The Power of Prayer, Meditation and Community
The longer I am a member of Overeaters Anonymous, the more I have come to learn and value the tools of this program. It, at least for me, is what continues to help me take steps, (sometimes 3 forward and 2 back), in this program.
One tool that I value greatly is the individuality of the program… this community is AUTHENTIC because it is made up of unique individuals who are each valued and accepted as they are, and wherever they are. We each must find our way of working this program, yet we are united in a common purpose of recovering from the disease of compulsive overeating.
After returning to OA after several years, I found myself where I really needed a meeting… I needed to hear the strength and hope of others. When I looked online, I found a meeting that evening, but it was a “Reading and Writing” meeting. At first, I was hesitant, but then decided to attend, and in the past several months, this has become a pivotal part of my program.
Not the typical format, we begin with introductions, and then once we have read the OA Preamble, there is a 3-minute meditation time, where “we invite our Higher Power to be present with us”. After that quiet time, we read from either the “For Today” or “Voices of Recovery” readers, and then write for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes are up, we have time to share what we have written about, if we wish, and almost always sharing what we have written is very powerful.
When I started attending, it might be only 2 or 3 people, which really made it easy to get to know each other., but because this is a virtual meeting, we have also had many people from different places, and some have stayed to form a core group. I have read that very often, when a group begins with a time for centering prayer and meditation, there is a closeness that develops which allows honesty and trust. This is what I have experienced in this group… the level of sharing, the trust that we share together, seems to be deeper (at least for me) than in other meeting formats.
The tools of prayer/meditation, writing, and sharing have been so helpful for me since I have sometimes been hesitant to share in other meetings. The closeness that I feel to these people has grown and become a very important part of my working this program. We tend to lift each other up during the week more, as well as welcoming others into this meeting space., and as we read the closing part of the meeting, we share together the “WE” version of the Serenity Prayer…
God, grant US the serenity, to accept the things WE cannot change, the courage to change the things WE can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
There are as many different ways one can work this program as there are people, but I am so grateful to have found a tool that really works for me. I have grown in my ability to trust others and be honest, and many times, what I may write is something I was not even aware of that I needed to pay attention too. We each must find the way that works for us, but I am so thankful that OA allows us to find our own personal way. This community of persons, who truly understand this disease, is what helps keep me coming back, believing that the miracle will happen.