Before going to bed I had tentatively decided that I was going to call a group conscience meeting the following night, to stop a meeting leader from doing what they shouldn't be doing. Another person had even offered to attend the meeting, in case he attempted to ignore my request. However, I went to sleep and dreamed that someone in authority at this recovery club, was handing me a blank meeting log sheet required by probation, which I thereafter had to get signed whenever I attended a meeting at this club. Therefore, I awoke on April 5th, 2011 to the realization that, my unconscious Higher Self was effectively putting me on spiritual probation at this club! What a wake up call!
I sat down to meditate, pray and read. A number of intuitive ideas came up related to my current life project and I recorded them. I then stumbled out of my bedroom in a giddy mood, and learned from my roommate that our home phone number had just appeared on my therapist's 'caller ID,' even though no one from our house had called him. (This was exactly the same, strange synchronicity that had occurred two years earlier, on the afternoon that I was considering whether or not to take this therapist's offer to help me). My therapist also said that he would see me in two hours for our regular weekly session. I then realized that I really needed this cosmic reminder, since in my giddiness, I would very likely have forgotten my therapy appointment.
I went to therapy and talked about all the details of the situation with this meeting leader. At the end of the session, my therapist asked if I thought there was any transference going on between myself and this therapist. (In other words, was this guy triggering my old stepfather tapes, or was I triggering his old father tapes.) I answered yes, and that the thought had actually occurred to me on my way to the session. My therapist then said, "I want you to strongly consider taking all this energy that you are focusing on straightening out this person, and bring it back into your life for the purpose of straightening out yourself." For the first time that I could remember, I felt absolutely no defensiveness at such a suggestion from another person---no "yeah-buts." He strongly suggested that I not have any interaction with this guy for a while. He also reminded me that my "deep memory session" the week before had left a lot of loose wires flapping around in my brain, and that anything major that I did in the next month---such as getting married---I would surely have to undo. As I was walking out the door, I heard him say, "Be your therapist," and I excitedly asked, "Really, ... be my therapist?" He replied "No, … pay your therapist!"
Upon leaving, although a small part of me still wanted to stop this rogue New Age drug counselor, I recognized that I had just committed to not taking any action and staying away from this meeting. Quite providentially, I had to drive straight to my sponsor's house, since on the previous day, he had requested that I come over to work steps 10,11 and 12. I shared what my therapist had said and we laughed. He then said, "That's why I asked you to come over yesterday, I could tell it was time to redo steps 10, 11 and 12." We got on our knees and said a few prayers. I then began to read the chapter on the 10th step in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
Within minutes, I sensed within myself, a completely new world. It was characterized by a new relationship to the words that I read, as if seeing them in the depth of their true meaning for the first time. While reading and talking, I experienced the nearly complete absence of fear, or the unusual presence of a natural or automatic faith. There was this incredible ability to effortlessly see, admit, and be willing to take responsibility for my part in anything and everything in my past. Since I knew that almost everything I did was due to unconscious feelings, thoughts and motives, I could see the need to forgive all others, for everything that I perceived to have harmed me in the past--- for they too, like me, were acting-out of unconscious fear. I could understand the words of The Christ: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," as well as a refrain from A Course in Miracles: "Can you see everything as either an expression of love or a cry for help?" Rather than my usual anxiety, I felt only a deep, quiet, peace within, coupled with the same subtle, yet powerful, Flow of True Life, that had taken over for a few fleeting, surreal moments, several times in the last two years.
I also felt the nearly total absence of shame and false pride, although it took awhile for me to recognize that that was what was missing. Shame and pride are opposite sides of the same coin, whereby low self-esteem is compensated for by grandiose thinking and behavior. Both are largely invisible to the individual that has and displays them. Just as a fish doesn't know that it swims in water, in recovery, we don't usually see our pride or shame, until we work the 12-step program of recovery with someone that has successfully worked through similar issues.
I felt the strangeness of finally not being in any hurry; of actually wanting to take the time to completely cover the 10th step reading and discuss whatever came up within me, even though I knew I would have to make additional trips to complete steps 11 and 12. I kept uncharacteristically pausing, and slowly saying: "I feel a shift in … (this or that previous personal pattern) ." As my sponsor then spoke, I first of all noticed that, I was truly listening to another human being for what seemed like the first time ever! I next saw that, his responses dovetailed in a near-perfect manner with whatever I had just expressed. I noticed that the topics that my sponsor had been gently trying to drive home, which I either thought of as obvious, or rarely understood, suddenly made perfect sense. I was learning that, if a 74-year-old sponsor with 29 years in the program, gives responses that seem confusing, boring or trivial---then chances are good that I have unconscious, or unresolved, issues on those topics.
I had an uncanny awareness of being completely present with God, myself and my sponsor; as if, the world of time had stopped, and I was through my own true nature, co-operating with the God within me that was doing this work. It seemed that I was living the words of The Christ, "My Father and I are one … but the Father is greater than I," as well as, those of the Apostle Paul, "It is no longer I, but Christ that liveth in me."
The greatest fact was that, I absolutely knew that it was not me that was doing it. Rather, I was entirely transformed and I knew it was the pure grace of a Power Greater than my ego. I suddenly knew, for the very first time, that absolutely nothing within me, wanted to take credit or show off my new consciousness, for my own glory. In my many previous spiritual experiences up to this time, I was always powerless over immediately parading them in my sharing in recovery circles. At times, I would feel guilt, shame and fear afterward, but nonetheless, my fragile ego continued to fill it's sick need for approval and validation from others. I had not yet found self-acceptance.
...to be continued