194- Brain P- Step 3 of Alcoholics Anonymous
Brian P 00:00
And what I understand is there's there's really only two wills in the world like my will and God's will. It's not like I give up my will, it's impossible to give up my will, you know, I was taught from my mentors was that it's really about me aligning my will with God's will.
John M 13:35
So we pick this thing up again at step three, we talk about the concept of God and how that differs with each individual, what it means to make a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God, a lot of people. Anyway, everyone's got a different impression of what that actually means. We talk about Brian's extensive work in the prison system and what joy that is brought to him and others. Brian talks about the term and I thought that was very interesting if you listen to it, life on life's terms. I've heard that before meetings many times over, but he has a very interesting spin on that particular slogan. So without further ado, ladies and gents, please help me welcome Mr. Brian P. And we will have plenty Oh, listener feedback at the end of this app. Enjoy. Okay, everybody. So today we are sitting here once again, with Mr. Brian P. So Brian P. Why don't you go ahead, introduce yourself and give your sobriety date if you would, please.
Brian P 16:26
Absolutely. JOHN, nice to be here. Thanks for inviting me. Yeah, my name is Brian P. I've been sober, sober since March 6 of 1993. Live in Dallas, and very active on group. So
John M 16:41
we had had it. We're glad you're here. So we have had you on before. For those of you. You may recognize Brian Pease name. And if you want to catch his first episode we did which is basically his story. It was called Let me think about this Brian, bank robber turns himself in to Alcoholics Anonymous is what I believe it was about all your escapades. Yeah, that was your title pic. It was my. And then the second one we did was Brian p on steps one and two. And that was at the beginning of this year. And I've been just busy with other guests. And I haven't had a chance to get you back on. But we finally were able to get some time set aside for both of us. I know you're busy guys well and get your recorded again, I had a lot of people write in and ask me if I could do some additional steps with you. So that's what we're going to continue this time. Yeah, looking forward to it. Okay, so last time, we did steps one and two, as you know. So this time, we were going to kind of pick it up with step three. And step three, my friend, as you know, is made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood him. So what are your first thoughts? What comes to mind for you, Brian?
Brian P 18:16
Oh, that's interesting. Well, my first thoughts on it was when I was, you know, early sobriety going through the steps. You know, I had didn't have a struggle with the first step, I needed a lot of information to see if I was powerless. And really what to find out if I was outside of human power, which I figured out through the all the readings and sponsorship that I had to have, like they say, in the first part of the first step, you know, like, on page 25, they say, Yep, two doors, continue doing what you're doing, you know, living to the bitter end, or accept spiritual help. And at that, I just said, I have to accept spiritual help, which, for my first one, step one and two was in there. And then step two for me was like, basically going to examining my, my prejudices against God, and all the things that were blocking me. So once I got through that, and I realized, okay, I need some power. I'm not sure what God is, but I'm willing to live by some principles. And so when I got to this step, my first thought is, what does this mean? You know, like, Am I going to be a robot? Am I going to be like, Am I not going to have some willpower? And so I had to talk that through and figure that out. But I was convinced that of my own power, I was not gonna be able to stay sober, and that my life was basically already destroyed. It was going to get worse and I was going to hurt all the people around me.
John M 19:48
Okay, so you said you were convinced at that time that you are on your own? volition? Is that the word I get that right? The Listen, I believe that's right. of your own volition, you are not going to be able to stay sober by yourself. Yeah, I mean, a lot of people don't it that they have a hard time getting there. I do. Do you remember actually having that thought process is I've tried this enough on my own. This is not working?
Brian P 20:21
Oh, yeah, well, I mean, first time I stayed, I was sober for a year, not doing anything, right, just go into a lot of meetings. And then one day after a second meeting I drank. But then I had to go back and examine all the times that I had extreme reasons not to drink, right, like going back to prison conditions that would put me in a place that never wanted to go back to, I could not not drink. So when I got there, after my first step, and I really got it inside of me, like really, really deep inside of me. I had two emotions, I was mad. And I was afraid. And I was mad that my body processes liquor differently. And I'm an alcoholic. And, and I was afraid that if the solution is a relationship with some power, and I'm an agnostic at this time, I said I was atheist, how is that going to possibly happen? So yeah, it came out through all the first 51 pages in the big book, just around the first step. But I think it's super important because without that foundation, I would have never journeyed into seeking a relationship with my career. It's not like I wanted that I wasn't looking for that I didn't want to live by spiritual principles. I was circumstances put me in a position where I had no choice. And so once I got through with this, we agnostics and I, once I got through the other end, I realized that I never had a problem with God. I had a problem with the concept of God, you know, what I thought that was, which was nothing bad should ever happen. And when I got past that, I was like, convinced like, I need some help. But I was scared too, cuz I didn't know what that meant. I didn't know what it was going to look like. I didn't know if it work, but I was willing to move forward.
John M 22:08
Okay, so you just brought up the concept of God, which actually comes up here for the first time. And the third step? And I'm curious about that statement. You said I didn't have How did you put it I, I didn't have a problem with God, I just had a problem with this concept of God of how I thought it should be, look, feel whatever the case may be. So talk to me a little bit about that?
Brian P 22:37
Well, yeah, it's a good question. Because I hear it a lot with the guys that I work with, you know, like it? Well, I was asking, like, where are you at with God? Like, what's your? And well, I have, you know, they don't believe that I have an issue with it. And what I found out was, I thought it was atheist, but I was not I was agnostic. And then when I found out what my, what I had built, and I don't know, if it was put upon me and my childhood, it probably just created it. But I had created a concept of a guy like sitting up in the clouds with a, you know, white robe and a thing and choosing who should die who should live who should. And so for me, the way I built that was my brother died of cancer at seven years old. I was molested at 10. I was on five foot one, like, what kind of God would do that? That seems unfair. You know, I'm just saying, you know, I created this thing that was never going to allow me to build a relationship because it was a punishing evil, not evil, but you know, like, not a loving and so my sponsor was so kind, he knew that, you know, XYZ, like being raped in prison, and all the things that happened in that endeavor, was like, what I found out is those were all the absence of God, like, you know, that God was not present there. People didn't invite him. So I started from a fresh point, he said, what kind of concept of God if you're gonna build a relationship with any god or higher power? Give me what that would look like. And I said, two words loving and non judgmental. And I started to examine that what I had before was God that didn't care wasn't interested. And now because we all have come in with different ideas, like why would a seven year old child get cancer with God is so powerful? Why would you let that happen? So I started to have to step back and say, I created some concept that I could never really build a relationship with. And so today, which is really going back 20 years where it started as my concept of God is love, just love and I mean, it's not more complex than that.
