Noting the differences between religion and spirituality is necessary for recovering individuals and addiction recovery professionals. Both populations need to understand that spirituality is something that already exists within every person, just like emotions and cognitions. Religion, however, is an external force – a manmade and organized set of beliefs which are typically taught.
I am filled with calm knowingness today as I awaken to the essence of spring, new growth, seeing the world around me come to life as I shake off any residual slumber in me. I step out of the status quo of my comfort zone and onto my green growing edges. I am filled with gratitude as I easily turn my inner clock to make time for lightness, warmth, and energy. I stay fully present in the remarkable moment of now, using my breath to center me when I need to. It’s that easy and that available.
Lately, that familiar yet relatively short list of guidelines that are “suggested” in Chapter 5 of the Big Book have been a focus for me. I am referring to The 12 Steps, comprised of a mere 203 words. That’s adding up all 12! But they go deep. If I were a painter I would mix and match colors on a palette to capture just the right brightness, boldness, and feel I wanted for my creation. Words are like that – even the most subtle shift in a word can sometimes give the right tone and get a teeny bit closer to the intention of my feeling.
My early sobriety was bedeviled by unnecessary struggles and overdue surrenders. Incredibly, even though I was D.O.A. at my first meeting—Defeated on Arrival—willingness and an open mind didn’t come automatically. I always wanted more than I needed; here, I needed a lot more than I wanted. A long, bumpy road lay ahead.
Chances are you have heard some of these things too – I don’t claim that they are the original utterances of the people who spoke them – but I loved hearing them. I am not attributing them to anyone, but maybe they are published somewhere… we can share.
Over the years, my old belief system has been replaced with a realization that my life belongs to the Divine and that when I am giving to others, I am participating in my own healing and the revealing of myself as a Divine being having a human experience. The poison that once “pre-occupied” my consciousness has been transmuted. It has become a new way of thinking, believing, feeling, and behaving.
I am filled with calm knowingness today. I am filled with gratitude to easily and completely release any and all substances, behaviors, mindsets, habits, and obsessions that no longer server me, or serve those I love. I stay fully present in the remarkable moment of now, using my breath to center me when I need to. It’s that easy and that available.
I think it was Mark Twain who was credited with saying, “Comedy is tragedy plus time.” Certainly when I think of some of the crazy-making days when I was “howling at the moon,” I can now crack a smile. On occasion I even find myself about to roll on the floor and laugh out loud when I think of some of the antics I found myself pulling off. I’ve heard it said that the problem with insanity is that it doesn’t tell you it’s insanity. Sometimes it sounds like a perfectly good idea. It’s only in hindsight that I find myself saying; “What the heck was I thinking?”