Step Eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Recently, I found myself in a place of fear, and my gut reaction is to want to control the world around me to feel safe. My sponsor encouraged me instead to look up the word “surrender” and consider how I could let go and let God. Definitions of surrender included: stopping fighting; stopping trying to prevent something; and giving away something possessed because of necessity.

I have a strong, stubborn self-will, yet I can choose to give it to God and try to seek and do his will for me. I don’t know what God’s will is apart from abstinence, Step work, helping others, and trusting that more will be revealed, but as Step Eleven suggests, I can ask God to show me the next right thing, then relax until I get the answer. There is no guarantee of a particular outcome; it appears that outcomes are nothing more than opportunities to ask God again for the next right thing, and to accept his will.

Am I willing to let go of fear and control and trust my Higher Power? This requires humility and honesty on my part. I can learn to trust by looking for opportunities to allow things to be; when fear arises, I can practice asking God to remove it and show me his will. Using a God box to release my fears or repeating “Thy will, not mine, be done” has brought some relief.

For me, surrender is moment-by-moment. Sometimes, instead of waiting, I tend to grab a bit of self-will between instructions. When I’m in self-centered thinking, there’s no room for God’s will. But the joke is that my thinking led to a hopeless defeat around food and an unmanageable life. Unless I allow God’s love, light, and grace in, I remain in addiction-mind, driven by fear. When fear is my master, I experience gripping control, extreme energy-expenditure and effort, tightness, anticipation, breath-holding, lack of presence, and consuming negative thoughts of physical harm and a need to fight, of emotional discomfort and pride. When I admit defeat, surrender, and cease fighting, this is when I find my HP.

When I have faith in an HP, I experience lightness, ease, and a smile. I have a willingness to flow with life. I feel safe no matter where the flow takes me because I trust myself to God’s care. A glimmer of humility shines through me; God knows best, God wrote the play—I am just learning this one scene. All I need to do is make myself available and play my part to the best of my understanding.

How do I learn my part? The Big Book says, “Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 87). I can pick up any spiritual resource and read with an open mind, accepting a lifelong journey of discovery. I genuinely want to know God’s will for me, so I can choose to spend quiet time reading, reflecting through writing, and keeping an open mind. In essence, this is what I understand Step Eleven to be.

I am grateful for the Twelve Steps in the Big Book, which have shown me a way to my HP, and grateful to the OA Fellowship that supports me along the way.

— Anonymous

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