Before I found my way into the recovery rooms, I was in bondage to alcohol, to my relationships with other people, to food. And through working the program, I found freedom from these addictions ... but I also found that my life was still shaped by fear and by my own my agenda and plans. Recovery brought a new connection with my higher power, but I was still the center of my own life ... still doing my own life, and checking in with God only so that God could help me with the life that I was creating.
Luckily, about ten years ago, I found an AA home group in which we read the Third, Seventh and Eleventh Step prayers each week. And over the years of saying these prayers weekly, I began to have a radical shift in my orientation. Over the past five years or so, the Third Step prayer has been a shaping force in my life.
God, I offer myself to Thee — to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!
This Saturday I will talk about how the line "relieve me of the bondage of self," and centering prayer, have been the vehicles for “rocketing” me into the “fourth dimension” that the Big Book describes.
I look forward to being with you on December 12!
“[Working the 12 Steps] meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window. That was not easy. But the moment I made up my mind to go through with the process, I had the curious feeling that my alcoholic condition was relieved, as in fact it proved to be.” - Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 42
My decision, to abandon my “lifelong conceptions” was made possible through the acceptance of my brokenness. That decision to surrender, the Third Step, created just enough of an inner opening that I immediately sensed I was heading toward the light of home.
On December 12, I’ll share my experience with this deeply personal Step.