Archive for category Step 3

The Rainmaker

 

A Chinese village is besieged by drought and unless there is rain quite quickly, the village is going to starve to death. They have tried everything they know. They have tried all their local people so they finally decide to send for the famous rainmaker.  The great rainmaker is summoned from a very great distance; he consents to come. He comes to the village and he asks immediately: Please build me a straw hut outside the village and give me enough food and water for five days … and don’t disturb me! They do this quickly. The little hut is built and he disappears into it and on the fourth day it rains, just in time to save the village.

The villagers went to the hut, they drag the rainmaker out of the hut blinking into the light, give him his fee and pour all of the gifts that they can upon him. An enormous outpouring of gratitude for he has indeed saved the village.

One man came to him and said: How do you do it? What is the ceremony that you do that makes it rain? The rainmaker said: Oh! You must understand … you see when I came to your village, I was so out of sorts inside myself that I had to put things right inside myself and I never got to the rainmaking ceremony.

Alcoholics Anonymous states on page 64 states, “When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” My life runs much smoother and events seem to happen as they are supposed to when I am spiritually aligned with my Higher Power, all without any additional effort on  my part. In this story the rainmaker travels to the village and  feels he is not aligned with the Tao. He spends 3 or 4 days in meditation to align himself and events seem to happen as they should…it rains. This occurs without additional effort by the rainmaker as he never gets to the rainmaking ceremony. 

This was a favorite story of Carl Jung, the famous psychiatrist. He saw it as an example of his theory of Synchronicity which is the study of meaningful coincidences, or acausal relationships. I have experienced these meaningful coincidences throughout my recovery. Many others have as well. I hear them referred to as “God Shots” in meetings. Amazingly and against all odds the right person seemingly appears out of nowhere to help when no one else can. Or events occur in a highly unlikely pattern to present you with exactly what you need. The person you haven’t thought of in 10 years bumps into you at Walmart with a message of hope only he/she could deliver.

I accept these unlikely occurrences as part of my recovery and a testament to the fact that there is more to life than I understand. I’ll let greater minds than mine, like Dr. Jung’s, to try and figure it out with theories and experiments. I’ll just keep doing the best I can to stay in alignment with my Higher Power’s will and let it rain if it is supposed to.

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Surrender and Commitment

Step 1 is the identification and acceptance of my problem (I’m powerless). Step 2 is the identification and acceptance of my solution (a power greater than myself). In Step 3 I make a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of my Higher Power.

During my recovery I have come to understand that this surrender also means that I am making a commitment: a commitment to put the solution into action. In other words I am making a commitment to be thorough; a commitment to be searching and fearless. I am making a commitment to go to any length and a commitment to practice these principles in all my affairs.

The everyday meaning of offering my will and my life to the care of God can be summarized as commitment.

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Sanity through Surrender

May 2, 2010 | Edit

When I choose to follow my own will instead of surrendering to God’s will all sorts of strangely insane things begin to happen to me. My internal voices block out God’s voice. I begin to allow my defects of self-hatred, fear and delusions to contaminate my soul, my thoughts and my actions. Self pity and self-centeredness are allowed to flourish and take root. My soul’s beautiful garden becomes entangled with the weeds of discontent, anger and resentment.

After 28 years of freedom from alcohol and self, a week ago I chose to reject God’s will and purpose for me. For two days, I experienced the slavery of alcohol and self. I hurt myself and, worst of all, I hurt those closest to me. After two days of walking through the swampy muck and mire where my beautiful garden had been, I fell to my knees and asked God to bring his sunshine and will back to my life. He answered in the form of my sponsor and many friends in AA. They folded me in their arms and let me feel God’s warmth in my soul.

I now see my fall as a blessing. Rakka means “fallen flower.” For me, this means that my defective flower has fallen from its stem. But this is not a bad thing. The experience of her rotting petals shall fertilize the soil so that other flowers shall learn from her knowledge and insight. The seeds of her flower shall flourish under God’s light, love and will. From these seeds shall be sown self-love, patience and acceptance.

The fallen flower has surrendered to God’s will by death of the old ways and ideas. Surrender, though, is just not a thought, or even meditation. Surrender is not merely found in words at a meeting. Surrender is action. Surrender is doing God’s will. Surrender is pulling the weeds of self from His garden through working with others, working the steps and going to meetings. Surrender is my road back to sanity.

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