55: Step Eleven – Sought Through Prayer and Meditation To Improve Our Conscious Contact With God As We Understood Him, Praying Only For Knowledge Of His Will For Us and the Power To Carry That Out (Sort Of)

11/1/20 Step Eleven – Sought Through Prayer and Meditation To Improve Our Conscious Contact With God As We Understood Him, Praying Only For Knowledge Of His Will For Us and the Power To Carry That Out. Step 11, the 11th Step, where we seek to increase our relationship with our higher power. We also stop trying to attain certain outcomes in our life. Further, we ask for guidance to do our higher power’s will, not ours. We talk about what this looks like in someone’s daily life, how they can apply the meaning of this step to further their peace and serenity. What is god’s will for us? How do we pray? We talk about all of these and more.

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery and addiction topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the views expressed here are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

welcome back it’s recovery sort of i’m jason i’m a guy in long term recovery and i’m billy i’m also a guy in long term recovery and we’re here to talk about step 11 today sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with god as we understood him praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out which is extremely long and will never fit in the [ _ ] title space for this episode but sought through prayer and meditation so we’re seeking through prayer meditation to improve our conscious contact with the god as we understand him and then we’re only praying for knowledge of his will for us of god’s will for us and the power to carry that out that’s an interesting topic where do we even start so if we think about why would we think prayer and meditation is important to people in recovery if we’re to to earth people i mean well even the people in recovery like we say this is a spiritual not religious program and these sure feel like religious practices that they’re now asking us to do in our recovery program yeah when you get to 11 you start to be like did you guys trick me is this religion when do i have to start going to church right right is that step thirteen no that’s definitely not step thirteen that’s yeah that’s yeah that’s a different kind of worship how many people do you think make it step 11 in n a oh gosh a small percentage i don’t even know how is that even possible 1 out of 20. you think 1 out of 20 trying to think of a typical meeting i would go to yeah maybe i know when i got here it used to be a lot more they would have step meetings and they would just do a step every week like now usually if there’s a step meeting it’s a step a month kind of like we do here but they would have a step every week and they would just keep cycling through and once you got past like five you had a [ _ ] ass time speaker yeah the same people had to show up every day yeah it’s like look this round through you’ll share eight next round through you’ll share ten like same exact speaker yeah we’ve had that in this area as well so that’s tricky i mean why why is it that people don’t make it this far if the 12 steps are the solution and we want so you’re saying one in 20 people stay clean i don’t know i know a lot of people that have stayed clean and never made it that far through the steps or haven’t made it through the steps are still clean yeah i know at least two that come right to mind that have 20 plus years and have never made it through the steps so the steps aren’t the only way to stay clean i think they help improve your quality of life are they happy are they peaceful joyous sorry fair enough i guess to a normal person to an earthling as we like to say this does sound like religion this sounds like church this sounds like what i do if i’m a catholic or a buddhist or i’m jewish or any of the above oh they’re they’re gonna seek through prayer meditation they must be a religion right now i was trying to think of how else this could look i guess my goal is for people that listen that aren’t in recovery to have a way to try to manifest these steps in their life if they really wanted to and for people who aren’t religious because we have plenty of atheists agnostics and any other terminology you want to use in recovery that are able to work these steps and and find fulfillment in the spiritual principles what kind of practices could people do that are outside of recovery that are also outside of church and religion because this like you said this step sounds just like church or religion i was trying to think of other things and i was like maybe modern-day yoga like yoga seems to be a thing that a lot of people do that’s sort of a form of meditation yeah and because religious organizations use some of these practices doesn’t make them inherently religious prayer isn’t synonymous to christianity it doesn’t have to be any way we think of church when we think of prayer but that’s really not the only use of the word prayer they just happen to practice it there same with meditation like meditation isn’t just for buddhists you know like other there are other ways to meditate and other people that meditate that aren’t necessarily a specific religious sect there are but so when i walked in the door and i saw step 11 on the big board on the side of the wall i was like oh that’s that’s the religion [ _ ] right like i instantaneously and even when i got there it was still hard to separate that out because i’m not a religious individual so i mean you’re a salesman you’re selling this to the earthling you’re saying no no no this isn’t religion that’s not what we’re telling you you know prayer meditate like people i don’t know if people are gonna buy that or have an easy time taking that concept in without an outside example like yeah prayer meditation aren’t synonymous to religion but that’s what we all associate it with now so what other forms i guess all the other forms of meditation that we don’t consider meditation hiking yoga things you do like running is a form of meditation all these different things you do that kind of keep you in the moment and in tune with your breathing in your body maybe that’s what i i get i hate to use the word hipster but i feel like that’s like the hipster movement of like you know being in tune well all that is is people that want to say that they meditate and really don’t they want to say burn that’s for the non-meditating people to sound like they’re really spiritual but i think it’s a new age thing today to say you know oh we’re spiritual we’re not religious we did that we gave that to people yeah we started it we started it in n a and now the rest of the hipsters want to copy so what would a person do if they wanted to seek a conscious contact with something bigger than them which i don’t know to me this is god right to me this is a universal power of some sort form or shape to a non-particular believer i don’t really know what they take out of this step honestly i i don’t know how else to read into it that i’m seeking this bigger will for me i get that we like to emphasize well the focus is basically just that you’re not god and you know it’s not all about you and that’s nice but it doesn’t really make me feel like i understand better yeah and i tend to go the other way with most of the recovery attitude and say that i think most earth people already understand that they’re not the center of the universe or that there’s a power greater than them in the universe so they don’t need to like actively remind themselves of that on a daily basis because they already know that you know what i mean as addicts we’re the other way we somehow when we’re not looking slip ourselves right back into being the center of the universe all the time and forget that there’s a much greater force at work here than just us i do not see earth people thinking of other people all that often i’m not saying they don’t i don’t necessarily mean they think of other people i think that they don’t have the total self-centeredness that we have as an addict i tend to believe earth people tend to consider how their actions and attitudes affect other people now they might not give a [ _ ] they might think i don’t care about those other people or or they don’t matter as you see with modern politics well they don’t matter because they’re not the same as me they don’t try hard enough whatever justification or rationalization they use but they think about how the things that they’re going to do affect other people as an addict like i tend to either not think about it or i tend to minimalize or justify what i’m gonna do so what i mean is if i’m gonna use and i have kids i think well my kids are never gonna know you know i don’t rationally think through the full measure of like yeah but i’m gonna spend all the money i’m gonna not be emotionally available i’m not gonna probably be physically available either but even if i’m at the house with them if i’m nodding out on the couch am i really being a good parent you know right but in that moment i’ll justify and say well i’m home with my kids you know i take care of them right we have lights you know why i’m nodding out on the couch you know and i think that’s where that stuff gets unique to addicts like we only see things from such a limited perspective we only look at things from our point of view all the time yeah and then next week i’m like what do we need lights for we’re up during the day we go to sleep at night that’s how it’s supposed to be yeah we’re working on our primal nature yeah we need to get back to the way the good old days it’s more healthy it’s more natural so i think for us for addicts this is a way that we can it’s back to that maintenance stuff you know it’s like we talked about with 10 like 10 11 and 12 they always say or the maintenance