marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

A Quiet Mind

From Courage to Change, September 4: “As we let go of obsession, worry, and focusing on everyone but ourselves, many of us were bewildered by the increasing calmness of our minds. We knew how to live in a state of crisis, but it often took a bit of adjustment to become comfortable with stillness. The price of serenity was the quieting of the constant mental chatter that had taken up so much time; suddenly we had lots of times on our hands and we wondered how to fill it.” Over time, I’ve learned how to “be still in the stream.” It took a long time for me to accept my powerlessness. But obsessing over Angie and living in all her drama was threatening my health. I was suffering from severe PTSD and endured many other negative consequences in my life as a result of my constant worry over something I couldn’t control. So, I took the first three steps in my recovery program. It was hard to do that because I felt that letting go was giving up on my daughter. Not loving her anymore. But that’s not how I feel now. Once, not so long ago, Angie was a loving daughter to me, a college graduate with her whole life ahead of her. Then, like the great cosmic crapshoot that afflicts millions of families, she fell out of her life and into addiction. She’s been lost to us all for a long time now. But my daughter Angie, not the addict that lives in her body, would want me to reclaim my life as I have, and learn...

There Are Many Paths To Spirituality

From Each Day A New Beginning, November 28: “’The idea of God is different in every person.  The joy of my recovery was to find God within me.’ ~Angela Wozniak Coming to believe in a greater power brings such relief to us in our daily struggles. And on occasion we still fight for control to be all-powerful ourselves, only to realize that the barriers we confront are of our own making…The program’s greatest gift to us is relief from anxiety, the anxiety that so often turned us to booze, or pills, or candy. Relief is felt every time we let go of the problem that’s entrapped us and wait for the comfort and guidance God guarantees.”     My program of recovery is not based on any organized religion. I was raised in a church, but my concept of God was childlike—a vision of Santa Claus to give me what I asked for. I lacked the maturity and discipline it takes to develop faith and hold on to it. When I started to read the literature and use the tools available, I entered into uncharted territory where I was asked to let go of my grip on circumstances and allow someone else to take over. Many people think of “God” as that other force, but just as many others focus on nature or the recovery fellowship found at meetings. The point is, my isolation is over and I am now partnering with a Being who is all-loving and all-powerful. I have learned to surrender to His will and put my faith in Him. This is the spirituality I speak...

Life Is For The Living; Live It Well!

    From Courage to Change, March 23: “They say that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. If I learn to accept that pain is part of life, I will be better able to endure the difficult times and then move on, leaving the pain behind me.” ‘When we long for life without…difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.’ ~Peter Marshall   There is no life without difficulty. But my recovery program has given me the tools to embrace the challenges I face with grace under pressure. Acceptance of what is. Joy in the simple things. Gratitude for all I have. When I steer my attitude in a positive direction, life is good. Let your brilliance shine like diamonds in 2018. Best wishes to my friends and family. God Bless Us, Every One!...

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.  ...

The Serenity Prayer At Work

From Each Day A New Beginning, November 19: “Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.” ~Minna Antrim “…Our longing for only life’s joys is human—also folly, Joy would become insipid if it were our steady diet. Joyful times serve us well as respites from the trying situations that push our growth and development as women… Joy and sorrow are analogous to the ebb and flow of the ocean tide. They are natural rhythms. And we are mellowed by their presence when we accept them as necessary to our very existence.”   Of all the tools at my disposal in recovery, I think acceptance has been the most valuable. When I practice the Serenity Prayer, I am free of the resistance and pain that have held me hostage for so long. I’m learning to “lean into my life,” as a friend said at a meeting. In this way, I can let go of things that have held me back. I can practice serenity and strive to be happy—an ongoing process. And I wish that for all of my sisters and brothers in recovery. God Bless!...

Is It Working For You?

From The Forum, June, 2015: “The Suggested Preamble to the Twelve Steps have been the most helpful in my recovery: ‘We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.’ That is to say, it is our attitudes, not our situation, that cause our unhappiness. When I first came to Al-Anon, and heard these words being read, it was like listening to a foreign language that I did not speak. It was beyond my comprehension that I could find peace and happiness through a change in my own attitude. As I heard these words being read week after week and meeting upon meeting, I resisted the suggestion that I could find peace and contentment if I would become willing to change the attitudes that kept me a prisoner of pain and suffering. First of all, I didn’t know that I had any particular attitude. My thinking made perfect sense to me. There was nothing wrong with my attitude. I didn’t even understand what my attitude was. Slowly, as I listened in meetings and began working the Steps with my Sponsor, my attitude did begin to change. I was not consciously aware of the change, but I did recognize that my life was less stressful and I was finding periods of happiness and serenity. One night, a few years into the program, it hit me. I was leading a meeting and as I read the Suggested Preamble to the Twelve Steps, these words ‘…changed attitudes can aid recovery’ struck me. I wanted to laugh out loud and say, ‘Duh…do you think?’ It was so completely clear...