Carly Wakes Up
Awakening is not changing who you are but discarding who you are not.”
My last story was rather dark. I can’t put much lightness into a story about my relapse. I needed to hit my lowest rock bottom to get to the point of accepting the unacceptable. That’s when I began to wake up.
I got down to business and with my sponsor, I began working the steps in earnest. I was in the middle of learning step three, about surrender, when an extraordinary inner peace awakened from within. The depth of this spiritual experience was totally unfamiliar to me. I was engulfed in love, bliss and peace.
I consistently remained in this state of consciousness for about four days. I was in love with every moment, exactly as it was. I possessed a knowingness that everything was perfect. My perception about my missing dog, every loss I ever had, every detail of my life, ever, was imbued with utter peace. I had very few thoughts at all. Thinking was suddenly and drastically reduced.
I knew this was the presence of God.
At the end of those four days, I quickly went back to my normal state of awareness – deep pain, emptiness and sorrow. Even though I lost that direct experience of God consciousness, I have always retained the memory of it. Realizing what my true state of awareness is meant to be, woke me up to a new reality. And once I woke up, I had no interest in judging those who sleep.
I began seeing people and life situations differently. I had much less judgement; the kind of judgment that separates one from another.
A unified perception dominated my thoughts and emotions.
What a true miracle it is to live in this enhanced state of awareness. AA’s 12th step refers to having a spiritual awakening as a result of working the steps. But I was unable to grasp the true meaning of that without having had the direct experience myself.
I quickly included regular prayer into my life. I became devoted to that higher power. In time, this resulted in more happiness than I thought I could ever know. My obsession to drink became a thing of the past.
This time, my newfound sobriety was created by my deep desire for more of that love and joy. There was not an ounce of sacrifice involved with this. For the first time I really wanted sobriety and I no longer felt any resentment about not drinking again. I was able to fall in love with my life.
Now as I go through my days, I see everything as either a blessing or a blessing in disguise.
When I look at the losses I’ve had, I see how necessary they were in order to heal my wounds and grow beyond them. I want to believe it is not necessary to endure pain in order to learn. But, my mind was closed and my heart was shut tight. So, in my case it was true that pain was a stepping stone to spiritual growth and that a higher power uses everything and turns it in the direction of our highest good when we are open to receiving it.
The reason people awaken is because they have finally stopped agreeing to things that insult their soul.”