steps you know 10 and 11 are where i look at like my physical activities my physical emotional condition my emotional spirit and look at how i’m acting in my day how i’m affecting some of the people around me and then 11 is where i’m working on my spiritual conditioning every day or or on a regular basis again this is a step that should be done pretty consistently it’s not like a one and done you know or like a one and five years later we do it again kind of maybe like a fifth step or something like that it’s a step that is meant to be done on a consistent regular basis yes step 10 11 and 12 the maintenance steps unlike step zero the suboxone maintenance step so when we talk about prayer we look at the definition and it says to request help from or give thanks to a god and that’s generally what we think of when we talk about prayer that’s like the dictionary definition there might have been some others i didn’t look past that one that sounded good enough to me i guess the the point of this step is not really to ask for help per se or it’s it’s not to ask for any specific outcomes i guess it’s more just to ask for generalized help to do whatever it is i’m supposed to do it’s almost it’s a step that really says nothing it’s just the worst part it’s like look we want you to pray but don’t actually pray for anything in particular just just pray and then you’ll get exactly what you’re supposed to get and how the [ _ ] can you ever argue with that right you can’t never disprove this step you can’t say that doesn’t work because whatever you got was what you’re supposed to get yeah and that’s where some of the i would say the more woo-woo parts of the god aspects of the program turn me off as a as a cynic for me the way i interpret like so some of this comes back to what do you think is god’s will like what is god’s will in your life and and do you have an understanding of what that is or what it looks like you know what your relationship with your god is and so for me early in recovery i think i felt like i was supposed to be good for the sake of being good you know what i mean like i was supposed to not steal because stealing is bad i was supposed to not cheat in my relationships because cheating is bad and i did a lot of my quote unquote good behavior based on this is what i’m supposed to do to be good so it’s like sitting on your hands so that you don’t do something wrong and as i work through the steps and as i get into you know specifically five six seven then eight and nine i start to realize well [ _ ] there’s a lot of personal benefits i gain personally by doing good i’m not just sitting on my hands for the sake of being good so i don’t go to jail you know i can take my hands out now and and use them for good things because when i’m not doing the good things bad things happen to me you know even when i’m using or not using like karma yeah well sort of well it’s consequences of actions so if i’m living a selfish life and i’m out stealing from people i might get what i want in the moment but there’s a price that i pay for that in my spirit you know there’s a almost a selling of my soul that happens there and i get the immediate gratification of getting that thing that i wanted but i’m paying a price for that and i don’t think i always recognized that i thought it was just about getting what i wanted to make me happy so i don’t i don’t this and this is the parts of the the woo part of the program that makes me buy all in i’m like yes everything that happens is exactly as it must be right like just as the prophecy foretold like i i don’t know i i like that belief system personally that exactly what happens is what and my life is much better when i’m able to look at it that way i don’t do this well honestly because a lot of times i’m like god dammit we could have avoided this stupid ass mistake if i would have just done this or somebody in my family would have just not done this for example yesterday we got up we got my sons ready we took him to their soccer game and lo and behold apparently my wife uh their soccer game from a couple weeks ago was rescheduled and she put it on the calendar on the wrong day and there was no soccer games yesterday and so you know felt like a huge waste of my life i was like what the [ _ ] and i wanted to be mad about it but when we went home what i look at is the reality is they were dressed for soccer we ended up in the yard we kicked the soccer ball around me and my two boys we played a little bit and so i look at that and say well it’s almost like a when life gives you lemons you make lemonade kind of thing right and so the problem is we just keep looking at it as lemons like life gave me an opportunity we had a nice little car ride with some of the kids we had a front yard play time session with the kids like what bad happened there right but my take on it is you wasted my time you wasted part of my life like i don’t waste enough of my life all on my own right but now i’m bitter because somebody else did this to me and i guess just to me that’s kind of like encompassing the 11th step i’m given exactly what i’m supposed to be given and if i can stay in that mindset i’m always going to be in a pretty good place right like i don’t have to it it doesn’t matter how the situation came to be or if it was through somebody’s mistake or or fallen short the outcome is going to be exactly what i need or exactly what’s good for my life and if i can just remember that i’m usually acting in a place that’s like oh cool what benefit can we make out of this little mistake yeah and i think that we’re kind of describing that as like two sides of the same coin so for me that same situation it’s like by practicing spiritual principles and living a spiritual life any situation can be good and positive and beneficial you know what i mean like so that all happened i don’t necessarily look at it that like that needed to happen for you to have that experience it’s by living a spiritual life you were able to take that situation and have it just be a positive thing in your life and there was and i was looking for it i couldn’t find it quick enough but there was a you know one of the uh statements in that reading of the 11 steps is it you know by continually practicing you know working on our spiritual condition it prepares us to deal with life on a daily basis so as problems and situations and issues show up you know we are spirit in a good spiritual condition to deal with it in a way that makes it a blessing and see i’m the exact opposite i’m like this universal power conspiracy theorist right i have all these pinholes in the wall and strings tied between them and i’m like no i had to go through that experience and then when i was running around in the yard i realized i felt a little out of shape and i haven’t been working out lately and i needed that to be part of the process to get me back to moving around so that i can live longer like it’s all tied together in these strange and cool ways that are going to lead me to this best life somehow i think that’s awesome like i think that’s great you know what i mean like we find it’s like we talk about it here we find what works for us and and what’s you know what thinking helps us to get to where we need to be there’s not a right way of looking at it it’s you have a way that works very well for you and connects for you to push you you know to to be in the here and now to begin the process yeah and i just look at the same thing in a slightly different way but the results are still the same like i need to be in a really good spiritual conditioning because i don’t know what life is going to throw at me today tomorrow next week and i can either choose to react in a way that’s going to have shitty negative consequences or i can react in a way that’s gonna have loving caring compassionate consequences so i think a lot of earthlings and people in recovery too we probably pray for things i i don’t know that we all i can picture just prayers that are full of thanks like i can picture people doing that that sounds reasonable i don’t picture many people especially outside of the 11 step recovery world i don’t picture many people sitting around going well i’m just gonna pray for whatever’s supposed to happen to me and i’m gonna get exactly what i’m supposed to get and i’m gonna pray for the strength to deal with that like i don’t think that’s high on people’s list of desires i think they want [ _ ] personally i i do i want things i don’t just sit around and think man i just can’t wait to get whatever i’m supposed to get that sounds terrible usually so i think or at least i would say my experience with going to churches and organize religion is you do hear a lot of that in churches and organized religions of different faiths really oh yeah when i went to catholic church they were always you know praying for your politicians praying for the leaders of the country praying for the leaders of the church praying you know for you to try to serve god you know they use different verbiage but it kind of means the same thing what does it mean to serve god it means the let go of your selfish and self-serving impulses and follow the bible teachings the ten commandments and jesus’s lessons and all of that they just they use different verbiage to say the same kind of stuff see i remember in catholicism pray like people constantly had prayers for specific things we were praying for people to get well we were praying for sick people we were lighting candles for specific prayers about certain topics and things we wanted to turn out a certain way and that just seems completely contrary to this step this step is all about just praying for the power to deal with whatever happens right it’s it’s basically letting go of the outcomes all together like that’s none of our goddamn business we’re just supposed to show up