Step 11

Hmmmm… Why a picture of a plug in an outlet? Keep reading.

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

Step 11

In Step 3 we made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God. But then what? How exactly do we do that?

First, we go through the transformation Steps 4-9 to clear away the blockages between us and our Higher Power. Then we keep the way clear with Step 10.

The real magic happens in Step 11. This is where we get to live out our decision. This is where we receive the same “daily reprieve” promised in other 12 Step fellowships. See what we get is a daily reprieve “based on the maintenance of our spiritual condition” –Big Book of AA. Maintenance. That’s our work to do.

And how do we do that? It’s not a religious journey, it’s a spiritual one. Afterall ours is a spiritual dilemma. It doesn’t matter what our families of origin believed or told us to believe when we were growing up. What we need is our own understanding. “Our Higher Power must feel right and safe to us.” In the past, we may have made other people, situations, things, or even ourselves into our Higher Power. And how has that worked out so far?

In recovery, we must pursue a greater relationship with a Higher Power of our own understanding. “Through our Step work, we have been renewing or establishing a relationship with God…we must devote time and attention to it.” –CoDA Big Book

Early on in recovery, I heard, “God could, and would, if He were sought”. So seek. We are instructed to pray only for knowledge of God’s will for us. Some people ask how do you seek God’s will? In CoDA, we learn that prayer is speaking to God and meditation is listening. “Some say we pray through our words, we listen with our hearts”.

We can be patient and gentle with ourselves. As with other learned things, we will develop our own personal, unique and effective communication with the God of our understanding, in time. “Many of us who prayed often wondered why things weren’t changing or were getting worse… either we weren’t listening or we were unwilling (or unable) to carry out the answers we were given.” So we pray also for the power to carry out God’s will. This can be difficult. It means we must let go of others and our attachment to outcomes. “We must release our control to God.”

There is a difference between hearing God and listening to God. Personally, I have heard God through other people, in reading, music lyrics, in that still small voice I hear when I quiet myself, even once on a literal billboard. I could hear God but without the power to carry it out, I stayed stuck in my dis-ease. Learning to allow God to do for me what I could not do for myself came in time. With a “daily practice of trusting and strengthening” my relationship with my Higher Power, fears decreased and peace and well-being increased and I learned to let go.

When we are unsure of the right path, we can use the tools of recovery… our sponsor or recovery friends, listening at meetings, reading, journaling, detachment, letting go emotionally…

Some find it helpful to be out in nature and may experience God through the miracle of creation. Some meditate through physical or mental disciplines like yoga. Some practice mindfulness meditation. However you experience God, the important thing is keeping conscious contact on a daily basis. Just like a refrigerator or a lamp need to stay plugged in to their power source in order to function properly, we must also stay plugged in to our power source.

In this moment, I quiet my thoughts and open my mind and heart to God’s
guidance for me. In this moment, I feel the gentle peace that conscious
contact with God allows. If I am troubled and in doubt or joyful and
serene, I turn to God. I know my path will be revealed and the way to my
highest good will be made known.

Step 11 Prayer

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