Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Powerless vs. Powerful"

A friend of mine has a great quote on their facebook page. It’s been around a while, and I’ve seen it before. It talks about how our deepest fear isn't that we aren’t good enough, but that we are in fact powerful beyond our wildest dreams. I’ve seen different versions of this. My friend’s talks about how each of us has a light that shines with infinite brightness and how it doesn't do us or the world around us any good to hide our brilliance. And when we embrace the fullness of our beings, we inspire others to do the same.

At a recent book study meeting, we went over Step Seven. I talked about being right-sized before God and how, for me, that has meant not only giving up my character defects, but also embracing my strengths. For me, these two things don’t just go hand in hand, but are one and the same. My greatest defect is still my own sense of low self-worth.

I do believe very strongly in this idea that we all have the light of our higher power shining through us. It is the brightness of our true being--our spiritual selves. One of the things I love so much about Christian Gnosticism is they had the same concept. We are all spiritual beings experiencing reality as humans. “The kingdom of God is within you and all around you,” to quote the Gospel of Thomas. God (or whatever word you choose to talk about your higher power) is not something separate from us, nor us from it. God is a part of us and we are a part of God.

We have free will. We can choose to live our lives in any way we wish. To me, that’s the ultimate proof of God’s love for us. We can chose to live in the world on our own, doing it our way. For those of us with this disease, well, as the old saying goes, “That way lay madness.” We’ve learned too well that living life according to our own will can have disastrous consequences. Orienting ourselves with the power greater than ourselves, that’s when our spiritual energy flows. Instead of discord, there is harmony. Instead of chaos, there is peace and serenity.

Personally, I don’t always enjoy being reminded that I’m a child of God and deserve all the best. I spent many, many years considering myself the lowest of the low. I had some serious indoctrination when I was growing up that it’s bad to think good things about myself. And I’m not just talking about the religious influence, either. A lot of it came from being teased so much by other kids, from being different and not being able to relate. Giving up the idea that I’m not worth the air I breathe is still a struggle for me. Thanks to the program, it’s light-years better than it was, of course, but I won’t sit here and act like it’s not still an issue.

My sponsor is a big believer in balance, and that is what works best for me. Stay away from indulging the ego, keep trying to live according to God’s will and not my own. But also remember that I am a child of the Infinite All, that I am loved, precious, distinct and unique, with a value no one else shares. There is no other me in the world, and if I don’t let the light of my soul shine, it won’t be seen.

I am still powerless over my addiction; I still have the spiritual malady. I cannot be cured of the disease, but I can align myself with my higher power. I have the choice to live by spiritual principles and allow the brightness of my true self to shine. As do we all.

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