I want to preface this blog post by saying that I don’t consider myself a religious person (although I do see where religious people are right) but I definitely consider myself a spiritual being. I’ve been in recovery for close to 11 years now and in recovery it is important to turn your will and life over to a power greater than yourself. We call that a “higher power.”
Many of us come into recovery with biases about religion, I was no exception, but alcoholism scared me more than not believing in some sort of higher power, so, I fashioned a God of my understanding, as we are guided to do in AA.
My spiritual practice is a mixture of Orthodox Judaism, Buddhism and the teachings from The Self Realization fellowship. And for the past almost 11 years I’ve had all the faith in the world but I didn’t have trust. I didn’t even know the difference until recently.
Faith is a noun. It is something we have. It’s basically a strong belief in a higher power without proof or evidence. Faith says our higher power CAN.
Trust is a verb. It is something we DO. It is faith in action. Trust says our higher power IS. Trust is largely based on evidence that our higher power is real. I will use an example that I found on a Christian website and I heard it from Bob D, a great recovery speaker (I will paraphrase).
In the 1800’s the famous Blodin performed death defying tightrope acts, mostly over Niagara Falls. He would add an element of difficulty every time. One time he carried his manager on his back!
Blondin was great at wowing the crowds with suspense and thrill. In one show he asked the audience if they would be interested in seeing him push a wheel barrel over the tightrope. The audience screamed out, “YES.”
You see the crowd had faith that he could push a wheel barrel across the tightrope because they’ve seen him do many stunts before. But then Blondin asked if anyone would be interested in getting in the wheel barrel, the response was a unanimous, “NO!”
This is a metaphor for your higher power. How many of us say we have faith? We have faith that Blondin will push that wheel barrel over the tightrope. We have faith there is a higher power out there. We believe in that power. But how many of us really trust that higher power enough to get into that wheel barrel?
Getting into the wheel barrel means LETTING GO COMPLETELY. That there is no doubt that your higher power has got you…That is trust.
I didn’t come to this trust lesson easily. I’ve had some adversity for the past 3 years and I did everything that a human being could do to try and control the situation and I left my higher power out of it completely. I got this! Ensuing mental break downs, shame, anxiety, fear, you name it happened. I just couldn’t take it anymore.
I got on my knees and prayed, “God, please show me what to do here, I’m so done trying to make this happen. I surrender.” The very next day at a meeting my friend Bill, who is in recovery and who is also a psychic said this to me. “I want you to say this mantra every day when meditating…God, give me the TRUST that I need and the willingness to accept the evidence of it.”
Every day I meditate and say that mantra. Everywhere I turn it seems that someone is telling me to trust. I’m constantly getting that message. So, I stepped into that wheel barrel. There was no other choice.
Staying in the wheel barrel is a daily practice as many days I would like to take my will and life back and start making thing happen again. I won’t receive the miracles if I do that. Your higher power is there when all resistance stops.
So, when things are spiraling out of control, when life doesn’t make sense, when everything has been stripped from you and you’re left with nothing…That is when you’re probably going to be forced to trust. Every single pain and trial has a purpose. As difficult as these times are we have to trust in our higher power who is the only one who can see the finished picture.