July 29

Powerlessness:  Part II

       There is within everyone an insatiable desire that can never be filled with things.  Trying to fill that need with cars and houses and lovers will only leave you craving more.  I have a room full of books and binders on self-improvement that I have never read nor will I ever read.  (I’m a bit of a hoarder that way.)  I keep thinking the next book will save me, and my quest for the answers to all my limitations will come to an end.  But it just leaves me feeling more insanely frustrated each time.

       What’s the definition of insanity?  Repeating the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.  There’s something insane about our attachments and addictions.  We repeat them over and over hoping that the next one will save us; instead, we are losing our lives.  The things to which we become attached are counterfeit, fake, phony-baloney and, at best, a very poor substitute for what we really want.          

      But because someone – somewhere along the line – showed us how to obsess, (and what to obsess about), we bought into this way of thinking.  And so this insanity is passed on from one person to the next; we keep it alive by repeating it over and over.

       But feeling ‘in control’ doesn’t make it so.  It’s an emotion we’ve manufactured by using things, people and places to create the illusion that we are in control.  Just like a junkie that uses mood-altering chemicals to create a euphoria for a while, we do the same thing with our fantasies.  And we keep the illusion alive that we are actually in control of our lives, something we must believe if we are to feel secure.

       Of course, there’s something fundamentally wrong with our reasoning:  We can’t seem to make the pain go away.  It’s always there, trying take over our lives, and threatening to upset the apple cart. 

       When I was a child, I knew how to live in the moment (much better than I do now). But even then I knew that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  As kids, we were sometimes allotted spending money for treats.  I was typically the last one to spend my fifty cents; I knew that, once it was spent, it was gone.  The pleasant moment was fleeting, and I tried to make it last.  But the pain of it ending was always there.  The candy bar was wonderful while it lasted, but the pleasure would soon end.

       And this pain is always there; it’s a natural part of life.  But you can’t wish pain away without trying to resist it somehow.  And that’s where attachment and addiction play a significant role in your resistance.

       This illusion of control can only lead to suffering because it involves resistance:  Attempting to avoid reality.  It’s not the circumstance that causes the suffering; it’s the resisting.  Resistance can come in many forms.  We resist by raging, resenting, blaming; or we shut down and use depression as our defense.  These are things we do in order to avoid taking responsibility for our lives.  Somewhere along the line of our life’s continuum, we decided that pain was unacceptable and unmanageable.  Something about life left us in a state of overwhelm, so we found a way to manage our pain.  Sound familiar?

 Tomorrow’s topic (August 1) – Powerlessness: Part III

July 28

First guiding principle:  Powerlessness

       The thought of ‘getting what you really want’ has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  Makes you feel empowered, right?  And isn’t that what you want – to feel empowered? 

       I spent many years feeling insecure.  Do you know what it’s like to feel this way?  Do you wake up in the morning excited about the new day?  Can you hardly wait to get out of bed and get started?  Or do you wake up dreading what’s in store for you?  When you hate waking up, that’s insecurity.  When you can’t face the day because you don’t think there’s anything to look forward to – that’s insecurity. 

       If your palms sweat and your breathing is shallow because you have to attend a social gathering and meet new people – that’s insecurity.  Avoiding questions about yourself or your life for fear of being judged – that’s insecurity.

       What I’m really referring to is shame.  Feeling worthless.  Feeling unworthy.  Unable to look other people in the eye and know that you are their equal.  Insecurity is a vague sense that you’re a little better than pond scum – at most, just a maggot on the dung hill of life.

       In order to survive this feeling of inferiority, I chose to ‘use’ things, people and places in order to alter my mood.  These attachments and addictions gave me a sense of relief from my shame and my insecurity for a short while only.  And then I would have to ‘use’ again.  And again, and again. 

       Before long, I became so addicted that I really had no idea why I kept acting out.  The reason I continued to ‘use’ wasn’t the same reason when I first began.  And the good feelings that I got from ‘using’ started to feel more like panic and chaos.

       As we embark on this journey to find out what we really want, let’s begin by taking an honest look at where we are right now.  This chapter may seem a little counter intuitive because we are going to examine our powerlessness.  This is the first principle of the freedom of desire and also the first step in 12 step recovery:

 “We admitted that we were powerless over (our addiction) and our lives had become unmanageable.”

       Yesterday, I listed a few of my own personal attachments and addictions; but I left one out.  I neglected to include it because it represents the entire list combined; the one that gives motive to my grasp and grip on the things to which I became hopelessly attached.  It was my reason for all of my obsessive and compulsive actions. 

