My Higher Power gave me the image last night of my recovery being a work of restoration. That my spiritual malady was a sick and wounded heart I had been "protecting" behind walls and encrypted doors and then finally wrapped barbed wire which prevented growth and wounded even more my heart's already bruised tender flesh. But practicing the 12 steps breaks all that down. Some of doing the 12 steps is daunting, scary, sweaty, back breaking work, and especially so when I got into the heart matters. But that work creates the freedom of restoration, recovery, and growth. It's gotta hurt a little to remove all those barriers, but in the end the heart is a healthy muscle that stands strong from use and exposure, exercise and experience, which we can only begin to work on with trust and surrender in a Higher Power.
Prayer, love, and good intentions to all those in active restoration, and especially to those souls in the "just curious" stages--you deserve peace and joy in life, my friend.
Like any other muscle, The Heart is a muscle which needs exercise to strengthen. The way we exercise our Heart is to practice the 12 steps in all our affairs. Today I will respond to what life throws at me by using the 12 steps: For example, if I am afraid of losing money, the way I build my heart is to apply the 12 steps like this: 1. We admit we are powerless over the fear and it is making my life unmanageable. 2. we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves (a loving force, rational thinking, anything that gives us peace) could take away the fear, 3. we made a decision to turn our life and will over to the care of that Higher Power, 4. We recognized our character traits (usually related to selfishness and resentment) which caused our fear, 5. we admitted to ourselves, someone else and our Higher Power our character defects, 6. became totally committed to having those defects removed, 7. asked our Higher Power to remove those defects, 8. made a list of changes we needed to make to keep fear away, 9. made changes, 10. continued to do steps 1 through 9 whenever fear or character defects causing fear arose, 11. continued to connect with our Higher Power comitting to do our Higher Power's will, and 12. sought to help others and to practice fearlessness and love in everything we do. The result yields a fearless heart, full of unselfishness, free of resentment and strong with love.