Two weeks ago, upon the urging of a program friend, I went to the non-denominational church she attends, and was delighted to discover that the female pastor sounds just like 12-Step in her talks. She's also wonderfully funny, and today I was in fits of laughter, while also having tears in my eyes as she spoke.
She talked about how if we will take the first step onto a new journey, if we will show our willingness with just that one step, our Higher Power will carry us forward a great distance. Sometimes a door opens, we step through it, then immediately change our mind and turn, wanting to go back through the door, but it's now closed, and we have no choice but to stay stuck on the sill, or step forward into the unknown.
I was thinking of the decision I made to leave my marriage after 17 years, and how afraid I was to strike out on my own. I moved back here, to the city I have loved since first coming here at the age of 21 - 34 years ago. I had been living elsewhere for 16 years, yet I wasn't back a day before I felt that I had come home. This is my home, this small city on the ocean. I'm living within a ten-minute walk to the seawall, and when I go down to the sea, I feel enormous gratitude that I made that decision to come home.
In not quite 9 months I have made a life for myself down here which is so much more than I ever imagined possible in a short time. I have friends who light up at the sight of me, I have a suuny bright apartment with a glorious view of the city's largest park, a mere 3 blocks away, room to garden on the rooftop patio, meetings where I am appreciated and loved, and best of all, peace of mind.
During the last years of my marriage, I didn't realise how living with an angry alcoholic was destroying my ability to feel good about myself. It wasn't until I took the first step the pastor spoke of this morning, and was carried to this place, this moment, that I understand more fully just what I was giving up each day that I stayed with someone who was so detrimental to my spiritual well-being.
I met a program friend at church this morning, and we were joking after the service, that sometimes it doesn't feel like being carried along, so much as it feels like being snatched up by a vacuum cleaner. But if we can trust the process, and trust our Higher Power, we will arrive in a peaceful place again.
Yesterday, on my way back from the library, I stopped into the Cathedral one block up the street from my place, and was thrilled to discover that the organist was practising - oh, what a glorious sound! I love big church organs, and this one is enormous, and I sat for 15 or so minutes in a church empty of anyone but me and two other people transfixed by music. What a gift.