Came To Believe

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Came To Believe

Why do we require a power greater than ourselves as a solution to our addiction? We have discovered that alcohol/drugs is merely a symptom, our real dilemma is that we lack power over alcohol/drugs. Lack of power is the alcoholic’s/addicts problem.

Why did we lack power in the first place? At a certain stage of our drinking, alcohol had become our master and we had developed a manner of living that revolved entirely around serving our master king alcohol. Everything else became secondary.

In my case I believe that at certain stages of my drinking, alcohol had become a powerful tool in my search for God, my search for a solution to the emptiness inside of me. Once I started drinking and the euphoric effect of ease and comfort was experienced, I had no need for God. Why would I need God if alcohol delivered my solution? It is at this point where I believe that, subconsciously I separated from God and lack of power became my problem without me even knowing it.

So we need a new power and obviously it has to be a power greater than ourselves.

All Step Two requires of us is the willingness to consciously turn our attention towards a higher power, regardless of what that power may be. Remember you have an obsession of the mind that is desperately seeking ease and comfort which used to come from alcohol. It is now time to seek that ease and comfort in something that will save your life and not destroy it.

In my case before I agreed to sign up for any kind of program, I first needed assurance that I would gain ease and comfort from this higher power and this effect would be available whenever I desired it. As an alcoholic and addict there is no other way I could imagine life without knowing as fact that my ravenous mind’s insatiable appetite would be satisfied constantly by whatever was on offer to feed it. The extraordinary power that I have accessed through my connection to God has not only satisfied my obsession, it has delivered  a manner of living beyond my own capabilities and wildest dreams.

My higher power who I choose to call God without apology, is the reason I still walk this earth sober and clean and the world is a better place because of that.

I was agnostic in the beginning and I am now a believer beyond any shadow of a doubt.

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At this point it is crucial to understand that Step Two does NOT require you to develop a belief in a higher power immediately. For most of us this would be impossible and improbable. Step Two is asking us to become willing to believe that a force bigger than ourselves can pull us past the pain and suffering taking place in our minds right now. Our belief in a higher power will manifest and grow in us as we work through the rest of the steps and the good news is, this belief just comes automatically if we stick to the task ahead.

So please do not put yourself under any kind of pressure to develop a faith or belief. Let the program do that for you, it’s what the program is designed to do. The reason I mention this, is because all too often I have witnessed alcoholics in recovery completely misunderstand this step, put pressure on themselves to engage a belief (an almost impossible task on your own) and end up frustrated and hopeless and as a result they give up on the program and drink again. To drink is to die.

In the beginning we begged of you to cast aside your prejudice and approach this program with an open, honest and willing mind. It is now time to deploy that mental blank canvas and understand that by doing so you have just stepped assertively towards your fears, your hopelessness and that feeling of uselessness. This is a We program of action. You are no longer alone and there is now the gift of hope as you start to engage the power you have lacked all along. Who in their right mind would not want power? the power essential to overcome such traumatic adversity like alcoholism? In the beginning I didn’t care who or what that higher power was, all I wanted was peace from the war raging in my mind, body and soul. If this higher power could save me from this horrendous way of life, then sign me up! Let’s get going!

I didn’t ask to become an alcoholic, but it was at this stage for the first time ever I came to realize that it was now my responsibility to accept the help on offer and to do something about my addiction. Only I could make this happen with help from above and others around me. Gradually my self-pity and fear began to fade and acceptance started to very subtly work its way into my heart. My rebirth had begun.

I have come to love the simplicity of the 12 Steps. All Step Two is asking of us is to make a commitment to be willing to now turn our attention away from the self-directed life we have been living and to now focus on a God-directed life instead.

Walking The Steps Towards Faith

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This is not about magically gaining faith and belief out of nowhere. Remember just for today hope is our form of belief here. Hope is our driver. Step Two uses the description “came to believe”, this describes a process of action that will take place as we progress through the 12 Steps.

Ask me to suddenly develop a belief in God and I will tell you that just isn’t going to happen. But what does happen here is as we work through the steps we start having a profound experience with the steps. The steps are designed to help us enlist the help of a power greater than ourselves. Therefore if we end up having an experience with the steps, we will start having an experience with God. Once we start having an experience with God, we start accessing his power. If we work the steps this just happens automatically. We don’t have to do anything else but the work required.  God’s power just comes! How cool is that.

