11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.
"There are times to surrender, times to let go, times to give in. There are times to wait and times to take action. There are times to be gentle and nurturing, times to give, and times to receive. There are times to speak up, own our power, and take care of ourselves. By working this Step, we'll know what time it is."
"Of all the relationships we are learning to rebuild in our recovery from codependency, our relationships with ourselves and with our Higher Power are the most important ones. They are the foundation for all the other relationships we will participate in. Our relationship with God, as we recover from codependency, will lead us into a loving, close, intimate relationship with ourselves. The opposite is also true. An intimate, loving relationship with ourselves will bring us closer to God."
"This Step will tell us how to do that. We pray and we meditate, to improve our connection with God and ourselves. We ask to be shown the best possible course of action for ourselves each day and the power to do our part."
"We are each free to understand God as we choose to, according to our vision and our truth. What is specific in this Step is that we are to talk to the God of our understanding by praying, then ask God to show us God's will for us and help us carry it out."
"Praying is talking to God. A prayer can be a word or a thought. It can be an expression of joy or sorrow. A prayer can be a letter to God. Or it can be a traditional prayer."
"We are free to pray any way we choose: standing, sitting, kneeling, eyes closed, eyes open, lying in bed, or walking down a dirt path through the woods."
"Prayer doesn't need to be complicated. We can talk silently, directing our thoughts to God. Or we can talk aloud, as we would to a person. We don't have to change our language to talk to God. We don't have to be someone or something we're not. We can be who we are with God. We can say what we need to say, when we need to say it. We build a working relationship with our Higher Power and discuss what we need to keep that relationship going."
"Sometimes we get a vision or a sense of what the future holds, but we get our directions from our Higher Power one day at a time. That is also how we receive the power to carry out those directives."
"Prayer transforms us. Grateful prayers transform our lives and our circumstances. Gratitude turns negative energy into positive. It breeds acceptance and brings out the best in any circumstance."
"Each of us can find our own way to pray, our own discipline for prayer, our own method of communicating. Some people like the prayers suggested by certain religions. Some enjoy a less structured approach to communicating with God."
"How we approach our praying is not nearly as important as making the effort to do it."
"Praying is how we keep ourselves - our souls - connected to God. It is where change begins."
"Praying to how we talk to God. Meditating is how God talks to us."
"Many people in recovery practice meditation in a variety of ways. As with praying, we are each free to find a way that works for us."
"Reading a meditation book is one way. There are many meditation books available in bookstores. These are little books that have a quotation, a reading, and sometimes a prayer for each day of the year. Many of these books are aimed specifically at codependency recovery. Some are more general but are still favorites of people recovering from codependency. A listing of some of them is included at the back of this book. Many people like to take time at the beginning of the day to do this little reading, to remind themselves of recovery principles, to help them feel good about themselves and get on track for the day."
"Some people listen to tapes as a way of meditating. There are many tapes available now that can help us attain a relaxed, peaceful state of mind. Some people like subliminal tapes. These are tapes with messages audible only to the subconscious mind. Sometimes the message is audible on one side of the tape; on the other side the same message is subliminal. Other tapes are all subliminal. Many include a script, so we know the message. The messages are subject- oriented, such as serenity, letting go of fear, accepting ourselves, and the like. What we hear consciously on the subliminal side of the tape is usually relaxing meditative music or nature sounds, such as ocean waves. What our subconscious hears is the positive messages."
"Some people use therapeutic massage as a way to relax, meditate, and become centered."
"Some people use alternative forms of meditation."
"Some people prefer traditional forms. They retreat to a quiet place and meditate."
"However and whenever we do it, the goal of meditation is to quiet ourselves and our thoughts, relax, become centered and peaceful, and tune into God and ourselves. We rid ourselves of the chaos, tension, and fear that so often accompany living. We let go of it all and be still."
"Meditation means opening our minds and our spirits - our souls - to the God connection. Obsession, worrying, and rumination are not God connections. They are fear connections."
"To connect with God, we need to relax and open our conscious and subconscious minds to a Higher Consciousness. In the busyness of our days and lives, it may seem like a waste of time to slow down, stop what we're doing, and take this kind of break. It is not a waste of time. Meditation can create more time and energy than the moments we take to do it."
"We build a connection to God by building a connection to ourselves."
"Once we become tuned into ourselves and trust ourselves, we will know when we need a meditation break. We can meditate regularly on a disciplined schedule. And we can listen to ourselves and know when we need to remove ourselves from the busyness of life and get centered."
"Meditation and prayer are powerful recovery behaviors that work. We need to be patient. It is not reasonable to expect that the moment we meditate, we will get our answer, our insight, our inspiration, or our healing. It is not reasonable to expect on-site, instantaneous answer to prayer."
