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Offerings from Exile

What has sustained me?

By July 23, 2020No Comments

What has sustained me during the pandemic?
The wisdom of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Same as before.

The uncertainty of how the virus spreads, its impact on the economy, and the threat of death have amped my anxiety. I’ve been saddened to see loved ones unable to be with their elderly parents afflicted with Covid-19. I’ve felt the fear in conversations with health care workers on the front lines, heard the frustration of teachers unable to connect with their students in person, seen the panic of those suddenly unemployed and in financial crisis. I’ve also witnessed the loneliness of those isolated by shutdown measures. Known the grief of missing out on memorial services to commemorate lost loved ones and seniors unable to experience the rituals that mark their milestones.

The circumstances have changed and intensified, but the anxiety, fear, and loss are not new. Nor is the uncertainty and mystery. It has all simply been laid bare before us, rendered harder to hide from.

So I have retreated to the program that has sustained me since 1981 when I was 17 and went through treatment for my addiction. The program of Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me to surrender to all that I am powerless over. It has taught me to pray for acceptance of what I can’t control, for strength to do what I can to improve my situation, and wisdom to know the difference. It has taught me to seek the will of my higher power, to turn my life over to the care of a loving God. It has taught me to make amends when I have not treated others the way I want to be treated. It has taught me to pray and meditate daily, trying to improve my awareness of God’s presence. It has taught me to look for God’s grace active in my life. It has taught me to be of service to others however I can. And to be grateful for the blessings abundant about me.

Treasured lessons for any time.

–John R.