This past few weeks have been quite challenging for me. I realized how old messages came up for me, and I used them to hurt me, rather than using conscious faith.
The July 6th reading in Hope for Today put me gently on track. Putting the reading in my own words this morning was its own Godsend.
Just as with an active alcoholic, I found constant disappointments from growing up with a person with an undiagnosed personality disorder. I learned a lifelong habit of "expecting the worst," which led to entrenched fears that have affected my will and my life.
In our Twelve Step fellowships, I learned about courage that replaces fear. Slowly, trial by trial, I've learned about faith. For a long time I did not know that faith was more a spiritual skill; I acted as if it was something given or withheld by something outside of me.
There are many slogans and many steps that help me deepen my connection with a Higher Power and help me to restore my faith. The Slogan, "Let Go and Let God" helps me practice faith, and Step Three is particularly important for me to return to again and again.
Applying program one day at a time, I have found that by doing my faith practice I discover that God always provides.
I can explore new behaviors and discover how my problems resolve themselves when I detach from the outcome. Each time I allow solutions to arise from faithful, unattached actions I find that I have more trust for next time. I rarely need to intervene!
It helps me to accept that faith ebb and flows each day. I can struggle one day and be supremely serene the next, sometimes for no reason. While I like consistency, I am human and the feeling of faith can be very variable. If I struggle with faith, it in no way means I don't have faith.
When fear overcomes me, as it will, I get me to a meeting. I'll hear reminders from others that my fear will pass. By listening and "Looking for the Good" I get back on the "faith track" and put my trust in a loving Higher Power.
Being Powerless Over My Emotions, I've come to understand that "faith exists whether or not I feel it."
When fear looms bigger than faith, I can take one small action to put fear into perspective. Each action is the practice of faith.
Can I rely on God, and let myself shrug off one of my fears?