and be ready for what’s given to us yeah well i would have to agree with you there because there was a lot of uh praying for specific things in different churches i’ve been at where people will ask for healing and and different things but i don’t think you’re supposed to pray for those with an expectation that’s where organized religion loses me then why do you pray for it if you don’t want it to happen yeah well i think you want it to happen but ultimately that again that’s the that’s the parts of organized religion that i don’t quite get because you’re supposed to pray for these things and ask god because he’s all-powerful but then if you don’t get it you’re just supposed to know that it’s not what you were supposed to get and that god still loves and cares about you right so yeah that i got twisted up in some of that and then and then reading some of the chapter on step 11 it was basically like we don’t want to pray for specific things because we never know if that’s the right thing for us or not so we should just avoid that altogether like we can be praying for a specific thing that we think is the right thing only to find out later it was a terrible idea and then have to pray to get rid of that same exact thing right and you know the big joke about the girlfriends i prayed to get and then had to pray to get rid of like yeah what you’re saying about religion is exactly that i think they do pray for specific things as if they know what the right thing is or they know their heart’s desire at least and and that’s what i think about this step when i think if you try to sell this to the average individual who who wants this like who wants just whatever we’re given really like i’m supposed to wake up on tuesday and be like oh man god just give me the strength to you know deal with work today that’s exactly what i wanted like nobody really wants what we are getting i guess i want it you know what that sounds great to me well i mean i think everybody wants more but is it easier to run around wanting a bunch of [ __ ] and being disappointed that you don’t have what you think you want or just to be content in the here and now and be grateful for what you have like it’s wanting things isn’t the problem like what we do with our wants and desires if i allow them become so overwhelming that that’s all i’m focused on again that has negative consequences in my life that aren’t worth it i mean or at least that’s the lessons i’ve been learning in recovery like i got to be careful what i say i want desires aren’t the problem it’s my reaction to my desires that cause the problem it’s the way that i deal with it how do you pray and what do you want and do you pray for any of it i and i try to think i i’m not a huge prayer person i do pray there’s a few times that i pray of sometimes at night usually a couple times a week i’ll do like a gratitude prayer just a list of things that i’m grateful for and that is to help me at the end of my day just to really appreciate and be thankful for the life that i have because it could be very different you know if i was using or through whatever means just to be glad for what i have today i also tend to pray before i’m asked to speak at a meeting that’s one of the few times that i pray i will go and and pray and ask for like to remove my ego to remove my self-centeredness and to just allow me to be a humble servant you don’t say the speaker’s prayer i don’t know what that is god don’t let me suck

no i don’t say that i think i have once or twice but again for me when i pray it’s not necessarily about asking and expecting a magical guy up in the sky to hit tap me with a wand and and things that are above and beyond my control are gonna happen for me i use prayer as a way of conditioning my mind or conditioning my thoughts to be in alignment with the way that i want to live and the person that i want to be so what i mean is you know for the meeting thing i could probably sort of go home and like work up a real good uh share a real good presentation and and have it be interesting and exciting and rehearse it and all that but then i feel that wouldn’t be authentic to me that wouldn’t be authentic to the person that i wanted to be you know what i want to do is be like just a humble servant of whatever message needs to come out then whatever i’m going through whatever is happening in my life and sometimes that means i don’t do a great job sometimes that means now do i think that that means god wanted me to suck that day and all those people needed to suffer through a rough share because i needed a lesson to learn like i just i don’t look at it that way god knew you needed to break from sharing and so nobody else was going to ask me that for a while i was too busy if i thought of prayer like this if i am a person that’s trying to eat healthy and i want to say all right i’m going to be i’m going to try to eat well throughout my day if i get up every morning and remind myself today i’m going to love myself i’m going to take care of myself through my eating i’m gonna try to make good choices you know in my food and i’m gonna try to avoid sweets or whatever if i do that every day i think my chances of achieving that through the day are much greater than if i just get up every morning and wing it or if i get up every morning and say [ _ ] it i’m gonna just eat whatever i want today i don’t care this episode has been brought to you by voices of hope inc a non-profit grassroots recovery community organization located in maryland voices of hope is made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity and respect of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment support resources and mentoring please visit us at www.voicesofhopecilmd.org and consider donating to our cause going back to the meeting thing i pray for god to speak through me right that’s my goal and i do think there’s some mystical universal force that does that and so when it’s a share that people tend to enjoy or get something out of i don’t feel the right to take any credit for it i’m like well i kind of prayed to not be in the way of this so i won’t take credit and by the same token the times when it comes out not so great i’m like god bombed not me not my fault i don’t have to take any responsibility right not my part so your prayer is more about setting intentions and you said not on here but before we came on that you you don’t pray for kindness and you don’t feel you know zapped by harry potter’s wand and you’re all of a sudden kind and i i agree with that i guess what i’ve always heard is like if i pray for patients i don’t get patience i get opportunities to practice being patient right i get situations where i have to be patient i heard something interesting recently too that was like patience is not waiting anybody can do that patience is waiting in a good frame of mind or something along those lines it’s like everybody’s gonna get stuck waiting at some point when you can’t do anything about it it’s not the ability to wait everybody has that when you’re forced to it’s the ability to wait and not be a dick i guess i don’t know yeah and some of this i think is we hear that in recovery like oh don’t pray for patience cause then you’re gonna get and i i mean it’s just me personally i don’t think that’s how any of that works either i think what happens is you just become way more aware of all the situations that require your patience and you’ve become aware of how shitty you are at patience and if you’d have looked at it two or three weeks before you started praying for that you were probably just as intolerant and impatient in those situations as well you just didn’t notice or give a [ _ ] so by setting the intention you now are trying to do something different kind of like when you buy a new car and then you see that new car all over the road it’s psychological right it’s like a psychological thing where you’re you’re now setting your intentions and again praying for god’s will like if i say well i’m praying for god’s will in my life well what does that mean you know i have to have a good clear understanding of what that means for me in my life if it’s just some vague broad notion of my understanding of god’s will then i don’t know if it’s very helpful for me personally when i say praying for god’s will in my life i have a pretty clear understanding of what that means for me you know i’m trying to live spiritual principles in place of my own self-centered self-serving nature i want to try to be patient and tolerant when the guy cuts me off in traffic or you know when i’m dealing with my kids or you know when i’m in a situation at work so i think the reason we again have the steps in order and that they’re written the way they are is that hopefully by the time we’ve gotten to 11 you know in three we talk about we don’t even know what god’s will is for us at that point we’re just surrendering our will to a power greater than ourselves and we don’t even need to know what that power is by 11 i think we need to have a better understanding of what that is did you just expose the 12 steps as cognitive behavioral therapy in disguise i don’t know maybe i don’t know what cognitive behavioral therapy is exactly so changing your thinking to change the way you feel and perceive the world basically i mean just by the concept of praying for god’s will we’re setting our brains psychologically up to look for what’s god’s will and by looking for what’s god’s will we’re trying to discern what’s god’s will apart from our will and so it really doesn’t matter who god is or what god’s will is the entire act of the step is forcing us to separate out our selfish desires and look at them more frequently and oftenly and not act in them because we see them all the time we’re like oh my god i’ve acted selfish for the 12th time today and it’s 8 a.m right like so just by