M(3), 3/16/15: Turn It Over

 

Today was a s…l…o…w meeting.  I mean, it was pulling teeth to get anyone to say anything at all!

Which fascinates me, because today was a step meeting, and since it is the third month of the year, we covered Step Three:

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

To me, there is much to say on Step Three.  While I don’t practice it nearly as much as I should, it is my opinion that this is the step that is the most important to practice on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis.  It is also the step (again, my opinion here) that has the most universal application; you do not have to be an alcoholic to take advantage of its benefits.

My story of recovery had me in different stages with this step, and I would imagine there will be stages to come still.  First was a complete lack of understanding of its meaning, either theoretical or practical.  I simply did not get it.

Finally someone explained it to me this way:  imagine your life as a bus ride; you are the driver, God (or whatever you choose to call your Higher Power) is the co-pilot.  The more you turn to the co-pilot to ask for directions, the more direct and smooth your ride will be.

For the record, in the years since hearing that analogy, I’ve heard it the opposite way:  God is the driver, I am the co-pilot, but that analogy does not resonate with this alcoholic.  Whichever one works for you, though, go for it!

When explained in this way, it made a lot of sense.  Still chose not to take advantage of it, but at least I had some kind of understanding.

Finally, when that gift of desperation arrived, and I was at my personal bottom, I started my road to recovery.  Early days certainly did not have me turning anything over to anybody, at least not consciously, as life and my head space were too chaotic.  I can only assume the grace of God kept me sober.

Soon enough, I settled into sobriety a bit and I had the opportunity to reflect upon this idea a bit more:  so God is the co-pilot, how does that play out in everyday life?  And it was that willingness to explore the idea, to test it out, and to see the serenity that such decisions brought me, that deepened my understanding and conviction that this is the way to live.

Nowadays, I read this chapter and sigh to myself… I definitely don’t keep it in the forefront of my mind as I once did.  Here’s how it plays out for me these days:  I will find myself in some kind of funk, be it frustration at multiple people, some malaise or anxiety that I can’t quite define, or obsessively trying and failing to achieve some goal.  Once I become aware that I am in this “off” state, I know what I haven’t been doing, and what I need to do:  check in the Big Guy.  And the prayer that does it the best happens to be my go-to:

 

There is not much more to add in terms of the group today, I guess the 11 or so folks present just weren’t feeling it this morning!  One gentleman, someone who does not normally attend, did mention something that stood out to me.  He has been sober for quite a few years, and in reading this chapter again he realizes how evolutionary his spirituality has been.  In other words, how he defined his faith in a Higher Power when he first got sober is not how he would define it now.  It was an interesting point that tied in to something I was listening to this very morning.  Deepak Chopra and Oprah are running a 21-day meditation “experience” (their words, not mine), and I used it for today’s meditation practice.  Deepak mentions the need for a worthy goal, and that this goal can and should evolve.  Somehow this attendee’s words this morning brought me back to this morning’s meditation practice, and that it is a good thing to be open to change.

Maybe next week I should bring in some baked goods in the hopes that the sugar rush will wake everybody up!

Today’s Miracle:

Getting the reminder to pause and consider the direction I am heading, and also the gift of being able to turn around at any point!

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Posted on March 16, 2015, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. If I had been at your meeting I would have told my reiki story.
    It was clear to me yesterday that turning my will over to the universe allowed me to find peace. And open to a possibility of healing. Wow.

    It is interesting how often not doing this comes out as anxiety.

    Anne

    Like

  2. This is very timely for me. I am just heading down this road again with my new BB study buddy. I like both analogies, I will have to try them on and see which one fits. Maybe I would find more serenity if I let someone else be the pilot for a change. Time will tell. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The room was divided in the meeting as to which one they liked, I will be interested in hearing which one works for you. The team that like the idea of God as the pilot argued with my side, “If God is the co-pilot maybe you should consider switching seats!” Which of course made me laugh. Either way establishes a daily relationship, which is what I think is the heart of the matter anyway.

      Good luck with the new BB study. I haven’t done one of those in a long time, that sounds like a great idea!