       I’m talking about control.

        ‘Control’ is related to power; and I desperately needed to feel like I was in control of the world around me.  Acting out compulsively gave me a sense of control, and a feeling of empowerment.  But instead of getting what I really wanted, I settled for a substitute.

       Those of us already in recovery took a very long time to get here because admitting defeat is not something we do well.  Even when we’re whipped, beaten, and crushed we still think we can fix ourselves.  The alcoholic must hit bottom first before realizing that the addiction is more powerful than he/she cares to admit.  It’s only out of desperation that the addict walks through the door of a room full of ‘losers’ – people in recovery.

       Powerlessness is hardly a condition for some, and not others.  Don’t think that you are any different from anyone else; this condition of attachment and addiction is universal.  How do I know this?  Because everyone suffers inwardly from trying to fill their God-shaped hole with things that don’t satisfy.  I see it everywhere: Grasping, gripping and holding on to specific things, ideas and places for dear life!  Trying to find the perfect someone to love; finding the perfect job; finding the perfect boss;  finding the perfect life.  And getting frustrated in the process. 

       This may sound like a lot of ‘bad news’ – and it is!  But for every problem there is a solution.  And tomorrow you will find out what that is; so, I will see you tomorrow.

July 27

Something so Simple

       Yesterday, I alluded to the 7 guiding principles that will help you follow your heart’s desire and ultimately get what you really desire.  I want to begin by saying that these 7 principles are simple.  There is nothing complicated about what you are about to read.  Anyone can get what they truly desire; and this is really good news, isn’t it? 

       But just because it’s simple, doesn’t make it easy!  For some this can be very hard to do.  What makes it so difficult?  I would have to say that for most people it’s a lack of willingness.  But what is so difficult about attaining what you truly desire?

       Simply stated, the problem we all face is attachment; and the solution is detachment.  We all know what attachment is because we all do it.  All the time.  We want, we want, we want.  We obsess over things.  We get angry, frustrated and resentful when they don’t materialize.  It’s an emotional grasping for things we think will provide for us what we so desperately need… we’re just not sure what that is.

       Attachment and addiction to things is a constant theme, a universal condition from which we all suffer… “All have sinned, and fallen short…”  We let what we want come first over our relationships with other people.  Or we allow a relationship with another person to become more important than God.  In fact, we let desire for things and relationships usurp our ultimate desire for a loving relationship with our Source.

        I am an addict, physically and emotionally addicted to things that don’t matter:  Money (or the lack of it), lust, sugar, books, self-help, anger, pride… you get the picture.  We don’t like the word ‘addiction,’ or ‘idolatry.’  But this is what attachment is.  And the heart is taken captive with addictions and idols – attachments – that prevent it from knowing its ultimate desire, the desire for God.  “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

       When I began recovery from addiction, I soon learned what the 12-Step program involved, and how it has helped millions of addicts all over the world.  I learned that it is a spiritual program, but not a religious one. I discovered that there are spiritual principles found within the 12 steps that everyone can understand and benefit from because it is a practical way of letting go of things that don’t matter and discovering what does. 

       Everyone in recovery has a different story; but there are similar themes that unite all of us on a human level.  In a 12 Step meeting I can listen to anyone tell their story about their own struggles with addiction.  Even though their story may differ from mine circumstantially, I still hear parts of my own story being told over and over.

       These common themes have helped to construct a program that is based on some universal principles.  Here is an outline of these 7 guiding principles: 

  1. Powerlessness:  The human condition 
  2. Higher Power:  The divine presence
  3. Surrender:  Letting go and letting God
  4. Purification:  Confession & forgiveness  
  5. Atonement:  Making amends
  6. Vigilance:  Conscious contact 
  7. Reciprocity:  Giving back 

       If you’re a self-help junkie like myself, you’re probably hoping for a quick and easy way to get what you want.  When I first began attending 12-Step meetings, I was looking for a quick and easy fix – much the same attitude as before the meetings.  As I have said earlier, I can assure you that it is simple to do, but it is far from easy.  Sometimes it can happen quickly, but there are those for which it has taken a very long time.

       You’re probably saying to yourself, “This list of principles does not look simple.” 

       Be encouraged:  It is a simple process.  If it was complicated, very few would have any success.  But just because it’s simple, I don’t want you to be lulled into believing that it is easy and effortless because it is not.  And the reason it is difficult is due largely to our attachments – our addictions.  We have taken what is simple and we’ve complicated it beyond belief. 

