Friday, March 28, 2014

Step 11: Personal Revelation

Seek through prayer and meditation to know the Lord's will and to have the power to carry it out.

Step 11 Reading

Notice that it says, "Our greatest desire was to improve our abilities to receive guidance...".  It doesn't talk about being exactly anywhere in our progress, but that we should be focused on going in the right direction and improving at whatever rate.  As long as we are getting better and drawing closer to the Lord.

"When others tried to love you, perhaps you couldn't feel it.  Their love was never enough."
This makes me think about how often people don't feel loved by others no matter what others do or say because first we must love ourselves.  If we are constantly ashamed it is hard to feel loveable and that's where it starts.  We must believe we are loveable first.  Before we feel loveable we must let go of shame and in order to let go of shame we must rely on Christ and repent.  Once we are free of sin and shame we are at peace and can then be free to love ourselves, feel God's love for us, and feel loveable.  Then we can feel love from other people, as well as show love to others.

It all starts with repentance and Christ's atoning sacrifice.  Of course studying the scriptures and daily prayer are essential in feeling the peace and happiness from the spirit all the time.  It's when I am always remembering Christ that I always have his spirit with me.  It's how the baptismal covenant works.  All I have to do is think of Him and He is there.  Always remember Him and I will always have His spirit with me.

One way for me to remember Christ always is to be grateful every day and in every moment for my blessings.  If I acknowledge His hand in my life at all times, I am recognizing Him and remembering Him.  Then He is always with me.  It's a humbling thing, as well as an uplifting and comforting feeling.

I have been going to recovery classes for almost three years now.  I have been "clean" or "sober" from self-grad since August, and have gotten through Step 11 for the third time now.  I keep wondering what the next round will be like for me because each time has been different.  It's a beautiful learning experience to be involved in. There is so much spiritual growth awaiting anyone who begins the program whether they feel like they have an addiction or not.

After dealing with my more prominent addiction, I still have other things like my gravitation to media for coping, or getting away from reality.  I, of course, never recognized the detrimental spiritual, emotional, and social affects of my addiction until working the 12 steps.  And then it took reworking the steps repeatedly before I recognized the depths of my own problems and could deal with them.  The Lord knows each one of us perfectly and helps us learn and grow at a perfect individual pace.  No one else will progress in the same way or at the same speed.

I can't tell another person how to progress or where they are in their recovery because only God can know that.  I don't even know what else lies ahead for me to uncover in my own recovery.  All we have to do is work the steps to personally trust in the Lord's plan, repent of our mistakes, rely on Christ, and do our best to follow His will.  That is what the steps do for me.  They are a wonderful study tool in partnership with scriptures study.

I now desire to have some kind of prayer and meditation every morning to get me on track spiritually for my day.  If I get thrown off by missing that or getting priorities mixed up, my day goes down the drain because I have been getting more and more busy with three jobs at home while I'm being a mom.  It's getting hectic!  But I have to make that time for the Lord every day or it's unbearable because I simply cannot do it all alone.  I have to have His guidance and spirit with me at all times or things fall apart...or I fall apart!

"Prayer and meditation are powerful antidotes to fear and depression."  Very comforting.  "By nature, we all tend to be undisciplined, yet by looking to Jesus Christ and the example He has set, you will find the humility to continue submitting to the Father."  I must rely on Him, even though I naturally try to do it myself.  It is so much better when I let Him have the burden.  He's already taken all my burdens away.  He already has felt it all.  So for me to feel it all too is silly and unnecessary and...well...sorta stupid on my part.  I must let Him take it and move forward.

I love my Savior for that so much.  I would never get through this life without Him.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Every Day, Every Moment

As I try to take daily inventory with step 10, I am living in the now, which is the only thing in my control.  I cannot change the past, I can only do what I can now to take accountability for it.  Then, I can only hope for a future I want.  I cannot control what the future brings either, but what I am doing now can have an impact on it.

Repentance is for everyone all the time, no exceptions.  Those who are righteously following the Lord are not perfectly following every commandment all the time, because we are imperfect.  But followers of Christ are constantly repenting.  That is the only difference between a follower of Christ and others in the world.

Others in the world may do just as much good as a follower of Christ, because they are usually doing their best to do what they think is right.  But they are not using the atonement to account for the mistakes they make.  No one is exempt from making mistakes.  We all do it whether we mean to or not.  But the Savior paid for every single one.

He paid not only for those mistakes, but all the negative effects of those mistakes.  All the pain, all the sadness, all the darkness, every fear, every form of suffering has been paid for by the Savior.  All it takes is trust in His ability to take it all away and He does.  Wouldn't we want to have that peace all the time as a constant thing?

No...I'll just feel sad right now.  I'll just feel this pain now because I can repent later.

What is wrong with us?

If we truly understood the power of the Lord's Atonement, we would use it every day and in every moment of every day!  Because it's better!  Because it works!

Suddenly that phrase from the scriptures about how we shouldn't procrastinate our repentance has a new meaning to me.

Right now, as I am trying to work step 10 in my daily life, I am committing myself to make Christ the center of my life.  I do this by reading and pondering the scriptures every day.  Every morning I need to read while I eat my breakfast.  I have to sit down and eat sometime, what better time to study then at that time?  Then I must pray and write in my journal a daily plan.  These are my goals today.  And in the evening I can look at those goals and account for whether I failed or succeeded, and try again tomorrow.