. “Yea, that’s what I need, strength to do the right thing and overcome this besetting sin!” It makes sense in carnal theory, but for some reason my struggling, prayers for strength did not lead me toward that life more abundantly. Strength is great I love feeling strong! However, humility is the principal that keeps me close to God. It takes humility to repent.
Here I must sight the very first Bible scripture to which I could really relate. The scripture that set off a chain of re-birth events in my life. I began reading the Gideon’s Bible I found in a hotel room drawer. I lived in a hotel for quite some time. I started reading Proverbs; the verses are timeless and contain little traditional law, therefore are easily understood and a very good place for a beginning bible reader to start. Proverbs laws are laws of the heart.
I moved to Texas when I was 22, I had no real friends or family there. I was definitely not doing what I knew I should or wanted to be doing. I struggled with self-destructive sin. I began seeking God and turned to this scripture:
Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Romans 7:19 “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing”.
Romans 7:23 “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
Such a dilemma the Apostle Paul suffered! Such a dilemma we all suffer, call it the age-old war of the flesh and the Spirit. Label it the battle of fear verses Love. It is the war of sanity over insanity, diseased thinking over healthy thinking. This fight is ultimately one of death versus life. The two natures are in us all, the conflict is certain! Some are better at sticking to one side than others. Me, I was watching my soul’s destruction by my own hand like a powerless spectator. I was unable to do what my own heart urged. The law of sin is very real and it will result in death if not checked. It is a spiritual law, one that can only be broken by spiritual means. This sin can be any flavor as long as it makes us a slave to it. This sin can be blatant or subtle. It can be gossip or murder. It can be drug addiction or just plain selfishness. Whatever the sin you can be sure it is hurting someone.

Romans 7:11
“For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew [me].”
The following intriguing poem exemplifies the law of sin:
“HER CALL”
THE DARK SIDE CALLS, HER ARMS OPEN WIDE SHE WILL NOT REJECT ME OR PUSH ME ASIDE
SHE TAKES ME IN, I’M SEDUCED WITH RELIEF WITH PLEASURE SO GOOD, BEYOND BELIEF
SHE STREAMS THROUGH MY SOUL ERASING MY GROWTH MY UNDERSTANDING FADES, LIES SHE PROMOTES

SHE’S DARK IN MY DREAMS CALLING ME FAST
SCREW ALL THIS PAIN I’LL FREE YOU AT LAST!
SHE’S CUNNING SHE’S BAFFLING HER DECEPTION IS TRUE SHE TELLS ME “I KNOW JUST WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU”
STREAM THROUGH MY SOUL FAMILIAR LOVER QUENCHING MY THIRST LIKE NO OTHER
WARM FADED NOTIONS OF LIGHTED JOY FALL TO YHE GROUND LIKE A BROKEN TOY
REPLACED BY SENSATIONS OF DENIAL AND LUST IN THIS DARK REALM SHE RESPECTS NO TRUST
FUTURE GOOD FEELING? NAY, CONTINUOUS FALL
IS ALL SHE WILL GIVE ME SHE WILL MAKE ME CRAWL!

I BECKON HER CALL_____________________________________
If we are deceived by our besetting sin, this means we cannot see how we are hurting others or ourselves by it. It means that somehow I believe the sin is what is best for me. We justify and rationalize away the reality that we are hurting people so we do not feel guilt; this is self-deceit from sin.

Once in church I watched as the preacher brought in a large crystal clear bottle of water and placed it where we could all see. He said, “this bottle of water is you, now I will show the effect of sin on your person.” He took a tiny drop of red food coloring and said, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9) As the red droplet hit the clear water, I will never forget how it changed the color of that entire 5-gallon bottle. The preacher was so right; sin permeates my total inner man.

I want to stop here to say I make no practice of telling anyone what their sin is nor do I point out sin to try to change people. What I am doing is sharing, in this book, how I overcame the actions (sins) that caused me a lot of pain and trouble that maybe you can get the same peaceful results. At any time while reading, you may replace the word sin with one of many synonyms, such as weakness, flaws, infirmity, fault, curse, imperfection, transgression, offense, wrongdoing, mistake, misdeed, misconduct and my personal favorite: character defect. Some people take offense to religious words such as repent, sin etc. I have found that an apple by any other name is still an apple and that’s just fine. By example, I would like to show the snowball effect of sin.

Let us say hypothetically that I have recently become born again. The Holy Spirit enlightens me; I have received Christ as my savior. I have stopped my immoral behavior with sex. I begin to speak more respectfully. I feel the Love of God in my daily life and my inner man, which is the evidence of the Spirit. I decide to quit smoking as well. It is self-destructive and my body is God’s temple. I quit for a while and then I have a bad day. My children are caught skipping school and I am angry. The anger makes me very uncomfortable. I cope by having what I believe is a well-deserved cigarette; well-deserved because it will relieve the burdensome anger from a situation I cannot change. After the well-deserved, self-destructive unto death cigarette in comes the guilt. The regret of failing God and I is heavy on my heart. Maybe I will add a little self-condemnation to the mix. Followed by screaming and yelling at my kids because after all it’s their fault that I smoked anyway. The blame eases my guilt. Snowball effect live and in progress. After screaming at my poor kids I need some serious relief, I go to the bar and have a few drinks, which turns into a few more. I run into my old lover (I am married) and it’s on! The next thing I know I wake up at her house, my lungs hurt from smoking and I realize I had unprotected sex. Lord knows what could result from that! It can get worse from there or get better depending on me.

What happened? I say to myself, I was born again, and I am! Who knows what my new church friends would say about this behavior! They give me the impression that after being born again, washed clean, given the spirit of God I would be sinless. Gosh, I even spoke in tongues! Forgive myself? No! I don’t deserve it and either does anybody else. Snowballing sin? At this point if I don’t repent, there’s no telling what I’ll do next. I can sit in astonishment of my unintended debauchery or I can blame everybody else and stay in denial.

Therefore, Apostle Paul and I ask, “Why do I do what I don’t want to do?” The answer is because of the “law of sin”, because of the law of being human. (Rom. 7:25) If this law of sin abides in me, how will I ever overcome my own thoughts and desires of the flesh? It is human nature to want to please God after a born again experience. We have changed and we are grateful. The logical mind says I can control these sinful desires through will power. “I’ll set my mind against these behaviors and stop them for good.” Paul says this law of sin “wars against the law of his mind” (Rom.7:23). I do not know about you but I have not been able to fix my mind with my mind. Neither was I schooled successfully in church on how to win this good war against myself it sounds crazy huh? I have struggled with sin before and after my born again experience. Temporarily, I can do the right thing while yearning to do wrong. Ultimately, my law of sin will win out against my own will power! How can I overcome sin? The recipe for spiritual success is right here in the word, if processed in a practical way.

Not to mention my neuron pathways have been in a cycle of guilt for so long it is natural for me to proceed in this fashion of sin, not only because of the law of sin but by the law of physiological habit.
Romans 7:24 and 25
“Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
A big Amen to that! This scripture says it all. When it comes right down to it, us humans don’t have a snowballs chance in hell to escape damnation except for God’s grace. Think about it. I don’t mean to be all fire and brimstone but we are facing an impending death hear folks. Yet we are so blind to that death actually happening to us yet, it could happen today. If we just staked up eternity against our human life span we would all live for God and to help others every day of our lives? We would basically be kissing the Masters ass at all times to make out eternity more comfortable. Thank God for Grace. Not to mention we humans spend a lot of time trying to impress, and influence, our neighbors when really it’s The Creator we should impress.

This born again experience is salvation for my soul. It required humility to get me to receive Christ and it requires humility to continue growing toward Christ. My favorite definition of humility is being aware of one’s own character weaknesses and us born again believers do still have weaknesses contrary to some preacher teachings, (“the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Mt.26:41) I have prayed for strength, struggled and waged war against the dark side in hopes of overcoming sin. Ultimately, surrender is what keeps me spiritually fit. Surrendering to God’s will in my life on a daily basis, not just that one time initially when I accepted Christ but also following, as many times as it takes. For me that is daily, after all my flesh is with me daily.

First Corinthians 15:31
“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

Do not get me wrong I am all for spiritual warfare. I myself war spiritually by prayer often. I have found when it comes to overcoming self-will and temptation a conscious daily decision or surrendering to God’s will in my morning prayers and meditation is what keeps me from being overcome by the flesh or Satan or just plain selfishness. It is easy to say to myself “Go and sin no more.” but sinning no more takes some positive action ahead of time. Dying daily as Paul phrases it is easier said than done. All that is in my flesh screams when I say the words “Thy will be done.” To believe that God’s will is better than my own means, admitting my will has not shown good results or my will has gotten me into major difficulties. Not only that asking for God’s will makes me feel like I am going to lose out on my favorite things whether they be sin or not. I don’t know what God wants for my life, not explicitly but I do know what I want for myself. I feel shame that my will does not align with God’s will. This my friend is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said “I die daily”. It’s not so much Satan that wars against our soul as our own self will.

Really, who would want to turn their will over to the Lord if their way is working for them? God’s will is uncertain, hence casts fear into my heart, and produces thoughts of losing something I want that He may not want me to have. Sometimes I pray for what I want then finish the prayer with “nevertheless thy will be done.” Remember an honest prayer is most effective. Even Jesus prayed these words just before the soldiers apprehended Him. He feared, I believe, what He must soon suffer.

Mathew 26:39: “O my Father if it is possible let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.”

Lord knows if even Jesus at times had difficulty agreeing with God’s will for His life, surely I will also. I like the 12 Step spin on this God’s will thing. Step 3 is “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him”. That does not feel so much like a rule as a blessing because of the word “care” and blessings are good for me. I suppose there are others who have far surpassed this struggle of flesh against spirit and have no need to die daily. They have reached absolute reliance on God and don’t commit selfish acts and have no further need for the blessing of repentance; Lord bless them I feel they’ll soon be translated.

Avoiding the need for repentance takes practical action on my part. Spiritual learning comes in waves if I continue to seek God. Each wave is a level not outside myself to measure success, but a depth in my very being, my very heart. The new lessons are deeper, supplying a more resolute trust in God and a oneness with His will. When explained in words these lessons sound the same (not specifically but principally) as previous lessons learned.

We as students hear or say a spiritual phrase learn it, experience it, and want to be done with it. Graduate from that particular lesson. Then perhaps believing we got that lesson feel smug, prideful that we can now teach other Christians that which we so painfully learned.

In Matthew 6:33&34 Jesus talks about relying on God. He says not to worry about our earthly needs that God knows them and will surely supply. I read and understand this scripture intellectually. I have experienced times I did not have food, car, or money and miraculously God did get me through it, he supplied my needs all along during and after much worry. I got the scripture down I got that lesson down! I see now my worry had been futile. Following that lesson my neighbor Mr. Jones loses his job and tells me he’s scared to death of what might happen I smugly inform him, “God shall provide” all the while thinking: “Oh ye of little faith.” Next, a tornado destroys my lovely house. I then find out just how much I trust God. If I stay the path of faith and get through the disaster where God gives me a better house, I will have learned the teaching of Matthew 6:34 in a much deeper way. My faith and connection with God will be stronger because of it. However, something else has happened, another lesson. Why did I think I could fix Mr. Jones with words from a scripture? I cannot see his heart and its level of growth I should not judge him. I had to learn deeper faith from my own experience so must Mr. Jones.

