Happy October!  I feels like Autumn has fallen.


Voices of Recovery today quoted page 84 of the 12&12 of OA, “The purpose of Step Ten is to identify and remove from our path today’s stumbling blocks.”  The contributor artfully describes the daily work that is to be done to keep fear and anger from bringing pain into our lives.  The tools of recovery help us to share it, not wear it.


I have been reminded a lot lately that it is what I FEEL LIKE that will kill me and what I DESERVE that keeps me sick.  The first seven verses of Proverbs Chapter One introduce the intent and benefit of the book, but verse 3 struck me today, “for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;”  Verse 32 seems to finish off the point, “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.”  In order to survive and be happy, joyous and free, I have to equip myself and routinely practice the intentional discipline of reaching for a life lived well.  I have to recognize that living by chance or on the whim of momentary desires will rob me of whatever pathetic life that yields.  I have to “work it” ‘cause life is “worth it!”


Judges 17 and 18 tell the story of Micah, whose house was plundered by a wandering band of marauders from the tribe of Dan after he brought idols into it.  Judges 18:28 speaks to me about the urgency of the community of fellowship, “There was no one to rescue them because they lived a long way from Sidon and had no relationship with anyone else.  The city was in a valley…”  The formula for the disaster of the sacked town of Laish was separation, isolation, insulation, and no communication.  The tools of recovery help me to combat those circumstances, but they only work if I put them to use.


This calls to mind a conversation I had yesterday with a friend of mine who was hurting because of a disappointing relationship.  I prayed that God would give me the right words for this friend, and I believe He did.  What I said to my friend, I needed to hear myself.  It went something like this:


Whatever spiritual sickness it is that is making your friend critical of you is their sickness, not yours!  We compulsive overeaters often find ourselves obsessed with physical food to medicate a lack of spiritual and emotional fulfillment, but sometimes have done to ourselves what we have as a form of payback.  We sometimes pay back ourselves for the shame we carry, or pay back our spouse who doesn’t deserve a swimsuit model or athlete because of their part in disappointing us.  We isolate until we are insulated, building a physical barrier to support the emotional barrier that already exists between us and anyone who would ever disappoint us.  Fat is hate in physical form.  It comes when we hate ourselves or those who harmed us so much that we would rather be cocooned inside ourselves than extended to anyone who might harm us again.  Recognizing that we are inside there is the first step to emergence.  Beautiful, graceful, purposeful, contributing yet fragile butterfly is in our future, if we are willing to wriggle free of what we feel like and do what weknow.


Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all our activities.  ‘How can I best serve Thee – Thy will (not mine) be done.’ These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.  We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish.  It is the proper use of the will.”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 85)