Let Go, Let God

” “Let Go” comes before “Let God” for a reason. I can’t expect God to do something if I am still holding onto my problem.” – How Alanon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics p.76

I came across this excerpt in Hope for Today. The reading talks about the futility of trying to control people, places, and things. It also suggests letting go of what others say and do, my expectations, and the outcomes in my life.

Another particular line I loved from the read was “It was no longer important that others read from the script that my expectations have written.”

When I reflect on this, I realize that about 99% of my frustration, anger, suffering and sadness come from exactly these things – unmet expectations of people, places and things. But here’s the good news:

The amount of time I spend in frustration, anger, suffering and sadness has substantially decreased as a result of (1) not poisoning myself with things that numb out my feelings and (2) embarking on a spiritual journey of recovery while applying all that I learn to my attitudes and actions each day.

If I reflect back, there was a time that feelings of frustration, anger, suffering and sadness could last hours or even days. Now, it would be highly unusual for me to get stuck in them for more than a few minutes, at which point my program and spiritual tools kick in, taking me me back to gratitude.

This change didn’t happen overnight. I got sober and white knuckled it for 7 years. After coming into the rooms, it took 3 more years for me to find a sponsor. Several years more before finding my Higher Power. But it wasn’t until 20 years sober that I starting working a life-changing spiritual program (and when I say spiritual, I don’t mean religious, I mean something that helps me to actively increase my love for life, for others and for myself).

My personal understanding is that the time I spend struggling is generally equal to the time between the moment I get upset until the time I close my eyes, remember my Higher Power, reconnect, and trust that I will be okay if I just let go and let God handle it. Simple but not always easy. However, this is exactly how ILML! – James

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