What is peace of mind, one definition is that wonderful feeling everything’s okay and will be okay. The opposite of waiting on the Lord to provide would be me running around like a chicken with its head cut off begging, borrowing and stealing quick replacements for all I’ve lost in that storm, impatiently trying to re-acquire all that I lost not considering anyone or any consequence of my actions. This would be a faithless reaction to the disaster of losing my home. Though this reaction is human nature, at some point I must put my life in God’s care to have peace.
Hebrews 10:24 and 25
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up Love and good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day.”
Fellowship with other believers is also imperative to growth and change. Choosing my Christian or believing friends wisely is very important. We tend to pick up behaviors from those we socialize or play with. Some people are more fearful (hard to get along with) than others. Some run on fear and some run on Love not totally but on the most part. By fear, I do not mean the kind of fear that is healthy and preserves life. Nor do I mean the kind that implies reverence to God. I mean the kind that disguises itself in some of these character flaws.
Vanity, false pride controlling, enabling, criticism, judgmental, gossip, chaos, drama, gluttony, sloth, immortality, addictions, hatred, violence, faultfinding, self-righteous, greediness, blame etc. all these are rooted in unhealthy fear. Nobody I know is free of character flaws. However, glaring character defects can be contagious. Choosing friends that I strive to emulate is beneficial. Having to unlearn behaviors is difficult enough for a born again believer without being negatively influenced by others. My spiritual teacher Sister Petty used to quote this scripture:
Song of Songs 2:15
“Quick! Catch all the little foxes before they ruin the vineyard of your Love, for the grapevines are all in blossom.”

Sister Petty meant the little cumbersome annoyances that seem insignificant to my spiritual condition one way or another can collectively bring me to ruin.

First Corinthians 15:33
“Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits.”
When others wrong us, it is a perfect opportunity to exercise good change. Expressing our own feelings in a non-attacking respectful way to the offender or even a neutral party promotes healthy emotions. The descriptions of good behavior in the Bible usually cannot be invoked through knowledge and self-will alone. The Lord does look upon our hearts and sees our desire to do His will. When we blaming others for our own shortcomings and do some honest self-appraisal we will be able to repent and ask God for help to overcome our sins.
Proverbs 16:18
“Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Roadblocks to progress and joy stand firm when we have become so good at blaming people and circumstances for what our lives have become that we don’t identify our shortcomings and can’t see what to repent of. Comparing ourselves to Jesus and lining up our actions with biblical principles shows sin in its true light. Comparing ourselves to the gossiping hooker down the road can make us feel better (haughty) but such a comparison yields us a false view of ourselves.
Hebrews 12:3-6
“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your soul. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And, you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chasten, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (NKJ)
This scripture commonly attributed as the writings of Apostle Paul is difficult to understand. I do know to be willing to take an honest look at my faults I had to have some serious motivation. It is tough to examine even one character flaw. God’s chastening brings about the emotional pain to be willing to change. Call it consequences or call it chastening either way it is a painful result of my own negative behavior. In turn, these unpleasant consequences send me into either denial or conviction. If these painful lessons have stopped and I cannot remember the last time I was wrong, I am either near perfect, one with God’s will or spiritually stagnant. Maybe I am very good at defining my loved ones and associates faults but am clueless of my own. A life without chastening is a life without progress.
I want to discuss the merits and benefits of various religions. I have been in tent revivals where by God’s Spirit miracles flow and the preaching is fiery and truthful. I have seen the Catholic confessional were men are set free from hidden secrets of guilt and shame and are not judged for being fallible. I have heard the praises ringing out from the Pentecostal Church where God dwells and the gifts of the Spirit flow. I have heard Baptist preachers speak of the grace of God by the blood of Jesus on the cross so powerfully it opened the eyes and hearts of men. I have sat in the rooms of 12 step programs where the people have shown the humility of children and a willing service to God sharing the miracles they have experienced by God’s mighty Loving grace. I have been in my own nondenominational church where the Love flows like milk and honey from the preacher’s heart and the choir was so gifted that each singer could have their own label. Amen
James 5:16
“Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (NKJ)

The effects of repentance and confession are unparalleled. Getting shameful secrets out of our head results in relief and freedom. If we pick a caring, honest person who can relate to us to hear our secrets, we find a fellowship surpassed by none. It helps so much when we realize other believers have the same struggles as we. Be prudent and patient in picking our confessional. We must be careful not to pick someone we will hurt with our words. Oftentimes concerns between wives and husbands, are better left unsaid. We must think this action of confession through and pray for guidance in this exercise of not only emotional health but also spirituality.

The exercises I am presenting are a work toward loving others and ourselves. A way we can learn to accept our brothers with their shortcomings by realizing our own. Suddenly we will realize change is coming over us through these simple principals. Our perception of God toward us will become much more loving and less rigid, less punishing. Our perceptions of self, others and God are one in nature. This knowledge is a great key to spiritual joy. Our honesty toward others, God, and self are also one in nature. Are we critical of others? If so you can bet our feelings deep down are the same toward us. I know I need to grow if my heart is critical. This measurement of spiritual status can be taken daily. By investigating my feelings toward those that have wronged my loved ones or me, I can learn my heart. Can I forgive or do I stand on my righteous anger unto death? Commonly phrased, “I’ll take it to my grave.” My God will forgive whomever He pleases me or the most diabolical murdering child molester on the face of the earth. (Romans 9:15) Un-forgiveness prevents me from growing toward Love. A root of bitterness can grow into a tree of hate, which is no fun! Only the self-deluded are most comfortable reveling in self-righteous hate toward those so wrong, they feel they are deserving of their hate. Forgiving others frees me to Love myself and have life more abundantly.
How do I forgive? What I do is pray for whoever it is I hate or resent and then forgive them in word asking God to cause my heart to follow. This really works.

“WISDOM is opposite of FREE WILL GONE BAD”


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My favorite definition of wisdom is “Knowledge put into action”

Another spiritual law that can make or break us is the karmic law of the tongue. The words we speak can be charitable and lovely or retched and deadly. I believe my own words have much more power over me than your words do. Not to say that I may not feel your words emotionally more than my own. I am suggesting that spiritually, by karmic law, my words affect me by karma more than other people’s words spoken to me. I will reap what I sew this law stands firm just as the law of gravity and the law of every action creates a reaction holds true. These laws are unchangeable except where the awesome power of grace is given.
Matthew 15:10&11
“When He called the multitude and said to them”, hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

Proverbs 21:23
“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue, keeps his soul from troubles.”

Ecclesiastes 5:2
“Be not rash with thine mouth and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth therefore let thy words be few.”

Proverbs 12:18
“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.”

Proverbs 15:1 and 2
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.”

Proverbs 15:4
“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but a perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”

James 3:5-8
“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

These scriptures are self-explanatory. The words we speak not only have an outward effect, but also create an inward result. A friend once wrote “Tell all you know and there will be nothing left, share your experience faith and hope, and it will grow and fill your heart with peace.” The karmic law (if you will) of speech can work for us or against us, it all comes back to Love. Are my words complaining, gripping, fear based and hateful or are they charitable and encouraging?

I have often thought about the scripture; “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) If I am interacting with an angry or hurt person, kind words promote healing both emotionally and spiritually. One friend I know is so good at not letting negative words pass over his tongue. When I asked him about it, he said, “First it’s an exercise in self-restraint. Just because certain thoughts pass through my mind I don’t have to say them, if I keep practicing self-restraint after a while the negative thoughts and feelings subside, they come less often.” because of this exercise he has peace and it shows.

I want this magic health to my soul, I want the spiritual goodness that will come when I stop myself from uttering every opinion, and pride filled thought springing from my heart. This exercise heals from within. If we encourage others with truthful charitable words, we will receive good results. These wise truths about the taming of the tongue are written in the word of God and I believe them! This karmic law is taught not only in Christian doctrine but also in many other religions.

Galatians 6:7
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

This karmic law in no way nullifies the gift of grace. Grace is about not reaping what we sow, with karmic law in place; grace is truly a miracle and blessing from God. Moreover, to reap what I sew is not only about my life here on earth, it is about actions now that enrich my eternity. Love is everlasting and it starts right here, today in our actions toward others. I want to reap good things so I am willing to try the actions suggested in this anointed word of God. Life or death abides in the words I speak.

Wisdom- The quality of being wise; power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action, based on knowledge, experience, understanding, etc. Good judgment, sagacity. 2. Learning, knowledge, erudition (wisdom of the ages). 3. Wise discourse of teaching, 4. A wise course of action. (Webster’s)

Proverbs 9:9
“Give instruction to a wise man and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me (wisdom) thy days shall be multiplied and the years of thy life shall be increased.”

About now, I am asking myself “What on earth have I to share about wisdom?” Really! I am not usually wise in my own eyes, but lacking. Proverbs 3:7 states; “Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Do I always depart from evil? Evil meaning taking the wrong course of action or actions contrary to what I know is best or contrary to my knowledge. Evil does not necessarily entail a glaring, dark, twisted hurtful action. The answer is no, I do not always take the best course of action. I wish I did, nevertheless! I believe I understand the meaning of knowledge based wise action and can share accordingly. A friend of mine wrote this poem about the wise. We believe that the heart and soul can be seen through the window of the eyes.

“THE EYES OF THE WISE”
The eyes of the wise how would they read?
With oceans of intellect and knowledge of seas?
Or maybe shine forth with prophetic revelation
Holding mountains of philosophy and valleys of expression
Appearing timeless as the heavens, outside our dark system
Having evidence of forever showing forth as they glisten.
The eyes of the wise how do they read?
Simply as a small child’s ready to receive

The words Jesus spoke are simple yet need to be realized in a deep and humble level of our heart.

Matthew 18:3- “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Plainly, theologians and historians do not know for sure if Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. I remember reading Ecclesiastes for the first time and pondering the life of the man written of in that interesting book. (Whether it be written by Solomon or not). Solomon was said to be the wisest man of his time. (1st Kings 4:29-34). Yet he was fallible. He, (the writer, philosopher of Ecclesiastes whose actions and beliefs correspond with those of Solomon) was quite the intellectual. He spoke of seeking out vast quantities of knowledge, seeking wisdom, and doing great works.
The wise King Solomon sought out every good project available to men in those times, the arts, and building, eating, loving, celebrating, gaining silver, gold, all enjoyment, and wisdom under the sun. With this in mind, he concluded for himself that much of his escapades were pointless or folly he said because both the fool and the wise man end up in the same place, buried naked in the ground. He struggled with the realization that given all his wisdom and riches he would still end up in the same place as the fool. He struggled with the thought that his riches, on the most part; would be left to a man after him. (Ecc.2:18) He wrote that all his research, studies, complicated endeavors and intense contemplation where vanity. Wow!

Ecclesiastes 2:15&16
“Then said I in my heart, as it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then wiser? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool forever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? As the fool.”

