God’s grace can mean many things.
I like to think of it as a gift we are given by the benevolent power that works in our life. Some might call it a blessing. In terms of recovery, I sometimes feel grace is doing me a favor. Grace is giving me what I need at the time I need it.
I have had many challenges in my life to overcome. A great deal of them have come as the result of growing up in a dysfunctional alcoholic household. At their best, they include self-defeating and unproductive thought processes, behaviors and coping mechanisms. At their worst, they include abandonment, neglect and sexual, emotional and mental abuse.
I believe that it has been grace that has doled out the awareness of these challenges to me when I was in a place to deal with them. Meaning that I had the teachers, support, environment and spiritual, emotional and mental stability to deal with them. Not that all of that would make it easy but I was ready.
The other edge of the sword of grace is that I believe that it was also grace that kept me unaware of these challenges until I was ready.
I still remember being 18 months clean in the fetal position on my couch in pain I did not understand let alone know where it was coming from. I remember having three thoughts; use, kill myself or ask for help. I am so glad that I had a sponsor that had been working on his issues from childhood and had shared some of it with me. So, I called him and my first teacher had appeared.
I remember thinking of awareness as a curse. Why oh why is that power that works in my life doing this to me. Things were going so well. Lucky for me that power is much smarter than me.
I chuckle to myself a little when I hear others talking their awareness as such a hindrance to their life and well-being. Change is a byproduct of awareness. Without the awareness that something is not serving us, why would we work to change it? When we come to understand this, we can begin to look at awareness as a gift.
Becoming aware is just the beginning, it’s like a memo or announcement. Now we have a choice, do we heed the memo and chose to the work to change or say thanks for the memo, I’ll file it for later. I don’t know about you but I have learned to file it for later doesn’t work for me. Now that the problem and the need for change has come to my conscious mind it’s like it won’t leave me alone. This brings me back to grace and my belief that I am ready and have all I need to work through anything that is needed to make the change. Am I afraid, unsure of the unknown or whether I have what it takes to do what needs to be done? I would be lying if I said no. But not to the point that it can paralyze me like it used to. I think that comes from my past experiences of doing the work and coming out on the other side. Knowing that I have learned to be OK without being OK, that as always it is a process, that it won’t last forever but most of all that it is a gift. That I am being given this opportunity to grow and heal because I am loved and knowing I have learned to love myself enough to do the work.
May all those in need learn that awareness can be a gift if you let it, that we are given an awareness because it is time to do the work and that we have all we need to do it even if we don’t see it.