Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising to one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meeting s and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would come her way. Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, German philosopher 1749-1832
Recently, a friend in recovery, Jimmy C, joined Mike and Glenn in the sober.coffee digital cafe. You can hear the podcast by clicking here. There was so much good stuff discussed but what jumped out to us was the concept of a superpower.
We have found that one taps into supernatural strength, into the unimaginable works, by first surrendering - surrender up our ego, which once served us well as a survival trait, while conceding up self-will. Think of it as “give up” to “get.”
Here's the good news that was bantered about; there are options to getting to the point of submission. In most of our experiences, surrender comes in as a one-and-done proposition. As with Mike and Glenn, they came to a position of defeat. They surrendered their choices (out of sheer desperation) to the guidance, direction, and management of a higher power AND the people around them who knew how to direct care for their addiction.
If you are not experiencing the magic of the supernatural working in your life, we suggest starting at the beginning and embracing patience in the process. We have heard of many cases of “working’ toward surrender. We propose considering the following four pillars.
Identify the resistance
Ineffectiveness is usually rooted in resistance. Resistance could be masking fear or other deep-rooted emotions. To begin the process of working toward surrender, one will need to identify what is stopping them from committing. That “chance to draw back” that Goethe talks about was, for Mike and Glen, an overwhelming belief that there was no power, human or mystical, that could change the course of their drink problem. So, resistance for them lay in “belief.”
This is where the 12 steps recovery program is so effective. Step 2 calls for us to acknowledge that there is a power greater than ourselves. And that that power could restore us to sanity (fix the drink problem). This simple acknowledgment started a stream of actions that were unthought of – magic.
Define your “why.”
This doesn't get talked about enough in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Still, Glenn and Mike had found that when their “why” became themselves and not another person or set of circumstances, the wizardry began to unfold. This realization didn't come easy or naturally as there was, for us, void of self-love. Where there is no love, there is no care, respect, or concern. We didn't care what was happening to us because we did not love ourselves enough to care. This process of self-love can sometimes take quite a while to develop, and we have found that others can love on us effectively until we come to love ourselves.
We can promise that by working the 12 steps recovery program, one will learn to love themselves, and that WILL be rewarded with inconceivable serenity and peace.
“You can’t push the river.”
There is no predetermined time to heal. As everybody's circumstances are different and personal emotional maturity varies, it is impossible to put a time stamp on healing. Healing time is also required for the environments we have assembled around us. Relationships need to be rebuilt, trust needs to be re-established, and new habits need to be created. This river will flow at its own current and undoubtedly possess figurative rocks and debris that will slow the flow. Let the river run naturally. Attempting to push the river could cause undue stress and unmanageable expectations. Patience is a virtue, and virtues can be learned.
Let it flow
We leave you with someone hints that may help the natural current:
Serve the coffee - get yourself out of the way and be of service to your fellow man. This, more than anything, we'll move the process along.
Embrace the 12 steps - Why not try something that has worked for millions? Find yourself an accountability partner, a sponsor if you will, and start working on the process. The self-awareness that is gained is the foundation for meaning and motivation.
Practice self-care even if you don't feel like it - begin to do little things for yourself as if you love yourself, even if you're not feeling it. Take some time, treat yourself, and acknowledge your progress. Smile in the mirror, make a call or visit a loved one and make a habit of self-reflection. The more you know about yourself, the more you will appreciate your strengths, weaknesses, and even idiosyncrasies.
Become on nonformal prayer - We have seen many people who go through the motions of worship long before they connect with the concept of a higher power there works for them. Start by saying a simple prayer in the morning, thanking whoever for sobriety, and closing out your day thanking whoever for another sober day. Once that gets comfortable, begin adding gratitude and personal requests. Hey, it's a suggestion that could help.
Focus on helping another alcoholic - you might have two hours clean, and THAT qualifies you to help a guy who has two minutes dry or, as hard as it is to believe, somebody who has 20 years in the program. There is real magic, a superpower, that happens when we engage ourselves in helping another alcoholic stay sober. This formula has been working, with millions of documented cases, for nearly a century.
The aforementioned might not be the end-all of knowledge on surrender, commitment, and supernatural power. We write these posts as conversation starters. We hope these writings will encourage, but most importantly, that they will be helpful in somebody's journey to recovery.
Choose to be bold today!
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast #3 Titled: “James C - a lover of addicts” The podcast dropped on 1/11/2023 Click here to hear the podcast
Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be thought of as a substitute for advice of healthcare professionals. The authors advice and viewpoints are their own.