There are moments in our life where we do or accomplish something that we would have thought was an impossibility. Facing great adversity or against all odds we were successful. These types of events have also become very popular as of late in Hollywood. In recent years there have been many movies which carry the byline, “based on a true story”. As we sit in the theatre over those 2 hours we are inspired by an actor portraying a real life person who fought the good fight or who transcended great adversity and persevered to success.
To this we say, “Hollywood has nothing on us”. In the rooms of AA, NA and OA there are thousands of stories about people who had sunk to the bottom rung of existence and today are happy, healthy, productive members of society. Each and everyone one of them is a walking miracle. Their struggles would make great movie material. Their stories though differ from the ones from Hollywood. In the program, we attribute our success to our Higher Power. We say, “G-d is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves”. Whatever we have, whatever we have accomplished, we acknowledge the role of our Higher Power.
Personal Reflection: Do I give enough credit to my Higher Power for my successes?
Over and over again you hear in the rooms how difficult it was for people to enter the program. There was often huge resistance to even going to a meeting. Shame about our disease kept us out of the rooms. Denial that we had a problem prevented us from crossing the threshold. Then, one day, a miracle occurred and we actually made it to a meeting. The bigger miracle was that for many of us, that date became our sobriety date, the first day we refrained from using our drug of choice. Congratulations! That moment was a truly awesome one.
Hopefully we began to realize that a lifetime of personal dysfunction followed us into the rooms. Drugs, alcohol or food were just a symptom of the problem. Our accumulated dysfunction required a lifetime of personal, transformative work. The program provided an excellent framework for beginning that work. In particular, the process of going through the steps could be life altering. The establishment of discipline and commitment by going to meetings and calling our sponsor was also crucial. Everything was laid out in front of us to initiate the process of personal change. What now mattered was our level of engagement. Our failure to do so often catapulted us back into our addiction.
Personal Reflection: What issues of mine still require work?
When we we heard someone using words like “miracles” or “miraculous” many of us felt uncomfortable. We were of the school of thought that felt there was a logical explanation for almost everything that occurred in the universe. We had repeatedly heard about miracles which were later found to be explainable thru the laws of reason or science. Then perhaps one day while we were griping to someone about this miracle talk, an old timer interrupted our conversation and said, “how has your life changed since you entered the program”? Now that was something we could talk about. There had been so many changes for the better. Relationships had been reclaimed, finances had been restored, and health greatly improved. While we were active, in our wildest dreams we didn’t think that the type of life we were living was even in the realm of “possibility”. Yet now, thru the program we had fulfilled those supposedly unobtainable possibilities. We had even begun to look towards the future with an eye on uncovering a whole new set of possibilities. Upon consideration, our turning possibilities into reality really was miraculous.
Personal Reflection: How have my possibilities been miraculous?
There are miracles and magic in 12 step rooms. It really is quite miraculous that people were able to put down their drug of choice. It didn’t make a difference if it was alcohol, food or drugs. Our stories were almost identical. For years we had attempted to stop using. Time and again we had vowed that this would be the last time, only to go back on our word the next day. Then something quite miraculous happened. We entered into AA, NA or OA and our obsession to use was lifted. For the first time in years or perhaps decades we were free. All things considered it is safe to say that a miracle had taken place.
Then the magic appeared. As we immersed ourselves in the program, and began to work the steps, life began to change. At first these changes were subtle. Perhaps we were a little less reactive on the road, at the dinner table or at work. Over time, fears and resentments began to substantially lessen. We could honestly say that we were happier than we had been in years or even the happiest we had ever been. Pretty miraculous, right?
Personal Reflection: Do I still experience life magic?
At a meeting, one of the members was talking about miracles. Her reference point for miracles was the film, “The Ten Commandments”. Miracles for her were things like the splitting of the Red Sea or one of the plagues visited upon the Egyptians. Yes, these definitely qualified as miracles. They can’t be explained by natural or scientific laws. For those of us looking for these types of miracles in our lives, we’re probably going to be sorely disappointed.
Looking beyond this sort of happening, we can encounter miracles in our lives. Isn’t it miraculous that the obsession to use our drug of choice has been lifted. It’s pretty wondrous that we’ve been able to integrate so well back into our lives. Beyond that, we begin to see the miraculous in the ordinary. The birth of a child, the glory of a sunrise, the marvel of a beehive. The more we look for them, the more we see daily miracles. Many of us also began to encounter events great and small, which cannot be explained by natural or scientific laws. We are comfortable attributing these occurrences to our Higher Power.
Personal Reflection: How open am I to miracles?