“If you feel worried, self-pitying, troubled, anxious, resentful, carnal minded, or fearful in any way, turn immediately to the Father and allow Him to replace these thoughts with peace.”
When I turn to my addiction (or any other behavior) rather than the Savior when I feel “worried, self-pitying, troubled, anxious, resentful, carnal minded, or fearful,” I voluntarily forfeit the peace the Lord can give me and settle instead for temporary numbness or distraction and subsequent remorse. He is willing and able to give me the peace I crave. The price for that peace is the willingness to recognize the pain, humble myself, turn to Him, and open my heart to receive it. So why don’t I just do it?
Recognize the Pain
The feelings listed in the quote above are uncomfortable. I don’t like to feel them. I don’t want to stay in this place. I have a natural tendency, a habit of many years, to look for comfort in distraction or in my “drug of choice.” When I feel these emotions, I need to train myself to recognize this moment as an opportunity to find peace, rather than turn to my old familiar “friends.” (see Changing Channels.)
I need to admit that I cannot obtain the relief and peace I seek by my own efforts. I have tried and failed at this repeatedly. I need to acknowledge that only with the Lord’s help will I find the peace I crave.
Turn to the Lord
I figuratively or literally get on my knees and acknowledge to the Lord that I am feeling things that have sent me to my addiction in the past. I tell Him that I don’t want to go there this time. I tell Him I am willing to let go of these feelings. I ask Him to take them, and replace them with peace. (See Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 1.)
Open My Heart to Receive His Peace
I make a decision to trust that He will do it, and wait for it to happen. Sometimes I wait right there on my knees. At other times I go about my business, and allow myself to feel the feelings for the moment. I remind myself that I will not die from these feelings. I choose to trust Him to walk by my side and help me to bear them, until He grants me peace, in His time.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness…For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”
Why Don’t I Just Do It Every Time?
I am not perfect yet. (See On Being a Perfect Rosebud.) I am a child of God, a human being on earth, and as such, I instinctively avoid pain. But I have learned that I can survive pain now, to get what I want. It is called delaying gratification. I save now so that I can buy what I want later without going into debt. I exercise now so that I enjoy good health and am happy with my body. I work the steps now so that I can live “happy, joyous and free” from my addiction.
I turn to the Lord now, instead of my addiction, so that I can have peace.
- What uncomfortable feelings trigger you to seek relief in the wrong places?
- What behaviors do you habitually turn to to escape the discomfort or pain?
- What are you willing to do today to seek the peace of the Lord instead?
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