This mashup may be useful in helping us realize how the truth of our experience is both deeply held and transformed by what we do. The mashup begins with a powerful meditation asking the question of where do those truths we hold deepest in our hearts come from. The Grapevine article may help us realize how our actions , guided by AA steps and principles , produce new experiences that may change what we hold to be true and what we desire to be faithful to. It also reminds us of our freedoms in sobriety to be rebellious , to be complacent , or to be willing one day at a time to participate in the experiment of practicing , however imperfectly , these principles as a new way of living. And in this experiment , we may find a ‘new freedom’ as we let go of our old ideas and experience whatever truth is revealed from using timeless , enduring spiritual principles to direct and empower what we do.
Perhaps, these new experiential revelations will also draw us a step closer to the ‘real freedom’ described in the BB on page 552 … when we want to do what we ought to do … an alignment and a knowing of the ‘proper use of the will’.
Discover Your Own Truth January 21st Meditation Journey To The Heart by Melodie Beattie
No truth is ours until we make it our own.
All the truths in the world don’t matter unless and until we discover them to be true for ourselves. That’s what the journey is about. An insight, a lesson, a new belief is at the end of each adventure—whether that adventure happens in a moment, an hour, a day, or a year. This lesson doesn’t come from books, although books might help along the way. It doesn’t come from classes or lectures or well-meaning friends. The lesson we’re seeking comes from inside us, from our hearts, from our deep abiding connection to consciousness and the truth.
It springs quietly from within as we notice one day that we believe something new, something different, something more free, more fun, and more life-enhancing than what we believed before. For a moment we may turn back and say, Why didn’t I know that? Why didn’t I see that before? Then we step back on our path, laugh, and go on our way understanding that is why we are really here. Not to know everything in advance. But to allow ourselves to go freely through all the lessons that teach us what we are here to learn.
You are on a journey of discovery. Find out what’s true for you. Remember a truth isn’t yours until it rings true for you.
The Freedom to Change–Or Not – Grapevine Article February 2001 by Larry H.
I used to wonder how long it would take to be rid of my character defects. I remember complaining to my sponsor about the pain and suffering they still caused after being sober several years and about the fact that some of them seemed to be as bad as ever. What would it take to be rid of these negative emotional ties to the past? Would I have to drink again and get a good case of the jitters, as described in the Big Book, or was I going to straighten out some day?
This weighed heavily on me, so I asked my sponsor what to do. He said, “I have good news and bad news.” (Whenever he uses that phrase, I want to become invisible.) I asked him for the bad news first. He said, “The bad news is, the day we put you in the ground, providing you stay sober that long, you will be the same person you were the day you came here. The good news is you will enjoy that a lot less.” He went on to explain that, like most people, alcoholics have the usual set of character defects, but we hone them to a razor’s edge and use them to cut our lives to ribbons. Just because we get sober does not mean that these traits will disappear. On the contrary, they become more noticeable than ever, because when we shed light on our defects, they become easier to see and more difficult to practice.
It turns out that the reason I still revert to my old ways is because I still value them, much as I hate to admit it. As Step Six says, some of my character defects may be lifted as the desire to drink was; but as for the rest, I will have to be content with patient improvement.
When I took inventory and looked at the nature of my wrongs, I also learned that everything brings forth its own kind. For example, anger brings forth more anger; it never brings forth happiness. The same is true with love. It never brings forth hate; it can only bring forth affection. Seeing this was a real wake-up call, because when I now look around at what I have created, be it good or bad, I’m forced to take responsibility for it. When my life is full of happiness and joy, it means that happiness and joy are important to me, and anger and depression are valueless. Originally, I could not accept this simple truth because it was too easy, and I’d been taught that anything worthwhile is hard. I mean if it were that simple, then everyone could have it. But I eventually learned that this was the basic truth I had been seeking, and it has given me the ability to change my life.
The next question was, How could I bring about this change when all I’ve known is chaos? Experience has shown that when I combine one thought with another thought, I get a headache; but when I combine a thought with action, it always produces a result. The paradox that says I have to give it away to keep it is true enough; however, it is also true that I must give it away to get it. When I give love, then I am able to experience love, and the more I give, the more I have. The old tape that says I must receive love to have love is false. The truth is, I must give love so that I may truly experience it. God makes that possible.
I find it amazing how capable I am of overlooking the obvious. I mean, this is what the literature has been telling me all along. I guess my receiver was off the hook, or maybe I just had to hear the message on a different frequency. Whatever the case may be, I have gained much freedom from this simple truth. What’s more, just as I have the freedom to use the God of my understanding or not, I have that same freedom to practice my character defects or not. God also makes that possible.
So it would seem that I am a product of my actions more than my thoughts, and through action I possess the ability to cause change in my life.