I can relate to this man because of my own painful realization of human mortality mixed with my tendencies toward visions of grandeur. (False pride) Oh how my vanity wants me to be better than other men. Oh how it pains my false pride to realize I am not God. Sure, logically I accept this but what my natural heart yearns for is recognition and glory. I want to be praised yet now I see I shall end up old and haggardly that is if I am blessed enough to live that long. Perhaps this man of reflection in his repeated words; “vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.” was suffering from the realization that he could not control circumstances set down by God, such as life, death and aging. I hear this preacher man screaming out from his heart; “It’s not fair things should be the way I want them to be!” While pointing out the futility of reality he is in denial of his own control issue. What he needs to do next is accept that God is in charge. May I be so bold to say the preacher needs to realize his own shortcomings to find peace?

My history book states:
“Solomon having much intellect spake 3,000 proverbs, and his songs numbered a thousand and five. His greatest enterprise was the erection of the temple at Jerusalem, in which he was occupied seven years, and it was most elaborately adorned. (First Kings Chapters 5 and 6) He is known as the wisest man, yet his wisdom did not teach him self-control. He taught well but failed to practice his own precepts. He describes the fool in the book of Proverbs and thus draws a vivid picture of his own failings.” (Thompson Chain Ref. Bible)

How ironic! I can’t help see the parallels between Jonah and King Solomon. It does seem “all is vanity” with us humans. I cannot help but see the similarities of me and this man.

Kings 11:3 and 4
“Solomon also had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.” I prefer the word complete rather than perfect according to our Standard English definition. (Reference “perfect” Hebrew and Chaldee dictionary of the Old Testament, Strong’s concordance)

OK! That is a lot of beautiful woman, I can vividly envision poor King Solomon’s plight. I believe between the pleasures available to him and his intellect, Solomon had huge obstacles to overcome before owning the humility it takes to rely on God. In his case, riches and intellect was an obstacle to his personal growth. Some say you cannot be too simple to find God but you can be too smart; truth spoken, if I have high intelligence I will be more deeply rooted in self-sufficiency. If I have man’s glory, I will be more apt to bend toward grandeur and false pride. (Vainglory) Solomon was detoured from God by the Love (or lust) for his woman. We can learn from his human weakness. Though few of us have the ways and means of Solomon, we still may have the means for continuous pleasurable distractions. We still may be the king or queen of our castle.

First Timothy 5:6: “But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth”.

Isaiah 47:8&9: “Therefore hear now this, thou that are given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, thine enchantments.”

Never say never!

All right, let’s stop here! This is beginning to sound a little legalistic, I enjoy my pleasure, and I scream, “don’t take my pleasure away!” Truly, I see little reason to serve a God only because I fear Hell fire. Who could practice legalistic rules of mundane obedience with no fun in their life and remain faithful not flailing into some kind of besetting sin, even if it were under the guise of religion and service? Hypothetically, those of us regulated by rules and law see those sinners having fun, enjoying sex, drinking and partying with no apparent negative consequences and darn it, we feel jealousy and envy. We can label the unpleasant emotion of envy righteous indignation and let these sinners know they are going to pay! God will punish them for their guiltless fun! Finger pointing is always a bad idea best I do not act out.

James 4:12
“There is but one law giver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?”

Inside our heart, if we listen to it, we may be asking, why can’t I participate in guilt free enjoyment? The lures of pleasure are great! The lures of distraction from truth are great! In all reality, our God will provide us with guilt free, sinless pleasures while we are obedient to Him. I have found much fun while walking in God’s will. Balance is one key to a pleasurable and spiritual walk with God. We need balance! Dogma all the time makes Jack a dull boy! Pleasure all the time consumes Jack in self-indulgence; as he leaves his God behind in the wake of self-serving sin. Ultimately, if we do live for pleasure, we will have a great spiritual and emotional fall. (I do speak from experience) True wisdom accepts complete reliance on God.

Proverbs 9:9
“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. “

I fear where I will end up if I do not rely on God. Free will goes bad but without free will where would honor, perseverance, tolerance, patience, faith and every other spiritual attribute fit in? There would be no such virtue necessary in our lives. There would be no need to overcome and no fighting the good fight.

First Timothy 6:12
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, where-unto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

In Proverbs it is written numerous times “wisdom seeks counsel.” Presidents seek counsel, kings seek counsel, strong godly men, and woman through the ages seek wise counsel. Personally I have several wise counselors some family, some professional, some friends. We can seek advice regarding an action to take or not to take. Self-deception on the other hand, under the guise of good counsel seeks advice until it hears what it wants to hear. There are always people out there who will co-sign my bullshit if I seek them out. On the other hand, seeking various ideas and opinions when confused about a trying situation is wise. Aligning our decisions with God’s word is smart. Think well about your motives with all self-honesty. Possible consequence of a decision should be thoroughly considered.

We cannot please everyone, people pleasing actions are fear based and can leave us insecure and resentful. This kind of decision-making is rooted in the fear of losing someone we want in our life. Best we put God and ourselves first where matters of the heart are concerned. I am not saying be selfish and inconsiderate toward others, however if we deplete our own well-being what good are we to any man? Rescuing others from their own consequences breeds irresponsibility and is not Love. There is much to consider in important decisions, council brings out these many considerations and options. Often talking with someone about a matter by itself brings forth clarity of mind.

In choosing council we should look for someone who will not judge, someone who cares, the motive of the counselor is relevant. Are they strictly about money or are they being paid yet sincere, hoping for our improvement with no ill intent? Counselors make mistakes also so we too should not judge them if we disagree with their advice. Sometimes in a dilemma, the wisest course of action is no action. We humans tend to want to fix people by our actions. Example: Martha’s husband is an alcoholic. She struggles inside herself; will he get sober? Should I leave him? Have I had enough disrespect from him? What can I do to make him quit drinking? We humans worry excessively about how things look to our peers. Leaving a marriage because our friends think we should is a wrong motive. The wife’s decisions about her dilemma should be based on God and herself. Channeling our concerns to God is necessary for solutions. He will guide us by our heart of this I am certain. If our mind is, clear and we are spiritually connected.

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY CREATES SELF-ESTEEM AND FENDS OFF HATE AND BLAME

It is wise to take responsibility for our own actions and decisions I think it better to take responsibility now rather than later. Because of our lessons in childhood, oftentimes we equate the word “responsibility” with the word “fault”. The word “fault” implies that a wrong action was taken which resulted in a negative consequence or occurrence. Therefore, with this definition in mind I will show you an example of how taking responsibility for our own actions even when others wrong us is wise.

A drunk driver wrecks into a sober man and puts him in the critical care unit of the Hospital. The sober driver committed no crime to receive such a horrible consequence (the crash) therefore, it is not his fault. The negative consequences are the fault of the man that committed the irresponsible crime of driving while drunk. By the same token the innocent driver knew the statistics and possibilities of driving on a highway. He knew people die on the highway he knew people make mistakes while driving and commit crimes while driving he chose to drive anyway. The innocent driver weighed the highway accident statistics against his need to get from point A to point B and made his choice to drive. He knows a wreck could happen but hopes that it will not. Now, after the wreck as he suffers in the hospital he knows he made the choice fully aware of the facts. By the innocent driver taking responsibility for his own choice, he is free from blame, hate and anger toward the drunk driver…his taking responsibility keeps him free of resentment toward others. This injured man has a lot of trauma to work through it will be much easier for him to manage without the load of hate and revenge dragging him down.

Taking responsibility for our choices regarding any relationship keeps us resentment free. Yes if we are wronged or betrayed it, hurts however, we are responsible to process our own pain and anger in a healthy way…we are the only ones who can do this. We are not at fault when wronged just responsible. When we have this wise method of taking responsibility for our own actions it sets us free from the pains of blame and hate. This law also sets the stage for self-esteem and self-worth by taking responsibility for my right actions I have created good consequences in my life hence I build my well-deserved self-worth.

LAW VS LOVE

CAN I SEE IN DARK WHAT I SEE IN LIGHT? IF MY MIND IS CLOSED IT’S ALWAYS NIGHT
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I do not want to downplay the law or its pure and good purpose for mankind. There are many Biblical laws, The Ten Commandments, Mosaic Law, the law of the land, the greatest commandments by Christ, all the rules and regulations Apostle Paul and the disciples set down as tradition. Let’s not forget those pesky religious laws made-up by certain churches that dictates don’t wear this, don’t say that, shouldn’t marry her, too much jewelry, didn’t tithe enough, rules of eating, rules of drinking, cut that hair, don’t cut that hair! Oh yes the list goes on and it is rigid! If we are wrapped up in all those laws we will probably feel like the Israelites did when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with more rules than anyone could keep up with to obey. (Heb.12:20) “OMG it’s all too much to handle! Psychic meltdown I can’t do it I am doomed!” So cried the voices of the Israelites.

Revelation 3:21
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne?”

We human beings understand rules well. We live by them; we teach them to our children to keep them safe. We teach them to our teenagers to keep them from shame and regret. We explain moral rules, rules of conduct, rules of math and science. Many of the rules, if not followed have grave consequences, jail, death and worse.

The Old and New testaments are nearly impossible to obey all of the time. Have you read Leviticus, Exodus, or Deuteronomy? Those books contain countless instructions on how to live! They contain threatening punishments and grave consequences for not following God’s exhaustive, undo-able rules. Just the word “disobedience” has a ring to it that makes me want to bolt away from any church!

A little friend of my daughters came to me and asked me to explain the bible. I told her, “Samantha let me sum up the entire bible for you. I have read it several times and this is my conclusion.” I gave her Jesus’ words of the two greatest commandments. I said, “Love God and Love everyone. However, this is impossible to do by human means alone, so we must learn to rely on God and build a relationship with him through prayer so we can Love. To ask God to help us do the very things He commanded and do His will always.” She said to me “You mean the golden rule treat others the way I want to be treated?” “Yes this is the whole law.” I felt this was the best way to answer her question rather than trying to explain the multitude of laws in the bible. Simply and so beautifully put this scripture brings peace to my soul and calmness to my mind.

Romans 3:10
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor therefore Love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Hebrew 12:18-24:
“For you have not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness and darkness and tempest. And the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (for they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” AMEN!
Strangely, even though I am a child of the new covenant and believe on the scriptures in Hebrews that assure me I am Loved, forgiven and have an eternal home with my Wonderful Father I still sometimes feel like a condemned child of the law born into ongoing sin, guilt, shame, and punishment. Perhaps these feelings come from my inner core. I am an eternal part of God, which makes the covenant from Mt. Sinai a part of my inner spirit.

My core being is all things God. Maybe the feeling of self-imposed impending doom comes from some childhood issue of feeling bad and wrong. I do not know exactly but I do know I need to stay connected to God so that legalistic self-condemning part of me does not take hold and beat me down. Now and again, I feel I am carrying the curse of Mt. Sinai on my hip like a special needs child that I Love so much yet is dragging me down.

Our lives all spring from Adam and Eve and the original sin and curse which feels like a part of me…a part of us, we all His children, are the children of shame and fear. Therefore, the old law and covenant perches in my soul like a dark feeling emerging from time to time. I must refresh my soul with the new covenant often as possible by connecting with Jesus.

Romans 7:24
“Wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Colossians 2:22
“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:”

Exodus 20:20
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces that ye sin not.”

Did God believe that fear would keep the Israelites in line? Did God think they would be able to obey the laws set down by Moses? Did he believe that He could rule the people by fear? I believe my God is omnipotent. I believe my God is Pure Love. He knew his people whom He created and how they would react. I accept both covenants as God’s plan and believe that someday I will thoroughly understand the reasoning of God’s plan.

