Underlined 3rd and 11th step

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.
TonyWARMS
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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by TonyWARMS »

Hello, Pete
What a horrible thing to have to witness.
But, your son wasn't alone, and must've taken comfort in that.
I go to a saying I heard on, of all things, an old sitcom.
Let me preface this by saying, you don't have to believe in any God.
The saying is " God answers all prayers. Sometimes, the answer is no".
I always say about grief , in this regard, that the person you are grieving, wouldn't want you to remain in misery because of something you couldn't possibly control.

Peace, Tony
"Nothing comes to stay. Everything comes to pass".
(I don't know where I heard this)

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Duke
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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by Duke »

Thanks for sharing that Pete. I haven't lost a child, but I did lose a 16 year old nephew in a tragic death at about four years sober. I spent a lot of time with my brother over the next few years, and I've got to say, I think you're going to be okay. I hope to hear more from you.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

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ezdzit247
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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by ezdzit247 »

Hi Pete

Thank you for sharing your experience, strength, and hope. I am sorry for your loss of your son and your children's loss of their brother. I understand how hard it is to lose a loved one through death and that it can take a long time to come to terms with the loss and move on. The first time I lost a loved one through death, I became an atheist, crawled into a bottle of booze and didn't come out for seven years. I'm really glad that you've found a way to go through your loss sober and that you've been able to be there for your other children. My wish for you and your family is closure and peace.
desypete wrote:
....it really does hit home to me what is it all about ?
Good question. I asked that question many times, before and after I got sober. I figured there had to be some point to "it" but I didn't know what it was or where to look for an answer. When I experienced the presence of God during one of those "white light" phenomenas and was given the gift of sobriety, my brain was so busy trying to take in everything I was seeing and feeling that it just never occurred to me to ask the "it" question or any other question. I learned two things and was told two things before the light disappeared and the experience ended. The two things I learned was that God exists and that love is an energy, the most powerful energy in the universe. The two things I was told were: "You don't have to do this to yourself" and "Go back to AA and grow and learn". That happened almost 39 years ago. I did what I was told, went back to AA, and I did grow and learn. Still doing it. And, except for one really stupid 3 day black out drunk just before what would have been my first 2 year AA birthday, I have never tried to drink myself to death again....no matter what. I have spent most of my sober years searching for and finding the answers to the most important questions I had, the "it" question and others about God, life, death, our world, the universe, etc., and I know based on my own experience, strength and hope, that anyone who is willing to seek answers to their questions will find the answers they're searching for.

Keep coming back.....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by desypete »

thanks for your post ezdzit247

it highlights my problem in aa and what i feel i am expected to come to believe in etc

i can see from your post that you firmly believe in a god and that is ok that is your right to believe in whatever it is you wish, however the problem is i dont believe in one based on my own experiences that are so different from many others

for example should my son of lived can you imagine me posting up here that my son lived and that god answered our prayers so it was a sort of miracle ? i would be jumping for joy and many others in aa would clap and rejoice at such wonderful news etc
well the truth of the matter is we all prayed as there was nothing left to do as the drs couldn't save him nothing could. the fear in my son and his cries begging that he just wanted to live haunt me hence i can not see a gods handy work in play as if anything had the power to save, then it certainly wouldn't let kids die and suffer like my son had to and many many more out there who are dying daily in this world

sometimes the answer is no gets used in fellowship but what that means is that the god thing made a decision to let my son suffer like he did and that to me doesnt make any sense at all as i believe love is the key and being kind is what it has to be so like i said in other posts the argument goes on over this issue for me

i honestly wish it wasnt an issue but in the meetings there are very many who firmly believe its all about god and as they use the book to prove it or use there own experiences to prove god exists, they just dont seem to understand that for someone like me who came into aa with nothing left in life at all i was beaten, there was no more need for a drink as i just couldn't do it anymore it was either carry on and die or do something.

