There's freedom in hitting bottom, in seeing that you won't be able to save or rescue your daughter, her spouse, his parents, or your career, relief in admitting you've reached the place of great unknowing. This is where restoration can begin…
Anne Lamott — Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
The paradox of admitting powerlessness, of recognizing that I've hit bottom, is that it gives me power, if I choose to use it. As Lamott goes on to say, “when you're still in the state of trying to fix the unfixable, everything bad is engaged… It's exhausting, crazy-making.” When I admit I cannot do what I've been trying to do, I can use the energy I've been wasting to a more productive purpose. When I recognize that I can't do it alone, I can ask for help. The power that I gain is no small thing—it is the basis of my recovery, and all the rest flows from that small beginning: “I can't do it! I need help!” From this point of powerlessness, Lamott launches us into the first prayer: “Help!” So did I, when I accepted the first step, that I was powerless and that my life was unmanageable. I moved into Step 2, and came to realize that help was available from a power greater than myself, if I would only ask for it.
A meditation for February 3, 2013.