Weakness…

“If people in this program love us, it is not for our strength, but for our weakness and our willingness to share that with others.”  – Our Invitation to You. Overeaters Anonymous

Asking for help is something I have had to nurture. I have pride surrounding my competence to handle life or sticky situations.  Yet in reality, there are multiple occasions where I just don’t do it, or what I do is poorly done because I do it on my own. 

Somehow, I have bought into some standard somewhere that asking for help is a sign of weakness or failure on my part. I wonder if it is a societal thing that I have picked up that asking for help somehow subjugates me to another. 

My reluctance to ask for help manifests itself in not wanting to feel “a burden” or maybe interrupting someone who is busy. 

The truth is that it is community in which strength is found. It is in reaching out in weakness that I offer someone else the opportunity to fulfill their mission. Especially in a 12 Step program, the act of helping someone who needs counsel is VITAL to recovery. So, by asking for help when I need it from others, there is an avenue for their further growth. 

When I am weak, others are strong. When I am struggling, others can offer me support. When I am in fear, others can give me hope. When I am spinning, others can offer me a clear path. 

We then further strengthen our recovery web together!

May we find connection in our journey through life today. 

Just for Today…

“Just for Today” – OA Slogan

“Just for today” has helped me get through some not so easy days. When it seemed like I was going backwards, it helped me to remember that all I had to manage was today. I do, however, find it helpful to look back to see how far I’ve come every so often. Especially when I am feeling tempted to look forward to see how far I have to go. It helps me to pause and see I DO have some recovery. As long as I keep coming back I’m always progressing. I don’t have to tackle the week or my life right now. So here’s to living just for today.  

Welcome to Club Weakness, Welcome Home!

  • “God, grant me the willingness to see my imperfections as a means of getting closer to others and to You.”  Overeaters Anonymous. Voices of Recovery (p. 86).

Why is it that it is so hard for me to admit it?  My weakness is that I am a compulsive overeater, and a person who does not fully accept these imperfections of myself.  I would rather cover it and hide it (or think that I am hiding it anyway).  This is me.  I am powerless over this enemy because this enemy is me.  I lived in this isolation that my weakness brings to me for a long time.  It goes something like this. . . 

“Nobody else struggles with this kind of thing, I am out here alone, all by myself”. 

But then suddenly, I came into a group of people and the first thing that they say is, “Oh, you have this weakness also?” 

A little nervous and perhaps for the first time I say, “Y-e-s?”, and I begin to wonder what their reaction will be. 

“Oh, that is cool, we all have that here.  Hey, welcome home!  Isn’t being a compulsive overeater just the worst?” 

And they go on to make it sound as though, it is just an ordinary thing and you soon realize, that where I thought I was alone, there are a whole bunch of people just like me.  In a weird sort of way, we all are here on our own little island of “weakness” and someone hands you the group tee-shirt and all of the sudden, they snap a group photo and now you’re a part of a family. Welcome home!

Membership requires your confession (Step One) but that is down the road a little way; being accepted by this group is based solely on being present, just showing up, and it happens the very first time you come.  They even go as far as to say, “That confession part, if you need to wait for a while before you say it, that is totally fine with us, just keep coming and hang out with us, we promise you’ll have a place here with us.  Welcome home!”

At first, you’re thinking, I know I am kind of a weird because I am this way, and therefore all these other people must be weird too, but as you listen and spend time with them, what you find is there are some pretty amazing people in this group from all walks of life, in all types of situations and circumstances with pretty cool stories, and one thing that they all have in common with you is that they fight that same weakness that you have fought with.  Being with them then starts to feel like home! 

A wise fellow once said that two are always better than one and that a three-cord strand can’t easily be broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).  That’s the beauty of this thing, we don’t face it alone.  Can a ragtag group of people who are flawed and defective, really fight against something this big that you have lost to most everyday of your life?  Can they really help you overcome it?  You bet that they can!    

“How?”, you might ask, well first of all victory is not found in these people’s skills or abilities.  Victory comes about only because of their weakness.  When I am weak, then and only then, is it that I am strong.  Why, because my Higher Power, has overcome the weakness that I can’t overcome.  And so, people like David, Jennifer, Barbara, Rick, Richard, Al, Michelle, Becky, Connie, Margaret, and a host of others around the world have found that their Higher Power or as we call him, “HP” has helped them to overcome.  “HP” He is the leader of this bunch of this rag tag group of folks.  They can tell you how HP helped them, and if you’ll let Him, HP can help you as well. 

Our group then, is a collection of weak people who have come to understand that a power greater than themselves can move on their behalf and they can be set free from this weakness.  We don’t live on that island alone, rather we all share life together in our weakness and marvel in the power and strength that our Higher Power has.   As we like to say when we invite folks to join us, “Welcome to Overeaters Anonymous, welcome home!

Becoming a Grown-up

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” – Step Three: The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous

This is a grown-up honest decision and when I first came to OA I was anything but grown-up or honest. I had been making decisions for years only to break them, most of the time on a whim. It went on for longer than is comfortable to admit out loud – Years! – before I finally truthfully surrendered and turned my life over to my Higher Power.

When finally, I came to a place where I could no longer keep pretending, I got on my knees and handed every bit of my out-of-control life over to my God. I had learned so much in OA but, unless I could honestly and in my grown-up mind make this decision, I was cheating both God and me. Pretending was not cutting it any longer, and I wanted it all. All that OA promises, and all that God promises. With my sponsor, my friends in OA, a few trusted friends and, most of all my God, I finally took this step.

I wish I could say everything clicked and I faced no more challenges or setbacks, but that is not my story. I can say that for every challenge and setback, as well as every success and triumph, my God and my fellow OA friends are there with me laughing, crying, cheering with me.

Intersect with Recovery.

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