Law and punishment works to a point but when the laws become too much to handle we rebel and look for other options. Such as we may hide from God and lie to ourselves because we fear retribution. These laws set us up for failure. If the Israelites had turned to God and said, “We can’t handle this help us to obey!” rather than turning to other god’s; things probably would have been different. Maybe God would have felt pity if they would have expressed their dilemma to Him. Many of the Israelites did not make it to the promise land including Moses frankly put it is written God destroyed them. (Exodus 33:25 & 37)

What exactly is the “Old Covenant? Rules and regulations set down by God through Moses, prophets of old and priestly mediation, to be abided by, all emphasizing purity of life, as a condition of divine favor; including, laws and actions resulting in sanctification and redemption of sin through sacrificing, feasts, blood sprinklings, special building, sacred props, (candles etc.) priestly duties, special clothing, vows ritual cleansing’s, offerings, rules of morality, the list goes on and on.

Burnt offerings, signifying atonement and consecration (Leviticus 1:2-9)
Meat (meal) offerings signify thanksgiving (Leviticus 2:1 and 2)
Sin offerings, signifying reconciliation (Leviticus chapter 4)
Trespass offerings signifying cleansing from guilt, (Leviticus 6:2-7)
Peace offerings signifying fellowship (Leviticus 7:11-15
(Thompson Chain Reference Bible “Outline Studies or Analyses Books of the Bible)

Summed up the Old covenant employs a way to work our way into righteousness or suffer the mortal consequences of disobedience. Work and sacrifice our way to a guilt free life, salvation through works. This concept implies I should have the wherewithal to do the right things and stay in God’s favor. Hypothetically, the only need I would have for God is to understand His laws and do them. I wish I were that good I do not lie to myself and pretend I am capable of obedience without reliance on God. This kind of relationship with God does not sound like it is from the heart, or a Love affair. Rather it exhibits a relationship based on fear, strict discipline, and endless restrictions.

Many of us are used to these legalistic patterns because of our childhood; it is very natural to apply formerly established concepts of behavior to our attempt at spirituality. These old lawful ways remind me of a master and slave relationship. The old covenant requires a life of bondage, repressing free will and natural instincts. With this strictly regulated life, I surely would have been toast.

Galatians 4:21-25
“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond maid, the other by a free woman.
He who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants the one from Mount Sinai, which gendered to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and answereth to Jerusalem which now is and is in bondage with her children.”

So, the Bible says the old covenant is of “flesh and bondage”. Unfortunately if I feel I can work my way to heaven, self-reliantly then I can also judge and condemn myself, self-reliantly. The pendulum swings both ways. I must keep myself as a child of God for peace, sake!

Another pitfall of living for law is my attitude of achievement. “Look what I’ve accomplished, Look what I’ve done for my God!” We have learned that “pride comes before a fall” and self-reliance breeds false pride. As an experienced backslider with Biblical knowledge, I have searched the scriptures hoping to relieve my guilt, but for me while in a guilty backslidden state of mind; all I was able to find were scary and condemning scriptures that deepened my guilt. I can understand how a believer’s guilt could throw him or her into denial and unbelief about Christ and the word. However, for the grace of God, this did not happen to me.

I feared Hell and judgment. What I should have feared was the actual consequences of my backslide into sin. I created my own Hell well enough, with prescription pills and a whole array of other substances and sick relationships. Why fear Satan when I am my own worst enemy? I learned many things wallowing in my back-slidden days. I learned that God’s Grace is a miraculous thing, which endures and is more powerful than my own self-destructive and self-loathing abuse. O learned that He still loves me during my sin in spite of me not loving myself. The Lord did not suddenly stop His Love for me because I returned to my sinful ways that would have been a conditional Love, which is a human concept selfish and weak. Again, there I was stamping fleshly ideals onto my concept of God’s Love. I learned that I ought not to judge others when they struggle with their own besetting sin. I learned humility. I learned tolerance of others shortcomings. I learned that even the child molester and the murderer (I use these examples because most of us are repulsed by those who commit such atrocities.) deserve forgiveness. I learned that under certain conditions all of us humans are capable of most any flavor of sin. Some might say to that theory; I would never commit this or that sin under any circumstance. I say never say never. Some believe that character assassination is as much a sin as assassination of a life. Well I think one is mortal sin the other not, surely its worse to snuff out a life than it is to gossip about one.

What about the mindset; “I’m not under law so I can sin and not worry about any spiritual repercussions.” I suppose this may work for some, if they believe it wholeheartedly. I have found following my own conscience makes me most happy.

Galatians 5:13
“For you brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty; as an opportunity for the flesh, but through Love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this”: You should Love your neighbor as yourself” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”

In the above scripture, Apostle Paul did not say anything about God or Satan, only that you will be consumed by one another if led by the flesh. I used to think sinning against my neighbor was wrong because it hurt them. Rightly so but now I realize how it hurts me. The liberty in Christ spoken of in Galatians 5:13 if used to feed my flesh will consume me first and foremost. I should consider my brother and myself when choosing how to act. This puts obedience to the law in a completely different light, an alternative perspective. Meaning my obedience to Christ protects me. I want to have a good and happy life therefore I am willing to deny myself certain sinful passionate desires that I know may hurt someone I Love. To loving myself, I deny myself that piece of cake because I will be happier and healthier if I am not overweight.

Make no mistake fellow believers, the flesh or self-will is at times very cunning and self-destructive. The addict gets the benefit of seeing his spiritual malady more quickly and clearly because of the degree of consequences that his idolatrous sin brings him. One good reason to believe that works will not save us before or after we accept Christ is if we could save ourselves, we would not need a savior. If we could be saved from death by works, it would mean Christ died in vain, God forbid.

Galatians 2:21
“I do not set aside the grace of God: For if righteousness is through law, then Christ died without cause.” KJII

Apostle Paul with such eloquence implored The Church of Galatia.

Galatians 3:3
“Are you so foolish having begun in the spirit do you now perfect yourself in the flesh?”

During s slide back into the flesh it is more comfortable to apply scriptures like these to other people who we assume are in need of straightening themselves out. We seldom, during a descent into selfishness ask ourselves how scripture applies to us. The struggle with my flesh and breaking scriptural law feed guilt to my soul. Love thy neighbor can be made a grey area. Perhaps I can justify my sins by labeling them “done in Love” What a great loophole! LOOP HOLE, LOOP HOLE! If this is the context of my thinking, I can pretty much label my motives flesh. After all, I have devised many useless techniques for burying guilt!

Definitions of the “flesh” are as follows:
Bodily, temporal, or animal, unregenerate, carnal, fleshly (Strong’s)

The term animal implies living on instincts focused only on what I want and what I need to survive.

Galatians 2:16:
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Thank God, for the new covenant we are saved because we believe! (John 3:16)

James 2:20:
“But wilt thou know 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

James 2:18
“Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” I say, “I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.” (New Living Translation)

In other words If we have true faith, works will follow this is my experience.
Years ago, I given, called to a ministry for women. It was a ministry of Love and forgiveness to strippers, hookers and drug addicted woman. The most common feeling expressed among the ladies that obstructed their walk toward Christ was the belief that they must clean up their act before they could seek God. They believed they were not worthy of forgiveness in their sinful state. This self-condemning belief goes hand in hand with applying self-reliance to spiritually needy areas of our lives.

By the nature of self-reliance we are responsible for stifling our own sinful essence, even the credence that we alone are capable of “being good” without God’s help is a mighty and carnal myth that has brought down kings and vagabonds alike. As the Greeks have Zeus, the Romans have Neptune the Egyptians have Isis I am no such god.
I do not know any but I speculate the people who are truly capable of setting moral boundaries always keeping them who experience no inner struggle of good and evil tragically, have no need for God. If someone of this autonomous nature lost a loved one or contracted a disease they may be pushed to their limit and seek God.

Understanding the theorem of faith and grace is often difficult for us humans because it is a gift. I am not comfortable with receiving gifts because I feel wrong, weak, and penitent. My neuron process in my brain is not familiar with the patterns of receiving an unconditional Loving gift. I am used to strings! I shall apply my own scholarly, well thought out preconceived ideals about gifts thank you! A reward for being unable to live righteously does not compute! All I have to do is accept the gift, remain teachable, and rely wholeheartedly on Christ? Ideals easier said than done! This goes against all my natural instincts of self-sufficiency! Why did God make us weak and fleshly, doomed to a physical death? Good question, The Apostle Paul shows us one reason.

Second Corinthians 12: 9 and 10
“And He said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

What a paradox! Apostle Paul, with certainty of conviction-filled faith stated his pure unwavering reliance on Christ! Such acceptance of God’s will! I venture to guess his faith did not come overnight. We do know Paul had a revelation of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul was blinded for three days then healed by Ananias by the laying on of hands. (Acts Chapter 9) These events gave him a major jump-start where reliance on God is concerned. The crucifying of the flesh is a process of painful self-realizations and fearful yet courageous change. “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the absence of self” Apostle Paul suffered and died for the gospels sake, he walked through the fear in the absence of self.

II Corinthians 11:24-27:
“Of the Jews five times I received forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often in cold and nakedness.”

Those examples are just a few things Paul suffered. He had to be an extraordinary man.
He suffered extreme opportunities to exercise trust in God and survived. We all have our own opportunities to grow in faith, hopefully not to this extreme. We each walk our own walk with our God independent of one another yet connected through Christ.

What perspective can we put all these rules and regulations into that we learn of in the Bible? They are a guide to be aware of law serves us. Ultimately, we should always follow our hearts to decide the right action. A friend of mine once said, “Motives of pure Love supersede boundaries of law.” if the motives and actions are of pure Love, they cannot be wrong. This calls for discernment and truth to God and self.

Titus 1:15
“Unto the pure all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

I believe the Lord cleanses our minds unto clarity so we can distinguish between good and evil, between flesh and spirit, between sanity and insanity, between wholesome or defiled, ultimately between Love and fear.

First Corinthians 10:23 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

First Corinthians 10:31: “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”.