aa helped me and got me sober without it i wouldnt ever of had a chance my kids would of stayed in social care and i would of either died or been locked up in prison for killing someone as its the only yets that were left for me

anyway i hope you might be able to understand just how much of a problem it is for me, its not that i refuse to believe its i am in a postion were i can not turn a blind eye to real suffering that has taken place to my own son,

i lost my mun and dad years ago and i was heartbroken but its normal grief i got over it and moved on like we all do in time, but this is my little baby boy that died and i couldnt help him at all no matter how much he begged to live,

i wouldnt wish my worse enemy to have to experece there child dying infront of them and they have to watch it helpless etc

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PaigeB
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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by PaigeB »

i think i will pop out to a meeting tonight although even as i type that up my head is telling me not to go
You have developed "smart feet" :lol:

So how did the meeting go? I mean I think that if someone told me to get on my knees and be grateful I would be in jail instead of posting here again - so I assume you didn't punch any busy-body in the nose!

Either way I am glad you found us here at e-aa! AND we do have a pretty practical message of working the Steps as a way of recovery. We know that life & death go on around us and that no one is truly happy ALL the time. In fact for me - I frequently think that if I feel joy, I will probably get drunk! Nothing too high or too low for me, thank you. But I still have not met a day in 5+ years that I felt it was necessary to take a drink - then actually taken the drink. I still haven't found it necessary to punch someone one in the nose, though I have come very very close one time ~ at a women's retreat of all places... she was standing over me, giving her her brand of how I should act and I actually stood up... had she not taken a step back... For a good laugh visualize: I am an old woman, an ex bar brawler and she is younger and slightly (a lot) more physically able. I did reach for my cane thinking that the owl hand grip would work nicely like a roll of nickels. But damn if she didn't deny me the opportunity to finally put her bullying me to rest. And I think it was over too soon... I rather enjoyed standing up for myself!

But I digress. Well maybe not. More proof that we are on a journey that is not always easy. If I drink, I know how that ends up in pitiful incomprehensible demoralization. I have no idea where sobriety will take me. Hopefully not jail. :lol:

In another thread we are talking about Bill W.'s letter on Emotional Sobriety if you're interested.
http://www.e-aa.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16330
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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ezdzit247
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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by ezdzit247 »

Hi Pete

There's a popular song that was written by Pete Seeger in the 1950's which became an international hit in the 1960's. The lyrics were taken almost verbatim from an ancient book of wisdom called the Book of Ecclesiastes.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
My ESH is that every kind of "time" described in the song lyrics above has come to pass in the life of every single human being that has ever lived, regardless of whether their fellow humans considered them lucky or unlucky, ugly or beautiful, rich or poor, smart or dumb, believers or non-believers, alcoholic or normie, etc.... The details may vary but, to my knowledge, nobody, absolutely nobody, has ever received a free pass or been able opt out of having to experience each and every one of these "seasons", and that includes sober alcoholics. One of the biggest fringe benefits to joining and becoming part of the AA fellowship is that none us ever has to go through any of these "seasons" of life alone. If all the "God stuff" people talk about in regular AA meetings has become too painful for you to hear, you don't have to cancel your membership in AA. There's an online AA atheist/agnostic group that has been around for several years. This forum website doesn't allow links to be posted but if you google "AA Agnostica" you'll find the link to click to enter the website. The members of that forum can also help you find live atheist/agnostic AA meetings in your area so that you can fellowship with members who don't annoy you. Hope this info is helpful.

What I firmly believe, based on my own experience, observations, research and studies into various sciences and quantum physics, especially the Theory of Consciousness, is that there is an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent spirit which exists in every particle of every atom in everything in the universe and I choose to call this spirit God. For me, the answer to the "it" question, i.e. "What's it all about?" is that this thing called LIFE is a school, a kind of teaching matrix, created by God so that we can learn and grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in order to reach our full design potential. That's all I got for now.

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by Lali »

Why not start a new meeting Pete for like-minded people?
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

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Clean up, clean house, help others.

