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

Episode 36 · 2 years ago

Russell S at There Is A Solution group - Step 7: Humility - Let perseverance finish its work

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Russell S at There Is A Solution group, Barnegat, NJ - Russell S - 12 week Step Series Started July 8, 2020

You, guys. Is there anybody here? I'm just wondering. I see a couple of guys that look like they been long in the tooth. Anybody here over the age of seventy? Don't be a shame given raise anybody? Just I'm just wondering. On I sent to the crowd here. Others. Curtis will? Curtis will understand what I'm talking about. Anybody else? What about you, rich? You look like you're ninety or something. I know what's going on. You've been drinking too much. Nobody else. That's it. Just Curtis. I see Adam me, Jamie. Good, good, it's good, good, you know, I think. By the way, my name is Russell. I'm an alcoholic, if you haven't met me so far, and it's good to see you, guys. I I'm a little fat. I haven't had it, had I haven't found that. Haven't drink since January twenty one night, twenty five, one thousand nine hundred and eighty one, and married thirty nine years, got four kids, adult kids and seven grandkids and doing this thing for a while. And I want to talk to you a little bit about my life. The tragedy that is my wife and I'm just going to talk about my experience with this thing. I'm going to actually believe it or not, and you're going to you may not believe this, I will get around to step seven. As a matter of fact, this entire talk will be on step seven. But it but listen, trust me on this. It just won't look like it. It won't look like it, but you're gonna have to wait until you'll five minutes before I finish. You might figure it out. So you just got to you're going to have to, unfortunately, do some work on this. I'm not going to spoon spoon for you. I'm just going to throw out some stuff. Throw out some stuff and maybe it'll all come together. It's always amazing to me whether it all comes together or not. I mean, this is going to depend on you. You know, there's like what eighty seven, eighty eight people in this thing. Is gonna be like eighty eight meetings going on. Some of you going to hear some things, other people can hear other things, and that's what I've learned about a really depends upon where you're at. So I'm going to talk about six and seven, or two of my favorite steps, and one of the reasons they're my favorite steps is they're probably the ones that I'm most involved and they are what I what I believe. They are the motor and a they're the steps that do separate the men from the boys and they're the thing that really takes us up into the thirty, forty years and too, emotional, emotional, sobriety. So I'm going to throw out of a couple of things and hopefully you'll you'll hear something for this whole thing is done. I'm going to read some things out of the big book, I'm going to quote some things, I'm going to tell you a few things about my life and about what step seven means to me, and that's the deal. So let me let me first start by reading something from alcoholics anonymous. Number three, there's a story in the book by Bill Dotson. Build Dotson is the man on the bed. If you've ever been into an eight room, you've seen that picture of bill and Bob with a Bible in their hands. But it was somewhere around nineteen thirty seven or so, thirty six, thirty five, I don't know, something like that, and they were there was a man on the bed and that man on the bed in those fuck you looking tshirt was bill dots and he's the one wh would clock the nurse and they had come to twelve steph them or talk to him, give him the good news. And they had the Bible, because between nineteen thirty five and nineteen thirty nine, when the book was published, they didn't have the big book alcoholics anonymous. The books they found absolutely essential. What they said we're absolutely essential was first Corinthians, thirteen, sermon on them out, and the book of James. As a matter of fact, we were almost called the James Club, the jump drugs of the James Club, and so that's what they used, basically to twelve step people. And so they were. The guy on the bed was bill dots and he was aucoholics anonymous number three, and he has a story. His story is in the book and there's a one of the great lines that TS Eliot says. All these things are like repeated over and over again. I found all these concepts are repeated in the big book, the repeated in the Bible. They're impeding all they repeating all the important literature. Same thing, just different words. And one of the things that build Dotson says, I mean that TS eliots said in the four quatrains, as he has this line. He says we will not cease our exploration and when we come to the end of our seeking and our exploring, we will come to the place where we began, having known the place for the first time. And I've spent forty years in alcoholics anonymous and seventy one years on the planet to come to the place where I where I began, having now knowing the place for the first time. I don't even know how to explain it other than that you know I came in. I came into alcoholics anonymous, clueless. Listen to me. I graduate...

