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Confused about the concept of God's Will

Old 06-07-2011, 08:53 PM
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My thoughts on this subject are very simple:

I have to get Pride out of the way.

Once I actively do that, there is an open relationship between my HP and me.

I look at God as the Perfect Parent who really does want the best for me. I have to trust that.

Really, that's all it is for me.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:29 PM
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Thanks friends. I am glad my musings today was helpful to others. I bought a used copy of "Having had a Spiritual Awakening" off of Amazon at the urging of an Al-Anon friend and it arrived last week. I also had a rough couple of days with the RAH. I had several a-ha moments. I realized the true meaning of the Serenity Prayer and detachment with love. And it worked when I applied detachment with objectivity and self awareness in the moment, instead of letting emotions take over and run rampant. I saw, for the first time, the guy before me, struggling to figure out what is his, and I didn't own it. Progress!

I also felt in one situation that things were not right. I was tense, awkward, and kind of angry that I had invited the RAH on a walk. My evening walks with the dogs are my self reflection time. My trails are my beloved commune with nature which is where I find my spirituality. I invited him along and it was wrong. All wrong. And it wasn't long before I had made him defensive in the course of trying to communicate.

It wasn't God's will that I spend time with him, nor try to have a conversation - any conversation - with this man. This is not where I am supposed to be. As Freedom said - it hurt.

When I first saw my house - the first words out of my mouth were "this feels good". Not "i love this floor plan" or "great yard" but that this place felt right. When I put an offer in it was immediately accepted. My financing was a breeze. Everything worked.

It's not a passive act, its a very action oriented act of being self aware and thoughtful of what is going on outside of your own head...and emotions. To hear your HP's "whisper" means you have to be open-minded enough to actually hear it.

I,too, spent a lot of time being angry at God - what in the world had I done to be punished by this situation? I prayed for a good man...not any man. Where did that get lost in translation? I see now this is my journey to finding what I seek. Maybe I needed another reminder so I could recognize worth when it finally does present itself. Maybe I passed it over enough times that I needed another reminder.

Some good people here have said that often our darkest times lead us to a spiritual awakening. I can honestly say I have just had one. And it feels nice!
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:59 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I really like the floating analogy. Except for me it is a small boat in a river. I have control over the boat, I have no control over the river. Of course that doesn't mean I can't steer the boat based on what is being shown to me by the river. There are other things and other boats floating on that river, it is a very lar ge river you know. I also have to accept that I have no control over the other boats on the river.

To me submitting to the will of god is acknowledging that you are floating down that river called life and accepting what the river gives to you.

Arrrrrgh! I can't find the words to convey what I feel. Guess I'm going to have to let go of that for a while also. They'll either come or they won't.

Take what you want, leave the rest.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:15 PM
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I'm kind of into Ignatian spirituality these days, because it is an active as well as a contemplative tradition. It also focuses on discernment of God's will. Discernment, as described on one site I just googled, is

Discernment is more than just a skill. Discernment is a gift from God before it is anything else. Yet there are clearly skills you can put to use when using your gift, and you can become better at it through training and experience.

Discernment is more than just a process. Even for the most 'material' or 'nitty-gritty' matters, there is a Spirit at work nudging us, leading us, even pulling us by the nose ring. Then again, even for the most 'spiritual' matters, there are disciplines, methods, processes, means, and tools which the Spirit can work through to help us discern rightly. Discernment isn't usually a sudden zap from beyond, but something which emerges from hard work and close attention.
Here is one of the short prayers written by St. Ignatius:

Prayer to Know God’s Will
May it please the supreme and divine Goodness
to give us all abundant grace
ever to know his most holy will
and perfectly to fulfill it.

So, in answer to your question, it's a balancing act between really being quiet enough to hear what God is saying, and courageous enough to act on what you hear.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:27 PM
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For me, although I do believe in God, I kind of translated "turning our will and our lives over to the care of God" as "accept that things are what they are, and they aren't what they aren't, and be okay with it instead of trying to change it."