God does not have to abide by man’s law. As we saw in the “Jonah” chapter, God has been known to change his mind even. “God is Love,” it says in First John 4:16, therefore, Love is the greatest guide to our do’s and don’ts. To become pure I need God’s Love to cleanse me from past baggage of guilt, shame, self-condemnations etc. Carrying spiritual baggage clouds my reasoning for decision-making. When I apply the spiritual exercises that we have learned so far, I become capable of judging right from wrong. These spiritual calisthenics invite God’s strength and good sense so I have the ability to crucify the flesh as Paul said and die daily. (Galatians 5:24, 1st Corinthians 15:31) This “crucifying of the flesh” sounds very cryptic. In simpler terms that are more palatable let us define it as “good change”

“CREATIVE CHANGE”

TREES SWAY IN THE BREEZE
BEND DON’T BREAK
BY EFFORTLESS EASE
PROGRESS THEY MAKE

WATER FLOWS OVER LAND
IT SMOOTHS OUT PATHS
RESULTS ARE GRAND

THIS CHANGE COMES
BY CREATIVE FLOW
THEY MERELY ADJUST TO HOW THINGS GO

LORD HELP ME LEARN
TO FLOW WITH GOOD CHANGE…
BE AWARE OF MY THOUGHTS
MOTIVES REARRANGE

NOT STRUGGLE AND FEAR WHEN THINGS DON’T GO RIGHT
NOT FALTER, FAINT OR PUT UP A FIGHT

POSITIVE CHANGE A SONG TO THE BIRD
BLOOM TO A ROSE
TO A MUSTANG THE HERD

I PRAY I RECEIVE CREATIVE GIFT OF CHANGE
WITH HONESTY AND ACCEPTANCE, ON FRUIT TREE IT HANGS

READY TO PICK______________________________________

Recognizing character flaws requires honest self-examination. Letting go of old behavior is usually scary and painful. Some sins of communication such as manipulation, control, playing the victim to get what we want seems harmless enough but when the spirit starts guiding and teaching He will in an orderly fashion reveal to us all our behaviors that are not complete surrender to God’s will. We do not always recognize our subconscious manipulative, fearful actions. The spirit will guide us into all truth if we seek Him, praying daily for truth and God’s will. Granted, we will not be free of all these double-edged flaws (hurting self and others) while on earth, but the goal is to be free of twisted hurtful relationships and be at peace in self Love. I Love speedy deliverance! I have made that clear, who wants to work for good character? However, all things are in God’s time and my experience is; having had the insight to choose Loving actions over fearful actions, has allowed me to take part in this great process of change, from the carnal to the spiritual. Watching ourselves overcome the things that separate us from our God creates temperance, patience, gratitude, freedom, and joy within us.

Revelation 21:7
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he will be my son.”

Galatians 4:3-6
“Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Ab’ba Father.”

“MAYBE SATAN?”


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The Archangel Michael showed respect even to Satan whilst doing battle over the dead body of Moses. Here is the scripture that exemplifies we have no right to disrespect anyone under any circumstance.

St. Jude verse 7 and 8
 “Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil disputed about the body of Moses, yet Michael did not bring against Satan a railing accusation, but instead said, “The Lord rebuke thee.”

Sister Petty my spiritual teacher used to say every good and faithful principle also has a sick and dysfunctional counterfeit.  So I created a list of virtues with their most likely counterfeits.

Faith Vs Fear

LOVE- FEAR
TRUST- Suspicious control manipulation
PEACE -Turmoil, Chaos, Confusion
FAITH -Grasping fearful actions
ACCEPTANCE -Attack
UNDERSTANDING -Accusations
FORGIVENESS -Resentment, Hate, Wrath
GIVING -Taking, Stealing, Covetousness
HOPE -Hopelessness, Jealousy, Envy, unreasonable expectations
OPEN MINDED- Contempt prior to investigation, Closed minded, Judgmental-Understanding
TEACHABLE- Intolerant, Unreachable, Denial
HUMILITY -False Pride, Vainglory, Dishonesty, and denial of personality flaws
GRACE- Judgmental, condemnation, punishing
LONG SUFFERING -Intolerant, impatient
VISION/PURPOSE -Idle time, feelings of uselessness
SHARING FELLOWSHIP -Loneliness, Separateness
FREEDOM -Emotional and Spiritual Bondage
WORSHIP- Idolatry, dependencies
TRUTH -Lies, Denial, Spiritual blindness
PROTECTOR- Murderer
POSITIVE THINKING- Worry/critical thinking
JOY- Misery, Pleasure seeking
SELF DISCIPLINE- Sloth, Gluttony, Lust
ENCOURAGEMENT -Gossip, Criticism
PURITY- Perfectionism

On the healthy side of this list are feelings and actions that compile a wonderfully woven tapestry. If we begin practicing one act of Love, the next Lovely action is easier to accomplish. Love is a choice as is fear. The mother of all-evil is fear. Realizing we have a choice between the two through Christ is a great key to opening the door of solutions for the heart.

Fear breeds every dark feeling and behavior on this list. This in turn breeds bondage. If we could truly see evil as it is at all times, with its consequences; it would no longer be a burden to do what is right. We do not always see the whole truth. If we could see that doing what is right for others and God is most beneficial to us, realistically right behavior would be easier to accomplish by genuinely asking for help from God, as genuinely as we would ask for food while starving.

I remember when growing up, hearing my mother teach me about her understanding of Satan. She spoke as if he were a boogieman who could jump out of nowhere and possess my mind and body. She taught me a Satan to be feared. Again, in church as a baby Christian, I remember the people’s prayers of casting out Satan and binding him up so he cannot get me. In addition I read “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (first Peter 5:8) and he is! Except! When Satan descended upon Jobs good life Job did not succumb to evil! It is written in the conversation between God and the Devil just what God would allow Satan to do where Job was concerned. In this instance, God forbad Satan to take Job’s life (Job 2:6) but he did allow Satan to take the lives of his sons and daughters. (Job 1:19) This not only shows some of the power Satan has but it also raises the question; what are Satan’s limitations? Are they different for different people? I believe, as crazy as it sounds, Satan is ultimately in God’s will of course I know that is a lot to palate. This topic poses many questions in my mind that have unavailable answers.

Romans 8:28 says
“But we know that all things work together for good to them that Love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

Satan was unable to overcome Job during his plight. Jobs wife even said “curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) because of the tragedy, she watched Job endure. Job still had a choice, seemingly near death and suffering with the sickness Satan had smote him with, he was still able to choose either good or evil. (Job 2:7) His faith in God and trust endured.

Here are some educated and biblical descriptions of the devil and his helpers.

The Devil- The accuser, Prince of demons, Author of evil.

Revelation 12:10
“For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Demons- Malignant enemy of God and Messiah that inflict diseases at Satan’s bidding

(Definitions from Thayer, Greek, English lexicon of the New Testament).

Satan had to ask God’s express permission to take action against Job. I hope I am not as significant to Satan as Job was. Therefore I doubt God has given this express permission to Satan regarding my life. I believe Satan’s best intent for me (given my addictive history) would be that I self-destruct. Consider also that Jesus had not yet appeared on the scene during Jobs plight with His extra applications of the Holy Spirit. (I will talk more about that in the “Gifts” Chapter) However, grace, mercy, and forgiveness have been exemplified in the Old Covenant as well as the New. Moreover, Jesus has overcome evil by good; so must I.

In First Timothy 3:7 its suggested that if I speak evil of those not so well off as me, it could cause a boomerang effect resulting in my own evil bondage, a snare per say.
This is congruent with taming the tongue and reaping what we sew. (Karma)

Snare- Allurements to sin by which the devil holds one bound. (Thayer Lexicon)

First Timothy 3:7
“Moreover he must have good report of them which are without lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”

Let me stop our study right here and interject some opinion. We who have read the book of Acts and the gospels know there is a lot of casting out of demons going on. Again, I believe this Bible is the anointed, inspired word of God, written by man. (I suppose most of us have seen the exorcist) I believe there are demons, fallen angels, satanic insanity, satanic diseases, satanic demon possession, and demonic influence. I do not fear Satan or his demons. My God tells me not to and that God or [Love] will help me not fear these dark powers.

Mathew 10:28
“Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.”

First John 4:18 “Perfect Love casts out all fear.”

There is much unknown about the dark side. I believe there is, in modern day, such a thing as an exorcism or a casting out. The casting out can naturally happen when receiving Christ. It can happen in a Catholic priest kind of way. This topic is not black and white. To be closed-minded is blindness. Sometimes merely resisting the devil or temptation causes evil to flee. (James 4:7) In my understanding, if God is Love then Satan is spiritual fear and everything under that heading.

Once I took a sick friend to a state mental facility. While encountering several patients in this not so plush place, it interested me to find; most of the patients I encountered where religiously obsessed with God and Satan. A friend that works in one such facility told me that most were obsessed with sex or religion in one facet or another. What are the implications here? I will let you draw your own conclusions. Do they really see and hear demons? Why not?

God also teaches me to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. (Mt.10:16)
So I am compelled to write about protection against this evil force to afford us a greater understanding of evils wiles. We Christians seem to swing from one extreme to the other on this matter. Meaning: either we have an over awareness and preoccupation with Satan or an aloof intolerance about the topic as useful all together. Before presenting the biblical scriptures of surviving satanic influence and attack, I will say this about my own experience. Once I became aware that my flesh is weak, and aware of dark influence, I concluded I must feed myself spiritual nourishment daily, or “daily bread” to survive. As Jesus spoke in that most famous prayer, just as my body needs nourishment daily to survive, my spirit needs fed daily. This “bread” comes by prayer, meditation, worship, study, confession, repentance, fellowship, and lots of honesty toward God, myself and others and a vision of the hope of salvation.

Feeding my soul by spiritual exercise will keep me healthy and strong to be alert and aware of the whiles of the devil. Of my two Natures’ Love or fear the one I feed most will be strongest! If I revel in debauchery of all sorts most days then go to church one hour a week I am definitely feeding the wrong nature and will grow toward [in] fear. If we wish to grow toward God rather than away from Him, we must feed our spirit good things. These things do not have to be mundane and should not be. We can watch the word on TV if we choose our shows wisely. There are wholesome, good entertaining movies that feed our good self. We can write and journal to grow and learn about ourselves. Uplifting fellowship is high on the list of feeding my spirit. Nature’s beauty is a great feeding ground for our spirit by taking in God’s wonderful creation of springs, rivers and valleys, oceans, flowers, trees, hills, sparkling sunlit days and awesome, star struck moonlit nights. These settings can bring awe and gratitude for our creator while also holding pleasure and peace for us. Music is one of my favorite gifts of pleasurable spiritual food. Again, we can choose for ourselves wisely, I have found some music can stir me toward praise and gratitude for God and I do not mean mundane hymns. The actions that save me from my own lower nature (the flesh) also save me from satanic powers.

In Ephesians 6:10-18 are the famous words of Apostle Paul that is our supernatural defense against Satan and his servants:

THE ARMOUR OF GOD


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 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”

Let’s examine this “accuser of the brethren” concept.

Revelation 12:10

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down."

“Brethren” includes me, inasmuch as I fellowship with believers in Christ and they are my brothers. I am also the brethren of Christ. How does Satan accuse me? Does Satan stand before God and belittle humanity? Yes, but also at times my own brethren play the “accuser”, to my face or behind my back. The question to ask myself is do I have the unchecked guilt that feeds poison to my soul and allows their accusations to trigger a negative reaction from me? Satan can only play on my mind through my weakness or allurements to sin. If my cycle of guilt goes unchecked, you can bet I will soon be playing the accuser myself. This satanic soul sickness does not work on me if I am guilt free.

When guilt-free I am as a duck to water, all accusations slide right off my back, and I am unaffected spiritually. I am not saying that accusations are not hurtful sometimes; I am addressing the spiritual effects. How can I avoid this soul sucking sickness from the accuser? By the first armor: TRUTH! I use it to my advantage, confessing and repenting of whatever sin is unchecked then I am safe. (Refer back to the chapter on truth for further understanding of this belt of armor.)

