AA Speaker Recordings - Rocketed.org
AA Speaker Recordings - Rocketed.org

Episode · 8 months ago

Paul B at the Life Is Good Group 12/23/2021

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Paul B. at the Life Is Good Group, Boca Raton, FL 12/23/2021

Everybody want to fall them an alcoholic. Well, I'm remember these stables men's group and I had my first drink when I was thirteen years old in Miami, Florida. I had my last drink when I was thirty three years old in New Orleans. I've been on a lousy relapse, but it was necessary for me to realize I was truly an alcoholic. It wasn't working anymore, the substance did not work anymore, and I was allowed to come back to the beautiful rooms alcoholics, anonymous, and that was on April seventeen, one thousand nine hundred and eighty five. Now I want to talk about the slender threads, the seconds and inches that God has provided for me, for me to pull my head out of my ass and to realize where I belong. I'm going to talk about my spiritual experiences. The term spiritual experience, spiritual awaken I use many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism, as manifested itself among us in very different forms. It is true at our first printing gave many readers the impression that these personally changes or religious experience must be of a sudden and spectacular upheople, happily for everyone. This concluded conclusion is erroneous. See, Bill had this white light experience and people were writing letters through New York say we're not having this. Why that experience? Are we doing right? And they wrote back and then they put this they put this chapter in the book, the first who chapters. A number of sudden, revolutionary changes are described. That is not our attention to create such an impression. Many alcoholics nevertheless concluded in order to recover they must acquire, to meet and overwhelming God consciousness, followed once by vast change and feeling an outlook. Among our growing membership of thousands of alcoholics. Such transformations, though frequent, I've been no, no means the rule. You know, my first spiritual awakening, my first I don't have any idea because we live this program going backwards. I see how God has showed up in my life all throughout this, my journey to be here, in my journey to stay here. I don't realize it, but the first one is put my hand on the door to my first day a meeting and I get to my first day a meeting through another very slender threads. Some people I liked a lot. I'm running a bar in New Orleans and these people were good clients. It were good customers. They used to buy for me non conference to prove material. They would pay out front and they would share that non confidence to prove material with me. And how do you not like people like that? Exactly my kind of folks. And she was a very attractive loond and I didn't realize she had blue eyes until a little bit further in my story. And he was an Italian guy that when he would get drunk he would get belligerent and violent and he like to sing opera and he was behind a bar one night sing an opera and he had told me one time he had been an AA. I knew nothing about A. I got one foot in the grave and I'M SA boy.

Sorry to hear that about you tone. But the next part of my experience is going to be where I hear that Liz, her name was Liz and she went away to the home fit of nervous they call him treatment centers today, but back in the early s it was a home for a nervous Liz. It freaked out one night destroyed everything in her apartment, beautiful. She was an interior designer in the French quarter in Orleans and I was concerned about Liz. And I'm at a barbecue one Sunday afternoon. I never went home. I had to be in the nightclub to change the shift eleven o'clock in the morning because it was open twenty four hours. My kind of place. Band started at four am. So you know, I'm hanging out with a good class of people. How could I process, how could I possibly have a problem? They're all acted, doing the same stuff I'm doing, and I would come to with that guilt, that shame, that remorse that only people like us going to identify with. Sick and suffer. I got one foot in the grave. I have no idea what's going on, what's wrong with me. So I'm out one Sunday afternoon. I go to this this barbecue at this this big condominium and I see Liz. Liz comes walking in and I walk over to Liz. I'm concerned about Liz. I said, Liz, how you doing this man? I'm doing great, Paul. She says, I found this program that teachers. I don't have to drink and use drugs anymore and I said, damn, this is what a drag that must be on, and that's when I noticed the eyes. Something different. She Says No, actually, it's a pretty good way of life. Poll and I thought, Lizabel, long to the home for the nervous. Convinced. So a couple of weeks later, in the back of our nightclub we had a safe with a shotgun over it and I would come to shame, guilt, remorse, whatever done. Who did I hurt? Because at this time anybody that gets close to me gets hurt, the money, people working for me, the girlfriend, the more than one girlfriend at this time, at this time in my life, I got to have a girlfriend. It's got a house, in a car, so I have somewhere to go to a shower and I'm that tornado and I have no idea what's wrong with I think it's damned. I have no ideas the substance. I have no ideas of separation from God. I don't know that, because I don't know that. I don't know that, I don't know that I belong here. So a couple of weeks later I called Tony and Liz and they bring me in my very first meeting of alcoholics, anonymous in a place called a camel club, which I think is a strange name. And but Tony says to me, says look a camel, he says, you won't understand this. I'm highly offended. I understand everything. You're a bad drunk, Tony, and lives is a nice lady. The hell's she throwing with you? He says. Well, a camel goes to sleep on its knees and wakes up on its knees and it can go twenty four hours. where a drink it's a minute. Some worthless information. He was right. I didn't understand it then, but I understand it now because I got on my knees before I go to sleep, I hit the knees when I get out get up in the morning and I go for without a drink or drug for twenty four hours, for thirty six years in a rout. Only through the grace of God,...