setting ourselves up psychologically with this step we change our behavior just by looking at it because we know that happened if you literally write down what you eat every day you will automatically change your behavior no matter what just because you’re looking at it because you’re paying attention yeah so you basically step 11 is just stop being selfish huh by looking at it more oh that was easy i figured that out done knock that one out so well and my favorite part of this step is the meditation part because that’s i’m going to say fairly new to my recovery i would say the last three to four years meditation has become a huge huge part of you know my regular routine and my growth as a person i have loved the exploration into all the different kinds of meditation through different weird means i’ve been exposed to different types of meditation which we did a whole podcast on meditation i think it was our second or third episode it was very early on but early on my wife was trying to quit smoking and she came across a addiction therapy doctor i guess i don’t know if he was legitimately a doctor but he called himself a doctor and he had a practice where you would go you do a little bit of talking therapy whatever and then there would be a chanting meditation he was into all these ancient mantras that you would say that mean different things and he would play like a soundtrack of the chanting and you would do the chants and the sounds were supposed to resonate certain frequencies in your spirit yeah stuff like that like the om and along with certain music and certain bells it was pretty fascinating i mean i i liked it for the experience i don’t know that i felt like it was all this amazing growth you were trying to relive pink floyd man so that was an interesting exploration into some meditation i mean that was before i really got into a practice of meditation that i found that worked for me i’ve also been to some like native american sweat lodge experiences which are quasi prayer meditation type practices where you sit inside like a little hut with some hot rocks and you go through like a ceremony where you sort of pray and then meditate and try to listen and you do some again singing and chanting and and different things i went with you one time you’re underselling the heat here some hot rocks that [ _ ] is fire it is it is called a sweat lodge for a reason you sweat a lot and then i had a sponsor who was into tai chi and shambhala meditation which is just another meditation practice if you want to dig into that you can look it up yourself online probably do a way better they would explain it way better than i ever can but the point being like there are lots of different ways to meditate lots of different ways to sort of sit down kind of get quiet with your mind try to sit you know basically with yourself and explore what’s going on in the here and now i resent you honestly every time you talk about how well you’re doing with staying routinely meditated because i just have not gotten back to it yet and i’ve so the only thing that’s worked consistently for me is routine i mean that’s it’s like exercising you know going to the gym in the morning if i have to have that at it’s got to be regimented into my routine like this just what i’ve found works for me when i try to say yeah i’m gonna meditate i’ll do it after work or this time or that time like nothing’s ever worked well for me except for in the morning as part of my morning routine i also found just for myself like you hear people you know they meditate for 20 minutes half an hour an hour you know they do these long meditation things i don’t have that [ _ ] kind of time uh and i’ve tried and i feel sometimes inadequate because i just do 10 minutes but 10 minutes works for me and it fits into my schedule great and it you know i found a guided meditation that helps it’s a 10-minute guided meditation you can bump it up to 20 if you want i’ve been doing it for like two years and i’m just like [ _ ] it i’m staying at 10. you know well because if i add into 20 then i have to like start changing my whole routine and trying to like wake up earlier and you know it just gets to be a lot i i’m not jealous of your meditation anymore it’s only half a meditation anyway 10 minutes is only happened i’m shortcutting taking the easy way out i yeah i want to i want to get i mean i think i said this a [ _ ] year ago on our meditation what i want to get back to it and i just i’m not committed enough i guess i have not made that move that decision to to do it i’ve like made that half decision a billion times and done it for like three days or four days one week and then it’s gone all over again i don’t know one of these days it’s been as i’ve gotten older that i’ve been better at committing to my routines and sticking to them oh there you go i’m sold on it i got five more years yeah and i think and i don’t know maybe this is wrong or whatever but i think it’s harder with younger kids too life just felt so much more hectic like now my kids are a little older so my routine is pretty regular you know it’s like i can kind of go to bed about the same time i can get up about the same time i don’t have a ton of different things pulling me in different directions on most days ah man with good friends like you who needs justifications i got them already excellent well you’re still not reaping the benefits you’re still suffering the consequences of not meditating i don’t know that it’s it’s worth it and that honestly lies part of the problem is there there haven’t been huge consequences from it right like yeah my brain’s a little more scattered it’s a little more running on its own and and runs wild at times but there’s not a lot of life dissatisfaction in my life and that’s kind of the problem when life was really rough for me that son of a [ _ ] i committed to meditation and it got better right like it was easy then because things weren’t well and when life is pretty well it’s harder to make that commitment to get that incremental increase in life quality like i don’t have any doubt that it would improve my life it’s just that my life is actually so good right now it’s hard to make changes to it it’s like ah that seems like a lot of work for an increase when it’s already really good so when you talk about incremental increases like i would say they are minut changes that have drastic consequences it’s not like all of a sudden everything in my life turned into [ _ ] flowers and chanting and greatness you meditate your unicorn shows up out front to take you to work tomorrow right it’s my approach to other people like my dealings with other people my tolerance and acceptance towards life and difficulties and challenges the little areas like for myself which have been huge improvements are like say my knee-jerk reaction to my kids the knee-jerk reactions that i have when someone does something i don’t like you know those were always the areas where like my emotions specifically anger seemed to just take over and be there before i had a chance to even think about it you know i mean it was it was like anger reaction and then thought oh [ _ ] i shouldn’t have acted that way that was not good yeah that was a little over the top you know did i really need to throw this cup across the room because my kid spilled his [ _ ] cereal like and now it’s almost the opposite like now i you know i see the thing or it happens and i have that moment that brief amount of time where i don’t just react i can pause and take a breath and then react in a way that i am much happier about and that subtle change has drastic improvements for me in my life you just reminded me of a premeditation moment for me i don’t know 12 years ago maybe nine i don’t know it doesn’t matter i literally at the dinner table and i can’t even remember what precipitated this or what happened but i literally dumped my child’s water on their [ _ ] head i was and i like why why did i do right but so i and i get what you’re talking about but it’s like the soccer thing i didn’t say anything at first i felt some anger right when i when we were driving out of the parking lot realizing there wasn’t no game i didn’t say anything my kids mentioned some reasons why it frustrated them and then i said i’m just mad and then i stopped and i said i’m not actually mad i’m just a little frustrated that you know we came here what seemed to be a little bit of a waste time and i’m like okay i can deal with that reaction like had i had that angry reaction or if i had that regularly in my life i just feel like it would be so much easier to go back to the meditation and be like oh dude you need something right and i’m not the meditation would probably make that reaction even better but it’s just like i’m kind of all right with the reaction honestly i don’t know i want to put in a lot of extra work and that’s where i’m at that’s my problem yeah life’s too damn good to want to do more about it that’s the problem well good problem yeah like any of the maintenance things we do in our lives like it’s hard to see the results without doing them consistently and then even as we do them we gain these in incremental increases and we don’t notice them you know until we stop doing it and go backwards like it’s weird it’s it’s not like when we first got clean and stopped using and all these great things happened like immediately yeah it’s much harder to measure the results or see the effects but for me personally like i just have noticed over this period of time over this couple of years that i’ve been consistently putting effort and over these couple years don’t get me wrong it has not been consistent throughout that whole time it’s been all right i meditate for i don’t know a month or two you know on a daily basis and then some things change or something happens and i kind of stopped for a couple