I was thinking about this yesterday and it has crossed my mind a few other times as of late. I have to acknowledge how comforting it is to know with certainty that I am at least trying to live the kind of life that doesn't continually violate my moral, ethical or spiritual beliefs. There is generally a balance in my life today that yea, starts with being tapped into my Creator.
This does not mean I don't mess up or feel frustrated at my mistakes or get angry at myself or others....I certainly do, of course but in the past I always had this underlying feeling that I was trying to CHEAT life. It goes back to a description I have used several times in recent posts: I was living a lie. I now feel like I was being dishonest in how I conducted myself...ACH, I am struggling here to find the proper word or description of what I am feeling! I was not being myself, therefore I was presenting a fake impression to the rest of the world about who or what I was all about. There was NO authenticity in my life (there's the WORD: authenticity!)...until I was able to recognize what I had been doing, I could not free myself from that behavior...I lived in a prison of my own making. I was my own Jailer, little did I know then that only God could set me free.
I was going to need divine help in untangling the incredibly complex mess of lies and deceit I had created to cover up who I really was as a person and how I actually felt inside. So I had to first sober up and learn to live sober. Then there was a rather lengthy process of cleaning up the wreckage from my past. I had to identify my character defects and how they affected me and others. I had to make amends to those I hurt to set things right. And I had to realize I couldn't do this on my own, I needed GOD.
Many people will dispute this...that's OK with me, go ahead. But in my situation, this is how I was able to find freedom (on a daily/temporary basis) from my addiction and the lies and deceit that went along with it. I needed God. There are various 12 step programs that talk about finding a higher power or God as you understand him. That is how I approached the "God Question" in my life as well. I just have always believed in a "Creator"...I always had felt like there was an all-powerful being the was in control. It wasn't until 5 years into my recovery that I became a Christian or a Follower of Jesus as I like to put it.
I had many prejudices toward God, religion, Christians, etc. but when it came down to saving my own life, I found it remarkably easy to believe. That is how it has worked for me...I see people everyday in recovery find their way through this question of a Spiritual Life and I think initially, whatever works, is what WORKS...just do it. Worry about details later, get sober, clean house, get in a relationship with God (whoever it is) and then work hard every day at maintaining your sobriety through service to others, maintaining your spiritual connection and continuing to be honest...
Yes, I will readily admit that this is a very simplified version of "what it takes" to find and maintain a life of recovery as I have found it. But the reality is that it truly is this simple, we as human beings have a tendency to complicate things...I sure did!
So with this simplified version of how I began my life in recovery I was now in a position to be teachable, to grow, learn and continue to change. Next post I'll continue to discuss the impact of God in my life and the need for constant, productive and positive change...