Tag Archives: allowing

Principles Before Personalities

25 Nov

There is no place for personal prejudices, squabbles, etc., in the rooms of recovery. That is a sacred space where people come to stay sober, addiction free, more sane and/or to help others do the same. For over 70 years the Traditions have guided people from all walks of life, all religions, races, creeds; the believer and non-believer in their quest for recovery from their particular addiction through the unified focus of “singleness of purpose.”

A friend of mine recently experienced a personal attack from another member of AA, whom we’ll call “Miss Self-Importance.“ The attack came in the form of gossip outside the rooms, but the repercussions have spilled back into the room. It’s a small town with few meetings and everyone pretty much knows everyone – in the meetings, as well as in the town.

The good of this situation is that a good number of people have approached her and said “Miss Self-Importance” had tried to spread her story to them and they simply told her they weren’t interested – referencing the Traditions.

The unfortunate part of this situation is that there is a tension there that others have picked up on. In addition, this individual has felt so compelled to enlist a local free-lance reporter to her “cause” of exposing my friend(her issues) who has come to the meetings as a recovering alcoholic. So Tradition 3 states that “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Only the individual can determine whether or not that applies – and it’s not up to anyone else to question. My friend has expressed her concerns to me, and feels there are some telltale signs of deception – but there’s no place that she can go with that right now.

In the meantime, she has maintained herself in accordance with the 12 Traditions and has gone back to staying on topic as far as the discussions go. There have been several very good discussions lately about the Traditions, the “I am Responsible” statement and the right of each to determine their own relationship with the God of their understanding.

My friend has acknowledged the gossip within the meeting without naming names, and the response has been rewardingly “Traditional” amongst the members present. So it’s back to the business at hand – helping each other stay sober one day at a time.

As my friend was relaying this experience to me the other day, she blurted out, “Thank God it was me…and not some new person, or someone more fragile in their recovery. I’ve been blessed with the gift of a solid foundation by many sponsors and Sisters and Brothers in recovery who have shared their experience, strength and hope with me as they faced life challenges. So I wasn’t about to go off and drink.” But she was forthcoming that she had provided some “rent-free” space to “Miss Self-Importance“ in her head for a bit. Also, admittedly, she’s had to really work at what she feels has been a gross disrespect of the 12 Traditions (also her issue).

But what if the object of “Miss Self-Importance” had been a new person, or someone on rocky ground? No one is responsible for another person’s using, but those present need NOT be contributing to someone else’s self-doubts, or sense of belonging in the fellowship.

One has to THINK about how what they do or say is going to affect others in the rooms. There is NO PLACE for personal attacks, not according to the 12 Traditions.

The main purpose is to help each other achieve or stay in sobriety. That’s called support. You don’t have to like everyone in the rooms – and if you have personal issues with someone, park them at the door!

My friend has done everything she can to keep things at “Principles before Personalities” and stay within the tenants of the 12 Traditions. That’s all she can do. Bottom line is: you can’t control anyone else, you can only take care of our own behavior. For my friend, as well as for the others, it’s definitely been an exercise in growing, “practicing these Principles in all our affairs!”

I welcome your response, or sharing of solutions to any similar experience. 🙂

©2014 Deborah Adler and Silverstream Corporation. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

Bookmark and Share

Stumble It!

Advertisements

Every Day is a New Life

11 Nov

One of the greatest examples of intelligent and courageous living I’ve learned in my association with Parisha Taylor, simply stated, is she greets each new day as a new life. Really.

That means not carrying forward any judgement, any drama…a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g…from the previous day’s interaction with an individual. Ever try that? It’s no small feat!

I don’t know that I’ve honestly been able to accomplish that yet. I try – but it takes a lot of practice to just wipe the slate clean from the day before and give a person the clear opportunity to be a different, better person.

Some might judge that as being weak, but I have witnessed time and time again, a power that has come with that practice that I am in awe of and am continually amazed.