...with departmental honors and mathematics. I was going for my PhD in Algebraic topology. I went to law school. I was a national science science foundation fellow. I was division chief before I was twenty, before I was twenty on. Let me see, before I was twenty six years old, I had already tried thirty, twenty murder cases, before Jewry trucks. I was just a murder tray, murder cases and and I knew everything. I was always the smartest guy in the room, but that's all I knew. I knew nothing. I was clueless. There's a line by some psychiatrist or some spiritual guy that says if you get the age of thirty five and you have no idea why you're on the plan it, but what your purpose is, you're going to be to a certain extent, neurotic. And I was always one neurotic son of a bitch. I can tell you that I had no clue, but I didn't know I had no clue. I was operating on automatic pilot. I was operating on selfishness and self centeredness, though I didn't think so pill of self, the route selfdelusion and fear, doing all the stuff they talk about in the big book. I came to alcoholics anonymous. I was I was. I came downcoholics anonymous to stop drinking. After I stopped drink. I came in clueless and to stop drinking after I stopped drinking. I was just clueless, which is clueless. You know, I had no clue, thank God. Blessed is the alcoholic that comes in clueless and knows he's clueless. Sad is the alcoholic who comes without Bolls, anonymous and stop drinking and thinks he actually knows what the fuck he's talking of. That you know guys that say things like you don't understand and that kind of shit. You know. So, in any event, I want I want to read this thing from the big book. This is the alcoholics anonymous number three. There is on page one hundred and ninety one. You can check it out. I'm not I'm not laying anything on you. That isn't quote conference approved. Okay, so this is what this is what buil Dotson said. It would be hard to estimate how much Aa has done for me. I really wanted the program and I wanted to go along with it. I noticed that others. I noticed that others. You know that line the book. If you want, we have and you're willing to go to any length to get it. Has Anybody ever walked into an a room sober two years, over three years, over five years old, I don't care how long you sober, and met somebody, a man or a woman, that you know they were sobering? You were so but you know that had something you didn't have. You have you ever see a speaker who said, I don't know, you're both sober. You know what I mean. You're both an AA. We're all equal, you know. But you would say to yourself, man, I wish, I wish I could have what he has. I wish you could be like him, I wish I could be like it. You have that ever happened to you? You they there was something about them. You know, I came in, I had when I had three years sobriety. I would see guys with thirty years. I wanted to have thirty years in six months. You know. You know how many. It took me a long time to realize that the only way to get thirty years is you got to put in thirty years. Isn't that a bitch some especially if you're impatient. You know, I wanted what they had and it was always somebody that had something that I wanted that I didn't know how to get. So this is what don't want. The DOTS and says and I like reading this because because this really matches up with me. If I'm reading this, this is this is Bill Dotson, but I'm telling you this is my story. This is my when you read about him and what he was doing, what he was thinking, this is me going to a meetings. It would be hard to estimate how much a has done for me. I really wanted the program I wanted to go along with it. I noticed that others seem to have such a release, a happiness, a something I thought a person ought to have. I was trying to find the answer. I knew there was even more, more, something that I hadn't got, and I remember one day, a week or two after I had come out of the hospital, Bill, he's talking about, Bill Wilson, was at my house talking to my wife and try and I was trying to find out why they had this relief, why they had this release that they seem to have. You know how, the how, the the promises that we all like to read. You know how it says you're going to be rocking into the fourth dimension of existence, of which we had not even dreamed. Hey, what would that be like? Well, would be we ever try to want? What that...

...problem with every time will what would that feel like to be rocketed in the fourth dimension of existence, of which would not even drink? I'm not just something that sort of throw in the book and really basically bullshit. It doesn't happen. or I mean they're not talking about anxiety. Are there anybody ever been sober for a while and still still anybody ever have anxiety? Sober never have anxiety. You ever find yourself worried about stuff. You ever worry about other people or either judgment or you know that. What do they say? That promise of fear of people and of economy. You ever worry about money? You ever worry about material they ever worry about what people are thinking about you, what they might think about you or what might happen to you. You ever? You ever worry about stuff like that. Five years over, ten years, over, fifteen years over you ever? You ever say to yourself, what am I going to be rocked in the fourth dimension of existence and Experience Much of Heaven? You ever worry. You ever say to yourself, then this shit ain't never going to happen for me. You ever get discourage? In other book says do not be discouraged. So they say we're going to know. I wonder why people like the promises being read. You know, people love to hear the promises. You know, it's almost like read it to me again, maybe one day it'll actually happen to me. You know, will that be great? What did be great if it wasn't bullshit. And then it says will experience much of Heaven. We're going to experience much of heaven. Wow, whatever that is. I knew there was even more. Something I had in God and I remember one day, a week or two after I had come out of the hospital, Bill was at my house talking to my wife and me. We were eating lunch and I was listening and trying to find out why they had this release that they seem to have. I saw a guy speaking of the meeting I had three months of Brite. His name was alt Kennedy. I might have mentioned them last week. Most good stuff is worth repeating. I don't mind repeating stuff. I think alcoholics need repetition. I know I did. I need to hear the same thing over and over and over again. You know I have a line. Those of you get my emails you know one of the lines I have in my emails is. What is the line? I'm going to read it to you right now that I love to read because it's so true. It's so true in my alcoholic life. One of the lines of my emails is this. It says, trying to remember who wrote this line. Truly, a man may look at a thing nine hundred and ninety nine times and not see it once, then look at it for the thousandth time and see it for the first time. That ever happened to you? You ever read something in the big book that you know you've read before? Here's something out of me that you know you've heard before, but all of a sudden is like a whole new mean it's like a big deal. It becomes like a big deal to you. Like all of a sudden it's like, man, you see something you never saw it before, like for the first time. I mean that's happened to me so many times. So it says bill was at my house talking to my wife. We were eating launch and I was listening and trying to find out why they had this release that they seem to have. So this out Kennedy Guy gave us incredible talk. You had about thirty years he was about seven years old and it was such a good talk. It was so inspiring. I said to my sponsor I said, man, I wish I could hang around that guy with. What group does he go to? And my sponsor attorney says, you know, he's dying of cancer. And I said, and I thought it, I said to him. I didn't think he heard that. I said no, I'm talking about the guy was just did the meeting. He says, yeah, that Guy's say anything about he says, yeah, he's got six months to live and he was dead in six months. I'll Kennedy, I'll never forget that. I'll never forget that. You know, I'll never forget you know. You know, you see, you meet people in a a, you see things in a a. You know, I used to say things like, if I was feeling sorry for myself, I would say I thought there was, I thought there was no other way of doing things except for feeling sorry for yourself. And I would say things like this. Well, sure, that's easy for you to say, you're not going through it. If you were going to through the same thing, you would feel the same way. I really believe that. I really believe I would kill you with the pieces that you didn't have that I was so unique. Yeah, if it happened to you, you would be in the same thing. And here's a guy, he's dying of cancer and he's doing an a me and he's trying to he's trying to minister to people, he's trying to lift people up and he doesn't even mention it. So I wouuld run into people and alcoholics, anonymous that...

