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Willing Release

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In the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous it says, “No man, we saw, could believe in God and defy Him, too. Belief meant reliance, not defiance” (p. 31).

This is interesting because it clarifies the difference between understanding the concept of a higher power, and actually believing in a higher power. To truly believe is to accept that my Higher Power’s will is absolute. I cannot ask my heart to beat or stop beating—my Higher Power makes sure it does.

I have fallen down in the past when I was not willing to totally accept my Higher Power’s will for me. I tried to defy or challenge it at almost every turn. Some examples include ignoring strong messages that a man was not right for me, pursuing a career I found terrifying, not accepting who I was, denying my shortcomings and strengths, ignoring the blessings sitting in front of me to pursue fantasy and false status, not accepting how I look, and trying to control others’ perceptions and manipulate those around me in order to get love.

Prior to OA, I made others, my career, or myself my higher power. All failed me at some point. Even within OA, the quality of my faith was wrong because I thought I believed, but actually I wasn’t willing to ask for my Higher Power’s will. I couldn’t accept the possibility of not getting what I wanted. I refused to experience hunger or not eating what and when I wanted. I refused to let go of activities or fantasies connected to ego. I was afraid I might not get what I thought I needed! I felt it simply wasn’t possible to let go of these things.

And yet surrendering my food at last (which for me means following a workable plan of eating not designed by me) formed the foundation of what “letting go” can offer. I am abstinent, an absolute and deeply humbling miracle.

I see how handing over my will around food gives me the miracle of abstinence. The rest of my little plans and designs have kept me ill for so long that letting them go now seems possible. In fact, not knowing or trying to control outcomes and just trusting has become easier and more of what I seek each day.

I have sustained abstinence and a deep sense of peace and serenity at long last. Thank you, OA.

— Sarah S., United Kingdom

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