An IOCC Reader Shares His Experience Strength and Hope on Step 11

I would love to have a conversation with God, to sit close and hear
actual words being spoken by my Higher Power, especially as S/He
clearly explains the perfect direction for my life. If that’s not
possible, could I have a fresh email from my Higher Power sitting in
my inbox each morning? Isn’t that what step 11 is all about, finding
the knowledge of God’s will for us?

I had heard of a Step Eleven meeting at a nearby town. Twenty minutes
of mediation and 40 minutes of sharing was the weekly agenda. I went
with expectations for I was struggling with depression and fear. I was
tired of coping and had a deep hope that someone or some God could
alleviate my pain. I wanted a deeper connection with God, often
frustrated that I could go through the day without a thought of God. I
had attempted mediation in the past, trying to still my mind, to quiet
the endless stream of thoughts that poured down those well worn
groves. Those attempts always ended in frustration, the noise of my
thoughts getting louder as I attempted to hush them. Thoughts that
made breathe difficult. I could never repeat my experiences in group
meditation where I had long moments of peacefulness. But on my own?
Nada. The shitty committee moves in and throws a party.

So I found that meeting, sat in the circle among welcoming faces, and
enjoyed the next twenty minutes of quiet. Listening to the swish of
breathe, small sounds of people adjusting their positions, my breathe
becoming one with theirs. It was peaceful, serene, and I was not
alone. Then the sharing started and I listened as others shared of
their frustrations and successes with meditation. When I shared, it was
of my desire for a deep connection with my Higher Power, for direction
in my life. I must have alarmed the next speaker, for he softly warned
me that, perhaps, my expectations were too high. I reacted in old
ways, feeling scolded and unloved. The color of the meeting changed,
became cold and unwelcoming. Old fears welled up, precipitating into
anger. I sat quietly, waited for the meeting was over so I could put
my coffee cup away in token service, then exiting with tears revealing
my frustrations and self-pity.

I walked a long time till I found a spot to sit and ponder; trying to
understand what was the purpose of mediation. I tried to look at my
part but couldn’t, still resentful of others. I found the Grapevine
booklet “The Best of Bill” in my pocket and opened it up to the essay
on Love. I read:

“Suddenly I realized what the matter was. My basic flaw had always
been dependence - almost absolute dependence - on people or
circumstance to supply me with prestige, security, and the like.
Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and
specifications, I had fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my

Then I could see my part. I wanted that damn magic wand again, my
Higher Power’s wand that would make my problems go away, that would
arrange my life in perfect order. Hmmmm, perhaps sloth comes to mind,
laziness, not wanting to do the work, an easy out. Reminds me of

I understand there will not be a conversation with my Higher Power to
map out my life or even just today. My journey will be like that of
others, the path to be discovered as I travel through the day, while
being unable to avoid the painful episodes that life’s circumstances
bring. And what is God’s will for me? Just to be helpful to the person
in front of me, not expecting or demanding anything in return. To

Submitted by an IOCC reader...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow...this hits hard! I really don't want to do the work! I am so stuck and as per my usual MO Im waiting for the Universe or my boss or my husband or anyone who I can manipulate to volunteer to fix the circumstances of my life so that I don't have to take any risks!!! Safety and security is where I go to worship when fear and anxiety rear their ugly heads; Maybe that's why all the old cravings start to take hold: food, tv, now I've added alcohol to the list! Anything to avoid taking responsibility fo my own life:/ Thanks for the reality check!!!