John M 24:46
Okay, so let's break down the third step a little bit. But the first part of it made a decision. When you think about made a decision, and when you did make that decision, and maybe going through the third step for the first time, do you You think that that made a decision is kind of a one point in time? Do you think it's a thing that we constantly go back to?
Brian P 25:08
Yeah, I think it is a constant. I think in the beginning for me, it was a decision right then to, you know, I was convinced I needed power. So now I'm going to make a decision to turn my will on my life over to God. And what I understand is there's there's really only two wills in the world like my will, and God's will. Like, it doesn't, you know, it's not like I give up my will, it's impossible to give up my will. And so my, you know, I was taught from my mentors was that it's really about me aligning my will, with God's will. Because I still have to make decisions are still things. Self will, I think, is the greatest gift that was given to us, you know, that we can make decisions. And so, when the third step prayer, there's no Amen. At the third step prayer, which is interesting, right? If you read the third step, prayer in a big book is knowing the next name and is a seven step prayer. And some will say, nobody really knows because you have to, like do a seance and bring bill Wilson back and ask him, but there's a lot of ideas. And I was taught that, because there's no Amen, and a third step prayer, and there's one of the seven, step three through seven is one continuation of a prayer. But then, I was in the prison system doing third step prayer with about 15 guys on our knees. And it hit me that maybe there's no Amen. And the third step prayer, because that's a continuation that's every day. And then when you read later steps, it talks about every day on this turn, right, you know, we'll live over to God. Which means, you know, it's a hard than ever, because we're human, right? So we make decisions, and we're impulsive. But it was a starting point for me like, okay, you know, I'm going to do this. And I'm going to say one thing about that, because after you and maybe this is a little early, but after you do the third step prayer, it states, just because you did that prayer, if you don't do four through nine, you know, because the decision is like, I'm gonna make a decision to cook dinner tonight, I got a recipe, and I'm going to do that that's a decision, right? I'm going to cook it. But if I just sit in the decision, like, and I sit at my table, and I don't go up and get the ingredients and all that, and I don't follow directions, there's, it's not going to happen. Right? So yeah, the decision is like, Okay, I'm finally going to do something, this is what we do. But the action to basically make that decision come to fruition is four through nine. I mean, that's what it says in the book. And then that's what the experience is, because, you know,
Brian P 27:40
I'm gonna take a little bit of a rabbit trail here, in that you mentioned about, you mentioned about in the prison systems and doing your third step on your knees with 15 other guys or so in the prison system, can you? Can you talk about your work that you have done? You know why you're drawn to that I have a pretty good idea. But what have you done in the prison systems? So, in Texas, it's a little different. So I'll tell you my main living in the state of Maine, I was about six years sober five years, when I got that I started getting able to be you know, this is the way it was, I never want to go back into the prison. I wanted to go to jail work and maybe detoxes. But where I lived in Maine, I was 20 minutes from about five penal institutions, which kind of opened up to like, write the maximum security and medium, the minimum. Basically, this place, I was a transitional place, and then a couple other lower levels. And I got a lovely woman, who was the area corrections chair in Maine, who stalked me because she read my story. And finally, I filled out the form, and then they denied me. So it's like, it's kind of like, I don't want to go to your party, I just want to be invited to your party, that kind of thing. Because I don't know, that's just how my mind works. Anyway, when they declined me, then I went on a writing campaign to the governor, all this stuff, and they accepted me. And when I went in, there was a gentleman named Don P and Tom I from North Carolina, who told me because I was frustrated, they weren't there was just a meeting, there was no, there was nothing changing, or transformational. Because they had their own meeting there. And then those two gentlemen told me on the same day that maybe you should start a meeting separate and take men to the steps and have a transformational spiritual awakening happening while they're in carcere ated. And that process lasted for 15 years where I went in twice a week, to the maximum skirt and a minimum, and I took groups of men through the steps and so Started off small, three guys, two of them finished it and they're still one just finished 22 years and he's an active member in main been he was my very first guy to the fifth step within there. And he's like a dynamite member of Alcoholics Anonymous and, and the other guy is what they say greatly improved hasn't been back but then the other guy quit in the middle of it and so I did that and what happened is that we would they grew to where there may be 10 guys 15 guys coming to the to my group on Friday mornings and then I would just take them line by line to the big book and when we got up to the third step most of them most of made it through there and then we would kneel and do it there and I always said this john, this is interesting. Because I was gonna I wanted to be aware of the environment I was in and I would say look if I'm with you on the streets or sponsoring you, I do a third step this way. I kneel we hold hands and we read the prayer together. I said but I'll give you guys the option we could just read it together we can stay in our seats or we can do whatever you guys feel comfortable because there was a glass people other people inmates could see in the room I wanted to be just really no one not anytime and I probably did over 50 maybe 75 I don't know how many through research I did not one group ever said let's do it a different way they all said we want to do it how it's done on the street regardless of what anybody says as they walked by this room. And if you want to experience power of group of men pulling out chairs back and circling up and guys who wouldn't ever interact with each other on the yard holding hands and read a third set Pereira was was amazing. Wow. I got a story. We'll go ahead.
John M 31:56
Let me read this little break here real quick. We will be continuing our conversation with Brian p in just a moment. Just a reminder you were listening to sober speak you can find us on the World Wide Web as superspeed comm there you can find approximately 190 ish other episodes you can listen to for free. You can also find the donate button on our website which you can use if and only if the spirit moves you do do such Please keep in mind this is a podcast funded by you. The listener stuffs sober speak is a self supporting organization through our own contributions. We are not allied with any sect denomination, politics organization or institution. We do not wish to engage in any controversy neither endorses nor opposes any causes. All right, now back to Mr. Brian P. You said you're gonna tell a story.