...people like you. This is why I learn how to spay sober. So I don't understand that's going to be awaken in my spirit when they take me to that first meeting and there's a very important line and where I was who I've read read here. There is a principle which the bar against all information, which is proof, against all arguments, which cannot fail to keep a man ever less thing ignorance. The principle is contempt prior to investigation. Anybody ever have a little contempt pride to investigation? Oh yes, so I go into the room. There's a coffee bar, half a dozen people sitting around a coffee bar and probably most of them I kicked out at a nightclub. I'm running lossy drunks and terrible tippers, and that's all. I understand how you acted in the bar and if you were a good tipper or not. And they weren't. And there was one lady there. The last time I saw her she took a swing at the bartender, hit the beer spiket and broken beer is going all over the place and she goes out the door and handcuffs and she's one of the first ones I see. I said, man, I've slunk, sunk to the bottom of the barrel. Now, I said, Tony, it's with these people here, way you're going to waken. My spirit. Says, don't worry about WHO's here. What you're here for is learn how to stay away from one drink for one day. I said Jesus, Tony, belonging at home in the nervous would live and understand that and I stayed through the meeting and I make a horrible mistake. I go back to the bar tell everybody I joined a A. Everybody goes in through, I make him throw it a drugs away. Horrible idea because I'm not in AA. And I tell these people I'm in AA. In a couple of weeks later I'm in that same bar and soundy more. I'll never forget. So over forty years, I got my head down on the bar now here. One of the guys yell out, Hey, I see that Aa Shit really works. So if you're going to be in AA and you're going to tell people you're in a, make sure you're in AA, because that's the only book those guys saw that night was me preaching when I knew nothing. So that was a Thursday night. I go back to the meeting the next night. My spirits going to be awakened, but I got I was a good tipper and a guy that shared, and he takes me outside after the meeting. His name was Joe and I don't know how he knew this. Maybe had burn holes in my shirt or maybe I smell like we he says, Hey, Paul, he said we don't smoke weed here. I was crushed. So we talking about Joe and he goes on explain to me that the drugs a druggers a drink as a drink, one leads to the other and I'm going to have my spirit awaken. This is how I've been smoking wheat and said I don't know everything for ten years. Is You don't think that's a problem? Genius Swat Guy, Joe, only one. I can't get it. That's a problem, because that's why I'm in talent. That's my thinking. We had that conversation with jared tonight at then. Only one. I can't get it and I don't stay very long and I go on fighting at the bitter ends and eventually I end up on my sister's couch in Miami and met a tremendous amount of mistakes. Tremendous. I give this guy a ride to he's getting out of Rehab. My brother in law's...

