The morning of my most recent CPA exam, I woke calm and grateful. After delivering my son to school, I went to the riverfront to jog and practice yoga, thus clearing my mind in order to connect with my Higher Power and remain calm during the test. While jogging, I saw the tanker High Courage coursing through the turbulent waters of the flooded Mississippi.
I felt a keen sense of wonder the moment I saw the vessel, thinking the world is telling me that I am that vessel, I am High Courage. I am ready for the feat before me. In short, it was all about me. How I was going to take down the CPA exam. How that beast of a test was going to bow before my amazing intelligence.
I smiled and continued my run. As I headed back to the car, I saw the tanker had stopped in order to dock across the river. Its mass stationary, stuck in the middle of river, unable to finish its journey. And what came to its aid? Two small tugboats pulled it to port.
The powerful tanker alone was unable to complete the task of delivering the goods. Just as I am unable to remain sober and abstinent with only my will.
Yes, just like High Courage, I am indeed powerful and amazing. I am capable and strong, able to will myself through many a difficult situation. But when I am alone, I am like High Courage, stuck in the river, unable to finish the journey because I was in an endless pattern of self destruction.
I could see the shore, the safety of sobriety, the life beyond the addiction. But I could not reach it on my own power. It remained forever elusive, painfully close and devastatingly distant. I remained forever lost in the water, drowning in my addictions.
I had to surrender and call for help. I had to fully understand that while my will is powerful, alone it is not enough to overcome addiction. I must avail myself of all resources, earthly and logical AND spiritual – far beyond the reach of logic.
High Courage needed the tugs, and I need Higher Power, the steps, fellowship, my therapist and my friends and family.
As I watched High Courage finish its journey while I practiced yoga, I gratefully thanked Higher Power for the reminder that my accomplishments do not happen in a vacuum. I am supported within and without when I am open and willing to humble myself to the lessons of the Universe.
Recovery is a series of lessons, and Higher Power taught me that day how to be humbly proud, how to gratefully love myself as a powerful daughter of Spirit, unique and glorious, a part of, not apart from, the beauty of humanity.