...was doing life with an attitude completely different, obviously, of the way I did life. And they were alcoholics just like me. They were living illustrations that I didn't have to do it that way, that I could have cancer and be dying and be happy. You know, somebody had told me you could have cancer and be dying and be happy. I want to believe him, but I ran into a guy who had cancer and he was dying and he was happy and was trying to help people. Doubt, you know, I ran I ran into guys like I ran into guys like that. When you see it with your own eyes, it's hard to deny that it's possible. And you know what I wanted? What alt Kennedy had. I wanted that not scared of dying shit. I mean, I have the not drinking deal. I didn't have the not scared of dyeing deal. I didn't have to not worried about money deal. I didn't have them not lusting the Gut for women and Romance. I didn't have the lot, not craving and lusting for everything, the things of this world deal. I didn't have an hit tex stuff. I can do you that. We're eating lunch and I was listening, trying to find out why they had this release that they seem to have. Bill looked across at my wife and said to her, Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease that I just want to keep talking about it and telling other people. I thought, I think I have the answer. Bill was very, very grateful that he had been released from this terrible thing and he had given God the credit for having done it and he's so grateful about it he wants to tell other people about it. That sentence, that the Lord has been so wonderful to me, cure me of this terrible disease that I just want to keep telling people about it has been a sort of golden text for the a program and for me. So when the when I was about nine years sober, as I said, where they say really haven't seen a person Phil who has thoroughly followed our our fault, thoroughly followed our path, they wrote that in nineteen thirty nine and and between nineteen thirty five, when a was born, and nineteen thirty nine, when the big book was published, to thoroughly follow their path was not to read the big book, because I don't think it should have to explain this, but I will, because the big book wasn't published yet. So if you want to know what they were doing, what they were doing, if you are curious enough. At some point in time, I did become curious about nine years, you would have to read Dr Bob and the good old timers and with Dr Bottom goodld tims says. It says the books they found absolutely essential. Is what I said. was first with you as thirteen, sermon on the Mount and the book of James, which is in the Bible. Now, of course they use the Bible. You could use the Bible and that's where all this stuff comes from, from the Oxford Movement and the Oxford Group, and you can read up on that if you really want to know what the source of material was, to read the context. But of course, but in order to do that, in order to read the Bible and read the stuff they're reading, you'd have to get past your prejudice against organized religion. Of course, the big book says Sober People, People are actually working this program, who are working this program, will lose all prejudice, even against organized religion. They'll be they'll be able to look past the people and see where those things are right and they'll try to adopt them. They'll even they even encourage church membership. But there are people able to do that and there are people that have contempt, and that's I understand that. But but luckily for me, and even though I was, I was scared of the church thing and of the Bible thing because and the reason I was scared, to be honest with you, is not because I had any bad experiences, but because, as most alcoholics, one of the consequences, it says, unlesson until an alcoholic accepts his alcoholism and all its consequences. Sobriety of me precarious. A true happiness will find it at all. One of the consequences is I want to be loved by people and looked up to and I don't want people laughing at I worry very much about people's judgment. Thus the promise fear people in that continen screw willieve you as a big deal because most of my life. I think about being anxieties of my life. It's probably has to do with money and it probably has to do with what people will think about me. And even the money stuff, like not having a new car or losing my house or being bankrupt, behind all that is well, if that happens to me, what will people think about me? So so, my getting, you're not having any self esteem or any self worth, being a typical alcoholic who's always involved in self talk, saying you're a piece of shit, as you're trying to tell yourself you're great and you're fantastic and better than everybody everything, but that comes from a personality that really thinks you're unworthy and you don't deserve to live. Being the typical alcoholic, what happens is I want people to accept me. I...

