One or the other, or both? Early on in sobriety, I used to think of a Spiritual experience as a massive explosion that changes one’s perspective immediately, having a life-changing impact as powerful as being struck by lightning. I visualized images of Moses and the burning bush. And, afraid, because It hadn’t yet happened to me, I began to worry that the gift of my sobriety was lost in the dust of those in the rooms who repeatedly described their own miraculous experiences.
But, as I patiently waited my turn, I tried to not focus on my dilemma, and instead, concentrated on a less dramatic course of action. I fine-tuned my approach to the essence of the AA program. And was delighted to discover that there were so many morsels of recovery available to me just for participating, that a spiritual experience ignited by a stick of dynamite may not be the sole prerequisite to attaining sobriety.
One baby step led to another: Getting a sponsor, attending meetings, and working the steps, were just a few. And as I walked deeper into the forest of sobriety, I discovered that my path was littered with a multitude of gifts, all unique to my own sobriety. Colorful gems like true friendships, the ability to face life on life’s terms, learning to be accountable without being burdened by useless shame, were generously scattered along my journey. And as I unwrapped each and every blessing along the way, I began to receive little nibbles of peace and serenity.
Waiting to be shaken by a thunderbolt receded into sobriety’s backdrop. My awakening was emerging. Maybe not as dramatic as a Spiritual Experience but having the same impact. Rather than fireworks, my Higher Power used an alarm clock with a few snooze buttons to awaken me.
Spiritual Experience or Awakening matters not, as long as we get it.