My little redheaded firecracker grandchild Gracie went through a comical phase as she was perfecting that art of getting around in the upright position. Shortly after learning to walk this half-pint adventurer decided it wasn’t daring enough just to balance on two feet. So, she added the “fear factor” of toddling around with her eyes closed. All about the house she’d go, blind by choice, bumping into door jams and walls and anything that stood in her way. Sooner or later she’d run into something that would take her down. Then this little clown would open her eyes, look around to see which member of her family was watching, and giggle! Gracie’s primary motivation was to do something entertaining, something that would make her older siblings laugh – So innocent and at the same time potentially dangerous.
As I observed Gracie I was reminded of several things in connection with recovery and healing. First, addiction provides a way to move through life with our eyes closed. I know I was blinded by excessive focus on food in tandem with a devastating degree of self-consciousness over my obesity.
Next, the sightless world of addiction is self-imposed. Like Gracie, we willfully close our eyes. Often we do so with good reason. Our separation from the presence of God in combination with difficult life circumstances makes the perfect recipe for fear. And, if you’re like me, when you’re afraid the first thing you want to do is close your eyes.
Finally, watching Gracie reminded me of the truth that for many of us “closing our eyes” start out in our innocents. Longing for adventure, a need for a thrill, entertainment, a way to get attention – these are all common seemingly harmless beginnings of a condition that is self-destructive, and potentially lethal, spiritually and often physically.
It doesn’t matter how young or old we were when we decided to “close our eyes,” or what our motivation was, or how many times we’ve run into the wall. When we apply the 12 Steps to our lives we finally have the courage to proceed with our eyes open. We find the courage to walk through life with our world in full view. As we practice these 12 spiritual principles we finally come to know that Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit can literally be our constant companions. In the reality of Their light and Their fellowship we become willing to look at the hard things of life.
To our great surprise and wonder the miracle doesn’t end there. With our eyes open we are now privy to all the beautiful, wonderful, stunning, lovely, magnificent, miraculous, delightful, precious aspects of this God given life. We begin to take notice. Moments like the one I had watching a little redheaded firecracker walk around the house with her eyes closed are not blindly passed over. It’s a new world, a world of vision, a world of courage and a world of beauty. In daily fellowship with God, I can choose to walk around with my eyes wide open!
By Nannette W.
Posted Monday, December 29, 2008
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