...wanted to accept me in the bar. I wanted to set me an AA and it doesn't take long, and and alcoholics anonymous, to realize that if you talk about God or the Bible, people going to laugh at you, they're going to you're going to feel humiliated. So to go along because you know a lot of people sending you these sort of messages, even though the big book says all about God. The message in Aa is I'm spiritual, not religious, you know, and we're against church and we don't want to hear that stuff. You shouldn't talk. Now. That is not a a, by the way. That is not the big book and that is not the program but that's pretty much the fellowship, which in a fellowship is not, well, people's anonymous. It's basically made up of people anywhere, because tween the ages of like one day sobriety and thirty years sobriety, that really would balk. And you know, basically they're all doing their own prog they're doing the same program I'm doing. I'm going to do everything in the big book except the Shit they don't want to do. And of course, the one thing alcoholics don't want to do, we know this from chapter of the agnostic, is they don't want to have to give their life to God. They don't want to have to do that stuff because within the in the I mean that's the one big bugaboo of A. is it? Well, why do we even have to do this God thing? That's what the guy said to Dr Bob. He said why? Why? Why is Godden for he says. It's everything Dr Bob said. That's why I said you're an atheist. Agnostic God some sort of intellectual pride that keep it from this. I feel sorry for Your heavenly father will never let you down. So understand if you're in a meeting of alcoholics, anonymous, even though God is the answer, seeing that your relationship with him is right and great events will happen. Your real reliance has to be on him. We're on a new basis of trust, relying upon God. We never apologize for God. God either is or is and what your decision going to be? You know that kind of stuff. You know this sort of thinking has to be abandoned. I, fromire code of morals, better philosophy of life, could only write. You know, would have helped us, even though the whole thing is about even though the great fact is this and nothing less, that God has to become the central fact your life. You have to be convinced that lives in your hearts of mine, which that even though the whole book is about throwing your life utterly into God's love and think about him and making a central fact understand your you're involved with a group of people none of which one to do that. You understand. Nobody wants to do that. And if you talk about God at a means, they are going to feel threatened. Even guys with fifteen, twenty years going to feel threatened, especially if they are not doing it. You understand what I'm saying. You know, and so that's the deal. So understand your you have two things going. You have a disease that wants to kill you, want's to kill you, and the only answer is God, utterly giving Your Life to God, and you got a fellowship that would rather not go there. And so just understand what you deal and you've got a disease that's telling you you want people to accept you. You don't want to buck the tide. You'RE A follower, you're not a leader. Alcoholics or followers, we're not leaders. We want to you know. We don't want to take the chance that people laugh at us. Okay. So going from there, moving on. So the books that cond absolutely necessary were first met the in thirteen surrounding out of the book of James. So when I was about nine years sober, I was sober and I was doing the program as hard as you could do the program probably, except for the God thing, although I'm not saying I was anti good. I I held hands, I said, you know, I wasn't an atheist. I said all that stuff, but I wasn't like, like really into it, and you I certainly wouldn't be talking like this. Okay, and but I wanted more. I wanted more because I never I it seemed to me that all through my a life I always ran in, I was always looking at the old timers that had this release and I wanted what they had and I would meet to another one and another one and another one that I want what they have, and I knew I was deficient. I knew there was more, and it seems no matter how far along the road I got, there was always the sense that I hadn't I hadn't got it yet. You know what I mean? I hadn't got I knew there's somewhere, but I hadn't got it yet. No matter how far I went, no matter what I was doing it, it didn't even if I was doing stepney's about sponsoring people, if I was speaking the circuit sweet, whatever the heck it was, I never felt like I got it. You know, there were always these guys that had it. They don't like out. There was always the out Kenny's. I never had it, you know, and it's I'm not saying my sobriety was bad, I mean it was. I settled, I was. I was settling, like it says the sixth book. I settled, you know, it's good enough, it's okay, but it wasn't all Kennedy Sobriety. You know, there was always anxiety. It was always something, you know, like Rosanna down as always something. So so when I had nine years, what happened is my my desire to get more put me in a...

...situation where I ran into a guy was suggested I go to Bible study. So I did and I sat next to a man who ended up being my third sponsor, John Glenn, who had sixty one years so briany, and it was a baptist preacher, which is what God needed to put in my life at the time. So I would and I started studying the source material. And when I started studying the source material that they were reading in alcoholics anonymous, the big book, sort of it went from black and white to technicolor to me and a lot of things I didn't understand. I started understanding because I was reading it in the context of what they were reading it. So, for instance, when they said we, when they said kindly act once in a while isn't enough. We have to be to read the goods, be the Good Samaritan every day, capital, good, capital, g capitals. I read in Luke what they were reading. I read the the parable of the good samarity. So I knew what the Good Samaritan was and I studied the Good Samaritan and what it came from, what they were so when they wrote it, I knew what they were thinking. And then I read the book of James. And we have some things in Ay that a sort of mysterious and and and you know, something will always be a sense of mystery to me. There's a sense of mystery because God's involved that I'll never pierced with my mind. And one of the things they have in Aa is this line half measures avail us nothing. You ever see that half man? You ever see that in a half measure of Lus nothing what it says? It says we must get rid of our old ideas, we must start. It tells us half measures of Elis nothing. We set it to templing. All that stuff I've never totally understood that. I mean, I hear it, but I don't understand it. There are like lines that you hear and you mouth and you say hear what they're saying, but you don't necessarily believe that half pleasures of Ellis nothing, because I wasn't doing this thing perfectly and I was sober. So how can half measures avail you nothing? You understand can they avail you nothing? How's that possible when it's given me something? Of course I have like the mind of an aunt. I don't get it, I don't understand it. So then I read the book of James and this is what it I want to read you something from the book of James. I want to look for the word nothing. It says consider it pure joy. My brothers, this is James Chapter One. And Sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, anybody they ever go through tough times, never go through trials and tribulations in a yeah, considered pure joy. My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance endurance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. But if you lack wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault, and will be given to you. But when you ask you must believe and not doubt. Not have any doubts, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the seed, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect, should not expect to receive anything. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double minded and unstable. And all they do. You know, for years after I came with the A, I have to admit and probably I still do it to a certain extent. You know how they say not only half measures of lse do you only say? There's no middle of the road solution. God either is or he isn't. There's no middle of the road solution. You can't love God and the World God. And you know they say that he's got to be the central fact. He's got been centrals fat number for years. One of my biggest problems, although I didn't realize it, is I had one foot in God and I had another foot in the world. I had one eye on you know what? I was in a and holding hands and saying the Lord's prayer. I was thinking about God for thirty seconds or a minute maybe, in an a room. Let you think about and then I'm out there actually trying to earn a living. You know, have sex, have romance, dud the I'm out there. I'm like, I'm like. Part of me wants to be like Jesus, but a large part of me would rather be like you. Have no you know what I mean. I mean that's that's just the truth. I want to be like Jesus, but a billionaire. You know what I mean. I don't be like the poor Jesus. I want to be the rich Jesus in a Porsche. Okay, and my entire life, all, I would say, all my problems, I've always been a matter of wanting to be the good guy, wanted to be the right guy, wanted you the right thing, but wanting a lot of money and chicks. And I don't know why that Shit doesn't work. I don't know why. They say pseudo relationship with him is right. I don't know why, but but apparently, apparently,...

