Learning to live by Universal Principles begins with Hope, But one primary Principle within all of them is the Principle of Surrender. Someone once told that anytime I walked into a recovery meeting and I didn’t know what the topic was. The topic was always ‘surrender.’ And what that meant for me at first was to surrender to my own thoughts because that’s all I knew how to do. But learning to live by Spiritual Principles taught me how to surrender my thoughts to the Principles.
I remember when I was first introduced to 12 Steps and the idea of Spiritual Principles. Initially I was put in treatment for drug abuse when I was 15yr. I was 5’8″, weighed less than 90lbs and was strung out on what we called ‘crank.’ Needless to say, I was clean at a very young age, and I was around for quite a few years. When I left the recovery fellowships, I was an adult. I left the fellowship when I was 21. Relapsed when I was 23. I didn’t bottom out again until I was 32.
When I did make it back into the 12 Step rooms, I was ready to surrender.
By the time I did make it back, my addiction had beat me up so bad that I had no reservations that I was an addict and that I could not use like a normal person. I could not drink like a normal person. I didn’t feel think or live like a normal person.
It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to a meeting for myself. I go to meetings to give back what I’ve gotten. The reason why I say that is because 15 years ago when I did walk back into the 12 Step rooms, I walked back in, broken, kicked out of a house, separated divorce, a two-year-old kid that didn’t have anything to do with me. I had gotten my driver’s license suspended for ten years (Yes ten years). I was driving a car that I wasn’t allowed to own because I didn’t have a legal license.
Lo and behold, today the biggest problem I have,
The biggest fear I have is sitting down with my wife, trying to explain to her how the refinance on our house is going to work. So we can do some needed upkeep and get new siding on our house. That’s change! That’s a change for a long-haired Hippie like me to come from where I came from, to the problems I have today. Don’t get me wrong. I still have problems, but as a good brother of mine that I ride with often says, “today I have quality of life problems.” But I didn’t get there in one day; it took steps.
Baby steps. The 12 Steps are in order for a reason. It’s very, very, very important that we work on them in order. I guarantee you my understanding of what,’making amends’ meant when I first read the eighth step and what I learned making amends was when I finally got to the eighth step are two different things. And in all actuality, the eighth step isn’t where we make amends, it’s the ninth step.
In all reality, the Steps you hear me talk about here are simply the tools to help me build a better way of facing Life on Life’s terms. It is the essential Spiritual Principles I began to apply to my life, as a result of these 12 Steps, that has initiated, fueled and maintained the change in my life.
At first introduction, we’re just here hoping.
Hoping that this is going to work, that this is going to help. We’re hoping that our life can change. Hoping that we won’t use today, hoping that we can recover. Slowly but surely, if we keep suiting up, we keep showing up, we keep putting one foot in front of the other. Slowly but surely our lives will change from resentful, self-centered, depressive or anxious driven lives to a life of self-mastery, selfless service, sincere Belief and social contentment.
The sad thing is I see a lot of people come in and they don’t stick and stay. They don’t get involved. They don’t grab onto that one little key that’s going to help them stay clean and that key is changing that ‘I’ to ‘We.’
The way I stay clean today is by helping others stay clean.
The only way I recover today is by helping you recover. The only way these Spiritual Principles works is by sharing them and getting involved. when I did make it back into the rooms, I had a whole headful of recovery from the years before and I could have came in and I could have had that attitude, “I already know all this sh%&.”
Thankfully, I didn’t do that. Instead, I did the only thing I could do suit up, show up, put one foot in front of the other, sit down and listen and get involved and that’s what I did.
I cannot tell you what your life will be like 15 years from now,
Whether you stay or not. I can tell you this. If you suit up, you show up, you put one foot in front of the other and you stick and stay. I guarantee you the life you have five years from now will be far better than any life you can imagine.
Don’t worry about the whole stair case, just take the first step. Stop trying to figure out the whole world,just figure out your world. Don’t try to apply all your Principles at once, just apply one starting with Hope. It starts out that simple.
“Always aspire to inspire, before we expire.”