Getting What You Need
While I was considering what topic I would lead with today, I randomly opened a meditation book I read daily. It opened to a passage in which the author told of reading of a best-selling writer who had suddenly lost her child in a freak accident. The author commented that her eyes looked out the window at her own child bouncing a tennis ball off the house, and she realized that she had exactly what she needed in that moment. She whispered a prayer “Help me to remember that all I have is all I need.”
One of the most significant lessons for me in sobriety has been to realize that although I may not always get what I want, I always get what I need. I learned this fairly early in my sobriety when at two years sober, I suffered a loss that was devastating to me. I was heartbroken and in so much pain that I didn’t believe there was any point in being sober.
At the time I lived near a beach and I stopped at the beach, saying to myself that I would spend an hour on the beach, and then I would go to a liquor store. As I walked down the road to the beach, I ran into a young man that I didn’t know well, but I did know that he was also a friend of Bill W. He suggested we spend some time together talking on the beach, and we did. Talking to a sober friend calmed me down and reminded me that I did in fact want to be sober and that picking up a drink wouldn’t get rid of my pain – it would only postpone it. But I knew in that moment of encountering this earthly angel at exactly that moment, I knew I would always get exactly what I needed to get through one 24-hour period.
Later, during a time of extreme turbulence in my sobriety when my late husband was actively addicted to crack cocaine, I had an Al-Anon sponsor that kept reminding me of that lesson. Whenever I would call her extremely distraught about the external situation I was in that I was powerless over, she would say, “Be quiet a minute. Are you getting what you need today?” I always had to admit that I was. I have lost touch with that beautiful woman, but on stressful days, I can still hear her voice saying “Are you getting what you need today?”
This week, I would love to hear how you recognize that you are getting what you need in your sobriety. Have you met just the right sponsor or friend at just the right time? Have you read just the right passage in a book that helped you get through another day or heard just the right message at a meeting? As always, you are welcome to share on or off this topic.