       If you are brave enough to face it for what it is, and willing to be honest with yourself then you are ready and able to learn how to get what you earnestly desire.    The first principle is the foundation upon which all the others are built.  To skip over it would weaken the structure of this program and sabotage your success.

       Are you ready to learn the first principle?  If so, I will see you tomorrow.

July 26

The Freedom of Desire

       Love is an energy large enough to fill the entire universe, but still small enough to live within the heart.  Love remains the most powerful force in this world; and it can build your heart into a fortress of strength.  No amount of intellectual pursuit can compare with the convincing power of a heart on fire.  That is why the heart remains the place where you will find your inner strength. 

       Unfortunately, when Desire becomes attached to specific objects, people and places, the Heart is then hijacked to a make-believe realm called ‘addiction.’  And that is where it will remain until rescued.  This is our human condition; a state from which we need to be rescued.  Love cannot fill a heart that has been taken captive by lesser things.  No amount of ‘getting’ – accumulation of things – will ever equal what Love can offer.

       In order to release your Heart from it’s bondage you must learn to detach from all the lesser things to which you have attached your Desire.  This is called “letting go.”  Detachment is letting go of your wants.  This does not mean that you are required to live a passionless life of cold austerity.  Far from it. 

       What we’re really talking about is freedom of desire.  Not freedom from desire, but freedom of desire.  There’s a big difference between the two.  Gerald G. May says in his book Addiction & Grace:

       “An authentic spiritual understanding of detachment devalues neither desire nor the objects of desire. Instead, it aims at correcting one’s own anxious grasping in order to free oneself… With freedom of desire comes the capacity to love, and love is the goal of the spiritual life.”

       So far we have looked at three concepts:  Heart, Love, and Desire.  I want to be clear about what I’m suggesting, so allow me to explain how these key concepts work in relation to each other:   

 1)      The heart is your core where you will find your truest desires.  Your heart is the center of your being from which all things that are authentically you originate.  It’s where ‘you’ live, and love and have your being.

 2)      Love is what is needed to strengthen your heart.  You have an inherent need – a desire – to give and receive this strength.  Some have called this need a “God shaped hole” which can only be filled with Love from the Source, your Creator.

 3)      Desire that becomes attached to things, people and places kidnaps the heart and takes it to a place called addiction.  And when your heart is held captive, it is cut off from its Source, and cannot receive Love’s power. 

 4)  The only way out is by letting go; detachment from things, people and places will win your heart back.  Detachment will reward you with Freedom of Desire, the capacity to receive the power of Love.

       The above four points are the foundation of the 7 guiding principles which we will cover over the next few weeks.  These 7 guiding principles that will help you discover for yourself what you really want.  And when you know what you really want, the rest is simple!

July 25

Gratitude:  Enjoying the journey

       I’ve said a great deal about pain and suffering throughout the pages of this book.  I promised that there is a way to know peace and serenity in a world of pain and suffering.  If you have been following along you probably know the answer.  I don’t need to tell you that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. 

       You also know I have maintained that peace and serenity – happiness – is a choice.  In fact, suffering doesn’t really exist in the universe.  Suffering seems so real because we choose to believe in it.  We give our suffering its power by resisting what is happening. 

       I am convinced that we can choose our thoughts, and therefore, we can choose to be happy.  We can also choose to be miserable.  Our thoughts come and go, but only the thoughts that we choose to give energy to will determine our state of mind.

       Did you know that happiness is a choice?  Did you know that you had the power the whole time?  That’s right, you have the power of free choice, and choosing your thoughts is the key to your happiness.  Part of your purpose is to enjoy your journey through this life.  The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. 

       Practicing your purpose begins and ends with gratitude.  If you can choose to be grateful, then you are going to enjoy the journey you are on.  Gratitude will give you focus, it will give you fuel and it will give you the faith to make the journey.

       What does it mean to be grateful? 

       Gratitude means that you are focused, always mindful of God’s grace.  The focus is not on the glass-half-empty, but a glass full and running over!  When you are focused on God’s enormous grace and love, you can’t help but be grateful… and joyful!

       Gratitude will give you the energy – the fuel – for the journey.  Taking action requires energy, physical energy.  It also requires mental and emotional energy.  You will need energy to keep going.  When you are overcome with anger and resentment, you will lose your energy because it will spill out all over the place.  Gratitude will fill you with the fuel for the journey.

