April 12, 2011

Step Eleven, I need People: Messengers of our Higher Power

April 11th's Today reading is one of just two readings in our EA daily reader, that specifically speak on Step Eleven, which says,  

 "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."

Beginning with..."praying only for knowledge of His will for us..."  there is a clear emphasis  on humility that I had not noticed before. 

For me the final words also bring up compassion, 
.." and the power to carry that out."

Compassion, because I know something about the "walk" of several program friends who lack in power (or energy) and who daily suffer pain that makes it hard to  carry out many of the desired activities in their lives.  Productive days are a blessing for these friends.

I like the Today's reminder that, in order to do an honest Step Eleven we need to listen to our HP's messengers, the people that come into our lives, at what may seem inopportune times. Sometimes it is the inopportune help that comes our way,  that we neglect to recognize and appreciate.  There is the well-known story of the woman seeking rescue from the rising waters  of a flood, who pled for her HP's help... and refused any assistance that was offered, because it did not seem to fit her idea of how a Higher Power "should" help.

There is another paradox in this reading, that I appreciate: "If [I] withdraw from human relationships, thinking I am divinely inspired," I risk becoming self-righteous.

That passage in Today's reading makes clear that Step Eleven is not about building an exclusive relationship with a Higher Power,  on my terms.  Nor can I use my connection with my Higher Power to replace the program community. No, I need people.  And this Step is about staying open to the world and my true place in it.  These words are true and simple:  "My relationship with God must be balanced with my relationship with other people."


  1. Smitty, I'll "tap on your shoulder" anytime...just to get to read more good stuff on your blog. Have not been here for long time.

    What's happening is there are just too many 'friends' in my sidebar, and elsewhere...but that's not the real problem, which IS, I get to thinking that if I do not respond to each every day, they will miss me--or worse, not read my blog, even MORE worse, not comment! HA! One day, maybe two...but soon forgot, until we reappear with a blog post, and comments, etc., etc. It's EGO, babe...down-and-dirty PRIDE, which keeps me at this computer for way TOO many hours each day.

    And, just as with booze (and lots of other things!) I either have to cease the activity or behavior, or it soon takes over my life again.

    Reason I'm writing this, I guess, is that no matter how long I've been 'recovering', I'm still all-in-all, a sick Peep. I hate to hear at meetings about how 'good' we all are--for doing what we SHOULD have been doing all our lives. I want to hear the ONE thing which REALLY unites us...our defects. I wish to know that I ain't the ONLY one with a head-full of concupiscence (and I ain't--grin!!!)

    Sorry to bend your ear (eyes) for this 'blong' comment, but THANKS for 'listening'. And THANKS for your visit, which inspired this 'tirade'!!!
    Steve E

    What section of the country do you live?

  2. You made me smile, Steve E. Yes, the ego is in there, despite my own best intentions as a blogger. I recognized my own angst in your words.

    I try to tell myself the primary goal of my writing, at least here, is my own recovery. So I figure, if I get toooo addicted.... whoa, that is in conflict with my goal of recovery! It is lovely to have "followers" stop by, and I treasure that. But again, not to the detriment of THEIR recovery, either.

  3. I live in the Piedmont of the Southeast, in the most southern reaches of Appalachia.

  4. My HP often speaks to me through others, like you... so yes, I need the people too. Great share Smitty.

  5. I think that keeping my life in balance is what recovery is about. I tend to isolate and need to keep contact with others. I am not successful in my spiritual life if I isolate from God or other humans. Balance in all things!


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~