...letting me use his van and I take this kid from Concept House off to Fort Lauderdale because he's got. He's going to get a job interview and my whole mine is said as I'm going back to New Orleans. I don't like the sober thing. I don't like the way I feel. I'm missing my my daughter. My daughter at the time was about eight or nine years old and that was one of the reasons I wouldn't blow my brains out of with the shotgun in the back at bar. I didn't want her going through life knowing I did that. She's forty nine years old today and I have the greatest one of you know, I have four daughters and great relationship with her. She's very successful. She manages about thirty banks for capital one. So I know God sent me away from her so she should get a good education and have to worry about me, you know, because I was always in trouble. And Pretty Ironic, she's married to my son of those undercovering narcotics agent. He'd been looking for me forty years ago. Just a great just a wonderful, great family they have. I just went back to see him. His Dad passed away and I went to the chemical I went to the where I went to the first meeting. It's in a different place. None of the same people were there and nobody knew him. Tony and Liz work, but just to sit in there, to see where I am thirty six years later, and too to be in a meeting with those guys, it was pretty special. So I go on a cruise when I moved to Miami. My brother in law work for a company that a cruise line, and we went and I drank the whole cruise and I go on to a meeting that Wednesday before the cruise and I picked up another white chip. And my my spirits going to be awakened because the guy is going to speak. His name is Louis. He's got six months. He's actually related to dion, he said, since passed the way through the liberatory. He was when Dion went back out and tour recently, ten years ago. Louis was one of the backup singers. So I hear Louis Speak, nothing in common. He's an intervened as drug unit user. He gets to jail because he stole a bus. And but what gets my attention, what's going to awaken my spirit, God talking to me through another alcoholic. He says I couldn't stop drinking and use until I came to these meetings and I thought, man, there's something going on here. I didn't know what it was and at that time I didn't want it, but I heard it and I go on the cruise. I drink the whole time. I'd go back to the meeting next week and a God it's going to be. My sponsor says I was a cruise. I said it was great. He says, did you drink? I said no, because I'm constitutional and cut capable of being honest with my so since the first time, I'm five years old, six years old, and I'm told of going a confessional and tell my sins to a guy dressed in a row who are eating dinner in my house pretty regularly. I'm a liar. It's just a way of life. It's one of the old ideas that I have to let go of. That's one of the emotions, the attitudes I have to change, but I can't do it I'm so afraid that they're going to kick me out or they're not going to like me. I roll with the lie for twenty two months. So if you're here tonight and you need to change a sobriety day, don't roll the dice like I did, because we know what happens. We all know people that don't make it back. They die jails institutions or they just stay out the sick and suffering. And it's not only with the drugs in the alcohol. If you've got stuff going on inside, please tell on his disease. Please trust somebody you know. We take a third step here will we're abandon ourselves to God as we...

...understand him. He's our friend. Now. Took me many, many years understand that. You know, we're another something that came up at dinner was we're sick as our secrets. And I deny myself so many benefits of this program because I'm carrying that lie around with me about about drinking, and I know the relapse is coming. So I go back to the warrans because I always got to see how my daughter's doing and I hang out with my friends in the bars. I got I got two girlfriends there, one in the meetings, one outside the meetings, and I got a girlfriend here because I'm looking for that to fix me. And I got done by all three and one week. Hard of belie right charmer like myself, you know, just full of crap so I'm hanging out my friends in the bars and I'm seeing them having fun and I want that. I don't want this. Emotionally, I'm on the relapse. So guy says, Hey, hey, you want to do some jargs? To know I'm in the I'm going to these meetings. That's in January, February, Hey, hey, hey, you want to down? No, no, March, yeah, no, April. I sure do. And I do a line of the white substance. I buy half an ounce. Thirty seconds later, this is going to waking my spirit. I do that and then I pick up a drink and I say, man, this sucks. I hate the way I feel. I can see that to my animal self at that moment that I really belong alcoholics. Anonymous. Now I did run and pick up a white ship. I got a lot of stuff to get read and more drinking than doing, more people to see. But for those thirty seconds I read. I tried two days recapture at hot it's just not worth it for a guy like men. If you're here tonight, you're thinking about drinking our use and please tell somebody. Let the disease out. Talk about what's going on. We have sponsors we have home groups. If you don't have a sponsor, get a sponsor, use your sponsor. You know. So slender threaded. I missed a plane twice leaving New Orleans. Miss Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday. I finally get on a plane, get off the plane. The first guy I see, as a guy know from ANA meetings, Gaspe, has an opportunity to wrap myself out, but I don't because I got the Ping Pong match going on. You know the voices. Hey, you're going to pick up a chip, you're not going to pick up a chip. Pick up a chip, not going to pick up a chip. So I get off the plan. I'm thinking, well, there's a buddy of mine drives a cat and if I see him I'm going to tell him so, like a dope, I'm standing out there. I watch fifty cats go by looking for this guy. Look like a freaking cat stalker, and finally this cap pulls up. I get a brilliant idea once you just getting a Goddamn cab, buddy. So I go to getting this cab. It's got cuts me off. Him in the cab driver was getting a fight. I'm loving this because I'm I'm sick and suffer. I'm looking for any kind of distraction, a fight with a New York and a cab driver. I'm enjoying this. But end up in this guy's cab and he has a few choice words about the New Yorker and then he says to me, Hey, where you been, buddy? I said I've been in New Orleans. I've been partying all weekend. He says, I don't drink anymore. I said how you do that? This is I go to AA meetings, slender thread, seconds and inches. If I...

