I live in an addictive society. Drunkenness can come with any process in my life. Similar behaviors to intoxication with substances can appear (i.e. self-centeredness, invasiveness, manipulation, control, emotional anorexia, fixation on anything, etc.). This results in separation from my Higher Power (God, to me) and further investment in the multiplicity of things my ego deems important. In order to remove the stumbling blocks to the presents of the program, I need to look at my beliefs and to see what I value.
I identified first the importance to trust. Trusting was very difficult for me when I realized I was depending on the laws or rules of the addictive society. Being in process work, recovery and a course related to healing and transformation, I knew I could experience trust if it was based on a world governed by God. So, developing trust has been a process for me with various stages of accepting God’s direction. The Steps and Traditions of my 12 Step Programs have lead to this awareness. Through my various addictions many things were taken away from me (i.e. money; relationships; work; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health; material things). The more I did my work the more I realized the lack of value in each of these things. I found myself “sorting out” what events were illusion and what were realities. Even if the events and encounters were based on illusion and addiction, they were helpful to me. They taught me something about myself. Yet, what was my reality? How did this reality affect me?
I found myself relinquishing things that were valueless. My interest in serving with a particular organization was painful. I grieved over the events that occurred over several months. I also was amazed at what I learned. As I “let go and let God,” I felt joy and lightheartedness. I was grateful to see the impact of giving up my own interest. It brought a truth to me I had not known before. I rested and gathered values and concepts I knew I wanted. I began to feel unsettled. I realized how much my own perceptions, addictions and the addictive process of others had clouded my being.
When I believe I have to sacrifice something, I become more invested and judgmental of myself. Deep emotional processing lead to what is truly valuable to me. My learnings from the painful event began to consolidate. I felt elated and delighted. A consistency of thought formed and brought serenity and peace. I had new knowing about trust.
Trust brought more honesty. I was clear about my part and what was not mine. I could see the self-deception. I had been so focused on my own agenda to get my particular job done in the organization that I had missed what was happening with others. I also could see the consistency of what I thought, felt and did in the situation with the organization and felt grateful. There were few contradictions in my words and behavior. I could appreciate the honesty which comes from God consulted and directed living. The support and responses I received from individuals in recovery programs furthered trust in others and myself. I succeeded in being honest with myself and I was not alone in the process.
My past behavior would have been to invest in judgment and to act from intolerance. My honesty and trust seemed to lead me to a different place. I found a new sense of value for the fourth step prayer: “We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance…and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend…How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. They will be done.”
I found myself being gentle with myself and in my thoughts about others. My gentleness brought strength within. I knew that the anger and hate I had harbored in past events such as this made gentleness, tolerance and things I valued impossible. In the past, I certainly would not have heard my Higher Power’s messages to me, as I was able to in this event.
I felt defenseless. I was not invested in my illusions (what I should do because s/he did this to me). I realized that I had sought to serve where it was viewed as valueless. What I learned from the experience was what can be valuable to me. Service work and the individuals I am willing to do this with are clearly defined for me.
My open-mindedness increased with each meeting I attended. One meeting ended with a friend saying to me “I find that sometimes I have learned what I can and it is time for me to move on to questions such as these: What do I need to do next, God and How can I be useful?” I felt further release. I had a sense of patience and willingness to wait. I was certain that my Higher Power’s outcomes would be valuable to me. I realized there were no mistakes in this experience. Patience is natural when I trust.
The faith I have in recovery and the work I have done with DTP-Leadership has deepened. I go back to one of my favorite passages in the Big Book of AA, “Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves”. Through this experience with the organization I increased my awareness of the Power. My Higher Power removes my stumbling blocks and gives me the presents of the program: trust, tolerance, honesty, gentleness, defenselessness, generosity, patience, faithfulness, open-mindedness, joy and peace.