Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Waiting for a miracle

Aside from the fact that I was awakened into sobriety by an act of providence, I've not had a moment when the heavens opened and the light came pouring down. I've been waiting for it. Surely there will come a point when some miracle will happen and I can consider myself healed, recovered, free. In my 57 days of sobriety, that is what I've been waiting for. And, that is when I take a good look at myself and perceive my impatience, my human nature, and my alcoholism. Instant gratification has not worked for me in the past. Freedom from reality was quickly accomplished with a few drinks. Now, however, I am learning to live in the here and now...and to be patient with myself. Of all the people with which I've attempted patience, I'm finding myself to be the biggest challenge of all.

Waiting on freedom is a ridiculous notion. I'm learning that it isn't something that is to be achieved, for when you try to grab it...it eludes you. The great paradox is that you must allow it to come to you. There is a great line from a movie that keeps occurring to me lately. It is from the movie Under The Tuscan Sun. When the protagonist of the movie, Francesca, is struggling with love her friend tells her this story. When I was a little girl, I would spend hours searching for lady-bugs; I'd get tired, fall asleep in the grass and when I woke up, they were crawling all over me. It is when we stop looking and struggling and fighting that freedom will find us. It is when it will find me. The whole concept of this is so foreign to a type A person. There has to be a way for me to achieve it. Sitting still and waiting for it is completely asinine. But, it is truth.

The miracle is this - I've been sober for 57 days. Please don't misunderstand that my healing is coming from doing nothing, because I'm doing plenty. Reading, praying, meditating (sort-of), making phone calls, going to meetings, praying some more. Bring the body and the mind will follow, I've heard that one recently. Doing the work is necessary, but the healing comes in the stillness and the surrender of my brokenness to God. It only comes when I realize and admit that I am powerless and that only God can save me. It comes with the understanding that I NEED a savior. Because, if I can do all of this myself, if I can save myself with deeds and work and prayer, why in the world did Jesus die on a cross? Why in the world would I need God?

57 days is a short period of time in the scheme of things, but it has probably been the most significant of my life, so far. If I were only 57 days old, I would be a tiny infant...so I'm attempting to be compassionate with myself. When God shook me awake, I was ready to sprint and now, I'm settling in for the marathon. The rest of my life will be about recovery, this is becoming more and more clear. And, while the heavens may not open and the angels may not sing, I am experiencing tiny miracles every day. Living in a state of awareness is a frightening idea. I am moving through the fear with my eyes open and there is light on the other side. While my eyes are on the goal and I'm continually growing towards peace, I'm learning to savor the moments that will get me there. That is a miracle too.

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