Blind faith is the key to getting better…
Alcoholics and addicts are obstinate and tend to worship their own intellect, if you can call it that. We think we can get ourselves better if and when we choose, which is a fallacy. And no matter how smart we think we are, our minds have instead become narrow and limited. We demand to see results. We demand to know exactly what it is that will fix us before we even begin. We want to see it to believe it… but that may be the one thing standing in the way of getting better.
Until I read my inventory (5th Step) and recited the 7th Step prayer, I had no idea if any of it would actually work. At times, it was difficult to embark on this mountain of work without knowing the end result. There was no guarantee I would have some profound psychic change. There was no guarantee I would recover. And this is exactly why addicts need to take a leap of faith… to break a lifelong pattern of never trusting in the unknown. We always have to know. We cling to our own self-will and sense of control because we don’t trust in letting go. We don’t trust in God’s will.
So in the Steps we are asked to step into the darkness, unsure of where we will land. We are asked to just do the work on faith and see what happens. It’s like a trust fall. You don’t know all of those people will catch you when you fall back – you have to trust that they will. Faith is trust. Trust that it will work. Trust that you will be okay. Trust in your recovery. Trust in the unknown. Trust in God.
And hey, why not?
Why not do some real work for a change? Why not feel some discomfort? Why not trust in something other than ourselves, especially when our track record of self-will track isn’t exactly something to envy? What more do we have to lose? Probably not much, knowing addicts and alcoholics. I mean let’s face it, we have no clue. The total failure of our self-will and our intellect to navigate life is proof in and of itself that reliance on something Greater can only help matters.
These are the great challenges for the addict – the challenge to feel uncomfortable, the challenge to feel pain, the challenge to embrace the reality of human life, and most importantly, the challenge to let go our our self-will and intellectual bullshit and give ourselves to God.
What that means is we come to understand that we are not the most powerful force in our lives. We understand that alone we will fail, at least when it comes to drugs/alcohol, and probably a host of other things. We also come to understand that there exists other forces much more powerful than we are. And even if we haven’t felt it yet, we are going to suspend disbelief for the moment and TRUST that God is there and that He has the power to do what we have never been able to do for ourselves.
So I challenge other addicts to see where right, moral, consistent action will get them. I challenge addicts to try relying on something other than themselves. I challenge addicts to rely on God. Sure you must get up and act and do the work, but stop impulsively making decisions for yourself as if we know everything. Stop, be still, pray hard… and then get up and continue moving through life. If we just slow the F down a little bit, the universe will conspire to show us the next right thing, to bring us a path that is good for us. Pray to be of service and remain willing to do anything it takes, and trust me, you will be amazed.
Finally, don’t be afraid to suffer. Suffering is just human life. We all suffer. Addicts are not the only ones who suffer. Everybody does, and it’s good for us. It’s good for us to embrace where we are and what we are feeling because it gives us the capacity to then handle real life. Embracing reality is the only way to grow and succeed, to conquer our demons, and eventually, to conquer our dreams.
God, teach me to be still and know…