It is God’s will that I learn patience

Higher Power is in no particular hurry to “un-ring the bell” by undoing our sad and often chaotic circumstances.  Much of the dysfunction we experience in our day to day lives is a result of our own stupid mistakes and unwise decisions.

We rush into relationships and can’t understand why they don’t last.  We hurry to buy the car or the house that is going to bring us true happiness and fulfillment.  We run headlong into financial disaster because we don’t patiently wait for guidance and wisdom.

We want what we want.  And we want it now.  We take no thought for tomorrow; nor do we even care about our future.  All that matters is right now.  Instead of living in the moment, we choose to live for the moment.

Instead of focusing on what is important, we throw caution to the wind and scurry along for the next opportunity to act out.  My impatience has led me to a place where I find it difficult to concentrate.  The habit of grasping for things that feed my addiction has weakened my ability to focus on just one thing.  I am easily distracted and often find it difficult to know what is important.

Higher Power wants us to know what is important, and to enjoy success in reaching our goals.  This requires patience.  Sadly, we don’t have the patience to wait for what we desire.  So we settle for a substitute.

It is God’s will that we learn patience, for it is patience that will keep us focused and allow us to remain on the sacred path of recovery.

It is God’s will that I remain alive and sober.

Higher Power says “yes” to life, and living life to its fullest.  Higher Power is that which is in agreement with the proper order of everything sacred.  Higher Power brings a spiritual awakening that leads to honesty, peace and joy.  Higher Power is the connection we have with the power of the universe:  The power of Love.

Addiction says “no” to anything that might sustain and improve our lives.  Addiction doesn’t care about the proper order of things, or honesty, peace and joy.  It only cares about getting its cravings filled right this instant… with no thought of anyone else.  Addiction thumbs its nose at God and Higher Power… and hates anyone who interferes with its goal to get what it wants.

Addiction is really a substitute for Higher Power, for reality and for Love.  But a substitute is not what we humans need.  Anything less than Higher Power leads to more addiction and – eventually – death itself.

It is God’s will that we remain sober.  Without sobriety, we will remain in our addiction.  And every day we remain in our addiction is another day lost to fantasy, lying, chaos and sorrow.

It is God’s will that you share in the sacred order of the universe:  Love!  Without sobriety, we will never know Love or what Love can bring into our lives.  That is why it is God’s will that we remain sober… and alive.

God’s will vs. my will

How do I know the difference between God’s will and my own will?  Here are 10 suggestions that point to God’s will for us:

  1. God’s will is that I stay alive and sober.  My will leads to death and addiction.
  2. God’s will is that I learn patience.  My will wants it now.
  3. God’s will is that I learn humility.  My will puts me first in line – every time.
  4. God’s will leads to order and clarity.  My will leads to chaos and confusion.
  5. God’s will is the way of Love.  My will is the path of fear.
  6. God’s will is that I tell the truth.  My will wants to cover things up.
  7. God’s will wants me to remain connected with others.  My will leads to isolation.
  8. God’s will leads to freedom. My will leads to slavery.
  9. God’s will leads to abundance.  My will leads to poverty.
  10. God’s will is that I remain in this present moment.  My will regrets the past and fears the future.

It’s almost as if there is this God-shaped ‘hole’ in each of us.  And this empty space can only be filled with one thing:  God’s love.

But we don’t seem to know how to fill this God-shaped need.  We try to fill this need with stuff:  Things that we want.  And we’re convinced that “if I only had…” that thing will fill our aching, divine need somehow.

God’s will is often in direct contrast to what we want.  For the next 10 weeks, we’re going to take a look at God’s will and how we can align ourselves better with our Higher Power.

Finding love while working the 12th Step

To understand and accept myself is to love myself.

This is the whole point of 12-step work:  To understand and accept ourselves.  Sure, we want to be free from addiction, toxic shame and compulsive behaviors.  But the whole purpose of our work in recovery is to understand and accept ourselves.  And when we learn to truly love ourselves, we can begin to work the 12th step:  Giving back.

We have spent our entire lives trying to get stuff we want, always taking from others.  It is part of our human condition; we care about our survival.  We have needs and they need to be filled.  So we continually take from others what we think we need.  But it’s never enough.  And we take and we take, and eventually become addicted to the things we want, the things that we think we need.

When the addiction really takes hold, our lives become chaotic, unmanageable – spinning out of control.  And toxic shame, always running in the background, leads us into insane forms of coping while our lives are controlled by a will-run-riot.  We become more and more isolated, unable to contribute to the world and the needs of others; in fact, we can barely take care of ourselves.

The only way I can stop this insanity is to gain understanding and acceptance of myself:  Learning how to love myself.