Pain is in the Resistance

I haven’t seen anyone turn water into wine or part the red sea but I have witnessed several, of what I call, everyday miracles throughout my time in Al-Anon.  It happened again two weeks in a row.  It seems the topic of the meeting is often the exact topic someone needs to hear on that day.  It has happened so many times I can’t count.  Two weeks ago the topic of our meeting was grief and it turns out there were two women in particular truly suffering with grief.  The topic allowed them to release some of the pain they were holding inside.

This week, I felt like the reading was meant just for me.  It was from Hope for Today on October 10th and the sentence that struck me was….

“The pain is not in the surrender and acceptance.  It’s in the resistance.”


I have been trying to break down Step 11 into three parts; (1) Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscience contact with God as we understood Him, (2) praying only for knowledge of His will for us and (3) the power to carry that out.

Growing up the God of my understanding was not a loving God.  I felt my prayers were never answered to the point that by the time I was in my late twenties I gave up God for my New Year’s Resolution.  This lasted for two decades until I found Al-Anon.  This meant that I had to start from scratch.  I had to become willing to turn my will and my life over to the care of the Higher Power of my understanding and choose to believe he could help restore me to sanity, earlier in the program before I could seek anything through prayer and meditation.

At first I was very mechanical about prayer.  When I sought out sanity through prayer and meditation my first prayer was literally, “God I pray for knowledge of your will for me and the power to carry that out.”  Done.

But very quickly I realized the word power was not working for me.  Through Al-Anon I was trying to give up my will, give up control, give up trying to get my way and I perceive those things as power.  So I changed my prayer to “God I pray for knowledge of your will for me and the courage to carry that out.”

It turns out I am very stubborn about giving up my will, just like in the reading, and that is when I had to start breaking down Step 11 into parts.  I started by praying only for knowledge of his will for me.  However, I have come to learn I am resisting his will.  So I have added to my prayer, “God I humbly ask you to help me remove remove my shortcoming of my will overriding thy will.”

For the time being I am holding off on asking for the courage to carry out his will.  I still haven’t figured out his will.  When I learn what his will for me is, I will add part three of Step 11 and ask for courage.

Just like in the reading I had to learn my thinking was unmanageable and then I had to become spiritually teachable.  I had to learn the difference between spiritual and religious.  I have become a spiritual person and I choose to believe.  It has brought me much inner peace, sanity and serenity.  I have witnessed too many everyday miracles, not only in the meetings but in my own life to choose not to believe anymore.  I am truly grateful for these everyday miracles and my pain has lessened greatly.

I have made much progress in giving up controlling others.  I will always need to work on this, but I won’t experience a full release from pain until I can surrender my will for my own life.  I choose to think my higher power is a loving God and therefore his will for me would never cause me additional pain.  I guess I still need to get to the point where thinking is believing.  I will get there.

My new theory is that God tries to communicate his will for me every time I experience pain, but I am resistant to hearing it because my will to control my life is still too strong and my fear of additional pain is still too great.

I choose to believe surrender and acceptance will make my life better and that it will come on his timeline, not mine.   “God, I pray for less resistance.”


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