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I just read a meditation in one of Hazelden’s  daily meditation books entitled “Days of Healing: Days of Joy” (Larsen and Larsen-Hegarty, 1987). The meditation I read clarified something that should have been obvious to me from the very beginning of my recovery journey. This basic knowledge was there with me, I think, lurking in the wings back stage, but it never took center stage for me until today. The meditation I was reading was about escaping our addictions, problems, or compulsions. The point was made that “One of the prices of freedom is the requirement that we name our slavery”(Meditation for July 4th).

Thirty two plus years ago I named my  slavery of alcoholism, but I have had to name other self-imposed “slaveries” through the years to gain the freedom needed to break away from them and continue my spiritual journey. It is almost as if whenever I identify and tackle one problem using the wisdom inherent in the twelve steps another one always emerges to take its place. I have come to feel blessed in that I have gained the ability to recognize and name what is “enslaving me” more quickly now than I could in the beginning. This means I can also begin to free myself  with the help of my Higher Power more quickly now than I previously could.

This is one reason us “old-timers” with decades of recovery need to keep attending twelve step meetings; the meetings provide opportunities for us to recognize and give voice to what we are erroneously  letting have power over us. The meetings help us “take back our freedom” by naming our problems and turning them over to our Higher Power. It is a great comfort to know that there is always love and support available just for the asking from our Higher Power and that we don’t have to let something fester and grow into a major problem before we ask for help.

So, today I celebrate freedom from my bondage of self one day at a time. I am grateful for friends who understand and  join me in celebrating our collective freedom. Please comment and share your thoughts about escaping “self-imposed slavery.” May God bless and keep you.

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