Surrender, Powerlessness, and Other Bad Words

I recently stumbled upon Lyman’s hack of the 12 steps and it reminded me of my own encounter with a 12-Step Program.

Years ago, in an attempt to lose weight, I stepped through the doors of Overeaters Anonymous. I stopped cold with the first step:

We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.

There it was staring me in the face – POWERLESS. Throughout my life, my theology was built on the notion that I created my life with my thoughts, an idea that is now popular thanks to the Secret.

Indeed, I was taught the antithesis of powerlessness. I was taught conscious creation. I wasn’t about to give up my power over food or admit that my life was unmanageble. To do so, in my mind, would have been to say that I didn’t create my life. Blasphemy!

I went to meetings, followed a food plan, and called my sponsor religiously for 3 months. While I lost weight, it didn’t stick.

My 12 step experience caused me to begin to question the belief that said that I created my life with my thoughts. While very empowering because it made me 100% responsible for my life, this belief by itself was unforgiving.

In the realm of conscious creation, there’s a backlash against ideas like surrender, powerlessness, and letting go. It’s almost as if, in our discovery that we can create our life with our thoughts, we got an excuse to ignore the greater Presence that underscores life. In other words, we have found a way to control our destinies. We cling to it and won’t leave an opening for the flow of life.

Conscious creation is not about control and ridgidity though. No siree, it is about being aware of what we are creating so that we don’t look around at our lives and think that something made it the way that it is. Conscious creation says that we can choose what we want our lives to look like.

At some point, we hit a barrier with the sole belief of conscious creation. We will need to start employing it with a few other beliefs that may seem contradictory to it, like powerlessness and surrender. We must surrender our intentions and affirmations, loosen our grips on exactly the way we want the world to look and allow Spirit to unfold and manifest in our lives.

We must cultivate the belief that Spirit/God/Consciousness exists, and is truly all good.

Yes, I went there – God, the other bad word. Not the man in the sky God, but the Energy that underlies all of life. God is the Presence, Power, and Substance in the Universe that is waiting to be directed and is directing all at once. When we believe that that Energy is all good, all light, we are not afraid to relinquish the reigns on our lives and allow that Good to come into manifestation through us.

You possess tremendous power. You can shape your life through the activity of your mind – your thoughts. As you continue to explore the belief of conscious creation, you will notice the effort that you must put forth to create your world. At this point, ask yourself what would life be like if I opened to the experience of God in my life?

It doesn’t mean giving up your ability to create your world. It means enhancing it.

In Spirit,

Nneka, Working Mystic
Nneka serves spiritual seekers who desire to put the Law of Attraction to work to create the life of their dreams.

7 Responses to “Surrender, Powerlessness, and Other Bad Words

  • Check out the 16 step approach: Much more life affirming than the 12 step approach.

  • Wow Liz! That’s a much better approach.

    Thanks for taking the time to leave some information for everyone.

    In Spirit,

  • Nneka, you explained the concept of powerless quite well. I had 8 years in Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcholics when I quit going to meetings so that I had more time to live what I had learned. I recently started attending Al-Anon meetings again with a friend of mine who wanted the support of going to these meetings. I am glad that I started back. I am seeing what I learned and how I put it into practice in my life. I have written a few articles about Al-Anon recently.

    I remember reacting to the word “powerlessness” in the beginning. The only thing that kept me going back to meetings was the fact that my life was so out of control at the time. I had tried everything that I could think of and my life just wasn’t working. I recently told my new Al-Anon group that Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings saved my life back then and Al-Anon saved my marriage all because they helped me see who I was.

    In many ways, in my life and especially in my marriage, I had become the alcoholic with his crazy behaviors. I didn’t drink so how was that possible? I did what I had learned. I reacted with fear and controlling behaviors in my life and marriage. My husband was so easy going, that I just rolled right over him and did everything my way. I was so full of fear and rage that I didn’t see what I was doing. I knew I was unhappy and getting more so every day. With the help of Al-Anon and ACA, I learned new ways of acting and was able to stop reacting out of fear and rage. Glad you are back.

  • Hi Patricia, we all have a drug of choice. Once I stopped eating food for comfort, I turned to work, then I was a maniacal, raving bitch (to put it mildly). It was only when I was willing to face the demons that I was able to give up the cover ups. They weren’t even that bad. They just wanted to be heard. Once heard, they cleared the way for my true self to be revealed.

    Life is quite a journey!


    It can be hard to balance total responsibility with surrender and letting go. Good explanation! 🙂

  • Hi there, Are you going to be writing a another article? My husband and me have passed some time exploring over your webpage and surprisingly enough you discussed a little something we were talking over just the other day with our dentist. We quite often hear ourselves arguing with the smallest of points, isn’t it childish?

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