Fear of Death

Turn it over, take it back. Turn it over, take it back.Sometimes it feels like I have my fingers crossed behind my back when I'm saying the Third Step prayer. I surrender my will and life over to the care of God, but part of me knows that almost as soon as I get up from my quiet time someone is going to say or do something that I don't like and Boom! I take my will back. It helps me to remember that the Third Step does not ask me to become a saint. It only asks me to make a decision -- a decision to take the rest of the steps.

It is the fear of death that keeps me holding on to self will. Not physical death but ego death. The fear that I will lose something I cannot live without and the fear I will not get something that I need to live runs deep into my consciousness. I don't experience these ancient fears in my head, but in my gut. Like a clenched fist. On some level ego death feels scarier to me than physical death. Geez, no wonder I hold on so tightly!

The dynamic action of the Steps grinds away at the fear, guilt, shame, and anger that keeps me in bondage to self. In the process, my self will--the jet fuel for my ego--begins to let go a little. I begin to change -- that deep psychic change the good doctor talks about in the Doctor's Opinion. As I become cleaner inside, my life seems more hopeful. My faith in my recovery program grows. I begin to hold myself and others with more compassion when I remember we are all doing the best we can.

I'm coming to believe that the Steps are not a formula to achieve enlightenment or a state of never-ending spiritual bliss. The Steps are a way of life. Step Three is a daily reminder of my decision to practice the rest of the steps.