Bart Ross, Recovery Services Manager
For years I was in the delusion that I was in control. Not necessarily of my alcoholism, but in all areas of my life. I had no idea I was totally asleep. Reading pages 60-63 in the Big Book really started to open my eyes to how delusional I was. How can life be a success when trying to play a role as large as God? It can’t. So, I had to become willing to trust in a Higher Power.
“First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work.” (BB pg. 62)
The Twelve Steps are about so much more than not drinking. They are about finding peace and being of maximum service to God and the people around us.
We will always live with the delusion that we’re in control until we trust in a Higher Power. It’s in trusting a Higher Power that we find peace. Trust is not trusting that things will turn out the way we want them to. Trusting in God means we accept the results of what happens in our lives.
One of the decisions we make in the third step prayer is “God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt” (BB pg. 63). It’s the “as Thou wilt” that can be the struggle. We have no problem doing our part, but the battle is in accepting the results when they don’t turn out the way we planned. Our life is really no longer our business. That’s the struggle. We think we are in the results game, but think about it…are we really?
Trust is accepting the truth that when things may appear bad, no matter what happens in our life, it’s not entirely a bad thing.
As a matter of fact, it can be a good thing. This is definitely not always easy. Trusting in a Higher Power isn’t trusting that what we want to happen will happen. But rather having faith that what’s supposed to be will be. Can we see all things as an opportunity for growth? Are we turning to God when things are not going the way we would like them to, or are we turning away and trying to control the outcomes? What is our reaction when something happens, like not getting the position at work that we tried so hard for? What about when life around us just feels like everything is going wrong? Do we realize that God will always give us what we need and not always what we want? Why? Why me? Why did this happen? Do we really need to understand why? Better yet, can we always understand why? NO!
There’s so much peace in not NEEDING to know why. Years ago, I was working with a spiritual teacher. I would question many spiritual things that made no sense to me. He would always ask me, “Why do you need to know that?” I would get so frustrated. Finally, I caught on…I don’t. I’ve learned that spiritual things don’t make sense. That’s how we know they’re spiritual. Life is spiritual and doesn’t always make sense. Maybe something doesn’t make sense because we don’t like it, perhaps it’s too painful to accept, or maybe it’s just too much for our human mind to understand. Isn’t it better to accept it, even if we have no clue why we got it or why we had to go through a dark time to get it? Sometimes I can say absolutely, but I have to admit, I cannot do this 100% of the time.
“We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis, it is only there that He may be found.” (BB pg.55)
In the Third Step, we made a decision. In the Seventh Step, the rubber meets the road. This is the prayer that we need to say on a regular basis. The more we pray this, the more we see that we are one with our Creator. We realize that we are not separate from, but a part of.
We Pray: “My Creator, I’m now ready that you should have all of me, good and bad” (BB pg. 76).
“We ceased fighting anything or anyone.” (BB pg. 84)
Steps Ten and Eleven bring us an amazing amount of peace when we remember to use them. Step Ten is used to practice the watching, the pausing, and the turning to God asking for the right thought or action. Step Eleven is used spending that quality quiet time in prayer and meditation with God. Let’s not forget that we need to constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show.
And of course, as Bill says in his story on page 15, “when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day.” There is such a peace that comes over us when we experience our Higher Power working through us to help another alcoholic.
“We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator.
We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God.” (BB pg.68)
During the times when we are really willing for our Creator to have all of us, in every area of our life, that we are one, there is such peace. We are no longer running the show. We are at peace with ourselves and the people around us. We are okay with no longer being in control. We realize that “God is everything or else He is nothing” (BB. Pg. 53). We know there is one who has all power. That one is God, and we feel peace trusting and relying on Him. As a result, we have much less stress, give and receive more kindness, are happier, and are at perfect peace and ease.