The Holy of Holies

My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love and the most absolute freedom—freedom from violence and lies, no matter what form the latter two take.
—Anton Chekhov

What is your holy of holies? For the alcoholic or addict, it’s found in the drugs or alcohol itself. It’s the couple seconds of complete and utter freedom that accompanies the first seconds of the high. Then the holy of holies turns into holy hell. If we keep insisting on our addictions long enough, we lose everything. We drink or drug because we want to be free from the confines of our own minds or life’s pain, only to discover we have become trapped and enslaved by the very thing we thought would make us free.

The “big book” of Alcoholics Anonymous says that in sobriety “we will know a new freedom and a new happiness.” The real holy of holies happens in sobriety when relationships with self and others are healthy and whole; when we are able to think clearly, to follow through on our inspirations, to be more concerned about others than obsessed with ourselves. In order to do this, however, we must let down our guard. We relax and let go. We allow ourselves to become vulnerable to a new way of living. We look for the holy of holies in simple, drama-free daily living.

Note: As the Twelfth Tradition of Twelve-Step recovery reminds us, "Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities." The editors and authors of This Day in Recovery chose not to provide individual attributions in order to respect this tradition. This meditation appears for May 16 in that book.