I haven’t written in this journal for a few days. I did have a chance to write the other day on my phone, and this is what I shared:
Third Step Prayer
God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life.
May I do Thy will always!
I feel so tired right now. It didn’t help that we went to bed last night at 2:00 am after talking with Becky, Mom and Mandy and then got up at 6:30 this morning for the meeting.
I made a mistake today of pointing out something I noticed in Beck that triggered negative emotions in me. I shared those feelings with her thinking she’d be happy that I’m trying to surrender negative emotions, but in reality I was trying to row her boat and push my feelings of jealousy and isolation and resentment on to her. In the white book this is called pride blindness.
Yes, I did have feelings that were not positive, but as I’ve thought about it, these feelings were more about not feeling included in the conversation, not knowing what to say, and simply being exhausted. In times like this in the future, I need to think clearly, write out my feelings as much as I can, and surrender them to God and to another person, preferably my sponsor or other contacts before reaching out to her at all about those feelings.
I have no right to ever look at others and criticize. Instead, I need to look at what my part is in the negative emotions I feel and why I feel them.
I think I had the desire to talk to Becky a lot about how the meeting went this morning and when I got home we had to go right to breakfast because Mom was leaving; I think that may have triggered feelings as well of selfishness or feelings of not being the center of attention which ultimately is selfish and prideful. I want to surrender those feelings to God to ask for His help and to deal with those things better in the future.
I think I also resented the fact that we were at Mimi’s, a place I don’t really care for at all – another self-centered feeling.
I also wrote this out during a sponsorship training:
“If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill.” – Henry B Eyring
We do the inventory a certain way because it works
What’s the purpose of the inventory?
Don’t over complicate it!
We can’t persuade our sponsee to make changes.
If I were running the training:
- have sponsors submit questions before hand
- send an agenda
- use screen sharing to go through the step 4 inventory details
- talk about getting started
- talk about major road blocks that all sponsors deal with
- talk about how to drop a sponsee and why
- talk about success stories and positive things we’re doing
I put together an agenda for the ARP Support Getting Started question I had. I shared this link with Mark and with a bunch of the sponsors who were at the last training. I look forward to their feedback.
As I think about Step 12 and read it over, I want to be aware of things I can do to help share what I’m learning, while at the same time remaining humble, teachable, and honest with myself and others.
Step 12 states:
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to sexaholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do.
What are things I can do to share this message with others?
I feel doing things like the agenda are one small thing, facilitating the SAL Meeting, not being afraid to open my mouth and share what I’m learning with others, going to events like UCAP, being a sponsor, having a sponsor, reaching out to others during the week, these are a few.
Other ideas to work Step 12:
- Creating an online forum where we can ask questions
- The forum doesn’t have to be an actual forum, but can be a blog post where others submit questions for discussion – we then make comments about what’s being asked
- Doing a video interview with Mark G about working the 12 steps of recovery and posting it
- Doing a video interview with Steven C about working the 12 steps of recovery and posting it
- Interviewing others who have multiple years of recovery and posting the results
- Starting a podcast about recovery from pornography that others can be a part of and listen to
- Creating t-shirts that have the recovery date – as I wear this around it will be a conversation starter for sure
Thinking about what Step 12 actually says
What is a “spiritual awakening?”
I looked it up in Google and found an article that breaks it down from an AA perspective. Some of the points I liked were that a spiritual awakening doesn’t necessarily just happen; it’s a process. It’s a point when we feel and “aha” moment, when we feel free, when we feel how it all makes sense.
I feel I’ve had those from time to time.
I like what it said about working ALL of the steps instead of, what it called, “two-stepping.” Two-stepping means “when people fly directly from Step One to Step Twelve. Flush with euphoria, these people are ready to carry the message before they’ve done Steps Two through Eleven.”
I also like this quote:
Step Eleven focuses on the principle of change. Nothing is static. We either grow in recovery or “coast” and become complacent. Prayer and meditation offer a source of guidance for acting wisely in any situation.
This reminds me of the quote from President Eyring:
“If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill.” – Henry B Eyring
And the other one I heard in a meeting:
The only way to coast is downhill.
Was this “spiritual awakening” a result of working the 12 steps or a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, or both?
For me, working the steps of recovery and the Atonement of Jesus Christ are one in the same. As I’m working the steps, I’m using the Atonement on a day to day, moment to moment basis. The 12 steps are the guidelines, the program, the process, for utilizing the Savior’s sacrifice in EVERYTHING in my life, not just to repent from mistakes.
One of the “aha’s” I’ve realized because of the 12 steps is that I can surrender my will, my negative emotions, and my negative thoughts over to God BEFORE I make a big mistake which causes pain and trauma for those I sin against and puts me in a spiritually dead situation.
As I turn my life and will over to God, I’m able to put my trust in Him and ask Him to lift the burdens I feel.
How can I carry this message to sexaholics and practice these principles in all my affairs?
I feel some of the answers are listed above. As I’m open and honest, I think other opportunities will come too (ie. a book, speaking, etc.)
Or, how can I share this message with others and practice these principles in all I do?
First, I have to be aware of what the principles are and I have to be aware of how I’m using them on a day to day basis. If I’m still getting angry with Caleb, overreacting, passing blame or shame on he or any of the kids, I need to surrender those feelings, make amends, and ask for God to help me in that area.
I can’t serve two masters.
I’m grateful for this study today.
I’m grateful for the work I put in to reach out to others in the program and get feedback. I hope they provide some and that the Step 12 process can be a big part of my new normal.