Brian P 32:51
Yeah, I was just gonna. So and I'm sure you know this being sober as long as you have sometimes you do a third step with a sponsee or somebody and nobody feels anything you do it. And every once while there'll be something, I don't put a lot of weight in that, like whatever is gonna happen. It's gonna happen. But one of the events that happened that happened to be a group of 15 men. And there are a lot of them were really hardcore guys from the yard who had lots of status. Because they started trickling in. And we did this third step. And, and I've had this probably three or four times, you know, that feeling of it. But I didn't have ever get a vision. And I'm, I've always been skeptical about telling a vision that happens because it kind of sounds off the wall. But I think it's important. And these guys were present when this happened. So we know we did this prayer. And during the prayer, I had like this vision and it just came out of nowhere. And I don't get that I just happened. And there was so much energy in a room. And when we stood up. Somebody said, I don't know what we just did, but like there's something going on here. And I said well, because I told him there may be nothing or there may be something and I said well, I just had a vision of what a really is. And they said, I said I'm almost afraid to tell you it was quick. I mean, in my mind, he said What was it? So here's what happened. The vision I saw during that prayer was I'm in this dark force of alcoholism, right and it's just lost, right can't get out of it. And a guy I met happened to be Ken w my sponsor walks up and says you want to get out of here and I said more than anything he says in Follow me. And every time I go left, every time I step over a rock, you just do exactly what I do. And then all of a sudden, the force opened up and you could see the blue sky and the green grass. And we both took a big deep breath. And then he said to me, alright, let's go back in and get two more. And then we walked back into the darkness and then we walked our eyes for And we took a breath. And then we walked in as for and pulled for more out, and then we were eight. That's the vision I got. And it just was so overpowering. And a lot of those guys call me. They'll call me the great white warrior, because you know, I don't like Hunter, they'll say, hey, Greg white Hunter, because hunting drunks in the forest. But the idea was, if you really look at a and you really look at the growth, that's really what happens. And those guys started doing it inside. Like they would bring the guys from the yard into the group, they would tell him like, Oh, you need to go here and stop doing that. But that was one of the only times in 15 years, I had that experience like that. And sometimes those guys, we caught touch base, I'll still talk about it like because it was powerful. And you said it's a little bit more difficult in Texas for some reason? Well, I did go down into I lived in Austin, I went into the federal prison there. And, you know, they had guards in the room. And it was, it wasn't gonna be able to do the work. I didn't mean it was way more there were it's hard when there's a guard in the room, because they're not, they're not willing to get honest. And in Maine, when I started my group, they used to have him sign in to get credit. And when I did my step route, I asked the guy who was my liaison who's counsel, I said, I don't want assignment this, I want this be and they don't get any credit for this. They come because they want to come and they want to change. And he would just do whatever he would say, absolutely. They took it away. And the guys who didn't want to come because they were just getting signed and left and the guys who really wanted to change. And we were able to do what we did three AIA conferences in that prison, like three day conferences, like fraud, and it's like a writer conference like a roundup like Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Wow. You know, and I'm talking I'm calling guys internet, these guys speakers being shot around the country said catch your mouse and don't have any money. But we're going into the prison to carry a message. And we ate lunch in the chow hall with these guys. And we had 30 people going in. It's the D inmates and we have real like around speaker panels. Yeah. I don't know. I don't know if you could do that in Texas. Maybe. But I so I diverted you. That's fine. I'm
John M 37:28
glad I did. Because that's, that's an incredible story, Brian, it really is. Okay, so go back to the third step here. So when you think about the third step prayer, right. Where is there any piece of it that kind of stands out to you? Do you want to dissect it? What are your thoughts? You obviously talked about the experiences you've had around that third step? What do you what do you want to talk about with that third step prayer?
Brian P 38:08
Okay, let's go there. Cuz I was gonna start before there. But now that you brought it up, let's look at this. So it's interesting, because when you read the book, people think that third step is the prayer. But that's not the decision. That's just like putting a stamp on it. That's like closing the seal. Because the decision is before it's on the next page where it talks about, you know, when it says, next, we decided that hereafter, so that's the decision that we're after, in this drama of life, God was going to be our director, he is our principal, we are His agents. He is the father. And we are His children. His most good ideas are simple. And this concept was the keystone of the trumpet art. So that's the decision I'm making, right? I'm making a decision that God's gonna be my father or he's gonna be my director. For me. It was, God is my father, I'm a child. Okay, that's how I did it. Right. But the third step, prayer is just kind of like, I don't know the right word, but maybe it's a seal or there's something word it's slipping my mind about. It's like, this is an agreement I'm doing right. I'm saying, because when I look after the bottom of 62, where it says at these lectures, we decided, right, and I noticed when you look in the book around that, like when it says, God was going to be our director, God has capitalized directors capitalize. He R is not this is he is the principal, he and the principal are capitalized, we it's not capitalized. So what they're saying is, I'm not in charge of anything. And I'm gonna let God dictate that and then they give me the promises of what happens above the prayer, right, which I think are interesting. I think they're super important, because it kind of draws into what's going to happen once I do that. And then the prayer was more of a seal like okay, this is a great remainder whatever, write
John M 40:02
a covenant light. Yeah, covenant. That's Yeah. And you know, even when you get like further in the book, like to the eighth, the ninth step, it says something to the effect of, and I can't remember the exact wording, but he says, Hey, remember, in the beginning, we made an agreement here, that we were going to return our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him. So this is like the beginning piece of the relationship,
Brian P 40:24
right, then the first part of that third step directions when you see that because one thing that you'll notice in the big book, there are no directions for the first set, first two steps, like there's no statement that says you're not the second step, directions for the process of recovery starts at step three, because then it's italic sized. And then every step after, as I tell, OSI saying you are now step four. So when I look at the promises before, like, if I'm gonna make this decision, I do this because I need to do it, I want to do it. The one thing that comes up around that is, this is like the second promise, I just want to mention this, before I go and break it out. The Prayer is being all powerful, he provided what we needed, if we kept close to him, and performed his work well. And so what I used to say was, the steps were the work. And then I got taught from a mentor said, The steps are the process that prepares me for the work, because the real work is carrying this message to God's kids. And so I stopped looking at the steps as a as work I looked at as a process. And then the work it all prepares me to be basically what they talk about, you know, I'm awakened spirit, I have tools, I have the ability, you know, I understand it, I understand who I am, I have, basically I have all the experience to go and help somebody. And so, but I don't get to do it, I have to keep close to him, which then you'll see in 10 11.2 because I always thought I grow spiritually and step 11. But the real spiritual growth is in step 12. Very interesting. Because step 11, keeps me in contact and opens up my sixth vital sense, my intuitiveness. But the power in that, and I believe this to be true. And I think Bill know it, there is immense spiritual growth. When I give my free time, there's nothing I've just given freely, sitting on my patio, taking a gentleman through the steps. I mean, that can never get my time back. And for me, I've experienced more spiritual growth from that. And the man said this, he said, I said, I really want to know God. He said, Yeah, you want to know God, get to know his kids. And the more I've gotten to know, God's kids, so when I sit in, in a prison doing a fifth step, we're gonna do in a third step with a guy who society has thrown away, nobody loves him. And it's just him and me need a knee, and all the tattoos and all the muscles to block him. Right? When he opens up his heart, God is right there. And I'm telling you, when you when you have a guy who's six foot 263 240, with f t, w, you know, carved in his forehead with a knife, when he falls into your arms, crying, you get to experience God.
