One of the consequences of writing the book I’m currently writing on my conversion from Catholicism to Buddhism and back to Catholicism is that I’m going through my prayer journals for the last decade. The side benefit of doing so is finding all sorts of useful stuff I’ve somehow lost consciousness of over time. One has to do with the first three steps of the Twelve-Step approach.
During a time that I was particularly frustrated with some core issues that kept popping up for me – my self-judgment and harshness with myself and my feeling that I needed to be in control of things – my spiritual director suggested praying the first three steps each day:
First, powerlessness. I am powerless in my ________. In my case, powerless over my need to be in control or powerless over my tendency to judge myself too harshly.
Second, I have come to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. I believe God can bring healing to this place….to this core woundedness.
Third, I make the decision to turn myself and my life over to the care of God. I will turn this over to God. It is my decision to let that happen.
I took his suggestion and prayed the steps over a period of days. I can’t say I’m completely “cured” of these tendencies. But I did find the approach helpful in softening some of the attitudes that were causeing my difficulties. So I pass on the suggestion in the hope that you will find it a useful one.