Stepping into the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Ironically, I spent the first nine months of my existence in a dark place, a sort of tunnel, sheltered from the light, from real life, as it were. Then, I was thrust into the light, into the real world. But, over time, I found this light blinding and painful. All I knew to do was to look for a dark place to escape back to, somewhere that made me feel better.

As the White Book, p. 47, says: part of me retreated into that dark tunnel, way inside myself. But, once there, I found myself in a darkness I could not see my way out of – and the pain was worse than before. I realized this “safe place” would likely be my tomb.

The tunnel was collapsing around me. Holes in the floor had labels like “lost job,” “broken vehicle,” “child failing in school,” “wife asking ‘what’s this all about’” and “bill collectors.” There were small side tunnels that appeared to provide light and relief, but when I entered, they began to close me in. Those tunnels were labeled “acting out.”

Suddenly I see two guys with torches. One asks, “Are you OK?” I answer in a meek voice, “NO, I need help.” The other says, “There is a way out, follow us.” They reach out their hands and say, “Don’t let go, stay with us.”

Maybe they have wings and maybe they haven’t. They tell me “It’s only 12 Steps to get out and you just took the first one!” They guide me, helping me around the holes and smaller tunnels. I start to feel safe and let go of their hands.

Now I find myself further back in the tunnel than ever. I call for their help and instantly they are there with extended hands. This time I grip tight and they tell me to stay connected or I will be lost again. I notice a shimmering rope around their waists and ask how they got that? “God,” they say simultaneously. I ask God for help and my own rope appears. A second Step taken. “Ten more to go” they say.

I now see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and ask God to guide and protect me—nine Steps to go. Suddenly, I realize there are people around me, people just like me, some Steps ahead, some Steps behind.

I explain to my guides what I have done to get to where I am and they tell me what they have done—seven Steps to go. I ask God to help me not do the wrong things I have been doing

(actions and thinking)—five Steps to go. I see the persons I have harmed and ask their forgiveness and try to make things right—three more Steps to freedom. When I start to go in the wrong direction, I immediately tell my guides. Two more Steps to take.

Now I pray to God for the peace to take these last two Steps into the light and I sit quietly to think and connect to God. This leaves me with one more Step. I huddle up with the group I have been walking with, and we encourage each other to take this final Step. Finally, I emerged into the light, into a whole new way of living.

Then I learn the only way to stay in the light is to re-enter the tunnel and help others out of their darkness by taking the same Steps I took. I can do this as my eyes have adjusted to the darkness and I can see clearly to help others and avoid the dangers of the tunnel myself.

Dan S., Oregon, USA

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