...if you want that out Kennedy, kind of sobriety apparently you can't do it with half measures. I mean there's two types of a. You can have the not drinking AA. For the next twenty, thirty years you could not drink and very you a miserable son of a bitch, not really happy, or you gotta be Al Kennedy A, and apparently having the Al Kennedy a is so incredible. Being rocking in the fourth dimension is so incredible. Experiencing much of having is so incredible. Apparently that kind of life, that kind of life, is so incredible. Just settling from your sobriety is like getting nothing. Is like getting nothing. It's like going to the banquet with a serving filet Mignon and lobster and walking away with a ham sandwich. It's like nothing, which is why this this great emphasis on the God thing. And why that? Why that has to do with separating the men from the boys. So let me take it now. Let me get away from there and get through pick go through this fast. So I came downcoholics anonymous, and here's the deal with A. I did the first time without any question. I came and I hit bottom. I hit bottom, you know, and I realized I was powers over alcohol. My life was unmanageable. But I came day, like most people come day, because I wanted to stop drinking, and I came into a a. and this is what my thinking was. My thinking was is that I had a drinking problem. How many people came today because they have drinking problem? It's a reasonable place to go because, you know, the name is listen, the name is alcoholics anonymous. So if you think you have a drinking problem, probably the right place to go rather than the Kiwanis Club. You know what I mean? You know, it's just like writing the name. You know. So what happens is when you think you have a drinking problem, when you think your life is unmanageable because a drinking and you go to Aa, what you think for the first five years or so is you think that your problem is drinking. So if you don't drink, you won't have problems. Does that make any sense? So you sort of think that everything will be a okay with you. Your life is based okay as long as you don't drink, and so the whole emphasis, at least it seems to you, during the first year, even though they're talking about probably other things. The probably talking about God, and for step and other things, but the whole efence, don't drink, even if you ask, falls off. You know what I mean? Just don't drink, go to me. It's okay, everything be okay if you just don't drink. Go to means that don't drink, everything's going to work out. So you actually start believing that stuff and you start thinking that the disease has to do with drinking. Now, I know there are lines in the boocket. It says drinking is not the disease, it's just a symptom of disease. Disease just the symptom of the disease. But you know, newcomers don't read that Shit. Really, people don't read. That's like advanced A. People come into alcoholics anonymous because of the drinking. It is the disease that to them, that is the disease, the drinking. They even use it against you. When you say do this, I say I'm not even thinking about drinking, I don't have a drinking problem, I'm never going to drink again. They don't. They think drinking is the disease. So it's time. I thought drinking was the disease. I thought as long as I drank everything within drink, I would be okay. So then what happens is you get to the second step, and the second step is and I'm not saying anybody actually understand. I've please understand. When I came in here I had to near rns working. They were waving good bye to each other. I had no idea, none, zero, what these steps really meant. Yes, he really. There was no way. I was clueless. But but when the step says came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, I understood about him. Come to believe a power greater than me. Maybe that's my sponsor, maybe that's the group, maybe it's God, maybe it's the clouds. Who knows what it is? And if I focused on spiritual stuff I'd be okay. I'm sort of understood that, but I didn't quite get the idea, even though I knew I was crazy. That's my fact. Didn't even bother me that was crazy. I knew I was crazy. That's why I like a a because everybody's fucking nuts, you know what I mean? I like it because are perfect. I like you because there's noody, as I am well but what happened is when I came to Aa, I didn't realize that what they were really saying, and what they were really saying is I'm crazy, I am insane and I must be restored to sanity because I have insane thinking. My thinking is insane. I know nothing. I don't know the truth from the false. My alcoholic life seems the only normal one. Most of the people I heard in my life, I heard hold stone sober, I heard many insane people, many of the irresponsible ways after coming day that I did before. I...

