SLIPPERY SLOPES

If we're not grounded life circumstances can set us up for a fall!

Life has a way of showing up with circumstances that can set us up for a fall.  If we aren’t centered and grounded at that time we may be subjected to the consequences that prevail.

slippery slope

Not long ago I found myself in a position that could have set me back ten years in my recovery.  At the night’s end I was in tears. 

Painful feelings I hadn’t felt in many years washed over my body, mind and soul. I was overcome with sadness, desperately grieving desires I could no longer fulfill.

It was all I could do to remain thankful and content with where God had placed me in this season of life.  

I was quickly reminded to tighten my guard and to hold steady to the answer for my hope! 

But have reverence for Christ in your hearts, and honor him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you. ~ I Peter 3:15 GNT

 

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POWERLESS

A new year rolled in with a sore reminder of my human powerlessness.

powerless woman

 

Step 1: We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies–that our lives had become unmanageable.

 

I think about how many times I’ve complained about maintaining this body of mine. Then God gently says in my spirit they if I weren’t alive I wouldn’t need to care for it at all.

This is the same with our weaknesses of character. It is a huge pain to deal with – but what’s the alternative as long as we are breathing?

As humans we are going to fail over and over again. The answer, of course, comes only by turning our weaknesses over to Him. 

For when I am weak then I am made strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:10

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The 12 Principles of Recovery :: ACCEPTANCE

My recovery work this year is focused on The Principles behind the 12 Steps and asking key questions that will help to learn these core values and put them into practice. 




STEP ONE: We admitted we were powerless over our dependencies, that our life has become unmanageable. 

PRINCIPLE ONE: Acceptance  

KEY QUESTION: What are my limits?


It’s no big surprise that acceptance of our limits should come first in this list! Acceptance is foundational to the recovery process. It is at the core of the 12 Steps and their Principles. 

One of the biggest challenges for any recovering addict is seeing the need for and accepting limitations. Only after recognizing the mess we have made of our lives are we able to accept the limitations needed to prevent future problems.


Most of our limitations are a flimsy fence that’s barely able to stand on its on let alone withstand the wind of temptation. Without a strong fence holding our limits in place we set ourselves up for possible failure. 


I must ask myself now:  Where is my fence weak today? How can I repair the weak places?


CLICK HERE for a song that helps keeps me strong!

**RESOURCES:
A Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles: Living the Values Behind the Steps by Patrick Carnes

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The 12 Steps of Humility

RECOGNIZE GOD'S PRESENCE

EACH MONTH IN THE 12 STEPS OF HUMILITY WE ARE CLIMBING SAINT BENEDICT’S LADDER OF HUMILITY.  WITH EACH RUNG WE COME CLOSER TO THE PERFECT LOVE OF GOD. 

THE LADDER IS OUR LIFE ON EARTH, IF WE HUMBLE OUR HEART GOD WILL RAISE IT TO HEAVEN. ~ ST. BENEDICT

 
 THE FIRST STEP OF HUMILITY:
A monk always keeps the fear of God before their eyes and flees from all forgetfulness. ~ The Rule of Benedict

To begin our heavenly climb we must humbly bow down and recognize the Presence of God in our lives.

Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning. ~ Proverbs 1:7

When we recognize God’s Presence, have a healthy, reverential fear of the Lord and give Him reign over our daily lives, we will find the freedom that comes from accepting our proper place in the universe. 

One of the biggest challenges is keeping our self-worth in proper perspective. Without putting ourselves down in our weaknesses or puffing ourselves up in our strengths, we see ourselves as God sees us, gifts and flaws alike. We must face our reality.

To get me back to reality took getting life ripped out from under my feet. Only then was I able to look up and start rebuilding my life based on who God says I am rather than who I thought I was in my own fantastic imaginations. 

Realize it or not, God is always present in our lives and aware of every thought.  It’s not hard to imagine God with us when we are being good. But to think of Him with us when we were doing something bad is uncomfortable. 

When we recognize God’s presence and put ourselves behind His lead we are less likely to fall. 

CLICK HERE for a beautiful worship song to enjoy as you meditate on the Presence of God.


RESOURCES:
The Rule of Saint Benedict by Saint Benedict, Edited by Timothy Fry, O.S.B.
Twelve Steps to Inner Freedom: Humility Revisited by Joan D. Chittister
The Twelve Steps of Humility and Pride by Bernard of Clairvaux
Living in the Truth: Saint Benedict’s Teaching on Humility by Michael Casey

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The Road to Recovery :: STEP ONE

Step One:


We admitted we were powerless over the effects of our separation from God–that our lives had become unmanageable. 

I know nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. ~ Romans 7:18

Principle One (Celebrate Recovery):


Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit. ~ Matthew 5:3


The pain of remaining the same has finally become greater than the fear of change. After spending a lifetime hiding from or numbing our pain, it’s time to surrender and face our pain head on. 


This first step requires that we recognize our brokenness so our healing process can begin. We can’t heal a wound unless we admit it exists; we must face and admit our denial. 



The Celebrate Recovery Bible has a wonderful acrostic for DENIAL:

D – disables our feelings.

E – energy drain.

N – negates our growth.

I  –  isolates us from God.

A – alienates us from other human relationships.

L –  lengthens our pain. 

We should now ask ourselves:

In what way have I isolated myself from God and others? 

How do I disable my feelings?

What areas of my life are out of control?

Don’t allow the fear of change to rule your life. Healing is possible!

If you are struggling with hurts, habits or hang-ups and aren’t participating in a 12 Step support group, I encourage you to seek one out. Celebrate Recovery groups are available in most cities.  

I hope you enjoy our Road to Recovery Theme song for this year:  http://youtu.be/yHIO_1JlBKc


Resources:

Celebrate Recovery Bible
The Twelve Steps for Christians

Working the Steps: Step One

We admitted we were powerless over our dependencies–that our life had become unmanageable.

In October 2004, in a last ditch effort to deal with my addiction, my husband, Bill, asked me to go with him to a couples seminar. Dr. Doug Weiss from Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs was to be speaking on his book Intimacy ~ A 100 Day Guide to Lasting Relationships.

Reluctantly I agreed.

With my defenses up, I was nervous, but the small group of couples was friendly and inviting. Dr.Weiss spoke from his heart about how he had grown up with a sex addict for a mom. Because of her addiction he was shuffled back and forth from her home to foster homes. Through his mother’s bad influence Dr.Weiss became addicted to sex and pornography at a very young age.

Transparent and real, Dr.Weiss seemed to understand the pain I had. As I listened, I realized for the first time he was talking about me. I was just like his mom.

I was a sex addict.

When Bill and I returned for the Saturday morning session I was anxious to tell Dr.Weiss I wanted to go to Colorado for a 3-Day Intensive Counseling Session. I left the seminar scared but hopeful because I knew help was available.

After all the sex, drugs, alcohol, running away, therapy, medication and jail time; I was finally able to see the truth of my own addiction.

It was a miracle. It was the beginning of my recovery.

The first step is always the hardest. It can be scary and humiliating to admit powerlessness, especially for someone who likes to be in control. And all addicts think they have everything under control.

We must come to a realization that not only are we powerless over our addiction, but over ourselves as sinners. We can’t do anything without the healing power of Jesus Christ.

I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t… Oh what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ Romans 7:15; 18; 24-25 NLT

You may want to pray something like this…
 Denial has kept me from seeing how powerless I am and how unmanageable my life has become. Today, I ask for help to deal with my addiction / co-dependency.