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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by zteknik »

fasteddie635 wrote:Why are the 3rd and 11th step underlined where it states "God as we understand Him"?
Thank you for bringing this up.
As to why it is underlined- I have no clue.
But for me I have a different understanding of a God than you would. And so would the next person.
Why would I impose my God on to you and say that is what you have to go by? Now that would definitely turn away a lot of people.
My upbringing really turned me away from God as I knew him way back when- being a Polish Catholic, he was pretty mean in my eyes and I really didn't want to be on his bad side.
As a newcomer I was taught to believe in a higher power other than myself( back then I thought I was my own higher power :mrgreen: ) My sponsor suggested to me that I could use a Group Of Drunks as a God until I could come to have one of my understanding.

Now it took me a bit before I came up with one,and what helped me was that We need to have a personal relationship with that God, hence another reason I think they underlined it is for that personalization. It should be your own personal God that you can communicate with. Weather or not you call it God or not is your own perspective.
I've heard people call it The spirit, The universe and anything else that works for them.

If it works for you, use it. :)

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Tosh
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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by Tosh »

zteknik wrote:
fasteddie635 wrote:My sponsor suggested to me that I could use a Group Of Drunks as a God until I could come to have one of my understanding.
+1

Proverbs 19:17 seems to be in agreement with that also. Sorry to get religious there; I'm not a Christian, but I recognise wisdom when I see it (sometimes). :lol: I don't chuck out the baby with the bath water.

And we've got to remember that an experience with God is totally different from a concept of God. I've had experiences (such as my fifth step, or when making an amend), or listening to a Step 5 where I've been really deeply touched - I could say touched by God - but once I start articulating that experience, I'm firmly back in the realm of the conceptual. A concept is an abstract idea (check the dictionary); it is never the actual thing.

No matter what concept of God we have, it's merely a concept - an abstract idea. Some folk might have a prettier concept than others, but it's still an abstract idea. Abstract ideas do not keep me sober; my program of action does that.

There is a school of thought that with all scripture, there's various levels of understanding within it, and one of the deeper meanings of idolatry isn't the worship of false idols, but the worship of the false concept of God that we have in our heads (remembering that all concepts are false; they're abstract ideas; not the actual 'thing').

Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan who loves A.A. (he says we get a lot of stuff that mainstream churches miss) teaches that some concepts of God may keep us safe (from ourselves), but they also keep us at a childish level of understanding. Check him out; he's a funny guy to listen to also.

And in another philosophical school of thought they teach that concepts are 'truth concealers'; they're a bar to our deeper understanding. I got this straight away when I was taught it. How? Because I held the concept that an alcoholic was a smelly, dirty person - like my father - who lived in the gutter and shouted abuse at passing buses. And because I wasn't like that (yet - I know I know), I really didn't think I was an alcoholic. I was just someone who was forced to get drunk every day. So my concept of what an alcoholic was hid from me the deeper understanding that I was an actual alcoholic.

I can apply that same principle to the 'God thing'.

Sometimes I think the most honest and spiritual thing we can say is "I don't know!". I'm okay with not knowing.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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ezdzit247
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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by ezdzit247 »

Enjoyed your post, Tosh. Good food for thought....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Tosh
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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by Tosh »

ezdzit247 wrote:Enjoyed your post, Tosh. Good food for thought....
Thank you. A guy I sponsor reckons I would've made a great 'pot head'. I thanked him for the compliment, dropped him off, and on the drive home thought about what he said a bit more. :shock:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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ezdzit247
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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by ezdzit247 »

Tosh wrote:
ezdzit247 wrote:Enjoyed your post, Tosh. Good food for thought....
Thank you. A guy I sponsor reckons I would've made a great 'pot head'. I thanked him for the compliment, dropped him off, and on the drive home thought about what he said a bit more. :shock:
LOL.... :lol:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by desypete »

that has to be the most honest answer there is at times and its a simple one that tosh hit on,

i dont know

as for starting up a meeting for like minded people i gave it some real thought, i got in touch with aa agnostica and made a contact in the derby area who had a meeting up and running so i went along to see how it runs etc i took my sponsor with me so i dont rush into anything without having another head to give me a different way of looking at things and my sponsor is the only person in the world i have come to trust as i know he is so like me although he has his own hp and its love,

