For many years “Ted” did not know how to stop using heroin, so he kept asking God for help. It never worked. One day he hit rock bottom. He asked God for help. But this time his request came with total surrender. It was the first time he truly surrendered with no conditions. That is when he found help. That is the meaning of surrendering to a higher power taught by AA. It has to come without conditions. It is learning to trust life.
There is a concept I find very helpful here: Synchronicity. As Ted surrendered completely to the God of his understanding, a new kind of synchronicity happened in his life: he got help.
Jung coined the term “synchronicity” and thought of it as “meaningful coincidences.” An interesting piece of synchronicity Bill W, one of the founders of AA, explains the series of events that connected Jung to the creation of AA in an exchange of letters between them (https://speakingofjung.com/blog/2015/11/13/the-bill-w-carl-jung-letters).
Trusting life consists of a combination of surrender and synchronicity. The following story describes such an experience.
I had a client with a long history of addiction to substances and alcohol. He knew that leaving his toxic environment would be necessary to sustain sobriety. I thought that supporting him to take his own responsibility for quitting would work well long term for him. I was meeting some alternative suggestions for his treatment plan. I did not know for sure what plan was best as he might never take responsibility for himself. This state of not knowing for certain kept me humble. I simply surrendered to the best outcome for him, with no conditions. Life’s circumstances made it so that he did step in and took responsibility for himself and left his toxic environment. He went on to complete his program in the regular amount of time in our center, 6 months, without relapse.