It’s a Balancing Act

So as we move forward through February and applying Step 2 to our every day lives, we have to ask ourselves: how on earth do we balancing our acceptance of a higher power as the ultimate entity in saving us from ourselves, and living our everyday, normal lives?

Now clearly, this post is geared to people like me: the slightly less religious. Those that have yet to find a balance between faith and life. Those that are striving to find some kind of semblance of guidance through their lives. Addicts need it to get back on the path to salvation from the powers that hold them back…but anyone can use guidance as a way to salvage themselves from SOMETHING. Maybe not drugs or alcohol, but SOMETHING.

In my every day, non blog life I am a chemist. This is a seemingly difficult place to live every day if your hope is to accept a higher power as the one “entity” that can guide us to a better life. As a scientist, I am constantly looking to find answers to the questions in life. Hypotheses, no matter how large, CAN be answered. Data is definitive. Questions that lead to questions eventually lead to answers. We seek tangible solutions to our problems, not spiritual ones.

But I’ve come to find, even as I stayed on my scientific path to get my doctorate and a really good job, that the tangible life can be relatively hollow. When bad things happen to good people, and you want to be angry, science tells us that it is all just cells and motion and physics. That the explanations are medical, practical, and focused. But sometimes, bad things really do just HAPPEN to shitty people, and those people guided by faith tend to more easily accept that god’s plan has an end game beyond cells and physics.

In today’s times, the balancing act between faith and whatever other force guides you has become incredibly more treacherous. Our government is required to balance faith and governing, but does it really? Do we really keep them separate? And how CAN we? If we believe that godliness leads us to salvation and sanity, if we truly embrace the second step for how it will cultivate our lives, CAN we keep our government completely divulged of spirituality? Is it best for our well being? Likewise, at what point does the belief in a higher power have to come face to face with the 21st century? At what point does religious belief need to grow WITH the time, instead of standing firmly against it?

Life is all about a balancing act, and for me moving through the second step requires creating a new balance in my life for some sort of faith. I’m not sure that I will ever be a completely spiritual person: the chemist in me still has some struggles with not asking so many questions, or looking for a tangible explanation to life as we know it. I still have a very hard time looking at friends who are gay and not understanding why religion pushes them away. But I’ve started praying at night again. Reaching out to a higher being. Believing in something greater than myself. I keep my scientific side to what it is. I stop asking myself HOW certain things happen, but what instead I can do to ACCEPT that certain things happen. I’ve read up on the teaching of other religions, tried to immerse myself in a world that is loving, forgiving, and virtuous. Our belief in a higher power and its ability to effect our live does not have to live in contrast with a life devoted to what is “real”: instead they can be harmonious. We can love our fellow human for being human. We can accept that we are not all knowing. We can be analytical AND spiritual. The scales do not have to be in opposition.

There is so much in my life I cannot control, and my strong analytical background does not change this. It does not make me have a stronger control. And more than anything, the steps for me have become about loosening my grip on my need for control. I’ve always been a ridiculously controlling person in my own life…and step 2 has been all about relinquishing some of that control. Casting aside blame. Doubt. Fear. Knowing that my life is not completely in my hands…and that’s ok.

Balance isn’t easy. But coexisting IS possible. Opening ourselves up to a higher power IS possible. Being a scientist and a spiritualist IS possible

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3 thoughts on “It’s a Balancing Act

  1. Sometimes a higher power doesn’t have to be all that. It could be a rock found at the ocean upon which a heartfelt solemn promise is made. For me, whennim take these concepts and I take them outside myself I experience chaos. For me, recovery doesn’t have a damn thing to do with concepts that have NOTHING to do with 3 tenants: acceptance, gratitude, compassion. That’s for me, not saying that’s your path my friend

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    1. First, Welcome! Secondly, yes I totally agree with you: a higher power doesn’t have to be religious or spiritual at all. It can be something completely concrete, or even an aspect of life we don’t traditionally think of as being a powerful grounding mechanism for us. I have a couple more blog posts for this month that are going to touch on those a little as well as some of my AA stories from the eyes of a child of an alcoholic: I hope you stick around! Congratulations on month 9 and every single minute beyond that; it is a wonderful accomplishment. ❤ -Joanie

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