HOPE MONTH: DAY 18: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”― Robert F. Kennedy
When we act in service of a principle or person, we are engaging in the highest form of hope. We do what we do in the belief that we can make a difference, which is the supreme action of a hopeful person. Not all of our efforts will manifest as we believe they should or will, but that should not deter our honest efforts to create change.
This is true of our work in recovery as well. The intention to change is the impetus that begins our personal work of recovery and healing. This force impels us through a process of unlearning and relearning our views of life and how to live it.
None of the work of the 12 steps is particularly new or different. Many spiritual resources for many, many years have the same basic premises that we ascribe to. It is the focus on drugs and alcohol and the recovery from the debilitating effects they have on our lives that makes the programs impactful. The ideas from that point are similar to many spiritual traditions from which they derived the steps after Step 1.
However, none of this matters if all we do is “intend” to change. It is the actual physical practice of relinquishing our own personal authority over our lives into the Power that drives Universal forces and the clearing of wreckage of our past and present that we begin to climb out of that gutter.
Our beginnings, those tiny first steps of allowing the walls of resistance and denial to tumble down…brick by brick are what allow the rest of it to flow from that point forward. Recovery is a brick-by-brick healing process…step-by-step if you will.
Setting the intention, followed by consistent, never-ending and ongoing practice of these principles and relinquishment of personal will, over and over again, are the keys to the ripples of the current Mr. Kennedy to aptly spoke of.