Brian P 43:26
So I'll tell you what I what I like about this prayer. And I'll read it, I'll break it down my experience.
Brian P 43:35
Brian P 43:37
got myself to the build with me to do with me as well. So basically, what I learned from that is, it's not my business wherever God wants me to go, you know, and when they talk about vital success, you know, going in and around step 11. When I talk about this vital six senses in tune up, the whole goal is for me to open up the channel so I can hear God's whispers. And when I can pay attention to the whispers of God, because God has whispered some things that make no sense. Like you need to call so and so. And when I do that, and don't question it, but for me, I got to have that channel open, which, you know, we get in the fourth step, I'll tell you the story of Frank Buckman the founder of the Oxford group, because that's how we're all that steps come from but so basically, I'm just gonna, you know, I'm like, God, do with me what you want. And I ended up in Texas because I ended up in Maine, I ended up in the prison, none of these things I created. They were just, you know, events that happened and I sat with it. And then God said, this is where you need to be my son. Which is scary because I'm not then that scares us because we're control freaks. We want to control where I'm going to be what I'm going to do, and to live by truly intuitive thought is a really challenging thing for rocky for everybody probably. Okay, so
John M 44:53
let's park it there just a little bit because as you know, You start talking to people about living by intuitive thought, and clearing the channel, and then listening to God and going with the flow and stuff like that. The words are easy, but sometimes it's really tough to internalize. And it's tough to, you know, look at how that manifests itself. So can you talk to people, if a given example? Or talk about how that manifests itself in your life?
Brian P 45:28
Sure, that's actually a great question. Because I do speak of, I am glad you brought that up. So I believe everybody's had some, we call it conscience, you know, like, when we're kids, we're doing something wrong. And we feel a certain way that I should do that. That, to me, has become for me, an intuitive thought from the power that loves me, right? I don't debate that. But we've all have that we all have something internally, when we're about to do something like I shouldn't do that. Okay. And I'll give you some examples of living on the other end and paying attention to it. So there was a guy in Maine. And I, and I do believe in the whispers of God, and I do believe that God's never yelled at me kind of like, Hey, I challenge everybody, like how many times a day you think of like calling somebody, someone's name pops up, right? Just somebody out of blue. But you don't call him or you don't reach out to him. He just goes by. And so I've been taught when that comes out, there's a reason so I'll text them or call up. So this guy, Sean, he and I are about the same level of sobriety. And we were in that phase of spiritual warrior, like, who was better spiritually is all nonsense, but I loved him. And we ran in different groups, I like he relapsed. And when they told me, I reached out to him, he never returned. And for a year, for a year, anytime his name, popped into my head, didn't matter what I'm doing cooking popcorn. on the golf course, it didn't matter if his name popped in my head, I would either call them or send him a text. And a lot of it was voicemail. And he never returned any of my texts or voicemails in the year. And I would say things that were crazy like a shot, it's Brian, again, it's about the 16th time I've tried to reach you. And I know you're probably deep in your addiction, or your alcoholism. And you may be in a motel six, six cry, I don't know what you're doing. But just let you know, I love you. And if you ever need any help, I'm here for you. I would leave different messages wherever they were right for a year. And I probably left 30 to 40 messages one day, not to the year date, but like about a year, maybe 11 months, 13 months, I get a call from him. And he calls me and he says, Hey, this is Sean. I didn't recognize the number. It was a detox. And I said, Oh my god, how you doing? He says I'm in really bad shape. I'm at the detox down in Portland, Maine. And I'm just wondering, as he was crying, like, I just wondered if you could come down and see me. And I was about 100 miles away. And I said, I will be there an hour and a half. And when I got there, I asked him why he called me I said, Why did you call me because there's four domains full of people. Ryan, he said, I called you because you're the only person that continually reached out to me for that year. A lot of people just stopped reaching out. And you as annoying as it was. You were the guy reached out. Now, I don't take credit for that. I take credit for the person who told me that you must follow the intuitive thought. And I think in 11 step in the directions, it talks a lot about that, you know, talks about you know, and when you read the history and you read anything on bill and all those guys a lot that was intuitive thought, you know, and, and I believe everybody has access to it. It's hard to decipher, though, what's God's will in my will. Okay, right.
John M 49:06
So and you know, what I'm thinking about here is that you're gonna have some people that have these like crazy boyfriends and crazy girlfriends, and then these obsessive compulsive types of relationships. They're gonna say, you know, Brian p said if they somebody entered into my mind to give them a goal, but there is a distinction.
