Monday, December 6, 2010

A spiritual awakening

Tonight we talked about Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.  We shared what we thought it meant to have a spiritual awakening.  If I have awakened, what does that mean in my life?  How do I know?

For me, there was not really any one moment of clarity that I can single out.  There wasn't a lightening bolt of enlightenment.  Rather, it seems that day by day I have changed.  I know what I was before and can feel inside how I am now.  There is a difference. 

Some of what has happened to me, I attribute to knowing that I am not alone.  I now have friends who sincerely care about me.  I can pick up the phone and call people who will listen with acceptance.  Now that I have people to talk to, who understand the effects of alcoholism and what it takes to recover,  I am not stuck in my own head to work things out.  I am not alone with the killer of obsessive thinking that drove me to over analyze everything.  Part of my spiritual awakening is that I have learned to quiet my mind.  Meditation and realizing that I don't have to figure everyone else out has changed me. 

I have steadily become more aware of what I need to live a life without having to be doing something just for the sake of doing it.  My spiritual awakening has helped me to narrow the many choices down to what I really think matters.  I don't need to pretend that I enjoy doing something.  I actually can make a choice and not feel guilty about saying NO. What a relief to not play the game anymore of having to pretend to be somebody.  I am somebody now without the pretending.

Another part of my spiritual awakening is the realization that I am not in charge of anyone else's life.  I don't have the power to make another person recover,  make them do what I want, be what I want, or love me the way that I want.  My awakening has been to mind my own business and be happy with who I am.

My awakening is an evolving process.  Not every day or situation is one that I am fully awake to.  I liken the feeling of spiritual awakening to the tide.  It rolls in and carries me in a wave of good feelings.  And then it also may depart, leaving me behind,  feeling alone and scared.  But I know that the good tide of feelings will return.  And with those moments when I am awash in the wonderment of life, I know that my spirit is awakening, little by little, one day at a time. 

The following is something that I found online about how to know that you have had a spiritual awakening.  I don't know who wrote it, but I believe that I get these.  They are becoming a part of my life.

1--An increased tendency to let things happen , rather than make them happen.

2--Frequent attacks of smiling.

3--Feelings of being connected with others and nature.

4--Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

5--A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.

6--An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

7-- A loss of the ability to worry.

8-- The loss of interest in conflict.

9--A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others

10-- A loss of interest in judging others.

11--A loss of interesting in judging self.

12--Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.

And that is what I am experiencing now more and more.  God, it feels so good.


  1. Love the list, and there's 12 of them too, appropriate! Reading them I sense that I am not quite there, yet.

    Feeling a nudge, that I need to work my program more....

  2. nice. yeah i would not define mine as one shining moment eaither...and there are still somethings ont aht list i need to get to...

  3. This is all new to me but your blog is my new favorite way to start my helps ground me for the day. Thank you!

  4. Syd, this is one of my favorite blogs that you have ever written. I just finished step twelve and it's so hard to explain the 'spiritual awakening" to people. I do know there is a sense of calm that now exists even in the midst of total chaos, my insides are at peace. It is a process that evolves over time but "practicing these principles in all our affairs". You explained it beautifully....

  5. I am very good at some of these. Terrible at others. I am, I suppose, still awakening.

  6. Great post, lots of good things you have written.

    For me, it's like you said, it's all about letting go and letting God. I'm not in control, I don't need to change people or situations, I can trust in something Bigger than me.

  7. For me a spiritual awakening happens when I can see through something that has been holding me back my whole life. Some out dated thinking that is no longer useful. It suddenly becomes clear and I feel free to let it go.

  8. That is could be mine. I have had a few moments of revelation but the biggest awakening has come step by step, just like my growth.


  9. That list was wonderful!
    The AA Big Book describes a Spiritual Awakening as simply becomming different. I feel I have had several, afterall I'm changing all the time, and since I'm regularly working the steps I often have physical responses or I at least feel and act different.

    My father's NA sponsee talks about how he had a huge physical spiritual awakening. That he was on the greatest high he ever felt and just saw the world as different. This was 3 or so years ago, and he's still clean and talks about getting the high when working with someone else.

    =) I'm happy I found your blog, I'm an Alateener and program child myself.


  10. Wonderful post, Syd. A program friend jokes that she expected "the burning bush," and instead, received a quiet inner process of change.

  11. Wonderful post good to read right around the Holidays

  12. Love the list! I have a friend going through a hard time - I'm going to recommend that she read your blog!

  13. Nice post. I just finished working Step Twelve as well. I always thought that a spiritual awakening would involve unicorns, and beams of sun coming out of the sky. I love the list. Looking forward to more of that. Okay, so back to the drawing board then! Thanks! :)

  14. I am grateful for your blog and your willingness to post recovery. It helps me greatly, like at 9 o'clock at night when my husband is displaying behaviors that I struggle with. Your blog helps me to pull back from the future thoughts, and the past, and keep my mind on my program.

    I grew up in an alcoholic home and your the first person in 7 yrs that I can relate to. Only you have had the courage to find what you love and do it...going out on a boat. I dream to be able to find what I love and do it. Fear strikes before I can try. For now, my courage grows stronger as I learn to rely on God and not others.

    Thanks Syd. May God's peace be with you.



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