At what point in a process, project or relationship do you realize that you are unable to accomplish what you want? When you reach this critical point what do you do?
In my experience, many people have a tendency to taste the essence of whatever insanity means to them when they are faced with powerlessness. We try to repeat the same behaviours to see if maybe one more onslaught of our self-will on the situation will change it. In the past I have thrown every single character defect I’ve had in my Pandora’s Box arsenal at a problem or relationship. This rarely ended well. I needed a power greater than myself to show me the way. What is the process of finding a power greater than yourself; one that you can trust and rely on to fulfill this role?
We take one step further, together, on the pathway of recovery:
The Second Step: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
I found it jaw wrenchingly impossible to swallow this entire step in one gulp. Good thing we don’t have to! Let’s break it down into smaller, more manageable, morsels!
In order to be an active participant in the process of accepting that I am unable to tackle a challenge on my own and need help, I have to be present. In recovery we say that we “Suit-Up and Show Up.” For me this essentially means that I have the willingness to be accountable, one day at a time, to making an effort to rely on something better able than myself to help me with the challenges in my life. In what ways can you commit to being present and showing up for your growth, recovery and healing process?
The act of waking up. I had to be roused from being deeply ensconced in my pain. I was oblivious and oft-times outright vehemently opposed to options of healing that didn’t support my “sleep walking” or anaesthetic-like coping methods. This part of the step really speaks to our having a willingness to accept that a paradigm shift means awakening to the possibility of change. Are you ready to change what hasn’t been working?
“CAME TO BELIEVE…”
If you have trust issues, like I do, this part of the step can feel like trying to walk through a briar patch. The thorns of internal resistance to allowing myself to imagine that I could rely on something else, when even my own inner resources were failing me, was major. It was only due to the sheer mountain of evidence that with my unaided willpower I was unable to stop behavior that was destroying my life that I came to develop a willingness to try to trust a power greater than myself. Note the words I used: I developed a willingness to try. My capacity to trust others who attempted to advise me, or furthermore to trust my understanding of a Higher Power, that I choose to call God, did not happen all at once. I planted the seed of willingness. It is only over time, and by applying a daily practice of nurturing that seed, that trust grows. What are you doing to learn to how to trust a power greater than yourself?
WORKSHEET TO BEGIN PAVING A PATH TOWARDS SPIRITUAL SANITY
WRITE DOWN OR ANSWER THE FOLLOWING:
1. Write about all you were taught throughout your childhood about what God is.
2. Write about your personal spiritual past.
3. List what you want God or a Higher Power to be for you, meaning write down characteristics, ie. (present, best friend, loving, trusted guide, forgiving, nurturing, non-judgmental, or whatever you like)
4. Write what insanity means to you. Give examples of ways in which you feel your life and your behaviour have been insane.
5. Write about what sanity means to you. What are examples of what you feel sane behaviour and sane living looks like.
6. Define the word: restore. Write what it would mean to you to be restored to sanity.
7. Using the description you create in No. 3, create a physical representation of what God or a High Power is for you. (For example: writing the words in a lovely way and framing it; making a collage that represents the words and meaning; painting a painting; making a sculpture; etc.) Hang or place what you create in a prominent place in your house where you will be certain to see it everyday, as a reminder of who and what your Higher Power is for you.
Please share your answers to the questions or pictures of your No. 7 creation with the community in the comments section below.
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