In my current situation of coming into contact daily with an individual who has determined that I am some kind of “mortal enemy” that has to be destroyed…looking into those eyes “ain’t easy”! But to do so having released all thoughts, judgement, and conclusions from the day before…I’m still at the “watch my back” phase of development. But I can always strive to practice “A New Day, A New Life.”

After all, it’s in the intention of creating a new behavior, forming new neural nets, or “re-wiring” as they say in brain science these days, that the seeds of achieving that change exist. By being consciously aware of the desire to change, I am one step closer to breaking those old patterns and forming new ones.  Awareness, desire and willingness are key elements.

In the meantime, I smile, I look her in the eye, and I strive to remember that she is a child of the Creator.

-Deb Adler

 

 

 
©2014 Deborah Adler and Silverstream Corporation. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

Bookmark and Share

Stumble It!

On Gossip Mongering and the Truth

8 Nov

October 10, 2014

I stood before two people today and outstretched my hand to the husband. He smiled and the wife instantly threw her arm across him as though she were saving him from falling forward because he had no seat belt restraint in the car.

Are you serious? I asked her incredulously

Yes, I’m serious she shot back. You’re dangerous!

My head was going WTF? But I managed to calmly thank her husband for being willing to shake hands.

Then as I went to sit down I watched her lean toward her husband with her hand cupped and whispering to him like a little girl in third grade. She then leaned to her opposite side and repeated the same behavior to the man sitting next to her.

As the meeting progressed it became increasingly obvious that she had been contacting as many people as she could to “warn” them about me.

The REAL people in the meeting spoke to the issue of “Principles before Personalities” in a way that I knew they were trying to reach out. I knew she wouldn’t hear any of it, but then that’s not my territory to supervise.

 

 

 
©2014 Deborah Adler and Silverstream Corporation. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

Bookmark and Share

Stumble It!

Opportunities for Spiritual Growth

8 Nov

There are some people that I hang out with on a regular basis, and they are for the most part a very lively, fun-loving, life-celebrating group of people who have reason to celebrate every day as a gift – they have come to the other side of addiction and are living free one day at a time.

No one is perfect. Each individual is at their own stage of personal and spiritual development. There are no formal leaders – leadership rotates through volunteers. All that guides these people is a set of “Traditions.” When adhered to, these Traditions have been capable of dissolving perceived differences, “real” or imagined, and allowed people from all walks of life, various religious or non-religious beliefs, diverse social-cultural-political backgrounds come together in a common focus for the good of all. This fellowship extends around the globe  – in practically every country in the world.

With all that being said, Humans are still going to be Humans – and in those moments, may provide what one of my friends likes to describe as a “wonderful opportunity for spiritual growth.”

I have been given one such opportunity lately as a result of my relocation to a fairly small town in Arizona that shall remain unnamed because I do believe in “Principles before Personalities” and the particulars are really incidental to the larger picture and lessons learned.

Having come from a fairly urban setting, I can honestly say I really wasn’t prepared for such a sequence of events – “my bad” as the kids say.  But shortly after I arrived and began participating in the local meetings of this fellowship, one woman found it necessary to delve into my life’s details and felt she had discovered something for which she feels justified in judging me. (See previous post “On Gossip Mongering and the Truth”)

This woman has become a one-person vigilante movement determined to carry her message to everyone who will listen. Fortunately, those people she had approached are practicing the Principles outlined in the Traditions in all their affairs and have rejected her efforts to stir up controversy.

Now, to put this all in perspective, I’m talking about people from all walks of live, who have come back from some of the roughest, rawest experiences in life – ex-cons, prostitutes, thieves, and people who if not on such a drastic level have still cheated themselves and others in the name of being ruled by their addictions prior to recovery.  So who do you think is going to “cast the first stone?”

