Most Christians Will Be Left Behind, But Not Because of Sin…..
Most Christians will be left behind by reason of their heart condition. The same thing that needs to happen to get real/truthful with God needs to happen to stay sober.
Most Christians will be left behind by reason of their heart condition. The same thing that needs to happen to get real/truthful with God needs to happen to stay sober.
Children are not born hating themselves. They are taught they are wrong at a young age by propaganda that produces self loathing. From that point on we commence to fixing what we feel is wrong, OUR OWN HEART’S VOICE, and the “ME” our truth and our identity. This perception of “I am wrong I am different” is by design.
Sounds like a rationalization, to say, “programmed for addiction” but it’s a truth and realization. Sounds as if it were said by a struggling addict who hasn’t been sober long that we must quickly discount and recite, “some are sicker than others”.
read on and watch the video below to see how programming occurs in humans. It wasn’t until over seven years sober that I realized what formed my personality toward addiction. It wasn’t until more than eleven years sober that I realized the emotional indoctrination that happens to all public school students including our parents.
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!
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 “Doorknob” is the official-unofficial HP of N.A. But again, a doorknob is not a power greater than any human.
WE CAN CHANGE THE WAY WE FEEL. “MOVE A MUSCLE; CHANGE A THOUGHT.”
What this means is live your life. Get up go to work, go to meetings, work with your sponsor, chair meetings, work the steps, take showers, eat food, exercise, have fun and all the rest of the recovery life stuff that we do as members of life and sobriety. It means don’t let our feelings paralyze us. Even though we may feel like we are falling from the highest building in existence we don’t let-on. Even though we feel like a vase ready to crack we put one foot in front of the other and know that if we move a muscle we will change our thoughts. It doesn’t mean we should repress our feelings. On the contrary repressing intense feelings will make us sick and eventually kill us. No we should write down and share our intense feelings courageously. But in the midst of the greatest fears we have ever felt, we continue to help others and live our life.
Good Morning, Fillae Blusterers. I don’t know about you, but I have one of those brains which is constantly talking to me. It wants to analyze every situation I encounter, inventing reasons why each thing happens and how it is all part of a plan to hurt me (or, more precisely, my ego). It parses the speech of everyone around me, inventing motives for their words and fanciful backstories filled with sinister purposes. It loves to re-tell stories from my past, pointing out the errors I made and inviting me to feel badly all over again.
One of the most amazing things I’ve learned on my journey in recovery and spirituality is this…I can tell my brain to EFF OFF! I’m not a slave to all of the ego-driven thoughts and messages it creates. I can choose to accept certain messages (“Turn right at the next corner to avoid traffic”) and let go of others (“Here’s an opportunity to get even with someone”).
Even better, I’m learning that I can give my brain direction. I can order it to use its pattern-recognizing powers to see how all of the beautiful little things occurring around me reveal the presence of a Divine Spirit. I can guide it to look for the good in each person I meet. It can watch for opportunities for me to help others, serving joyfully. And, I can tell it to take a break from time to time, letting me just be, quiet and peaceful, right here right now.
___________________________________________–by Fred Hundt
Hope is the beginning of Faith when that which we hope for comes to fruition
Why do I have a voice in my head that kicks my ass? This is why I don’t need a “call you on you shit sponsor”! I kick my own ass and far too often especially lately…ouch! I tried to do some new website work in areas that I am learning. I crashed my site and oh how that freaks me out! RFH is back up she was only down for an hour or so. However whenever that happens I get the feeling that it’s the end of the world and I make it all my fault. Granted it usually is due to an action I take but the actions are to better the site in the long run. Running a website is much more difficult than one might think…oh the things I have learned,,, so much! But in the scheme of it all I still know so little. Every time I crash my site I learn much more about how to make Recovery Farmhouse a better website.
And so enough about my challenges. I want to talk about “hope” and how vitally important it is to our life’s outlook and our perspective on the future. Hope will cure depression, hope will keep us sane, hope helps our attitude it says to us; “everything is going to be ok Lori, your Higher Power has you in his loving hands. You are the apple of his eye and not only that you are doing the will of your father.” Hope tells us the things we need to hear. Hope isn’t just a mental thought it comes from deep within our heart and spreads to our mind and all through our bodies. Hope can keep a man alive in dismal conditions. Hope can bring health to our bones. Hope is listed in the Bible among the “greatest spiritual gifts” it’s more than a positive attitude it is absolute magic.