...don't get in that cab, who knows? I don't find John. I would hope that. I would hope that I had had enough where eventually I would have went back and picked up a chip. But it's right in front of me. God sends me this guy. So he says, well, what do you want to do about it? So I'd like to go to a meeting. So he takes me home. I was living a Middle River drive before lauderdale. Put My suitcase away and when I go to an eleven o'clock meeting and I picked up my last white chip Abril seventh, in one thousand nine hundred and eighty five full of shame, full of guilt, full of remorse, so that Friday I'm I'm detox and and I'm carrying all those emotions like I let everybody down. I mean, I'm feeling like a piece of crap, sick and suffering and I want to run. But I do something completely different, slender thread. I go to a thirty meeting and I raise my hand, I said I feel I drinking today. First Time at the coming around Aa and then a for five years that I tell on my disease to a group of people and the group comes around me and they reach out to me and they say welcome, you know you don't have to drink tonight, and I hear that and I hang out with them, even when the ones I own life. I hang out with them and it makes it much easier for me, every time I feel like drinking, to tell somebody I feel like drinking. The group of drunks, a group of people good early direction, are put right in front of me. Now can I trust them and use it? I have to. My life depends upon I admit I'm powerless in my life is unbearable. I go from the back of a bar trying to blow my brains out the understanding that I can entertain the thoughts that are first one. Once I put the first one, it takes over. It controls me. That had this physical als at his mental obsession. I've got this soul sickness that I'm trying to fill with everything and that taught of my life. I cannot do on my own. And then, I mean, you know I'm going to get into a whole bunch of different problems as I get so would money and jobs and more relationships. So I use that group that night, but I start telling on my disease to a lot. I feel like drinking. Yeah, I worked with a bunch of guys in recovery, so it was easy to talk about what was going on with me and I'm starting to build a better foundation. God's putting people in my life. I'm coming up on ninety days. The red ship, now the slender thread. Another decision I'm going to make because my mind's giving me, since I'm a kid, bad to see terrible thing. It's always about finding the quick fix. I'm like comfortable inside. I need something to make me feel okay, and I'm thinking I should go back to New Orleans and see my daughter. I haven't seen her in a while, which I know now is a code for I want to get drunk and I go to my home group, is a Thursday night meetings called the express group. A bunch of young people in his met big meeting, probably eighty people. It to me they had a beginners meeting in a speaker meeting and the speaker that night was a guy that used to go to one hundred and one club. He was a boat captain and I like this guy immediately. Look, you look like the guy on the Salt Shaker can there would the yellow hat. So he gets to the part of a story how he gets to his first day a meeting and he says that he comes out of a blackout and he's holding this...

...pistol against his chest. I like this guy. Pistols, thinking about suicide, gets to his first day a meeting. He gets his first meeting in the Penal Institution Massachusetts because in that blackout he shot his wife in the head. He didn't even know it, and I knew. I was at that meeting that night to hear his message, slender thread, absolutely and I got that awakening right there. Paul, you better start taking this program serious, because I was just not serious about this. I'm picking and choose and what I want to do who I want to do it with. I'm still holding onto the old ideas. I'm still looking for the easier, softer way. Still about making money, still about having more than one girlfriend. It's all about fixing the outside. My soul is empty and I my sponsors at the meeting that night and I go tell him right there. I said, man, I needed to be here tonight because I'm thinking about going seeing my daughter. And then I tell him, you know, it's probably because I want to drink, and I get down on my knees with him and I say another third step, you know, relieve me of this spooning yourself. The Way I think, the way I feel, and I don't go back to New Orleans for a long time after that. And right after that I start going. I go to my first big books. I'm in our when Joe and Charlotte was still coming to palm are and I really find out what this book is about. It's going to tell me about the threefold disease. Bill Wilson's going to talk about being rocketed into the fourth dimension of existence. It's going to remind me of what the bedevilments are. What separates me from you people in God, my thinking, my feelings, my actions, and when I make that third step, I make a decision to turn the way I think and my actions over to the care of God that I really don't understand. I just know one thing. He's taking me out of the God are more than once and allowed me to come back to this program. So I learned about doing an inventory, writing, making a list of my the people I've harmed, my fears, my resentments, my selfishness, my self centeredness, and I don't want to share this with somebody, of course I don't. You know, my first one was a disaster. It's like I'm writing a movie script. You know, I get Robert Effort to play my part in this movie because I'm afraid about who I'm going to talk to. You know, we do for with just do for don't worry about five. But I don't know that because I'm still full of his pride, his ego, this image. I want you to like me and I can't say my face and say my ass. It's much more important for me to say my ass, humble myself, you know, and I've done many fifth steps, I've done a few fourth steps, and I found out that there's always a surrender in my life, when my ass is backed up against the wall, there's a surrender and then there's going to be an action, and this is the greatest action I can take, is to start writing and try to get to what is the exact nature. Why do I want to deny myself so many benefits of recovery? Why do I want to deny myself the fellowship alcoholics anonymous? Why going on to deny myself the love of God? He's everything or he's nothing. What your decision to be. So I go with the everything...

