19 April 2017

ACOA's Step 11

Step 11 of ACOA says that we sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry it out.  

As a child I was very close to God. In fact, I’m almost ashamed to say, I was closer to God at that young age than I am today. I prayed that God would end the violence. I prayed for quiet. I never got it but I still believed in God and believed that in the end He would save me.

At eight years old, I slept in half a bed. The other half, I saved for God. At the dinner table, I sat on half the chair. The other half? Was reserved for God. Car rides, movie theatres, wherever I went there was always a place saved for God.

As the years went by and the violence became worse, I began falling away from God. How could I love a God who let me be pissed upon? I say that literally. How could I love a God when I would be awaken late at nights to blood curdling screams. At these times God was a rich man’s fantasy – no way was he real. No way did this god give a shit about an innocent child.

I came to this change of belief when I reached my teenage years. It is a normal time of rebellion but mine went a step further. Screw my parents, screw God, screw priests, and screw police. It was at this time I found alcohol and for the first time in my life I felt so comfortable and so much at peace.
Sadly though, I had no idea how to handle peace. So that meant I drank more and became more rebellious. And it eventually meant a road to drugs as well as alcohol.

There comes a point in time though that, God Willing, you realize you can’t live life like that. Total chaos is first needed but when that point happens then life can begin. In Greek Mythology, the god Chaos was the origin of everything. Without chaos there can be no growth.

It was these thoughts of Greek Mythology that brought me back to God. It wasn’t the God I grew up with, nor was it the God I learned about in Catholic grade school. This God was my God. It was a God that I could understand and a God I could relate too.

The conscious contact I have with God, continues to evolve and grow. After my recent medical issues, I realize that I am not as close to God as I thought. I struggled with radio therapy and still can’t do MRI’s. If I had that total trust in God that I crave for doing those things wouldn’t be that difficult… but I just can’t do it.

Every 12 Step program speaks about “progress not perfection.” Progress means more than just putting one foot in front of the other. It’s recognizing that we still have a lot to learn and more growth needs to take place. Progress means looking at the world through the eyes of a child, where innocence is more focused than doubt. That trust defeats fear and that love conquers hate.

The 11th Step challenges people to deepen their relationship with God. Yoga, Hindu, Buddhists, Native Americans, and many Indigenous people from around the world, whether in Alaska or in Africa, they all meditate.

I believe meditation is deeper than prayer. To me, by praying we are speaking to God. By meditating, we are listening to God. For me, it is a beautiful place to be. The place that I call – Silence. Silence with a capital S. Truly, a very spiritual place. Why not try it today.

Turn off the radio. Turn off the TV and the phone. Shut it all down, including your mind and get into the Silence…

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