Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Statue of Liberty - 1..2..3..1..2..3..
I went to one of my meetings last night and we talked about fear. A question was presented, what would you do next if you feared nothing? I contemplated on this after the meeting and again this morning and came up with at least one thing.
First if I didn't fear losing the life I am accustomed to I would pack my bags and take off to see my sister and her family. But instead I am staying here to cover the showroom while everyone else leaves town.
The discussion on fear made me realize how the steps have helped me handle my fears. First by removing the burden of feeling in charge of everything and then by teaching me to love myself. If I love myself I make healthy choices and not worry so much about being rejected. If we know our lives are in capable hands we can trust that things will work out with or without our help.
How do we get there? How do the steps identify or resolve our fears? First fear itself starts with one thought together with a little imagination. Imagining what it would feel like if that thought came true. I have a great imagination so this very act can paralyze me in an instant. It usually has to do with losing something I have or not getting something I want.
The easiest way to get a break from paralyzing fear is to remain in the present moment. Easier said than done since there is no one policing my mind but me. The first thing I learned about my mind in the program was it could not be trusted. The narrator was making things up just for the sake of drama. A silly trick I learned in the program was to think about the Statue of Liberty. Since you can only think of one thing at a time you got a break from the fear. Of course you can't spend the rest of your life thinking about the Statue of Liberty I guess you could try.
At some point you gotta move on with your life and try to get a grip on the situation which is your life. The steps give you the opportunity to sort out your life and how you ended up in such a mess and why what you have always done doesn't work anymore.
You don't necessarily have to be dealing with active alcoholism it could be anything or anyone you thought you could control and find out you can't, including yourself. The lack of control of really anything drives us all crazy. Things aren't going as planned and I refuse to accept it until I go off the deep end. Then I turn to the steps.
The first three steps help us to get a grip on our feelings. The first step by making sure we really want help. This is humbling for me to admit for the that I can't manage my own life. My ego can usually think of one more thing I can do to control the situation. Oh how much time I have wasted there.
The second step believing that something somewhere out there can help me. Looking outside myself for help. Relying on the fact that others have gone before me and seem to be in a better place so there must be something more powerful than me. At this point I have admitted I am lost and looking for help.
The third step I decide I really, really don't want to be in charge any more. I am spent. Nothing matters but getting some rest from managing my life. I am willing to put my life into the hands of a power greater than myself. When I get to this point I can rest for a moment and regroup before heading off to the fourth step to figure out just how I got here in the first place.
I am feeling better these days and I can look at where I am in my life with a little perspective. I don't feel so emotionally raw. I realized this week that I have come full circle in my spiritual search and that it is my opinion that working the steps is the easiest quickest way to relieve the pain I have caused myself.
The steps are simple and powerful and are always there when I need them. They don't compete with my other beliefs and offer an out if I find something I don't like. It isn't all or nothing and that is good because that is what got me here in the first place. My favorite Al-anon closing words, take what you like and leave the rest.