...was insane before I took my first drink. I was insane during my drinking. I've been insane for years after I stopped drinking. My insanity is in my mind, not my body. If that's nothing with alcohol, has the way, the way I see things. And here's the real problem. I don't even know how insane I am. And so when I take that third step, and I did the third why did I do the third step? I have no clue. I did the search that because I wanted my sponsor to like me. I was. Did the third step because, like everything else, I got ahead and school I wanted everybody name do. I did the third step. I wanted to progress, you know, I wanted to get the gold star and be voted president of alcoholics anonymous. Who knows why I did the third step, but I did. Okay, but here's the problem. When you do the third stay, I did search that within about three months. At my getting the program I got on my knees, I said the prayer, I locked the door and every like that. Nobody could see me and I got up and then business as usual. But here's the problem. When I did the third step, I was still insane. You understand what I'm saying. When I did the third step, I was still in listen, I want to tell you something. I was insane for a good ten year, Fifteen, twenty years. I may be quite frankly, I may have a touch of it still right now. I may not have got there's a possibility. Don't rely entirely what I say to you. I May, I may still have a little bit of it. As a matter fact, I know I do. But it's a lot better. Okay, but when I first did the third step, but I gave my life and I read the prayer and everything like that. There's a big difference with doing the third step when you're insane and you don't know you're insane, and doing the sixth step, which is like the third step on steroids, when you actually know what the hell you're doing. There's a big difference between being christened in Church when you're seven days old and you don't know Shit and making an actual decision to give your life to God when you're twenty years old or thirty years old or forty years a big, big difference. When you when you when you realize, when you're actually doing something, you know what the hell you're doing. My sponsor used to said, used to say the first step in getting out of jail is knowing you're in jail in the first place. I thought my jail cell look like a bottle, and my jail cell did look like a bottle. My life became a model. But you cannot get out of jail. After you get rid of the bottle, after you get rid of the drinking, you are in a different jail. The jail you're in is a jail called alcoholism, and it's a bad jail and you can't get out of it. You can stop the drinking, you can't stop the nasty and screwed up thinking. And here's the problem. My sponsor was right. The first step and get out of jail's knowing you're in jail the first place and at four months, at five months, at one year, at five years, at tension. I had no idea what that jail really look like. You know what happens when you do the fourth step in the fifth step? I'll tell you what happens when you do the four step in the fifth step. It's like walking into a dark room with a with a small flashlight and you get a little bit of an idea of what the jail cell looks like. You got a little idea what the jail cell looks like. Believe me, you don't see the entire jail cell, but you get a little bit of an idea what the jail cell looks like. You have no idea the kind of jail. You're ready. You get to say things to your sponsor like you don't understand, or I'm different, or you got to know the whole story because you don't understand what the jail but if you do the fourth step in the fifth step, you get an idea what the jail cell of selfishness and self centeredness and with alcohol, but the craziness of alcoholism looks like so that by the time you go through the fourth and fifth step, your whole perception goes from feeling like you're a victim and feeling sorry for yourself for feeling sorry for the people that had to put up with you. It's a whole complete paradign change, because now you see the jail cell you're in. Now you realize your best thinking got you in there, and then for the next ten or fifteen years you get to stumble around, make mistakes, hurt people, live with them on your mind, go three night anxiety, make amends, do all this stuff just so you can see how big and how bad the jail cell really is. Just so at six years sobriety you can see, man, this real. This is a serious disease. I don't even think you get a real good glimpse of this disease until you got ten years sobriety. I don't even know what the hell you're dealing with. In you you got fifteen year sobriety and they tell you got cancer, you get fired or your wife leaves. You're a it happens to you. You start you learned every time my life turns to shit and things go bad...

...and I go crazy, I get to learn a little bit more about how crazy and sick I am. And you can't get out of this thing unless you've been at least turn that flashlight up, those plead like lights up somewhere around I don't know where. I don't even know where it was. I want to say nine years. Maybe it was ten, maybe was seventeen, maybe was twenty, maybe was to idem no idea, I'm sure. After I start going a Bible study and hanging around John Glen and everything like that, I started really getting involved in that sixth and seven step because I wanted, because I had got to the point where I was sober over ten years. So I had to quote respect the people in a A. I was speaking around rooms, my business was go was doing okay in business and other things and stuff like that. I was respected in a, but I knew there was something missing. Man, for me there's nothing worse than being an AA and being sober and having time and knowing that something's missing and not being able knowing that it's watching men. I didn't want what I didn't want. I looked at a, I looked at people in A. I love them, I love people, I love sponsored you, I love doing everything, but I didn't want what everybody had an AA at ten years I I wanted what Aut Kennedy had. I want what Joe Sneider had. I wonder what the guys with three thousand and thirty five the guys that I wanted and I can never quite grasp it. I can never quite I thought if I hung around them, if I just hang out with him, I could get it. You know, and it is true, that if you hang with them and you see how they think and you hear what they think, but there's there's something about you got it. You got my sponsor to say, with a man with experience, with's a man with money, the man with experience and walk away with the money and then with the money will walk away with their experience. There's something about having to walk through the fire, walk through the cancer twice, walk through the foreclosure, walk through the bullshit, walk through the stuff, trusting in God, trusting in God, trusting in God, trusting in God, turning it over, turning it over, serenity, prayer, serenity, prayers, serenity, prayer, so that it's immense in your mind where one day, like it says the Big Book, God be son comes a central fact in your life and you're absolutely convinced, without doubt, that he's working in your heart and mind, when the way which is in deemed miraculous. He's doing for you what you can't do for yourself, and you can't. You can't tell somebody they've got to do it, you can't boss somebody that they have to do it, you can't direct them that they got to believe. You know, this faith is not taught. It's got to be caught. You got to catch it, you got to be infected by it. You've got to go through the struggles and the bullshit of life and turn it over. That's how you get a new perspective right repeated humiliations and the final crushing of your self sufficiency. So you go through it so many times because, no matter how many times God saved you, no matter how many times it works, the next time you're sure he's not going to show up. You got to go through it so many times where you become convinced on the two thousand time you're broke. You got to be able to say to yourself, I'm not even worried of that because it's happened to thousand times and the Lord has always got me out of this. I don't even give a shit anymore, you know what I mean, because I know God's going to help me out of this. You got to go to the cancer and saying, you know, I'm not even worried about if I die, I die, if I live, I live. I'm just going to trust the Lord. I know he's going to get it out of it. And I don't know how you get to that point where you go from a scared shitless alcoholic trying to manage everybody in the life. I don't know how you get to that point where, no matter what happens in your life, you've been through it a thousand times and God has saved a thousand times. So you finally believe that your life is in his hands and you just got to trust in him to do it right. And you know I'm not. I think the only way you do it is you got to go through it. The only way you do it is you got to go through it. I can't tell you when it happened, but I can tell you this. I reached the point in my life where I made a serious decision. I didn't settle, I made it the serious decision that like go listen to the Lord has been so wonderful to me. Turn me of this table disease I got to keep talking about and tell other people. I made a serious decision for God, and I think that's when I became I think that has to do with that. Says this is the step that separates from men, from the boys, and I knew where all the power was, I knew where all the weather credit belonged, and then I started living a life praying to God that he would remove this craziness and these defects of character. Knowing, knowing that, I've kept on focusing on him, it says, it says once you make that decision for him. Also, it's remarkable things happen. Being all powerful. He's not the higher power, shit higher power. For me as a redhead, it's not the higher power, it's the highest power.

