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I claim the ways that I pray. Thinking back to a time when, on a walk or looking out a window, I was filled with a feeling of appreciation. This is a form of ‘prayer’ as it is defined in the dictionary. ‘Reverence’, appreciation of what is beautiful or inspires awe, is prayer. Delight is a form of praise (which is another form of prayer.) My memories are a storehouse of incidents and situations where I gave praise, felt joy, experienced a moment of quiet appreciation. I am a reverent spiritual being and I have been all my life!

I am able, in Step Two, to reaffirm all the ways I am grateful, appreciative, quietly perceptive and I give myself credit for these forms of prayer that come from me so easily and naturally. I can add to these or simply acknowledge these features of myself to myself. My inner child had an outlook of wonder. If I wasn’t encouraged to express the joy of being in touch with my world—because it wasn’t safe—I can visualize myself, the reparenting adult that I am becoming in Step Nine Amends, going back in time to be the ‘special power’ warrior/explorer companion of the child-me. I stand up for my inner child’s right to be worshipful in their own ways, going back to take that child’s hand. I stand up to the bullies who had invaded my inner child’s sacred space.

The blessing of spiritual recovery—which is in accord with neuroscience and physics—is the gift of plasticity that I can learn to make use of by using active imagination. My ‘triggers’ have been ‘on my side,’ to protect me and keep me safe. They are not ‘set in their ways,’ however! As I learn to ‘steer’ my responses toward what is harmonious, my inner instinctive drives recognize healthy, functional choices. My ‘triggers’ accept new and improved ways to handle what used to set off alarms, set off panic.

Recognizing the many, many good ways I have—my natural reverence, appreciation, and ways I am inclined to reach out—restores my confidence. This self-appreciation is rooted in the guidance receptors God as I understand God gave me at birth. I trust this Loving Parent’s wisdom to prevail as I make use of the Steps in recovery.


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