Retreat. Powerlessness. Surrender.
It’s midnight. I’m in a modest room in the Mission Santa Barbara Renewal Center for the Fall Retreat of my Thursday Night Men’s Meeting. The first meeting is over, 32 men on a retreat talking about things like powerlessness and surrender, things you don’t usually associate with machismo. Critics of 12-Step Programs often say that the Steps suggest we are powerless just when we need to take things into our own hands and that we are told to surrender when it is time to fight back. Of course, what the Steps REALLY tell us to do is to accept powerlessness over things we cannot change and to surrender control that we never had in the first place. Instead, we focus on the place we do have some power and control … over ourselves and our own lives. And we turn to a Higher Power for the strength to lead better lives.
Have a good weekend. I will.