One of the feelings I often experience is that of abandonment. Having experienced traumatic events in my childhood it makes sense that I would experience feelings of abandonment as very harmful and unwanted. My addictive behaviors were my attempt to avoid feeling abandoned. I believed pornography, alcohol, and exercise could take away the abandonment I felt, and help me feel loved and useful. These addictive behaviors never took away my negative experience with feeling abandoned nor did these behaviors help me feel loved, accepted, and useful. What helped me feel loved, accepted, and useful was learning to abandon myself to God through asking God in prayer for the strength to abandon myself to do His will. This is the purpose of Step 3, and the third step prayer offers a means to accept my abandonment as a path to become more like Jesus and accept His will. It is in being like Jesus, abandoned by His friends, family, and coworkers, that I experience the gift of His peace given when He appeared to His disciples in the upper room after His Resurrection. I realize it seems counter-intuitive, that in order to be free from the harmful affects of abandonment, I need to practice abandoning myself freely. But it works. Why does it work? When I freely choose to abandon myself in a sincere act of love, like Jesus, praying only for His will to be done, like Jesus did in the agony in the garden and on the Cross, I will be able to fight against and win against any threat of violence and hatred through acts of love. Jesus said perfect love casts out all fear which includes casting out the harmful effects of feeling abandoned. Praying only for God’s will be done in my life is much better than praying for my will. Following my will brought me pain. Abandoning myself to God’s will brings me peace and comfort. My life is much different today following God’s will instead of my own. Had I Followed my own will I would have been led into unhealthy relationships with women and work that offered me financial security with no joy or happiness. By following God’s will I have healthy relationships with men and women and I do work that builds up the Kingdom of God, and I have what I need to live. I also feel useful to God and others. To finish, I offer you this prayer from Charles de Foucauld called “The Prayer of Abandonment”. May you find the peace and comfort of abandonment to God to be used for His purpose in your life.
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
Charles de Foucauld