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2/19 Language of Letting Go

Old 02-19-2007, 04:04 AM
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2/19 Language of Letting Go

Our Path

I just spent several hours with someone from my group, and I feel like I'm losing my mind. This woman insisted that the only way I would make progress in my program was to go to her church and succumb to her religious rules. She pushed and insisted, and insisted and pushed. She's been in the program so much longer than I have. I kept thinking that she must know what she's talking about. But it didn't feel right. And now I feel crazy, afraid, guilty, and ashamed.
--Anonymous

The spiritual path and growth promised to us by the Twelve Steps does not depend on any religious belief. They are not contingent upon any denomination or sect. They are not, as the traditions of Twelve Step programs state, affiliated with any religious denomination or organization.

We do not have to allow anyone to badger us about religion in recovery. We do not have to allow people to make us feel ashamed, afraid, or less than because we do not subscribe to their beliefs about religion.

We do not have to let them do it to us in the name of God, love, or recovery.

The spiritual experience we will find as a result of recovery and the Twelve Steps will be our own spiritual experience. It will be a relationship with God, a Higher Power, as we understand God.

Each of us must find our own spiritual path. Each of us must build our own relationship with God, as we understand God. Each of us needs a Power greater than ourselves. These concepts are critical to recovery.

So is the freedom to choose how to do that.

Higher Power, help me know that I don't have to allow anyone to shame or badger me into religious beliefs. If they confuse that with the spirituality available in recovery, help me give their issue back to them. Help me discover and develop my own spirituality, a path that works for me. Guide me, with Divine Wisdom, as I grow spiritually.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie 1990, Hazelden Foundation.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:30 AM
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Thanks for posting this, Cynay.

I'm so grateful that AA showed me how to have a God of my understanding, and for the 11th Step which brings me closer to him every day.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:52 AM
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I had that EXACT experience. Almost turned me off Al-Anon. But I "kept coming back" and now I realize that for her, that approach worked. Everyone has their own path. Knowing my path is the right one for me leaves me open to others' experiences and suggestions, but not pressured by them.

Thanks, Cynay.
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:35 AM
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A good note to all on this: God does not have grandchildren!
We are to find Him in our own way, the way He chooses to present Himself in my life may be very different than the path of another- even within the same religion or faith. This part of AA is a truth that actually applies to Alanon and other programs for codependents.... I can't do for another what they should, could or would do for themselves.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:11 PM
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Have you ever listened to Joyce Meyer (on TV) ? I am un-religious, but I love listening to her. In this situation, she would tell you, that alot of people have a relationship with a church, not god....and she would also say: "if I sit in a garage for an hour, does that make me a car?"

I believe everyone has their own choice, and regardless of that choice they make, it is for themselves, and no one (religious or unreligious) should push their belief's on anyone else. It was wrong for that lady to suggest such a thing to you, the same as anyone knocking on my door, telling me to attend their church.......

I think alot rings true, that just because one goes to a church, doesn't necessarily make them relate to god better than one who doesn't go. I also have a bone to pick with my MIL, who is a church-goer, and is very subtle about telling me that my way is wrong. She even went as far as saying "well I would have never thought that of him (stepbrother) because he goes to church" ....(when he did something bad to my daughter) ... So he is excused of criminal behavior against a 13 yr old, because he GOES TO CHURCH? !!

Stand up for what you think is right, and your choice. You should never be made to feel guilty about such things.
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