My share on Step Eleven: My prayers, to a power greater than myself, began the first day of my abstinence. My sponsor said I was to pray for the willingness to be abstinent each day. For those first few weeks, I found it necessary to say a very brief prayer for abstinence almost around the clock. It worked and I knew that there was truly something there that allowed me to stay on a plan of eating when I had not been able to diet for more than 20 years.
As my abstinence continued and my work on the steps as well, I felt the need for a real presence in my life of a power greater than I. How was I to maintain a conscious contact with my Higher Power? It came in the form of formal prayers in the a.m. even before I got out of bed and still continues through today. The Third Step prayer, the Lord's Prayer, the Serenity Prayer, and a prayer for abstinence are said each morning. I also say the shortened version of the first three steps: I can't. God can. I will allow God.
Throughout my day, I find my Higher Power everywhere. When I am walking, the beautiful scenery is where I find God. My job as a caregiver to the elderly allows me to see God through their eyes as most of them are fairly religious. At meetings, I feel the presence of my HP when I and others are sharing. An OA retreat I attended in the spring brought me very close to my HP. It was held at a former Catholic monastery with a beautiful chapel where I could go and pray and meditate. I can still feel the effect that chapel had on me simply by closing my eyes and visualizing. My spirituality was dramatically strengthened by that retreat. I urge all members to attend an OA retreat whenever possible.
When I first began to develop my relationship with my Higher Power, I was a little confused as to which thoughts and ideas were mine and which were my HP's. Then I realized that my HP always called me Cindi. I don't call myself by my name. So whenever a thought comes to my mind and it is preceded by "Cindi" I know that is my HP speaking to me.
In the evenings, I write in what I call a "God Journal." It is simply an expression of what happened in my daily life. Sometimes the passages are short and other times they are long, but the important thing is that I simply maintain contact with my HP. At nightime, when I go to bed, I kneel and free my mind as best I can in meditation. To me, prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening. So I quiet my mind and I listen and my heart slows and I feel a calm come over me.
After more than two years of prayer and meditation, I really do feel an actual presence of my Higher Power in my life. I have been abstinent since June 1st, 2004 and lost 89 pounds and gained good recovery. NONE of that would be possible without a power greater than myself guiding me throughout each day. It is vital for my continued recovery that I maintain contact with God each and every single day.
Love in recovery,
Eleventh Step Prayer:
God, as I understand You, I pray to keep my connection with You open, and clear from me the confusion of daily life. Through my prayers and meditations I ask especially for freedom from self-will, rationalization, and wishful thinking. I pray for the guidance of correct thought and positive action. Your will, not mine, be done.
Principle of Step Eleven:
In Step Eleven we learned the principle of spiritual awareness as we turned our attention to the practices of prayer and meditation. We practice this principle by seeking an awareness of God's presence in all our affairs and by continuing to nurture our spiritual sensitivity through prayer and meditation.
The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
of Overeaters Anonymous: Pages 105 & 106
To help comprehend the questions, please read The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Read the chapter on Step Eleven, answer the questions, go back and reread the chapter and add onto your answers if needed.
You might also like to read in the BB of AA, Pages 85 through 88. (Fourth Edition)
1. In what ways do I actively seek to improve my relationship with my Higher Power? Do I specifically set aside some time each day to maintain conscious contact with my HP?
2. What do I say when I talk to my Higher Power?
3. What is the difference between prayer and meditation?
4. How do I know when it is my HP talking to me and not my own rationalizations?
5. What do I do when I need to make an important decision?
6. In what ways does my HP speak to me?