Step 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Service (2014-01-05). Alcoholics Anonymous (Kindle Locations 1187-1188). Kindle Edition.
This step was incredibly difficult for me, especially the prayer. I couldn’t bring myself to say the prayer for a long time, and I tensed at hearing it. It was a very gradual acceptance for me. When I finally was able to surrender to it, the feeling of relief was that of having a huge weight lifted off of me and I immediately became more happy and interactive with others. Being in control all the time is exhausting and alienates others. I had always hated to have others try to control me, and I didn’t realize I was just like that. Yuck!
It seems the steps each lead toward letting go of control, and this one urges me to let go of everything and let someone else, God, take the wheel. I had literally not let anyone do that in my life since adulthood. I say literally, because I would not ride in a car with anyone unless I was driving. That was really a metaphor for my life. I was completely incapable of tolerating being a passenger without having a panic attack. It has been a great many years and I am now able to ride with others, but not in all circumstances and not without difficulty. But, Alcoholics Anonymous and sobriety didn’t make me perfect, just healthier than I was and not a slave to booze.
It is important to note here that it isn’t necessary to believe in God, or a spirit of the universe. This practice of prayer and meditation will work if you think you are talking to your own subconscious mind. The act of opening your mind to the possibility of receiving help,combined with the willingness to let go of control, reduces the unbearable stress of feeling responsible for everything.
Meditation is a skill to learn, and I am so glad I learned Transcendental Meditation TM earlier in my life and was now in a space to put it into practice. If you would like to learn to meditate, I recommend TM, but any method that works for you is a great one! There are many to choose from.
This simple request helps to clear out my fear and uncertainty and opens my mind to solutions to situations which baffle me. The step allows the Love to flow through me without my interference. #recovery