“It doesn’t matter where or how you start, surrendering to God is a process. One day you wake up and you are no longer at the beginning.” -Gates and Kenison: Meditations from the Mat
I have met a lot of folks on our recovery path who identify with the mystery spoken in the statement above. Most of us didn’t have a clue as to how we start our sobriety. Personally, I don’t recall a specific day or date when I made a request for help. I remember a period of time when I felt like life made no sense. I seemed to be totally disconnected from anything resembling normalcy. I lived from one lie to the next.
I shared a statement of desperation with an acquaintance. A week later, he had me connected to a community of people who welcomed me on the path to recovery. I was starting on a journey of surrender. What started as a statement of hopeless desperation, resulted in a journey of letting go. I was accompanied with several others who had surrendered their desperation and were eager to accept me on their journey.
I was no longer at the beginning.
Today I woke up with gratitude to be on this journey. Again, I voiced words of humility and surrender. Yet, there is a struggle to totally surrender. I have to surrender my ego and my ego is a very good friend. My ego gives me a great sense of independence and self reliance. These are qualities which are greatly admired in our western culture. My ego helps me be all that I can be.
My ego is also very shallow. I always experience a sense of emptiness in the company of ego. Ego is incomplete and lonely. Why is it that our culture makes so many promises to satisfy ego. The answer is quite simple: ego eliminates you. Ego ignores family. Ego expects affirmation and adulation. Ego promises power and control. But, ego also offers a set of expectations which can never be met. There is never enough power. There is never enough adulation. There is never enough….. period!
Relationship requires surrender of ego. This takes me a lot of practice as I continue to cling to my ego. There is a strange attraction to the constant shame and disappointment from my ego. Power, control and the sense of independence has an amazing attraction, but never leaves a sense of purpose. So, why the battle?
If I had an answer, I am sure I could make millions. However, this seems to be the ongoing battle of us human types.
On the days I wake up, I mean really wake up to the presence of God, there is reassurance of purpose; there is connection to us all; there is humble appreciation for all of us on this journey. When I am truly awake, I find you beside our restful waters.