To My God, I Surrender
Well, today is the day that I finally approached the third step. I had a meditation scheduled this morning with a friend and teacher who has lived this program herself and I've had the Third Step, or surrender, on my mind.
What is the Third Step?
"Made a decision to hand our will and our lives over to God, as we understood him."
It's an act of surrender. It's accepting we cannot do it all alone. Ideally we have completed the first and second step before this...we have admitted what is unmanageable in our lives, and the things that we are powerless over, and accepted there is a higher power, however we may connect with it.
In my meditation it became clear I was struggling trying to fix my "sick thoughts" on my own and was making little progress. The image of lifting a rock that sat upon my head and looking at the creepy crawlers underneath, came to the forefront of my mind. I saw myself try to grab an earthworm that was halfway underground and I found I couldn't pull him free, he wiggled against my efforts and slipped away. I realized in that moment that it was just as useless chasing those thoughts around and trying to uproot them. This was not something I could do alone.
I cannot recover on my own, or my own way. I need help, I need God. This statement was hard to accept for a long time, it feels relieving to be to this place of acceptance. I was told in meditation, lovingly by a spirit guide (and with a chuckle), that they would send me many reminders in coming days and I would need them.
It has honestly surprised me, how my higher power showed up. Of course, there are many who know my story (and if you don't, check out GuidedLifeCoaching.com and read the About Me section), and would find it interesting to know that I had more work to do, to let God all the way in. I have connected to Native American teachings, Guides, Angels, Buddhism and Eastern Spiritual Philosophy, Yoga, but I've always had hang ups about the Christian church.
I never attended church as a child but I heard Christ mentioned, and I always believed in a God, I always felt something there, a presence, a sense of knowing that would happen in glimmers and I know that was God reaching my heart in those times.
When I first stepped foot in AA about a year ago with Krister, I realized that there was a lot of helpful things said in the rooms, but a lot of things that didn't make sense either. All I knew was that I had found a platform to heal the issues I have with my parents and active alcoholism in my life, but I was still full of bitterness and I did not trust anyone enough to let them in. The thought of allowing a room of strangers into my deepest most shameful moments in life, did not appeal to me, I was certain I could do this on my own.
I remember going on a walk with Krister downtown CDA, listening to my footsteps fall to the ground in rhythm, I also heard a phrase repeat in my head and fill my heartspace. "Go to a church and pray."
I shoved this feeling and phrase aside, and continued walking. Step, breath, step, breath. "Go to a church and pray."
After this phrase repeated like a broken record a few more times, I finally spoke it aloud..."I feel like, and I don't even know why, but I need to go to a church and pray."
"Okay," said Krister without skipping a beat, "There's one over this way, let's see if it's open." We walked to a church and recognized a woman from the meetings having a cigarette outside. Krister noticed the look on my face and affirmed, "yes, they have meetings here, there's one in 30 minutes, would you like to go?" I reluctantly agreed we should attend.
Hmmm, I thought, perhaps this is what the words meant, go to a church and pray. Prayers are spoken at the beginning, and the end of AA meetings. I said yes and we continued to walk and kill some time. As we walked a few blocks up, I was drawn like moth to flame to approach the beautiful St. Thomas Church downtown. Towering above me, I wiggled each door I could find, hoping to find something unlocked, I wanted only a few moments of quiet and sanctuary to listen to what God was trying to tell me. When no door would open, I heard a voice strongly state inside my being: "you do not need to enter the church to pray."
I shrugged and walked around the beautiful grounds of the church, looking for a bench, I finally found one, nestled privately in some foliage, two benches facing one another, on one, a statue of Christ sitting across from an empty bench. He appeared to be in deep conversation as I sat across from him.
Internally I grumbled, "I came for Mary." For you see, I had found much safety and comfort in the maternal Mary and often prayed to her in times of need. But a resonating force filled me and hairs stood up on my neck and arms as I heard resounding within my being:
"What you need right now, is a Father."
Such truth in those words, they stopped me dead in my tracks. It wasn't what I was seeking, but it was what I needed and I knew it was true the moment those words filled me up. My relationship with my father has been far from perfect, and I'm sure my healing around that will come up in this blog in the future. But do note, he and I had not spoken for nearly two years at that point. I longed desperately for comfort and safety and validation from my Father.
God had my attention in that moment. I sat down across from that statue and I prayed with all my being. I pushed forward the knot in my gut and I pleaded with God, I want to be better than this. I want to give my children more than I am. I'm so insecure and I'm so afraid and I don't want to be anymore. Help me God, guide me, I do not know what to do.
An image of Christ bathed in white stepped forward in my minds eye, and in answer to my request, he reached out and touched my left rib. As he did, out popped a small chip, it almost looked like a computer chip, and he said in the most loving way: "You are running old emotional programs, hand them over to me."
I gladly did so, but then momentary relief was replaced with instant doubt and fear. I internally cried out in terror: "But Christ, this is all I know! What do I replace this with? I don't know how to change, I've known only this my whole life!"
And he reached out again, another small chip in hand, glowing white. He placed it in my left rib, looked me straight in the eye, and said with such love, "What you need, is God's program and you need not do it alone," he stretched his hand out to me in comfort, "For I will walk beside you every step and I will never abandon you."
It seemed as though time stood still in those moments, but I floated back to that bench minutes later. It was only after that moment of prayer, and as I told Krister what I saw and felt, that it hit me like a freight train...AA was frequently called "the Program" yet I did not connect that dot in the moment of prayer. I had to laugh! God knew my doubt and wanted to reassure me that the 12 step programs of AA and Al-Anon were where God was guiding me and that I needed to confront my resistance and move in the direction of that fear.
And that's how Christ stepped forward as my higher power. And this little New Age heart was a bit shocked but welcomes this relationship in my life. I trust in God and where I am being guided.
Today's meditation helped me to realize that I have struggled with a concept of God because I always viewed this higher power as masculine. Because I've had trust issues with a father figure and trust issues with men/alcoholics I've been in relationship with in the past, it was hard to trust and let in an idea of God I could relate to. Being visited by images of my wonderful fiance in this meditation helped me see that there is another form of masculinity, a more healed form out there, and I can allow myself to heal and change that perception. I saw this healed form of the masculine in Christ as well.
After my meditation, I did the third step prayer and felt a weight lift off of me. I know the work is just beginning, but to my God, I faithfully
Music that parallels this post's inspiration: https://youtu.be/MtVzXLbf2KA (Cobi, Nobody Opened The Door)
Today is also the New Moon. Shed, plant, grow.
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