Living in Twelve …
Courtesy: Constable Connor … Solar eclipse as seen from earth’s orbit.
The day began bright and sunny. People scurrying here and there. I sat on my balcony and watched them work on the final floor of the Seville Project. It seems they have topped the build now, and were pouring final cement down, but I also noticed that they built several re-bar posts that must, at some point, get a frame so that they can pour cement …
It was a good start to the day. I was up and ready to go early on. We are sitting at (10c) at this hour. And flurries are on tap for tomorrow. We shall see if Mother Nature participates.
I got to the church on time and cranked out set up and had a good hour or so to read. I am reading “We Need to Talk about Kevin” by Lionel Shriver. I am finding the read challenging. So far, the read is a series of letters our main character is writing to her “estranged” husband about her life and their son Kevin.
Kevin has done something terrible and is in prison. And the letters are narrating a story of what our mother is feeling about her life and about Kevin and her estranged husband. It is akin to reading someones written fourth step. UGH !!!
At least one of our members commented on the book, and we got to talking about other reads, and we both came to talk about Linden MacIntyre’s new book “Why Men Lie.” her sister is reading “The Long Stretch” the first book in the trilogy. So that’s on the horizon after Christmas.
We sat 45 folks. The room was full. I made a full pot of coffee which was empty when I went to clean the urn. I piped a 12 cupper of hot water for tea, and one of our members bought a smaller used pot that we tested out before the meeting, which worked fine, next week I need to wash it to use in addition to the urn we use every week.
We read from the Twelve and Twelve, and the second part of the twelfth Step.
“After we come into A.A., if we go on growing, our attitudes and actions toward security – commence to change profoundly…
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.’s Twelfth Step.”
This portion of the reading talks about learning how to live right, having healthy relationships and how relationships change once we come to the rooms, it also speaks of financial, emotional, and personal security. Once you get to twelve and one learns how to live in 10, 11 and 12, life begins to change.
Deep in the Big Book, once you read through the steps, by the book, you get to read the Promises after step 9. Then we work 10, 11 and 12 honestly, openly and truthfully, that change comes to pass. It may not be quick, but stick around until the miracle happens.
I met my husband in my 11th month of sobriety, at the church that my home group meets. He was weeks sober. I broke the cardinal rule about getting involved with someone fresh in sobriety. But I was smitten. And we have been together since the first day we met. We are both sober today.
We had a bare bones apartment with old electronics and a black and white television with rabbit ears and tin foil. We did not have cable. We started with nothing and over the years things changed.
I went back to school, did meetings and took care of my hubby. Over the years we always judged our financial security in terms of the state of our electronic devices. Little by slowly, over the last ten years or so, we got rid of all our old stuff. That black and white tv, has been replaced with a monster of a box, that is too heavy to lift. The apartment is decorated simply. I would say that finally after more than 10 years working in sobriety, we have reached the tipping point of “fear of people and financial insecurity will leave us…”
Security, that the 12 and 12 talks about, did not come over night, nor in one year or two years or three… It took more than a decade to reach that point in our lives. But we are all different – and things will be different for you. But stick around.
I’ve learned how to put the needs of another before my own. I’ve learned how to give out of gratitude and not selfishness or self centeredness. I work with others, I am present for my friends and fellows. I have a handful of really great friends and the love of one man.
Today I seek balance and repatriation. The one things that eludes me, I have made an effort and tweaked the universe to respond. We shall see where that leads. But I am not getting my hopes up in any case.
At the end of the chapter are these words:
God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
I am powerless over people, places and things. I cannot change you, I can only change myself, and with those changes, we can all become better people.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned…