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Placed Where I Belong

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I stand naked in front of a well-lit, full-length mirror every morning, throw my hands into the air, and say, “I surrender to the possibilities of this day.” Then I thank God for getting my “sturdy” body up and going once again.

Though I have a lot of health challenges, the minimum basics of my daily action plan haven’t changed: I read something spiritual, write my daily Tenth Step and other assignments, email my sponsor, respond to sponsees, say the Third Step prayer, and meditate. These practices allow a daily reprieve from my addiction so I’m ready to receive spiritual direction. I also give service, sponsor, stay abstinent, exercise in small doses, and reach for connection with others, either in person or by text, email, or phone.

After I abandoned myself to HP, however, subtle differences have led to a change in who I am fundamentally. For example, my ego used to have me always evaluating whether I was better or worse than everyone I encountered. But a couple of years ago, as part of my amends to myself, I set about getting right-sized. I started acknowledging everyone I met, including complete strangers. I started making eye contact, giving a small smile or nod, offering a simple greeting or compliment, or further conversation if I was led by the Spirit. I was learning that “Humility . . . places us neither above nor below other people on some imagined ladder of worth. It places us exactly where we belong, on an equal footing with our fellow beings and in harmony with God” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 60).

Today, the miracles of my OA recovery continue to manifest and expand. Putting into practice the realization that I am just one among many has deepened all my interactions, and God has allowed me new abilities. I can observe with compassion and empathy instead of pity and contempt. I can deal with my codependency as it has been revealed to me, yet still make deep connections with members of the Fellowship and my children, grandchildren, and daughter-in-law. I can release any attachment to the numbers of weight loss. I can make friends instead of taking hostages. I can be of service in different ways and degrees. I can be present in the here and now, deepen my meditation practice, surrender to possibility, and be truly connected with my fellows worldwide. I can really see my part in things. I see beauty in the events of the day. I am learning to accept myself as I am and accept others as they are.

The miracles of recovery keep me on this path of discovery. I can love deeply, laugh often, and find kindness within and without. I can trust myself and others as I trust in the Spirit. The many miracles of program are too numerous to mention, but they express themselves in my being fully present—in body, mind, and spirit— more than I ever was before OA.

— Anonymous, Rohnert Park, California USA

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