Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Chris's post over at Last Chance got me thinking.

I've been thinking about one of the lectures I had heard while I was in treatment. One of the chaplains was speaking about what was meant by the term "God of my understanding". The only thing I really remember was that it felt like I was given permission to come up with my own understanding. I could let go of the fears and anger I had around the concept of God and start fresh. I dropped the lightening bolts, the punishing angry god, the "placate at any cost" ideas. I started using terms like compassion, patience, kindness, understanding, love.

Over the few years I've had in recovery, I had to blend in the idea that my Higher Power uses our circumstances to change me, to teach me. Sometimes the challenge was trying to figure out what the lesson is. I began to see that the most painful episodes in my life were the ones that facilitated growth and change. I also needed to remind myself that God doesn't create the circumstances, people and life do and to understand that my life isn't orchestrated by some being out to make life painful. But in those difficult times, I can grow and change if I am willing to work with the circumstances, not fight against them. Sometimes, it feels like I am being taken apart, with no idea what the out come is going to be. The only way to find out is to go through the experience, not look for a way out.

Thomas Moore, in his book "The Soul's Religion" writes it well:

When we disintegrate, going down into life and into our potential for vitality, we may have to give up the fantasy of ourselves as sentimentally whole. We may have to risk experience instead of keeping it at bay; for it is the impact of life and soul that make us into persons of depth and character. . . . We find our wholeness as we are peeled away, like an onion, with the process finished when there is nothing left to peel. Perhaps only then will we be moved to give up the idea of wholeness altogether, having disintegrated sufficiently to be touched by life, and are therefore empty.


Grace-WorkinProgress said...

When you are in the pain all you want is to be some place else. You don't care about lessons just escaping. Only when you realize there is no escape and give in does it pass. The lesson can only be seen from a distance.

Amy said...

Wow, good good realization. An amazingly timely quote as well. Isn't it amazing how God, work's all things together for good? I never would have imagined I'd get what I need today from surfin' the net. so to speak.
Thanks for sharing.

Texaco said...

I didn't realize the "peeling the onion" metaphor was attributable to Moore, and I didn't realize that, it also occurred to him (unlike many) that once one finishes peeling there is nothing left. So long as there is something left of self there is something left to take away.

Thanks for your post and for your words of encouragement. I am happy to report that in this, as in all things, the program is working when I am willing to give myself to it.