You are not alone.

01Mar09
Third Step

The "Third Step Tree"

 

I wasn’t reassured when I first heard those words, “You are not alone,” uttered as a reassurance.

To be honest, it kind of creeped me out. It sounded like something The Smoking Man would tell Molder on “The X Files.” As if aliens or (even scarier) the government were constantly watching me, tracking my every move, examining my every thought. Chalk it up to an overactive imagination and too many pre-teen afternoons spent with old issues of “Fantasy & Science Fiction” on my grandmother’s sunporch.

The phrase was meant, however, to let me know that as a newcomer to sobriety and the Alcoholics Anonymous program, I was going to be okay. That my case wasn’t unusual. That there were many others like me out there struggling with alcoholism. And that I didn’t have to go it alone — there were plenty of resources at my disposal, if I just knew where to look and whom to ask.

I posted earlier this week about my difficulties seeking and asking for help. And on Friday, I did something very alien to my control freak nature: I let go of everything and asked for all the help in the cosmos. I took the Third Step and surrendered to my Higher Power.

It was quite a lovely experience – my AA sponsor and I had a picnic and took a hike in a nearby state park. The afternoon was bright and hot, and the park very serene and empty — except for an amazing array of flora and fauna that seemed to be greeting and guiding us. (There goes my overactive imagination again…) A Texas spiny lizard scurrying along the rocks paused to watch us as we first embarked on the trail. Then I spied a magnificent red-tailed hawk watching from its perch in a nearby tree. A. and I both stopped and stood looking up quietly. It flew off when I moved closer to get a better look (with thoughts of snapping a picture, because of course I had my camera with me). But it wasn’t the last we saw of it.

As we continued on our journey, we saw shy turtles, a brilliant cardinal, a pair of woodpeckers, and a bevy of butterflies fluttering from blossom to blossom among flowering trees. We reached a bend in the path, which led us up a hill. At the top was a clearing with a smooth-barked tree — I think a crepe myrtle — just beyond. At this spot, by what A. & I shall hereafter refer to as “The Third Step Tree,” we stopped and sat to say the Third Step Prayer.

God, I offer myself to Thee–to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always.

And then, we just got quiet.

I listened. I looked around. I lived in the moment.

A. & I saw that hawk again — or at least we figured it was the same one, circling overhead, making lazy loops in the big Texas sky. Standing there in the sun, I didn’t feel alone at all. I felt connected, part of the universe, happy and loved and reassured.

I was not alone.

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8 Responses to “You are not alone.”

  1. All in one = Alone.

  2. Ahhhh
    Lovely 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your nice story 🙂

  3. 3 eve

    yes. it is all about being in the moment. One day. then one day. then one day. It is amazingly liberating. I heard something cool at a meeting tonight: wear reality like loose fitting clothes. just got me thinking….

  4. 4 Chaz

    An amazing experience!

    I can relate to the creepy factor about being told “you are not alone”. I am a pretty private and self-reliant person (to my own detriment) and my tendancy is to want to be with or without others on my terms.

    Yet, we humans are herd animals from the get-go. We seem to naturally form communities whether with a spouse/mate, family, clan, tribe, whatever.

    So does it not make sense that many of our needs are met in conjunction with others? I think alcoholic isolation is contrary to predominant human nature. Very few people function well in isolation.

    My point… when I really thought about it, I came to realize that I NEEDED others to help me recover. One of the legs of the AA triangle represents unity…. with others.

    So ya…. once I shook off my distrust and got past my alocholic isolationism, I really embraced the fact that I needed to be “not alone”. And in doing so… have discovered tremendous freedom and recovery.

    Glad you are finding the same.

    Ciao.

    Chaz

  5. Hey, once someone wrote YNWA to me. I said, “What’s that mean?”
    You’ll never walk alone. I love it! It’s a soccer song.

  6. Actually, this one is better and shorter! It gives me chills!

  7. 7 C

    Well, you learn something new every day. I knew that song from the musical “Carousel” (at first I thought it was “Oklahoma!” but then I googled it and found it was a Shirley Jones musical, but not that one!), and had never heard of it as a soccer song. But then again, I’m a yankee. It was interesting to see all the clips of the song as a soccer anthem. Pretty cool discovery.

    YNWA. Right on.

  8. 8 Scott UK

    Just want to say thanks for sharing, I love your blog.


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