Hope is the beginning of faith it is the first deposit of the spiritual gift called faith. Faith when it is full blown CAN move mountains. I was thinking about the scripture that I learned as a little girl
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.”
Ever lasting life! This is a hope scripture IF we get it deep down within our heart. We humans are facing death…every day we face death. We have no idea when we are born how to grow up emotionally healthy and our parents don’t know how to nurture our vulnerable emotions. Ofentimes parents try and Love us but still we suffer emotional and spiritual neglect.
We must take time to do Step Eleven and strengthen our faith by meditation. We must allow hope to grow in us and turn into strong and courageous faith. I have lots of articles on how to balance ones emotions and recover from emotional disorder so I won’t go into it in this article as well. This article is focused on higher things. There is only one gift that is greater than hope and faith and that of coarse is Love.
Better translated into “charity” a giving love a mature and caring love that would fight to make someone else safe and warm. The Bible says it better than I:
◄ 1 Corinthians 13 ►
New International Version
1If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
The word of God will feed your soul. And if your heart deeply agrees with what you read you will move mountains! You are the vessel of God. You are a clay pot that holds a wonderful gift of diamond inside your earthly vessel. Do not underestimate your worth. Your loving actions will echo in eternity. Follow your heart and do God’s will. Do not side with the accuser. We have no right to judge ever ourselves…we should treat ourselves with kindness and Love just like we would a little child so innocent and pure. That I believe is how God sees us.
Author of “Last Call”
Available on Amazon
One of the first things I heard when I joined AA was “we will love you until you can learn to love yourself” I didn’t understand what that meant at first, but after getting some sober time it made sense to me. I came into AA broken, a shell of a person. I was morally, spiritually and emotionally bankrupt (another saying we hear in AA). It took a while for me to start feeling likeable, and to start loving myself again. It took even longer for me to be able to offer that love to someone else as I didn’t feel worthy of love when I was newly sober. One of the greatest things about becoming sober has been the ability to love. To fully love, unconditionally and openly. Anytime someone new comes into an AA meeting I get a feeling of overwhelming love for them because I know the fear and hopelessness they feel. We have all felt it. It doesn’t matter if I’m going to befriend this person or even get to know them, what matters is that I have compassion for them and they are a walking mirror of courage. No matter if they are from a park bench or Park Avenue, I understand how they feel.
To love someone unconditionally wasn’t something that happened to me overnight. It took time, it took patience and it took understanding. I’m grateful that I can love others in the rooms, as they all teach me something. Sometimes its love and tolerance, sometimes its gratitude – especially if that person keeps relapsing. The relapser teaches me willingness and to never give up. They remind me that I never want to feel the way they are feeling at that moment. It’s a little bit selfish for me to say that, but it’s the truth. Their relapse is keeping it green for me and its making me remember. They are keeping me sober and I’m grateful to them. I can even love that pain in the ass person that shares far longer than he should spewing complete crap and slogans out the ying yang – yup; I gotta love that guy too. Love and Tolerance is our code. Isn’t that what it’s all about? isn’t that what everyone wants in the end, to feel loved? I have learned since I came into AA, over a decade ago, that God puts certain people in my life as my teachers and my biggest examples of who I want to be, and who I don’t want to be.
Last year we moved to Florida, and for me it was my 4th move in sobriety. I’ve moved around a lot, but moving in sobriety is like starting over, it’s like being a newcomer again. This move to Florida was no different and I had to put myself out there and tell the Fellowship what was going on with me and open up again to someone. I was able to get a new sponsor pretty early on and she was exactly what I needed. God put her in my life for a reason and I felt like I knew her for years as I could tell her anything and everything and not feel judged. She got me.
A couple months after I started working with my sponsor, she told me that we needed to come to an Agape Retreat. I had no idea what she was talking about and she told me that it’s kind of a subset of AA and it’s held at O’Leno State Park (near Gainesville) and that we had to go. Since I’m not one to shy away from any weekend getaway, I was on board. I had been to a few AA retreats back in California, (where I got sober), and I was more than happy to check it out. I had never heard of Agape and had no idea what to expect. What I found when we arrived at our first Agape retreat in January were camp cabins with no heat and bunk beds. Mind you it’s Florida, but it was down to the mid 30s at night. Not exactly the Hilton, but it wasn’t about the accommodations as I soon learned, it was about Agape and the posse.
