Today:

I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more day at a time.  For details, check out my food journal.

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“As we responded with action to the love we had been shown in OA, the result was a new faith in ourselves, in others, and in the power of that love.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 17

 

Meetings in my area end with a prayer and a group recitation that ends with the words, “You’re worth it!”  Those are three of the most valuable words I needed to hear when I came into program, and they continue to be important in my recovery as I affirm myself and the others in the rooms with them.  Though I have heard that I was of some value all my life, I always let my own opinion drown out whatever voices tried to bring me that message.  The Step-work I did in OA taught me that my habit of self-degradation was causing me harm by cutting me off from the positive influences in my life, and by promoting my opinion above that of my Higher Power who has been trying to tell me how valuable I am to Him since the dawning of time.  As I began to accept His value for me, I became able to see that same value in others.  As Aunt Eller sang in the musical production, Oklahoma!, “I don’t say I’m no better ‘n anybody else… but I’ll be danged if I aint jist as good!”

 

From Proverbs 21:

Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
the lamp of the wicked, are sin!”

 

There is something very wrong with a man in the condition I was in when I came into the rooms of Overeaters Anonymous.  As I recalled that attitude in the Voices of Recovery reflection, I remember looking down on everyone in a cynical disgust.  There was no one I didn’t despise.  Even strangers were grouped together under generalized statements of disdain like one movie quote from Men In Black I used to sum up my feelings toward them, “A person is smart, but ‘people’ are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it!”  The problem with hating everyone is that, invariably, I found undesirable characteristics of those I loathed mirrored in my very self.  It took some time and work, but I finally figured out that the chicken of my self-loathing came before the egg of my universal cynicism.  I wasn’t hating everyone else for not being me as much as I was hating me for being like everyone else!  It is the curse and inevitable end result of the human perfectionist, the ultimate oxymoron.  My sponsor called this reality of mine being “an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.”  It is, as this verse points out, the very nature of sin, a lamp of darkness!

 

I looked up the word “haughty” after I read this verse this morning.  Its definition is, “disdainfully proud; snobbish; scornfully arrogant; supercilious.”  It comes from ancient words that literally mean to compare from a high place.  What a hateful way to live!  And what a lonely and precarious place is such a high vantage point!  It is a desperate place from which we will either be rescued or we will plunge to death.  Praise God, who sees and knows our predicament, and is willing and able to deliver us from it!

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Psalm 101 and 102:

Psalm 101 is a commitment to David’s abstinence, and it brought a horrifying coincidence that could only be by Spiritual orchestration.  He begins by committing to a plan of positive action, “I will be careful to lead a blameless life…”  Then, he lists a few things from which he will abstain, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing.  The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.”  Then the Spirit delivered the gut punch to my soul after this morning’s reflections on sinful pride, “5 …whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.”

 

King David understood that we cannot be emptied without being filled, and so he made provision for his healthy programming, “My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.”  He recognized this must be an ongoing effort, “Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.”

 

David was king of all Israel, and I am in charge of only one life – a kingdom of one.  But as such, I can silence the voices of the wicked in my own head, and cut off every instance of evildoing in my life, every morning and every hour.  One day at a time, I can choose not to endure the haughty eyes and proud heart that marked my existence prior to my deliverance.  I can live instead in the Light of Life, slamming shut the lamp of darkness, and celebrating the One who was great and gracious enough to shine Salvation on me.

 

I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise.”

 

Psalm 102 is the prayerful lament of another afflicted man whose disorder was not unlike my own.  He described his vantage point as high, lonely and desolate too.  “I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.  I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.”  His hope was to be shared with all the later generations, including me.

 

18 Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord:
19 ‘The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, 20 to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.’”

 

The One who sees all knows that we all have gone our own way and found it a dead end.  He has brought each of us to that end to bring us to an awareness of our need for Him, and then graciously supplied our need.  The psalmist said it this way, “23 In the course of my life he broke my strength; he cut short my days.”  In the recovery program, we call it Step One, “We admitted we were powerless over food,” or alcohol, or whatever other substance or behavior might go by the alias “sin.”

 

 

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 8:

“No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretched around me in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was my master.

 

“…I was soon to be catapulted into what I like to call the fourth dimension of existence. I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness as time passes.”

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