In early sobriety, I could not understand the reasons and effect of the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous. In fact, I was much concerned with stopping drinking that I saw little to none application of these into a solution to my problem. Nonetheless, I was so desperate that decided to follow the steps as instructions as far as it would help me have my resolve the repertoire of problems and suffering I was into. In a sense I had surrendered and was open to try anything.
My conception of God while growing up was merely more of the understanding of a story rather than a belief. S/He was far away and I could relate much to this notion. It was like knowing that China exists, but I am actually in the US and China is way far to the other side of the planet. I do not relate to it at all other than seeing labels with a legend “Made in China” in clothing, food and products.
When I was to practice the third step for the first time, I had no idea of how God could take care of my problems, destiny and myself. But there was a small part of me that believed that something good had to come out of this notion. I guess, I was “willing” and that was enough to start the process.
The decision to turn my life over the care of God came in time. I rationalized and convinced myself that I had made it, but the truth was that I had not fully. My ego and my will still controlled part of the equation. Thru years of sobriety, my practice of the 3rd step had its ups and downs. In many occasions, I just forced my way to have things turn out the way I thought was best. Most times, it didn’t happen but in some others-it actually did. In some other occasions, I came to a point of “letting go” trusting in my heart-not my mind, that things were to be ok. In a way, I had “acceptance” and the fear and worry vanished. However, I had never being truly able to trust no matter in all instances. Something was missing and I was still white knuckling to have destiny turn my way. It was an actually an obsession of the mind driven by ego and fear.
On the eve of the 12th year of sobriety, I was apart from my family of origin and my love life was somewhat broken. I came to extremely painful circumstances which resulted on what I describe an spiritual awakening of strenuous proportions. During this episode, I came to understand the real meaning of the third step. I heard that pain is the cornerstone of growth and in this instance, I was able to experience the love I was always seeking for and could never fully find. I then understood that I was not longer in charge and that that love was coming from a source outside of me. I had turned the corner. My believe turned into a conviction.
Since that event, I’ve practice to the best of my ability doing just what I have to do and what is right and in front of me. It does not mean that I can’t plan and have a target, but it means that I just need to take action as long as it is based on goodness and then leave the results up to a higher power. If it happens, great! It was meant to be, If it does not, then I did my part. Something better will be coming around the corner. That has been my experience.
Evidently, this new dimension I strive to live every day takes work to maintain strong. After years of struggle and reluctance with meditation, it has become a regular practice of mine. I found it quite powerful and helpful to maintain a refreshed and lively view of the conviction that I made.
As any other human affair of mine, I miss the beat and fail at practicing such conviction at all times. When I do, I just go back to basics and try it again. Eventually, things get back on track. In the end that was the way it was supposed to be anyway…, and that, is turning it over to a higher power in itself.