“My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.” Psalm 17:5
Seven of the twelve steps in 12 Step Programs are taken from the Lord’s Prayer. Many people have recovered who have followed these steps along with the other five. We need to follow the path set before us via the 12 Steps as well as the Ten Commandments. If we stay on this intersecting pathway, keeping our faith burning within us, we will not relapse. God is always there for us if we but reach out to Him. He will steady us on the most uneven of trails when we ask Him to. On the path of life, there is no elevator, one must take the steps.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
“I’m leaving you peace. I’m giving you my peace. I don’ give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don’t be troubled or cowardly” John 14:27
After admitting our wrong doings, or sins, our program suggests that we make direct amends to all people we have harmed. This can be a scary prospect. God instructs us, however to not be troubled or cowardly. Not only do we make these amends to bring about justice or to right wrongs. We do these amends to improve our relationships. These amends are also for our benefit, our peace of mind, our consciouses. If we receive forgiveness from others, we consider it a bonus. God has already promised us His peace. Do not be afraid. Go boldly and make your amends. Move forward with confidence. Peace is a given.
“Blessed is the person whose disobedience is forgiven and whose sin is pardoned.” Psalm 32:1
“Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Our program of recovery suggests that we identify our wrong doings and then confess them to God another person and to ourselves. It is difficult to soar on wings like an eagle when our sins and conscious are weighing us down. How freeing to be given absolution and rest for our souls. God cannot give us blessings when we are filled with guilt and the garbage left over from our unrepented past deeds. A hardened heart doesn’t accept God’s forgiveness. Clear the conscience, soften the heart, make way for forgiveness and peace…peace of mind…peace of soul…finally, serenity.
“I am leaving you peace. I am giving you my peace. I don’t give you the kind of peace that the world gives, do don’t be troubled or cowardly.” John 14:27
In my mornings readings and meditations I came across the question, “What nourishes your soul?” I thought about this and also wondered what deflates it? Snow shoeing on a cold but sunny day truly lifts my spirits, feeds my soul with vitamin D. I get a renewal of energy that continues into the rest of my day, a warming of my body that radiates to my soul and from my smiling rosie-cheecked face. I realized that conflict deflates my soul. I see now why in 12 Step programs we “promptly admit” our wrongs. By doing so we patch the hole in our spirits before they deflate. In the past, when my spirit was deflated I looked to “spirits” to fill me, inflate me, lift me high. Soon came the let down, a deflation that left me even more flattened then before. Today I choose to nourish my soul, work to keep my spirit lifted and in doing so, have loving relationships, ones where we can learn and grow from one another, have a strengthening of bonds by trusting and loving one another, and being open to change. I have learned that by remaining teachable, humble, I get to be taught by my friends, how to treat others with respect and the courage to expect respect. Whenever I feel conflict in a relationship, conflict of my own making, I make amends,quickly, for this not only heals the relationship, it allows spirits to grow, spread wings and soar!