Wednesday, May 29, 2013

First Steps

At nearly seven months of age, Gracie loves standing and with assistance takes tentative steps.  When she first discovered that the appendages attached to her torso were designed to enable her to be upright and move of her own accord, she grew enamored with the idea of walking.  It is amusing, actually to watch her lying in her crib or bouncy seat, back arched and straining mightily to get her body in a standing position.  She knows it is possible but still needs help getting upright and support while she learns to put one foot in front of the other, balancing her weight and mastering forward motion.  Sooner than we can imagine, she will let go and take the first of many steps solo.  And then watch out world!  Grace will be on the move.

Like Gracie, I recently made some important steps of my own.  Having just celebrated my first year in recovery, I sat down with my sponsor and formally completed the first three steps of a 12-Step program.  But unlike my sweet Grace, the learning curve that brought me to this place was much longer than seven months.  For many, many years in my marriage, I tried to manage, control and manipulate the unmanageability of life with an individual struggling with sexual compulsions.  I arched my back, grunted and often was brought to tears by the struggle to move what was unmoveable.  Months before disaster descended upon my household, I began letting go and without realizing it moved myself into an upright position and started moving forward.

The first three steps are often called the "God" steps and can be boiled down to three simple statements:

I can't.
God can.
I'm going to let Him.

When I washed up on the shores of recovery, I definitely felt like a baby stuck on her back--knocked flat by a tsunami of loss and devastation.  It was not difficult to admit that my life had become unmanageable--I was living unmanageable.  And without other options (funny how life does that sometimes), I reaffirmed my belief that God could restore me to sanity and made decisions daily to allow Him to do just that.
  1. Admitted I was powerless over sexaholism--that my life had become unmaneageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God.
So my sponsor and I sat together and reviewed my step work.  As usual, her thoroughness and affirmation were reassuring.  She calls herself my "witness."  And I am reminded of a quote from a favorite movie Shall We Dance?  

"We need a witness to our lives.  There's a billion people on the planet . . .
I mean what does any one life mean?  But in a marriage [or relationship],
you're promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things,
the mundane things . . . all of it, all the time, every day.  You're saying 
'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.
Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness.'"

I hope I am around with video camera going when Gracie takes her first steps solo--it will be an amazing feat.  I well remember her Papa's first steps because I was there; I was his witness.  Today I am grateful for my witness and for these momentous first steps on the path to recovery.  It is because of His grace that I am on the move.  Now on to step four!

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