marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

The Gift Of Faith

“It wasn’t until I was tested as her mother that I found my ability to harness any faith at all. My sadness as a child paled before my growing despair as an adult child. The journey I’m on now has given me fresh new insights as I’ve confronted myself and understood where I have come from. My journey has in turn helped me understand where I have taken my own family. What was given to me has been passed down to my children. Yet I understand now that I could not have turned out differently, nor could I have been a different parent. My behavior as an adult was scripted from my childhood. What I need now is faith in something outside of myself to help me carry the burden—and gratitude that I’m finally able to ask for help. My faith has everything to do with turning over my self-will and accepting the will of another. I have found peace and serenity in acceptance of life as it is happening every day. Letting go and handing over the reins has given me the freedom to live my own life now without feeling shackled to the past or frightened of the future.” Excerpt from my award-winning memoir, A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, by Maggie C. Romero...

The Power Of Faith

  From Hope For Today, June 13: “…What I had overlooked in Step Two was the word ‘Power.’ The day I started placing my attention on that Power instead of on insanity, I began to see miracles in my life. One such miracle was my ability to talk about my fears in Al-Anon meetings. Other miracles included taking the Twelve Steps that lead me to serenity, and engaging in the process of forgiving and healing.” It has taken many years of hearing Step Two read at meetings for me to really hear the word ‘Power.’ Now I realize how much more awesome my Higher Power is than this disease. That power has always kept me from tumbling into the chasm. Before recovery, I was spiritually bankrupt. I had no faith in anyone other than myself. But that wasn’t working for me: I needed to bet on another horse. As I slowly accepted that I was powerless over other people, places, and things, it became easier for me to bring God into my life and let Him take over. Suddenly, I felt much lighter. Instead of dwelling in fear, today I am striving to pass on the miracles of recovery to my children and grandchildren. With faith and hope in my heart, I look forward to getting up every day. I’m just glad I stuck around long enough for the miracle to happen.  ...

Personal Progress

From Each Day A New Beginning, December 31: “…Daily attention to our spiritual side will foster the spiritual and emotional health we long for. Prayer and meditation, combined with honest inventory-taking, can show us the personal progress needed, the personal progress made. However, we will falter on occasion. We will neglect our program some days. But it won’t ever be beyond our reach. And each day is a new beginning…” It’s a comfort to know that I can start my program over at any time. Perfectionism is a hard task master, and it used to drive me to unrelenting self-criticism. I wore a tough outer shell that was hard to penetrate; no wonder I was lonely! My Higher Power has shown me how to me gentle with myself and kind. As I learn to treat myself better, this behavior extends to those around me. All of my relationships benefit from my new and improved attitudes. I am grateful for the softness and light I have found in the miracle of twelve-step...

Thawing Out Emotionally

From Opening Our Hearts, Transforming Our Losses, p. 174:  “Alcoholism has been called a robber and a thief because it steals so much from those of us affected by it. I have faced many losses as a result of growing up with this family disease. First and foremost, alcoholism robbed me of my capacity to feel my emotions. So, when my parents divorced, I tried not to feel anything. When my father left, I blocked my grief. Each time another loss surfaced over the years, I succeeded in burying it. Years later, I entered the rooms of Al-Anon and very slowly began to thaw out from this emotionally frozen condition. As time passed, divorce, geographic separation, and death brought losses to my life. With each loss, the Al-Anon tools and fellowship were there to support me, but only to the extent that I allowed.”   That disclaimer at the end is important to acknowledge because the tools in the program are available to me even though I don’t always use them. But like any other habit that I incorporate into my life for my own betterment—like healthy eating and exercise—I need to keep at it with regular practice. And eventually, like breathing and feeling grateful for the abundance in my life, it becomes second nature. “I keep coming back; I work it cuz I’m worth it!”...

Our Power Over Words

From Each Day A New Beginning, October 23: …words are more powerful than perhaps anyone suspects, and once deeply engraved in a child’s mind, they are not easily eradicated.” ~May Sarton How burdened we become, as little girls, with the labels applied by parents, teachers, even school chums. We believe about ourselves what others teach us to believe. The messages aren’t always overt. But even the very subtle ones are etched in our minds, and they remind us of our “shortcomings” long into adulthood… Our partnership with God will help us will help us understand that we are spiritual beings with a wonderful purpose in this life. And we are as lovely, as capable, as successful as we perceive ourselves to be…It takes practice to believe in ourselves. But we can break the past’s hold on us.” The step work in my recovery program has been critical in helping me find the “courage to change.” Whatever we become as adults, and however we got there, need not define us now. “Happiness is an inside job,” and I’ve needed to dig deep to get at the source of what wasn’t working in my life. But I needed to help. My Higher Power and the fellowship I’ve enjoyed in the rooms for almost sixteen years have helped me discover the miracle that was always just around the corner. I’m so grateful to be alive and have this second chance to live my life in a better way. I wish the same for all my friends here. God...