When I came into OA, I desperately needed to lose weight and gain sanity. All my life, I had made lists and plans and schemes. I was the queen of to-do lists and loved checking them off. But no matter how much I accomplished in my career and in other areas of my life and no matter how expert I became through self-help books and courses, I could never consistently check o my “be healthy” list. I felt helpless. What was I doing wrong?
At first, I looked at OA as a diet club. I went to meetings to lose weight, so I mostly paid attention to how people ate and ignored the God talk. But the more I watched people, the more I realized I wanted what they had. I wanted sanity and serenity in life.
My sponsor encouraged me to try prayer. I had heard of its benefits. I began practicing prayer in my car. On my way to work, I would turn off the radio and just start talking to the windshield. I didn’t know to whom I was speaking or even what would happen, but I kept practicing.
I can’t say there was a magical moment when I realized that prayer was changing me, but I kept doing it.
I realized that a kind of peace was coming over my life, and I liked it and wanted more of it. I was also grateful to have someone to talk to about things I did not talk about to anyone else. My secret feelings all found a place to be heard. It was inspiring to begin to think that maybe I didn’t have to gure everything out on my own, that maybe God would help me.
Prayer became a practice for me. I wasn’t perfect. I went through seasons of not praying at all, but God continued to pursue me once I opened that door, and I kept coming back. After several years, I landed in a group that was just right for me. Their unconditional love taught me more about my Higher Power and how much I was loved, no matter what. I was transformed by going to the rooms of OA and practicing prayer.
I am now six years into OA and two- and-a-half years into recovery. I can spend hours with God when I need to feel love or make a big decision. It is so inspiring and healing. I do this by reading inspirational material, listening to music, taking walks in the woods, and even praying with friends! Answers and ful llment always come. I don’t need to make lists or become an expert today. God helps me do the right things.
Today I continue to practice prayer and meditation. Meditation is a bit more chal- lenging for me, but when I do practice it, I feel so much better. I have learned through my OA experience that prac- tice, not perfection, is the key to making change. For today, I’ll keep on practicing.
~ Sera S.