What Do You Mean By "Doing the Footwork"? ~ by Lisa
Soon after I got into OA I heard "Let go and let God." Later it was "Just do the footwork." I tried to understand how I was suppose to turn things over to my Higher Power, but also do the footwork. I couldn't figure it out. What was the difference between taking back control of something and just "doing the footwork"?
Eventually I did come to understand. Awareness came with one of the first loving acts I started to do for myself. I started to wear my lap belt when I drove. I have the automatic shoulder strap seat belt in my car, but for years I would never use the lap belt. I figured, "Oh well, I want to die anyway, why bother." My husband would remind me to put it on when I was in the car with him. Occasionally I would do so just to appease him, but I never told him my thoughts.
Soon after working the steps I began using my seat belt. Amazing!
Sometimes I would reach down and touch it just to remind myself that, yes I do love and care for myself. That was such a difficult sentence to say to myself the first time. Eventually I started saying, "See HP, I'm doing the footwork." It was comforting to know that I was taking some positive action on my part, and communicating with my HP too. I remember the old-timer's saying "Faith without works is dead."
Eventually I began doing a lot more things as I started working the steps that would be considered "the footwork". I found myself making my bed in the morning, I pulled the drapes, I began answering the phone, sometimes I even placed the calls! I continued using the other tools of the program: meetings, literature, writing, anonymity, and service. I used the tool of sponsorship and got a sponsor. Soon I became a sponsor. Though I was releasing weight, I still struggled with the tool of "plan of eating".
When I lost my sponsor I had to be vulnerable once more and reach out again and get another sponsor. This asking for help part was really hard for me. But I said I would go to any length, right? Still God works in his own way and his own time. Most recently, with the help of my new sponsor, I started developing and using a plan of eating that was right for me and all my allergies.
But the most important action, and the hardest, I took was I asking for help when I need it. Whether it's from my sponsor, another OA'er, or my HP. Now that's doing the footwork. And it keeps me abstinent. These days I always use my lap belt. When I do so I feel the love of my HP returned.
Such a small gesture, putting on a lap belt, but now it contains so much
significance. It's like a quick little prayer or meditation. Plus it makes me realize how far I have come in this program.
Recovery Slogan: If God is your co-pilot, SWITCH SEATS! ~ Anonymous