...part and I start developing a trust and I hear it, I hear from people like you and meetings like this, your experience, how you come closer to God, how you find him, and I find out in a fifth step I'm not as great as I think I am, I'm not as bad as I think I I'm a sick dude belongs going to AA meetings, and that's what I got accept. I got a persevere, I got to have courage, I got to have wisdom, the wisdom to know the difference. You know, because the road gets narrow. You know, I can't live on yesterday's recovery. It gets narrow. I have to learn how to practice his principles in all our affairs. But I can't do that. It all sounds good, you know, seven years into my recovery, I'm it comes through. I got to go to my sponsor. I had the same sponsor for twenty seven years. It was a wonderful man whose name was Jim Ready. He died with sixty two years of sobriety. Was Nineteen, I think ninety one. He died just short of his ninety two birthday. And this guy taught me about circus and humility, how to be involved. He would make suggestions. A Paul, I got a job for you. I'm thinking I'll shit. I don't want to. We need any group Picnic Chairman, Jim, I don't my mind. Okay, Buddy, I'll do it. I don't want to do that stuff, but he knows I need to be involved and I do it reluctantly, but because my mind gives me bad information and screwed this. I don't want to do this. I don't like eating my hamburger in a park, but, and this was great in a group was meeting in the Court House and Brow County at the time and it's nice to be sitting in there and you're not defendant. You know that you're there. They're doing service Ay and through that we distributed tickets and I used to get the call all the groups in Broward County about ticket sales. So by the time they show up a picnic, I know these people, but my mind telling now you don't want to do this and forget Jim. What's he know? Guy's happy, joys and freeze the most humble guy know. He's involvement service until the end. He was in his home group every Wednesday night shaking hands and he was always too nice to see young fellow come through the door. He would tell them, girls, you're looking love there all the time. Look at Ivan. He would tell Ivan that every Wednesday night and in the women that showed up and he had a love for this program. He got sober February five one thousand nine hundred and fifty seven. said he never had a drink since then and that was true and he found what he was looking for. An alcoholics anonymous and he's trying to give this to me, but me, you know, borderline genius. I want to pick and choose, but I keep hanging out with him and then I got to go to him with seven years of sobrieties tell him that, Jim, I'm having horrible Financial Times. A borrowing money from my boss and he doesn't know it. It's called him Bezzlman and he's got no idea. So Jim sits me down and we make this list and I knew that I was going to have to make this amends and at the time I sawt some outside help and through a slender thread of reading article about a golf tournament this guy was having that Bobby Richardson was going to be at. If you're Yankees Fan. So I get the slender thread Bobby Richardson. I want to meet him, but I go see the therapist and this therapist is into studying the books of St Paul,...

