08 May 2011

Keeping humility intact


To improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power is an all or nothing deal. For the alcoholic, an acceptance to our addiction brings us closer to our God. But it is only part of the step. An important part, but yet it is not the only part.

There is a reason for the Serenity Prayer. "God grant us the serenity to accept the things we can not change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference."

The alcoholic realizes his powerlessness to everything in his life – except himself. And in reality he learns to accept this as fact. But for the co-dependent this is a much more difficult step.

They believe that their acceptance has been granted and their life is back on track. But only part of their “system” has moved forward. Co-dependence and a Higher Power can constantly be at odds with each other.

The best way to prove this point is with a real life example. A couple of months ago I was introduced to an addict who wanted help. He truly wanted to get clean and stay clean.

He wanted to get clean for him and to save his relationship with his family and his wife. I quickly made the point that he could only get clean and stay clean for him – no one else.

He struggled with this idea but over time he began to accept this as fact. Though not entirely. While he has accepted the fact that whatever happens in the near future is a direct result of his addiction, he hasn’t been able to accept that his wife is also beyond his control.

He shares with me his fears about the future and then in the next statement tells me how he needs to talk to his wife everyday. Presently, they are separated. And instead of giving himself entirely to working the steps, he constantly needs to find that acceptance in his loved one.

In my opinion, total acceptance of his addiction and his powerlessness will never occur as long as he is constantly chasing a human higher power – his wife. He’ll never enjoy a unique experience of his own with his Higher Power because he still isn’t ready to give every fiber of his life over to this Being.

To achieve the 11th step we need to be able to free our hearts and our minds of all external thoughts. Prayer and meditation is a vital part to this process. But we can not achieve this dream state as long as our thoughts wonder else where.

The 11th step is about silence. Getting into our silence. Clearing our minds of all external forces. Turn off the TV, shut down our phones, shut off the radio, and just… listen. Conscious contact can only occur in our silence. Not asking for anything but rather listening to everything.

It’s a wonderful experience only available when we accept our life and everyone in it as they are. It is a step where our faith can grow by leaps and bounds or we can regress by throwing it aside, believing that we already now our Higher Power well enough.

For the co-dependent there is an old saying that fits in well with this step, If you love someone let them go. If they come back to you they were always yours, if they don’t they never were.

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