None of these Principles become Spiritual until they become Unconditional.
I could not surrender completely, on a spiritual level, until that Surrender or “waving of the white flag” became unconditional. I had to get to where I was not looking for anything else in return. And I can say, “I give, I surrender. Period.” The way I learned to surrender this way was through the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of recovery—specifically, the 2nd Step and Tradition.
I was not about to surrender anything until “I came to believe” what I was surrendering too.
When you read the 12 Steps of recovery, you can see that Step Two states that we “came to believe in a power greater than ourselves that ‘could’ restore us to sanity.” Doesn’t say “would” it doesn’t say “will.” It clearly says, “could.” The reason for this is because we have to do something. We have to do our part. What we have to do is learn to surrender.
At first, I had to come to realize I had been surrendering my whole life. I surrendered “to” my thoughts. I surrendered “to” my emotions. They controlled what I did, they managed my decisions, and I acted on them. Instead, I had to learn to let go of my thoughts and my emotions. And learn to live differently than what I felt.
If you are not familiar with the 12 Traditions, the 2nd tradition states, “for this group’s purpose there is, but one ultimate authority, a loving God as He may express Himself in our group consciousness.” And here is the key to Surrender for me, “our leaders or but trusted servants, they do not govern.” What had ‘governed’ most of my life has been my thoughts and my emotions. My thoughts, my feelings have been the leaders of my actions, but you know what? My thoughts and emotions no longer have to govern my actions.
I still think like an addict. I still have the feelings of an addict, but if you look at my life today, I don’t live like an addict.
In other words, I still have obsessive-compulsive thoughts and feelings. I have begun to realize that my emotions, my thoughts tend to live in the past or the future. I struggle with keeping my thoughts and my feelings in the present moment. And that is what I have to learn to surrender my thoughts and my emotions. I no longer have to act on them.
What I do need to do is share them. If I have a thought that I’m afraid to tell you about or I have a feeling I’m scared to share, that’s my red flag.
I take full responsibility for the decisions I make and the actions I take.
I have heard over the years, people say, “God is my co-pilot” or “God is my pilot.” You’ll never hear me say that. Never. I pilot my plane. I am in control of what I do. I cannot control what you do, but I am in full control of what I do. I have been through enough now to know that I no longer have drugs as an excuse. My addiction, my obsessive-compulsiveness, is no longer a handicap to me. Because of the work I have done to implement Spiritual Principles like ‘Surrender.’
The Divine Originator or God is not my co-pilot, either. It is the people I surround myself with those I workaround. I ride with, I share my recovery with, and those of you who engage with JnP, read the blog, interact with me on social media. You guys are my co-pilots.
If I am struggling to manage my life, I need you to step in and help me manage it. That’s in the first step. It says, “our lives had become unmanageable,” past tense because life is always more manageable together, then alone.
God is my navigator. He lays out my path.
He gives me my direction, Good Orderly Direction. But it is up to me to fly the plane. And to follow His flight path. It’s up to me to turn to those around me, to help me operate my aircraft as we start down the pathway of learning to live by Spiritual Principles. Whether through 12 Step Programs, support groups, or here at JnP, the connections we make with each other are without parallel.
I do not Surrender my actions. I Surrender the results. Unconditionally!