“Change the starting point, and you change the trajectory, and even the final goal!” -Richard Rohr
I am sitting here scratching my head and wondering, “Just what is my starting point”?
Isn’t my goal sobriety? Isn’t my starting point addiction and all the garbage of my addictive lifestyle? It has been a monumental struggle to come to a place where I can begin to accept the love of my Higher Power. My starting point was in the pit of hell, trying to understand this group of people who would let me in to their meetings. It was very difficult to come to grips with their expressions of love and forgiveness. Then I read: “God does not love us because we are good; God loves us because God is good.” So where does this leave me?
If I cannot do anything that will make God love me, just what am I supposed to do? Why work the 12 steps? Why go to meetings? Why should I make continuous efforts to correct mistakes, deepen my conscious contact with God, and give back to other addicts seeking sobriety?
So just how to I find a starting point other than my bottom, that place from where the only way to look was up? Isn’t desperation enough?
I am really beginning to wonder if I ever sincerely took Step 3, made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to God as we understood God. In the Yoga tradition, we say that we surrender to God. As these thoughts hurdle through my mind, the inner voice is yelling at me: “this is a journey.”
I don’t just dump my will and life in the hands of God and then wash my hands in the healing waters of sobriety. It is becoming more apparent that the journey takes me out of the mindset that sobriety is a series of steps to be accomplished. Rather, sobriety is a journey to the inner world of grace and peace.
I am told that I am created from love to be loved and to be love. God is love. The image of God is love, so I am love. I choose love. I choose to be loved. I choose to love.
Love or no love?
That seems a rather obvious choice because in moments of love, I experience a fullness of happiness that cannot be further described. This is so different than the way I was brought up with a constant fear of damnation. That same fear permeated every fiber of my being while living in addiction and early in sobriety. Now, slowly, there is a growing sense of peace that I still do not believe that I deserve. But, if God is love, and I am created in the image of love, than this has nothing to do with me deserving anything. It has to do with my nature by creation.
I have to let that sink in because it is sitting in a very shallow pool of my being right now.
I hear my God saying that it’s OK. Let this rest in a shallow pool. Feel free to tip toe around in the pool and when I’m ready, I can go a little deeper. I can dive in when I am ready. But first I have to change my starting point.
I will be content to dance on my tip toes in a shallow pool. I will slowly become familiar with this new starting point that I am created in love, to share love. That’s why you folks are critical to my new starting point. Together, we are the love and peace and security of God.
Where is your starting point today?
We will meet beside the restful waters and share it.