Brian P 49:28
Yeah, I mean, I've had, I've had guys, you know, I had an intuitive thought or whatever. And I'm able now to, like, walk right through that, like, that's not intuitive. That's your will want to do it. And even I in the beginning, you know, if I, if when I was newly sober, right. If I went to the coffee pot, I mean, I would sit down. There's a girl at the coffee pot. She's, you know, again, I'm 30 years old. I've been in prison for seven years. So I walk up to get coffee, she comes up and says hi to me. I go sit down. I'm thinking we're in love and she wants me you know My take on it is God's will, because she liked coffee, I like coffee, she styrofoam cup, you know, we just create whatever we want to create to get our will. So I'm not saying early sobriety, you're going to be able to trust that. But when you go through the process, right, when you get to the other end, your spirits should be awakened. And then it's easily able to end and I still I used to run big decisions by three different people in my circle. I mean, I'll tell you one real quick. My now ex wife and my wife wanted to go to overseas for six months for schooling internship, we're married five years. So she's going to Europe for, you know, six months gonna be not my life. And my first instinct was fear. Right? And so my second next data meditation was, why would you not support that? And so I went to my sponsor, and I said, Hey, I'm struggling with this, I think I need to support it. But I have this fear. What's your fear? I said, Well, she'll meet someone taller than me, younger than me prettier me whatever, right? And he said something like this, he said, she could meet that person at 711, down the street. And what would God be saying, when he came out of meditation, I was like that support it and not live by the fear, you know, like, and I'll tell you, I was one of the best things that happened to her, you know, so it's easy. It's not It's not easy to decipher, sometimes early sobriety, which I believe is sponsorship, friends, and not just sponsorship, people who I trust, you know,
John M 51:34
I, so I got you off for that third step. For the second line. It says, I'm bringing it up right now in my head, and it says, Take away my difficulties, the victory. We have the bondage of self, excuse me. So when you think about that relieve me of the bondage of self what comes to mind there?
Brian P 51:56
Well, Nietzsche said, so false, that we truncated that, but it says, relieve me of the bondage of self karma, that I made better do Thy will. And so, in the previous, you know, during the directions, there, I'm the problem, right, I'm self centered, I'm selfish, I'm all worried about me. And so the bondage of self assists me being consumed with me, and what I can get out of the world. So there's no way for me to be able to do God's will, when I'm only concerned about me, and what I want to get, you know, what I need. So when I can set that aside, and a lot of that comes through, you know, this willingness to not know, because the bond itself is just me, wrapped in me. And I can't be of service to anybody, when I'm only thinking about me, it's very inconvenient to go into the prison system or any service work we're doing. Right? To give you it's inconvenient. I mean, it's an inconvenient thing to sponsor a lot of guys to give up your free time. I mean, there's, you know, it's just is, but that's what we do, the self would say, I don't have time for that. And so I do God's will when I just stopped worrying about what I need. And you know, that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah.
John M 53:09
So take away my difficulties. That victory over them, may bear witness to those I would help with my power, and I love and my way of life. And by the way, if you're new to the third step prayer, you're wondering where this is the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is on page 63. You can look it up yourself. But what about that line? Brian?
Brian P 53:33
Well, that's my favorite line. I mean, that's what we do. I mean, that's a I mean, that's why when you listen to all the great speakers you have on your podcast, right? The stories, you know, and not everybody that and I'm probably overly I probably overshare sometimes, but I've always believed that, that when I when I ask God to take away my difficulties, right, that Victor that may bear witness what we do, in a is bear witness to the people who are just coming in or people who are struggling currently, that these are the difficulties I have had. And God has helped me get through them. And it's okay, I'll walk side by side. Okay, I'll walk with you. I think there's nothing more important than to share the difficulties we've had. And then to share how we got out of that. I think if all we do is talk about the great things that have happened to us. It's, I think it's Firstly, inauthentic. And I think it's an effective. I mean, I don't want to sit when I'm homeless when I was homeless, I have a car and the guy's talking about getting a Rolls Royce and living in a mansion. I don't want to hear that. Because I can't relate. But when he talks about being homeless, and struggling and all the struggles and God has helped him become a better man or do better things, regardless of where they ended with. I can relate to that. And I think that's, that's what we do. I mean, we were on, we're starting Keller's in a we tell stories, you know, we tell the stories because we've all had, you know, I mean how many
Brian P 55:10
Brian P 55:13
I look at that I'm thinking, take away my difficulties. How many difficult spots to add we had in our life. Now, like right now, currently. My brother, one of my last, I had to live to visit that four of us children. I was the youngest of four to my mama, dad, my brother died of cancer. When he was seven, I was five. My dad died 2012. My mom died in 2014. My brother, who was four years ahead of me died about 10 months ago on a ventilator. And my oldest brother, who is 64, we were talking after my brother's death and said, he goes, What's this, you and me left. And then three months later, he gets diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma. There's no cure. And so these are difficult, right? And if I, you know my prayer for God, let me know what you would want me to do, which is to support my brother and love my brother and guide him through this process and support his wife. But if that happens, where he does die, let's say it happens. I mean, it's probably it's uncurable. But that's a difficulty and God, get me through it. So next thing, you know, two years later, guy meets me who's somebody has the same issue. And if I don't have an experience to share with him about that, and how I got through that, I can't be of service. You know, because life happens. You ever know the phrase life on life's terms? There, we know that. I believe that's not a true, I don't believe in that phrase, right? I believe that. Life has no terms. I set the terms, I decide what's acceptable, what's not acceptable, life just unfolds the way it unfolds. And I basically decide like, Okay, this is acceptable, this is not acceptable. And as I started to, like, take that into, like, internally, I realized that, you know, if I have a problem with a certain issue, if I decide that's not acceptable, then I live in that pain. It doesn't mean there's not grief, and there's not pain, but life has no terms life just unfold, I said it. And the more I approached life in that way, the less of victim I am. And I become more open to being of service.
John M 57:42
Just real quickly, before we close it out, you had mentioned something on the beginning, before we actually fired up the mic that you wanted to talk about before we close today, I believe you received a message speaking of your prison work, a message from somebody that you had met, and one of those prisons at some point is my right.
