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October 07 • Lighten the Darkness

Day 821

Rarely do I revisit my journal entries once they are 'posted.' Today was one of the exceptions; no particular reason, it's just where my wondering mind wandered.

One year ago today, I wrote about the darkness in my life and my weariness with it (Darkness Fatigue). That was sobering in itself, but there was one line that just didn't seem right, and I was immediately aware that it was a recurring error that I've made in my written words and some of my shares in 12 Step meetings. I had to go look up the documents of origin to be sure, but I was already certain because of the nuance of how a fundamental recovery principal was about to change for me.

This is just a partial line from what I wrote on October 7 of last year:

"...I can do that only if I release those expectations into the hands of a Higher Power..."

Did you catch it? I misquoted this critical concept and have continued to misquote it, probably for my subconscious benefit.

In case you didn't catch it, here's part of the line from the third of those infamous 12 Steps:

"...turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God..."

Is it obvious yet? No, I'm not talking about the terms 'Higher Power' and 'God.' Some people would think that's a big difference, but I'm personally so over that.

Is there a conflict between the word 'hands' from my line, and the word 'care' from the Steps?

Suddenly, I don't even think it's subtle. For more than two years, I've been reciting 'care of God' in meetings, while writing 'hands of God' in my journal.

Here's the way it hits me today with complete unexpectancy: I have anticipations of what perfect recovery looks like, and it looks a lot like being cured in this lifetime, being forgiven by everybody, and being able to help others through the proverbial Fire Swamp of recovery. I am happy to put that in God's 'hands' for Him to figure out the best way for all that to happen. I can trust His 'care' with my issues as long as I know He's on the same page I am as far as the result goes.

That conclusion comes from an interpretation of my reaction to this discrepancy today; it is not something I remember thinking about or identifying during the past two+ years.

So, what's the difference? If I truly put my life and my recovery into the 'care' of my Higher Power, that suggests that there is no page with checkmarks to accomplish. It implies far more trust in my Higher Power. Not only am I releasing the tasks to recovery, but I'm also releasing what recovery looks like and how long it takes, and everything else that I do not have the power to control.

This program is full of subtleties that mean one thing to one addict and something else to another. But I think this is pretty core stuff. I have got to get out of my own damn way in this recovery business, while also being willing to invest hours upon hours in the Steps, the sobriety, and the simplicity of doing the work while God provides the results that He wants for His purposes.

Yes, that release of responsibility can be misused and abused by addicts looking to criticize the program (as we all have). It can also be empowering and freeing to live our lives in more honesty. I no longer have to shade my truth toward my recovery results so I'll look like a good little addict. I can just do the work and trust my Higher Power to care for me.

I'm not saying it's easy, but I do like the sound of that.



I've tried to figure it out, to have an answer

I can tell to you

But all I can see, all I can see

I am here for you, and you are here for me

It's an ongoing process

–Gloria Estefan, “Nayib's Song (I Am Here for You)"



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