Hello my name is Kara and I am addicted to self-will!
Page 62 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states “So our troubles, we think , are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot”…..um….bummer! I don’t know about you but I have never lived in peace and riot at the same time. Of course, I have given it one heck of an effort, but the 2 don’t mesh. Ultimately, through experiencing both peace and unrest, I decided I would like to choose peace. It’s one or the other. And I like peace!
So, how can I achieve ultimate peace in my life and still be responsible for making decisions to be a reasonably decent human being living a remotely successful life? It’s simple…and not simple! It’s a willingness to lay down my ideas and choose the path of my Higher Power. OK great. I really want to do that. Sounds fantastic! Everyone talks about how great it is to be in Gods will. But, to be honest, unless God sends me an instructional manual, preferably by text, I am not clear on what that even looks like!
Here’s what I am learning…Gods will is about making choices based on love. It’s about making a choice to trust and believe that God has a perfect and exciting plan and knows what is best for my life. And Gods best is immersed in love. It may look nothing like my self-propelled plan. Actually, surprise, ….it looks nothing like my self -propelled, love lacking plan. It means ditching my self-will, my desire for success, a need for human affirmation, and all that other junk that weighs me down, and taking a leap of faith to go along on Gods ride.
The tricky, almost comical part, is that I can’t actually remove my self-propelled will with my own self-propelled will. I can’t self-think my way out of self-will and into faith in God’s plan. I have tried that, doesn’t work…ever. How unfortunate for an ego like mine! But how fortunate that I don’t have to because I’m getting a little heavy with the pressure! I have a God of my own understanding that partners up with me to take care of this crazy little thing called my life. I just need to take a risk daily and be willing to trust that God’s got my back. But how? That sounds like an amazing concept. I truly do not desire the pressure anymore. But I must have to do something!! How do I know when I am running on my own fuel or when I am living according to Gods will? My answer so far is Love. If I am basing my choices and actions based on pure love, compassion and grace, then I can be assured my path in this life is in congruence with Gods path. That means no gossipy and manipulative actions or hateful self-centered choices to get my way. That means no comparing myself to others and trying to compete with them for “better”. That means letting go of my fears of what might happen and embracing the excitement of something far better. It means accepting this “something far better” is more than I can imagine.
You see, I finally, after many years of being afraid of God and trying to prove myself to God and being mad at God, can now say that I trust God. I can say I believe God is not out to punish me. God is not keeping a check list of my rights and wrongs, my goods and my bads. He simply is embracing me in all my humanness and showering me with love and understanding. He is smiling and cheering me on when I let things go to him. God is picking me up time and time again as I learn to trust. When I allow God to mold my spirit into love, then I have no choice but to act in love. That’s Gods will. Making one right and loving next choice one moment at a time. It means breathing when I am anxious and pausing when I am angry. It means laying down my ideas and embracing a heart of growing love. It means unconditional kindness towards others as well as myself.
This is a constant growth area for me. I can recognize when I run a riot. And I can feel that. Its stressful and fearful. It is then that I can stop and breathe and turn it over to God. It’s a constant trial and error experience of building my faith with my higher power. Listen, my head is all on board with God running my life. God has taught me time and time again that when I am living in his presence and trusting in his plan for my life, peace is plentiful. My head knows this, but my heart and spirit, conditioned in a world running on man-made success, struggles with this daily. Where does my responsibility lie? Do I just lay there on my floor, curled up in a blanket, waiting for an email from God to tell me my next steps? Well, that would actually be nice some days…but I have tried that and its utterly depressing. And a bit insane. And boring! The key is to get up, get moving and try. See what happens and watch as the answers come pouring in. Sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly!
Here’s some really, awesome good news I’ve experienced along the way. As I experiment and take risks to trust in God’s plan, he’s got me covered in love and grace, grace, grace. I don’t have to do it perfectly. Just keep on keepin’ on. What’s meant to stick will stick, what’s not will disappear.
So, that’s how I see it today. And I reserve the right to have my perspective tweaked by God tomorrow. Because, after all, I am still a work in progress and God is constantly changing me and growing my spirit into a more loving and trusting one. Life doesn’t always go as I hope and wish. But even in those time of confusion, when I fear for the future, when I am afraid of pain (mostly in those times), I have the assurance that I am not alone. That all is for good purpose out of love. It’s true! I tried to prove it wrong on my own self will and it was proven true despite my efforts to push it away. Enjoy God’s will! It’s a beautiful journey and one we all deserve!