If AA is a spiritual kindergarten then I am a child with learning difficulties and a severe case of A.D.D. Abandoning myself to a Higher Power, shockingly, does not come easily to me. Before coming to AA I had always vehemently denied the existence of God, had never researched Hinduism, never read the Power of Now, never considered another way of life. I reviled all things spiritual as ‘vegetarian bullshit’. Charming I know. Evidently the suggestion of AA to jettison all my old beliefs and place a God I didn’t believe in first and foremost in my life was unfathomable to me. Abhorrent and impossible. To “bristle with antagonism” would have been playschool. Instead I seemed to mentally writhe violently from the confines of my old beliefs. There was an internal war going on inside me, a battlefield of old ideas vs. the twelve steps and I was helplessly being yanked around by these two opposing forces. I complained about brain washing. I remember feeling like my brain was literally being turned inside out and maybe it was. Rewiring and refiring of neurones/ impulses/ neurotransmitters- whatever the correct terminology and physiology – gave me a constant headache. I cried continually and I suffered mentally and physically.
Why bring this up now, almost 6 yrs later? I’m not quite sure. I think because every morning I experience a hugely watered down, milder version of this resistance. On awakening I rarely sprint out of bed. I lie awake ruminating, definitely not meditating. Eventually I get up, make coffee and then settle with a stack of spiritual literature. My daily morning readings are an essential component to my day. Overnight my disease has been doing push-ups, my ego bench presses. To regain some balance I need to focus on readings that remind me to place God first, that essentially facilitate the handing of my will over to a set of spiritual principles not instinctive for me: love, compassion, gratitude, kindness, patience, tolerance etc.
My understanding of God today, in a word, is Love. Yet when I read my morning books I often still hear the whispers of internal argument, the ghost of old ideas, the voice of ego, saying “This is bullshit”. Today it is fairly effortless to silence the opposition, and after a reading or two, or three, I usually find something that resonates, something that inspires me and my day proceeds much more peacefully now I am aligned with God. Now there’s a sentence I never believed would come from my lips!
Whether or not this resistance will ever truly dissipate, who knows. The ego certainly seems to be an indestructible super villain, so I hope to keep donning my cape on a daily basis.
“We all have a good wolf and a bad wolf inside us. The one that thrives is the one we choose to feed.”