I just need the eyes to see it
“And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol”
Big Book of AA, pg.84.
For most of my life, struggle was the state of my universe, summoning all my strength to get what I wanted. Overcoming conflict and surmounting obstacles was the purpose of life, wasn’t it? Until it wasn’t. If in my recovery, I was to become a new person, this had to change.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the needs of the day. Kids, errands, bills. Worrying about climate change, coronavirus, saving for retirement, getting the roof fixed—disharmony is everywhere. So how can harmony be the natural state of the world, when my life sounds so out of tune?
My friend Larry has always been ready with a bit of wisdom. “Maybe I’m letting my ego get in the way,” he said. I nodded. I was famous for that.
“Consider the natural world,” he went on. “At the atomic level, electrons circle their nucleus with a precise and singular harmony. The exact number of electrons balances the number of protons, and the number of protons exactly complements the number of neutrons. Balance, precision, and harmony in their natural state.”
“At the cosmic level, the moon pirouettes around the earth in a gentle and regular rhythm. The Earth likewise takes a perfect elliptical course around the sun, as do all the planets, comets, and asteroids. Even the Oort Cloud follows this pattern of harmony. The Solar System itself, located at the edge of one of the spiral arms of our Milky Way Galaxy, slowly circles the galactic center, taking 250 million years to complete a single orbit. The Milky Way spins within a cluster of local galaxies, and on and on. This harmony, invisible to us, pervades the universe.”
I nodded. “You can see the same thing if you look at Mother Nature,” I said. “Water cycles from the ocean to clouds to rain to creeks and rivers, then back to the sea, in a simple and natural harmony.”
“We’ve talked about the idea about how the Love of the Universe flows through us, bringing goodness of all kinds into our lives,” he said.
The cycle of love, like the cycle of water, constantly moving into me, through me, and out to my fellows and back to the Universe itself, I thought. Was harmony actually a Law of Nature?
“In the days of my using, I turned away from this love, or light if you will,” said Larry. “My over-active ego blocked the flow, kept my attention focused on the world outside. But, in spite of my best efforts, I really couldn’t control my environment. Couldn’t get the promotion I wanted, couldn’t afford to buy a new car, wasn’t climbing the corporate ladder as fast enough. Chronic disappointment, irritability, and worry were the inevitable result.”
“So, what do I need to do?" I asked my friend. “Give up on the material world, become a mystic high on a mountain top, maybe become a vegetarian?”
My friend laughed. “Maybe you should take a step back, take a deep breath, and give harmony a chance to work. Quit trying so hard, trying to bend the world to your will.”
“You can’t push the river,” the words popped out from a distant memory.
“It’s fear-based, you know,” said Larry. “I’m afraid that I won't get what I want or that I'll lose what I have. I don’t have faith that the universe is built on unconditional love.”
“I need to remember that it’s God’s world and not mine,” I said, “and that his will for me is always better than anything I can imagine for myself. And trust in that.”
“If God’s world is perfect just the way it is, then I don’t need to worry about outcomes. Focus on the process. Expect goodness will follow. Have faith in the universe.”
It’s faith that vanquishes fear, I remembered.
“I need new eyes,” I said. “You know, to see the world as perfect. Quit fighting against a world I can’t control. Take my ego down a notch, trust in the flow of the universe. Find a faith I can believe in, and draw sustenance from it.”
“Just as I claim the presence of God,” said Larry, “and his love in my life, so I must claim harmony. I must reach out for it, I must believe that it belongs in my life, and I must have faith that it’s working in all my affairs, no matter how impossible that may seem.”
“If I just let them, harmony and peace will operate in all the corners of my life,” he said.
“Overcoming substance abuse through the use of the spiritual principles behind 12-Step programs, to find long-term recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol and to live a sober life.”
Photos courtesy of NASA.
Thanks for taking the ride with me, Lin