Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. We no longer live in a completely hostile world. We are no longer lost and frightened and purposeless. The moment we catch even a glimpse of God’s will, the moment we begin to see truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs. We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter.
So ends the Eleventh Step, and once again I’m surprised I’ve come to the end. Looking back, I began in October 2009. That is quite a long time! I did not mean to take this long with these steps. I could have had a baby by now. I know Step Twelve is the longest and I can’t imagine how long that will take.
As for the last paragraph, the one quoted, I don’t agree with most of it. For me, AA is what made me feel I belonged. That’s where I learned about real and eternal things, and the real goodness of people. Certainly prayer was a part of that, but the fellowship and society was a bigger part, I think.
Also the bit about “here and hereafter” – to me, this is the hopeful promise that religions give, because no living person really knows, and fear of death is universal and eternal and the most frightening thing people live with. This even maybe implies a threat. ” . . . when we turn to Him . . . ” as if not turning to Him might mean things don’t turn out well. And here, they often don’t. Hereafter, no one knows.
But anyway! Over the past nine months I’ve sort of internalized some new prayers. I have turned to it more often in distress, I know. I’ve done better with my thoughts first thing in the morning. I usually remember now to try to figure out how I can be most useful in my day. That is a hugely positive change for me.
During the nine months, last month, actually, I got to practice prayer and meditation and face a situation which has historically been very frightening for me. I flew without drugs and mostly without paralyzing fear. I flew.
So I don’t mean this post and my experience to be negative or down, even though I disagree with the last paragraph in important ways. I’m sure it’s just that I haven’t evolved to the point where I can accept it totally. More peace and serenity await me as I continue to practice the step and learn it better. It is surely a discipline that I’ve dedicated my life to, for about 30 years now. It’s been well worth it and I joyously look forward to continuing.