Spiritual Sanity

The first time I read Step Two on the wall I wondered about the meaning of “restored to sanity.” Was God going to restore me to the way I was before I started drinking? I really didn’t want to go back to my painful, awkward childhood. I didn’t think restored meant God was going to make me a “normal” human being. That made no sense because normal human behavior — wars, killings, starvation, man’s inhumanity to man — is insane. I couldn’t wrap my head around the definition in our book — soundness of mind. My mind was sharp as a bell. After all, I could still do the crossword in the morning paper in record time. Nor could I relate to the idea I heard in meetings that insanity was doing the same things over an over again expecting different results. When I drank I got the same result every time. Drunk.

It took me a while in AA to realize that “restored to sanity” meant God was going to restore me to fit spiritual condition like I was before I left the home office to begin my life on earth. Today I think of sanity as order, balance, and harmony. When I’m paying attention I can see the absolute perfection of creation. I see that day follows night; the planets in perfect alignment; the tides right on schedule. I figure that any power that can keep the universe in perfect harmony can certainly handle my puny little life. If order, balance and harmony is my true nature, why don’t I experience my life this way?

I hear the reason read at every meeting: “Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.” Today I know if I am struggling on any level I am holding on to an old idea based in fear. I am believing something about God, you and life that is not true. By taking the rest of the steps to the best of my ability, I become aware of the old ideas that cause me to suffer and I demonstrate my willingness to be changed at depth. Then the power begins. The mighty power of love.