(week 158) 8 January 2014 12 Step Study Big Book workshop
If you want a pocket-size dictionary of words in the Big Book and one of the AA 12 x 12 they can be purchased from this address: www.bigbookdictionary.com
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Buddy Group guidelines:
You must announce that you are there. You do not have to share but you must tell the group you are there otherwise if you are listening and not telling anyone, it is stalking. Say: Hi. this is Stephanie, Grateful to be here. I won’t be sharing. Fine. no problem. You are part of the group. |When there is a lull, you give latecomers the chance to identify themselves. You are sharing really intimate feelings and situations and you do not need to feel there is someone listening and they are not admitting they are there. The No.1 guideline is for us to feel safe and to protect the safety of others.
You do not bring anything to a buddy group that is not the work. You don’t bring in outside books you don’t even bring reading the Big Book. What you bring is your written work. It is not off the cuff. Off the cuff is not recovery. You can go to your step one fellowship and share off the cuff there. You can talk off the cuff at the end of the workshop. When in the buddy group or one on one you are reading your writing. And if you don’t have any writing then you show up and say: I don’t have any writing I will be listening and witnessing. And I would prefer until we are done that buddies keep to buddy time and let go of fellowship.
You are really vulnerable and open conversation tends to get messy and people misinterpret. So keep it to buddy time. Believe me you have the rest of your life to make friends with your buddy, see each other, visit each other. I know buddies from years ago and are still dear friends. Do yourself a favor and wait until it is over. If you need a buddy, request one at the end of this workshop. Leave your number. Remember you can have more than one buddy and more than one buddy group. But you follow the guidelines.
Staying with the writing:
The writing sometimes gets put on the side. I encourage you not to do this. Just as you don’t get too busy for your Quiet Time, don’t get too busy for your writing. Stay current. Even if you write for 15 minutes every day and have 15 minutes Quiet Time. If you are really committed you will do it. If you are not, you will find a hundred excuses. I am not going to condemn you, push, pull, prod, dictate or command. Just going to encourage you the best I can. It is between you and your higher power and if you have a buddy, all the buddy says when you say: I don’t have any writing, I am witnessing your work, the buddy replies: thank you. Make no comment. It’s between them and their higher power. If you are stuck, talk to me. It is not up to a buddy to get someone unstuck.
Big Book goal
Having had a spiritual experience.
The goal of the Big Book workshop is not to lose 50lbs, to save your marriage, or get a promotion, it is to have a spiritual experience with the God of our understanding. The second goal of this process is to practice recovery in all our affairs. The third goal is to do service and help others.
The first requirement is that we being convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though our motives are good.
The two very important words being convinced that we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God, as we understood Him.
We have already looked at how one resentment affects your self-esteem etc. and the devastation of one resentment. Being resentful and angry wrecks a person and we cannot be our best self. It is impossible. And we can do a lot of covering up. We can over-achieve or become victims and have people rescue us. There are a billion ways that we try to run our life on self-will and be a success. I know I did it.
When I named and claimed that I was an agnostic, nothing would convince me until I saw it on paper through doing this process. And it brought me to my knees. God I want to trust in you. I don’t trust in you. Help me to trust in you. I was humble and teachable and three years later I had a white light experience that changed my life. I am not an agnostic. I trust and rely on Him with everything. I have to. My way as an agnostic brought me back to the food, a divorce from a wonderful man in recovery – the list goes on. I wrecked our home. I was a tornado in other people’s lives.
I am resentful at Joe. The cause: left my home, me.
This affects my:
self-esteem – took it away (on the back of the page write why)
pride – bad mother (needed to write on the back on that)
ambition: best mother ever (on the back wrote I had to be a better mother than my mother)
personal relationships – shattered (write on the back how they were shattered. With my son leaving, every relationship was shattered. I wanted to go to a mental institution. Wanted to get shock treatment. Did not want to feel the pain.)
personal security – no trust in anyone. (The one person I had given heart and soul to had abandoned me. So again wrote out the emotions on the back).
pocketbook – could not work
sex relations – I was shattered as a human being (How am I going to have sex with my husband when shattered?)
I could not relate to other mothers, I was shattered. I could not go to PTO: I was shattered. I could not even relate to Al-Anon. I sat there and cried and cried. I would listen to parents and I would be jealous. Their kids were sober, doing well. I was shattered. Can you use the same word twice? Sure. And I would write all that on the back. How I couldn’t talk to my girlfriends when they talked of how good their children were doing. Could not talk to my husband. Thank goodness I never blamed him. (I blamed myself)
Write all the garbage on the back. Pages and pages of feelings of he did this and said that. All my hurt, all my longing, my character defects – I wrote about them all. And then I got to the facts. Only the facts, not my feelings, are going to give me the ability to get well.
