God’s will is that I tell the truth

Duplicitous.  This is the word that describes my years of ‘acting out’ as an addict.

There’s an old saying:  “He who has nothing to hide, hides nothing.”  I had plenty to hide.  Some of it was illegal.  Most of it was immoral.  And all of it was selfish and self-serving.

I pretended to love God; in fact, I had convinced myself that I was going to enter the ministry.  I signed up to study Christian theology and philosophy… (I even studied ancient Greek).  I thought I was preparing myself for service to God.

But the whole time I was learning about God, I was ‘studying’ pornography.  A student of theology by day, and porn by night.  Yeah, you could say I had plenty to hide.

And this duplicity continued throughout my married life until I got caught…  and I, finally, had to face my hypocrisy.

Learning to tell the truth was not easy for me.  I had spent almost forty years lying about everything – things I didn’t need to lie about.  I even lied to myself… my lying had become pathological.

No one ever saw the real me, only the ‘fake’ me.  Just smoke and mirrors.

It is God’s will that I become whole, a whole person.  God is not duplicitous; and God’s will for me is to be whole – to become one person.

It has always been God’s will for me to tell the truth, and to tell it quickly.  In order to live in the light of a recovered life, I must learn to tell the truth.  I must remain one person.

God’s will is the way of Love

When you hear the word ‘Love’ what do you think of?  Valentines Day?  Romance novels?  Sex?  Actually, there are four Greek words for the word love:

  • Eros – romantic love
  • Storge – affection
  • Phileo – friendship
  • Agape – unconditional love 

The Holy Scripture says that God is Love.  God cannot be anything less than pure Love.  And God’s will for me is to walk in Love.  God’s will is that I become like God… that I become Love!

The Holy Scripture also says that there is no fear in love.  In other words… fear is the absence of Love.  When you are full of fear, you are empty of Love… of God.

You won’t find the word “love” in the 12 steps (except for the term ‘sex and love’ addict).  But just because you can’t find the word doesn’t mean it’s not there.  (You won’t find the word ‘forgiveness’ either, but it’s there… in between the lines.)

The path of recovery leads us to God (Higher Power).  We ask that God remove our defects – our resentments, our hurts, and our fears.  These defects of character – our shortcomings – are a result of our own selfish desires and lusts.

Our self-will-run-riot leads us into the worst kind of dysfunction.  And it all comes from fearFalse Evidence Appearing Real.  We dream up all kinds of false beliefs that hold us back and prevent us from loving others the way God loves the world.

Our addiction can rob us of romantic love, affection for our own families, friendship with others, and the love of our creator – the One who loves us unconditionally.  Remove God (Love) from the picture and all that is left is fear… fear of others, fear of poverty, fear of death, etc.

But we are promised in the Big Book that these things will leave us.  All our paranoia becomes a thing of the past.

In recovery, we conform more and more to God’s will.  And in so doing, we become ‘Love’ and let go of fear.

God’s will leads to order and clarity

When I was deep in my addiction, I was insane.  My actions proved it.  There was no rhyme or reason to what I did; I was living in chaos and confusion.  There was no order to my world, no clarity… I had everything backwards.  The only time I felt good was the time I compulsively acted out.

I lost perspective on what is really important – what really matters.

I ignored my own needs as a human being.  I failed to eat properly.  I suffered from sleep deprivation.  I had a wife and two kids, but I very seldom came home – and when I did, I was somewhere else in my head.  Emotionally, I was completely unavailable.

My business venture was failing, and eventually ground to a complete halt.  My family and I suffered financially because I was too preoccupied with my addiction.  My marriage was crumbling.  All I cared about was me, and how I could get my next fix.

As I was gradually restored to sanity, 12-Step recovery brought everything back into perspective for me.  The chaos I created began to subside; I gained more clarity of mind.  The emotional storm in which I lived eventually subsided, and my life started to feel more peaceful and serene.

A spiritual awakening made me realize that I was causing all the chaos and confusion.  I learned quickly that God’s will for me is to remain spiritually connected to a Power greater than myself that could restore me to sanity.

By surrendering to a Power greater than myself, I gave over my own will, a will that created chaos and confusion.  Before  surrender, I was on a collision course with reality.  After surrender, I aligned myself with reality and with Love.  Order and clarity was the result of my surrender.

 

It is God’s will that I learn humility.

For years I thought humility had something to do with making self-deprecating comments, and pretending that I didn’t matter.  I learned to self-loath.  I was taught that “I am a worm, and no man.” Oddly enough, I pretended that this was true humility.

Little did I know that this kind of humility was false.  In actual fact, I really wanted to be the center of my universe.  And my self importance led me into addiction.

In my recovery, however, I have been introduced to true humility.  I have met many who, like me, tend to self-loath.  But there are others who are learning self care.  They are now of the opinion that they do matter, and that they are worthy of love.  They are also aware of their tendency to over estimate their importance and personal magnitude. They know they are not – nor do they wish to be – the center of the universe.

C.S. Lewis has an accurate definition:  “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of  yourself less.”

As an addict, I was the center of the universe.  Everything revolved around my wants and needs.  My day was spent by thinking about my own needs, and how I could get more of my “drug.”  I thought about my selfish needs constantly.  I had to have certain things.  I was convinced I could not live without my drug of choice.

I wanted certain things and, childishly, I wanted them now.  In many respects I had not matured.  As a self-centered little child, I knew nothing of humility.  My needs and wants came first.  My will put me first in line every time.

Like patience, it occurred to me that I needed to learn humility.  I have come to realize that God’s will for me is to learn true humility.  Without it, I would continue to put my own needs first and , selfishly, remain in my addiction.

I needed to learn humility if I was going to recover completely.  And since it’s God’s will that I recover, it is God’s will that I learn true humility.