I’ve learned to trust the process. What process you ask? The process of recovery over the past 19 years of sobriety. Most importantly, through all of my learning, the process has earned that trust. This may sound like I’m restating the same thing or oversimplifying, but I’m not. The 12 step program is a design for living that brought me home to God and myself. It shows me how to live life, love life and thrive if I am willing. I can think of a lot of institutions, philosophies, and organizations whose processes are predicated on fear, control, obedience and dominance.
I bring this up is because I forget to trust the process, a lot. I have a disease that is mental, physical and spiritual. A disease that wants me dead, no matter if it’s a mental, spiritual or physical death. There is a sentence in the AA Big Book that says, “Remember, we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling and powerful.” An old-timer, a dear, dear friend who has over 25 years of sobriety is fond of pointing out that the most important word in that sentence is Remember. This is because we forget so easily who and what is essential and paramount in keeping us alive. That is God and recovery. This means I am either in God’s Will or Self-Will, no in betweens.
When I am in self-will, I am all about trying to plan, control, manipulate while worrying, doubting and giving in to fear. The more I can’t figure out a plan, a course of action or a solution, the more afraid I become. I feel worse and worse about not figuring things out, I get tired of talking to my friends, my spiritual advisor, and my therapist about it, or I become afraid that they are tired of hearing about it from me. I isolate, I become more discouraged and depressed. These days, I don’t usually allow myself to slide too far down the dark, demoralizing version of the rabbit hole. That is also a bonus of trusting the process over the years, I catch myself and recover from the slide much quicker. And Of course, it’s not me that does it.
I start to reach out to my friends, my spiritual advisor, and my therapist. They are the ones who help me backtrack to discover where I went off course. It’s always the same. I stopped praying and meditating in the morning. I stopped talking and listening to God. Which is something so basic, how could I forget? Always when I re-turn to God is when I am able to return to myself. The self that is God-centered, who asks for God’s Will in all things and the power to carry that out. The difference then, when I am in God’s Will is that solutions come to me. Or they’ve been there all along and I’ve been looking everywhere else. The thing I’ve worried over, planned over and stressed over is hashed out and processed with my kick-ass therapist. The answer when it comes feels warm and right. A solution that’s been in place from the beginning, but my head and my fear got in the way.
Re-turning to God is a path which leads straight through the heart to me. I’m going to become a certified yoga teacher this summer and maybe, just maybe if it’s God’s will, I will be in Bali for my 50th birthday next year on a yoga retreat.