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The power of tefillah

obormottel Tuesday, 12 June 2018
The power of tefillah

This can be called a sobriety statement or a prayer, whatever works for you:

"God (or Higher Power) I am powerless over this addiction and I surrender it to You.

I turn my life and will over to Your care

Please help me, I'm in Your hands."


The main part is the first sentence. Say it very slowly and focus on the words "powerless" and "surrender".

As you say them try to get the feeling tone of what those words mean to you.

It's okay to repeat it until you get the feeling tone of the words.

The first sentence is the key-sometimes using that alone can help.

When you say "powerless" really let yourself feel what powerless feels like.

When you say "surrender" let yourself feel what surrender feels like. It may feel like handing something over to someone.

You can say it many times a day, whenever the addiction shows up in your mind or if you see someone or an image that bothers you.

Once you get the feeling of the words, you may be able to say it faster and get the effect. If not, then slow it down until you feel the words.

1a) If I see someone and objectify them, I immediately (hope) to say

"God bless her, God help me" and I may then say the sobriety statement/prayer.

2) Plan B: If the sobriety statement/prayer does not seem to be working there is plan B:

Plan B:

Plan B is the first 3 steps; saying them very slowly and pausing between each

one... for a few moments or minutes to reflect on what it means for you in that moment.

Again, you focus on the keywords in the step and the feeling tone/meaning of the words.

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addictive behavior (you can specify your addiction), and that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Also, if I do steps 1-3, I may add step 11 after that.

Step Eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.

I use the method of saying the first 3 steps slowly when the other statement/prayer doesn't seem to be working and/or if the addiction seems to be pushing on me strongly.

2a) Also, saying "this too shall pass" always helps to put things in perspective.

3) Lastly, a big part of my recovery has been learning to distinguish between the addiction voice and my real self. The addiction voice is either demanding, cunning, baffling, or powerful. It presses to act out or to go in that direction even slightly. It can sound comforting or reasonable but remember: if it points eventually to acting out then it's the addiction voice.

On the other hand, my real self wants the peace and serenity of staying sober and wants to stay away from anything related to addiction.

4) Regarding saying these statements/steps:

You can do it all day, or as my sponsor says, "frequently and often."

I have days where that first statement/prayer was said many many times. Similarly, saying the first 3 steps slowly (or just steps

1-2 if that is enough for you).

You can look at it as an opportunity: every time the addiction shows

up in your mind or awareness, it's an opportunity to connect with your Higher Power.

Step 11 calls that "conscious contact." So even if the addiction shows up many times in a day, we have the opportunity to connect to our Higher Power many times in one day. It's also an opportunity for serenity. The act of "turning it over" or "surrendering" the addiction to our Higher Power is a great spiritual tool that can bring peace and serenity. The more we practice it, the better we get at it. We also see that in steps 6-7 when we turn over our shortcomings to our Higher Power.

5) Of course, if these things are not working, it's best to make

as many phone calls as needed and go to meetings (phone meetings are as equally effective and acceptable as meeting in person).

Keep making calls. Call people or leave messages until you can talk to someone and/or feel safe.

There are also many good resources. Look online for your addiction plus "meetings,” "phone meetings," or "recovery resources.”

Hang in there and keep coming back, you are worth it.