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

Episode 38 · 2 years ago

Russell S at There Is A Solution group - Step 9 - Hardship as a Pathway to Peace and the Spirit of the 9th Step

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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

These Russell spats. I'm an alcoholic. It's good to see everybody here tonight and you always shocked me when you when you were introduced with this. In my group and some of the groups I'm used to, for some reason they read more stuff. I don't know. So it's but it's really great to be here. And you know what, I went to my first I have gotten say I'm drink since January twenty two, one thousand nine hundred and eighty one. I'm very south dixie group. I'm a grateful alcoholic and I suffer from any serious case of this disease. I mean I made one of them greatly emotionally disturb people. I'm not sure I'm working on that deal. But so listen. When I first came to a my, I want to warn you. I want to give a little cabbat. I wouldn't want to have said anybody, but when I first of all, can you hear me? Always have to do a sound check. When I first came to a a my, my sponsor noted. I've had for sponsors and a you know, they're all temporary and and all wonderful, wonderful men and marvels stories about all of them. But when I first came to Ay, my my sponsor note notice something about me. He indicated to me that I should lower my expectations because he noticed that from time to time I would get upset at the way things were going. You know, like I go to meetings and I get upset at meetings because I didn't like the way to speak your shared or you know, I was I explained to my sponsor that I was sensitive and he said no, great artists a sense of you just touch you, and he told me I should lower my expectation. So I'm going to ask you to lower your expectations. I know they keep on tell me this is a ninth step meeting, so there may be people who actually expect to hear something about the ninth step. And and I'm going to. I want to promise you something. I'm going to say something about the night step. I've already said something about the night step. I mentioned the night step, but I will, I will promise you they'll be something in there about the night step. But I have I have something in my heart I want to talk about. You know, I've been sober. Well, it would be forty years in January. If I make it and my my thinking about things, the way I look at things, is changed. You know, we have people here that have been sober probably thirty eights. We got people here there and sober thirty five years or forty years. And I would imagine if I asked you whether you're thinking about things, in the way you look at things have changed over the many years you've been in or once you've been in, you probably tell me that they have. And one of the unfortunate things about I'm seventy one years old and and I don't know whether I'm seeing all or not. It's possible. I've been tested. My Wife Marshal me down having tested. She she thought I was suffering from Alzheimer's or something, and they so I've been tested. I've been clear year. Of course I was a few months ago. But in any event, one of the things I can't do, I find I can't do to elect large extent, is I can't I can no longer put myself in the position of telling you how I felt when I had six months or what I was thinking when I had ten years. Well, what my attitude was when I had twenty years or twenty five years, even thirty years. I I have stories that I remember. The stories and their accurate stories would sort of indicate something about me. But I just can't. I just can't go backwards. I can't get in my time. She and I say now I'll tell you what I can do. Sometimes, and this is why New People are so important to me, sometimes I'll hear somebody speaking that has, you know, thirty days or ten years or whatever it is, and they'll be explaining what they're going to and I'll say, Oh man, I remember when I went through that. You know, they'll help me recall how I felt. But the truth of the matter is is that the only thing I really know about is how I feel today. I know how I feel today about things. I know how I look at things today. Now I've decided that that's not such a bad thing. Maybe it has something to do with living one day at a time, to sort of like, you know, be right here right now thinking about what I'm thinking about right now. So so what happens is is the way I look at the ninth step right now in my life, trust me, is much different than I look at the ninth step or the ten step. Bring the steps when I had three months or two years or even twenty years. One of the things that happen to me, that I talked about when we get some ten step, which will be next week, is this concept of because part of the ten step is doing all the steps of one beforehand, you know, remembering. I just, I just I'm so used to living a life of...

