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Beside Restful Waters

“I was transformed, and all that was needed was the slightest willingness on my part to be transformed.”

-Rolf Gates & Katrina Kenison: Meditations from the Mat

The authors are discussing surrender.

The fifth niyama, ishvara pranidhana, is surrender to God, to our Higher Power.

Those of us enjoying sobriety from addiction to a substance or behavior have all shared our story of being at rock bottom. This place is different for all of us. There appears to be a near death experience in all of us. While we may not have experienced a close encounter with physical death, we all find ourselves face to face with ourselves with the recognition that our way of life is a living death. Our way, my way, is killing me and dragging many people along our painful paths.

“What was your first religion? What is it now?”

This is a question asked by these authors as they ended a brief discussion about surrender.

I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church. However, the first object of my worship was me.

Me: my way of thinking, doing and being.

This was my first addiction: I was addicted to my way of thinking.

My lifestyle was that of living a lie.

My bottom was a point at which I experienced a moment of sanity and screamed an internal plea for help. That was all that was needed by my Higher Power. She/He only needed an expression of need for someone greater than me.

In hind sight, this was the crack in my soul that expressed a slight willingness to be transformed. My path of transformation continues.

My God descended to my place of suffering. She stood face to face with me. I didn’t need to prove anything. I didn’t need to be good enough. I didn’t need to express any creed or dogma. I didn’t need to stand before a priest or congregation. I simply needed to express, in my own weak way, a need for help.

I simply needed to acknowledge that my way wasn’t a way of peace and serenity.

Once my plea was expressed, community appeared. In this community of addicts in transformation, church appeared. We didn’t have a creed or dogma. We had the 12 Steps of transformation. Each one of us shared our unique experience walking these steps. No one judged. Humility is our common bond. Need for each other is our source of transformation.

We meet beside the water with our own baggage. Usually, we churn the water well. In the end, we find the peace that rests the water. We come to love our journey. Our religion grows among us with a sense of humble love and acceptance.

Sober life is good.


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