"But the answer is coming. It is already on the way, if we have done our part by meditating and praying."
"Prayer and meditation are not meaningless tasks we are asked to do. Prayer is how we become transformed; meditation is how we become. Both disciplines benefit us and help us stay on track."
"Asking for knowledge of God's will for me and the power to carry it through is a prayer that will always be answered "yes."
"This Step also assures each of us that there is a path for our lives. Sometimes it is a simple path with simple duties. Sometimes the path means waiting. Sometimes it means feeling or healing. Sometimes it means giving; sometimes receiving. We can choose. We can participate in creating our path."
"Sometimes it means saying yes; sometimes saying no. But there is always a path for our lives, even when that path is not clear to us."
"Something is happening. Something good is being worked out, in and around us. Something important. We are learning our lessons, and we will continue to learn them. When it is time, we will be empowered to do all that we are meant to do."
"We can relax and go with the flow."
"We don't have to punish ourselves when times are hard, and there are certainly hard times in recovery. We don't have to punish ourselves for our feelings, doubts, concerns, and mistakes."
"We don't have to punish God either."
"We can relax and go with the flow, even when the flow hurts, even when we're not certain where it's taking us. The hard times will not last forever. The confusion will not last forever. Clarity will come. The answer will come. The darkness of our soul will leave, and daylight will come."
"Sometimes meditation does not work instantly or immediately."
"But we can trust these behaviors and keep practicing them anyway. Sometimes it may feel like we've asked, begged, and pleaded for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry it through, and nothing is happening. That's an illusion. Something, my friend, is happening."
"Sometimes our part is simple. We do the dishes. We go to a meeting. We call a friend. Or we wait. Sometimes doing nothing is God's will. Sometimes that is much harder than doing something."
"Sometimes it's time to take action. But we don't have to worry about that. When it is time, we will receive all the guidance, power, and assistance we need to do what we have to do, and we can let go of the rest. If we wait until it is time, our part will be clear. It will be impossible. It will happen - naturally, gradually, and with ease."
"This is the go-with-the-flow Step. By talking and listening to God, we can relax, let go, and allow our lives to happen. By asking for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry it through, we can trust what is happening, what has happened before, and what will happen tomorrow. We can trust our part in the flow."
"We are safe now. We are cared for. We are protected. We are free now to live our lives and love ourselves."
"This Step gives us permission to let go of our need to control and our efforts to control others and our lives. We can do our part by setting goals, using affirmations, and practicing our basic recover behaviors. We can do our part by praying and meditating. The we can let go and allow ourselves to be guided into truth, health, healing, happiness, joy, freedom, and love."
"Feel our feelings, when they arise. Love and nurture ourselves as many times each day and each hour as we need loving, nurturing, and accepting. Say thank you for everything. Ask for what we want and need."
"Then complete the process by saying, "Thy will be done."
"This Step can take us through the best of times and the worst of times. It can take us through difficult feelings and pleasant ones. It can take us everywhere and anywhere we need to go. Work it often. Work it as soon as possible in our recovery. If we do the other Steps - admitting and accepting powerlessness, turning our will and lives over, cleaning house - we will be a clean vessel, one that is easily guided."
"Sometimes, when we begin to live this way - trusting ourselves and our Higher Power - we will find ourselves making mistakes, doing foolish things, thinking we are doing God's will."
"This Step tells us that we have a path, and no one can interfere with it. We don't have to hold on so tightly. Others do not hold the key to our happiness, nor do they hold the key to our lives."
"No one, not one person, can stop or interfere with the good and the love that is coming to us. Others do not hold that in their hands: It is between us and our Higher Power."
"This is the Step where we say, "Show me what you want me to do, then help me do it." This is the Step where we talk to God and let God talk to us - by calming our souls and speaking to them. We ask God to show us what we need to do to take care of ourselves, then we ask God to help us. We ask God to help us take responsibility for ourselves."
"Take a moment for prayer and meditation. Do not criticize ourselves for not doing it well enough. Let go of our fears about whether or not God hears and cares. God is there, and we are each able to tap into the spiritual consciousness."
"This Step will carry us through the difficult times and the good times. When we don't know what to do next, God does."
"Trust God. Trust ourselves. And trust our lives. God never, never asks us to do anything that God does not equip and supply us to do. If we are to do it, we will be empowered. That's the easy part of this program: We never have to do more than we can. We never have to do anything we can't. We never have to do anything before it's time."
"And when it's time, we will do it."
The Source for this Step Eleven outline: Melody Beattie's: "Codependents Guide To The Twelve Steps"