I see triggers and forces all over the place. Or, if I am paying attention, I can choose to see them as reminders that when I’m aligned with my Higher Power, and the Divine Infinite, I am free. I can choose not to engage in that behavior, verbal exchange, sweet treat, cocktail, or even thought – I can do a contrary action or no action at all.
In this month of April Fools, I can now look at my foolishness and not have it sting so much. I am an alcoholic. If I drink I am a fool. If I don’t I am powerful… When I was drinking, it was supremely important to me that people didn’t laugh at me, didn’t think I was foolish even though I consistently proved I was. It triggered in me my own belief that I was a damn fool. This is I guess why the 4th step and any shadow work we do is so helpful … to diffuse the hot button so that when a memory comes, it no longer stings, burns, or hurts.
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?”
By no means a complete list–really just a beginning, and I’m sure I’ve omitted some obvious ones. Feel free to add your favorites; I just like the number 12. Whether I pick up any of these to read a page, paragraph, chapter, or the whole thing, I always come away re-minded.
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 sense a budding, newly awakened life energy in the air. The days are growing longer, the air is fragrant and sweet. My energy peaks and new ideas are sprouting and budding in the fertile soil of my mind. I am emboldened to step outside of my comfort zone, and immediately step into a new zone of awareness, ability, confidence, and accomplishment. Anything is possible outside of bondage of self thinking. I ask “what is mine to do?” and I hear the answers from my Higher Power intuition.
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.
My cell phone charger was left behind recently for a 2-day conference away from home. I hadn’t brought my laptop because I figured why schlep it around since I’d have little time to use it… That first morning, heading to the event from the parking garage, I must admit I felt a wonderful sense of freedom and lightness in my being. One less thing to nag at me or call me away from the present moment… That sense of freedom got me thinking. Am I addicted to my cell phone and all that it connects me to?