...peace. My sponsor called an equanimity. I Love I how to look it up, even though I'm a worst at how to look it up. Equanimity has to do with being at peace with yourself, regardless of the circumstances in your life. The Apostle Paul talks about it. He says I've learned the secret. He calls it the secret. I've learned how to be content at all things. You know, if you're an alcoholic, you're like a pinball and a pinball machine. You know, you're the sum total will all the bullshit you bounced into every day, and there's a lot of it, because life's a humbling experience. But but the ability to be steady and to be a piece with your self, regardless of the bank account of the IRS or the covid or or people and stuff like it is a real it's a real gift. It's a real gift and I think it has something to do with experiencing much of heaven and being rocketed in the fourth dimension of existence, of which we not even dreamed. I think it has a lot to do with the new freedom of the new happiness. So I'm not I'm not concerned about it. And so when I so, one of the things that happen, as you know, when the Ted step, it talks about not only continuing to do all these things and looking for, you know, whatever we're you know that spiritual accident we talked about last week. Whenever you're disturbing, matter what the cause, something wrong with you, continuing to look for those disturbances. And and I've gotten to my life. I've gone to a point in my life, at my age, where being disturbed is on a being disturbed is unacceptable. It's unacceptable to be disturbed. It's unacceptable for you have people live and free. In my head, and so I not only jealous, zealously guarding my physical sobriety, but I'm really I do. I live a life. I live a lifestyle that's been talked to me in a where I try to I try to keep emotionally so. And one of the great things that happens with this ten step they talked about is after a while you get so tired of making amends, you get so tired of having fear or guilt or whatever the emotion is with people on your mind because of things you've done, that at some point in time it's like the drinking thing, I suppose. At some point in time a switch goes off in your mind and you just you just stop doing stupid things. You just stop doing stupid things. You know, I don't know what it has to do with old age or whatever it is, but that's you know, it's talks about inspirational thinking, it says. It says when it first happens it seems sort of strange, but it says it grows and we come to rely upon it. And then it says in the tent step it says we learn something called restraint of tongue and pen and so what I find is is I find myself making less and less amends because I just I try not, whatever the lifestyle I live is, not doing a lot of stupid things. So, as a matter of fact, and you know, when you really love people, when you care about people. You know, somebody told me treat everybody like to have a broken heart, because they probably do. And when you find I think, if this program stands for staying for everything, don't you think it stands for becoming less selfish? Does it? The program say? That my real problem. I hear people saying, well, I'm spiritual, not religious. I'm spiritual, not religious, they say, over an, up a go to me. That's like somebody saying, you know, I'm not worried about people, and I mean to me, listen, I don't own spiritual. I'm not listen, I'm not spiritual. I can tell you this. I am not spiritual. I know enough about me. I'm seventy one years of age. They an a almost forty years now. I'm not a spiritual man. Left my own devices on a material person. I worry about the worldly, clambers to clambers in this world. You know, I worry about money. I worried about it, left my own devices. I am very, very much plugged in to the circumstances that are going on around me. One of the blessings. Is One of the blessings, and discerning things about yourself is, I the first step and getting out of jails. You have to know you're in Gail in the first place. And one of the things I know about myself is part and parcel my disease is my is my addiction to the things of this world, my addictions to the things that this world promotes, to the things that it offers. You know, it says for us there...

...is no middle of the road solution, because we're middle of the road kind of people, you know, where people of extremes and we, you know, we want to be like Jesus, but only if we can be like you have there too. Or, you know, we don't want to think about money. It's not important, but it's just right up there with oxygen, you know. And it's like we tell ourselves all sorts of things, but the truth of the matter is is my battle. I spent many, many years in hand to hand concept, hand to hand battle with the things of this world, and it's a losing proposition. Chasing pleasure, chasing pleasure, chasing things in order to make you feel less lonely, in order to make you feel at peace, never, never ever works. It just binds you closer to those things that will destroy you. And that's why I lived my life before I can talk bolls anonymous. So in any event, as a result of that, I guess, as they say in the big book, one would expect if my problem is I'm selfish and I'm selfcentered and I'm driven by a hundred forms of fear and self delusion and selfseeking. So they step on toes of others and they retaliate seemingly without provocation. And I'm selffull of of right, though though I usually don't think so. I think I'm a good guy and a good world and, you know, just bad breaks. And if that's my real problem, then I guess the thing that I really have to try to get rid of and what this firm will give me, is I have to get rid of this selfishness. I think that's what I have to do. I think I have to get rid of the selfishness. And it's hard to get rid of the selfishness. But you don't even know you have you know, or even if you admit to a little selfish us you're not really don't really see the full picture as to how incredibly selfish you are. So I think if these steps, all these steps, the inventory steps, the confession steps, the immense steps have anything to do with anything. It has to do with getting rid of selfishness. And the book I read called Alcoholics Anonymous says we have to get rid of this selfishness. We must or it kills us. And then it says this. It says God makes that possible. It doesn't say our sponsors make that possible. It doesn't even say a make sense possible. It doesn't even say, in a sense, the steps make that possible. It says God makes that possible. I think if you do the steps and you work the steps and you have the right attitude and you're focused on God, so like in the big book it says, it says, the great fact is that God becomes the central fact of your life and your life revolves around God and you become convinced. Instead of doubting God, you become the convinced. You have what I would call saving faith or convincing faith that you don't apologize for and you're on a new basis and you're convinced that God is living in your heart and mind in a way which is a deep miraculous I think that there will be a profound personality change that will keep on growing you'll maintain it grow to the point where perhaps you can possibly attain some sort of study beating where you're just you're just not as selfish as you were. You actually care about people and you actually love people and you actually want to help people. I think if that happens to you, I think if that happens to you this possibility, you won't do things that hurt people. You won't. You won't, you won't have to keep on making amends or feeling guilty because you won't do those things that you will be guilty for. That makes any sense, but in any event, this actually is going to have to do with the night step. I want. I want to read something about the ninth step and then I'm going to go into something that seems like it has nothing to do with the night step and then I'm going to bring it back to the night step. So let me read this first thing, and this all by the way, let me just say this for newcomers, one of the things I wanted when I first got involved in the steps as I wanted to have somebody tell me how to do them. I wanted to have somebody to tell me how to do the four step. I want to have somebody tell me how to do the night step. And let me suggest to you, if you're really interested and having somebody tell you how how to do the steps, I would strongly suggest that you read the Big Book and You read the Twelve and twelve and you talk to your sponsor, who knows you better than anybody else, because that's going to be your number one their number one resource as to how these do. These how to do the steps are going to be the big book, the Twelve and twelve and your sponsor. Okay, I mean, I could sit here in mechanically tell you this is how I did each step and this...

