Our Personal Spiritual Experiences
The Big Book tells us that alcoholism is a physical, emotional, and spiritual disease. Getting sober does much to address both the physical and emotional aspects of the disease, but the steps are the key to curing the spiritual malady. In fact, the 12th Step says “Having had a spiritual awakening as THE result of these steps, ” (In the meetings I attend, most people read “a result” instead of “the result.”)
Before I put the bottle down, I believed in a Higher Power, but I could not make contact. I would read the Bible with a joint in one hand and a beer in the other and then wonder what was missing. I was missing. I couldn’t have a spiritual life while drowning in spirits.
AA and the steps have given me the most valuable gift of my life – an ongoing, deeply internal contact with the God of my understanding. It is so deep and personal, in fact, that I seldom talk about my own spiritual experience.
Today, I choose to share about it. I am not a religious person. Raised a Christian, I have spent years studying the Bhagavad Gita and Zen Buddhism. Recently, I have read the Qur’an. My heart tells me that there is only one God, no matter what humans call him/her/it (even when the name is “Serendipity”). My Higher Power is the core of every particle in the universe.
Every spiritual text I have read has a simple message. Love God, and love each other. This, I believe, is the base of the 12th Step. When I help another alcoholic, I am serving my Higher Power. And that’s why my Higher Power gave me the gift of sobriety – so I could be of service.
After years and years of being self-absorbed and self-centered, AA and the Steps have placed my in a position to be of service, to love God and to love my fellow creatures. And with that gift comes the responsibility to serve, whether it be another alcoholic, my family or friends, strangers, and even animals. That is my spiritual experience.
Basically, I would use a modified John F. Kennedy quote to express my spiritual experience: Ask not what your HP can do for you. Ask what you can do for your Higher Power.
Please share with us this week about your unique spiritual experience in sobriety.