You know what I mean, the highest power knowing if I stay close to him, he will give me everything I need, if I stay close to him and perform his work well, and so my whole life has to be focused on God and performing his work. Well, and I'll tell you what's happened to me. I can only report. What's happened to me is, after that stuff started happening over and over again, I started focusing more and more God. You know something, I stopped worrying about what people thought about me and they you know, this talk I'm giving you right now is no different than every anytime. Anybody's ever listen to me knows that every time I give a talk I'm talking about good, I'm talking about this. It bothers you. Let me tell you something bothers you. You need to look. Yeah, you want to talk to your sponsor about it. The boy, you know, whenever you disturbed, matter what the cause, there's something wrong with you. If my talking about God bothers you, you just thank God that Bill Wilson and Dr Barber Not your sponsors. You better be. You ought to read the book and be happy that they're not just sponsor. That you get that you get to hang around people on a a that are sort of soft pedaling the God thing. You get to do the a light thing. You know what I mean. I can't afford to do you know why I can't afford to do it? The A light thing. Aa has turned me into an absolute whip. I really am. I one of the great things about being an Alky, let me tell you. The greatest thing about being alky is you can live a miserable, miserable, self centered, guilt ridden, fear ridden life and do relatively okay. I mean for thirty one years I lived like a complete jerk, a self centered, selfish Asshole, and I did pretty well. I mean, I mean as long as you can drink. I mean, I'm with the drinking you got. If you drink, you can be an asshole for many years and feel like you're doing absolutely well. My problem is, and it's a serious problem, I came into alcoholics anonymous and I stopped drinking and I've got to the point in my life where I can't stand guilt, I can't stand fear, I can't tell you I can't stand misery, I can't stand not being at peace and not having the release. I mean, I just can't stand it. It just drives me clear. There is no fear like sober fear. There is no guilt like sober guilt. I can't take it like I used to take when I was eighteen years old, than I ca I can't just do shit, anything I want to do, and get away with it and just make believe that I'm giving a probably. I mean it just kills me. And thank God, in making God the central fact of my life and doing these exercise that we do, I was given a way of life where I don't ever have to live that way again. I was given a way of life where I don't have to feel guilty anymore, where I never have to be in fear, where I can be at peace with myself. Like the Apostle Paul said, I've learned to be content and all, where I can have some form of equanimity. And for me, and the only thing I can talk about is my own personal life, this is all I'm talking about. For me, this is inextricably intertwined with having faith in with with having serious and committed and utter faith in God. I don't I if I what what I have proven to myself is self confidence does not work for me, and I'm a guy who can. I'm if anybody can break up being self confident. I accomplished a lot as an idiot, as an idiot not knowing anything. I accomplished a nothing this world with the things that I accomplished, okay, before I was twenty five years old. Okay, where I could say intelligence and self if intelligence and selfconfidence and acquiring degrees and honors and everything like that, and jobs and everything like that where the answer, I wouldn't be in alcoholics anonymous. That never worked for me. Money never worked for me. The girls never work for me as my back the money. For me, focusing on money and focusing on women and focusing on cars made things worse for me. Always made things worse for me. They were always the things I worried about. The only thing that ever worked for me is when I got rid of all those things and focused on God. And the only way I can actually focus on God is I had, I had to make the decision not only to focus on him, to focus on him a six step decision, but make him the centerpiece of my life and become willing to give up all those other things. You know, when I become willing to give up all those defects of character, when I become willing to give up those of the defects of character, I become willing, I become I'm telling God, I'm willing to give up the money. That doesn't mean he's going to...