...is how you do the step, but the bottom line is that's not really what I'm going to do to that I'm not going to give you a how to deal because I really want to talk about something that's behind. I want to talk about something maybe a little bit bigger at different. I want to talk about the spirit of the night step. But first I'm going to say this. It says in step nine. I don't know this help anybody, but I'll just sort of read it the first I'm going to read the first paragraph on the twelve and twelve and I'm going to read a last paragraph because that's the only two paragraphs I want to talk about. The first paragraph says this good judgment. Good judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage and prudence. These are the qualities we shall me when we take step nine. I'm going to read that again. You gotta, you gotta listen this good judgment. Listen, I did. I start doing step nine and like I was a year sober. I was doing step nine. You're okay, maybe you know. I don't know. Good judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage and prude is these are the qualities we shall need when we text it. Take step nine. Now. Let me assure you of something, based upon my work in a over the years, and everybody has sponsored to myself, nobody has that shit during their first year. Nobody has that during their first five years. So if that's what you need to take step mind, just start drinking again, because it's over for you. You understand what I'm saying? It ain't going to happen. Nobody has good judgment after the first year, nobody has a sense of timing. Okay, courage, forget it. You're still working on accepting the things you cannot change. Courage is five or ten years down the road, and prudence. You don't even know what the word means. You'll have to look it up in a dictionary. It ain't going to happen. Okay now, so by the time you get these qualities, will be drinking again. So what I'm going to see, yes, this is just tell your sponsor everything. Do a fifth step, you know what I mean. Do a for step, tell you sponsor everything, and whatever he tells you to do, just do it. You know I mean. That's because that's what you're going to do anyway. You're going to say, what do I do about this, and what do I do about that? What I could do about this, and he's going to tell you what to do, write a letter and you're going to say and you're going to say, in your mind, I don't really want to do that, you know, because you don't have the courage. And eventually, what's going to happen? If you don't want to drink, you're going to. You'RE gonna YOU'RE gonna somehow, some way, summon up some sort of courage to do this stuff and it's all going to work out. So don't worry about getting all this stuff. You don't have it. Okay, if you're an alcoholic, it ain't going to happen. I mean love this stuff, you know. But but so you're going to do it like everybody else does it. You're going to go after your sponsor and say I robbed the first national back and I took a million dollars. What do you got to do about that? And you're going to listen to what he has to say. Whatever he says, you're probably not going to like it. So that's the deal. So that's my step nine theory. Okay, but this is what I'm really going to talk about. This is on page eight, seven of the twelve and twelve. This is the last paragraph. Going to skip all the all the difficult stuff and go to last paragraph. Above all, I'm reading this right from I just wanted to think I'm not making this stuff up. Above all, you always got to watch you always got to watch out when they say things. Above all, that above all stuff. Above all, you know. Above all, we should try to be absolutely sure. You know that when they start using words like absolutely, that's like thoroughly, that's like utterly, that's like utterly abandon yourself to. That's like absolutely you know, that's like above that's like being convinced. You know, that's like one of them words where you know, above all, we should try to be absolutely sure. Well then, we are not the laying because we are afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of what? Afraid of what? Afraid of everything, afraid of people, afraid of what's going to happen to us, afraid of what people are going to think, because we are now cohol. Fears of grossive thread that runs through your life. That's your whole deal in your whole deal is fear. I know you tell people I don't give a crap what other people think about me, it doesn't bother me, and all that stuff. Above all, we should try to be absolutely sure that we are not the laying because we are afraid. It doesn't say you're not going to be afraid. It's saying don't delay because you're afraid, for the...

...readiness to take foot the full cont cause, the readiness to take the full consequences. There are consequences, the full consequences of our past acts and to take responsibility for the wellbeing of others. At the same time, I want you to get this. Take Cut, take the full consequences of our past acts and take responsibility for the wellbeing of others. Now, we all know that alcohols are experts, experts at thinking on full consequences of their past acts and taking responsibility. I don't know if you're like me. If you're an alcoholic, you're an excuse a holic, you're a blamaholic, you're it's not my fault, some other dude did it. It's not my fault. I would have done if you haven't done that. I am doing anything to avoid taking consequences, to avoid responsibility. So this is what it's telling us to do, for the readiness to take full consequences of our past acts and to take responsibility for the wellbeing of others at the same time is the very spirit of step nine. So let me try to unpack this a little bit for you, a little bit more for you. I can be wrong to understand, to unpacking and order and pack it what they're talking about. I want you maybe a look at step nine in a different way. I want to read something from step seven, okay, which may apply. You know. You know some people find step nine difficult. Did you know that some people find it difficult to make amends to people. They find that they find it difficult to the for step, they find it difficult to do the fifth step. They have find it difficult that some people find it difficult to do these steps, that some of these we bought. So here's what step seven says. Since this step so specifically concerns itself with humility, we should pause here to consider what humility is and what the practice of it can mean to us. Indeed, the attainment of greater humility, the attainment of greater humility. I repeat things because they very repeating. The attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of age twelve steps. You need to remember that, because then all that what I'm saying now is all going to make sense. Indeed, the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of a age twelve steps. That includes the night step, that includes the a step, that includes the fifth step. You know, some people say to me, why do I have to tell another human being? Why can't I just go straight to God? Well, that would be great. That would be easy. When it that would be easy. Just just tell God what the problems are. And they not the but but because it's humbling to go to another human being. It's scary to go to another you being. You understand what I'm saying. But, but there's a reason for that. And the reason is because the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of ASE twelve steps. You Ready to be remembering the book. The way we get a new perspective is quite repeated humiliations and the final crushing of ourselves. Of It. It doesn't say the IT doesn't say the way we get a new perspective is we just go to a lot of stepneys. Does it? There's others say the way we get a new perspective is you know our sponsors and tell us how to get when you maybe sometimes I'll say something. But the real way we get a new perspective is by repeat the humiliations and the final crushing and our self sufficiency. You know, sometimes I'll be talking to somebody in the A, or maybe they're not in a yet, and I'm doing the best talk I've ever done in my life and you know something, they're just not listening. They're just not listening and it has nothing tow with what I'm saying. You know what it is. They haven't been crushed yet. They haven't put it in, put in a position where they're even interested in what I'm saying. You know there's no use. There's you know there's no use. You know. You know. Chasing them rabbit up that tree you don't just not going to happen. You're not going to get there anywhere. For without some degree of humility, no alcohol can stay sober at all. Nearly all AIDS have found, too, that unless they develop much more of this precious quality, then maybe required for mere sobriety, for sobriety, they still haven't much chance of becoming truly happy. Truly happy with any of you guys? Like to become truly happy? Would you like to be rocking...

