Put on the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places
~ Ephesians 6:11-12 ~
Recovery is an intense battle one will face. It is a battle for our minds, for our bodies, and for our very soul. Between active sobriety and active addiction, we come to embrace the the truth or continue to live in our lies and dishonesty. Our Higher Power on one side and our powerful Satan (adversary/opposing one) on the other side.
For this reason, we need to stand a little taller where we stand on the principles of recovery and change. We are to be involved in the process that moves us through a transformation. Otherwise, we submit our lives and our will over to the power of our addiction.
What does our armour of recovery look like? If we involve ourselves with treatment, with attending recovery based sober support meetings, seeking out healthy mentors, and learning from them, developing and utilizing necessary tools, we are engaged in ways to protect ourselves at that time when we are called to battle.
The first element of our Armour is truth. Active substance use brought us into a life of deception, illusions, and lies. We break free from our denial’s and recognize the first element of truth: I have become powerless over my substance use and the negative impact this has had on my life.
This occurs when we gird up our loins with truth. This means we are preparing and strengthening ourselves for what is to come.
The second element of our Armour is the breastplate of righteousness. The purpose of this breastplate is to protect our vital organs. In the Koine Greek, we find that this refers to the justness or justice that comes in the form of protection against those who may speak wrongly of us. It protects our hearts from false accusations. Through recovery, we find justice and we find our lives, through recovery, acceptable.
The third element is that of our feet being shod. The twelfth step shares how we carry our message to the one who is suffering. In battle, there are obstacles that may injure a soldiers feet. Being prepared for any obstacles that may cause one to loose footing helps one maintain recovery. We also carry the message, our story, to others who may find themselves suffering from substance use.
The fourth element of our Armour is the shield of faith. Our faith in our recovery, in others, in ourselves, and most assuredly in our Higher Power helps us extinguish the fiery darts of the adversary. These come as doubts, people who attempt to enable us to return back to substance use. In Ancient Rome, the Roman Soldier’s shield covered most of his body.
The fifth element of our recovery Armour is the helmet. This protects our most critical and viable part, our head. This is the seat of our mind, where our thoughts and emotions stem from. We begin protecting ourselves from those thoughts that may bring doubt, may enable us to engage in adverse behavior. We won’t be protected from our own feelings (as they are natural human emotions); however, we will experience protection from managing and being aware of our own thoughts and feelings in order to protect ourselves from engaging in adverse behavior.
Finally, the last element of our Armour is the very sword we wield. This is the only offensive weapon that makes up our Armour. This is the sword that penetrates deep, it is the spirit of truth. Our words speak life or death. When we use it appropriately, our truth comes out and penetrates those we come in contact with. When engaged in battle, we use our truth, our story, as a means to defend and attack any and all things that may come as threat against our recovery and sobriety.
Today’s thoughtful meditation
I will remember to put on the full Armour that is needed. As, I realize that my recovery requires me to engage in battle against those things that come as a threat to my recovery and sobriety. I stand with courage and faith that I will strive toward sobriety, fully engaged in facing down my fears, my doubts, and my own illusions.