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-   -   How do you form a relationship with God? (https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/alcoholism-12-step-support/435472-how-do-you-form-relationship-god.html)

Realest 01-11-2019 03:57 PM

How do you form a relationship with God?
 
Iíve been through steps 1-9, and live in steps 10,11, and 12. I go to meetings and have commitments. I read spiritual literature and practice prayer and meditation diligently. But lately I feel doubt creeping in. I still pray and meditate but I donít really feel a connection. I have about a year sober. Does it take time to develop a relationship with God? I. Get jealous when people say they have a Strong relationship with God. I just feel like I donít get it. Can anyone give me Advice?

sugarbear1 01-11-2019 07:04 PM

How impactful were your 7th and 9th steps?

Realest 01-11-2019 07:13 PM

I said the 7th step prayer . I don’t know if most defects exactly were removed, but resentments were removed, fears were removed. As far as my 9th step my relationship with my parents and sister and friends were changed, I competed my amends,

It’s just lately that I’ve been not connecting to God. I had a strong connection early in my first year, do you have this experience?

sugarbear1 01-11-2019 07:17 PM

Keep meditating and keep moving forward doing what you believe to be "the next right thing." It will return. Are you sponsoring anyone yet? That can help, and it can be awfully frustrating, but enlightening!

Realest 01-11-2019 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarbear1 (Post 7097364)
Keep meditating and keep moving forward doing what you believe to be "the next right thing." It will return. Are you sponsoring anyone yet? That can help, and it can be awfully frustrating, but enlightening!

Today I gave two newcomers rides, went to a meeting and I am sponsoring someone. It is rewarding but frustrating. Youíre right I just keep doing the next right thing.

Healthyandsober 01-11-2019 09:04 PM

Do not force it. there are people who don't believe in God and that is okay as long as you are willing to find your higher power somewhere else?

i believe in God and it has not always been easy i just do. Faith is something ingrate and obscure in a way it is in your soul. I do not even know if its real.

just do the next right thing he will come to you. again i believe the definition of believe is:

accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.
"the superintendent believed Lancaster's story"
synonyms: be convinced by, trust, have confidence in, consider honest, consider truthful More

i accept this things because my heart believe is just that i trust and seek and if this is it. this can not be for young you may not not believe in God. But try to do good in everything to everyone try to do the next right thing. try loving as hard as you can while you are alive. ( human an animal a plant just love) you only have one chance in this life. God will find you if he is here and God is love>:grouphug:

Redmayne 01-12-2019 12:22 AM

First of all...
 
First of all, you must define 'the God of you're understanding,' not anyone else, someone, whether it be a He, She or It. Who is personal to you...and whom. Initially at least you can say the Serenity Prayer to, as often as you like, God likes the sound of a strange voice! In this way,you develop self belief and and when you believe in yourself, others believe in you....
'If you believe in God, he will not care how devout you are, but what a good person you are.
If your God is an unjust god, you wouldn't want to worship him anyway.
If you don';t believe in god, you should still be a good person anyway,, then when you die. You're loved ones will have good memories of you.' - Marcus Aurelius

Gottalife 01-12-2019 01:27 AM

I guess I grew into it. I started with no belief, but after my experiences with step 5, described on page 75 with amazing accuracy, that all changed. From that point I realised the truth in what I was being told, and went forward with a certain amount of faith that began to grow with each new experience that came along.

Doing the ďnext right thingĒ didnít work for me as for some time, though I tried to do the right thing, it turned out to be wrong as well. Perhaps I didnít have a well developed moral compass. In the end I found seeking inspiration through step eleven much more effective. My behaviour changed naturally and the decisions I made in an intuitive way started turning out to be quite good.

I often look back at these changes in how I behave and live, none of which were engineered by me, and marvel at the work of the God of my understanding. It is all based in experience, everything is ok.

aasharon90 01-12-2019 02:46 AM

Here's the 3rd Step Prayer to add to
you everyday daily devotions.

God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me
and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of
the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them
may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life. May I do Thy will always!

AAPJ 01-12-2019 03:00 AM

My sponsor is an atheist. No idea how he does it but he's very spiritual. I did not know this when I asked him to be my sponsor. But my wife who has been in AA way longer than I have and has been through several sponsors over the years agrees that this little atheist sponsor I found is a real winner.

He lives by the simple concept of treating others how you want to be treated.

My point here is that while most folks in the AA program are somewhat religious it's not a requirement for success in the program.

August252015 01-12-2019 03:56 AM

You're asking good questions and have gotten some good feedback.

I'd perhaps back the steps up to 2, then 3. In 2 we "come to believe that a power greater than ourselves could" restore us to sanity." IME and IMO, the thing about this is that we believe there could be something bigger than ourselves. Then we turn our will over to that something.

Do you have an actual definition and description of what your "God" - HP- is? By this I mean, that I believe in God - and would describe it as a Christian god much expanded from my conservative Methodist upbringing to a far more spiritual one influenced by the works of Friar Richard Rohr and understanding of other wisdom traditions. I have a friend and mentor who says he has never believed in God - but I have rarely seen a person who has as much love and service focus as he does, and certainly believes it takes others beyond him to be sober.

I started doing something early in my sobriety- about 4 mo or so- that is a habit I keep daily. I read pp 84-88 and to the point here, 417-418. Acceptance that I am not in control, that God (or whatever name you give to your HP) is the one who directs the show, acceptance of this and my job is "doing the next right thing" as the phrase we might often hear in the rooms goes.

I find that as I have gone along (I will have 3 yr in Feb provided I keep doing all I do!), self-checking certain steps is important (I especially focus on 10/11 daily) and recently admitted I needed to do another 4 now and did it - and at the same time as this focus on 12. Working with others, being of service in little ways and those that have nothing to do with recovery work, all that.

Glad you are here.

Grungehead 01-12-2019 05:37 AM

For me what convinced me that my HP existed was when I got to step 10. When I was doing step 2 I was at the point where I was willing to believe in the possibility that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity, but I was not convinced. By the time I got to step 10 and read the promises it was hard to deny.

The beginning of the promises states "And we have ceased fighting anything or anyoneóeven alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned." So I asked myself, had my sanity been restored as results of working the steps? Yes, yes it had. At the beginning of my journey step 2 was an exercise in willingness in order to move on to the rest of the steps. It turns out that the results of completing the rest of the steps gave me the proof that convinced me that there was a HP working in my life, and that is when step 2 was actually realized.

Having said that, I admit that my connection to that HP waxes and wanes in my daily life. But that is usually directly proportional to how earnestly I am seeking that connection. Some days I decide I want to run the show again, and that's when I the connection fades or I lose it all together. But I'm also more averse to self-inflicted pain these days and realize that the problem is on my end and so is the solution.

Quote from Alcoholics Anonymous 1st Edition (p. 84)

tomsteve 01-12-2019 05:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Realest (Post 7097359)
I said the 7th step prayer . I don’t know if most defects exactly were removed, but resentments were removed, fears were removed. As far as my 9th step my relationship with my parents and sister and friends were changed, I competed my amends,

It’s just lately that I’ve been not connecting to God. I had a strong connection early in my first year, do you have this experience?

i find the connection problem is always on my end. most times im not listening properly and miss God speaking to me through other people and events.
about that 7th step prayer:
I pray that You now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows
notice it doesnt say ALL defects are removed. givin rides and sponsoring=defects which stood in the way have been removed.

DayTrader 01-12-2019 07:26 AM

I've been there Realest - plenty.

Long story short, sometimes........no matter how many times we go through the steps and how hard we try, sometimes we just don't feel all that connected. As has been stated above, for me about 90% of the time it's because I'm balking at something, not practicing a principle in ALL my affairs, not making some amends, refusing to REALLY take step 1 (especially the life's unmanageable part - even when I'm "sober"), have missed some stuff in inventory, or I'm still in delusion (not denial) about some aspects of my life or the way I live it and that's why I'm blocked. Almost always, some extra attention in these areas will bring back that feeling of contentedness.

Once in a while though, there have been segments of my life in recovery where I can look back and see where I was definitely on solid ground but didn't "feel" that connection. They were almost like blank spots. These are challenging times for sure. For me, these are the real test of my spirituality. Can I, will I, continue to do what I know I'm supposed to do even when there isn't the payoff of feeling connected? Will I act spiritually even though I don't necessarily feel spiritual?

Not "feeling connected" can be like spirituality kicked up a couple notches.... because living a spiritual life is easier when there's something in it for me (immediate payoff / "feeling" spiritual) but it's a whole new test of my resolve when I get to see if just how much I'm willing to do when that payoff isn't dangling out there in front of me. In the end, I've found these spiritual "blank spots" to be more of a good thing than a bad because it's during these times I get to really find out just how much I really believe in what I'm claiming I believe in how much I really believe in what I'm doing.

Redmayne 01-12-2019 09:25 AM

I always think that...
 
I always think it's worth remembering this to,

'Religion is for those afraid of going to hell.

Spirituality is for those who have already been there.'

Vine Dettori - Sioux

In which I include those who declare themselves atheist..

Realest 01-12-2019 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DayTrader (Post 7097685)
I've been there Realest - plenty.

Long story short, sometimes........no matter how many times we go through the steps and how hard we try, sometimes we just don't feel all that connected. As has been stated above, for me about 90% of the time it's because I'm balking at something, not practicing a principle in ALL my affairs, not making some amends, refusing to REALLY take step 1 (especially the life's unmanageable part - even when I'm "sober"), have missed some stuff in inventory, or I'm still in delusion (not denial) about some aspects of my life or the way I live it and that's why I'm blocked. Almost always, some extra attention in these areas will bring back that feeling of contentedness.

Once in a while though, there have been segments of my life in recovery where I can look back and see where I was definitely on solid ground but didn't "feel" that connection. They were almost like blank spots. These are challenging times for sure. For me, these are the real test of my spirituality. Can I, will I, continue to do what I know I'm supposed to do even when there isn't the payoff of feeling connected? Will I act spiritually even though I don't necessarily feel spiritual?

Not "feeling connected" can be like spirituality kicked up a couple notches.... because living a spiritual life is easier when there's something in it for me (immediate payoff / "feeling" spiritual) but it's a whole new test of my resolve when I get to see if just how much I'm willing to do when that payoff isn't dangling out there in front of me. In the end, I've found these spiritual "blank spots" to be more of a good thing than a bad because it's during these times I get to really find out just how much I really believe in what I'm claiming I believe in how much I really believe in what I'm doing.

Thanks so much. Yes these blank spots I experience , especially recently. But I continue to do the right things in ALL my affairs. And it tests my faith in spirituality but I continue to do everything I need to do. Thanks it doesnít make me feel so different, I can def relate to you.

August252015 01-12-2019 12:18 PM

Realest, I'd also add that I generally see struggle when growth is there too, or follows. My husband and I talk about making the next right choice all the time- it's particularly helpful right now in the ex of my step son who is struggling with depression and not making good life choices - and trusting that the results are out of our control but will work out as they are supposed to. This applies to my spirituality- some mornings when don't feel particularly "into" my Richard Rohr meditation, for example, I read it through anyway and still find one little thing I can take from it.

Not drinking, and doing what my program has taught me - basically that keeps me going when I feel disconnected to anything. Glad you are here.

Realest 01-12-2019 05:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by August252015 (Post 7097814)
Realest, I'd also add that I generally see struggle when growth is there too, or follows. My husband and I talk about making the next right choice all the time- it's particularly helpful right now in the ex of my step son who is struggling with depression and not making good life choices - and trusting that the results are out of our control but will work out as they are supposed to. This applies to my spirituality- some mornings when don't feel particularly "into" my Richard Rohr meditation, for example, I read it through anyway and still find one little thing I can take from it.

Not drinking, and doing what my program has taught me - basically that keeps me going when I feel disconnected to anything. Glad you are here.

Thank you.

CRRHCC 01-12-2019 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Realest (Post 7097257)
I’ve been through steps 1-9, and live in steps 10,11, and 12. I go to meetings and have commitments. I read spiritual literature and practice prayer and meditation diligently. But lately I feel doubt creeping in. I still pray and meditate but I don’t really feel a connection. I have about a year sober. Does it take time to develop a relationship with God? I. Get jealous when people say they have a Strong relationship with God. I just feel like I don’t get it. Can anyone give me Advice?

In my opinion, developing any relationship takes dedication and time.
It starts with inviting God into your life, asking Him to guide your footsteps and help you make wise decisions, asking that you can be sensitive to His will for you. "Grow close to God and He will grow close to you." James 4:8. Neurons that fire together, wire together. Where attention goes, neuro-firing flows and neuroconnection grows!

While there are many secular approaches to resolving addictive behavior, the ultimate, empowering and truly unique solution, only comes from God, with an indwelling and seminal psychotherapist and psychoanalyst (Paraclete/Mentor) and He’s freely provided it to every one of His children. “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless” (Isaiah 40:29). ​"His grace is sufficient for us, for there is power in weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9-10

Surrender is the ultimate expression of Faith. there are three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship. You may be at the recognition level: You know God is there, but you don’t really know him. Or, you may be at the acquaintance level: You know God, but not very well.

Surrender is a choice to love God 100%, to do your best! To love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Life is not easy, painless or fair. Life is about finding purpose in circumstances that render humans feeling helpless, powerless, trapped and out of control. It's human nature to seek control, to regain control over helpless issues and circumstances. Hurts, habits and hangups are all about how we seek to regain control of our feelings, our emotions.
If we are willing to humble ourselves, swallow our pride and give God control ("My grace is sufficient for you, there is power in weakness."), then God will return that control to you with a Helper. (John 14:16). This is the concept of, “Intelligent Delegation and Reciprocal Innervation.” You give control to God and God returns it to you with the fruits or values of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Self control is one of those fruits or values.

The truth is we have nothing to lose and everything to gain(Pascal’s Wager).

Healthyandsober 01-12-2019 09:19 PM

first all again God its in your soul and if you can't eel him how about feeling all those responses of people who were who you are? God brought you here. you don't believe in him. thats cool we are here for you . we are here for you:grouphug:


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