...in the fourth dimension of existence? Would you like to experience much of having? You think those are just words they sort of throw in the big book. Without it they cannot bear too much useful or useful, they cannot live too much useful purpose or in adversity, be able to son in the faith that can meet any emergency that's at whenever. So those are the two things I want. I wanted to read to you who before I watch into something that you may think has nothing to do with the spirit of the night step, but I believe it does. So I love I love the the I don't know how many people I've ever heard the long version of the surreenity prayer. You know there's a long version of the surennity prayer. I'm not going to read the whole thing, but I'm going to read part of it. It says, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom of the difference. Living One day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, excepting hardship as a pathway to peace. You know, you know, I think some people, and I may be wrong about this. You know, I've been wrong before. It's possible. You know, I think some people think when they come to a a that things are going to going to get better, that they're not going to have anyone once they stay. I think they think there's this that once you stop drinking your problems will be over. I don't know. I'm not going to take a boat here. I know many people came down and said, well, once I get the drinking in hand and I stopped drinking, my problems will be over. And I can tell you this. For me, certainly, problems that I had that were directly involved with the consumption of alcohol, like being arrested for Dui, like the money I spent on alcohol, problems that had to do that were directly had to do with drinking alcohol. They went away. I don't have to worry about that. There are only two other problems I hadn't worry about. I don't worry about problems that were consequence of my being an alcoholic, in other words, because the drinking was the symptom. My disease. My real disease centers in my mind, not my body. Has To do with emotions that caused me to do stupid things that hurt people. Has To do with guilt and fear. So those problems I still had to deal with, okay, and it had to do with other things. And the other things were this. Those were things that happened to me in my life that were bad things and the sense that I thought they were bad and they bothered me, that I did nothing, nothing to cause you know, somebody runs into me, runs a red light and runs into me. You know I mean. You know I mean. I'm not talking about being rope push you spend more money than you make. I mean, that has to do with my spending patterns. Okay, I'm not talking about I'm talking about when your minding your own business and the meteorite falls out of the sky, you get fired. Whatever the heck it is in life that we all have to deal with. And what what I ultimately realize is that life is very, very difficult. We live in a fallen world. I mean, that may sound religious to you, when it is, but it's the truth. We don't live in a world that's friendly to you. You know, the world is not revolving around and saying let's I'm looking at Rebecca saying what can we do to make things easier on Rebecca? You know I mean that that just ain't happened. Okay, we live in a world where we have billions of people and nobody's thinking about you, and that I really care. They don't care about your feelings, you understand what I'm saying, and the weather doesn't care about you, and nobody really cares about you. You know, and and the bottom line is and what they care about is themselves, and sometimes there's a lot of come and let me tell you something. Life is a very humbling experience which, quite frankly, if you look at it the right way. This is the way I suggest you look at it, and this is the way the big book suggest you look at it. I think, when you look at its life is a very humbling experience, which is a good thing, because humbling mean is good for us. You understand this? This is the thing. This is the book of James that they were all SI. The three books that they study that were absolutely essential was first Corinthia, thirteen sermon on them ount in the book of James, and this is why your old ideas have to leave you. The old ideas have to leave you and you have to start getting into new...

...ideas. Now here's an old idea, and old idea is when bad things happened to you that cause you distress and fear that that's a bad thing. This is about the time that people start leaving the meeting. You understand, because they figure out they think I'm crazy, which is fine, but it means they'll never get this. Okay, you see, here's a bit. Here's an idea that you've had ever since birth that when something bad happens to you, really bad people dying, you get cancer, all that stuff, that that's a bad thing and you should be upset about that. And of course, and you think if I say that's not a bad thing, that I'm you think I'm crazy. I understand that these ideas we get an AA and from the book of James or absolutely revolutionary. Doesn't it say in the big book that that the great facts is not is is this nothing less that our whole idea about life? It's revolutionary. We have a revolutionary idea, you know. So, so what happens in Aa is people come day and they stopped drying, but they continue with the idea that bad things that happen to them are bad, are bad, and and the book of James Says what the book of Jay says. It says rejoice, rejoice when you have trials of many kinds, because if you focus on God and You keep your faith and you persevere through hard times, you will mature your faith and mature. You know, I was talking to a guy who has over thirty years today and it was like talking to a ten year old. It's like talking to attend. You know, you know you don't. You don't want to be around people that haven't suffered. You don't want to be around people that have have lived a charmed life and never had a problem. These are people without character, without strength and not grown us, the children, the inimicable to your health, the sponsors I look up to, the people I look up to in a the sponsors I had were people that went through incredible difficulty and didn't drink and survived and just had incredible stories, stories that seemingly had to do with horrible things that happen to him, but somehow they overcame the world. You know, there's a reason why they say in the big book of alcoholics, anonymous, the way we grow up and get a new perspective is by repeated humiliations and the final crushing of our self sufficiency. There's a reason why they say in the book alcoholics anonymous, job or no job, wife or no wife. We're not going to overcome drinking unless we focus on God. You know it has don't let an alcoholic say he needs his wife back, he needs his kids back, and says as he says, they say nonsense. Of course I would say bullshit. You don't need anything, all you need is to focus on God. There's a reason why they say in the twelve and twelve we learned the value of suffering. Why they talk about how most alcoholics run from suffering, complain about suffering, do anything to avoid suffering and running after pleasure. They never think that maybe, perhaps it's possible that they're going through that God is using the suffering for a reason to mold them into the incredible person that they're going to be, which, if you happen to be involved in the sixth step, which is a step step that separates the men from the boys, then you're involved in something where you're growing in the image and likeness of your Creator. You're going into somebody who doesn't necessarily avoid suffering but can somehow, in a class way, just walk through suffering. I mean, I mean, that's the people we look up to. We look up to like the Mother Teresa's of this world. We look up to the people this world that seemed to go through all sorts of suffering and do things and difficult situations and come out on the other side and they're unselfish and they're only careing about helping people. That's the people we look we don't look, we don't we don't walk after the crybabies, you know, the cridabies are thumbsucking pride babies. We don't do that. You know, we look to people that seem to be steady no matter what's going on. When I finally, when I got to the point that I was nine years sober, I mean, what are they talking about when they say things like we learned the value of suffering? I mean, you know, they have lines in the big book and then the twelve and twelve that are serious, serious lines that tell the whole story, and people sort of gloss over them because all they want to know is how do I do this? How...

