The Spirituality of Powerlessness
I’ve worked in the addiction field plenty over the years and am quite familiar with the 12 Step addiction recovery groups like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous.
I’ve worked my own 12 Step program too – Codependents Anonymous and Adult Children of Alcoholics.
I can say that working through the 12 Steps helped me grow personally and spiritually.
Now, in looking at the life and model of Jesus, I can see how both Jesus and these recovery groups are onto something. In fact, some of the concepts are quite similar; just different wording.
- Bet and believe life comes with some struggle.
- To beat the struggle, you might want to surrender.
- To live a good life, you might have to sacrifice some of your shi*t. Put it right there on the altar to burn.
- Lessons learned along the way, freely share with others.
For a while there I went from sold-out Christ follower to sold-out “who the heck am I?” Self-love 101 and my first step was to admit that I was powerless over my life. I was at my wits end.
An emotional basket case making some unwise decisions that landed me and others in a lot of pain.
And, that sucked. A lot.
That surrender thing. I’m there again recently. Surrendering to the reality that I don’t want to be my God. I want whatever this “God” is, to be in control. I surrender my will and life there in that Divine Intelligence…where I know I’ll be led in a direction that will lead me to Love – to receive and give away freely.
I think of what Paul said in Romans.
“I have no clue why I do the things I do. I mean, I don’t want to, but there I go again doing that thing that I despise! Why, oh why?” (My interpretation)
But thank God, he says. And me? I say it, too.
I came here precious and purely conscious. A beautiful spirit. And, over time as I grew up, I started forming the personality that was NOT my spirit. And, that part of me got hurt…wounded. Disappointed. I forgot about being a spirit and society didn’t do much to help remind me.
The media says, “Drink, because that’s happiness.” “Have sex, because that’ll do the trick.” “Keep up with the Joneses and you’ll be jumping for joy.” “Take care of you and all your desires, because that’s happiness.”
And so on.
Not true. All these things are temporary fixes. I tried them all, just as many people do. But in and of my “self”, I woke up empty hearted almost daily.
But thank God…for things like 12 Step programs and churches and spiritual centers and conscious people who help remind us who we really are: Spirits.
Thank God that today I can relinquish my control and surrender to this Divine Love, which is where I find my peace and joy.
I don’t want to be powerful – I mean “me” in my selfish nature. My ego.
I want to be powerless, so that Divine Love and Power can flow in and through me freely. I want to surrender daily to my Higher Power – to the field, the mind, the cosmic heavens – God!
Because this is what opens my heart for the real deal Love. This is what breaks apart the wall I’ve been known to put up around it. This is what helps me step out of my selfish “self” and shower that kind of Love on others.
This is freedom.
Dominica Applegate is an author, writer, and transpersonal spiritual teacher. Her teachings have helped millions of people experience emotional healing, relationship repair, and spiritual awakening. Earning her BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling, she worked 12 years in the mental health field before diving full-time into writing.
She runs Rediscovering Sacredness, an online portal that offers inspiration, essays, resources, and tools to help heal inner pain and experience more peace and joy.
Her books include Recycle Your Pain: It Has a Purpose, Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal, and a collection of poetry entitled, The Pain, It Shapes Her World.