Originally published in Step12Magazine issue March-April 2016
We constantly strive toward becoming who we were created to become. Sometimes the journey is a delightful mountain top experience; other times a lonely desert of fear, sadness, or depression. Once I believed that commitment to a twelve-step program promised a safe, secure and trouble free future.
Thirty years later I have come to understand the error of my thinking. Trusting people to be perfect is a set up for failure. Relying on my own plans brings disappointment. Nothing gives peace, serenity and hope except my higher power.
This strange phenomenon of trusting people, places and things to fulfill my every need is codependency. It is only when I stopped trying to please the masses and learned to please the Master that I started my journey to peace, my hope.
Spending time with my higher power asking and listening for His voice, I am learning to let go of my own plans and seek His. Change for an Adult Child is usually met with fear and resistance because of childhood experiences and woundedness. I am learning to embrace change as a surprise that is bigger and more wonderful than I dared ask.
This walk of promised hope, peace and serenity requires trust which is difficult for me; but, I am learning. Commitment promises more than I could possibly accomplish on my own. Why did I ever believe that I could have an intimate relationship while I was unwilling to devote time and energy to it? Learning to know and trust my higher power requires time just as all relationships do.
I am learning to be thankful when I don’t get my desires met. Looking back I see unforeseen problems that I would have encountered, yet I was protected. That brings new gratitude to my recovery. “Thank you for unanswered prayers, for sifting through the desires of my heart and giving me only what was for my good.” I am learning that answered prayer is not always yes; sometimes it is no, maybe, wait, and not now, later.
Difficulties don’t last forever and can teach us, “What am I supposed to learn from this?” Looking at the problem brings fear and the desire to put up all of my defenses. Peace comes when I look to my higher power and trust that the perfect solution has already been created.
Learning who He says I am while rejecting the world’s view requires study and abandonment of childhood lies. Who is He? He is not the higher power of my parents’ understanding, but of mine. That helps me build trust and dependence on the only one who wants the best.
This year brings the hope of His promises as I learn to walk in an intimate relationship with Him. I must listen to His voice and direction in everything. I “Celebrate Recovery” with my friends who are not willing to settle for second best. We have a whole year filled with hope, built from the inside out, seeking transformation.