What did you think when you saw the word “God” in the 12 steps? Did you think you would be forced to believe in some particular religion? Or did you think you couldn’t find help because you didn’t believe in God?
Two speakers from a NA convention share their experience finding a God of their understanding. (From the Recovery Radio Network.)
Our topic for next week is the first in a series on the “gifts of Al-Anon.”
We will become mature, responsible individuals with a great capacity for joy, fulfillment, and wonder. Though we may never be perfect, continued spiritual progress will reveal to us our enormous potential.
How have you found this coming true in your life? Or are you still waiting?
Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “God of our Understanding – Episode 143”
Spencer is traveling, so here’s a favorite episode from our back catalog. Kelli, Swetha, and Spencer talk about their experience with Step 2, “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The episode is bracketed by a short intro and closing recorded in the northern Utah desert.
Upcoming topics include Concepts 8, 9, and 10; how to cope when your loved one lies; and living with the possibility of relapse and death. If you haven’t responded to the “lead” in Episode 126, on clearing a path, please do. You can call us at 734-707-8795 or email email@example.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Every experience, no matter how bad it is, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.
Recently, I thought I have been struggling with acceptance because of a loved one’s addiction and denial. My program has taught me that it is not up to me to classify someone as an addict, or alcoholic, or codependent since I know that I can only honestly speak about my own experience. But I have found myself deeply affected by fear and pain because I do not feel accepted or loved by this person. I found myself trying to explain my loved one’s behavior to myself by assigning labels to this person’s actions or creating stories around why they can not give me what I want. I would tell myself, “this person is not spiritually fit enough to be open and loving”. At other times, I would think “why doesn’t this person love me enough to do this for me? Am I not good enough?”. Sometimes I would just call my loved one an addict and detach with resentment and anger.
In the end, I realized I was right – I was struggling with acceptance. Only, I was struggling with accepting my loved one rather than judging. I was also struggling with accepting myself and trusting in my Higher Power. I know this because my entire focus was on the acceptance I did not feel I was receiving from my loved one. I worried about this person and their behaviors rather than keeping the focus on me and my behavior and my needs. It is none of my business what my loved one does or why unless it violates my boundaries; and having my boundaries violated is not the same as having my fears triggered. And that is all that is happening – my fears are being triggered. I am afraid that if I do not feel acceptance from this loved one, I will suffer and be abandoned.
I remember thinking, even up to this morning, “Why did I invite this person into my life? Why couldn’t I have left well enough alone?” But this is why. It is because my Higher Power wants me to love myself and know that my Higher Power loves me unconditionally – even when other people do not. What a blessing it is that I have the opportunity to learn how to love myself and accept the love of my Higher Power no matter what!
So, today, I took a pen, and wrote a message to myself that reminds me that I am loved by my Higher Power. And I know I will feel the fear that I am not good enough for the people in my life to love me. But then I will look at my wrist and realize the more important thing – that I am, have always been, and will always be good enough for my Higher Power to love and accept every part of me.
A meditation for September 26, 2013
The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.
In the past, I looked for a formula to be sure to always do the “right” thing. I liked the idea of a black and white world. I wished there was always a clear right and wrong because I wanted to be right all the time. I wanted to be in control in that way. In the past, it was easy for me to tell people what to do or ask people what to do, as though there was one absolute answer for everyone. I wanted there to be an absolute answer because otherwise, that meant people could be unpredictable and that life was unpredictable and that I wasn’t in control. I feared that if there were no absolutes, how could I be safe?
Fortunately, what I want is not how the world actually works. I have learned that most things in my world fall into a grey area with very, very little black or white anywhere. There is almost never a clear answer when I am looking for a solution to an issue I am having. There is no absolute right and wrong in my life. There is just what feels right to me at the time – what aligns with what my Higher Power wants for me. Today, aligning with my Higher Power in my thoughts and actions is my safety.
To me, this does not feel like knowledge of the mind but awareness of my soul; not right and wrong, but what aligns with my soul and what does not align with my soul. In this way, I beginning to understand that I can only know what aligns with my soul right now, and even then, only when I can quiet my ego and listen. I can not with know what aligns the souls of others. I can not know what will align with my soul in the future. So, I cannot offer advice or judge. I can only do the next right thing.
For me, the wisdom was in accepting that my ego knows nothing, and my soul is in tune with everything. When I can connect with my Higher Power, when I can connect with what is in the Highest Good for my soul, I am at peace.
A meditation for August 4, 2013.