The Breastplate becomes accessible by accepting Christ as our Savior in prayer. I believe each soul must do this each in their own way straight from their heart. Our righteousness is of Christ through the blood he shed. Without Christ, the armor of God is non-existent. We begin to put this part of our armor into action by receiving Christ as our savior and choosing baptism. We are then washed clean spiritually. This is the essence of the gospel. I cannot eternally save you or myself and my own righteousness IS “as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) Human abilities will never be good enough to get us to our supreme splendor. I am reliant on Christ, Him I choose to trust and depend on. The Christ in me that I have received is righteous, this is my breastplate, and it covers my heart that would otherwise be vulnerable to the dark side. It allows me to approach God through Christ under any circumstance.

It is written in The Bible that we are all sold under sin or destined to sin because we are human.

Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

The law of sin means that by nature we shall in one way or another all sin even if only in our heart and mind.

Matthew 5:28 “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”.

Romans 7:23 “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Romans 7:25 “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I, myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Where there is sin there is guilt though some do not always recognize it. Will I always feel guilt? Maybe, how do I allow my heart to reach God when the essence of guilt looms between He and me?
There is a place in my spirit where I do feel my perpetual shame deriving from guilt nevertheless, I present my heart before my God. A strong place within in me cries out, “I will not tolerate separation from my creator by hiding and protecting parts of my soul and being that I am ashamed of in hopes that I can then win God’s acceptance. Embracing the attitude of desperation toward God in spite of my apprehension awards me complete acceptance of “me” and of how God created me. Man seldom understands or sees this place in his spirit though it is there… Find it and you will find balance and a connection with God that cannot be intimidated by darkness of any kind even the darkness within ourselves.

My shame strives to separate me from humanity and God!

First John 1:8
“If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

In Hebrews 2:14 it is written that Jesus destroyed the devil.

Hebrews 2:14

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

What does that mean? I don’t get it! Is Satan dead or not? Herein lies a mystery; can it be both that Satan is dead and alive? Yes! If he were dead to all people there would be no evil in the world, would there? With the solutions Christ has given us by the armour of God, Satan can be dead to us, quite literally dead! Should Satan’s relationship with other people burden us? What matters is that he is dead to me. Does this idea sound selfish or does it sound liberating? I am not saying that we shouldn’t have hope or compassion for those burdened down by their Satan. I am saying we cannot walk our brethren’s spiritual walk for them, nor can we set our loved one’s boundaries for them. I am sorry, it is quite impossible. If we are trying to do just that, we are creating our own misery. I will now assert the proclivity to opine that if not for consenting humans, Satan would have no enduring power whatsoever.

BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS


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The breastplate of righteousness allows us the boldness to approach the throne of God despite our sinful status. Therefore, we may be empowered to do His work more effectively. The pieces of armor work together as one strong defense against Satan.

Hebrews 10:19-22

And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For, our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

There is yet another powerful benefit of the breastplate of righteousness. The spiritual stronghold for good that the breastplate provides is for our own authority. It allows us the God given right to share our testimony as well as respond to our God given calling to the best of our ability. None of us are perfect and we should not expect ourselves to be. If we all must be perfect to walk in our calling, then there would be no one to carry the message of hope or Love. Do not make the mistake of neglecting your call because you feel you have not cleaned yourself up enough to do God’s work. As long as we are truthful and Loving while carrying out God’s work we are helping others and ourselves.

THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE


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Ephesians 6:13-15

Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

FIND EASIER TO UNDERSTAND DEFINITION

Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament defines the preparation of the gospel of peace as follows: “Readiness of mind with the promptitude and alacrity (eager, willing) which the gospel produces.”

Revelations 12:11

“They overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

First, I will address the second part of Revelations 12:11. Earth is not my spirit /soul’s home,

Songwriter Jackson Brown wrote the following:
“It’s a hotel at best.
You’re here as a guest.
Better, make yourself at home
while you’re waiting for the rest”.
First Corinthians 15:50

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (Meaning it is our incorrupt Spirit that inherits the kingdom of God)

I do not believe Revelations 12:11 is saying that we should despise what we have been given on earth nor that we should be restless irritable and unhappy all the days of our lives as human beings. There is a lot to enjoy here as human. I am suggesting to you that there abides a recurring feeling of separation from God, in the essence of every Christ believing mortal. When we read, “they loved not their lives unto the death.” it does not have to make us squirm with misunderstanding. The statement implies that we never will have the 100% feeling of completeness and comfort while on earth when our Father’s abode is where we want to be. We are not there yet.

“The gospel of peace”, that we are eager and prepared to share must be exclusive to us exemplifying our own experience with Christ. Our “testimony” (Rev. 12:11) should be from our hearts. Otherwise, it is not the pure and unadulterated spiritual weapon by which we overcome evil.”

This defense is wielded by sharing in the context of “I”. Meaning I am giving my testimony about what God has done for me rather than telling someone what he or she should do. It is not the gospel of peace if it is spoken in the context of “you” or we. I stand firm in this belief. Why is it not a gospel of peace if it is being wielded as instructions? Because the miracle has happened in me, I am the gospels fruition. We hope the skeptic and unbelieving will be saved. Preaching feeds our spirit but it is not the magic armour of God which is the preparation of the gospel of peace. The magic is in our personal testimony, which is the protecting armour of the gospel of peace.

How can I give something away that is not mine? Instructions, rules, and regulations are not the gospel of peace. The gospel of peace is my testimony of how The Lord brought me out of a living Hell to a joyous fruitful and sometimes difficult life. It is about the changes for good He has brought me. It is about belief in the promise of salvation that He has put in my heart. By my spiritual experience, I am prepared to share the gospel.

The icing on the cake is that this heartfelt sharing of Love is most effective for bringing others to Christ. At all costs, we should recoil from being the devil’s advocate, which would be coming across accusatory to God’s children while sharing the gift of salvation! It is written that Satan is the accuser of the brethren.
Revelation 12:9 & 10

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”

Furthermore, brethren the gospel of the good news of peace protects us by the peace of mind that believing in our own salvation produces. Furthermore, trusting God produces peace of mind, which in turn protects us.

Philippians 4:6 and 7

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
NKJ

When we are at peace within, we rarely feel the need to verbally defend ourselves or argue. When we are at peace, we do not feel the need to attack or hurt anyone. Therefore, peace of mind protects us from all kinds of spiritual snares. Peace of mind is one of the most powerful defenses we have ironically without taking a defensive action.

“THE SHIELD OF FAITH”


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Ephesians 6:16

“Above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

What is faith? Following are the Webster’s definition and a biblical description:

Faith- confidence, belief, to trust, an unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence.

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.

Faith and trust are built when we walk through challenging situations with hope and prayers that God will make things right. This will allow us finally to experience God’s pristine outcome. A God breathed outcome is not always the one we have envisioned. Again, I would prefer a quick deposit of faith by the magic Holy Ghost but that is not usually, how faith is increased. To have our faith fortified we must hold on to trust in God during bleak and emotionally taxing situations. HOLD ON! Getting to the other side of hurtful, tragic, traumatic situations builds trust in God if we guide our heart and mind toward hope.

Rom.12:3

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

What we do with that faith is our choice. We can exercise and build it or repress and deny it. Faith, use it or lose it. How faith is a shield from this dark oppressive power named Satan? Active faith protects me from fearful reactions (hurting others or myself). It tells me I do not have to try to control every situation that makes me uncomfortable. It allows me to let go and let God. It enables me to accept the things, situations, and people that I cannot fix anyway.

During perplexing experiences if I do not exert a little trust in God and put things in His hands I end up with a miserable outcome or a fruition of fear.

Psalms 46:10

“Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Exerting trust and hope by maintaining Loving behavior during times of frustration strengthens my inner being and rockets me toward a dimension of higher knowledge called spirituality.

However trusting God is not easy. It takes prayerful reliance on Jesus. The book of Hebrews’ description of faith includes the “substance of things hoped for.” Hope is a part of faith. Hope is a hard nut to crack because of fear of the unknown. My thoughts can be both hopeful and doubtful at the same time. Some needs I can easily believe will be met, while others are hard to envision. I do believe however, that an unwavering faith can move mountains. Quite literally, pure faith is miraculous.

I surmise that when Abraham moved to sacrifice his only, long hoped for son Isaac, he believed with all his heart that his son would be brought back to life by God. (Heb.11:17) When we exercise faith, we are putting our future in God’s hands where it belongs. When we experience good results, we marvel at the way our God accomplished things for us. This produces joy, gratitude, and true happiness in our lives. This is the “evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1 talks about.

James 2:22

“You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”

We must relinquish the fearful illusion that we need to control others or we will lose.

We must abandon the thinking that; we need to map out others boundaries of behavior and enforce penalty if they veer from the path we have chosen for them. This belief is nothing short of playing God; it piles up all manner of burden on our shoulders until we break. If we want faith to complete itself in us, we must realize our own equality with our fellows no matter what their station in life or ours may be. If I envision myself as superior to others, I naturally will also perceive that some others are superior to me.

Keeping my self-actuality of being a child of God relieves the burdensome feelings that accompany playing God. Yes, many know more and many know less; many fall hard as others slowly regress, many hate, many Love but one thing certain holds true for us all: “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14) We shall all stand-alone before God, and we are interconnected in Christ. Remember the golden rule of Love, would I want the action done to me that I want to do to others? If not, lift up the shield of faith, be still, and pray.

“THE HELMET OF SALVATION”


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1st Thessalonians 5:8
“But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”

Ephesians 6:17
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
What might this be and how does it protect me? The helmet is set securely on my head, immovable. It is the unwavering belief that my name is written in the lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27) The essence of the Helmet is the comforting knowledge that I will be transformed at the coming of Christ or on that fateful day of my death. Moreover, that I will receive a much broader space for my spirit to dwell after this body gives out. This armor is the helmet of immovable hope of new life and belief that Jesus died so that I may live. The helmet is the embodiment of Love for the heartfelt ideas of what the next life holds.

Do I hope and dream of a new earth where the wolf and the lamb lie together in peace as written of in Isaiah 11:6? Do I relish the thought that no pain, death, sorrow, or tears await me in eternity as exemplified in Revelation 21:4? Perhaps I would prefer to be whisked off to the third heaven as is written of in 2Corinthians 12:2 to dwell by the holiest places. Places where there is no need for sunlight because the illumination of God Himself shines so bright. The third heaven where angels and “spirits of just men made perfect” flourish (Hebrews 12:23 Rev.22:5). Maybe my dream of salvation is to be translated (spiritually transformed) as Enoch and Elijah were; not having to experience death, being simply taken up.

Hebrews 11:5

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”

Hence, my lifeless body never to be discovered by friends and loved ones. (Hebrews 11:5 & II Kings 2:11) Maybe I just hope for a good long, well deserved spiritual rest until the resurrection of Christ. (First Thessalonians 4:14-16)

Whatever your hope for eternity, I believe much of the next life will be designed by this life, by our own faith and beliefs, our own Love and hopes. I believe we hold much more impact on our next reality than we give ourselves allowance for. These matters are not black and white, as some prefer. I am certain the possibilities are as endless as God’s Love for us.

The Lord spiritually transformed these men; Enoch and Elijah, before Christ was even crucified. God does not have to play by our boxed in rules. These biblical writings are but a touchstone of God’s realities. Limiting the possibilities within God’s realm of power reflects our own natural, perceptual limitations due to being born within the confines of space and time. It is by natural perspective not spiritual awareness that some say, “The afterlife can only happen one way”. Nevertheless, it is better to hope for Christ’s eternity in a boxed in limited way than not at all! I believe salvation is here for the free Christian and the boxed in Christian alike. Redemption from death does not depend on doctrinal idiosyncrasies.

