After many years of hard drug and alcohol use, I sought sobriety through a certain famous twelve step program. On my way to a meeting and deep in contemplation of Step Two (which is - 'Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity') I found myself looking for a place to have a little lunch before the meeting started. I wandered up the street, past a sign that read "The Second Step". How appropriate - i thought, and looked inside, to discover a bar full of old alcoholics drinking dollar draft. Of course I decided not to go in, and I continued on up the street and found myself some snacks from a safer, beer-free place. I decided that I wished to speak to no-one, and sought out a place away from the road and the church where I was headed, and so tucked myself away under a bush beside an empty school. I was happily eating my salad when out of nowhere a man on a bicycle whooshed up beside me and said "I just saw you walking down the street and I just had to say hello". This was exactly the situation I was trying to avoid. "Look," I explained to him "I'm on my way to an AA meeting, so.." in an attempt to dissuade him. "Really," he replied to me, "Isn't that funny, because sometimes people tell me that I have a message for them, or that I'm some kind of an angel". I rolled my eyes and sarcastically asked him what his message was. He professed not to know, and suggested that I try not to drink. Great, I thought, I'm stuck with him now, I might as well chat. So i asked him questions and we made small talk about nothing in particular when all of a sudden I found myself looking right into his eye - his tiny, brown eye. And in that moment - ordinary perception slid away and I became aware of the most powerful Presence - possessed of the power to effortlessly destroy the entire earth, a thousand earths - unimaginably vast and incomprehensibly magnificent. Clearly, I and all of the best ideas i ever had were nothing - less than nothing and i felt like dropping to my knees, only i was too stunned to move. There was a physical sensation too, like standing inside a powerful magnetic force. I knew as i stood there that i could not possibly begin to comprehend this - this was outside of the realm of any human experience - drugs or sober - that i had ever had. It was like the universe was alive, and conscious and twinkling and sparkling and looking at me. And - most miraculously - it thought i was cute. You know the feeling you get when you see a toddler or a puppy or a baby, and you just smile at the adorableness of it, and want to pat it's sweet funny little head. That's the emotion i felt coming from this Presence. This Presence beside whom I am ashamed of the very best parts of me, not to mention all the terrible parts - loved me so gently and so benevolently and so - even - and this may sound weird or not be the right word - but - humourously. Like the emotion you feel when a baby kitten cranks its head waaayy back to look up at you and almost falls over - that laughing sort of benevolent sweetness you fell towards it - that is what the Beautiful Presence emitted towards me. And it was way beyond gender - more than gender. And sort of like a multitude and a unity at the same time. But clearly, I knew at that moment - as i do now looking over the obvious inadequacy of words to describe this - that i could not- nor would not be able to understand It, that i surely couldn't comprehend even the tiniest bit of it. But I knew that it loved (loves) me - and how lucky is that! Just as i was thinking "WHAT is THIS?" the experience faded and i was left back by the bush, staring at the man on the bike. Who was also staring at me. And he said - "WHOA! Did you feel that?" And i said - yes! did you? He looked at his arms and said "all my hair is standing on end!" So was mine. We laughed a little - nervously and wonderingly. "What WAS that?" he asked me, and of course neither of us had an answer. The enormity of it hadn't even registered as he asked for my phone number - which i refused him with some cavalier remark. I went to the meeting. He bicycled away. I went back to motel room where i was living and wrote the experience down on the advice of my room-mate. And I truly understood the Second Step - and as you may have guessed - have never needed to drink again.
Posts: 3 | From: toronto | Registered: Oct 2008
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I feel I have the great fortune of knowing quite a few people whose lives have been saved by the 12-Step Program. A shared experience seems to be that the mere effort to walk the Path, is sufficient to open Doors that we didnít even know were there.
It seems that to walk with sincerity, is to invite guidance, mercy and grace.
Thank you,Buttercup. I had a similar experience, in October, 1981, and I really appreciate your description. I don't/didn't have addiction problems, in the way you did, but the experience was transformative, has defined my life, informs it now, just the thought of it is`sweet and wholesome and utterly lovely.
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