weeks and then i’m like well i kind of miss doing that i kind of it’s something that’s good for me i know it’s good for me and then i sort of take off a couple weeks or months and then i work it back in a couple weeks or months and then it’s been sporadic at times where it’s just been a couple days a week so i’ve been up and down right i would say over the last probably a year or two i’ve been consistent on at least five days a week and that’s what like soon as my regular weekly routine i’m is out like i’m [ _ ] i miss like saturdays i don’t usually meditate on saturdays because i don’t have a set time to get up most saturdays and the saturday changes week to week what we got to do or what we have going on so occasionally on saturdays i meditate but most saturdays i don’t because i’m not on a routine it doesn’t fit into what i want to do you know it’s like it’s not something that i actively i’m like yeah i can’t wait to meditate because when i’m done i feel great it’s it’s like you know brushing my teeth like it’s just a thing that i know i need to do because it’s good for me and i just do it because it’s part of my routine so we’ve addressed you know we meditate or we pray for only knowledge of god’s will for us you know and and not for outcomes what about the other part of the prayer the power to carry it out so we’re asking for the ability to deal with whatever we decide god’s will is for us how do you how do you address that in your prayer life so in reference to prayer i personally read this out of our literature and found it kind of like yeah that’s pretty useful because it i feel like it takes out a little bit of the woo-woo aspects of prayer it says prayer is communicating our concerns to a power greater than ourselves sometimes when we pray a remarkable thing happens we find the means ways and energies to perform tasks far beyond our capabilities we grasp the limitless strength provided for us through our daily prayer and surrender as long as we keep faith and renew it so like what i kind of took from that was i’ve had the experience in recovery where i’ve heard sayings 50 100 times in meetings throughout years and then all of a sudden something happens in my life and it’s like a light bulb goes off or or something clicks and it’s like oh that’s what that means you know oh now that i’m in this situation in my life a power greater than myself which is meetings recovery you know the group has given me some information that i didn’t even know was going to be useful but now i’m at this point in my life and now this information is useful like it now makes sense and it’s now applicable to what i’m doing and i guess through a consistent surrendering of my will my own like i gotta figure everything out on my own i’m the smartest person i know by seeking information outside of my own best thinking i put myself in a place where i’m willing to listen interesting so i obviously our you know takes on it are different for our different higher powers i take this as literally you know asking for the magic stick to be shaking my way and and give me the power to deal with it which i guess more practically looks like help me to know i’m not alone in my life and that we’re going to get through this and i think from a a not believer perspective that could be useful too right just the the remembering that like i’m not all by myself ever in anything whether it’s a loving higher power that i choose to believe in or whether that’s the group of people that i’ve surrounded myself with in recovery i’m never actually alone and together with this support system i’ve built i can get through this and so i i don’t know that’s how i look at the power to carry it out it’s more just like i’m not alone and we can you know we’ve gotten through some tough things before i don’t want to forget that so the whole this too shall pass even though nobody wants to hear that in the moment yeah and i don’t know why recently like i’ve had these analogies with like for me because i’m constantly exploring like my ideas behind my higher power and what that means for me and what it looks like and so i was thinking recently of if i thought of like my higher power and the way that it works in my life it would be similar to like the wind like nature like the wind is a power that’s greater than me i don’t get to control it it’s out there it does what it does and i can choose to work with it like you would with a sailboat and figure out oh if i do this in this situation it pushes me where i want to go or i can fight against it and try to like row upstream against the wind and find that i’m like doing no [ _ ] good at all and through this process of recovery that’s what i’m learning to do with my higher power it’s like how do i take this force that’s happening in the world this force that’s happening in life and use it to push me in the direction that i want to go instead of paddling upstream against the [ _ ] wind hmm very useful if you’re gonna fly kite we could do the same thing with the sun you know the sun is a great tool that you know we need for life without the sun we would all [ _ ] die you know and i can use the sun to grow vegetables and be healthy and get my vitamin d and all that good stuff or i can use the sun to take a magnifying glass and [ _ ] catch the woods on fire you know i can these powers that are out there aren’t all good or all bad or or they’re not either really they’re just powers out there that are greater than me and i through this process of recovery and and seeking help from other people find the way to best use them in my life to grow to be the person that i want to be that was way too profound for this podcast i’m a believer in the sun god i like it so let’s get into some of our quotes that we have here one of the ones i pulled out and these are from the basic text our spiritual condition is the basis for a successful recovery that offers unlimited growth i guess that brought to mind for me if the solution is an improved spiritual condition if that’s the solution to the disease of addiction an improved spiritual condition does that mean that addiction is a disease of the spirit and i don’t know like is it a spiritual disease i don’t think doctors would say that they talk about the biology of it or the neurobiology of it and we say that diabetes is a disease of the physical body so is addiction a disease of the spiritual body or like a soul disease if spiritual means fix it well in our first step it talks about it as being physical mental and spiritual so it’s all three you know and so like for me when i’m in my ideal you know condition in recovery is working on all three of those i’m working on my physical body through exercise and health and doing good things i’m working on my spiritual conditioning through you know prayer and meditation or whatever spiritual practices i might find that work in my life and then i’m working on the mental aspects of my disease through step work and meetings and the you know whatever you want to call it therapy that comes with talking about my problems and and that sort of thing do you think any two of those work without the other like could you do mental and physical without the spiritual or is spiritual like the key that holds them all together well i it depends on what you mean by success in recovery so i think this spiritual condition is what leads me to be a totally self-centered person so i can maintain abstinence from drugs and still go out and do some really self-centered cruddy [ _ ] and i might be okay with that you know maybe that’s whatever stealing from my job or cheating on my wife or and i’ll justify and rationalize it through whatever you know thinking i have but i might not use i’ll be a healthy smart [ _ ] yeah well i’m sure you know some of them that have been around meetings forever that don’t seem to be doing much work stop talking about me yeah like well i don’t want to be that [ _ ] guy you know if that’s what 20 plus years looks like i don’t want to be him i mean i don’t know about you i know a couple of them i might have been that guy at some point oh i’m sure i’ve been that guy at times uh the next quote by surrendering control we gain a far greater power what in the hell does that mean the first thing that jumps out is control is like an illusion so maybe we think we have this power of control but honestly we really don’t so we don’t really have a power so we’re surrendering the power that we thought we had that we really don’t so anything we get after that is going to be a greater power than that because it’s real yeah and i i think i mean that ties back into the going with the flow of things in life kind of thing it’s like if i just adapt and go with the flow of things in life rather than fight against them it’s way easier you know instead of trying to swim upstream all the time i just swim downstream it’s you know it’s way easier it’s way less difficult yeah so if your destination in your head is set and it’s upstream you’ve been working your whole life against that right so when you surrender that control and surrender the outcomes which it talks about in this step like not worrying about the outcome maybe we decide all right my destination is wherever the hell downstream it takes me then the power we gain is peace and serenity and you know like you said the ability to just go with the flow and end up where we end up not where we thought we had to be right and it’s you know it’s with parenting or anything you know if i have a idea like my kids need to go to college and they need to go to this school and they need to do this career and all that and i push them to do that i mean i might even be able to get them to do that i might be able to make them do what i want them to do you know but what is the cost that comes along with that you know what’s is that really what i want out of my relationship