It doesn't mean taking a passive approach to life; it means realizing that I can make my own choices, but I can't choose which choices there are for me. I can take path A, B, or C if they are available for me to choose from, but if I try to force there to be a path Z, I'm not accepting of reality/the will of God anymore.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:33 PM
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Sorry, I'm going to hog the floor again, because I read on on that website I quoted from, and I also like what the writer says about how you know that you are following God's will (it kind of relates to a recent thread I started about decisions that don't feel like decisions because they just feel "right").

Another key to discernment is a 'sense of peace' about something. That peace must take place not by itself, but within the rest of the framework of discernment, or it's not divine. Yet the absence of such peace is, by itself, bad news. Such peace and security comes and grows with prayer. Peace is a gift God is more than happy to give. God wants us to have some sense of security about what we do. Since God is not a God of confusion, it will not do in God's purposes for God's followers to be confused, or be confusing.

"I fear that many people seek to hear God solely as a device for securing their own safety, comfort and righteousness. For those who busy themselves to know the will of God, however, it is still true that "those who want to save their life will lose it." My extreme preoccupation with knowing God's will for me may only indicate, contrary to what is often thought, that I am overconcerned with myself, not a Christlike interest in the well-being of others or in the glory of God."
Dallas Willard, *Hearing God*, p. 28

Some hints which confirm:
--- a chance encounter with just the right person;
--- a thought or conviction that keeps growing;
--- something from the Bible which comes to mind;
--- something said in conversation which keeps coming to mind;
--- an opportunity which suddenly opens up.
--- it 'bites back', becoming harder to stop the more you or anyone else tries to hold back.

These hints mean nothing by themselves, but can mean a lot when taken together.
I have some very meaningful examples of these "signs" in my own life in which some pretty tough decisions resulted in inner peace. So I believe firmly that this is how we work with our HP.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:56 PM
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My will is mine and I'll do what I can with it.
When it's too big for me to manage, I ask for help.

Doesn't mean I'm letting go. Just recognizing and being okay that I can't do anything about anything anyway.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:15 PM
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I'm an athiest and I struggled with the whole HP thing. I found the proactive 12 steps: The Proactive Twelve Steps (printable) really useful. It takes out the whole concept of an HP for each step. Step 3 reads: I have an action plan: From now on, I am squarely facing everything that is in the way of feeling really satisfied with my life.

Just a different perspective!
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:18 AM
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My view on this is very simplistic. My HP is God, and I find his will through reading the Bible. My job is to do the best I can to follow the instruction provided--for ME, MY life, and MY soul. I'm leaving the rest up to Him. It takes a lot of patience, which I don't have, but I keep trying.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bookwyrm View Post
I'm an athiest and I struggled with the whole HP thing. I found the proactive 12 steps: The Proactive Twelve Steps (printable) really useful. It takes out the whole concept of an HP for each step. Step 3 reads: I have an action plan: From now on, I am squarely facing everything that is in the way of feeling really satisfied with my life.

Just a different perspective!
Thank you so much for posting that!
:ghug3

I just started reading it and it works great for me. It gives me the words for what I was feeling as I worked through my recovery.

Your friend,
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:27 AM
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Yes, thank you Bookwyrm...for those of us who struggle with the religious aspects of the 12 Steps...this pragmatic view is much easier to digest! And I mean no offense to those who practice a religion!
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:52 AM
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God's will or my will? My way hasn't turned out all that great!
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:52 AM
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The purpose of it in AA is to help the alcoholic realize he/she isn't the center of the universe. You can use anything as your higher power -- just so long as it isn't you.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:52 AM
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Funny story about "God's Will" that happened yesterday to my RAH. Thought I'd share because as I have struggled with this concept, apparently, so has he!

