This Way of Living

Working Steps 10, 11, and 12.
Building a personal practice.
Creating a small group practice.

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Memory and imagination
For us, memory and imagination can be excellent servants. They can also be terrible masters.

We have found that our practice of the last three Steps is like an anti-time machine without any wheels. Wherever we we work these Steps, we're always here. Whenever we work these Steps, it's always now. Right here and right now.

If we're always right here and and it's always right now, it follows that Step 10 can only remove the fear that we feel right here and right now. That, of course, is no real limitation, because it's always now and we're always here.

Unless, of course, our imaginations or our memories have taken control of us.

When we are unafraid
When we are unafraid, imagination is a friend. It allows us to contemplate possibilities.

When we are unafraid, memory is also a friend. It allows us to recall what happened in the past. Or - at least - what we think happened in the past.

When we are afraid
But when we are afraid, memory and imagination cease to be friends and become enemies.

  • They draw us away from right here and right now;

  • they usually dredge up the most unpleasant episodes from the past and the worst of future possibilities;

  • they are defective. Much of what we remember never actually happened that way. Our memories play us false; our imaginations brew up unlikely but terrifying possibilities;

  • memory and imagination distort the "here and now";

  • memory and imagination create a whole series of non-existent problems, and we frighten ourselves to death with them.

When we are afraid, we can't control memory and imagination. They start to control us.

Only three problems ....
We only have three problems, as we note elsewhere. The first of these is fear - not fear yesterday or fear tomorrow, but fear that we are feeling right here and right now.

That's why our practice always starts with Step 10.

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