With the exception of my college years, I’ve always believed in God, the author of the Bible, but each day I struggle over how much of my life I want to submit to His direction. What are my fears in this regard?
I fear that if I make God king over all of my life, I will no longer be able to live on my terms. I’ll have to give up my treasured character defects. I won’t have as much fun. I won’t get to do the things I love and need to do to feel happy. I won’t get to have as many good times. I won’t get the worldly success I crave. I’ll have to make too many painful amends. I won’t be able to take the easy way out. I’ll get tired. I’ll have to humble myself. I won’t have time to do the things I want because I’ll be so busy doing God’s work. I won’t get to watch as much Netflix and I’ll have to be more discriminating in my entertainment choices.
When have I had the most success overcoming these fears? When I’ve been closely connected to Godly people I admire. Then I experience that the Godly life is not so frightening.
What keeps me from believing that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity? Nothing.
I think the way I relate to God was damaged by my foster care in earliest years. I came to distrust authority.
What do you remember about the spiritual environment in your home? How do those memories influence your feelings today?
I remember being unhappy at home and experiencing most of my joy as a child away from home, particularly the last six months of eighth grade. My home was filled with spiritual teachings. My parents strove to do what was right. My father was a machine for God. Despite this, there was little I wanted to replicate from my home. I distanced from my parents in my teens. It’s hard for me to consciously accept anything spiritual from my home. If I heard something as a kid from my father, it’s hard for me to accept it as an adult unless I’ve come to it my own way.
In what ways do I see God restoring me to sanity?
I’m less reactive these days. I’ve given up all conscious resentment. I’m no longer fighting anyone. I avoid personal conflicts. I take care to protect myself from people and places that put me in danger morally, spiritually, and physically. I’m not blowing up relationships. I’m more at ease with myself and with others. I’m of service to fellow addicts. I do fewer things that are destructive to myself and to others.
What can I do to maintain my emotional sobriety? Keep money in the bank. Renew friendships and support systems. Stay calm, rested, alert. Self-care. Give myself adequate time to get things done. Increase my contact with God. Go to 12-step meetings. Listen to 12-step lectures on Youtube. Take care to read or listen to something inspiring and elevating every day. Stay away from toxic people. Keep working the steps. Be of service to others. Pursue things that lead to my personal growth and are of benefit to the common good. Promptly admit when I was wrong. Pay attention at work and at everything I do (that could have a big downside if I don’t pay attention). Ask for help.
In what ways do I hope that my relationship with God will improve my life?
I want to be happy, joyous and free. I want to constantly grown and contribute to the common good so that I’m passionate and filled with motivation. I don’t want to spend, debt, drive or write (for publication) recklessly. I want to become secure. I want people to enjoy my company. I want to use my abilities for my communities, not against them. I want to heal my broken relationships. I want to make amends to those I’ve hurt. I want less depression. I want to stop spiraling down, stacking shame scenarios one on top of another. I want to attach to other people normally and to build a normal life with a wife and kids. I want to let go of my needless anger. I want high-paying absorbing work.
What is my reaction to the fact that recovery takes time, patience and understanding?
I get frustrated, angry and discouraged. I’m too close, I can’t see accurately the progress I’m making.