with my kids that they just become some product of what i think they should be or that they just become the best people that they can be there are definitely days i want the first okay so here’s the purpose the purpose of the 11th step is to increase our awareness of that power and to improve our ability to use it as a source of strength in our new lives this reminds me of kind of what you said about the 11th step of prayer increasing awareness like just knowing my focus and my intention for the day i don’t know that’s that’s how it sounds to me like it’s almost like they kind of knew what they were doing too like they knew they were getting around the fact but yeah we’ll hide this in prayer meditation really we just want to change your mind to think about good stuff yeah think good thoughts that’s what step 11 we sought to think good thoughts and again the the problem for me becomes all the time that i think so when i was using i felt like life was supposed to be just this happy great wonderful time and there was supposed to be no suffering and no difficulty and no challenges hedonism yeah and and that’s what i thought you know living a good life meant me just doing what i wanted all the time and getting whatever good things i was supposed to get consistently and that’s that’s not reality you know for anyone and i still today with time clean can fall into that place where i expect that life is supposed to be easy that everybody’s supposed to do what i want them to do that my kids should just be a certain way at this point i think i’ve raised them good enough they should [ _ ] know by now how they’re supposed to act or my job everybody there should know exactly what they’re supposed to do and you know when they don’t it’s and there’s a i have to remind myself that like i don’t get to control the outcomes of the world then i’m salivating just thinking about this plan i love it right and that you know i fall short of my own expectations people fall short of my expectations life is life and you know just being sort of present in the here and now is so much easier than fighting for this control or having it be what i think it’s supposed to be i want all those good things that i’m supposed to get like you mentioned and all the good things i’m not supposed to get i want them all just all the good things and the problem’s not the warning of the good things the warning of the good things is fine it’s the ways and means we go about getting those good things that becomes the problem it’s my disappointment in not getting those good things that becomes my problem or my sense of entitlement yes i earned it the image of the kind of person that we would like to be is a fleeting glimpse of god’s will for us often our outlook is so limited that we can only see our immediate wants and needs i think we just talked about that there’s the old saying if you wrote down what you wanted out of recovery when you got here you would have sold yourself so short on what you gained over time if you stay around and put the work in that’s what this reminds me of the fleeting glimpse like the image i had of what i wanted out of a 12-step program in recovery when i got here was so limited compared to what i’ve gained already and there’s still so much room for improvement and and more to gain for the peace and and inner love and absence of inner turmoil that i used to have like i can’t imagine only getting what i wanted in the beginning right or that idea that i think i know what i want or what’s good for me yeah and even now like with my life if i won the lottery tomorrow well i don’t play the lottery but my wife does so maybe she’ll win and she’ll share it with me i keep thinking i’ll win and i don’t play either but uh you know if i won the lottery that doesn’t mean i’d be like oh i don’t want any of this money i’m just going to give it all away and keep living like i’m living like that’s probably not i’m gonna get myself a nice house and some fun toys and all that but it’s you know what what importance does that have in my life now you know i’d really like to have one of those new you know corvette set 2020 zr6 you know it’s beautiful car it’s awesome i would love to have one having that desire is not a problem for me you know it’s am i now like hoarding all my money and and becoming obsessed with it and putting the need the one of a car ahead of the needs of my family you know those are the things that get us into trouble from now on there’s going to be some changes around here we’re only having dinner four nights a week we’re eating ramen noodles every day it is easy to slip back into our old ways to ensure our continued growth and recovery we have to learn to maintain our lives on a spiritually sound basis god will not force his goodness on us but we will receive it if we ask so first of all obviously yes if i slip back in the old ways constantly i feel like that is the hallmark of recovery is the constant slippage back into some old frame of mind i generally hope that it’s like a a five steps forwards four steps back like i don’t go all the way back right but it does seem to be constantly that i fall into these old behavior patterns when i’m not vigilant on a daily basis and i think that we’ve talked about that a billion times but i god will not force his goodness on us but we will receive it if we ask that’s an interesting concept and i would love to hear your opinion on it yeah so the first part of that i mean obviously that’s where those maintenance steps come in you know the 10 11 12 that’s why they aren’t just ideas that sound good like yeah now i’m been clean all this time and i formally worked a tenth step so now i’m done it’s like the ideas 10 11 and 12 are ones that we consistently apply on a regular basis to keep us in position to receive whatever god’s grace or whatever you want to call it it reminds me of one of those things like when the undercover officer the old belief that like if you ask somebody if they were a cop they had to say yes like and how dumb that was i asked you have to give it to me this is like a new harry potter law like you can’t shake the magic stick at somebody unless they want you to like they have to ask first or you have to ask a vampire to enter your house like yeah i won’t let these good things in unless you unless you ask me yeah i mean maybe that’s humility i guess or a dependence on a higher power huh it’s probably a profound way to say basically like you ain’t gonna get none of this if you ain’t looking for it yeah right you gotta be looking for the right things in order to find it right like i guess if we’re not asking for help or outside input we probably still think we have all the answers yeah and so it’s not going to get forced upon us we’re not just going to all of a sudden mysteriously want it well isn’t that i mean that’s almost like what we say about recovery anyway it’s like it’s not for people that need it it’s for people that want it you know you don’t get it if you don’t do the work you don’t stay clean well most people i can’t say anybody there’s probably some people that have stayed clean on sheer willpower but most people won’t stay clean if they don’t put in the work oh that’s the old one now it’s it’s not for people who need it or for people who want it it’s for people who do it no that’s the hardcore one oh i haven’t heard that one yeah yeah they take it good you know everybody’s gotta go one step further ten years from now it’ll have like six different ones beyond that when we finally get our own selfish motives out of the way we begin to find a peace that we never imagined possible enforced morality lacks the power that comes to us when we choose to live a spiritual life most of us pray when we are hurting we learn that if we pray regularly we won’t be hurting as often or as intensely yeah and i think that ties back into what my comparison to like sitting on my hands you know trying to be good like that’s forced morality like i’m only being good and doing this because you told me to not because my heart and my desire is in it and through the work that i do through the previous steps i hopefully i don’t know for anyone else for me i gained some insights into why living a spiritual life was in line with my morals and values and the person that i wanted to be and through that i gained like a sense of like that like now i’m comfortable in my own skin i’m proud of the person that i am today because i’m living by morals and values that are my own that i’ve discovered through this process they weren’t determined for me by my previous sponsors or by some chairperson at a meeting you know it was i got to do some work and figure out what things were most important for me yeah it’s hard to remember i think that life changes feel weird no matter if they’re good or bad like i i generally associated especially before i got here or when i first got here like change is bad and so when i started doing things that were healthy for my life whether that’s eating regularly brushing my teeth going to work every day i was like this [ _ ] feels so awkward right but over time i find that it’s really in tune with what i like and what makes me feel good later kind of like what you’re talking about like it just because i’m doing the right thing at first it doesn’t always seem like i’m doing it for the right reasons and i might not be but over time i might find that oh man i really do like the way this feels it just felt so weird at first yeah and there’s a balancing act there and that’s where i think the support of other people support sponsor or people in our support group kind of helps us to understand or or keep us in line with we should be doing the right things you know obviously so we like stay out of jail or aren’t hurting our kids or our family or our jobs like those are definitely good things to do for very practical