Remember this is a God, a higher power of your own understanding. A lot of people get confused here. Please understand that the 12 Step program is no one’s religion. It is entirely up to you who or what your higher power becomes. Let no man or woman try and convince you otherwise.

The great fact is this and nothing less, deep down in every man, woman and child the idea of God exists. You can walk out onto the street right now and ask complete strangers of different ages and from various walks of life if they have heard of God. I don’t think any will say no. All people have an idea of God. Whether they believe in God or not is not the issue here. What is crucial is that we become willing to turn our consciousness towards a God of our own understanding.

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If you have no idea or maybe you have a negative and fearful conception of God, then why not do what I did in the beginning. I first asked myself how would I like my God to be?  I immediately put pen to paper and wrote the following:

I would like the God of my understanding to be the following;

  • Kind
  • Forgiving
  • Patient
  • Understanding
  • Loving
  • Wise
  • Powerful
  • Must love alcoholics like me

This was to become my conception of God in my life and still is to this day. Nothing less and so much more that is good and powerful.

Anyone is capable of developing and coming to believe in their own conception of God. For folks like us alcoholics this is our only chance at life. Do not fool yourself here. Your life from this moment on is entirely reliant on connecting with the God of your understanding and accessing his power. Nothing short of achieving this will overcome your problem, nothing!

As a result of our alcoholic way of life we now find ourselves staring down the barrel of our  Self – imposed crisis that we can longer out run. Our backs are against the wall and there is no escape.

It is at this point of no return that we have no choice but to accept that either God is everything now or he is nothing. Either he is or he isn’t. What was our choice to be?

Paul Nobes – Author and Addictions Specialist

The God Idea

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🔥 An Unmanageable Life

“That our lives had become unmanageable”

What does this second part of step one mean?

It means my problems really began when I I put down the drink…

In a state of abstinence from alcohol I become restless, irritable and discontent…

“We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people” – The Big Book P52

These are some of the bedevilments an alcoholic experiences in a state of abstinence from his so called solution to life – alcohol.

An extremely dysfunctional way of living indeed…

An unmanageable life…

How are we to overcome this hopeless situation?…

“When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did”.

  • The Big Book P52

Permanence

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🔥 The Root of All Fear

Do you wear the world like a loose garment?…

Or do you wear it like a skin tight body suit?…

Walking this earth believing you have ownership of everything in your life is the root of most of your fears…

Once you place ownership on anything in your life, You will exist in a permanent state of fear of impending loss.

The fear of impending loss exists because we know the loss will happen…

Because we have experienced loss all our lives, we know what lies ahead…

And yet we still place permanent ownership on so much around us…

Mine…mine…mine…

What a horrible way to live!

The fact is we all live in a world of impermanence…

Our lives and the things in our lives are not permanent…

They were never ment to be permanent…

That is why we turn to God for permanence…

Want to be rid of your fear?…

Relinquish ownership and control over everything in your life except God…

And start to enjoy all the good that life has to offer without living in a constant state of loss.

Paul

The Now

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🔥 No Past, No Future, Now

A victim identity is the belief that the past is more powerful than the present, which is the opposite of the truth. It is the belief that other people and what they did to you are responsible for who you are now, for your emotional pain or your inability to be your true self.

Eckart Tole

Victims don’t stay sober…

Although the victim zone feels warm and comfortable…

And extremely justifiable…

It is the killing feild of all that is good and all that is true…

If your tragedies of the past stay in your present…

You will never be free of your ball and chain of resentment and self-pity…

Your future will ALWAYS look dark and hopeless.

There is a point in everyone’s life when their reality comes to meet them…

On several occasions…

Meeting that reality with a mind occupied by the past can be one of the most painful human experiences…

And yet most of us continue to live in the past driven by the fear of their bleak future.

Developing a manner of trusting and relying upon God creates an awakening to this;

You are not your mind…

Your past is NOT your present reality…

The future your mind creates for you is a delusion…

Your truth is the present moment you living in right now…

The now…

There is one who has all power…

That one is God…

May you find him NOW.

