OASV Blog Editor
September 1, 2023
Two-plus years into my abstinence and recovery, I began to struggle. My food was in order, I was attending meetings and sponsoring, but something was missing. Using food to manage my emotions was pretty much a thing of the past, my life was much simpler and less stressful, and I found more possible to accept life on life’s terms. So the feelings of unexplained sadness and loneliness in my life baffled me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt I had more work to do.
My sponsor recommended that I revisit the 12 Steps and explore my relationship with a Higher Power. Raised in a traditional church, I always thought I had a relationship with a God of my understanding, but I didn’t think that God was happy with me. I hadn’t always lived life the way I thought I was supposed to, and I assumed I was some sort of a disappointment. Believing that my Higher Power wants the best for me, I began to rediscover my Higher Power and focus on what I needed from God rather than what I thought God wanted from me.
While listening to a podcast about the practices of the original founders of AA and their fellowship, the Oxford Group, I discovered a practice they considered indispensable: Two-Way Prayer. It was a game-changer for me and has been my daily practice for the past six months. The practice is easy and does not require a faith in a specific Higher Power.
I find a comfortable quiet place as soon after waking as I can. I first prepare by quieting my mind with a few minutes of meditation and reading program literature. Then, I begin a letter to myself from God starting with, “My dear child…”. It is very important that I don’t judge what comes next. I write down anything that pops into my head. Usually, the words start slowly, but then they speed up. I don’t analyze anything or stop for a break. I keep writing until there’s nothing left to say. Then I go back and read what is on the paper and look to see if God has spoken to me in some way.
Sometimes I ask God a question and get a response or some direction for what step to take. Perhaps there is a suggestion to give service to someone in particular or in a specific way. Unless the request seems completely outlandish and contrary to practicing the principals of OA, I do everything possible to follow through. At other times, I am reassured that I am on the right path. I have been amazed at how many times situations pop up in the day that correlate to something I heard in my Two-Way Prayer.
My daily practice is evolving, but I find that any day I write is better than a day when I don’t. Once I went back and reread all my Two-Way Prayers with a highlighter pen and marked every time God made a suggestion. I am now working to complete anything that I skipped. The work brings me joy, and unexpected outcomes bring relief or comfort. In my deepened relationship with my Higher Power, I have come to believe in a power that cares about me and my recovery, and is always available when I open the door to communication through Two-Way Prayer. ~Frances C.
Image courtesy of Helene W., Santa Cruz
A gentle disclaimer: These comments are based on the member’s personal experience, strength, and hope gained through working Overeaters Anonymous 12 Steps and Traditions and using the tools of the program.
Call for articles: Please send your blog submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you and to sharing your story of experience, strength, and hope with others on this amazing journey of recovery from compulsive eating through the Twelve Steps.