Blurred lines and Bottom lines

As addicts, we thought we had control of everything.  But instead of remaining in command, we lost control by defining our lives using blurred lines.

Most of the time we did not know the difference between fantasy and reality.  We got so used to fantasy that, after a while, it all seemed real.  Fantasy became our reality.  The lines were blurred, and we became quite insane!

But the lines between real and unreal must be clearly defined if you ever hope to live in the real world and regain your sanity.

‘Bottom line’ behaviors are “self-defined activities from which we refrain in order to experience physical, mental emotional, sexual and spiritual wholeness.”

Bottom lines are based on your patterns of addictive and accessory behaviors.  They should be clear – without any ambiguity – so that you know if and when you cross them.

Engaging in any of these behaviors is considered a slip or a relapse.  (A slip is when you catch yourself in one of your bottom line behaviors and you immediately stop and tell your sponsor about it; a relapse is when you cross the line continually and lie about it.)

Once you have set your bottom lines (with the help of your sponsor and your Higher Power) refrain from these behaviors one day at a time.

You will gain complete control over your addiction once you have a clear idea of the boundaries between fantasy and reality.

God’s will is that I remain in this present moment

When I was little, my teachers would tell my parents that I was constantly day-dreaming.

They felt that I wasn’t learning what they had to teach because I was off in a fantasy world of my own.  I had trouble paying attention.  I guess I found the theater of my mind more interesting than what the rest of the class was learning.

I chose to live in my own make-believe world rather than remain in this present moment.

I’m still like that.  If you haven’t captured my attention, I will drift off somewhere else and leave you talking to yourself.  I suppose I liked the world I had in my head better than the one in which I lived.

As an addict, I spent serious amounts of time in my own fantasies.  Sexual fantasy kept me occupied all day long.  It never took a holiday; I was occupied constantly with it.

But God doesn’t exist in fantasies and escapes.  Higher power doesn’t work if we are obsessed with the regrets of yesterday or the fear of tomorrow.

God wants me to remain in this present reality.  Only then can I tap into the power that comes to me in this one eternal moment we call the present.

God’s will leads to abundance

There is a tremendous surplus of grace in the spiritual realm.  We do not realize this because we are so determined not to go without.  We fail to realize how abundant is God’s love and grace.

It’s our addiction – our constant craving – that actually blocks the flow of God’s power into our lives.  By choosing a substitute pleasure for God’s grace, we turn off the spiritual tap of divine pleasure.

It doesn’t take much to turn it off or turn in on… just a split second when we decide to either take what we want – or wait for God’s direction.

Are you tired of taking what you want (whatever you are addicted to), and ending up with nothing but regret?

Are you ready to follow the path that leads to spiritual abundance?  This is possible if you are ready to let go of the things for which you naturally grasp.  You will come to know and experience the overflowing of God’s compassion and generosity if you are willing to allow God to take care of you.

This can appear to be just a pipe dream… trying to imagine God actually filling up your every desire!  We are so used to satisfying out own lusts that the thought of a “higher power” meeting our needs is too much to accept.

Decide now – if you are able – to let go of your unnatural desires, and let God fill you with abundant love, peace and joy.  You will never have to go without ever again.  When you are ready, there is more-than-enough good stuff to go around.  There is never any shortage of grace in God’s economy.

God’s will leads to freedom

Everyone wants to be free:  Free from the ties that bind.

“My hands are tied” is a favorite expression of those who feel they can do nothing.  Feeling ‘helpless’ can do a number on the human psyche.

Sometimes I feel like I’m all twisted up in knots, all bound up inside.  There’s even a physical tightness I feel when I am all ‘tied’ up with anxiety and stress.

I have lived with debt most of my life.  And it seems to have brought with it a certain stress that has weakened me.  Financial debt threw me into a debtor’s prison.

But there’s also a spiritual debt that we as addicts must pay back if we are ever to find freedom from our addiction.  This spiritual debt is what we are dealing with as we work through the 12 steps.  There are certain things we must do if we expect to be released from our bondage.

We are created to be free… free and clear!  And yet much of our time is spent taking, and never giving – creating more ‘debt’ for ourselves.  We want to get out of our debtor’s prison, but continue to feel stuck.

God’s will – God’s design – leads us to freedom.  Our will (our design) only leads to bondage.  You can’t ask for something from God and then take for yourself what you thing you need.  We don’t seem to understand that freedom is granted if we learn how to wait for what we need.

Do you want to be free?  Get out of debt – financially and spiritually.  Pay back your debts.  Forgive your debtors.  And stop taking what you think will ease your pain.  What you take for yourself pushes you even further into debt.

God’s will leads us to freedom; our will leads to slavery.  Learn God’s design, God’s plan.  Pay off your ‘debts’ and stay free.

It is God’s will that I connect with other people

There’s a slogan in A.A. circles: “You alone must do it, but you must not do it alone.”  Another is: “You are not alone.”

Recovery does not happen all on your own.  You cannot do it alone.  Your isolation from others has kept you entrenched in your addiction long enough.

God’s will for you is to connect with others – safe people in recovery.  In order to get help from your Higher Power you will need to draw strength from the fellowship.

When we remained in our isolated obsessions and secret compulsions, we were powerless to break free from our addiction.  But when we admitted that we were powerless, we joined a group of fellow addicts in order to get help.

And this help is available every single day.  Should you return to isolation, you will surely end up in your addiction again.

After a few months of sobriety, you may start to feel better, stronger.  You will be tempted to pull away from the group thinking that you are now able to go it alone.

You don’t realize that it’s the fellowship that has given your strength.  If you break away, you will run the huge risk of a relapse.  Staying connected with others in recovery is God’s will for you; isolation is not.

You are not alone.  And you cannot do it alone.  Stay connected; it’s God’s will for you.