By Megan McDowell
To abandon is to give up; discontinue; withdraw from: Pertaining to something that is not meant to be possessed, or is being held without merit.
What does it mean to you when you think of the idea of abandoning yourself to something? It can be a curse, but in the case of an alcoholic slowly dying from the depths of a spiritual malady, it is a gift. What is held without merit, is the idea of continuously running life on self-will. In other words, an alcoholic has to give their life and will over to something that is much bigger and outside of themselves. This something can be called higher power or God.
In my case, I am an alcoholic, who has only scratched the surface of abandoning myself to God. I continually have to experience self will run riot through validation of men, manipulation, personal gain, pride, etc. to see that the only saving grace that I truly have is a loving God, who accepts me in any experience that I may have. After doing yet again another trial run on self-will, I get to reaffirm my faithwith a power greater then myself, and know that I will be taken care regardless any life circumstance that is thrown my way.
What abandoning myself to God looks like today is practicing what has been offered to me by working the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The essential requirements of this spiritual practice includes a belief in the power of God, enough willingness, honesty, and humility. Utilizing these requirements may seem daunting and unattainable at times, especially when feelings get involved. However, feelings do not dictate where I am spiritually, unless the feelings that I experience graduate from thought to action. The idea that I am human, and fallible, means that I will have actions that might not deem “appropriate” for the way of life that I try to live. When these actions arise, I get to promptly admit when I am wrong. This might come throughout the day or at night when I go over a series of questions to become aware of the way I act during the day.
These are the types of things that become my experience, and in turn become beneficial to helping other alcoholics when walking the through the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The action for me as a recovering alcoholic looks like talking with my sponsor, praying for my will to be removed, the maintenance steps (10, 11, and 12) and meditation. The result is having a profound alteration in my reaction to life, which is something I cannot manifest myself. This brings us right back to the solution, God whom I have to completely abandon myself to daily.