To add to my frustration, the allegations being made by this woman are not truthful – but have you ever tried to fight against lies? It’s a lot like shadow boxing. You can wear yourself out trying and never get anywhere!

So I have continued to attend the meetings and much to my delight, some “Real” people have stepped up and without directly addressing this person, have definitely addressed the issue of judgment and “singleness of purpose during the discussions and afterward.”

One thing I know is that whenever I look this woman in the eye, she looks away. “Pray for her” would be the advice of my spiritual mentors. And I am.

It’s been interesting and I’m not sure she’s done or just resting…but I know that I have to stay in the now and appreciate the sanity I feel surrounded by from those who have stepped up lovingly to let me know that they don’t give a rat’s ass about gossip or anyone’s background – real or imaginary.

Stay tuned.

-Deb Adler

 

 

 
©2014 Deborah Adler and Silverstream Corporation. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

Bookmark and Share

Stumble It!

Going With the Flow

15 Jun

Personal Review: Journaled the desired outcome last night of an important meeting scheduled for today. Had some surprises along the way to the actual time of the meeting but stayed positive and refused to give in to defeatist thinking. Business Partner picked me up – just a tad late – and we were off to the designated place of meeting!

I sent a quick text off to my prospect, a friend, to let him know we were on the way. Then came the call in response. A crisis had developed presenting a fire that he had to put out. Very apologetic. Promised to call later. We turned around and came back.

As I walked into my apartment building, I weighed the events in terms of my personal desires. Then I started to consider the developments in terms of my friend’s dilemma and what it could mean in terms of some very important programs for which he was trying to get support.

Then it came to me. A very clear picture presented itself of how I might really be of service to this gentleman and provide him an alternative means of achieving his lofty goals. I clearly saw how I could be of service to him.

I shot off a quick text, knowing he would be on his way to a committee meeting, thanking him for his communication and letting him know that I hoped we would have the chance to speak or meet later as he had suggested in our brief conversation. Then I let him know that regardless of how things went this evening, I believed I had a solution.

I realized that I held an answer that might provide my friend a key to salvaging an otherwise dismal and potentially catastrophic development, affecting thousands of people who were depending on help from his programs. I filled with an appreciation of how all things work together for the ultimate good. I envisioned a scenario that strengthened his position and created an autonomy for his programs.

In his book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life; Living the Wisdom of the Tao, Dr. Wayne Dyer speaks about “rearranging priorities to ensure contentment” in relationship to the 3rd verse of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

“Practice not doing…

When action is pure and selfless,

Everything settles into its own perfect place.”

Thus Dyer’s interpretation of this translation of Verse 3 is that we are being told to trust The Source (God/Creator) and know that there is something much loftier than our egos driving our existence.

He also suggests replacing our personal desires with the simple but profound “Tao-centered question: How may I serve?”

I was anticipating this meeting for days because I had placed an importance of its outcome to my success. It was all about what it meant to me and my goals. But then I heard the panic in my friend’s voice as he spoke of possibly losing everything in regards to what he was trying to build. As I began searching for what I could take out of all this that was positive…that’s when it became evident that I had a way to help to minimize his pain.

Paradoxically, I feel more enthusiastic because it’s no longer about me. It’s about how I can be of service to my friend. I just had to sit and smile because it reminded me of the many times my  spiritual mentor and Elder, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha has shared with us the true way to happiness is through service to others.

“……. When man is strong enough to truly look at himself objectively, he will find it happened when he was totally involved in service to others.  This is when we remember and the question is answered of who and what we are.  Then and only then, can we see clearly and know Great Spirit.” -Pa’Ris’Ha Taylor*

* © 1994 Pa’Ris’Ha © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER: All the opinions expressed in any articles, blog posts and Internet content written by me are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any individuals or organizations with whom I associate.

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

Bookmark and Share

Stumble It!

May 21st 2011 – To What End?