We ended up staying in a cabin with heat and I was about to experience what true unconditional love was. Without sharing too much about the Agape experience, I will just sum it up in a few sentences so you can understand it further. It’s usually 50 people or so, all in recovery; or trying to be, as some may only have a few hours sober, or a few days clean. Most come within a 200 mile radius of Gainesville and some of the posse has been coming to Agape for 20 years, like my sponsor, and some are newbies, like myself. Unbeknownst to me, I quickly realized that everyone is there to get closer to God and to have an amazing spiritual experience with the group, as well as with themselves. The level of raw, honest and “from the gut I need to dump this shit” sharing that occurs at these meetings are intense and there is usually a box of Kleenex making the rounds. Most people in recovery aren’t in recovery for just alcohol; there is usually a drug of choice involved, as well as other outside issues that seep into our DNA. These may include early childhood traumas, eating disorders, abusive relationships, sexual abuse and PTSD issues. It’s not a whoopee party of joy, or ceramic ashtray making – what comes out of these Agape retreats is healing. Extensive healing where you shed a layer of your damaged self and feel a little bit better for it. No one in AA, or Agape, claim to be therapists of any type, but being with a crew of people that have experienced some of the same issues and all want to jump on the Ark to find a better way to live and feel OK seems to be more therapeutic than any medicine or treatment program that is out there. Of course, this is all in my opinion and from my own experience.
When you go online and look up the definition of Agape, this is one of the definitions you will find:
“Agape is love, which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself. The apostle John affirms this: “God is love.” God does not merely love; He is love itself. Everything God does flows from His love. But it is important to remember that God’s love is not a sappy, sentimental love such as we often hear portrayed. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely, not because we deserve to be loved, but because it is His nature to love us, and He must be true to His nature and character.”
Being unlovable and unlovely is what drove me to drink and drug. I never felt like I was enough. So when I go to Agape and hear the unlovable are lovable and that Agape love is forgiving and unconditional – why wouldn’t I want to be with a posse that embraces that. Mind you, I get a decent amount of that love and acceptance from AA, but it’s different at Agape. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve been – but basically, whatever the question, love is the answer.
My husband and I just came back from our second Agape weekend and look forward to attending the next one. I’ve had people ask me, “What is Agape?” and like my sponsor told me, I just tell them, “It’s where the unlovable can feel loved and where the broken can be put back together, one piece at a time”.
Heavenly Father, I know in my heart that only You can restore me to sanity. I humbly ask that You remove all twisted thought and addictive behavior from me this day. Heal my spirit and restore in me a clear mind.
“Let no man condemn himself; for it is by self-condemnation that we set ourselves above God who is our only True & Righteous Judge. For it is He & He alone who possesses a capacity for the unconditional Grace and Love which mankind’s collective soul so desperately needs to survive the deceptive throngs that encompass death and the grave?”
It is written that the fear of death is the mother of all fears and from it springs all manner of worry, fear, and anxiety and so we engage the great struggle to defeat these feelings.
We can quickly destroy all our loving relationships due to natural knee-jerk reactions that fend off fear and the feelings that fear creates. Some deadly knee-jerk solutions are blame, criticisms, hate, playing the victim or the oppressor anything that relates to putting down and condemning others to make ourselves feel better if even just for a short while. There is no shortage of people to condemn including ourselves. In the meantime we lose what our hearts really need and crave…to Love and to be Loved, to comfort and to be comforted, to understand and to be understood, to follow our conscience and to live guilt-free.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
They say that the most common phrase in the Bible is “fear not”. Some say it is written in the Bible 365 times once for each day of the year. Staying in faith and trusting in God is easier said than done. Things happen that strike fear in us, fear of loss, fear of losing control of a situation, fear of sickness and death, fear that people will not like us or will desert and abandon us. It is said in the rooms of AA that people most commonly have fears associated with these three things. Sex, Society, and Security.
Firstly we often fear losing our partners, boyfriends, and husbands. Second we fear losing our “status” in our society of peers. Thirdly we fear losing our homes, jobs, money, and car. The feelings that fear produces is at the core of addiction and codependency so we must find solutions to gnawing and torturous feelings.
When we are well grounded in our Higher Power by exercising regular prayer, meditation, meetings, and service work we not only receive fulfillment by that charity but we also have less reason to fear because our faith has been exercised and strengthened by regular communing with God. We must get our [daily bread], our spiritual feeding to continue trusting God and to repel fear.
When we pray and meditate yet find that our lives and minds are still full of discord, animosity, worrying, anxiety, and stress then there is more we can do.