How does all this belief in salvation protect us against the wiles of Satan? When we have a deep belief in our salvation, it changes our entire perspective on life. With the helmet of salvation firmly placed on our head, we are no longer living only for this life.

We now have a different spirit about our actions that reflect eternity. In other words, our thinking disseminates from a much broader viewpoint, the God consciousness is without limitation, and therefore the salvation belief vastly expands our thinking process in the direction of goodness and spiritual safety.

This phenomenon may be compared to a person spending his entire life inside the house, and then suddenly one day he steps outside, seeing the ocean, the sky, and the land. His perceptions and actions will be greatly influenced by this experience. Stated plainly, his life will change dramatically from walking outside the house. Never again will he think with such a limited perspective. Without the hope of salvation, there would be little reason in my mind to live for anything more than worldly pleasure.

Hence, my actions change because of my psychic reference and my faith in an afterlife, which is the protecting helmet of salvation.
Proverbs 9:20 (research)

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT

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Ephesians 6:17

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;”

II Corinthians 10:4

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” New International Version

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds.”

Up until this point, our pieces of armor have been protective clothing that is worn. Now we will consider the “sword of the spirit”. A sword is a weapon different from the other armour. Have we here a weapon that actually wages war against Satan and his slippery demons? Have we a tool of war that will destroy our enemy? How do we use this sharp tool; this double-edged weapon of words? Which words do we use and how will they effectively cut the devil to the quick?

Is the word of God simply read or heard, then digested as daily spiritual bread so we may overcome Satan and his spawn? When we consume it, does it protect us like a magic potion of Love that surrounds us with angelic fighters battling night and day for our survival? Perhaps after I digest these words I can spew them out at the invisible Satan and bind him. I could spout choice words out at those I perceive as wicked to cut them to the quick showing no empathy for their possible humiliation and pain.
Would this be defined as use of the sacred sword?

I understand all these scenarios and negate none of them. However, the last scenario leaves much room for error because it involves passing judgment on my fellow humans. When I say error I mean such a judgment action can very likely go against the wholesome and Loving principles God has set down in His word. Personally, I do not pray the word “at” anybody face to face or spout it off as a retribution for someone’s weak actions. I will pray with others providing I have their express permission or request. I have found a more principled way to use the sword of God.

Hebrews 4:12
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hosea 4:6
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Proverbs 15:14
“The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.”

Proverbs 11:9

“With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape.”

Proverbs 3:20
“By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.”

There is no denying the benefit of knowledge on any subject nor should we negate the possible damage of hurtful words. I have heard the word of God used to hurt others, which is contrary to the principles of God’s Loving word.

Knowledge saves my life in many situations. In war, in driving, walking down the street, using household products, learning a trade, feeding myself, the list goes on and on. Are things any different where spiritual knowledge is concerned? The word of God is knowledge, the wise apply this knowledge to themselves and benefit from it. When the word goes deep down into our hearts it serves us.

By seeking my own spiritual well-being, and applying these principals or words from God to my life, I am now able to serve others. The beginning of wisdom is to work toward feeling better by learning to follow our own conscience. Then as we begin to feel peace and acceptance of our own human condition, we can accept others as less than perfect. By our self-Love, we are more capable of giving to others the grace that was and is bestowed upon us.

Why is the word a double-edged sword? The sword has two edges cutting forward and back, it has two “Authorities”. The two powers of the sword signify a two-fold battle. The first battle is against my own carnal nature and the second battle is for the salvation of others. Meaning, I use the principals of the sword to witness, pray, and be a godly example for others, which with God’s’ power will aid in their salvation.

Before entering in battle the warrior exercises and practices with his sword by learning to apply God’s word in his own life. His practice results in powerful thrust and precision on the field of battle. He does not learn to handle his sword and then stand comfortably on the field of destruction screaming his knowledge of the sword at his enemies. He picks it up and uses it. Action is how he wins in battle. He sweats using that which he has so painfully learned through experience. He has been injured on occasion during battle, yet through these injuries, he has become a stronger more confident master of efficient warfare. He fears, yet fights courageously for his own life. Yes, the warrior protects and fights for others but the need to survive the battle himself is what wrought him the victory and kept him alive. Self-preservation was the key motivator by which he committed selfless acts. His survival instinct was a prerequisite that enabled him to fight for others. To walk away from the battle feeling the victory with his own health and welfare intact was his goal. He had become a living example of Godly character.

The bottom line is to hopefully put the sword of the Spirit, the word into action into our own lives. However, teaching the word to the unwilling and rebellious can only be imparted by example. Applying the word in your own life is the way the sword is used to its fullest benefit. I am saying that living by the principles of righteousness is your valiant sword. Being a doer of the word protects you with precision and power and testifies that you can teach spiritual swordsmanship to hungry willing subjects who may grasp it. The rebellious unbeliever must be taught in a way they can accept and respect, which is by example. Trying to impart guilt trips on sinners is no more than applying iniquitous principles to spiritual matters. It does not work.

James 1:22
“Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”.

1st Corinthians 15:31

“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

Romans 8:13

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”

I am talking about the war we must wage against ourselves. We must fight our flesh to put good, biblical principles into action in our lives. What is temptation if not a war against a part of ourselves? The pain of self-appraisal, self-examination, and the grief during change for the better is all a part of our duality. The injury to our “flesh” or ego while resisting temptation is part of overcoming evil. In our effort to maintain Godliness and put Love first in our lives we must not be defeated even though we may fail temporarily. We do not stay down by beating ourselves up for a failure. We realize we are fallible, doing our best and so we get back up and start afresh on our righteous path as many times as it takes. This is our first true battle. This is our primary need for the sword of the spirit, just as the warrior on the field of blood we must fight, and put our higher nature first to win. We must overcome the enemy within. The Lord has provided us with the armor to overcome.

My fight is not against those who may tempt me; what is temptation if not a war waged within myself? My battle is not against those that may not believe in God as I do, nor is it to argue about the wages of sin or religious doctrines of men. My conquest in life is to learn how NOT to fight others. My battle is to overcome my selfish will to be in control of all within and without. Spiritual knowledge is vital to my being but there is one thing much more important and that is to know the Love of Christ first hand.

Ephesians 3:19

“And to know the Love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

First Corinthians 13:8-10

“Charity never faileth but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”

One day when we pass-away our knowledge will no longer apply because our reality will change drastically. Just as the law of gravity holds fast at all times on our Earth the law of gravity does not apply in outer space. We will be Spirit and Spirit law is not human law. Nevertheless the Love of God is changeless this is what first Corinthians 13:8-10 means to me. A relationship with Christ comes by seeking Christ just as earnestly as we would seek out a beautiful lover whom we desire with our heart.

Seek Christ in your own way and He shall reveal Himself to you. Look outside yourself and seek a connection, ask God for a confirmation that Christ hears your prayers and cares. I do not speak for Christ! However, I have seen it over and over again people that seek do find. Reach out in prayer, “ask largely of The Lord” my spiritual teacher used to say.
Isaiah 7:22

“Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.”
Summing up the entire topic of defense against Satan it comes down to choice. We choose whom we will serve God or Satan, evil or good. The only power Satan has against us is the power we give him. Seems to me it is God’s will that we experience the pains common to humanity, otherwise it would not be a human experience.

Why give Satan the glory for every tragic event? Distresses naturally occur on God’s green earth. Life, death and everything in between under the sun were created by God.

Isaiah 45:7

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”

We are being prepared for a different type of existence, that of “Spirit”. Our focus should be on the good lessons we must learn to complete our human journey. Though I fully understand swimming in negativity and the distraction, it provides. The following scriptures are very comforting where fear of evil is concerned.

Romans 8:35-8:38
“Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the Love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I Love that scripture!

CIRCUMFERENCE OF PRAYER

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This is an in depth chapter about different types of prayer. Not everyone will relate to or have need of every kind of prayer written of in this chapter. Keeping prayer simple is a good thing. On the other hand some of us have what I call “the gift of prayer” a calling of God, a depth of spirit for serving intercessory, deliverance and warfare prayers. Some have the gift of higher language (tongues) to exercise in their prayers.

I must interject; I am weary of hearing inexperienced preachers, ministers, and teachers try to teach accurately a thing which they have never learned or even heard first-hand. These teachers balk at, disbelieve, and even condemn-as-evil the precious and anointed gift of praying in tongues. Tongues are a higher and much more concise prayer language.

PRAYERS OF SUPPLICATION


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Supplication- Kneel down, pray to fold double up. To ask for humbly, earnestly, as by prayer.

As I have written in prior chapters, the best prayer is the honest, heartfelt prayer.

Being honest in prayer and praying for what we need rather than what we think God wants to hear is very effective.

Philippians 4:6&7
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
NKJ

What about this prayer request thing? Everybody who requests something through prayer knows prayers are not always answered the way we want them to be especially when specifics are involved. There is that pesky “free will” thing that applies when praying for others that the power of prayer will not nullify. Meaning when we are praying for people to change we must remember God will not snatch back anybody’s free-will including the free-will of the guy we want God so desperately to change. Then there are those irritating “life lessons” that we usually need to learn. Therefore, in the midst of a fervent request to God it dawns on us that what we are going through may be part of our spiritual growth orchestrated by God Himself… as we desperately beg Him to fix the perplexing situation. Unfavorable circumstances in our lives are usually geared for our own emotional and spiritual growth and the sooner we learn and accept the lesson the sooner the problem goes away. Many times the lesson is merely learning to let go, live and let live (or die). My mother has a saying: “Each person has the right to reach their own level of incompetence.” Oh Mom how true that is, we do well to stand by and let the whirling dervishes (drama queens and kings) spin.

Assuming that I know just what someone else should be doing is wrong. Checking my motives is the first and most important rule of prayer. Nine times out of ten if we are praying to change someone else, our request is rooted in selfishness. Prayers such as, “Lord please make John Doe behave the way I want him to!” If I stay on top of my own spiritual exercises and work on my own behavior, everything else will work itself out one way or another.

Mathew 6:33
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

As one of my well-respected counselor’s says “Allow and respect each individuals spiritual process toward personal growth and emotional maturity.” OK, so how about if we pray like this; “Lord, please heal so-and-so!” Well it so happens that “so-and-so” is 90 years old and it’s his time to meet God. Or how about a prayer such as this, “Lord please chastise, and rebuke Satan’s spawn that is living next door. He continuously has wild parties and commits moral sin!” Unbeknownst to us the person we have labeled “evil” has been through a lot of trauma and is doing his best to numb the intense emotional pain he feels on a daily basis so he won’t commit suicide. Chances are if we had gone through what he has, we would be ten times more dysfunctional than he is. I should not label anyone evil this is subtle harsh judgment. I am not justifying hurtful or sinful behaviors. It is prudent to pray thy will be done in someone’s life, and Lord please give me understanding of him or her if I am angry with someone. It is always better to understand than to be understood. Understanding shows Love and tolerance, which are characteristic of Christ.

Mathew 7:5
“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam from thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of your brothers eye.”

