Take Control of your Life by Giving it Up

By Matt Martinez 2018 07/06/18
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In my disease, I needed to control everything. I needed to control my future and my life. Only when I sobered up did I realize, my Higher Power has authority. It doesn't mean I don't struggle with it. I cause myself anxiety because I can't let go. Once I do manage to work through it, it gives me immediate relief.

Throughout my disease, I told myself I dictated the outcome of my life. To accomplish this feat, I created back up plans. My backup plans had backup plans, and so on. One day, I realized nothing had worked out. My original goal didn't pan out. Nor did any of the contingency goals I had. What was I supposed to do then? I told people what happened. I ran out of plans for my life. Had I been sober, I'd like to think I would have picked up the pieces and moved on. Instead, I let my disease consume me even more.

People in AA often say "Give it up to God." It took me a while to understand what that meant. I see it as trusting my higher power. Sometimes I don't know if I should pray for outcomes. Pages 86-88 warn us about doing that. I am afraid as well. What if I pray for an outcome and it doesn't come true? What will that do to my faith? My answer is to avoid this dilemma. Instead of praying for something to happen, I place trust in my higher power. In that way, I am giving it up. I have to accept that I don't control outcomes. My higher power does. If I believe that, then I need to trust it will work out.

I didn't arrive at this conclusion overnight. Early in sobriety, I made promises to myself. If an event happened, it meant I had a higher power. I also recognized in extreme events, I fully trusted my higher power. In the day-to-day minutiae, I wanted control. I made it my goal to have the same trust in a life or death situation every day. After a certain point, I realized I made promises to myself daily. I wrote down everything that came to fruition. My conclusion: my higher power gave me everything I needed. I needed to place my trust in Him daily.

I still struggle today. My habits are to take control. Deep down, I don't want it. It's too stressful and causes me anxiety. I'll wear myself out thinking like that. I have tools to identify what I'm thinking and how I'm feeling. Often when I use them, I see how I want to dictate the outcome of my life. Still, recognizing it and accepting it are different. I often recognize when I am not in control. It's not until I accept it that I give it up to my higher power. It gives me relief. Life is too complicated. I can't see into the future. Preparing for both can be a never-ending battle. It's easier to let my higher power worry about it.

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