...slender thread. So I tell him about my financial situation. He says, well, you know, Paul, the guy could fire you. He said. The Way I want you to do is I want you to bring a money order here. We're going to start sending in money orders anonymously to the to your office. This way, when it when you are in the situation where you can go make this a financial amends with him, most of the money you'll be there. So that's when I start doing sending the money orders to the office. They're coming in. The guys, look at he's asking us. You know what this is about. And the reason why I was doing that fear, of course, I was afraid of I was afraid what I had was going to be taken away from talks about in the seventh step. Well, what I what I need, I'm not going to get. And I'm still about that. Fixing the outside dying on the inside. I'm so sick I can't get the tuna fish down. But I start doing this and they keep coming. And it all started because the guy screw me out of five hundred in a deal we did. So that's how I'm going to get back at him. I'm going to get my five hundred dollars back. Resentment, my God, shut off absolutely, but I find the freedom, I find that slender thread. The read an article about a golf tournament that Bobby Richards is going to be at and the money orders are coming. He's got no idea and I would go to retreat twice a year up at the centicle and I knew it was time and I call him. I said, mark, you know those money orders are coming from me. I've been borrowing your money and you don't know about it, and when I get back to the office Monday will go over all this and and I did that and the guy knew I was having money problems. So I turned my all my bank accounts over to my wife, who was much better with money, and he would give me an allowance every week. Well, I hated that, but he did and it helped me until I was able to pay him back fifty grand. So it's a little difficult when you're coming to AA meets and you're trying to look good and sound good, but you've got this whole in your soul because of my old behavior, is my old actions, and those ideas have to be smashed. How I gotten really in touch with the six step was I was on my way to used in one time. It's hard to believe, but I had to go stand trial for counterfeiting issues. Super Bowl Sunday, the super bowls in New Orleans. I should be there. The girl I want to go with me. As wisdom to say and I ain't going anywhere for you. And this we're exupposed to listen to the game and the game wasn't on. And I you know, I'm self pity poor paully, but I brought my twelve and twelve with me. Is Only Book I had with me and there's a line in the second page, second paragraph, it says, and I wasn't thinking about drinking. This would have been a great opportunity for me to drink on a plane by myself, looking for ease and comfort. No one that I can but but I hadn't thought about drinking. In the line in the book says if God can remove the obsession to drink, all things are possible. And that hit me, slap me both sides, awakening the spirit slender thread, I saw that I'm not thinking about drinking. I'm going to stand trial for something I know I'm guilty of,...

...but I wasn't thinking about drinking. That had been removed. I never thought that would go away. I'm drinking since thirteen only on the days that end in why I'm going any lengths to get loaded and stay load. Thank God I was in the Bar Business. All I had to do is wake up come to and get a drink, so I had to pay it in bar taps. First Time a guy offered me a job in a bar, I wanted to kiss him on the lips. He's just come work with me, you'll be great. So absolutely, buddy. So I I start to learn about what's going to separate the men from the boys that I've got, these defects, the prior the anger, the gree the Glutton the envy, the lust, the sloth. I find out how those keep me separated from you people in God, and I got to turn all that over. I have to humbly offer myself on a daily basis to let God in, let this out, because my thinking is always screwed up, always looking for the easier, softer way. Why work hard when you could steal? Why study for a test when you could cheat? Anybody ever come in with that kind of mentality? So, anyway, I go to trial, I get convicted and eighteen minutes. Trial last a week. It was it was a it was a it was a copyright infringement. I was selling these watches that had rolex on and what they weren't and in the FBI agents is look, you know, Paul, I can see you're not a jerk off, he said, and I'm sorry it's you, but we got to get a case on the books. That said precedent for this copyright infringement. It's not really about the watches. It's about Ford Motor Parts. It's about airplane parts, helicopter part, stuff that can really hurt people. So I understood that. I said it's nothing my mom would be proud of. So the judge likes me. Tryal last a week. She gives me a fifty fine. She gives me a hundred hours community service and probation. So I take my community service. I was already doing an Nh Andi meeting at this this program called New Vista's mentally challenge adults. So they go to him. I say Hey, can I do my community service here? She's absolutely so I'm the bus drive around the weekends. I'm taking the mentally challenge adults out to antique shows and art show. That's where I met vinny. Look got good. He's the and then one day my spirits going to be awakened. Or on the way to the seaquarium and I look in the rear view of mirror and I said thank you Lord. One more left turn. That could have been me sitting in the back of the bus, not driving the bus, and I got this warm sense of gratitude and I knew I got to change. I got to change it all. And I make that surrender and I take an action. Humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings, the seven deadly sins, and I got to start telling on the disease more and more and more sick as my secrets. So I try to let go a secrets like right away, you know. And I've gone on to do my eight step in and do my ninth step and make amends, you know, to demonstrate some brotherly love and to start healing relationships with with my family and my friends and all the people I did harm to. Know. Almost all of them were were well...

