Faith and trust


by Richard K., SCA-San Luis Obispo, CA

Faith… Trust… What a difficult time many of us have
with those words, or, more particularly, with the feelings
behind them. Somewhere along the line, we lost faith in God, or
in that deity we were told amounted to God. After all, He did
seem to be away on vacation or out to coffee just when we needed
Him most. And we tired of feeling that when things went wrong,
or when we got sick or got fired from our job, that it was God
punishing us for acting out our addiction or some other “sin.”

And we lost faith in many of those around us. Some of
them abused us in our early years… sexually, maybe…
emotionally, certainly… physically, sometimes. So it wasn’t
difficult to just say to hell with everyone and pull into our
shell and isolate. At least no one would hurt us that way…
or so we thought. But it was so lonely living that way. So

Somehow, as a result of all this loss of faith in God and
others, we also lost faith in ourselves. We felt shameful about
who and what we were. And we did things which were harmful to
us physically and emotionally and spiritually… things we
seemed to have very little control over. Many of us put our
entire lives and souls into showing others that we were
PERFORMERS, by golly, and we wore ourselves out proving it.
And, at the same time, we couldn’t even trust ourselves to take
care of our own needs in the smallest of ways. We came to feel
that we just weren’t worth it.

Then something happened. Some call it hitting bottom, and
that’s as good a description as any. Something happened — maybe
traumatic, like an arrest or a serious illness; or something
subtle like a tiny realization that this just wasn’t the way we
were intended to be — and whatever that something was, it
started us on a new path. Through our Program and meetings and
the new friendships we formed, we started realizing that we were
worthwhile as divine creations just as we were. The feeling
that we were crud on the ground gradually began leaving us, to
be replaced by a realization of our perfection and goodness in
the Universe.

And we started realizing that those around us were divine
creations living as beings in the Universe as well, and, even
though some of them might have rankled us a bit now and then,
they were who and what they were, and that was just fine. If we
seemed at cross purposes with some, we became able to detach and
bless them with love and let them go. But, for the most part,
we began to build a trust in those around us, and accepted their
support without those old feelings of “what are they after from
me?” or “are they going to end up hurting or abandoning me?”
And — surprise, surprise — we began to realize that there is a
Higher Power who put everything together and keeps things going.
We came to know that this Higher Power — some of us even called
It God — was an inner Presence which was always with us no
matter how much we might try, now and then, to turn away from
It. We began to know that this Higher Power didn’t punish us
for what we did; that It was loving and all-forgiving. It did
set up the laws of the Universe that took care of things, and if
we lived our lives according to them, we were fine. If we
didn’t, we created our own hell of sorts, but we always knew
that we had unending chances to straighten up and do the things
that were right for us. And our Higher Power was always there
to guide us along the way; all we had to do was shut up and be
still and listen.

There are situations and people and things which we don’t
understand at all. Why do these things happen to us? Well, we
begin to realize that maybe we aren’t meant to understand
EVERYTHING, and we began to accept that whatever happened was
meant to happen and to be thankful for that. We were building
FAITH and TRUST in the way things work. And we realized that we
needed that in order to survive and prosper and live…