Boy, this share was a surprise, I had no idea where this was going when I started. I was responding to a share about willingness, and in my mind it came to surrender, and then to desire, and then to purpose. What was I surrendering to? Why was I surrendering? What was my goal in all this? It was about choosing recovery today. It is always a choice isn't it? Being willing to endure the temporary irritations of life without chemically induced numbing or enhancing agents.
I was watching a movie yesterday, the original Star Trek movie, and there was a line that I love in it, about an entity seeking completeness, by joining with it's creator. This "entity" was a machine who had amassed huge amounts of knowledge, who had achieved consciousness, but still felt the void of purpose other than it's programming to relay this information back to "The Creator". It began desiring that union in order to answer the questions, "Is this all there is? Is this all I am? Is there nothing more?" Wanting, desiring, needing, but not knowing what it needed.
That gnawing emptiness inside me is what made me crave anything to make me "feel" alive, to feel good, even for a short time. I think that's what the food did at first, created an artificial feeling of well-being, and so to mask the terrible despair of my view of life, I sought it out to "fix" my feelings of nothingness about my life, my hopelessness that there was in fact any purpose to living.
Without a spiritual connection I could see no purpose to me being here. I wrote a poem in my teens that had the line, "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, what is left? A dusty coffin." The inevitable questions we humans ask about our existence is the search for purpose, for understanding. I've heard it said and I agree that "any addiction is the failed search for spirituality." Our constant search for that feeling of well-being, of completeness. I believe in any addiction we find that moment of elation, the feeling of contentment that we equate with that feeling of completeness, of contentment, and so we continue to try to recapture that feeling thinking it is the answer, pushing aside the negatives of what the substance is doing to our bodies and in turn our psyche, and continuing to pursue that elusive moment of joy, relief, contentment.
I have discovered at least for me, I get that same feeling now by communing with my Higher Power. It is an evolving relationship, but the feeling of contentment and purpose is much longer lasting and remains as long as I remain in contact. I know some who feel that spirituality is also nothing more than just another "crutch", it's a tool to use to attain that feeling we so desperately desire. I understand the comparison, but viewing it as a crutch I think is because we still think that WE have control. It is the mindset that "I am master of my life" and if I NEED anything else it is because I'm weak.
I have come to view spirituality not as a crutch, but as a bridge, a way to get me "permanently" where I want to go. The bridge lets me cross the chasm to my destination, that of being whole, and a crutch is something to help carry this incomplete, damaged self towards the destination. Does that make sense?? I see it so clearly, but the words are failing me I think. The crutches of my life have played their part, have helped me survive, but to finally get across the bridge, I had to let myself be healed inside instead of trying to drag the damaged me any further. To heal the inside, I had to put down the crutch and have the faith that I could in fact BE healed. I'm not done yet, but it is happening for me. It is through this program that I do the work that allows me to be healed, to throw off the crutches I have used in pursuit of my goal, that of "being whole".
The twelfth step says, "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,.....". It is this spiritual awakening in me that has produced the personality change necessary for me to live in recovery today. It is the work of the program that helped make that connection possible, clearing away the debris of my life, taking the responsibility for my actions, releasing the mistakes I've made and making amends for those I continue to make as a result of being human. I realize now that I AM flawed, but that's okay, I am being healed as my willingness to continue growing remains the focus of my life. It's not always easy, not always pleasant, but enduring the lessons while keeping my mind on the goal is easier than it's ever been. Easier, not easy!
Whatever the struggles have been, I have found the rewards far outweigh them. It has been worth it. I pray for the strength to continue on this path, for the memory of where I came from to never leave me, so that I may not take this for granted.
And as always, I invoke my prayer, and my wish to,
love and hugs,
Table of Contents