Paul

A Decision

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🔥 A Decision

If you make a serious decision to turn away from your old way of thinking and living…

If you REALLY mean it…

Nothing can stop you.

No negativity, no depression, no failure, no one else’s BS can ever affect your progress in recovery and in life.

Just make the decision.

One more step…

One more act of service…

One more day of living your life on God’s terms and not your own…

One more day of thoroughly following the 12 Step path.

Concentrate on the task ahead and move towards God’s perfection whilst you are doing it.

Do this every time.

And I guarantee you…

You will feel like an unstoppable freight train.

The idea is simple but not easy.

The question is…

will you stick to your decision

Are you going to do it?

Paul

Effort

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🔥 Diligence and Effort

One of the requirements to work the Steps is a certain amount of diligence…

Another requirement is effort…

Diligence and effort.

We and only we have control over the amount of diligence and effort that we contribute to our own recovery…

Another requirement to work the steps is a willingness to go to any lengths…

A strenuous effort to face and be rid of the things that block us from power…

Enough diligence to keep us obedient and committed to the process all day every day for the rest of our days…

What is the process?…

To get unblocked and stay unblocked to allow the power to live in you and flow through you…

The power of God…

A much higher power than you…

Obviously.

Paul

Deep Down Within

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🔥 Deep Down Within

Having established our problem as being a lack of power…

We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could solve our problem…

We finally accepted that we needed God’s help…

But where do we find God?…

We find God deep down within…

“Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us”. – The Big Book P52

Only in the last analysis deep down within was God to be found…

I no longer seek God outside of me…

I find him within me…

I no longer walk without him in order to find him…

I take him with me…

The power comes from within me…

If the power is within me…

Then the problem cannot exist…

If God is within me…

Then the problem cannot destroy me…

I have been reborn.

Paul

The Serenity Prayer

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🔥 To Thyself be True

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”

Funnily enough the serenity prayer was not written by some spiritual icon of the ages, it was written by an American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

The serenity prayer can be an extremely practical self-leveling tool which has numerous applications.

For most of us our greatest fear is what others think about us…

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…

There will always be things about yourself and others that you cannot change…

So why are you still trying to change the way you are to suit how others view you?…

Courage to change the things I can…

Instead of being so consumed about what others think of you, only worry about what you think of them without prejudice…

And the wisdom to know the difference…

In world where people auto tune their behaviors to suit the latest trend…

Be true to yourself…

No matter how good a person you are, you will always be evil in someones story…

No matter how much you try to impress others, some people will just never be impressed by you…

Instead of fearing what other people think of you, find the courage to be the real you and stay the real you.

To thyself be true.

Paul

Self Examination

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🔥 Self Examination

“For the wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong”. – Step 10 The 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.

Step 10 – Continued to take personally inventory and when wrong promptly admitted it.

When was the last time you admitted you were wrong about something?…

Not secretly admitted to yourself…

But admitted openly to the other person you had wronged?…

The selfish, self-centered nature of the alcoholic automatically self-searches the character defects in others…

The ego will always need something or someone else to blame for your problems.

Just as failure is a habit, self-searching of one’s own character defects can become a habit…

And needs to be a habit…

How do you change a habit?…

In this case a radical change of direction is needed.

When you are disturbed change the direction of your blame from out ward direction to inward direction…

Regardless of who is to blame…

You can spend the rest of your life pouting about how others have wronged you…

Or you can embrace the ultimate power in taking responsibility for your reaction to someone when they seemingly harm you.

Paul

Too Much of Me

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🔥 Too Much of Me

“And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid”. – The Big Book P62

I don’t know about you, but at some stage I get sick and tired of too much of me in my life…

Too much of my own BS…

Causing me fear…

Causing me…resentment…

Causing me judgement of others and myself…

Too much of me on top of me…

Not only do I lack control over alcohol…

I lack control over me and my dysfunction approach to my thoughts and emotions…

I lack control over my unmanageable internal view of me and the world…

All my life everything was about me…

An extremely painful way to process life…

Self was the predominant factor above all…

Trying to control self with self was a losers way of living…

And I lost pretty much everything…

We needed God’s aid to entirely get rid of self…

Inviting and allowing God in to run me was the only solution…

I had exhausted every other avenue of so called control…

Once again the how of allowing God in…

Quit playing God!

Paul

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