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.

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