Brian P 58:02
Yeah, let me tell you the story. Be quick, but it's an I think it's a adds to the value of why you do what you do. Right. Because without this, this would not have happened. So I met a guy who sponsored a guy in a prison system. Quite a while ago, he is one of my groups. He was in my group, I lovely guy, lovely kid, he was much younger than me, but I had a real experience in prison. And, and then I moved to Texas before he got out. He got out and it was going to meetings and but he, you know, he just didn't get connected. And he wouldn't call me to say our guy, but he would know in Texas. And anyway, about a month ago, maybe a month and a half ago. Somebody some girl I don't know. sent a messenger on Facebook and said, Are you the Brian p? Who helped? So and so right? My friend, Jake. In prison. I said, Yeah, that's me. She said, he wants to get your number because he's back in the county jail. He would love to talk to you. I said absolutely gave him my number, or gave her my number. And then he calls me and I'm talking to them. And I love this kid. You know how it is, john, when you meet some kid you sponsor and when they're younger than you just kind of like, inside, you know, they're super, super kind and loving. And he had some tortures in his life. And I said, What's going on? And he said, he told me basically, what you got out, he was mad at God because God moved me to Texas, which I think is ridiculous. But he was mad. He couldn't connect with anybody. And he started going backwards and eventually, you know, he relapsed and, and then something happened and he ended up back in jail, potentially going to go back for a few years. He was on parole. And I said, he said, I'm really, really mad, because I asked him, I gave him some direction to do some prayers. He said, Dude, I really am mad at God night. And I said, Okay, I said, let me ask you a question. Why Why'd you reach out to me? He said was here a week, I was mad at everything about the world. And I saw a big book on the table. And I picked it up and I started reading it. And I realized all the memories over the five years that I knew you were you would come in every week. And work with us and all the guys I even sponsor, he said, I just realized that those are my happiest times. And I went back to my cell and asked God, like, help me, help me, I need help. He was three hours later, they give us access to these iPads. So we could listen to sober podcasts. He said, I had never listened to one, I had no idea about them. But they told me, there were 16 options on this podcast. He picked silver speak. He doesn't know why I just picked it randomly. And when it came up, I was the second name down on that list. And he goes, I just burst into tears, because I would and I said, Well, let me tell you. First off, I'm not on any other podcasts except that one. And I've only done two talks. And now, you want to be mad at God. And yet, the moment you asked for help, you got an iPad, you pick the most random podcast, and I was on there, which got you in motion to call me that the loving story on Friday, he gets out Monday. And instead of going to prison for two years, he's going into a sober living program in the town where he used to be with guys who I worked with in the prison system are now like their counselors, and they're, they're advocates for inmates. And I was not supposed to happen. I got a little chills. It was fine from that one, Brian? Well, I say thank you for starting silver speak, because that would have never happened. Wow.
John M 1:01:54
It's all of us together my friend. I get it. But I'm glad God can make his little nods sometimes, and, you know, create the right circumstances. And he allows bozos like me and you to play a small part in this little game. He's got going up there. And I'm just thankful for that.
Brian P 1:02:28
If you don't, if you don't bite if you didn't bite me, you know. So there's like so many things that you're responsible for john, that you don't even know. God drives you.
John M 1:02:37
I appreciate that. But here's what you don't know is that the way that I found you is that I met somebody named Jenny, who's on the podcast who you know, who invited you to city wide and she said, Hey, you ought to go listen to this guy have a tape and I was able to actually go listen to that. And then who knows who turned you on to her? A it's just one big tapestry that God wheeze. Right, my friend. All right, let me go ahead and read page 164. From the big book, I says, abandon yourself to God, as you understand God, admit your faults to Him and do your fellows. clear away the wreckage of your past. give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit. And you will surely meet some of us like me and Brian P. As you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you and keep you Until then, once again, Brian P. Thank you for coming in here, Sharon. And we're going to get you back on for more steps at a later time. Okay. Yeah, thank you for the invitation. It's an honor. God bless you, my friend. Thank you, Brian P. Once again, we will look forward to having you back on the pod at some other point in the near future so you can share about the rest of the steps and the rest of your experience strength and hope always enjoy spending time with you. And I know the listeners love it as well. If that had a positive impact on you. Would you please pause your device hit that little Share button, share it with a family share the episode or the podcast as a whole with a family or friend, member family member or friend is what I was trying to say a family member or friend. It may be just what they need today. Now on to a little bit of a listener feedback. Barry B writes in and Barry B says Hear ye hear ye Dornan diddily john. I love the new intro big, big smiley face. And then he says it reminded me of The Simpsons episode. He sent me a video link to the Simpsons, when they were
John M 1:05:07
when Homer started saying here you hear you. I was not aware that the Simpsons has used that as well. It was a great, it was a great little clip. Thank you for sending that. Very. And then he says, what a contribution. Oh,
John M 1:05:24
he's got like five exclamation points. Greetings from across the pond, my dear friend, Mr. Berry lives in London town. And then he's got a big Pisani says PS john. When something makes you really laugh when recording maybe like this? It makes me really laugh as well. I thought I'd share that Oh, that's nice. Keep smiling laughing and spreading the good word locked down Barry from across the pond is six exclamation border eight exclamation for that are no videos is a bunch of them. And I guess that they are still down and they are still on lockdown over there. You know, I'm from. I'm from Texas, and I swear now if I don't say is like it never happened to be you still see mask and stuff like that. But there there are a lot of people here who are just kind of living life on the norm, so to speak. But anyway, thank you so much for writing in Barry. I appreciate it. Caitlin writes in always Caitlin I actually know Well, I know all these people who have Caitlin I know from actually the first go girl where I attend meetings is such a lovely, lovely lady. Anyway, Kayla says Good morning. I hope you had a wonderful Father's Day. This is from quite some time back in Dell. I'm just catching up. She says I just wanted to let you know the contribution. The the contribution I made yesterday was an honor of my dad for Father's Day. You met him way back before my daughter was born. I do remember that Caitlin I do. She says I love that him and I have sobriety and Alcoholics Anonymous and common. It is a special thing to share. It is Caitlin. And I can tell you that I know that there are a lot of people out there. A lot of women and men who wish they had that to share with either their mother or their father, and it never occurs. So I'm glad you cherish it so much. She says I've been listening to sober speak daily, especially at night when I wake up with the baby and I have a hard time falling back asleep. Sometimes I just need to hear another alcoholic Tell me everything