Father Martin on the 12 steps.
The 12 Steps
Father Martin on the 12 steps.
The 12 Steps
Father Joseph Martin was a lecturer on alcoholism and a gifted one at that. His ability to articulate the steps, and how they relate to spiritual matters has been put into several videos that are available for purchase.
Additionally his talks are made available on youtube, and from time to time I will occasionally post a couple on this site. While being a catholic priest, Father Martin also had his struggles with alcoholism himself.
For more information, please check his wikipedia page which is posted here.
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous Pg. 58*
This is almost a funny statement, because you cannot partially let something go, you can only let it go completely. If you haven’t let something go, you’re still holding onto it. It’s that simple. Yet on page 58 it states Let Go Absolutely. This serves to emphasize a point, in that in order for change to come about, this needs to be done by letting go completely. When I let go of something, I feel it. I feel the release, I feel relief. I feel acceptance internally and I am at peace with whatever it was I needed to let go of.
If I have not accepted something, in other words, if I have not let it go, then I am still going to be troubled by it. To let go takes understanding, takes compassion and love. Additionally though, when I have truly let something go, it brings me far greater clarity on the situation, a deeper sense of compassion, and a broader sense of Love. So coming to that point of acceptance, that is when I have let something go, and that is letting go absolutely.
I did this once, I wanted to understand how the things I was struggling with in life weigh me down. So I took rocks, I wrote on the rocks with a marker what I was struggling accepting, then I put the rocks in a backpack. I then hiked to the river not far from my home. Now, I took the rocks out of the backpack, and I threw them into the river, releasing them, in effect physically letting go. I then walked home with a much lighter backpack and less strain on my shoulders. I could feel the difference physically, walking home I had more bounce in my step and I felt lighter. – When I let something go, when I have truly accepted something, I can feel the difference internally, feeling in effect, much lighter in life.
– Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous Pg. 70*
Often I have heard, what is Gods’ will for me? Often it can cause many, including myself, to almost over analyze, to over think things far too much to the point of being stuck with a certain decision. Analysis Paralysis, I have heard people call it.
I have found, that in order to do the next right thing, it may not always serve my best interests. It may not always appear to be the greatest thing for me, It may even be difficult to do. What I have learned, in my experience is, the doing next right thing brings about true self esteem, true self confidence and true self love. This is gift beyond measure, and is a result of prayer**.
Additionally, there is certain choices, certain crossroads that we come to when we make a decision in life. Do we choose that direction based on serving selfish needs, or do we make that choice based on what is best for everyone involved? Prayer, for me is the guiding force that helps direct my thinking in times of indecision. It allows me to trust the universe for what it is, and head in the right direction.
So the next time you find yourself trying to figure out some difficult situation, try praying to whatever it is You believe in, give what you’re struggling with to that Power, and then don’t try and figure out the problem. Your answer will come once you quiet your mind.
“A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, “a design for living “that really works.” – Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous page 28
My old way of managing life was not a design for living. It was management by crisis, based on order of importance in the chaotic life I was living. Alcohol helped me to cope, it helped me to deal with my feelings. The Steps teach us to live again. The Steps, teach us how to face life on life’s terms. With some practice, understanding, and guidance from a couple of good sponsor’s, the Steps have changed my life, my perception and my experiences to the point where I can see the world with new eyes today.