       Gratitude connects you with the heart of God.  Gratitude will increase your faith, not only in God, but in yourself, and in the entire process.  It takes great faith to make this journey because there are no guarantees, there is no crystal ball and every step is a step into the unknown.

       It is possible to choose happiness, to be grateful  for all things and to focus on what’s real, not what’s in your head.  Your reality can be one of gratitude, abundance and joy.  Your journey here on earth can be full of life, abundant life, and endless joy.

       The one who is willing to practice gratitude will learn to enjoy the journey, and always experience the peace of God.  You can know serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed, the courage to change the things that you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

July 22

Purpose:  The faithful heart

       “Moreover, it is required… that a man be found faithful.”  I Cor. 4:2

       How many people do you know who you can really trust?  Who do you know is the kind of person that promises to do something and then follows through?  Do you know anyone who is truly trustworthy, someone who is faithful?

       If you do know someone who is faithful, I’m willing to bet that this person most likely has a purpose.  They have a reason to be – they know where they’re headed.

       A person with a faithful heart is someone who is grateful for what they are given.  The faithful individual is aware of how much they have been given, and has an awareness of God’s abundance and grace.  They do not feel short-changed, neither do they feel cynical or resentful about their station in life.  The person who has a purpose in life is living life on purpose, and therefore is able to faithfully follow through with what they are doing.

       The person who is faithful has a sense of worth.  They know their own worth as a human being.  This doesn’t mean that they have a sense of entitlement.  There is no hint of pride or arrogance that would cause them to grasp at things that haven’t been given to them.  The just know that they are worthy of love and worthy of the good things that have been given.  They remain faithful because of their strong sense of worthiness and their conviction that they are worth something to the people with which they come in contact.

       The faithful person is aware of their influence in the universe.  They know that their actions have a ripple effect across the miles.  What they think and do has a profound effect on those within their immediate circle of influence, and also on others whom they have never met.  Armed with this knowledge they act responsibly each day and want to be dependable for those who rely on them.  

       A faithful heart is unafraid to pledge its help to others.  A promise is made and kept because the faithful heart understands its purpose in this world.  The faithful few agree to help – not out of guilt – but because it matches their mission and lines up with their goals. 

       The faithful person understands that “to him who is faithful with little, much will be given.”  In our world there is a principle that governs expansion: It’s the Law of Abundance.  And it applies to all who are faithful.  There is so much potential in this world for all who dare to claim what is rightfully theirs. 

       The person who knows their worth and acts accordingly will manifest what God has for them.  The person who has no self-worth has nothing to claim.  Knowing your  true worth is key to having confidence in yourself.  When you feel confident you will act faithfully in all you do. 

 Tomorrow’s topic – Gratitude:  Enjoying the journey

July 21

Purpose:  Discovery and Adventure

       One of the few joys I had as a boy was going somewhere – usually camping.  It was exciting to pack up the car and tent trailer (back in the sixties), and head out on the road to somewhere only my father knew.

       It was this sense of adventure that injected a measure of joy into my experience as a young boy.  The chance to explore and discover new things heightened my anticipation of life and the joy of living.  (I don’t think I could have described it as accurately, but the feeling was there.)  There was some joyful about the adventure, something rejuvenating about the trip to a new place.  I trusted my ‘higher power’ – my father – to get us there safely and successfully.  The joy was in the journey…

       There’s something in the human heart that is a little bit wild, with a need to grow and expand, to move into new territories, to cover new ground.  It can seem a little scary at first.  But fear, I have learned, is the flipside to excitement.  What is exciting to one person is fearful to another.  But even to the ‘scare-d-cat’ there lies hidden the desire for new and improved!  The human soul has a need to increase because it’s the nature of all created things to grow and expand.

      Who’s heart is it that expands:  The one who stays behind to hold the fort, or the one who steps out never knowing if they will return?  The one who plays it safe will maintain status quo; the one who steps out into possible danger, who risks life itself, will expand and grow experience the joy of the journey.

       There are no guarantees in life.  We do not know the final outcome of our journey.  Nor should we.  We can only learn to face our fears and do it anyway.  Following our inner voice – the will of God – is a journey of faith.  And that’s where the joy is found.

       Maturity is the process whereby a child becomes an adult.  Physical maturity is the growth of the body into its full potential.  Emotional maturity is also the growth of the human heart into its fullest potential.  And spiritual maturity is the growth of the soul.