reasons but then there are some other things that i might need some help with you know that are that are a little more subtle let’s take you know like an eating thing like maybe for a while i go through a period where i’m like you know i think it’s really important that i eat healthy and and do this take care of myself and then other times i might go back to where it’s like you know what it’s not that important my eating isn’t really that much for like for me personally my eating isn’t that much of an issue i’m not a big person that struggles with my weight or has some overwhelming health issues that i need to correct my eating it’s really a subtle thing in my life that i want to improve on and so sometimes i’m okay with just being like hey i’m just gonna eat kind of maybe not so great for a little while because i’m working on some other things and i’m doing some other stuff right now and i feel okay with what i’m doing in these areas but i need constant reinforcements or i don’t know if reinforcements is the right word i need constant guidance to check my motives to check why i’m doing what i’m doing like am i just eating shitty because i’m lazy and i want to you know not take care of myself or or do i really have some reasons why i don’t have to be so hard on myself for the way i’m eating are there good reasons for eating shitty i need to hear these too so i can use them later well shitty is a general term for i think i eat when i eat what i consider bad that’s probably better than half the people would normally eat like and that’s not a i mean that’s just i don’t eat a lot of processed or refined foods just in general i don’t i don’t like them that much really but i’ll eat at mcdonald’s or i’ll eat you know dessert i’m a sucker for sweets that’s where i fall and so so that’ll be like an area where i say okay so is it really that bad if i eat ice cream once a day i don’t really eat a bunch of other sweets during the day so is it really [ _ ] killing me if i eat a small bowl of ice cream you know every day probably not you know probably not interesting yeah so i but again maybe it is and and it’s important for me to figure out what my values are or what my beliefs are and make sure that they’re healthy and in line with what i say they are because i will also you know again with that self-centeredness in there revert back to like well i’m just going to do what’s easy and feels good and [ __ ] whatever my values are because they’re inconvenient at this moment

we know that if we pray for god’s will we will receive what is best for us regardless of what we think this knowledge is based on our belief and experience as recovering addicts i really was thrown for a loop on this i couldn’t wait to bring this one in here this is like for her smart people a difficult one for sure i’m like really does somebody really know better than me what is good for me and it’s i i think extremely hard for anybody in a situation where you want something a lot right if you really are looking for an outcome in your life i really want this job this is what my dream job this is my dream house how do you accept and is it just the remembering that we’ll get what’s best for us like this i don’t know i this is easy for me as a guy who says the universe is going to give me what’s best for me to learn and grow and process my life and experience life before i die and all this stuff for somebody that’s not spiritual or not doesn’t have a higher power per se i don’t know how to [ _ ] you wrap your head around this one i i just really don’t i’m like i just what i just trust that life gives me what’s best and so i i’m gonna you mentioned this one here so i’ll bring it up molestation like how the [ _ ] do you frame this quote around that right so that’s where most of like i would say that saying for me almost doesn’t apply or i just look at the whole situation completely different like i look at it as if i am spiritually in a good place or spiritually in a condition that i am happy with where i’m living by my morals and values it doesn’t [ _ ] matter what job i’m at or what house i have or what car i have like none of those things are overly important none of those things really matter i don’t think that there is a power out there that’s giving me things or taking things from me or molesting my kids or letting me win the lottery like those things just happen in life i believe they’re sort of i mean again maybe not the job or the car there’s obviously things i got to do to get those things but i don’t think there’s some like that’s not how my higher power works in my life it just doesn’t right so that whole statement is kind of like i don’t know if i can agree i don’t agree with it i mean if you live that way that’s fine but it does it’s not applicable for me so you would just strike out the whole we’re gonna get what’s best for us yeah i get what i get and whether it’s best for me or not depends on how i choose to respond to it so maybe it has nothing to do with the actual things we get but just our response to it could make it ideal for our life right huh yeah that doesn’t sound anything like how they sold this step to me prayer takes practice and we should remind ourselves that skilled people were not born with their skills it took lots of effort on their part to develop them i put this in here just because that’s one of the huge quotes we use all the time that skilled people aren’t born with their skills and i love it i think it’s applicable i said it to my kids a billion times when they say they’re not good at something i’m like heart surgeons did not come out of the womb right like performing heart surgery like these things take time i remind myself this you know i’m going to be going and doing therapy in the near near future hopefully and it’s like i don’t plan to be even though my brain tells me oh you’re gonna be the best right like i’m not gonna be the best therapist on day one it’s gonna take years and years of learning and seeing people and that kind of thing and so skilled people aren’t born with their skills it takes time to hone these things yeah and figuring out how it works for us you know i’ve had years of time where i’ve prayed for things and prayed obviously there was times where i went to church and and was heavily involved in a church and so i prayed in accordance with how they teach you to pray and so i’ve done all these different things and again i don’t think that it was right or wrong for me at that time in my life it was exactly the place i needed to be or you know exactly the experience i needed to have to grow and to to learn and to change but over time i’ve figured out what works for me and what doesn’t work for me yeah and i i think that’s important just figuring out and and practicing right it’s the same thing we just talked about a minute ago things feel weird the first time i prayed out loud or in my head or by myself when it wasn’t a part of a religious experience which is what i was introduced to in my my youth but when i came in recovery and first tried to pray it felt so [ _ ] awkward and weird and odd same thing when i first tried to look in the mirror because my therapist said oh go say nice things to yourself in the mirror i was like this feels so [ _ ] stupid right but through doing it over time it did become more natural and and got meaning to it and so don’t give up just because it feels awkward or strange or you’re unsure of how it’s gonna just do it just try it and do it and stick with it and see what happens yeah and and different people find that like say through that continual practice they find what’s most comfortable for them you know i’ve heard people say like so being raised catholic you know your prayers are almost written out for you there’s a certain way you’re supposed to pray and you approach god with all this reverence and you know humility and i’m such a piece of [ _ ] and other people i’ve heard say that they pray and they talk to god just like he’s a friend or they’re you know they cuss when they pray or whatever else and that’s just their relationship with their higher power but through working on that relationship through prayer like you said it might be awkward or weird in the beginning until you figure out you know what’s best for you yeah last one we become willing to let other people be who they are without having to pass judgment on them and this was a i put this in here for judgmental reasons honestly completely i was just thinking all the the political stuff on facebook all the people i see in recovery that are bashing and hating on other types of people for either having different beliefs or thinking different things and this can go either way it’s not about any particular group whatsoever but just are you working in 11th step like are are you living steps in your life like have you gotten off the path do you need to be refocused do you need more prayer meditation on a daily basis to seek god’s will for you because i come from a judgy place but honestly this is entirely for me too because i’m a judgey dude right like am i not doing enough prayer meditation if i’m thinking other people got it wrong or that their whole character is terrible just because they have a certain set of beliefs that differ from mine why can’t i just allow them to believe that i know it’s hard for me and i have my reasons and my justifications why i say i can’t just allow them to have that belief because it’s this or that or the other but why like it’s generally not hurting me yeah that’s taken a lot of years and again i can only attribute it to meditation the meditation part for me has allowed me to to not care so much but in that process too i’ve also taken some actual active steps like the whole thing of getting on facebook i don’t get on facebook anymore because i i just can’t i don’t like where it puts me you know and maybe