I have been realizing lately about the process, my process. I have heard in the 12 step program that I attend for years about “it” being a process. I have understood for years that the 12 steps are a process, I had to work them in order and as I did each step, I was ready for the next step. So, understanding that process came pretty early in my recovery.
But recently, I have been seeing more as a process. I have realized that I had to learn to be honest with myself before I could be honest with anyone else. I had to learn that Heavenly Father truly loved me and wanted the best for me before I could begin the process of learning to obey His laws and keep my covenants with Him. As I began obeying God’s laws, I began seeing the blessings that God gives me for doing so and I began seeing other blessings that come from obeying the “plan of happiness”.
I lived from about the age of 16 until I got clean at 39.5 living my life the way I thought was going to make me happy and I ended up miserable. Truly miserable. Begging God to please just let me die, miserable.
I started learning how to live, not in my will, but in God’s will and I started getting happy. And today, 10 years later, doing my best to live in God’s will, I am happier than I ever expected to be!
At some point, I finally realized that God didn’t give (for example) the Word of Wisdom, to restrict me. He gave it to protect me. For me personally, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using drugs took me to a miserable place. So, even though I am not ashamed of it today, because it has made me the person that I am today, and I like me today. If I had not started smoking cigarettes, I may have never smoked a joint, then I would never have started using meth, and those are a few things that I wish I had missed. God warned me not to use those things because He loves me and he knows how the “natural man” in me reacts to those physical stimulants.
He knows and now I know, that I can’t work on things like “loving all of God’s people unconditionally” or pray for “charity” or the other stuff that God has Patty working on right now if I was still so caught up in the things that the “natural man” loves.
So, I have finally come to the place in my life where I’m not obeying commandments and keeping covenants because I am scared of punishment, I obey them because I know that they are truly meant for my happiness, and because “if you love me, keep my commandments”. It is a lot easier to keep my covenants that I have made with Heavenly Father because I love Him and I know that He loves me and I know that He truly wants what’s best for me. Plus, it truly is one of the ways that I can show gratitude to Heavenly Father and His Son for all that they have given to me.
Today I realize that for Patty, their is freedom in obedience. I might say that I wish I had learned this earlier, but I am just so very glad that at least I did learn this!!