We finally got around to moving my washer over to my new house. We've both been procrastinating for a variety of reasons but the old washer that came with the house was dying a horribly loud death so it was time. RAH bought a small utility trailer last month and finally got it registered and tagged, so he felt "legal" to use it for the first time. Somewhere during the afternoon, the freshly obtained license plate vanished. We noticed it at the end of the task while leaving the old washer at the dump. He was livid for about 5 minutes; stomping and swearing like old days. I walked around a bit to see if it fell off in the area, but no luck. Plus, when he throws tantrums, I have to walk away or I get irritated!

We drove the way we came, just in case we may have lost it on the road. Once we reached my house with no luck finding it laying on the street, he said "I wasn't meant to have that license plate. It wasn't God's Will". I asked him why he thought that and he said "Simple. It was very hard to get (took a long time and a lot of paperwork and two trips to the DMV) and it didn't last very long. Wasn't meant to be". He was very calm and matter-of-fact about it...and we had a good laugh at that point. I mean, maybe he was right. It wasn't meant to be...for some reason neither of us know about.

The chances it would "fall off" while driving were one in a million. We hadn't been gone too long or in an area for it to get stolen. It was there when he arrived at my house...he even showed it to me. So in the span of about an hour and a half, this plate simply vanished off the back end of the trailer. AFter all the hard work it took for him to get the plate...to own it for a few days and then its gone...maybe it was God's will!

Now - the interesting part of this story will be what happens next...if there is a reason for everything...what happens next in this little story. Will he meet someone while at line at the DMV who ends up changing his life? Will he randomly get a plate with his initials on it? Who knows? But the moral of the story ultimately was not the lost plate...but the opportunity to watch someone put his emotions into a new perspective almost immediately after he felt them, and we were able to proceed on with our tasks in peace. Maybe that was God's will...for a lesson to be learned...no matter how small and insignificant...that change is possible even in the most resistant of people. I am proud of the way he handled himself. That was a first.

God's will...it's beginning to sink in...I think I am getting it now....Happy Friday, all!
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:45 AM
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I have been meditating on this thread for days now. I can't find the post to quote it, and to give credit, but someone said something to the effect that he/she used al-anon and SR as their higher power.

This thought didn't grab me at first but it sure planted itself in my mind. The proactive 12 steps were close but still not quite right for me.

What I have come to accept is that the collective wisdom, experience, strength and hope of Al-Anon and SR is my higher power. I seek the wisdom of those who have successfully traveled this road before me. I renew my strength with the strength of those who are going through what I am going through and sharing their experiences. I get hope from those who are battling against the same demons. I realize that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and I draw upon this collective power every day. I willingly immerse my self into the group to gain the support and wisdom I need to continue my recovery.

My higher power is something that is outside of myself yet is profoundly a part of me. It is all of us working together to help each other heal and recover. It is spiritual in a non-mystical manner and it is very strong.

I hope this ramble makes sense to someone else. It just felt right to share it here. To add it to part of the collective memory.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Your friend and partner in recovery,
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by m1k3 View Post
I have been meditating on this thread for days now. I can't find the post to quote it, and to give credit, but someone said something to the effect that he/she used al-anon and SR as their higher power.

This thought didn't grab me at first but it sure planted itself in my mind. The proactive 12 steps were close but still not quite right for me.

What I have come to accept is that the collective wisdom, experience, strength and hope of Al-Anon and SR is my higher power. I seek the wisdom of those who have successfully traveled this road before me. I renew my strength with the strength of those who are going through what I am going through and sharing their experiences. I get hope from those who are battling against the same demons. I realize that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and I draw upon this collective power every day. I willingly immerse my self into the group to gain the support and wisdom I need to continue my recovery.

My higher power is something that is outside of myself yet is profoundly a part of me. It is all of us working together to help each other heal and recover. It is spiritual in a non-mystical manner and it is very strong.

I hope this ramble makes sense to someone else. It just felt right to share it here. To add it to part of the collective memory.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Your friend and partner in recovery,
A wise woman I know and love calls this concept "one's higher self".
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:51 PM
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I call it my "true" self. The self I was created to be.
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