STEP THIRTEEN CONTINUED: We follow the principle that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. The witness of our lives is the only message we need to carry to others.
Instruction: Embrace your journey.
The Steps of Religious Recovery were created to help people heal from religious abuse and to help us see that we are responsible for our spiritual and religious journey. We spent a lot of time in the early days of the program wondering why our message seemed to be so slow in catching on. Perhaps the main reason had to do with Step Thirteen, or at least a modified version of it. Step Thirteen says that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, but we also learned that when the teacher is ready, the students will appear. Not only were we not ready, we were still in the healing phase of our own recovery, and our work to build the foundation of the program aided us in our healing process. I’m not sure that I have finished healing, and that’s okay. As life changes, we are faced with new situations that try to bring us back into old habits of thinking and behaving, and I find myself revisiting Steps that I thought I had completed.
What we’ve discovered is that ours is a journey, and the journey is just as important as the destination. We choose to embrace the journey — to look around and see all that there is to see while, at the same time, trying to peek around the next corner to see what’s ahead. Not only do we embrace the journey but also embrace our fellow traveling companions. We allow their Light to illuminate our paths, and we hope that our Light illuminates their path, too. The journey is more enjoyable when traveling together. In fact, I don’t think it would be nearly as pleasurable without friends to share our joys and sorrows.
Congratulations to those who have read this material, who are seeking their own spiritual path, and who are taking charge of their journey. Those who have found this material to be helpful were students who were ready for a teacher, and we are grateful if we have been of help. We would ask nothing of you except for you to embrace your journey and stand strong in the most important lessons we believe this course has to offer — love and forgiveness.
The final assignment for the Thirteen Steps is simply to be fully open to the power and transforming ability of love and forgiveness. Respect those you meet. Love all. Forgive everyone — including you. Smile and laugh a lot. Enjoy your journey and shine your light.
Namaste: the Spirit within me recognizes the Spirit within you.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.