There are a number of cartoon characters who perpetually have a rain cloud over their heads. While it’s sunny for everyone else, for them it is raining.
For some people, this description is not far from the truth. Of course we are not talking about weather conditions. Rather, we are talking about life attitude. There are people who walk around under a cloud of negativity for the whole day.
When our feet hit the ground in the morning, we have our first choice of the day. Are we going to choose to have a “good” day or “bad” day. For some of us, this might be a surprising statement. In the past we might have said, “how can I have a good day with all that I have to deal with today”? We have discovered that as we work our program; our attitude is a choice and is not dependent on the events of the day. Experience has also shown that when we include prayer and meditation as one of our first daily acts, our sense of positivity is also strengthened.
Personal Reflection: What kind of day did you plan for today?
For a long time we kept things to ourselves. We spent months and years sweeping everything under the carpet. By the time we were done, we metaphorically had a huge mound of “stuff” sitting in the center of the room under the rug. We might not have seen the mound, but it was obvious to everyone else. We also had to put a lot of effort into hiding our pile and it was quite painful for us to hold onto.
Today, we have other options. We can finally put our brooms away. When we encounter a problem, we can discuss it at a meeting. We can also make an outreach call to someone else in the program. Certain issues are best discussed one on one with our sponsors. Perhaps the greatest resource for us is being able to turn to our Higher Power. On a daily basis many of us pray for His assistance. The act of turning over our problems to the G-d of our understanding liberates us from worry and concern about the future. Of course we still need to do the work so to speak, but the results are now in His hands.
Personal Reflection: What do I still need to turn over?
Growing up, a lot of us developed a mistaken concept of prayer. Various traditions instructed us to pray to G-d with our requests. When our prayers weren’t answered, perhaps we went to religious representatives about our lack of results. Some of us were told that our prayers weren’t answered because we were being punished for previous sins. Others were told that on some level we hadn’t prayed hard enough, or we hadn’t used the correct words or formula. The end result was that many of us felt distant and alienated from G-d and prayer.
In the program we have developed a different understanding of prayer. As we work the steps we do ask our Higher Power to remove our defects of character. At the same time we have come to realize that we need to also do our part to identify and change our negative actions and thoughts. As we develop an intimate relationship with G-d; we often find that He has a great sense of humor. Our Higher Power will often send us the very obstacle we are praying for to be removed. How we respond demonstrates our growth.
Personal Reflection: What challenge has my Higher Power sent me recently?