 My purpose in life is to inspire others to greatness by encouraging them to:

  • Surrender to God
  • Believe in themselves
  • Give to others

       It is this purpose that challenges me to expand, to grow, to develop new skills and to do what I have never done before.  There’s a saying that goes like this:  “To get what you never got, you have to think what you never thought.”  My purpose in life brings me joy as I follow on and remain willing to “think what I never thought and get to where I never got.”

 Tomorrow’s topic – Purpose:  The faithful heart

July 20

Purpose:  Following God’s direction

       So you may be wondering, “How can I follow God’s direction?”

       It’s not complicated.  It’s the natural outcome of surrendering to God’s will.  When you surrender to God’s will, you let go of your own illusions.  You let go of your own limitations about who you think you are.  You suddenly realize that your power comes from God.  (You’ve certainly proven to yourself that you are powerless.)

       God’s will for you is to experience more power, more freedom, more joy!  So, make choices that will allow you to know God’s power, freedom and joy!  There are no rules!  The only “boundaries” are the ones that you create in order to stay sober.

       And knowing God’s will is like having a “lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”  (Psalm 119:105)  The ‘lamp at your feet’ gives you confidence to take the next step, while the ‘light to your path’ gives you a sense of direction.     

       Having a purpose isn’t knowing the outcome; it’s knowing the joy of making small steps in the right direction.  It’s knowing that you are making the journey by taking decisive action one step at a time, one day at a time.  Joy isn’t found in the destination; it’s realized in the journey.  And having a purpose allows you to take this journey by faith, and to experience God’s joy along the way.

       If you have prayed and asked God for direction, you will not receive any direction until by faith you take that first step.  It is in the doing that confirmation is given.  After you have stepped out in faith and God has confirmed in your heart that your life has begun to move in the right direction, you will know God’s joy.

       Joy is in the journey.  It’s getting in the game, not sitting on the sidelines watching other people play.  There’s no joy is watching other people try and fail, and then laughing to yourself that they were ‘foolish’ enough to even try.  A cynic will never know any joy because there is no doing, no trying, no participation.

       The saddest people in the world are the ones who are naval-gazers, those who spend all their time in introspection.  Artists and musicians are the worse offenders, and I should know – I am one of them.  We tend to over analyze every thing, and fall into the worst kind of narcissism. Consequently artists love to commit suicide, while musicians get addicted (another slow form of death). 

       Of course, I’m talking in gross generalities, but the point is:  If you want to know purpose and joy in your life, you are going to have to get with the program –  and get in the game.  The happiest people are the ones making a contribution in the world.  The saddest ones are aware of the problem but make no effort to improve the world.

 Tomorrow’s topic – Purpose:  Discovery & Adventure

July 19

Purpose:  Experiencing the reality of God’s joy

       When I was a boy I thought God was really old, and always mad at somebody.  I thought God was unhappy with me most of the time, and probably never smiled.  I had no idea that God was actually joyful and smiled a lot.

       I suppose I picked up this message about God being unhappy from my own unhappy childhood.  It’s not that I was terribly abused or neglected; it was all the rules.  I felt unhappy about keeping this long list of rules, my parents were unhappy because they had to enforce them, and therefore God was unhappy with all of us.

       We all deserved to go to Hell.  I hated to think what that place was like, but I didn’t want to have to go there.  I realized in later years that “Hell” was a deterrent for bad behavior.  Sometimes I wasn’t sure what was worse:  The sadness and remorse of Hell, or the unhappiness of Heaven.

       Heaven was a place where we were either sitting around a table eating a big meal, or we were sitting around the throne of God playing harps (with sticky fingers from all our eating).  There didn’t seem to be a good reason to want to be there except that Hell was really hot – and I knew what a burn on the skin felt like.

       This had an effect on my attitude toward life.  There didn’t seem to be much in store for me in the years ahead so I decided it was probably best to remain a child, or at least somewhere between a child and an adult.  (It’s funny how I was able to create another stage in life for myself even though I had no name for it.)

       The closest thing I could find to joy was sexual desire.  And my creation of a boy-man knew only privilege without the responsibility.  And thus a sexual addiction was born, quite by accident (the child) but also on purpose (the adult). 

       The child wanted to remain unaware of any responsibility.  After all, there were no options in life to be truly happy.  Just rules that made you good, but unhappy.  The only joy in life was linked to bad behavior worthy of Hell-fire!  The child just wanted to be happy.  But the child was an adult now.  Joy and happiness was out there somewhere, found in a place that no one could know about.

