Practicing Resurrection Step Two: Coming to believe that a Power greater than myself E-mail

April 14, 2014

Practicing Resurrection.......Coming to believe in a power greater than ourselves

Step Two:  We came to believe that a Power Greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

So, what about this "Power" that is greater than myself?

And how does one come to believe in that power?

Are they talking about.....God?

I know that people in recovery groups often talk about "not-God", and I think I have an experiential understanding of just what it is to make what is not-God into a god.

Like most human beings, I know what it is like to put activities, people or substances in a position in my life that belongs only to God and wind up serving that which demands more and more of my attention, energy and finally, my life -- to my detriment.

Now and then, it is important for me to think about how much power I have given to things which are "not-God", also known as idols.

other people

other peoples' needs

other peoples' opinions

other peoples' feelings

other peoples' approval

other peoples' preferences

other peoples' bad moods

other peoples' schedules, agendas, etc.

It works like this:  Instead of consulting my own needs, wants, etc., I am more tuned in to what other people are needing or wanting, or what I think that they want or need, thereby giving other people authority over my life, which includes my choices, my feelings, my schedule.

Instead of following my own Inner Guidance System or following what I know of God,  I allow another's guidance to overtake mine, even if it means that I do something I know is wrong for me, go along with something I don't believe in or concede to a decision that is counter to my best interest.

When I do that, I'm in the throes (stranglehold, grips, iron bars) of codependency.  I'm not thinking clearly.  I'm not choosing wisely.  I am giving away my personal power, and I'm likely going to be full of resentment when I wake up out of my codependent fog and realize that "I've done that thing one more time" that I said I wasn't going to do.

August: Osage County E-mail

All happy families resemble one another,

each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Leo Tolstoy -- Anna Karenina

Frankly, I didn't expect that I would be so profoundly affected by seeing the movie August: Osage County. I had heard it was hard to watch, but because of Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, I wanted to see it.

Actually, "being affected" hardly expresses my condition as I watched that movie.

I had no idea that I would not talk for a good thirty minutes after leaving the theatre, I was so moved by the tragedy of it all.

I felt as if someone had ripped open my heart and wrung it out.

I felt like I had been in the movie, playing all the parts, so great was my empathy for each of the characters, or perhaps it was that the actors played their parts so pitch-perfectly that I they made me feel with them and for them.

After the movie, I knew it was their story, and not mine.  I didn't over-identify with the characters to the point of losing my own identity, but after the movie,  I was exhausted.

I am one of three sisters and I am the mother of three daughters.  Like this Oklahoma family, I grew up Baptist.   Except for five years I spent in New Mexico, I've spent all of my life in Texas, but Texas is close enough to Oklahoma for me to understand this religio-political culture.

I have no problem understanding how someone can offer thanks at the dinner table while wars and rumors of war are simmering and sometimes raging among the people who are holding hands, with bowed heads.

Just because you don't get along or are mad at each other doesn't mean you can't pause to thank God for your food, and it doesn't mean you're a hypocrite for praying when your life is in total chaos all around you.

Practicing Resurrection 4: Step Two -- Coming to believe.... E-mail

Practicing Resurrection:  Step Two – Coming to believe….

Step Two: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

The story of the Prodigal Son  pivots on the moment when the son who had wasted his inheritance on fast living and winds up in a pig pen, dirty, hungry and broke.

The biblical narrative states that he “came to his senses” with the disgust of his plight, realizes the servants in his father’s house are better off than he is and makes a decision to return home, but as a servant.*

It’s that “come to your senses” moment that is the same thing as “coming to believe” in the second step that is pivotal for any one of us who is caught in the grips of an addiction to a substance, a behavior or pattern of behaviors, or a person.

Coming to your senses is the beginning point of recovery.   It is when you realize that you were intended for better or more than “this”, whatever “this might be.