The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
Father Martin talked about the family in recovery, importance of forgiveness, spiritual aspect, and feelings that are involved in addiction. In this next talk, Father Martin takes us through the actual three first steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have appreciated the way he shows us the obvious with great small examples in this discussion.
Beginning with the first step, Father Martin points out this step as being the most important one. He makes it clear that the way we respond to this first step alone can determine how we will do in the rest of the 11 steps. Father Martin shares the two crucial questions one may ask, which will determine our commitment to the program. The first is how deep are we in our sincerity of our powerlessness? The second one is how serious we are in accepting this step? Both of these traits will show great importance in the process of all the other steps that are yet to come.Father Martin continues by describing a bit more how one can accept this first step. First, he makes it clear that it cannot come from an intellectual understanding and acceptance. He says that it is in the meeting point between willingness, open-mindedness, and honesty, that one can complete the first step. It is after admitting to the problem, that one can learn to live in the solution. Alcoholics Anonymous, in Father Martin’s eyes, is a wonderful program filled with tools to help the alcoholic heal. However, it seems like before we can work these steps, we need to acknowledge the nature of our condition. He suggests we do so, simply by looking at our thinking pattern. If the addiction occupies 90% of our thoughts, it is a pretty clear sign that the addiction has taken over our life and therefore is unmanageable.
Father Martin explains that after we have acknowledged our weakness, we are ready for Step Two. After we have accepted that our own power alone has not been enough, we can come to believe in a power, outside from us, which can restore us to sanity.According to Father Martin, one of the great values of Alcoholics anonymous is the freedom one can find in finding their own perception of a greater power. There is no such thing as persuading anybody of anything. We are each free to believe in our greater power, however we want to call it and perceive it. Furthermore, Father Martin clarifies that in order to attain this second step; one needs to leave the ego-centric self and open up to a bigger power. Father Martin unfolds the great gift of sharing with fellowship and how being with other clean and sober alcoholics gives strength and hope. This step is about making a conscious choice to believe in a power greater than us. It is not yet concrete action but mostly a choice that comes out of our realization that we alone cannot restore ourselves to sanity.
We arrive to the third step, where we are invited not only to believe in a power greater than ourselves but to make a decision to turn our will and our lives to our God, as we understand him. Father Martin makes it clear that turning our will does not mean not taking any action. It means letting God’s will choose what our actions may be. Realizing that God’s will for us is simply to get well and stay well, we allow our greater source to guide us in our daily life. We are still the one doing the work but with guidance and being given the strength needed in order to work the steps to our recovery. Father Martin helps us understand that God will not run our life. He will support us by giving us the courage we need to face our difficulties on our way to recovery and sanity. Therefore, It is in Step Three that we begin to start living from a place of faith.I look forward to the next discussion, where Father Martin will talk about the symptoms of alcoholism and how one can self diagnose.
Serenity Vista Addiction Recovery Retreat in Panama offers a holistic view of treatment. The 12 Steps are the basis of the philosophy, and you will go to 3 AA meetings a week. The program is not religious, but does include discussions of spirituality. Yoga, massage, fun activities and back to basics counseling and relapse prevention round out the treatment. Oh, and there is great food, music, art, a loving chocolate labrador retriever, hammocks in the backyard amidst the hibiscus flowers and palm trees and our very own sailboat. What kind of drug and alcohol treatment do you want? Click Serenity Vista Program here for more information on what the best rehab is for you.
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