Sunday, September 29, 2013

Step Seven: Spiritual Principles

We Humbly Asked Her to Remove Our Shortcomings

Have I accepted my powerlessness over my shortcomings as well as my addiction? Expand on this. I suppose the gamut of all of this is that if you cannot practice something in moderation, don't practice it at all.  Powerless is not helpless.  Nor is it an excuse to act on these shortcomings.  If I keep thinking the way I have been, I am doomed to relapse.  If nothing changes, nothing changes.  I have to change the mode in which things are perceived, which is a shortcoming in and of itself, and once I challenge that, everything else falls into place.  I cannot change anything by using old modes of thought.  I am not helpless to take another path however.

How has my surrender deepened?I'll say.  Trust in my Higher Power has come leaps and bounds.  I feel I have been put through a lot these past four and a half years in order to show me that playing with fire will get you burned.  I have to trust that things will pan out, with or without me.  I can participate and influence things in my favor, or run away and let the path of least resistance prevail.  Oftentimes, that path gets very dark. The fool learns from his mistakes.  The wise man learns from others' mistakes.  But who, in the end... is truly wiser?

Do I believe that my Higher Power will remove my shortcomings or grant me freedom from the compulsion to act on them? Do I believe that I’ll be a better person as a result of working this step? If I have learned anything from meetings, it is that She will remove them on her own time.  Sometimes it helps to recognize a shortcoming and maneuver around it.  This grants better understanding of the self and the situation at hand.  She'll take them if I let her.  And if I find them cropping back up, it is because I haven't let them go fully.  I'm ready to grow, so yes, I will be a better person for it.

How does my faith in the God of my understanding become stronger as a result of working this step? You can't give yourself completely to something without trusting it implicitly.  Trust is a rather large issue for me, and learning to do so -- getting burned or not -- is a process.  The first of which, is of course, the Goddess and the God.  To trust Them is to surrender.  To surrender is to be free.

Where have I had opportunities for growth lately? What did I make of them? Peter is trying to take my little girl away from me.  I thought I had until she was at least 18 in order to find a reason to do this for myself.  If not for me, then for her, right?  Wrong.  I need to do this for me now, and do so before I am forced to.

Do I believe that only my Higher Power can remove my shortcomings? Or have I been trying to do it myself? I'm queen of solitary confinement.  I don't need help.  I don't want help.  Fuck off if you offer.  But little by little, bit by bit, I know that I cannot do this alone. And to have a little faith means being humble enough to admit a need for help.  There are ample opportunities my Higher Power throws at me.  She can lead me to water, but she cannot make me drink.  I need to know when I'm put in a situation that may be painful, but necessary.  The more I try to control it, the more it squirms out of my grasp.  Minimal force needed.  Let it happen while not standing idly by.  A tough balance to strike, but mastery warrants happiness.

Have I become impatient that my shortcomings haven’t been removed right away, as soon as I asked? Or am I confident that they will be removed in God’s time? Confident is not a word I'm familiar with on the regular, but it comes down to trust.  I'm already seeing my humbleness in droves, and that I am capable of that is inspiring.  What else am I capable of? I am inclined to question.  And I intend to find out.  Patience.

Has my sense of perspective been out of proportion lately? Have I begun thinking of myself as more significant or more powerful than I really am? I wish.  If I want to power back, I can always take it, and all the weight that comes with it.  Each step makes my burden a little lighter.  I am not the center of the universe.  Not everybody is out to get me (only a select, deranged few).  There is no conspiracy.  I'm a drop in the bucket, wanting to be the drop that makes the bucket overflow.

Look what you had to start, why all the change of heart? you need to play your part
~Ghosty with the mosty

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Step Seven: Getting Out of the Way

We Humbly Asked Her to Remove Our Shortcomings

How does the spiritual principle of surrender apply to getting out of the way so a Higher Power can work in our lives? I was told at a meeting once that you can either let go and let it happen or hang on and get dragged along.  Also if you are not moving forward (or at least sideways), you are sliding backwards.  I have done nothing a lot and caused a lot of damage just by standing still.  Like stubbornly crossing my arms and saying, "nope, you can't make me."  Pride and stubbornness were my downfalls.  The Serenity Prayer has been my saving grace lately.  I must change the things I can, but not rage at things I cannot in a futile fight.
If things were meant to happen, things will happen.  But I have to participate in my life, not idly watch it go by.

What might be the benefits of allowing a Higher Power to work in my life? My best thinking landed me here.  We smart addicts think too much, and we get in our own way a lot.  My dad says we're the worst kind.  I couldn't do it on my own.  Time to let someone else guide me.  I'm still in the drivers seat, I just need a different map.  A GPS. Stop and ask for directions.  You'd think I was a man or something (snort). 

How do I feel, knowing that a Higher Power is caring for me and working in my life? A lot of people might say 'relieved' or 'inspired.'  Fuck that.  I'm apprehensive as hell.  I'm so used to being in control that letting go is a very scary thing.  To trust the Higher Power of my understanding is to admit defeat, which is what I essentially did in step one.  If She can get me this far, she can put me in opportunities I never thought possible.  Challenges that are coming at me when I think I'm down and out for the count are forcing me back to my feet in ways I never imagined I could do.  She keeps me on my toes I guess.  I find that introspection for myself is quite difficult, but then again if it were easy, that would be an insult to my intelligence or complexity, wouldn't it? har har har.

I'm running out of places I can hide from this
~Ghost out

Step Seven: Asking to Have Our Shortcomings Removed

Humbly Asked Her To Remove Our Shortcomings

How will I ask the God of my understanding to remove my shortcomings? I had a ritual in mind, involving the seven gates that Innana passed through in her hubris to challenge her sister Ereshkegal, Lady of the Underworld.  At each of these gates, she had to leave something behind.  Ereshkegal struck her down after she was led through naked on her hands and knees and Enki had to come rescue her.  Going back through, she gained aspects of wisdom after a hard lesson learned (her sister pretty much kicked her ass).  This myth is congruent to the challenges of life.  We as humans face an average of seven in our lifetime (though by no means is that number set in stone).  Each time we come back stronger, or at the very least changed.  I want to recover with grace, not be deformed by the very madness that makes me myself.

Can other recovering addicts help me figure out how I’m going to ask? Have I asked them to share their experience, strength, and hope with me? Have I asked my sponsor for guidance?  Elaine is pretty oblivious to Pagan thought, though Camilla might have some insight.  Unfortunately Camilla lives in Millerton, about two hours away, and is very busy caring for her deathly ill partner.  She doesn't return phone calls often, and is one of the only other Wiccans I know within the program.  This may have to be a solitary ritual.  Elaine has offered to help, though her lack of knowledge in the area has proven quite and obstacle.  I can't keep putting this off.  If I have to do it by myself, then so mote it be.

The more we change, everything stays the same