The 12 Promises #12
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
I did not believe in any kind of God, other than myself, while in the midst of my active addiction. I was the beginning, middle and end of all that I believed in. Except when I couldn't get out of whatever jackpot I created. During those times of pleading, "Oh, God..let me just get one more!", one more would always show up. My sincere and desperate prayers were answered. My most memorable prayer of desperation was, "God, Please help me!" Looking back at it, that prayer set in motion a sequence of events that would forever change my life and personal interpretation of the "God concept". I told the woman at the treatment center I crawled into that I had tried everything and could not stop drinking and drugging. She asked if I had tried God. I told her that I didn't believe in "God". She countered, "Why not allow a power greater than yourself handle your life? Seeing how you're unable to manage it yourself; what have you got to lose?". I found myself in the position of being just hopeless enough to try anything. I still didn't believe in this "G" thing but for that moment I left the door open just enough in case she was right.
During my Dreadlocked Reggae days, I'd praise "Jah" more as a convenience than a necessity. My early introduction to reggae included finding out everything I could about the Rastafarian movement and attempting to put it into practice. I would actually feel something other worldly moving through me as I performed but rationalized it as having a good buzz. I added to that feeling by piling on cocaine and alcohol which soon masked the blessing. Drug induced bliss would soon become the norm. It would be years later, in my first few months of sobriety, while sitting on rocks at the edge of Lake Erie, that I would have personal contact with a Power greater than myself. After this experience, I immediately began my journey of awakening to spirit by acquiring information on all aspects of religion, divinity and metaphysics. The Cleveland Public Library supported my new addiction for free (as long as I returned the books on time). Today, when asked my religion I reply, "All". I've found all I need in everything. In Buddhism, I've learned to accept and not attach. This helps tremendously. It was especially instrumental for my mental sanity when suffering the repercussions of my addiction. The removal of my daughters from my life, the passing of my mother and my best friend in recovery were all tolerated and accepted through my use and practice of Buddhist principles. Living the 12 Steps, Eight Fold Path and Four Noble Truths offer valuable solutions for dealing with my neurotic self. When combined with the universal "God" thang (Good Orderly Direction), Advaita Vedanta and numerous other spiritual disciplines I've found an arsenal of divinity and strength that continues to work through me and for me. That is, as long as my ego stays out of the way. I am able to stay open for guidance only when I surrender. In fact, my primary spiritual practice is daily surrender. I surrender to win.
Just for Today; I remain very Grateful and mostly Surrendered!