Sunday, October 19, 2008


I was really struck by today's reading from "Courage to Change":

"What I can't do, my Higher Power can. When I let go and let God, I am free to take risks and to make mistakes. I know that I am powerless over many things. Today I can take comfot in knowing that I don't have the power to ruin God's plans."

I don't have the power to ruin God's plans. I am not that powerful. That thought seems to soar within me. 

A few years ago, while I was an active member in a church, I was also having on-line relationships whilst drinking lots of wine. The minister would say that the church was failing, that we were not experiencing revival because of the sins of the members. And I would repent and then I would slip. And the shame and guilt would build. And I learned to hate myself. I turned all my anger into me. It was a dance designed to send me to hell. C.S. Lewis wrote somewhere that the Christian universe is a closed universe, there is no way out. My anger and hatred turned to God and I baled out and my life got even worse. 

I see it very different now. Mary LA wrote: "Recovery from alcoholism feels like a religious conversion at times. You have to go back and rewrite your own history in a different light." I had to go back and unlearn old beliefs, old traditions. Even though I had stated I didn't want to believe anymore, childhood patterns had to be uprooted and a new garden started. I discovered I still had a Higher Power in my life.

I had always believed that I was a screw up and I was screwing up the world around me. I acted and others were hurt. Others were upset, angry, sad, etc etc and I was to blame. 

Today, I don't have to be perfect. I can make mistakes. I can take risks. I am free to try. I am learning that when I make a choice, the results of that choice will give me feed back. If the choice creates pain and havoc in my life, perhaps I'll try something different. If something works well, perhaps I'll stay on that path.

Case in point, sponsees. I was terrfied of getting a sponsee. I thought I would damage them, they would never get better if I got involved. In pushing through my fears, deciding to try something I was very afraid of, gave me wonderful fruits in my new garden. As my sponsee's grew, as they failed, I got fertilizer. I continued to grow, to stay sober, to see myself in my sponsee's. It is a wonderful gift. Something I never would have expected. Out of risk came growth. In this case, positive.

I don't have the power to ruin God's plans. I don't have the power to make God's plans come true. I just get to be me. What a freeing thought.


pat said...

I just worry too much what God's plans are.

Anonymous said...

I really like that. I heard another good one the other day. "Before you can build something up, sometimes you gotta tear the whole thing down."


In the past there was no way I could just be me. I was too busy making sure you didn't see who "me" was. In fact, I did that so long that I didn't know who "me" was.

Now, I can stop all that hiding and pretending and it is so freeing to allow myself to just be me.

What a beautiful gift of AA, sobriety, and Alanon.

AlkySeltzer said...

After so many years, I am finally learning to be me...or growing into a new me. And I am allowing that to happen.

Another of God's gifts to me is that my wife is also allowing me to be me.

Wonder of wonders! If--years ago--I had known that life could be this good, I might have not been able to deal with it. Thank You, God, for making it a slow process for me.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I got a little mini chill at the end of this.

I have been dabbling in online relationships. Sometimes its enjoyable, sometimes it isn't. I would like to let it go and stop. I'm working on it.

A good friend of mine is struggling now and I might copy this and send it to her. She feels like such a screw up. She is in an unhappy marriage and I'm trying to get her into counseling. She was coming to Alanon for awhile but she stopped.

I just got a sponsor but haven't called her yet. That was a very big step for me because I am not comfortable with it but I did feel moved to ask her.

The thought of being a sponsee does bring up insecurities with me. I like what you wrote.

And thank you for your comments. I appreciate them.

Shadow said...

"Today, I don't have to be perfect." that is the perfect statement!

Lou said...

In the last year I have found a wonderful church. I can't imagine our pastor ever saying what you heard at that church.
My church now is truly a place of refuge & forgiveness. It makes a big difference in my spiritual life.

Pam said...

love love love the quote!

Kathy Lynne said...

Happy, joyous and free. I just started sponsering myself and you're right it is terrifying. I just need to remember what you have said here so nicely.