When I was a member of a Catholic Monastery, we ran a retreat center for all of the various "Anonymous" groups. Our facilities could hold up to 65 visitors. Each week, we would have a whole new set of people come to get away from their regular routines to find the support they needed to help them "restore themselves to sanity" (Step 2) and to "turn their will and lives over to the CARE of God" (Step 3). All day/night long, they would have a marathon of meetings where a tremendous amount of Healing took place, through the fellowship of the Anonymous programs.
The "Guardian" of my monastery (the head monk) was an admitted Alcoholic and actively participated in the AA program. As Guardian, it was his role to instruct the younger "monks-in-training" to learn about and progress in the Spiritual Life. Although there are incredibly important "Doctors of the Church" who were experts in Spirituality (my favorites... St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Thérèse of Lisieux), it was our Guardian's belief, after having been a monk for over 50 years, that the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous was the most powerful, practical approach to growing in the Spiritual Life! Although it was not required of us to learn about and attend meetings, he highly encouraged us to do so. He would say, "If you don't want to do our monk schedule, you can go to the meetings for fun." Well... even though I have never done drugs or have been drunk in my life, I decided to check it out, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! The 12 Step can bring about PROFOUND HEALING and either introduce people to Spirituality or Reconnect people to it.
These Steps can be followed by anyone, regardless if they are an addict or not. The first step saying "our lives had become unmanageable" can mean for the non-addict, that their lives had become a jumbled puzzle that was too hard to figure out how they got there and what to do next. To the addict, only they can fully understand how unmanageable it has become. Where the word "Alcohol" or "Alcoholic" is used in ANY/ALL of the Anonymous literature, just replace those words with what you're struggling with... Crystal Meth, Cocaine, Food, Gambling, Marijuana, Narcotics, Nicotine, Sex etc.
The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
12 Step Anonymous Programs
Please email me at Paul@MeetYourAngels.com if you want me to help you work the Steps and provide you with Life Coaching and/or Spiritual Direction... My own approaches to help you reconnect to your Spirituality and HEAL the past wounds and traumas that you're still carrying with you. In your email, please share your circumstances and what type of help you need. Until then... PEACE and LOVE Always - Paul
If you have any Prayer Requests, Prayers of Gratitude or Special Intentions, Please share them in the Comments of this video on YouTube so we can Pray for your Intentions.
Have you noticed there is a lot of "Drama" going on right now? We thought last year was difficult... WOW... what's up now???!!!
I wrote the following to a friend this morning in response to her question...
"This is what's going on right now in the world... we are in a time of great challenge for everyone... mostly emotional and spiritual. We are in a period which is a "get in your face" space where we are being challenged to look at who we are at the core of our being. There is no longer an allowance for being "in the middle." Situations, events and relationships are challenging us to look DEEP WITHIN to truly extract where we are coming from... what our values are and how we would make our decisions. While it is a period of great frustration, pain and hurt, it is also a period of great CLARITY (once the situations are processed) which strengthens us deep, deep within. While we feel empty and alone on one hand because we feel abandoned by TRUTH (and the people we hoped lived in TRUTH), but on the other hand we receive much strength knowing that we DID/DO the right thing! It is an empty, lonely feeling, but it is, without a doubt the seat of TRUTH!
So... now what? Now we know that we choose to live our lives in TRUTH, great... wow... now what???!!!
I am NOT talking about [...] any particular events. All of this is REALITY... this is what is happening to everyone and there are basically two (possibly 3 groups) emerging from all of this. The first group is US... the group that is witnessing the BS in our lives from those that mean the most to us. We witness betrayal and decisions which are BEYOND comprehension for us. We are the group that is dumbfounded. We are shaking our heads and can't believe what is going on.
The second and perhaps the only other group are these people who are disappointing us in our lives. I have struggled with this a lot recently and I KNOW what the answer to it all is, but I'll tell you down below. This second group simply DOES NOT have the CAPACITY or the CALLING to witness to the TRUTH to the depth and degree that WE are... OK? They are LITERALLY BLIND to what is happening. They do not have the same outlook that we do... they do not have the same capacity for knowing right and wrong. They are "smaller containers" of the Truth. The solution is below.
The third group, which I really, TRULY PRAY does NOT exist are evil people! There is a possibility that there are people out there who want to do evil. Because this is so terrifying to me, I choose to NOT BELIEVE that there could possibly be such an entity. Evil and darkness are only an ILLUSION. People CHOOSE darkness. They choose depression and lack. It's not so much the choice of darkness, rather, the choice of LACK. They choose limitations. They choose deprivation. They choose to not fully embrace the LIGHT. Remember... their "containers" are smaller so they don't feel the lack as much as we do. We have far more emptiness to feel (when we are empty) because our containers are so much bigger.
So... what is the solution?
There is ONLY LOVE.
FORGIVENESS is a dimension of LOVE. Can we blame others for having a different mission or container size in life than ours? If we can look at and believe that these people and situations are LESSONS FOR OUR JOURNEY, NOT THEIRS, then this brings a completely new dimension to all of this. You and I NEED to experience the hurt, the disappointment, the betrayal and the abandonment, because it HELPS US GROW. I tell my clients constantly that our "human dimension is being stretched, Stretched, STRETCHED to make more room for our DIVINE dimension! TO MAKE MORE ROOM FOR LOVE, MORE ROOM FOR HAPPINESS, MORE ROOM FOR JOY. By having these reminders of sadness in our lives (these miserable people) it SHOULD help us to truly appreciate OUR GOODNESS, OUR WEALTH (Physical, Emotional and Spiritual), and this should STRENGTHEN us to LIVE, not to crawl up under a rock and die or abandon these people when they need us most, but to surround yourself with the LIGHT WITHIN OURSELVES so that others can witness to GOODNESS, LOVE, TO HAPPINESS & TO JOY.
If you clean the slate and erase all the emotional ties to all of these situations it all boils down to the TRUTH, there is only ONE thing... THERE IS ONLY LOVE.
Peter... Do you LOVE Me? Yes, Lord, I love you.
Peter... Do you LOVE me? Yes, Lord, I Love you.
Peter... Do you LOVE me? Yes, Lord, I LOVE YOU.
Then... Feed My Sheep!"
WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO SHARE THE LIGHT OF LOVE and to FORGIVE.
NONE of that "stuff" we've been upset over means anything. It is all pointless because THERE IS ONLY LOVE.
When the DIVINE SPIRIT rises within, It is time to claim our Royal seat. We were created in the "image and likeness of God"...
LIVE IN LOVE
THERE IS NOTHING BUT LOVE & FORGIVENESS!
Does this make us feel any better? Perhaps not yet because our humanity still feels the pain and hurt, but WE UNDERSTAND. "Letting go" is our job at hand and letting people live THEIR lives, not ours!
Hope this helps, and I hope you understand what I am saying. It is difficult, but its what we are supposed to do.