Beware of subtle judgments that war against the soul. If I stick to the true spiritual blessings for others in prayer such as Love, faith, hope, wisdom and all the blessings of heaven I am praying rightly. [Giving] type prayers rather than [taking-away] something from a person type prayers are an act of Love. After all “it is better to give than receive.” even where prayer is concerned. The word reads “Bless and curse not.” (Romans 12:14)
Some feel it is all together wrong to pray requests for ourselves; I do not lean to such extremes though I do respect other people’s beliefs in that arena. The scripture expresses that it IS okay to pray for ourselves, balancing it with giving prayers for others.

James 4:2 and 3
“You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Our quest should be to learn to ask God for spiritually valuable things. I believe it is a good thing to request spiritual blessings for ourselves. On the other hand, I do appreciate those that have an unwavering faith and belief that God will supply all their monetary needs. So they never ask for anything for themselves because their faith is so strong in that area. Neither of these ideals: asking or not asking are wrong or a contradiction, but rather it is a choice we make according to our needs. Our prayers should develop and change as we mature as believers and grow toward God. Personally, I have not grown out of asking my God for help and doubt I ever will. Though often times God’s peace enables me to be still and trust Him. “Be still and know that I am God” Psalms 46:10.

LAMENTATION OF PRAYER



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Lament: mourning, wailing, echoic based. To feel deep sorrow or express it as by weeping or wailing. Mourn, grieve.

This type of prayer is sacred though it does not feel like it at the time. Lamentation consists of expressing to God deep emotional and spiritual sorrow, fear, grief, pain, or regret. These deep feelings cannot be uttered in words. These deep-feeling induced prayers are articulated by guttural sounds of moaning, screams, or wailing whatever our spirit needs to express. Theses regurgitations expel repressed, secret feelings that can cause depression, misery, anger even rage if left unexpressed. We can lament for others in prayer as well by feelings of deep care and fear for them or even by catching or picking up the deep pain in others. Sometimes we do not know why we are in need of such painful expressions or what the feelings pertain to nevertheless, lamenting yields emotional and spiritual healing whether we are interceding for others or processing our own buried feelings.

Romans 8:26
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (New International Version)

Romans 8:22 & 23
“For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”

Yes, prayer of lamentation is painful and I am comfortable to do it in the presence of God alone. That is probably no wonder, within my own culture and in many cultures, a display of deep emotion is unacceptable and considered hysterical. I have been to funerals where woman are hauled off and hidden if they cry too loud even for the death of their own child. We have a whole array of prescription drugs to stop the healthy emotional processes that some consider wrong even shameful. The grieving and traumatized are sedated and oppressed so those around them may feel more comfortable. How did our country get so deep into the tradition of emotional and spiritual constipation? I do not claim to know the reason why. “Keep a stiff upper lip!” “Men are not supposed to cry.” “Crying is a sign of weakness if you cry you’re a baby!” and the oppressive clichés rally on.

I have no idea how many have reached the depths of this blessed prayer of lamentation. I think if I were ever seen while lamenting in prayer some folks might haul me off to the psyche-ward concluding surly I am beside myself in psychosis. Nevertheless, whether it be because of recent trauma, unresolved emotional issues, or prayers for others I regard this prayer as a true blessing because when the need falls upon me I am moved to seek God and afterward I am refreshed, renewed, and blessed with joy and a fresh connection to God. To feel my deep joy and gratitude I must feel my deep pain and physical separation from God. This body is not my eternal home not by any stretch.

2nd Corinthians 5:8
“We are confident I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
When a heavy burdensome feeling comes upon me, I sometimes do not realize it is a call for prayer; I may distract myself or blame people and situations for the way I feel. Sometimes I do not want to apply the solution to the way I feel which is prayer. Lamenting hurts! I question; why am I being led to pray, what does the burdensome feeling pertain to? Am I in need of intense prayer myself because of sin or impending disaster or is it for someone else? By the time, I have prayed things through (groans and all) these questions will usually have been answered. Furthermore, if not it will not bother me because of my new and improved connection to God.

These kinds of burdens are not easy. Sometimes God’s gifts are painful and trying. I have had times when I have tried everything I can think of to shake the feeling of spiritual burden. I do not feel like praying and I can be stubborn. When my futile attempts at serenity do not work, finally I give up and say to God “OK, I’m not leaving my prayer closet until I feel better, until I get a breakthrough! I feel I have no choice except to pray, and of course, this works out well for me in the end. In the words of Jesus in Saint John Chapter 16, verses twenty and twenty-one.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”

Spiritual pain is real; I believe that if the Lord allows deep sorrow, He also provides directions of the best way to deal with it. I have had days on end in continual travail and lamentation followed by God’s wonderful joy. Tears alone are not sufficient to express these deep spiritual burdens; they come from deep within our being, deep within our bowels.

I have read in Psalms that King David lamented and groaned, and many other biblical characters did for one reason or another rent (ripped) their clothing, laid in ashes, lamented, groaned, fasted and grieved in prayer until victory came. I personally have only seen two brave souls who were able to pray this way in the presence of others. I thank God for them they helped me realize it is not wrong to feel that way and I am not alone. Bless you Jody Stevens for your fearless lamentation and travail that so shockingly taught me I am not alone. The second was a lady in church who lie on the floor in travail in front of the entire congregation. The preacher did her justice by explaining to us all what was happening to her. And that she was allowing the Spirit to work in her a healing. The girl was a victim of child abuse.

Sometimes feeling and expressing the pain of childhood or adult trauma is all we really need to do to heal emotionally and overcome the anxiety of trauma. What is the best technique for healing childhood trauma according to the logical and educated adult mind? Will we heal by expressing our deep pain like a self-conscious adult, controlled, holding back tears and screams keeping the true expression and feelings quenched? Or would we benefit from expressing our feelings as a hurt child would express sudden tragic feelings of betrayal and abuse?

Our hearts need to be heard, this type of prayer and processing comes straight from the heart. Our hearts expression should not be altered or stifled because of modern day status-quos. We should, by all means have a safe place away from those who may misunderstand our painful and lamenting prayer.

Yes, lamentation of prayer accommodates many needs. Such as emotional healing, physical healing, spiritual strengthening, deliverance from oppression, and relief from the pain of separation from God, coping with loss any profound need can be lamented if the Spirit leads.

Ecclesiastes 7:3 and 4
“Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” (Mirth means fun)

PRAYER OF BATTLE, WARFARE


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Oftentimes the most passionate warfare prayer is carried out by using the gift of tongues. I am not saying this to demean the prayers of those who do not pray in tongues. I absolutely do not subscribe to the idea that we have to pray in an unknown language to wage spiritual warfare.    There are many dark forces to pray against in English, such as deception, spiritual blindness, disease, oppression, obsession, lust, hate, jealousy, greed and the list goes on.  Prayer in any language against dark spiritual forces is the essence of warfare prayer.

Protection prayers are also warfare prayers.  Tongues is a higher language but not necessarily a more powerful prayer. Remember,

“The effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

“The gift of tongues” is called a Holy Gift because it is just that, a gift. Tongues are not my salvation contrary to the traditional beliefs of some Pentecostals. I do not want to minimize the powerful gift.  Tongues are a mighty tool of Good in the hands of mortal man. We will talk more about this gift in “The Spiritual Gifts” chapter.

I am quite certain we as believers have the power when led by the Spirit to call out battling and ministering angels either in English or in an unknown language. (Rev.12:7) In the very words of Jesus:

Saint John 14:12
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. If you Love Me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth.”
With the help of The Holy Spirit and God’s angels, I also believe that we have the power by prayer to rebuke and bind the actions of satanic powers. (Ephesians 6:13 & 17) However, do we really understand what that means? These angelic battles of good versus evil are fought in a realm unseen to the natural eye. Strong spiritual circumstances may change due to our warring prayer yet remain unseen by us.
Jude 1:9
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”
Mathew 18:10
“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”
Matthew 18:10 speaks of the children having their own angels.

Rev. 12:7
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels”,

Warfare prayer is very effective but we do not normally get visible instant results as with traditional exorcisms. I have not attended or participated in any formal hands on exorcisms. I believe they happen and have heard witness of them. I mention exorcism because that too is a spiritual battle waged right here in our realm.

We do not usually see with our eyes the result of battle prayer because we do not know just how our fervent command will manifest. God’s will is what we should aim for. He tends to make things happen a little different than we picture in our minds. Don’t forget the law of free will when praying for others. The Lord will not turn the loved one we pray for into a robot for His or our will. Free will produces a huge variable when praying for men to change. Human beings always have a choice. God can clear our minds and free our Spirits, but we are the only ones that make the final decisions for ourselves. Battle prayers are released into the heavenlies to win spiritual wars. It makes sense that the method of prayer is Spirit led. Sometimes settling for the salvation of a loved one’s soul is the solitary hope accomplished, meaning they may die in their mortal sin but God will save their soul. Prayer is a strong tool for salvation of our souls and works in spite of our small faith.

Second Corinthians 10:4, 5, and 6
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

This scripture covers the battle against my flesh and the battle against dark principalities. The word revenge is harsh and does not set easily with me. However, if I remember that these dark forces would like to aid in my utter annihilation and the painful destruction of my innocent loved ones the word revenge is not so tough to swallow. One of the definitions in my Thayer’s Lexicon is “avenge” which is much more palatable. The result of my long-suffering prayer that is most evident is my own higher thinking. With hope, I pray this battle prayer for others, of whom I feel compassion and Love. Spiritual mindedness does cast down imaginations and guide me to make right choices.

The battle scriptures of the bible do not mean arguing with other children of God and sarcastically departing with the phrase “I’ll pray for you”. I would not be practicing the loving, tolerant, long-suffering understanding that Jesus so humbly taught if I am resenting others. I had better start working on my own shortcomings if I fancy doing the work of The Father. When I play the Christian vigilantly and use this word of God to fight others face to face I have really missed the boat. If I am the Christian enforcer, I can always repent! Prayer warriors remember we pray to Love the unlovable. Pray against the evil spirit by the Spirit, remembering to show Love to the human.

If I accuse the sinner, by my words, again I have become the accuser of the brethren the very thing that I abhor. As St. Paul said, “Revenging all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled”. In other words to discern spiritual revenge as a human being, my own obedience should be fulfilled otherwise I may be confused about what to avenge. Obedience fulfilled does not mean I am perfectly righteous it means I have enough humility to be aware of my character flaws and quench them. When Paul states that the “weapons of our warfare are not carnal” this means they are not of self-will they are of God’s will in the Spirit of Love. Therefore negating the possibility that quoting disciplinary scripture at people or rebuking people openly is spiritual warfare. If I am annoyed or angered by sinners the more courageous spiritual warfare would be invoking my own godly response of restraint of pen and tongue and walking away later realizing I just walked through and overcame my own fiery trial.

In the words of Jesus himself “Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.”: (John 21:21&22) “What is it to thee?” A nice way, to say: it’s not your business, “Follow thou me.” or work on your own spiritual condition. When we clean the inside of our own cup (Mt.23:26) we draw people unto Christ by His Spirit, they will seek godly counsel and be open to learn. Therefore I reason out that our purest battling prayer is “thy will be done” in whomever’ life, by this we cannot go wrong.

Jesus said in Mathew 5:44
“Bless them that curse you.”

The above scripture clarifies how my relationship should be with sinners. I recall a person I met during a women’s retreat she seemed very r