...received. I mean nobody ever said Hey, don't worry about the money, not one of them. I wrote twenty dollar, fifty dollars checks for years and I don't want to do it, but so much of living a sober life is telling. My mind goes, screw you. So you got to do this if you want to continue to stay sober. I I'm a big proponent of the tenth and eleventh step do it on a daily basis. There's a line in the twelve and twelve that says a direct linkage between self examination and meditation. That will give us an unshakable foundation for life and Man, I want that today. I want to have an unshapable foundation. You know, I say I try to stay pretty level. You know, Russell's been a big part of that. With what how upsetable we can be. You know, to make sure my own house is in order, the examine my motors on a regular basis. And why I'm saying about Russell? How fortunate are we people on his screen and in this church to have a guy like Russell spats carrying his message to us? His experience is strength, and hope guys like him a come around. Not Too much him real key Peter, you know, rare fines. I got to hear Peter's sponsor speak atself Dixie last week and he talked a lot about the stuff at seven, eight years, about not changing, and it's someone porn for us. Just because we're not drinking doesn't mean we alcohol. It goes away the Icel from the Mat and that's why I have to be aware of the ten step and I do mind a little bit different. I have four questions. What did I do? I like them respecting myself for what did I do for somebody else? And what happened today made me feel good but had nothing to do with me. You know, I meet this kid at dinner tonight. Six days got nothing to do with me, gets out here and reads like a champ. Any time I go to a meeting, I can see that. Anytime somebody picks up a chip or the day, it's got nothing to do with me, but man, that makes me feel good. So I wake up my days trying to, like, think of others before I think of me. You know, I write, you know, thank you for another day of Lord. Please direct my thinking, please show me the way. And then then I read. I read the upper room of methodist pamphlet that Dr Bob used to use it as morning meditations. Always a message in there. I read the Jesus calling. Always read the daily reflections and I read the twenty four hour book. You know what those books are about is improving my conscious contact, which leads me into the eleven strap step. But my side of the street has to be clear. I have to look out for the dishonesty, selfishness. Am I afraid? Am I resentful? Resentments kill us, kill me, and I just went through a series of a resentment. I was right and every night I'm on my knees praying, I'm getting up in the morning I'm praying, I'm talking about I'm turning it over. I talked to Russell about he says, you need to tell me you and alcoholics got a resentment against another alcoholic. Shocking, that's simple, but I was willing to get it out. And when we get it out, magically goes away and if it comes back, I turn it over again. I really try...

...to learn live it turned over life. I try to spend twenty minutes every morning, sometimes less, sometimes more, get a getting centered, allowing the meditation to work in this fine tune piece of machine, to breathe in peace and calm, and I have much better days when I do that. You know, then, what do we ask? That, though we're promised in awakening the spirit. You know, it's like when I used to go into the bar or when I would go buy my stuff, I wanted to know who those people were. They were going to be my best friends. Got Odds, grace leads me here to AA. Why wouldn't I want to get to know him better? Through a couple hours of work in the morning, prayer, meditation, writing, looking to keep my side of the street clean. The prey only only for the knowledge, but it's hell is well for me. And then we're this awakening the spirit, the profound personality change. It's available to all of us. Takes a little work, take some effort, but after a while we start seeing the goodness in our life and we start seeing the goodness and other people. Why wouldn't I want that? Why wouldn't I want to know my Holy Trinity Better? The father, your father, my far our father. He sends his son to us to show us you can do this, a day at a time. And then the spirit within, the Holy Spirit that is each and in each and every one of us, and that spiritual connection. And Look at the screen of look around the room. There's a connection here with us. It's not about the drinking anymore. It's about living principles, spiritual principles. If practice eyes, a way of life can expel the obsession to drink and make people like us happy and usefully whole, to have some joy. And we just asked the practice these principles and carry the message, this message that the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous, work for people like us, one day at a time. We don't take one drink, we go to one meeting, we reach out to help one person. Man, how fortune in a week. You know, I used to sit and drink and think and drink and I used to look at those people going to work, man, look at those steps and I'd go out to go to sleep in the car, thinking I got like balls, sick and suffer. So Anyway, I'm married to the same woman for thirty years in a row, of four daughters. Oldest is forty nine in New Orleans. Grandson. They're happily married there. My grandson there. I have a forty five year old that says real estate, I have a forty two year old that's school teacher, teacher, special needs, and I had my twenty nine year old that I got to keep my eye on all the time. She might have a few tendencies here and I you know, I have three grand kids here local now. I wanted none of this, but through God's grace and asking for help from him and for people like you, I have al that's when way away, beyond my fallest dreams. So thank you so much for allowing me to come here and fill in for Russell. I wish each and everyone in a very merry Christmas and thank you for helping me stay sober. One more that.

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