that came from meditation of this awareness that like i don’t like the [ _ ] way this makes me feel because when i get into it and i see the memes and i see the comments and you know the [ _ ] people say and i want to start arguing well that’s not even [ _ ] true you know that’s just more lies and and it just sucks me right in so i have figured out that my dad came over for dinner the other night and my wife and i just said well we’re not gonna talk about politics with my dad at all you know we’re just not and if he brings it up we’re gonna tell him we’re not talking about that because he is the opposite of us in politics in every way and to be honest like i can get pretty judgy about some of that [ _ ] because i feel like it’s important i feel like we’re not just talking about you know some there’s some really important things that are are going on in our country right now with you know health insurance and you know abortion rights and whichever side of those things you land on they’re pretty important [ _ ] things right you know those are some of the morals and values on which i’ve built my life and so obviously i feel pretty strongly about them where i struggle is trying to convince everyone else that they need to be important to them and the truth is they might not be being a compassionate person is probably not that high up on let’s say donald trump’s list of his morals and values i’m not saying it’s not on there it’s probably on there somewhere but it probably falls a lot lower on his list of morals and values than it would on mine and that is where i have to be careful of placing judgment and saying well he’s a worse person because he doesn’t place this value as highly as i do i think it would be good for me to remember it’s kind of like when somebody sends me a link to a youtube video whether that be you know three minutes or 20 minutes for me it feels like [ _ ] homework right for them it was important enough that they wanted to share it with me and so i gotta remember that when i’m judging other people about what’s important to me and what’s important to them when i say mine is more important because i think we all kind of have a little bit of like what’s important to us we want to share it and we hope others agree but i gotta remember that like what’s important to other people when they’re sending me that video is not very important to me and so i just need to have compassion when when what’s important to me isn’t important to other people i need to be like oh okay i get that i feel that sometimes too like when people send me videos yeah we all have these things i mean it’s like whatever whether it’s the environment or you know how important we think that stuff is or you know whatever healthcare or compassion for other human beings or how we treat our homeless and poor people you know we all like have these different and to be honest over the years my values in some of those areas have changed drastically right you know drastically i went from being a person who felt like well everybody’s got the opportunity if they don’t want to work and do what they need to do then [ _ ] them to like holy [ _ ] we need to help some of these people they’re in desperate and dying conditions and if we don’t help them we’re doing an incredible disservice to our society you know and that could change in another couple of years too you know how i’m thinking or what i’m feeling at this moment i think is supposed to be right for everyone in the world right this moment right right and that’s not even been the case for me for my whole life so step 11 would tell me that you know if i find these things important i should go vote however i’m going to vote and also i should ask for the ability to deal with whatever the outcome is because whatever the outcome is whoever wins the election is going to be the best for whatever reason i might not see it now i might not understand it now i might not understand it ever which is the great way that this step allows us to never argue with it you might never know why it happened but it did have a reason and it’s important for your life yeah and again for me that’s one of the the greatest things about recovery is this freedom i mean we use these general terms of prayer and meditation but i they are pretty vague because i think it’s meant for us to figure out what’s most important for us where do we get our values where do we get our morals where do we get our spiritual uh condition or our spiritual growth from and that’s different for everybody you know it’s not a one-size-fits-all when we all get to the end it’s like the cult where we all have the same [ _ ] haircut in the same outfit trying to catch the spaceship to the yeah this is just like your physical health if you’re doing yoga five days a week if you’re running five days a week if you’re in the gym five days a week that’s important and you do it more than once a week because you have to upkeep that physical maintenance same with prayer you gotta you know if you wanna pray and meditate you gotta do these things regularly routinely i’m not saying it has to be five times a week there’s no magic number whatever works for you but they have to be done regularly to upkeep our spiritual condition that’s just the way it is i’ve my experience is the way it’s been for my life things don’t go as well in my life internally when i don’t do these regularly yeah any other thoughts about step 11. the only thing whether we keep this in or not i don’t know because it kind of ties back but when we talk about like conscious contact like what does that mean conscious contact you know with a higher power like conscious contact so to me in the way we’ve talked about this step of just trying to bring all this to the forefront of our awareness that’s exactly what that’s saying basically is we have this belief that like oh yeah i’m tied to god i’m connected but it’s all in the subconscious or the unconscious we’re not actively pursuing it in the front of our minds right and it’s through bringing all that to the front of our minds that we’re really starting to examine our behaviors as we do them or before we do them like if i’m just living my life i’m like yeah yeah i’m connected to god man i’m gonna go out here and oh man i’m gonna eat that piece of cherry pie at my house that i know my wife really wants tonight anyway because [ _ ] that i love cherry pie right but when i’m bringing that to the forefront that conscious contact now i’m consciously aware okay if i eat this she’s going to be disappointed because she already talked about eating it later right maybe i can talk to her about splitting it but like i can’t just go ahead and eat it because i’m i’m not it’s gonna have consequences if i do it right and yeah and i think about like conscious contact as being like i don’t know for me whatever reason and i know the words aren’t synonymous but it’s like daily contact consistent contact you know it’s not it’s like a consciousness but it’s a daily conscious you know a regular basis like we all know the stories or or know the people that are those you know what do they call them like the sunday christians that you know are good in church on sunday when they go every week but then they leave and they cuss out the neighbors and damage someone’s property and and live some completely different way but when they’re in church they’re the deacon and they do all the good church stuff right you know that sunday christian personality for me that’s kind of how i look at the conscious contact piece it’s like it’s not just what am i doing when i’m in a meeting what am i doing when i’m with my sponsor it’s how am i living outside of you know how am i living this on a daily consistent basis in my life continually well that’s all i got about step 11 i i hope more than one in 20 people make it to it yeah it’s an amazing step it’s been one of the most beneficial for me in my later recovery that’s for sure yeah i just i mean the whole recovery process it felt like an accomplishment i know we’re not done when we finished 12 but it was one of the first things i got through like i didn’t finish [ __ ] in my life i started everything and never finished anything and so it was really cool to get through the steps i felt like i had achieved something and accomplished a thing what are we gonna do next year on on the month we’re gonna do tradition every month that sounds awfully boring could go through the steps again by then hopefully we’ll have worked a bunch of the steps again maybe we’ll have new insights oh yeah i probably forgot everything i said last night and just the last thing i want to say about if you’re struggling with meditation there are plenty of apps out there there are free ones i know i say this all the time but i use an app that just it’s a it’s got a daily meditation on it actually currently i’m using a timer one for something different because i changed up a little bit but you know these apps are great they’ll set reminders for you on your phone they’ll they already have the meditation set up for you uh there’s free ones there’s one called insight timer it’s completely free it has dozens of different meditations on it you know for different types of practices that you want to do so luckily with technology today there are tons of tools that we can use to help in that area yeah get off the pornhub and onto insight timer god damn it all right so uh we thank you for listening we appreciate it please rate review share do whatever it is you do to get the word out there we’re trying to promote recovery that’s the ultimate goal and we’ll see you again next week if you enjoyed this podcast please feel free to share it with people you think might benefit from the conversation look us up on facebook twitter and instagram to join the conversation also and share your ideas with us we’d love to hear it