...do I do the four step? How do I do the fist step? How do? They don't look at the they don't look at the real serious lines because, you know why? Because they think it's bullshit, they think it doesn't apply, they think they think how it's an old I. How am I going to? Okay, it's one thing to do all these steps and nothing institute to it's another thing to have an attitude like they're talking about a night step where you are grateful for everything that's happened to you. So when I was nine year sober, and I'm going to try to I'm trying to make this fast, you know, and I'll try to do this. Won't do justice to it. When I was not your sober, I started going to Bible study because my couple my sponsors, a couple sponsors, thought I had a sponsor and I got I'm not even going to go how I did, but I went into the deal and and I started studying the Bible, which was the source of material from a a and I read the book of Joe. Now, I'm not going to go into a whole history of the book. Book a joke. It happens to be the oldest book and the Bible, the oldest book in the Bible. Believing not. How many people know that? It's a weird story. It's all weird story, you know. And I read the book and I'm going to give you this. I'm gonna give you the story of the book a job. I'm not going to do it justice in three minutes, three or four minutes. Okay, job is an incredible human being. God loves Joe. He's crazy about Joe. Job Is the best guy on the planet earth. And God is having a discussion with one of the angels that happens to be saving and it says, what do you think about my Guy Joe? And and Satan says, he says this need the greatest. He loves me, he'll never leave me, he's the greatest guy in the world. And Satan says he's the greatest guy in the world because you give him everything he wants. He's got seven kids. He's got seven he's got seven sons, he's got seven daughters, he's got all this cattle, he's got all this money, you know, like he's living high in the hot he's doing Brady's like a billionaire. That's why he loves you so much. That's why he's so great. If you, if you remove your protection from me, wouldn't love you. And so God says the same. He says, I'll tell you what, you can have all that stuff. Do whatever you want with Joe. Do whatever you want with Joe, but don't kill him. So sad he goes down. He kills all his kids, he basically kills all his kids. He bankrupts some, he kills all his life. Stop. He takes away his house, he kicks him out. Job's wife does with most wives. Do they say you're an idiot, you want to curse God. Job Says, no, I'm not going to curse God. No matter what, I'm going to Stild, I'm going to still be true to God. Is still going to pray to God. His friends tell him the reason this is happening to you is because you're an idiot, because you're being punished because you're a jerk, and God thinks you're a judge, jerky. He says, I'm not going to curse God, no matter what happens, I'm not going to clurch. God allsorts of terrible things happen to Joe and in the end he never loses faith in in God. He perseveres, like it talks about in the book of James And God. And what happens is he gets all the stuff back plus more. So I read that. I read that book and I got to be honest with you, I didn't get it. I didn't get it. I didn't. I don't get the book. I like New Testament stuff. There's a lot of love and stuff. I don't like the stuff where good guy. I don't like the stuff you know. It's the first thing I get from atheists. The first thing I get from atheist is this. If there is a loving God, how come bad things happen to people? HOW COME BABIES, time they've been things are difficult thing? I didn't get it. I mean, why wouldn't love and God cause stuff like this? Happened to joke and let me tell you what happened to me. What happened to me is throughout my first ten years of sobriety, I had some real problems with money, basically because I was I was I was greedy and I was lust full and I was envy and I always spent more money than I had to buy things I didn't even need to impress people, and so I always, even though I made a lot of money, I spent more than I make in apparently going to debt. So I was, even though I was sober and I was doing everything you do in the program, I was always worried about finances and I didn't even understand because because I thought we were supposed to lose financial what is it insecurity? And I remember telling Real Keith One am I going to be rich? I've been a nine years and he said you're never going to be rich, you're always will be broken. Just won't bother you, or something like that. And and that's the deal. But but here's so and so. But what happened is, no matter what happened to me in a a during that first ten years, I never stopped focusing on God. I never stopped focusing on God. I never stopped going to the meetings, I never stopped praying, I never stopped doing the stuff they were telling me to do. As a matter of fact, of anything, I piled it on more. I went to Bible study and then,...

