We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 133

Today, I am reminded of how focusing on the bad things only brings pain; the joy comes in finding the good, even in the bad. Not only would I rather find joy, I am also assured that Higher Power would want this for me also. 

Even when I might not feel like it, I am reminded to be still and just sit with the unsettling feeling or circumstance. I can be assured there is something in it for me—and maybe not for anyone else. It could be a new growth, a lesson, or an understanding that HP would want me to know. What’s true is that when it hurts bad enough, I will change. I am grateful for these discomforts as they teach me and guide me along my path in accordance with my HP’s will for me. 

My sponsor says, “Let go and let God.” I’m not a huge fan of the “G” word, but I’m absolutely an advocate of letting go and allowing HP do for me what I cannot do for myself. Just because I want to respond to something in a certain way, I can rest assured by remembering that there is greater wisdom in store for me if I allow my HP to weigh in on the situation. Just because I see something, I don’t have to react. Instead, I can ask myself these questions: Is it kind? Is it important? Do I have my attitude straight? Do I need to share it? Do I have to share it now? 

There is greater wisdom in store for me if I allow my HP to weigh in on the situation.

As I “make my pearls” (as I, like an oyster, take those grains of discomfort within my shell), I am reminded that it is actually HP who makes the pearl. My job is to sit back and allow this process to take place naturally. All I need to do is stand aside and allow him to transform my grain of discomfort into a new pearl of wisdom! I don’t need to do anything at all, or I may risk undoing the efforts my HP is working toward, which is to protect me from the inside out! 

I also realize that hurt comes from the beliefs I carry. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” (For Today, p. 92), and it is so true! If I choose to allow words to hurt me, then I can become J.A.D.E.D. (Justify, Argue, Deny, Explain, Demand). But I don’t have to defend myself; I just have to be a willing conduit of my HP. Nobody can actually hurt me, unless I choose to be hurt by what they say or do. I only hurt me by my own beliefs.

If anyone accuses me of anything, it is important for me to listen… and I am learning that I don’t have to always be right. I can respond with “you may be right” because to say they may be right, even if I don’t totally agree with them, is to take the important step of acknowledging that there may be things I don’t know yet about the situation. Who knows what HP would want for me? All I can do is remain open to what my HP would wish for me, which is to be happy, joyous, and free! And rest assured, I can build a new, more powerful belief in myself, and in the world around me, with my HP’s loving embrace in all that I do.