       It was through the 12-Step program and getting sober that I grew more familiar with my own needs.  And I grew to understand what joy is.  Joy isn’t about making rules, or getting punishment for not keeping them.  It’s about knowing what your purpose is in life.  Knowing God’s will in the universe, and following after God’s will for my life was the beginning of joy. 

       Joy is understanding that happiness is a choice, that it can be created just like unhappiness was for so many years.  There is joy in knowing that I am responsible for my happiness – no one else.  The joy is in the doing.  It’s what follows the choice to be happy.  If you choose to be happy, that’s an attitude; and this attitude of gratitude will spill over into your doing. 

       There is something very joyful about the universe.  God’s creation has a certain beauty that can only be described as joyful.  It is God’s handiwork that He/She has declared as “good” and perfect.  This joy is present even though you aren’t aware of it. 

       But as you become aware of God’s joy you are then able to practice this joy in your daily lives.  You can learn to participate in the will of God.  You have that right, and you are free to make the choice: “Will I participate in the will of God or will I resist, and choose not to?”  But remember, you have free choice, not free will.

       When I surrendered to the wind (as I was learning to wind surf out on the lake) I began to harness the power of the wind.  It was a joyful moment when I stopped resisting the wind and started to surrender to it.  By cooperating with Mother Nature I felt the strength of the wind supporting me, not fighting me.

       Surrender to God’s will and choosing to follow God’s plan you will know God’s strength in your life.  And having this purpose in life will allow you to know God’s joy.  The lone ranger does not know the joy of playing on a team.  There’s a synergy that you can experience when you cooperate with God and become an active participant in life.

 Tomorrow’s topic – Purpose:  Following God’s direction

July 18

Purpose:  Practicing the Presence of Joy

       When I was a boy I thought God was really old, and always mad at somebody.  I thought God was unhappy with me most of the time, and probably never smiled.  I had no idea that God was actually joyful and relaxed… and smiled… a lot!  I suppose I picked up this message about an unhappy God from my own unhappy childhood.  It’s not that I was terribly abused or neglected; it was all the rules.  I felt unhappy about keeping this long list of rules, my parents were unhappy because they had to enforce them, and therefore God was unhappy with all of us.

       One of the few joys I had as a boy was traveling somewhere – usually camping.  It was exciting to pack up the car and tent trailer (back in the sixties), and head out on the road to somewhere only my father knew.  It was this sense of adventure that injected a measure of joy into my experience as a young boy.  The chance to explore and discover new things heightened my anticipation of life and the joy of living.  There was something joyful about the adventure, something rejuvenating about the trip to a new place.  I trusted my ‘higher power’ – my father – to get us there safely and successfully.  The joy was in the journey…

       When I became an adult I lost that sense of adventure and the joy of the journey.  I became less willing to step out and explore.  Life became this journey that I wasn’t prepared to make; yet I attempted to convince others that I was in the game when I really wasn’t.  I tried to make myself (and others) believe that everything was good and I was a spiritually connected person.  But I wasn’t.  In fact, I was very disconnected from God, from my loved ones and especially from myself.

       But this was not God’s will for me – to be so disconnected and two-faced.  My secret life may have been under wraps, but it was eating away at me like a cancer from the inside out.  God’s will was for me to be fully alive and fully engaged in life and I was this hollow man with no purpose trying desperately to maintain some form of normalcy.

       God’s will for you and me is to experience more power, more freedom, more joy!  It’s God’s will that we live our lives on purpose, fully alive, and fully engaged.  But how can you live your life with more purpose? 

       It’s not complicated.  It’s the natural outcome of surrendering to God’s will.  When you surrender to God’s will, you let go of your own illusions.  You let go of your own limitations about who you think you are and begin to realize where your power comes from. 

       You learn to make choices that will allow you to know God’s power, freedom and joy!  There are no rules!  The only “boundaries” are the ones that you create in order to stay sober.  Everything else is a self-imposed limitation that holds you back from knowing the power and grace of God in your life.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have not power over your life.  You have the ability to make choices which determine how each moment of your life will unfold.  You are not helpless. 

       God’s will and God’s purpose is within your grasp; you can choose to take the steps to find God’s will for your life.  And there is joy that is in store for you should you decide to make the right choices.

 Tomorrow’s topic – Purpose:  Experiencing the reality of God’s joy