Home Gratitude Extending Grace

Extending Grace

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It’s funny sometimes how HP and the universe work to give me a sign. On Friday of this week, I went to a meeting and listened to a reading about service. That morning, the entry I’d read in Voices of Recovery was about service. And my sponsor and I had talked about service. Obviously, I needed to spend more time on service.

When I sat down to work on the agenda for my intergroup, I thought about the time I’d spent as it’s chair: I had accepted the job reluctantly but willingly, knowing I should do service. To help me decide, I talked to my sponsor and HP, put the problem in my God box, and prayed for an intuitive thought. After that, I found peace of mind and an intuitive thought that told me it would all work out fine.

In fact, it worked out better than I could have imagined. The job has strengthened my relationships with my HP, other board members, region representatives, and my program as a whole. I truly feel blessed to have been of service this year.

Through doing this service, I’ve also come to believe that it was okay for me to be perfectly imperfect while doing my very best and taking the next right action. Learning to give myself that grace has allowed me to extend the same grace to others, finally believing we’re all doing the best that we can with the tools and awareness we have at any given moment. Don’t get me wrong; there have been times when I’ve had to pray for patience and enlightenment. But I was rewarded with just what I needed: patience, surrender, willingness, gratitude, good humor, and kindness for and from others.

In Taste of Lifeline, the author of “Never Ending Journey” writes, “Service is the spiritual Principle of Step Twelve. Doing Twelfth Step work is one of my greatest joys in program today. When I can do service, stop being centered on self, and get into the solution with a fellow compulsive overeater, I am brought closer to the God of my understanding” (p. 86).

Truthfully, this is just plain old vanilla Step work. When I work Steps Ten, Eleven, and Twelve every day, I can stay in the middle of the road in that particular twenty-four hours—not in fear, not in resentment, not in the future, and not in the past. Thanks for sharing your experience, strength, and hope, so that I could find a solution in OA and the Twelve Steps.

— Edited and reprinted from Northern Lights newsletter, Anchorage Alaska Intergroup, September 2017

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