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My Spiritual Journey

MY recovery is very much a spiritual journey.

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MY recovery is very much a spiritual journey.  I started unable to say the word God when saying the Serenity Prayer.  I would just say, “Please grant me…” instead.  I was resistant to the idea that God was the answer to my problems.  It seemed to me the equivalent of expecting Father Christmas or the tooth fairy to come with a solution.

The patience of Fellows, the chapter WE AGNOSTICS (BB p.44) and a lack of better ideas meant that I stuck around long enough to learn that there is a big difference between organised religion and spirituality.  No one tried to make me believe anything in particular.  I was encouraged only to explore the idea that there was Power greater than me and to learn to trust it.  My sponsor asked me if I believed the world was turning on an axis?  I confirmed that I did and she asked if I was turning it.  Well!  That was enough for me to get the idea and I conceded that I was a small part of a much bigger existence and with very little influence on anything other than how I was going to show up in this world during my very short existence (in the scheme of things). That put a pin in the very large bubble that was my ego – I had assigned myself a great deal more importance in the world that I now realised I had. It felt like a relief too. I realised the job of regulating only myself and my behaviour was much more manageable. 

The first bit of faith I remember getting was when I believed I would not be given more than I could handle in early sobriety.  My sponsor assured me of this, I heard other Fellows share on this and the Programme tells us that as long as we stay spiritually fit, we will be able to handle what comes our way. Comforted by this faith I pressed on with inventory, amends and service as part of my life, alongside reinstating my career and rebuilding relations with friends and family. The challenges have been many and varied and I can honestly say I have been able to handle things that used to baffle me, and I know it because I rely on intuitive thought to guide my thinking and action. 

I say very short prayers but find myself in constant dialogue with my Higher Power. In the mornings I might say, “Bring it on.” or “Ready when you are.”   At bedtime, “Cheers” or just “Goodnight and thank you.” A very frequent but short prayer I often find myself saying is, “So, what now?” 

Although I have tried some retreats, guided meditation and yoga, I have settled into a 40-minute daily walk with my dog, along the beach.  We tend to go at the same time of day and no matter the weather. I pay special attention to how different it is every day - the light changes, how it smells different, temperature, humidity, where the tide is and who else is out and about.   I take time to appreciate how blessed I am, how special the gift of life is and ask for guidance on how best to utilise the gift to benefit the greater plan. 

Many mornings there is no great revelation, just a peaceful feeling that life is good, and all is well. Occasionally I am inspired or motivated to explore or do something, and on other occasions I become aware of things that have or are going on in my life that need addressing. I believe placing myself in this space every day where I am mindful of my surroundings, grateful for my life and aware of my need to serve gives my Higher Power a chance to help me.  I think of this as my daily meditation, but it is not the only time I purposely get very present, grateful and open to suggestion. Whenever I feel a wave of fear or anger coming on me, I try to react this way.  I find that if I can find the space to pause and connect with my HP, I can generally find comfort. 

SAM, Westgate Sunday Morning