anyway sadly when i got to the meeting it wasnt being run at all it wasnt on and there was no one i could contact, the guy i was in touch with had since handed the meeting over to others and didnt really get involved with it anymore so it was a wasted trip but thats ok

there are meetings i believe in london but none outside of there, my problem is the old coffee pot and resentment argument as to how new meetings get started, meetings in some places have the lords prayer and a bible in them and all sorts of god religion goes on as its what those guys have come to believe aa is all about, the fact is they believe it and they will not even attend meetings that dont run the way they think they should, so i dont want to end up at the operisite side of that as really i would be just as bad as them putting my own slant on what i think aa is all about

although the only difference i can see between an aa meeting v agnostic meeting is there is no serenity prayer forced to be thrown at everyone new comers etc to be said, other than that anything goes, if people believe in god there welcome to say so as thats how aa has to be but on the same token it also has to be a place were drunks can say they dont believe in a god it has to swing both ways, otherwise we might as well change aa and its proclamation of non conformity, as it seems to be a hidden agenda for some that infact aa is all about getting god in your life and nothing else

now i can only speak of my experience in my area of aa and for the most part i am lucky as many people are the anything goes type of aa member which i believe is how it should be but there are a few who are very vocal on telling us all we will drink again if we dont get down on our hands and knees etc
the sad thing is many of thoses guys and girls in my area have indeed picked up the drink or drugs again after telling so many others that they have the cure for it all and that if we didnt do it there way we would drink again etc

anyway i am drifting off here like i very often can do once i open my mouth lol

the point i want to make is i dont want to be on one side or the other i dont want an anti god type of aa nor a pro god hence we use the term hp instead and i believe my hp if i must have one is the fellowship of aa and the people in it along with the way of life i have to try to live daily that the steps have shown me without the need to get on my hands on knees and pray to a god for it

i do live a good honest life, and i try to help others, and for this alcoholic who is selfish right to the core that is amazing to turn it around but its only happend because i came to see what i was really like and understanding my mental illness as i didn't even think i was nuts, today i accept i am as batty as a fruit cake, i am so childish in my nature and i am growing up

i dont get angry at other drivers anymore who used to annoy me i smile at the best of times, although i know in the right cercumstances i could very well bloww a gasket if something comes along i have never experienced before i can revert back to all the negatives or look for someone to take it out on etc

i live daily the way i have to live just by trying to be good or do good for others it sums up what the program really it all about and how the change happens to those who follow it. the 12th step is somthing we dont hear about much in aa as its all about 3 or 11 that seems to mean you let god do everything and sit back and pray well for me its just not an option as i can sit and pray all day long and nothing will change unless i get off my backside and try to do something, all i have to do is the right thing and knowing what is right or wrong is the key, hence my sponsor and others in aa have guided my thinking to let me come to see what is right or wrong, what is me reacting in a bad way compared to me having a moment or 2 to think about things, and what they really mean to me

its a hell of a complex subject of trying to change hence i believe i will never be changed completely i will just get a bit better at things as the days grow into weeks and the weeks grow into months and the months go into years, so long as i am around sober thinking people in aa and following a good honest way of life and i am prepared to give up a bit of time to help others if they need it then its not a bad place to be
i dont have any compulsion for a drink but if i stop doing what i do then i know one day that drink could well find its way back in my hand

end of speech lol i dont half go on sorry : )

i dont go on so much in a meeting i would share for about 5 mins or so and i hope i never do end up being a long winded talker in aa as its enough to make me want to get my moblie phone out and swear my head off lol but see i am growing so i dont do it unless there is a real need : )

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Re: Underlined 3rd and 11th step

Post by Lali »

I don't know if anyone has suggested this to you, Pete, but have you thought of going to a support group for people who have endured traumatic events? If there isn't one in your town, you could start one! and as I stated somewhere else here, what about starting an AA group for agnostics and/or atheists? (I'm sorry that I don't know the difference.)

And I am so sorry for your loss.

Someone here stated that your son would not want you to suffer. FWIW, I feel the same way. I hope I'm not saying anything offensive as I have never had such trauma in my life and I cannot even imagine it.

(((Hugs)))
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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