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Beside Restful Waters

"The first step toward healing is truthfully acknowledging evil, while trusting the inherent goodness of reality. Knowing and naming brokenness is essential in the journey toward wholeness." -Richard Rohr

I find these statements to be a painful, yet hopeful reminder of our journey through the 12 Steps of Addiction Recovery.

Step one: We admitted we were powerless over our addictive behavior—that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and practice these principles in our lives.

We can engage in some word play with these thoughts: TRUTH is essential. Truth was my first battle with sobriety. Today it remains a constant challenge and practice. I believe I will take this challenge to the next world with me. That is just fine with me.

Knowing and naming brokenness is a painful act of truth. Yet, it is the source of healing, hope and joy. Vulnerability is a source of fear of the unknown, while trusting that there will be an easing of my pain. My willingness to truthfully name my brokenness often results in another person taking steps of courage to name their own brokenness. In fact, that is how I was able to make my first act of truth. I heard another speak of his truth, his pain, his evil, his brokenness. In that truthfulness, we both took a step further on our journeys of healing.

These acts of truthfulness occur on individual bases and result in groups that more fully engage their transformations. The practice of our accountability offers examples of failure, relapse and woundedness. These lead to the teachings of strength and hope as the substance of our joys. Our Higher Power is truly a mystery to me! Out of collective pain and suffering is born a transformation to peace and joy. Wow!

As these transformations unfold, there is also a transformation of small groups, which lead to larger groups, communities and societies. This transformative process is the fundamental foundation of our towns, states, and countries. My addictive nature leaves me alone and in suffering. My willingness to enter into this transformation journey ripples out to my family, their friends, and their extended connections and beyond.

I begin to recognize that I have a power that can be felt at extended levels of our social and political separation. I find myself taking personal responsibilities and engaging in growing influences of groups, organizations and eventually our nation. I will not be able to travel this journey alone or have an impact alone. When engaged with others, power grows and transformation takes on a broader impact.

My vulnerability counts.

My participation in transformation counts.

Our participation grows.

The inherent goodness of reality becomes more and more apparent.

One shares her suffering from abuse, which opens the heart of another survivor and they connect. Their experiences are shared further and their sphere of influence grows. What started as 'Me Too' becomes 'Me Too with You, and You, and many others.'

Random acts of kindness are paid forward. This is an inherent response to goodness. Inherent goodness will always over power evil and we heal.

It is this awareness of inherent goodness that grows sobriety, kindness, and healing which will change the foundation of each and all of us. It supports the reality that my act, my vote, and when joined with others, will result in radical transformations of me, you, us and our world.

I have relied on the lessons of your pain to sustain my transformation to sobriety and truth. This hope has transformed me and my family, and their families. We are paying forward. We are transforming our suffering in to the inherent goodness that supports our nation.

Thank you.


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