“We may fear that being in touch with our feelings will trigger an overwhelming chain reaction of pain and panic.” NA Basic Text p30
The sentence above seems to strike men more than women. I don’t like being “in touch” with my feelings. I don’t like remembering the terrible things I’ve done in the last two decades. I especially do not want to deal with unresolved issues from my past. It does cause a great deal of pain and, in my case, severe panic. But we must overcome the fear of doing our moral inventory if we expect to grow and continue in recovery.
When taking our moral inventory of ourselves, some things will come up that haven’t in a long time. These hidden things or actions most often will be painful. Because we have buried them deep within ourselves, we may inadvertently they are forgotten for a reason. That is our fear talking and not our heart.
The mind fabricates fear as a self-defense mechanism. The act of writing out our inventory sometimes intensifies that fear. We as addicts must overcome the fear of our past and what the past may or may not bring. Afterall, we are taking a thorough and fearless inventory of our character. If we are truthful in this inventory, we will be released from the bondage that keeps us in fear.
Overcoming our fears will bring us freedom. One way to overcome the fear is to ensure that your written inventory is in a safe place. Inform family members that this is your own personal diary and that it is personal. Keep with your sponsor or the trusted person you will be sharing it with anyway. We cannot allow fear to prevent us from writing out our inventory and continue in our recovery.
Remember, we are releasing ourselves from the bondage of addiction. We must be truthful and vigilante in each step of our recovery. Are you going to allow fear to keep in bondage or are you ready to break the chains of fear?
“The only suggested guidelines are that this Power be loving, caring, and greater than ourselves. We don’t have to be religious to accept this idea. The point is that we open our minds to believe.” NA Basic Text p24
When I first heard God, the Serenity Prayer and the Lords’ Prayer in a meeting I admit I was a little turned off. Not because I wasn’t “religious”, I’ve been ordained three rimes. I was turned off because I thought I was going to have to accept someone else’s doctrine about God or the Higher Power. Then I found out that our Higher Power is one of our own understanding. That was a relief. They also said that the Higher Power could be anything greater than ourselves.
When you really think about it, a Higher Power of your own understanding can be just about anything as long as it is something greater than you. Afterall, we already admitted that we are powerless over our addiction, so there must be something bigger than ourselves that can heal us from this addiction or at least help us to arrest the addiction.
I believe in God as most mainstream people. However, I also believe that God is not the vengeful entity He is made out to be. He is loving, caring and always there whenever I need Him. He is my Creator and therefore much greater than I, His creation. I mentioned before that religion is something mankind made up, while faith and belief comes from a working relationship between each individual and his/her interpretation of their Higher Power.
We talked before about connecting with our Higher Power of our own understanding. What or who is our Higher Power is up to each individual. Your Higher Power could be the group itself, God, Great Spirit or whatever gives you a working relationship with something greater than you. Again, this is not about religion…it’s about personal faith and belief.
As I’ve said before my Higher Power is God. The God who made all of our natural beauty. I didn’t just choose God because of mainstream religion or even my upbringing. I chose God as my Higher Power because I have a deep faith and belief that He is there for me all the time. He is the one person that I can count on to understand and help me through my most difficult times.
Having a Higher Power of your own understanding is essential to your recovery from addiction. Don’t think that you can just go through the motions without a Higher Power. Your Higher Power is a base of all the steps. Is your mind open to believe in something greater than yourself. Who or what is your Higher Power of your own understanding?