...and then we had this big thing in the in the it was a few years ago, with this big mortgage thing and I had a real problem as far as my house was foreclosed on. It never actually went through, but it was. I mean there was and I had kids, I had a bunch of kids and I've got to lose my house. I'm an AA, you know, and all sort of stuff. And I never, I never, always, I always, I focused even more on God. I just turned it over to God. I just turned it over to God. I said, you know, some whatever's going to happen, I'm not going to lose faith that everything's going to work out. I turned it over to God and I just did the stuff I was supposed to do. And then a few years later, and while this is going on, by the way, I don't want you to think that life there was a lot of other stuff happening, I mean smaller stuff. That would be happy. I'd be turned it over to God and doing more things with the God thing and more Bob said. And then a few years later they told me I had cancer. I had skin cans or some sort of weird cancer where they had to cut my neck open and take stuff out and built the radiation treatment. I was about fifteen years of eighteen years sober when the when the doctor told me I had cancer, I remember thinking to myself, I said, you know, if I die, I die, if I live, I live. I'm just going to leave in God's hands. That was it. I was just did what they told me to do and they did the operation, I had to go through radiation treatment, everything like that. And then a few years after that I they dig those with prostate cancer, and that was you know, I did whatever they told me to do and that was a deal and I just turned over to God. And and one day I woke up at twenty five years sober and it was already I didn't have to turn over anymore because I was there. You know what I mean? I don't know. I don't know I explain it. I was living a turned over life. I was living a life where I was focus sent on God, going to church. I went to go to services twice a week, now because I had to, but because I wanted to. I was a worship leader and a baptist, the traditional Baptist Church, and going a couple of Bible Studies, going to many more hatings that I was going I twenty five years Ober, I was going to more Aimans, twenty five years sober, sponsor more people than when I first came in. And and you know what? You know what happened? The story of job made a lot of sense to me all of a sudden. All of a sudden the story of job made a lot of sense to me. That that the only way you find peace in the thing we're in right now. Alcoholics anonymous, is through hardship, is tough hardship. Most people don't understand that doing this deal with faith in God while experiencing heart the truth is the story of job is all our stories. If you're an AA, you're going through the joke. Then it's going to happen to you one way the other and you're either going to you're either going to feel sorry for yourself or be pissed off or whatever, try to manage the deal or try to control the deal, or you're going to trust more and more in God and this whole thing. The ninth step, the fifth everything they ask me to go do an AA. Everything they ask me to do an AA is counterintuitive, goes against what I want to do. It's all designed to humble me, because in order to get closer to God, I need to be humbled. You know, the fifth step is a humbling experience. Why do we have to do the film? Why we have to talk to people? The four step is a humbling experience. The ninth step is a real humbling experience. Ten step is a humbling experience. The twelve step to be an humbling experience. There's no step in this deal that is an humble getting up in front of a group and picking up a white chip is a humbling experience. Let me tell you something. Talking to people way I'm talking you right now. If you're an alcoholic, you know and usually you're scared of people in their judgment. It's a humbling experience. Everything they ask you to do in alcoholics anonymous is a humbling experience. People come to alcohols anonymous they eat, they want to be lifted up, they want excitement, they want pleasure, they want happiness. They don't want this bullshit. They don't want the problems, they want to complain about the problems. How many years does it take to get to the point we're not only to accept...

