Disappearing Act

The summer before I got sober, my girlfriend and I spent a weekend in Vail, Colorado. The morning after we arrived we hiked, hungover, up to the top of the ski mountain in the bright sunshine and fresh clean air. I will never forget the vista that greeted us when we made it to the peak: eggshell blue sky, flimsy white clouds and the snow-covered peaks of the Rockies towering in the background. Overwhelmed by the incredible beauty of the view, I stood mouth agape, unable to speak. I experienced a moment of awe -- a pure spiritual experience.

What happened?  I know today that for just a few moments my mind stopped. My identification with self gave way to pure reality. My psychological center evaporated. One moment there were two -- me and nature (God). Now there was One. Since I stopped thinking about myself, I had literally disappeared. Now there was only God.

A few seconds later my mind caught itself being absent. In the midst of this incredible experience, a thought barged its way into my consciousness and kicked me out of heaven. "If you take a few hits from the joint in your pocket, you can make this better." Poof. The sense of Oneness vanished.

Practicing our Twelve Steps takes me out of the center of my being and lifts my consciousness. By taking the suggested actions, I slowly dissolve the illusion of self that blocks me from fully realizing the incredible beauty of life. When I am willing to practice the spiritual principles of the Steps to the best of my ability on any given day, I take one step toward God. God responds by taking two steps toward me.