For those who continue to struggle with or cannot relate to a concept of God, step 11 might initially present a challenge. Step 11 in the 12 –step program is: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” Obviously the troublesome concepts are prayers and God. If one does not believe in God one will have a very tough time with the terms prayer since it implies for many a chat with an being such as a God. The concept of meditation might be easier for some.
I am hopeful that by this time in the process of using the 12 steps to explore our understanding of anger the reader will agree that anger directed at another person (s) or any part of Mother Nature is destructive and does not result in problem solving. It might, as previously mentioned, be the initial motivating factor in problems solving. I will also assume that the reader does not want to be destructive.
Additionally, I am also going to assume that the reader will consider:
- All one’s behavior affects others and one is affected by the behavior of others.
- The goal is to act in a way which promotes harmony - all the parts working together for the good of all.
- Being present with a loving openness to being part of the universal harmony requires honestly, humility, openness and willingness.
Perhaps the reader who struggles with or outright rejects a concept of a higher power can identify with being peacefully present with an openness to what is needed for the common harmony rather than what one wants or feels he or she needs just for themselves. By common harmony I am not talking about the harmony or agreement of a partisan group. No, I am thinking and talking about a more universal harmony. What brings temporary harmony to a family, a hate group, or even a group of nations may be a harmony which is similar to the peace one temporarily feels when one is being fed by addictive drugs or some other addictive behavior. That peace is very temporary, often at the expense of the peace of others, and does not contribute to long-term universal harmony.
It might feel temporarily good to dump one’s anger on someone and it might even result in temporary peace of a sort. If one frightens someone or bullies him or her into being quiet there might be the illusion of harmony for a minute, but it is merely the absence of visible or active conflict.
For the non-believer in a higher power (God) step 11 might read, “Meditatively sought a willingness to be quietly and lovingly present so as to be open to that behavior which is considerate of the needs of all of creation and the strength to engage in that behavior.” My anger is usually about what I want or feel I need and not about what is good for others or the rest of creation. My anger may also be about what you did and not my role in what led up to your behavior. My anger justifies my behavior by blaming another person or event. Anger is often my temporary fix and not about making the world better for all of us.
Just for today I will strive to behave in a manner, which promotes universal harmony.
Written March 16, 2018