...take the money. They'll. I can make a lot of money. I'm doing better now than I've ever done in my life. You know what I mean. But I've got to be willing to give up the money, which basically means give up the idea that in order to be happy, I have to have something. I have to be willing to give up the women. I have to be willing to give up the cars at all. I got to be willing. It's not enough to say, well, I just want to be nicer. I want to I don't want to be jealous, I don't want to be envious, I don't want I got to be a willing to give up the materials, focusing on the material stuff and want more than anything else, to grow in his hand. You know, that's what the six step is all about. We are person does the six step, looking up in the book and says he's made a decision to grow in the image and likeness of his creator. You know now my creative my deal, happens to be Jesus. That's a whole other thing that I wanted to get into, but I can tell you about him. He didn't have a lot of dough then have a lot of money. Wasn't what he wasn't driving around in the tablet, but yet he had he had something else. He had the outcade, he had that Alt Kennedy thing. I got to make a decision, you know. I got to make a decision for God. I got to see the suit of my relationship is right. I can't apologize. I don't sit here, I don't go to a meetings. I hear it all the time. Well, I'm got. Well, I'm sorry, I have to I know I talk too much about God all. I'm sorry I have to talk about how. I'm sorry I mentioned God. You know, people are so apologetic. We got a big book, he says we never apologize for God. We never apologize for our faith in God. We show how it demonstrates. That's that's that's a key makes they repeat it twice. Never be ashamed of relationship. Got It. That is the only thing that's going to lift you up. And I'm in an a where everybody's scared of etching God and whatever they do, they apologize for it. It's Puky, crappy, unbelievable. You won't catch me doing that stuff, you know, because I believe I have an obligation. I mean, if everybody in a is going one way, I'm still going to go this way. I got, you know, even more so I have an obligation at at thirty nine years and my forty year. If I'm not talking about what they are talking about in the big book, if I'm scared. You know something, if I'm scared to talk about it, then my sobriety is shit. Then I don't have any sobriety. I lived my entire life worrying about what other people thought about me. I'm not about to spend one second, you know, in fear of other people in their judgment. I mean dozens, not what the promises say. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave you. You know, I'm not scared of what you guys think about me. I'm more concerned about what God thinks about me. But the man who actually what? The Person? Let me tell you something. I'm not worried about people that aren't even playing pay my visa bill. You know I mean. I I am concerned more about the person. Listen, God got me to where I am right now and I'm grateful what he did for me and it's like go Wilson said, the Lord has been so wonderful to me. Krimians, some of these guys got to keep talking about and telling other people. You know, you know, God blessed, if I ever get ashamed of that deal, I won't have what I have right now. And so that's what the seventh step is about. To me. It's about getting humble. It's about getting humble and getting on my knees and asking him for help. It's about it's about realizing and appreciating the value of suffering, suffering for God, suffering because it's about understanding that if you want the God thing, if you're focused on God, then you will suffer. It's about understanding that you're accepting if I have to suffer, if I have to suffer. And, believe me, if you're an alcoholic, alcoholic stone, alcoholics don't change because your pat them on the back necessarily. Let me taste. I'll tell you how I change an alcoholic by humiliation, by pain and suffering. If I've got to suffer, if I've got a suffer to be more like alt Kennedy, then I'll accept that and I won't cry about it and I won't want about it and I'll be grateful for that and I'll try to grow in his image and likeness. You know, I every once in a while somebody will be nice to me and they'll give me a compliment. What happens? Once in a while they come up and they always say it this way. They say, I don't want to, I don't want to, I don't want to give you a big head, but you really help me out or something. That's a media test. And I say to him it's the truth. I said, trust me, you're not going to give me any big head at all. You know, I know exactly who I am. I know who I am. I've lived in my myself for seventy one years and I know where this all comes from. It it doesn't come from me. This has nothing to do with me, not, not on nothing. And even though I'm talking and I'm just being honest with you, here's the bottom line. And...

...now, because I I'm not I don't know how to teach this stuff or any of that stuff. All I do it any means is I ask the Lord to give me the words to say that might help somebody. I'm absolutely appreciated the fact that everybody hears different things and, you know, different deals, and I just asked that they give me the words to be talking honestly about what's happening in my life. Okay, and that's all I can do and and I'm and I prayerfully. I'm just telling you. I the one thing I can tell you is I'm not lying to you. The one thing I can tell you is I'm not lying to you about my life and about what's happened to me in the last forty years and what's going on in my life right now. Okay, and so you know, look, you, if you know, if you want what I have, then you know, you might want to think about it. If you don't, that's okay too. They no big deal. You know the same address. I can say this and ain't address rehearsal. This is your life, you know. You don't want to get you want to end well, you don't want to get to the end of your life and say, Oh shit, maybe I should listen to that guy, maybe I'm man yeah, maybe I'm doing this wrong. You know that kind of thing. Don't be worrying about what other people think about you. Don't be focusing on other people. Don't be focusing on things. You know what I mean. Do what you want something that most people don't have. You want something that most people in a will never have. Be Willing to do what most people in a will never do. You want what most people don't have an AA. Be Willing to do what most people will never do. You hear people say, well, if they did that when I came in, I wouldn't be here. Stay away from those people. Stay away from those people you want. You see people that are angry at about God, angry about the church, pissed off about that stuff. Don't like the deal. You know. Stay away from those people, you know, unless you want what they have. If you want that kind of sobriety, it's available in alcoholics. Anonymous. Mean spirited, pissed off sobriety is available in alcoholics anonymous. It really is. I mean the same. Well, people sit onice, but you know you but I'll tell you what. You read the Big Book. You read what they say about God and your commitment to God and how you supposed to look at them and half measures of Ellis nothing. You figure out with it. You figure out where whether they soft pedal in the big book. You figure out what a soft pedal God. In the big book aboutoholics, anonymous, don't look for the loopholes. Don't look for the loopholes. That's what alcoholics do. They look for the loopholes. Do you know there's a line in the big book of Alcoholics, anonymous, saying we encourage church membership. That's what it says. Church and synagogue, we encourage it. We want you to get next to people that are focusing on and searching for God. And then it says this line. Most, most of us are involved in that stuff, but it's not obligatory. Now we have bookness as really haven't seen a person fail, who fail, who has thoroughly followed our path. We have a line from the founders saying we encourage church membership. Most of US belong to churches, some of US don't. It's not obligatory. There are people, believe it or not, I may, that focus on encouraging the founders encourage church membership. They encourage us to do that. That's what they did in order to get them to where they had to go. And you got people that focus on that and they said, well, why shouldn't I do that? And then you are other have other people tell you about. It's not obligatory. You have other people that say, well, it doesn't say I have to do it. You have a choice of who you want to hang with. The people who are taking suggestions and have an open mind and are saying, well, if most of the founders did this and they're encouraging it, well, shed I don't care whether it's obligatory or not. I'm doing it, and those who say, well, they don't say I have to do it, so I'm not doing I mean, there are consequences to your decisions. I mean grow up and be adults. There are consequences to this, SI. What you decide is going to have to do with your life. It's going to have to do with where you're going to end up. So that's all I have to say. Thank you very much. So how bad.

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