I once heard a woman who was leading the closing prayer at a meeting say these words as we joined hands: “I place my hand hand in yours because together we can do what I could never do alone.” We
With almost two decades of experience with Step 3, I can say that my concept of a Higher Power has changed a million times. My willingness to turn things over perpetually waxes and wanes, but I have consistent proof that I have always been taken care of, that I always get what I need, and when I seek God’s will for my life and make my spiritual pursuits more important than my human desires, my life evolves in a way that is nothing short of miraculous.
I have been sober for over 45 years, and a student of Science of Mind for 40 years, so when I was invited to write about Recovery Consciousness, I thought, “Sure, that will be way cool!” But then, when I sat down to actually write, my thought was, “What the heck is recovery consciousness?” In fact, what is consciousness––period? I hear that word often in New Thought circles, often posed as the question: “What is your level of spiritual consciousness?”
For me, recovery from love addiction has been a slow, less-than-perfect practice. Though stopping all addictive patterns at once is what’s recommended, this wasn’t my path. The biggest tool that 12 step recovery for sex and love addiction gave me was that it taught me to become aware of my thoughts, and to realize how obsessive thinking leads to compulsive behavior. While some people might be able to “get away with” carrying on emotional affairs, I can’t. For a sex and love addict, even seemingly innocent flirtation is not innocent. The moment I feel myself triggered, I disengage.
I went down to the banks of “Ma Ganga” (The Ganges River) to accompany my dear friend who had expressed his desire to dip into the sacred waters… we heard some chanting nearby… a small group gathered around a teacher chanting devotedly to God. In a few moments the chanting ended, and the teacher began to speak enthusiastically about relating to God: “When you are in the state of surrender, you will reject anything that gets between you and your relationship with God.” With this one sentence, my view of surrender had been transformed forever.
To quote one of our posts from earlier this year, Recovery Consciousness is “the mindful awareness and realization . . . that we can continue to uncover, discover, and recover that which is ours, but has likely been numbed out and presumed lost.” Lost to “alcoholic thinking” is implicit in that statement. What is alcoholic thinking? Allow our guest post today, curated from the Holistic Recovery Centers blog, to explain.
It was in this moment that I realized there was no way that I could do this alone. I closed my eyes and asked the universe for more strength. With every step I took I had to ask for the power to take another step. And every step granted to me brought me closer and closer to the top of that mountain. I know that it is not my own willpower that carried me to the top… I firmly believe that the universe knew how much I needed this victory to revive my motivation in my own life…. I have to draw power from a source greater than myself, a power that would not have brought me this far just to drop me on my head with the finish line in sight.
Step eleven, like step ten, is not a step that is worked once and then forgotten. Instead, it is part of an ongoing (usually daily) ritual of recovery. That said, recovering addicts often find “prayer” and “meditation” to be somewhat baffling concepts. And some, especially those who began the recovery process as agnostics or atheists, may still be struggling with the idea of having a higher power at all. For these reasons (and many others), step eleven can be a difficult one to work. If you find yourself struggling with this step, take heart in the fact that you are not alone. Even the most devoutly spiritual and/or religious members of twelve-step recovery groups sometimes lose their way here.