is going to be okay. Thank you for all that you and your family do. I hope you have a wonderful week. Sincerely, Caitlin in the PS she says Shani did an amazing job with the website. It looks fantastic. And I think you are correct Caitlin. And if you haven't seen silver speak lately, you just want to go visit it just see what the lovely Mrs. m put together. I appreciate it. It's always cool when you live with somebody who is actually a web designer. I mean, that makes it kind of easy right? And so I really appreciate all the work that she puts into it. I see how she toils over the thing and I'm just very appreciative of the Mrs. M and of you Kayla Caitlin, and if your dad is listening out there god bless you god bless your entire family rain or is it rainy? I don't know ra ra ra i n e How would you pronounce that? I guess this rain I don't know. But anyway she post on social media on our pod bean app actually. She says john thank you and Mrs. M for the cool wait layout on the website Well thank you very much Rana. Once again here's the website Talk. Thank you Matthew M. Us sure to shine the light on my Alco logic behavior. I need to do more help with others. I'm so grateful for this podcast. God bless you. Thank you Ryan. I appreciate I appreciate so much you posting that on the social media. Brock writes in and he is and thank you for complimenting Mrs. down there on the website. I appreciate it. Like I said, I'm just she does it all. Yeah, for for nothing, you know, for free. And so I'm just so appreciative. She does that nonetheless. There we go on here. Brock writes in he says, Hey, john, I'm so glad that you've presented yourself so well and forthcoming. I live in Fort Collins. holla Radha,
John M 1:10:02
my recovery has been by the way, is it Colorado or is it Colorado? Or is it what how I hear people pronounce the different ways. But anyway, he says, My recovery has been rough going, and I'm trying to find the right path. I've discovered many, many that I meet in a are more negative than anything and my counselors to be wildly ineffective. I found sober speak through my father, who also is another person following the sobers path. Your soothing voice in a reasonable message is always going to keep me on the right path, Brock. Well, thank you, Rob Brock, it sounds like you're on the right path. And I'm glad that you are doing such and I hope you have a better experience when you go to those AIA meetings that it's not been my experience, but I get that people experience things in a different way. Marie writes in and the subject line was Jennifer h. k. And Jennifer h. k, if you don't know, is one of the guests that we have had on our podcast. She says, Hi, john. I was listening to part two of the Jennifer h. k today, which I thoroughly enjoyed. She is a great storyteller. She makes me laugh with her tails of her home bar. Oh, yes, she does. He makes me laugh to Murray. She says I stuck around to hear the listeners feedback. That was tickled to hear. Oh, and I was tickled to hear that you read not one. But two things from me. Oh, well, how about that. And then she has a big smiling face. I didn't even realize that until I started into this. You know, I really should read the detail before I get on the pod. Who knows that I'm going to put on here. Right? She says before that I heard the voicemail from Margie. Oh, yes, I remember this who says she didn't care for your comments before and during the speaker's time they use the fact that you didn't get offended or take it personally is commendable. Well, you know people do and what what Maria is talking about here is that I put a voicemail on that was left for me. This was three, four weeks ago, something like that. And the the the voicemail was somebody who, who didn't care for my personality, basically. And just my comments jury and before the speaker sign,
John M 1:12:42
she says honestly, john, I love hearing you speak and you're sometimes silliness. You always sound joyful and happy. And newcomers need to hear that one of the first things about a that pleasantly surprised me was how happy people were and the genuine laughter laughter that erupted frequently during meetings. Like it says in the big book, we are not a glum lot. If there was no joy in recovery, why would we do it? Keep doing your thing, john, for every one person that you may be annoying, there are 10 people who love your enthusiasm and exuberance. Thank you so much for your service. You're doing a wonderful job big smiley face peace and love Marie Elle, Marie L, you may my day. They're so sweet. I really appreciate it. You know, going back to that listener, I mean, you can't please all the people all the time, and I just kind of have to continue to be myself and and I get that but God bless you. Thank you so much for writing memory with your sweet comments. Holly writes in and she says hi john and team and by the way, I guess the team would be me. I'm part of the team. And then we would have my wife Shannon she is part of the team. As you've heard me talking about several teams already. We'd have Cassandra who does all the posts on Instagram. And then we have Bridget and Bridget I don't talk about her as much as she does all the various summaries for the various speakers that we have and then we're able to put those in the in the show notes and she does a fantastic job. And I guess now that I'm speaking about it, the team can be Rebecca who wrote in the blog post that I have on the website and anybody else who sends in a blog post it is a we effort everybody and you can't see me but I got my arms out real big and wide right now and they're just I don't know I'm being very talking with my hands like nonetheless right? with my hands out far and wide. I am telling you that it is a we program and this is As we podcast we all put this together. So anyway, I just I went a little too far without one. I just went a little too far. I'm getting back to Holly now Hi john and team I live in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. She says this just south of Myrtle Beach. Recently sober and beyond completely lost, mentally overwhelmed trying to process all these sober emotions alone, man Do I understand that so much Holly? She says I stumbled, so to speak upon your podcast say That's funny. I get it. I get the little a double entendre there is that what you call upon your podcast in utter desperation to feel some sort of normalcy? Your works have since inspired, joining our local a community and family here. Good for you, Holly. I cannot believe I struggled for this many years without help. I want to thank you for everything you do. And your team does. It may seem like a thankless job, but there are so many of us out there who wouldn't be alive without you. forever grateful. Holly am Oh, golly, Holly. Hi, I just have to kind of take a moment of for that to soak in. You guys are wonderful. I mean, I don't know what to tell you. Thank you, Holly. I am. And I'm glad that you found a local meeting. And you know, as I've said many times, okay, but those of you who are new listening to this podcast, hear me out. If you have the choice between listening to my silly little podcast, and actually going to a meeting, please go to a meeting. I'm not this is not a substitute. You know, it's a meeting between meetings, and I realized that there are some of you in situations where you cannot get to meetings in this truly is a substitute and I'm happy to provide that. But if you have the chance between going to a meeting, or listening to my podcast, I beg of you to go to a meeting and get involved locally with your folks there, wherever you are. And if you have the choice between contributing financially to my podcast, or actually going to an actual meeting and giving money, they're giving money to Alcoholics Anonymous or doing or whatever recovery group that you're in, please give there that's the right thing to do. Because those are the people who have the boots on the ground. Holly am in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, thank you for writing that it just simply is. You're incredible. And all you folks who write in are incredible.
