Last night was the start of this weekend's local AA rally. A program friend gave me a ticket as a gift, and I went with my beloved sponsor, and a woman I sponsor, whose courage for the program invigorates and inspires me. Rallies have an energy which is uplifting and powerful. One of my favourite moments at an AA rally is the countdown to sobriety. That's happening tonight, and the three of us are going back for another evening of laughter and wisdom, and then again Sunday morning, to hear the Spiritual speakers.
I'm thinking I might drop in this afternoon for the "Old-Timers sharing - 30 plus years of sobriety" I like to hear people talk about how sobriety has changed for them over the years. It seems that once the first overwhelming compulsion to drink has been removed, and a few years of sobriety has been gained, that to keep a solid program going, many people turn more to the spiritual side of the program.
Listening to the AA speaker last night, when he quoted "God could and would, if he were sought" I realised just how much my seeking has changed over the time I've been in Al-Anon. My seeking at the start, 28 years ago, consisted of my asking from my Higher Power, that I be granted my own will.
It took me years to be able, or willing, to grasp that what I was asking was doomed to failure, and that if I kept on along that path, I was never going to be able to trust my Higher Power, because I was going to continually be operating under the belief that I would never be granted that for which I was asking.
When my seeking changed from wanting my own will to asking for help, guidance and comfort, my program took a huge leap forward, because the results were swift, breath-taking, and hugely powerful in changing my thinking. I, like other old-timers in program that I've heard, can see that my progress in understanding and acceptance, and my level of serenity, grew deeper in the last ten years than in the almost 20 years prior to it. I don't know if it's because my stubbornness kept me plodding along a path that led nowhere but back to myself, or if my fear was the culprit (a favourite AA speaker talks often about the fact that it isn't that we're afraid that true honest prayer for God's help won't work, we fear that it will work, and then where will we be, with our ideas about life?) -whatever the reason, when I began to ask for help instead of to be granted my will, everything changed, not the least of which was me.
I began to let go of things I'd had a steely grip upon for years, because I just couldn't trust enough to let them go. I accepted, and I turned over the clutter which had been clogging my thinking before then. That's when I knew I was going to have to leave my marriage, because I didn't want to live with my husband'd anger for one more day. When my friend took ill with cancer, and died within 3 months of his diagnosis, it was a turning point for me, I looked around at my life, and thought, "That could be me, I don't want my last 3 months of life to be lived in this environment of anger, with a man who is so self-absorbed he cannot really see me." With my husband's illness, his self-absorption is understandable, I'm grateful on a daily basis that I'm here now, and not still there.
If I'm going to make it to the library, and the old-timer's sharing, I need to get ready now. Take care, and may your day be blessed with beauty and serenity.