      Like

  3. Love the Anne Lamott quote!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, some meetings are like that. I don’t mind the silence at all…lol.

    We can fill books on HP and how it can manifest in our days. For me, it’s the simplicity in knowing that I don’t run the ship. The best way I can explain it to others is that I my shop has become run down and no one is coming in any more and the place is falling apart. My 3rd step tells me to hand the keys over to HP and they run the shop. Now, I have to still sweep and stock the shelves and clean the windows and serve customers, but it’s under new management and I take the directions He gives me.

    Whenever I try to run the shop, it goes downhill. So I just happily do the things I need to do, even if I don’t understand it.

    Great post, Josie.

    And yeah, great quote!

    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those silent meetings are soooo uncomfortable, and as someone who finds them as such, struggles even more with the silence as the chair, because I fight with myself… Fill the silence! Don’t fill the silence! Why isn’t someone RAISING THEIR DAMN HAND?!?

      It’s a lot of fun living in my head.

      I have never heard that analogy before (even from you, I don’t think?), and I love it! What a colorful analogy. I am going to stock some shelves today and think of you each time I do it!

      Great, great comment, Paul, I’m taking this one with me today 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. untipsyteacher

    Sometimes I have nothing to say at a meeting, which is strange for me!! LOL
    I like the snack idea!!
    Thank you,
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Wendy, oh that snack idea is happening, because next week will be the first meeting of SPRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Can you tell I’m excited that winter is almost over?

      Believe me, people not having much to say at a meeting is not unusual, it’s when NO ONE has ANYTHING to say that I get uncomfortable.

      Thanks for the comment, Wendy! I’ll let you know how the spring snack goes over!

      Like

  6. The Serenity Prayer is one of three prayers my 6 year old son and I say nightly. It almost instantly helps to remove any anxieties I’m fostering. Although I’m not in AA currently, your post really resonates with me. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Let go or be dragged”, which I’ve heard in meetings, is another description that means something to me today. It certainly doesn’t mean give up. Far from it. What the phrase means to mean is just to put all my energy into doing my best today. That’s it! No looking back. No looking forward. No disappointment with whatever the result is or isn’t.

    It has definitely been a process that has taken time to fully understand and embrace.

    I couldn’t let go at one year sober. I had done Step Three and considered it complete. Read it, said it and believed it. Still hadn’t let go at even five years sober. I was still looking back, hoping for a better past. Or, feeling anxious because I just didn’t know about next year, or the following year. And, that inner critical voice, still was immediately squawking the minute I finished something…picking on that small blemish that didn’t go “as planned”. Or, where I experienced a flash of fear or shame while engaged. I would hyper focus on that. Never allowing me to step back and realize how well things went overall. And, if it didn’t go well, forget it! Hours of ruthless and crushing inner dialogue persisted.

    Once I truly let go, everything changed. And it hasn’t left. It just keeps getting better the more I am able to let go over each 24 period. If this is what it feels like to have a spiritual awakening, I am all in!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, just wow. As someone who is currently in throes of both looking forward AND looking back (diet/fitness-related, not sobriety-related), this comment really touched me today. Put my energy into doing my best today is one I will take with me, I really appreciate this comment!

      I have a feeling that I have a lot more letting go to do as well. At three years sober, I have heard enough long-timers speak of the evolution of it to know I have a ways to go! I look forward to having the experience you have.

      Thanks again for this comment, it means a lot to me!

      Like

  8. I’d totally identify with your friend who said his higher power is evolutionary. Totally the same for me. It went through rapid change and redefinition in the very early days of my sobriety then it has continued to evolve as I’ve worked my Step 11 with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow! I loved this post. I’m glad I found your blog. I’m looking at working more on the AA steps as well. Thank you … I look forward to catching up on your work.
    Jen
    http://www.sober4mommy.blogspot.ca

    Liked by 1 person

  10. pickledfish2015

    I did pause today and considered the direction I was heading. I didn’t like what I saw. Today is day # 1. Not the most difficult one. Mostly tired and hangover. I am dreading the week ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

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