Write this down: If I do this fourth step and stay in my feelings, I will not get well.
Feelings are very important. I never discount them. Feelings are not facts. They are a gift from God and tell us we need to go to God. Happy sad or glad I need to go to God. We need to put our feelings in proper perspective so we can get well. We have got to see the truth.
Underneath the very last entry: write: Turnaround.
After you do your five people you can use the format on the website. Don’t do this until you have finished with the five. Want you to get into your brain what the next step is. So if you don’t have the website format or your writing with you, you can still sit down and help somebody.
Turnaround: The only way I am going to see the truth and recover the turnaround is to see the truth of the stock in trade, see my character defects.
Write this down: To get rid of these properly (that takes God). But have to know what you need to take to God.
TURNAROUNDS: Looking at our part – the only way to freedom from this resentment.
a. direct lie
b. lie of omission
c. lie I tell myself
(always a lie of omission & always a lie we tell ourselves)
We have every resentment because:
I am afraid this person I resent does not like, love or respect me.
If you want to, write ‘fear’ beside each of the seven emotions: self-esteem, pride etc.
Fear is at the bottom of every resentment – fear that you are not going to be loved, liked or respected. It is our innermost need as a human being.
People can love you but not like you. Some of you have parents that loved you but they didn’t really like who you were. I lived with that. And I brought this fear into every relationship.
Turnarounds are the only way you are going to see the truth and the only way you are going to recover.
You have got to get to the truth because you cannot do the turnaround and think you are going to get well if you are telling yourself a lie. e.g. I could pretend I didn’t resent Joe because he is my son. It would be a lie: I was very resentful.
It takes awhile to uncover the lie. We lie to ourselves saying: It is not that bad. Or we lie and say: It was awful and I will never be able to get over it. We lie: I will never be able to forgive them.
1. Selfish: a) What I wanted from this person. You write : I wanted ….then write what your HP tells you to write. Selfishness has two parts. b) Why? For me I wanted them to give me attention, to be my friend or my boyfriend. It always had something to do with getting attention. Esteeming me. Why? I did not esteem myself as valuable. I did not esteem myself until my white light experience. Then I felt God really loved me and didn’t care whether or not humans did. e.g. What did you want from them? A raise. Why? A raise would show I am worthwhile.
You have to dig deep.
2. Self-seeking: the behaviors you did to get what you wanted.
This was such an eye opener. I people pleased, manipulated. Used my sexuality. I did for others what they should be doing for themselves. I cried, lied. I pretended I really like them when I did not. I gossiped. I back stabbed. The list goes on and on.
a) Direct lie.
b) Lie of omission
c) Lie I told myself
(we always have b and c)
Lie of omission is not saying what you need to say to bring honesty. I would break my food plan. I lied to my group through not telling them. They assumed I was clean with my food and I was not. Or I needed to tell a friend something really hard like: You really hurt my feelings. Instead I held a resentment. Not telling a person the truth and bringing honesty to a relationship. I was a bold faced liar. I lied when I could have told the truth.
FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real
Fear: I was afraid of:
a. Not getting what I wanted
b. Other people’s opinion of me.
c. Financial insecurity.
d. Put whatever else you were afraid of
Does your answer have to be restricted to 6-9 words? No. You can write whatever you need to on the turnarounds. Try to get to the facts and put feelings on the back of the page.
Do Five. Why? If you have really done five resentments thoroughly, you will see your pattern and you will see that every resentment has basically the same elements. If you want to, do more.
Radical thought: if you only do five resentments you will only be making five amends. So if you feel you need to clear up a lot of wreckage you need to write. No writing: no amends. Why? You will make amends and not know the truth. You will make amends on feelings. It’s important to cut through the feelings and tell the truth. Without writing you will make a mess of making amends.
Stephanie quoted pg 67, fourth paragraph, (fear)…”was an evil and corroding thread” that makes us lie to ourselves and others.
She said that Resentment comes from fear. All the 6 ‘affects’ are based on fear; i.e., self esteem would be: fear of how other people see me, or how I see myself.
Pray before you write. And thank God after you write. If you get up, pray again before you restart writing. Pray, pray, pray to the point where prayer becomes second nature because prayer is all about steps 10, 11 and 12. So practice praying.