“Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us … now we begin to have a spiritual experience… We feel we are on the Broad Highway walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.” BB of 75
After reading this, and finishing step 5, I thought that I would forever feel at peace, never be fearful again, and always feel the presence of my HP. But my sponsor told me, if that were true, why bother with the remaining 7 steps? He pointed out the words like “we can” and “we begin”, reminding me that, although I will begin to experience peace, start surrendering fears, and feel the presence of a loving God, I must continue the work if I want to have them in my daily life. So I finished my steps, felt great, and then slowly over the next 10 years or so, lost my connection, lost my peace, and became fearful – all in sobriety.
In 2002, at 20 years sober, and again finding myself experiencing another emotional hangover, I embarked on a new rigorous, daily program of action.
Aside from prayer, meetings and sponsorship, the meat of my program was my Golden Hour.
Each morning I would spend an hour or more reading both program and recovery literature. Then I would choose one reading and send out a spiritual text (like this – but shorter) to my recovery group. During that time I meditated, did a 10th step, wrote a gratitude list, and planned my meeting. Afterwards I made some 12 step phone calls.
Today, at 31 years sober, this is still my ritual, and it really is what puts me at peace, in acceptance, reduces my fears, and connects me to my HP – which is my source of love and gratitude. Although I still have problems, things don’t go my way, and people don’t act as I wish, my ability to let Go and let God is greatly increased, and I can much more easily find happiness, contentment and gratitude, regardless of what is happening with the people, places and things in my life. ILML – James