“Out of the problem into the solution!” We write down our fears in a list, we look it over and realize we lack trust in our Higher Power. We then courageously ask God to help us to trust Him/Her/It and if our religion requires we repent. We remember our second step and the insanity that God has delivered us from. Sometimes the insanity of a second step returns if we are not active with living these steps. We remember that beating ourselves up is counterproductive and not a solution to anything. We revisit our Third step and remember that we have put our life and will into Gods caring hands so everything will be ok if we do our part. Have we done a formal and thorough fourth step if so; do we have any new active resentment? If so, we do a proper fourth step and ask ourselves what our fear is behind the resentment. Have we completed our amends by either apologizing or giving back what we have stolen? We do not gravel or expect any certain reaction from the persons with whom we make amends. We can’t make them feel better by amends but we will feel better by it no matter their response. If we still resent anyone we have worked a fourth step on we pray blessings upon them daily until we forget about it and the resentment is gone.
By these steps which include God we learn to Love ourselves and others. By these steps we replace our old survival skills of blame and all its cohorts with healthy and loving coping skills based in truth, honesty, righteousness, Love and compassion. We replace character defects with good character. In this text on a day by day basis I will explain the why’s and how’s of working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which can apply to any addiction including the addictions called drama, self-hate, and co-da.
During the first year of my recovery I had the opportunity to be in an addictions therapy group. During therapy I learned that there is no wrong feeling and that I must believe this in order to accept myself. For when I label my feelings “wrong” or “bad” I label myself and my own God given heart wrong and bad. Terms like; “I shouldn’t feel this way” or “but there’s nothing to be afraid of” are no longer in my vocabulary because there is always a valid reason for the way I/we feel. Even if that reason comes from years prior or is physiological there is always but always a valid reason for the way our hearts feel.
We are not bad or wrong ever by the way we feel. Usually if our emotions get “stuck” in us and we hurt and fear seemingly endlessly it is because no one has taught us how to process our feelings. They certainly didn’t teach it in school even though teaching a healthy emotional process should have been at the top of the curriculum. Actions and reactions are the only things that can ever be wrong or bad. I have found solutions to the feelings that I don’t like and have learned that some feelings just take time to walk through and that I need not let them paralyze me anymore. I have learned that feelings are “right” and appropriate yet sometimes unpleasant such as grieving a death or fear of a situation that’s new and different. In this book along with the 12 steps I will teach emotional processes to help let go of anger, rage, hurt, disgust, and the rest of the fear based emotions that we feel. I will share with you what has worked for me during my eight years of recovery from my two devastating bottoms which did include incomprehensible demoralization like the Big Book addresses.
But why not get some help with the job? When I attempted to get sober I knew nothing about living sober. So I went to sober school. It was my choice to go to A.A. It was my choice to stay sober. I didn’t know I had a choice but I found out different. We all have a choice it’s just that the lies in our heads want us to believe different. We have a choice whether or not to drink today.
When you are your own worst enemy it’s a good idea to invoke an army of fellows and facts to war against the self-defeating lies that your own head creates. Maybe you are not as sick as I was, I lived most of my life in a haze of drug addiction. The 12 Steps, group therapy, and seeking God are how I have stayed sober by the Grace of God for nearly 10 years.
Choose your favorite 12 step program and get a home group. Go to a meeting every day and then ask someone to be your sponsor. Ask the person that you relate to most. If they say “no” ask someone else that you relate to when they share in a 12 step meeting. Next work the 12 steps. Open-up in meetings no matter how scared you are and tell people how you feel and where you are at psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.
Buy a Twelve and Twelve and a Big Book and make sure that you are grasping each step as you do it. This website has the Big Book available for 99 cents. (First 164 pages, which is all you need). Make sure at some point that you get some outside help. There are many people in A.A. that are prejudiced against therapy. However our literature (A.A.) states that alcohol is just a symptom of a deeper sickness.
If we don’t deal with our core issues we will not recover at a core level. And then when we have no-one left to blame for the way we feel, we might be alone and suicidal. It’s best to open up to at least one person and tell them the worst things we have ever done. Make a fear list, write down core fears of loss and insecurities. If you don’t have any then your not human. It’s because of fear, childhood neglect, abuse and insecurities that most people self-medicate. Therefore it’s important to get to the cause of our addiction. Shame and false pride will fight you on this. There are a million and one reasons not to revisit the past to clear up childhood traumas but that’s where the answers to our underlying issues can be found and released most likely.
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