John M 1:17:43
Jared writes in Genesis Hi, john. Well, lutcher He says, I recently found your podcast and it's been a lifeline. You have some amazing shares. I was on a four hour drive recently to Cornwall, from my home in London. Oh, you're right up. There were barriers in the journey flew by. With back to back episodes. I bet you are driving on the wrong side of the road out there, Jared. Nonetheless, he says I especially got so much from Matthew M. and love the girl from Berlin. He's talking about Julia Kay. I've been in recovery for just short of five years. And my journey has been a bumpy ride with cycles of abstinence and relapse. I found a sponsor last year who has taken me through the steps, the Joe and Charlie big book way. You know what, Jared? That's one of the first ways that I learned how to go through the big book too. And I just love Joe and Charlie. He says I'm so blessed to have him as my sponsor, and that I have finally felt the program working for me. And I started to finally connected God. I was just telling my sponsor this morning, I was feeling disconnected the last few days, even with doing daily zoom meetings, I am learning instead of staying in that place to do something differently. So I listened to Matthew m awnser. Render One, two and three. And I felt that connection again. What a miracle. Oh, that's great. I love your positivity. And you were and thank you for your help on my journey. Kindness regards Jared be sent from my iPhone
John M 1:19:29
and probably didn't have to include the sent from my iPhone. But if you know a JIRA be in Great Britain
John M 1:19:37
that has an iPhone. You will know the person I'm talking about. Now, I doubt there's hardly any other jeered bees out there. But nonetheless, thank you Jared the god bless you your sponsor and your journey. Amy writes in she says Hi, John M. I found you last night when I couldn't fall asleep. In the sweltering heat wave we are experiencing here in Bend, Oregon, Oregon, Oregon. I've been through this before somebody wrote me and said is definitely or a gun, even though says Oregon anyway and he says usually I'll listen to ambient noise rainfall beach waves, but my mind wouldn't shut down. So I pulled my podcasts out in search Alcoholics Anonymous and I found you. I listened to episode number 192. I think Lisa, just getting the car Oh, no, that's a that's a Jenny L. She said. I swear she was telling my story. I really enjoyed it. Thank you. I live in Bend, Oregon. My sobriety date is 532 1007 I have a sponsor. I am a sponsor, and I am of service when needed. I got sober in Riverside, California. And I came to Ben a year after and I haven't looked back. Well, thank you out there in Bend, Oregon for writing in me. I hope that heat wave is letting up a little on ewens. Ashley writes in and asks, he says hi, john. My name is Ashley D and I live in Austin, Texas. Oh, I love Austin. I lived out there for four or five years is a big place where I quote worked on my story, I guess as I put it. Anyway, she says my sobriety date is three for 2002 on March 4 of 2012. And I got sober in Orange County, California. I was 27 a party girl when I got sober. I thought my social life was over. Oh, I can relate to that. Ashley, little did I know that that was the beginning of I would that was beginning of a party life. One that was filled with so much more fun than I had when I was drinking. And using through it all. I found young people in a in my social encounter, my social calendar was non stop. We would go to conventions on the weekends and dance parties all weekend long. And I can relate to that. She says I met my husband in sobriety, a fellow recovering alcoholic. We have two incredible children, thanks to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. So Ashley sounds like you heard them say if you want what we have and are willing to get it then you can go to any lengths to get it and he got a husband. Just kidding. Anyway, she says two years ago, we moved to lakeway. And it was a big change for us. Thankfully, there are some great meetings and we have found lots of sober families with young kids. We are on vacation and I am out of routine and I'm surrounded by alcohol and drugs and I just needed to reconnect. So I searched Alcoholics Anonymous via Spotify. It clicked the first thing that popped up your podcast was Spotify. Spotify is they have their algorithms algorithms calculated a correct van popping up first Anyway,
John M 1:23:12
she says it was just what I needed to connect me and I find a such a good shot as it was the episode with Eris Harris que nada Eris Harris who I know Harris right. We have a couple episodes with him who is also in Austin. I'm so grateful. Thank you so much. Last, but not least, you guys have so much feed back and I just love it. Rob writes in he says, Hi, john. I've been listening to sober speak for about a year now and I really enjoy it. And 19 I ended up in drug and alcohol treatment. I had been flunking out of college and everything was falling apart. I didn't see a way out because I believe it was just the way I was. I went to treatment because I believe that with some counseling and some confessions, I could return return to normal drinking and pot smoking and never occurred to me that I never used normally not the first time not ever. Luckily, I stayed with it. And I listened and I started doing it all the weird stuff they were telling me to do like admitting I was wrong, praying, hugging people listening, go into meetings and not using there was no
there was no end of the weird stuff they wanted me to do but by the grace of God, I did it without having to understand.
John M 1:24:47
AIA has always worked for me from the first meeting to the last one to the one I just finished online. today. I've been sober over 38 years. God bless you, Rob. I live in Minnesota. And I have a wonderful family and I'm a software engineer, which is work that I really like. And I enjoy traveling, and 100 other hobbies including stained glass, woodworking, electronics, repair, and gardening. I also have been at i O, I have also been an elected school board member for 17 years, driven by gratitude for all the people that intervened to help straighten me out and keep me on the right path. Thank you, john, for bringing so much of the stories of AIA to me. I especially like the ones where the person's sobered up when they were young. It helps me to remember those early days of sobriety, when I felt like I was reborn. Oh, what an excellent piece of writing there. Rob our I appreciate that. And as you know, for the people who are interested in in sorry, folks, a lot of reporting, my mind is reporting, recording, and my mind is starting to wonder here. But for those of you're interested in listening to one where somebody ended up getting sober at a young age, that would be Casey davia. And if you just search up KC ca se y w, and sober speak, I'm sure you can find it or just go to our website and look for it on there. But he also got sober s 17. And, nonetheless, alright, that, folks, is a wrap. Thank you so much for listening in. Thank you so much for all the feedback. Thank you so much for being here with me and listening to my silly little podcast. I really do appreciate it. I take this one week at a time. I'm hoping to be back next week. God bless you. Keep coming back. It works if you work it, and we'll see you next week. Hopefully, adios
sober, step, god, podcast, brian, writes, people, listening, hear, third step prayer, meeting, john, speak, sobriety, decision, sponsor, alcoholics anonymous, thought, life, big