I did not comprehend or grasp anything close to sane thinking before entering into my program of recovery. After my first Al-Anon meeting, I attended every single 12 step program I could, because my hunger for the 12 Steps and 12 Principles was insatiable. I was thrilled and awed to discover that there existed, this design for living, which I could accept and apply, to help me change and live my life. I had not learned how to live– only to survive, and barely.
I struggled mightily and for years, with the language around God and Higher Power but I listened and wrote and wrote and shared and engaged the topic– until. My formative experience made no sense to me–it was godless, hopelessly dark, faithless, merciless and sometimes manic. Like– whenever the pain and punishment abated for any amount of time, I would feel frenzied by the notion that things were suddenly and forever all better. I was baffled and deeply disturbed by how things seemed to change swiftly and drastically in our home. I recognize now, that the only things that ever actually changed, were the moods of people with whom I lived and on whom I counted. It was volatile, scary, sad, angry. I learned and became what I lived.
Getting to replace the changing rules and moods with the static principles of 12 Step Recovery, to guide me , was the beginning of my journey into sane living. My hope is that my boys will find/seek a force or presence to count on, one which is humble—not human, vain, depressed, moody, or addicted to anything. As we continue to attend church and share doubts and discomforts about certain lessons and conversations, I remind them that we do not attend church in order to become convinced or “religious”. We are there to join with others who wish to learn and practice living in ways which are more meaningful and less self-seeking and self-serving.
It is no matter how much we believe or agree with all of IT(certain stories from the bible). What we can believe and count on, I hope, is that to allow ourselves to be directed by faith, kindness, honesty, service, humility, courage, and mercy will lead us to and through our best lives.Much Love,
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