Sunday, February 15, 2009

My God sees around corners

I was in a meeting a few nights ago when a newcomer, struggling with staying clean on life's terms, said, "I don't know what's coming, but my God sees around corners." Isn't that the truth? And isn't it amazing that we often hear what we need to hear out of the mouth of newcomers?

Many times I've been terrified in recovery, and I am not ashamed to admit it because I believe faith and fear can coexist for a brief period of time. Many times, I am afraid if I am struggling with the problem. If I can get some perspective, however, I can accept the situation as it stands and stop struggling, knowing that God is bigger and "sees around corners." Then, the fear is released.

I heard a speaker last night with an unusual pitch. She has 27 years clean and is working on her doctorate. She has overcome great odds, the child of an addict who basically raised herself, with all the subsequent damage. She spent a few minutes listing her assets, which I think is a tremendous thing. When I got here and did my first fourth step, I was hard-pressed to come up with any assets. Today, I know what my assets are because some of my defects of character have become assets most of the time, at least.

Where I was stubborn, I am now persistent or even tenacious.
Where I was angry, I now have healthy boundaries.
Where I was egotistical, I now believe I have a healthy self-esteem.
Where I was impatient, well, I can't lie, I still am quite often.
Where I was street-smart, I am now able to analyze.
Where I was full of contempt, I am now compassionate.
Where I was sarcastic, I am now funny.

I am writing this because it has been a hard week, for a few reasons. The other day while unpacking I ran across a diary from 1983, when I was in the very bottom of my addiction, spinning out of control. It was frightening and it did two things: It scared me, knowing I could go back to that if I forget where I came from, and it gave me great gratitude for having been able to stick with the program for almost a quarter of a century now.

If you spent Valentine's Day alone and no one said "I love you," I do. Where I was full of hatred, today, I am full of love. The Fellowship gave me that.


Syd said...

Thanks for posting this. The last paragraph says a lot about how you feel about yourself.

vicariousrising said...

I love that recovery can help us make our character defects positive for us if we work on our spirituality. Thank you for reminding me of that in this terrific post.

Shadow said...

beautiful post this is!

steveroni said...

Great post. Thank you...also thanks for clicking over to my place. Looking back, I see why I've missed you, you're a "Sunday" driver! Not a Kritisizm, believe me.

Your takeoff from the form of the Prayer to St francis is neat-o, as is your reminding me of those Seven Deadlies.

That FIRST one, Pride (Ego). After almost 35 years sober, I find that the most difficult to let go. I can say that, because I now see, that almost every defect I ever have had--has behind it--somewhere--PRIDE!

Thank you once more. Let's meet again this way! OK?
Steve E.