* We gain a new “employer”. That’s that power that we’re turning our lives over to — whether we call it an inner power, a higher power, a greater power, God, Goddess, George, Millicent, or Malene.
Doesn’t matter what our conception of it is, just that we are turning to something bigger than ourselves instead of continuing to struggle along by ourselves, trying to control and fix what we can’t. (I’m going to put bits of these in bold to try to make it easier to digest, because I know these emails get long!)
The employer thing is a metaphor, but it’s a pretty handy one for a lot of people. Especially if you have a troubled or nonexistent spiritual relationship. I think of it like a relationship with a mentor. I’m going to get guidance from this new source; I have plenty of reason to trust it (other people in program have given me great assurance that this new “mentor” is trustworthy and inspiring to them) but it still takes time to really build that relationship and learn how we communicate together.
In this step, I’m just making that commitment, that decision to trust my new employer/mentor. Building the relationship comes later.
This promise actually gives me a little clue about that aspect of this decision – that the power we’re turning our lives and wills over to is going to give us that kind of guidance.
In my experience, my higher power is like a (good!) boss in the sense that she gives me tasks to do, and breaks them down so they’re at my level. She doesn’t give me more than I can handle.  She teaches me what I need to know, either directly or through people and other resources she puts in my life. (Like COSA!)
She delegates certain things to me and also gives me the power and authority to carry each one out — unlike real-life bosses I’ve had who have given me assignments that were way above my skill or energy level, without providing the resources I need to get the job done!
I’m grateful for the opportunity to write about this stuff because I hadn’t realized that this is another place where the steps give us a little clue about what a higher power is supposed to act like — or at least what the power they’re talking about acts like, or something. Cool!
I’ll add that I’ve also gotten lots of LITERAL new employers while working the steps. When I first came into program, I was working for a crazy woman — I think I shared here about the time that she emailed all staff to scream at somebody who didn’t offer to pick up toilet paper for her on the way to work. She triggered the CRAP out of me — I was working from home and her emotionally abusive emails still triggered me so bad that I would have to go into my room and just sit on the floor, triggered out of my mind, till I could go back to the computer and keep working.
It’s been fascinating to see, as I continued working the program, how I’ve continued learning from each new position, and how I’ve traded up to a healthier environment as I got each new job. I still remember when I quit the job after that one and celebrated having finally reached a point where there were no abusive relationships left in my life! OH my god, that was almost 10 years ago, that is insane. Guess I’ll have to throw a huge party next year 😉
 – Dani