20 May

“Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.” – Oprah Winfrey

According to some people, the world is supposed to end this Saturday, May 21st. As soon as I heard that, I realized that I was scheduled to work at the restaurant. My first thought was of my co-workers. “These are not the people I would want to die with,” I realized.

But then most of us don’t get to pick and choose our company for the “final event.” I choose to think that there’s a brighter message to be discerned here.

Perhaps the value of these periodic “doomsday” proclamations is that they get some of us to thinking about our lives in terms of how we live, what have we accomplished, are we on the right track, etc.

When you live each day as a complete life, as I have observed of the one I know as spiritual mentor and Elder, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha, there is a time for such self- evaluation within each 24-hour period. Some days I achieve that better than others.

I love that I have found a parallel to 12-Step practices in continuing to take personal inventory.  Occurring later in the progression of Steps, that practice is also designed to take place on a daily basis.

Living 24 hours as a complete Life, one can make course corrections on a moment-to-moment basis. When we live in self-deception, for whatever reason, the days can turn into years in a heartbeat, and then, as happens to some, there comes a day of epiphany when we realize that our life is not where or what we intended it to be.

According to Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha, we can turn that around in a moment’s decision.

“When it really makes a difference is when you get real and stop the pretense and determine you and you alone can set the course of your life. We cannot change the past, we can move forward and away from it and its influences.” –from Financial Literacy Series, An Enterprise Ventureby Pa’Ris’Ha Taylor*

If cries of impending doom give us pause to consider whether or not we’re living the life we envisioned for ourselves, then at least there is merit to the speculation. The real question is, if May 21st unfolds as “just another day” – will we take the opportunity to act upon whatever self-examination we may have made, or will we breathe a sigh of relief and put our self-determination of life’s purpose and productivity on hold for just a little while longer?

If I make one significant change this day and build on that, I will have a different life from what I’ve had. With no judgments on where I’ve been and what I’ve done, I can always create a better day than the one before. –Deborah Adler

* © 2004 Parisha Taylor. All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER: All the opinions expressed in any articles, blog posts and Internet content written by me are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any individuals or organizations with whom I associate.

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

Bookmark and Share

Stumble It!

What IS the Meaning of Life?

14 May

What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you. –Oprah Winfrey

Betty White has shared recently in some TV interviews about her mother’s wonderful perspective on death. She says that her mother used to tell her that no one really knows what that moment is like until they go through it – so she used to call it “the Secret.”  When someone they knew died, Betty’s Mother would just say, “Well, now they know ‘the Secret’.”

When we’re in our twenties we think we have all the answers. The adults in our lives are clueless, or so we think. Or maybe they are. It seems the longer I live and the closer I move towards my encounter with “the Secret” – all I have are more and more questions.

Life is a Mystery.

When I contemplate the meaning of life – one single humanoid span of existence on the planet – against a backdrop of Eternity, it can seem pretty insignificant. Yet I know that we are each Unique, we are each Essential and, Everything has Purpose.

I also have come to realize, as my spiritual mentor and Elder, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha, often states: Everything is exactly On Time.

One other thing I have come to appreciate is that our existence here is about Service. We are here to interconnect and interact and invest our energies, resources and time in the well being of others. It can be ongoing involvement or it can be a spontaneous act of kindness. It can be volunteering, participating in a “Walk for the Cure” or similar event, or holding a door for someone, or just smiling or taking a moment to listen. It is through such activity that fulfillment can be realized.

Whether or not I know the true meaning of life – I do know that living in service will give meaning to the time we spend living.

“Speak to all gently and with real compliment. See yourself in everyone and thus knowing God Is and Oneness as real. Love, love with the love you really are, fear not and let it flow and touch everyone and all things…” – Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha*

* © 2011  Pa’Ris’Ha.  All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: All the opinions expressed in any articles, blog posts and Internet content written by me are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any individuals or organizations with whom I associate.

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

Bookmark and Share

Stumble It!

%d bloggers like this: