I was unemployed, running out of money, all alone and taking Prozac in the months before I walked through the doors to my first meeting. Thin red veins were popping out on the sides of my nose. I drank against the constant ache of fear in my gut, yet my head told me all I needed was a new job and everything would be fine. I didn’t realize I suffered from a spiritual illness that made it impossible to live a life of peace and contentment. Gratefully a moment of clarity led me to Alcoholics Anonymous and the spiritual solution contained in the twelve steps.
I learned that the other side of fear is faith. My faith began to grow by watching other members walk though painful situations. I grew to believe I could too. Since those early days I’ve walked through job losses, financial problems, health challenges, and the death of my wife – all without picking up a drink. These walks were not always graceful. Often I was filled with doubt and paralyzed with fear. Yet I grew every time I got to the other side.
Today when I sense the termites of fear gnawing away at my peace of mind, I realize I’m living in the future. Now, in this moment, I have everything I need to live happily and usefully whole, but once my magic magnifying mind trips into tomorrow or next week or next year, I’m screwed. There everything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong. My connection with my higher power only happens now. As long as I stay in today I am safe.
I like the verse in the Lord’s Prayer that says, “Give us this day or daily bread…” I only get today’s bread today. God doesn’t give me enough bread (money, ideas, creativity, solutions, etc.) to last me the rest of my life. God only promises enough bread for this day’s journey. Today I have faith that God will supply whatever I need to get me through any fearful experience as long as I do my part – trust him, clean house and help others.