With the help of many S-Anon mentors, I’ve learned to look for the activators of my defects of character. There are many. Fear and hurt are often the foundation of my defects. When I applied this process to Tradition Two I found I am particularly challenged to act spiritually when I feel someone has hurt/betrayed me or when I don’t feel heard. Low self-worth can make me feel second class and invisible. It became clear that when I’m feeling wounded I can default to a defect of character or two (or three or four…)!
What helps me is to have faith. I don’t need to have faith in me, anyone else, or in a system — just in Higher Power. This is essential for me in times of low self-esteem or in low esteem for others. Tradition Two, like most Traditions, takes me back to Step Two. Step Two states: “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves, could restore us to sanity.” Tradition Two asks me to practice faith in a Higher Power and to trust that if I let go, Higher Power still has me and/or the group. Even if I can’t see God in the decision of the moment, my faith tells me I will see it in the long run.
God works on me in many ways. I have been learning to let go of the answers and/or validation I am seeking. God does answer me — always. Sometimes it’s “yes,” (what I hope for) sometimes it’s “no,” (what I fear or don’t want) and most frustrating to me, but clearly the most common outcome, sometimes the answer is “maybe” (there is more to learn). If I allow myself to surrender my will in Step Three practice, I am able to really let go and stop trying to convince, save, or rush another.
I am so grateful for the wisdom and guidance of a Higher Power that moves me to the right degree of self-care, and I am grateful for S-Anon — a program of recovery that has allowed me to learn to slow down and listen to the voice of Higher Power. Today I don’t have to stay in situations that are abusive, and I don’t have to become abusive in trying to force a situation. I can trust Higher Power. And that has been easier for me to practice than trusting others. In developing an eye and an ear for the Higher Power made manifest in others, I am growing in tolerance, compassion, and faith. I have become a student of everyone.
Reprinted from the Fall 2010 issue of The S-Anews©.