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Beside Restful Waters

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts and to practice these principals in our lives.”

-Step 12

Yes, sobriety is a spiritual awakening. This week the awakening has been thunderous with a few bolts of lightning.

So where does the lightning strike: health care, gun rights, disaster management, nuclear armaments, epidemic drug overdoses, and the rights of any individual?

These issues leave me overwhelmed and hopeless! What can I do to even slightly impact global issues?

Here is another thought that rocked my world this week, from Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Malala Yousafzai who recently won the Nobel Peace prize.

“If you keep silent, you lose the right to exist.”

I had to wrap my soul around the man who spoke these words. Mr. Yousafzai is from the Middle East where he watched the Taliban erode his beloved town, strip away the rights of women, and nearly kill his daughter. I, on the other hand, have my life threatened by addiction and by driving on our highways.

Two thoughts strike me: “spiritual awakening”, and “practice these principals in our lives”.

Sobriety has awakened me. Sometimes I am awakened with a gentle nudge. This month, the proliferation of life changing catastrophes has jolted me. The words of Mr. Yousafzai frightened me. Am I adequately or even marginally exercising my right to exist?

How is my voice heard? Is my voice loud enough? Does my voice matter? Am I practicing these principals?

Yes. I am sober. Not everyone I meet is aware of my sobriety. I am!

Yes. My wife and I celebrate our marriage of 46 years. This celebration is our ardent effort of sobriety.

Yes. I leave my fellowship groups knowing the voices of our mutual love and respect.

Yes. My granddaughter told me one day that God doesn’t like naughty girls. I heard words coming from my mouth which expressed my gratitude toward a God who has loved me at my worst. She expressed the understanding of a child of God.

This list could go on. The point is that we don’t need to be winners of the Nobel Peace Prize to have our voices heard. We simply need to live our sobriety, and use words when necessary. Practice the principals of sobriety with each breath.

We have a voice. Our collective sobriety, serenity, courage and wisdom are changing lives one day at a time, one person at a time, one sober choice at a time. Our pain filled stories carry a sacred voice. Our unconditional love carries and gift of forgiveness. Our lives and our wills in the hands of our Higher Power are heard far beyond our vision.

We have the right to exist.


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