...the problems, you thank God for the problems. How many years as it take where your mind change is so incredible? What does it say? Ideas, emotions and attitudes that are the goiding force of these men's lives are switched to one side and they become dominated by a whole new set of ideas, emotions and attitudes. Last thing I'm going to say is this. This is sort of like a nine stefp thing. I I. I've always my whole life is up until coming to alcoholics anonymous, well, was a life of run around looking for the woman that's going to cure me, you know, looking for her. Okay, and I'm not the only one, as I hang out with guys in bars young to see what I'm saying, and I can promise you I'm not the only guy that was hanging out in a bar looking for Shit, looking for the woman that was going to solve my problem, at least for that night. Okay, am ill and, I can't tell you how many times I fell in love with women. And one day I saw a woman, I fell in love with her and I said to myself, if I can only have that Gwn and marry that down, everything be wonderful. You're like idols from me, you know. And I was in love every other day, you know, and so I and so I married that down that we had a child and we had a beautiful house and we're married and she was a nice gown, she was a nice scale shop down and about a year after I married her, she wasn't doing it for me anymore. You know what I mean? Another word, she wasn't she hadn't changed, but whatever that thing is that was saying, if I could have her, now there's looking at other women. I said, well, if I could have that one, I'd be okay, or if I got that it's like it's like a car. You know, if I could have that car, I be okay, and then you get that car and you want to get another car. You know what I mean. And now that probably sounds pretty shitty. You understand my my making women and wanted to have women, sort of like the same thing as cars. But the reason why it sounds she it is because I was a shitty guy. I was a Shitty Guy. I was a crappy, selfish guy. It's a I'm not saying that a braggedtocious but I'm just being honest with you and telling the truth. You know, and that's the deal. And I'm sure most of you were not as bad as I was, but I was a Shitty guy. So I divorced that life, or least cost her divorce. Made and and I did some crappy things that mate. You know that. I mean did I did some crappy things, and I'm not going to go into because it takes too much time. I mean the way I treated my wife and when I came over at four o'clock the morning homes every day and with a child at home and stuff like that. So when I came to alcoholics anonymous, okay, she was on my agh step list and I had to make amends that. I told his story because it's because it you know, it's the story that needs to be told for several reasons. But you'll figure it out with her some day. It opplies to you. I had to make an amends to her. We've been married five years now. You've got the worst. That paid my child support, I did all that sort of stuff. It wasn't a horrible divorce. I heard her, I heard my inlaws, and so what happened was I heard she was having operations, she was in the hospital and I and so I went up to the hospital to see her and I had about year and a half or something like that, and I and we had a talk, was oneonone. taught she was in a hospital bed and I explained to her I had spoke to my sponsor about this too, and I explained to her that I was wrong the way I treated he and I. I went through this the whole thing about everything I did. I was wrong. I explained her about being an alcoholic. I told her how sorry I was, but I really I was more than the I'm sorry thing, because the I'm sorry thing to me is bullshit. What I want to let her know was that I was wrong and she was a good woman and I treated her badly and I was wrong. And you know, it's funny. She looked at me and she said she thought she screwed up. How do you like that? I came home drunk every night at four o'clock in the morning and she thought she wasn't a good enough life. I would have never suspected and we I said, listen, not only were you not wrong, not only were you the perfect weren't the perfect wife. Had you stayed with me, we would have never been able to talk this way. The smartest thing you did was the worsemen and and I left that deal and...

I made my amends and ever since then we've been okay, we've been friendly. We don't teach you. She lives up in the north. I lived down here. We have a beautiful sun who's in his s now, a bunch of grandkids, and so I made my amends on that okay, on that deal, and so I don't have to sit around here in my head, you know, worrying about that kind of stuff. I don't have to worry about meeting her, seeing her. She's not living red for you in my head, but I want to. I want to, I want to say something to you, for whatever it's worth, just in case anybody's going to do this. And she's never actually come up in my mind in many, many years. But somewhere along the way, and I think it's because I have a bunch of daughters, I have three daughters and I have grandkids and everything like that, I'm sort of like in the big position my inlows were in when I divorced. There somewhere along the way I started realizing. You know, it says in the big book. You know I made the amends. I don't live in that deal in remorse, but I realize something. I realize that no matter what I do and what I did to make amends for that thing, I can never, ever ever make it right. I can never ever make it like it didn't happen. You don't like that thing on TV. It's like like the water damage says like it never happened. I can't put it like it never happened. I can't make it like the hurt never happened or like they'll always be a scar and and that sort of makes me sad and one sense. But I got to be honest with you. I got to be very honest with you. I actually own that. I I'm not unhappy about that. I want to. I want to have a Cli I don't want to be a person who thinks I don't have to. I have no concern about that. I want to. I want to be able to reflect on the fact as to the damage I cause and what kind of monster I could be if I didn't, if I ever stop focusing on God or helping other people. I happen to think. For me, who's your basic aric and know it all asshole? For somebody like me, that's a good thing. You know, it has to some of that with having a conscious. I don't look at it as a bad thing. Okay, it's a bad thing if it gets into selfpity and remorse. It's not in that. It's not that kind of place. Does Not Occupy that place in my mind. It occupies a place in my mind that I know what I'm capable of without God. I know what I'm capable of without God in my life. So if in any event and sort of helps me, so I don't know what that makes any sense. But you know, like I don't know whether any I said makes any sense, but it's the truth. I mean, that's all you need for good at you know, all you need for good a meeting it's, you know, be sincere, and so it's the truth. So chances are if we have the same disease, you know, maybe I'll help somebody. So thank you very much. That's IT and the store.

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