Being a person of faith, I often still find myself playing a game of tug-of-war with God, which in a life of recovery, directly impacts the 3rd step that says “Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood God.”
With that being said, most who’ve known me for quite some time would say that I’ve always been a strong-willed person and while that has worked at times in some areas of my life, there are many others like in my recovery realm that it hasn’t worked well one bit. After all, it was my will that kept me active in plenty of addictions for far too long. And it’s my will that constantly puts me directly into one of those games of tug-of-war with God.
Anytime I find myself playing this game, it usually has to do with something that my ego doesn’t want to give up. Case in point, I’ve brought numerous people into my life over the years who weren’t exactly healthy (heavy into addictions, volatile anger, etc.) for me to be around, yet I firmly held onto them, even when God kept showing me over and over again that I needed to let them go. The same has been true of various jobs I’ve worked at, social groups I’ve been a part of, recovery meetings I’ve attended, etc. My ego also has the tendency to beat a dead horse way too much, sometimes until I think I can get it to come back to life, and that’s precisely the very type of thing that gets me into that tug-of-war game with God.
This is why I truly believe the 3rd step is the cornerstone of the entire 12 Step recovery program and specifically why I feel the greater I let go of my will, the more successful and healthy my recovery and life will become. But, the more I take back my will and hold onto things that really aren’t healthy for my spiritual journey, the more I tend to find myself in that eternal battle of tug-of-war with God. And frankly, I must admit, I’ve never won a single one of those types of games anytime I played it with God, as the more I’ve pulled on that rope of self-will, the more my life has fallen apart. Thankfully, I’ve also seen that the more I’ve let go of it, the more my life has come back together.
So, the next time you find yourself holding onto something that often causes you anger, stress, negativity, and the like, maybe you’re actually in the middle of playing a game of tug-of-war with your Higher Power, who simply just wishes that you’d let go of that rope. I’m sure if you do, that eventually you’ll find it creates a lot more peace and joy in your life than if you don’t…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson