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Old 10-16-2009, 03:22 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Until I was ready to accept God in a more traditional way, I just substituted "Higher Power" for every time I saw the word "God" in the Big Book. I defined higher power simply as "something bigger than myself" and left it at that.

Don't make it too complicated and, if the concept is making you angry, please don't focus on it so much. It sounds arrogant to substitute SR or AA for "God" but I am perfectly comfortable saying that SR or AA is my higher power.

Remember, the Big Book was written many years ago and so some of the language is dated. Focus on the message not the words.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:31 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Much of my life i felt distant from God because of my misunderstandings.
God is truly perfect and should not get his hands dirty dealing with me.
God is so above everything, how could he care about someone like me.
God is harsh and judgemental, if i approach Him he will quickly condemn me.
God has never made a mistake and just wouldn't understand what i've done.
God would expect too much of me if i tried to do his will & follow his direction.
God is unapproachable if i am not a member of the right religious community.

i am very grateful the literature suggests that i develope a working knowledge of God. i can leave beyond any preconceptions of who or what i think God is & find my own understanding. i can use the evidence all around me to discover the true nature of God. i can come to realize God's character in the actions of another alcoholic/addict helping me to stay clean & recover daily. My belief can grow as i learn to adjust my attitudes in a positive way & continue to make progress (rather than perfection). i can trust the love God has for me in becoming free of self obsession and the insanity of addiction. Fear, which prevented me from having an open & honest relationship with God, fades in the light of living a new way of life. Each day is an opportunity to find what works for me in the here & now and to cast aside the old ideas that didn't work for me. It's a one day at a time way of living life on life's terms.

Give yourself a break & just ask for the sight to see the obvious.
Easy does it ashleek, you will not come to believe all in one day.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I took baby steps to open myself up spiritually. When I was a teen, my best friend died. Weird things happened that convinced me I wasn't alone, that somehow he was getting a message to me that he was o.k.

That was the only concept I allowed in my life for the next 25+ years, that somehow we aren't alone, and that in the end we are more than food for the worms.

When I got sober, I had some things that were Too BIG for me to handle. My marriage was a wreck, I was living in terror of losing my daughter (for no reason except she was My Life), and I knew nothing of myself. As I walked around alone all day, I would converse with the universe/god/my loved ones lost/ who ever was "up there" listening.

I was terrible at it. I felt like the worst kind of fraud, because why would a god who could tell I didn't really believe listen or help me?

And soon enough, I kid you not, there were Signs. The weird things started happening. Doors I asked for help opening came open. Troubles I asked removed from my heart were removed.

I am crying writing this=) It is a scary, wonderful, comforting and humbling thing to have a spiritual awakening.

How do we as humans get by without this connection to the rest of the universe?

I did it for a long time, but I will never go back. For me, accepting that something more powerful than myself holds me in the palm of his/her/its hand and loves me is like stepping into the sunlight for the first time.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:48 PM   #24 (permalink)
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He knocks at the door of your heart. When you decide to open the door is your choice. God will never force you to do something you don't want to do. But our concept of God sometimes is that he is a Bell Hop! Ring the bell in a time of need,instead of thanking him daily for all the good things.

God Bless all!
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:02 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Hi Ashlee.

One of the best books I read in the past year was The Shack.

One of its central ideas is that God is a ever loving parent. He will travel any road to have an encounter with humanity - and I believe that...but so often we're not open to those encounters because of various things that are blinding us or diverting us.

I was born with cerebral palsy - I always, at a very deep level, felt I had a lot of reason to hate and resent God.

That alone kept me from any kind of spiritual connection, even tho I desperately searched for one.

Hitting the devastation of my alcoholic bottom wiped the slate clean for me - I was able to start off from scratch - it was a miracle I was alive, it was a miracle I was more or less healthy, it was a miracle that I was staying clean and sober...

I figured that maybe there was more to this God bloke than I'd figured.

Since then the more I open the 'doors and windows' of my heart, the more I break down those 10 foot walls...the more reconnected to my spirituality I've become.

Don't make a big deal of it - just find the things you're grateful for, find the miracles...and think about where they came from

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Old 10-16-2009, 05:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Cathy,

I have heard your story so many times and I guess maybe I am being impatient or I feel where the hell is he? I really just don't know, I feel really confused about the subject and used to be religious when I was a kid but i also had God pounded into my head as a child. A God that I'm not so sure is the God I would want in my life. So, every little thing really helps. I appreciate you all bc I don't want to be preached at, I heard that all my life. I just want to know I'm not all alone.
No, you're not alone. I was raised in a very strict Catholic home, and I can assure you the God of the Catholic church's understanding and of my parents' understanding is not the God I have today.

My first steps towards believing were simply seeing what was happening in the rooms of AA, and coming to realize I wanted what those people had, and there obviously was a power greater than myself in those rooms.

It was a gradual process. You sound much like me when I was early in recovery, and I wanted what I wanted right then and there!

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Old 10-16-2009, 05:29 PM   #27 (permalink)
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There's some great stuff in this thread.

I've always felt that God was with me and protecting me, too -- well, oftentimes I'd forget. And sometimes I get really po'd at God. Good thing he/she is more loving and understanding and forgiving than I can even grasp the concept of.

One really annoying thing I've found about God is that he/she doesn't seem to want to work on my timetable or in the way I feel is best. But, grudgingly, I have to admit that he/she usually does know best.

Not any really good answer in this post, but well...
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:54 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Hi Ashlee -
Your posts remind me of me in early sobriety -
I was in a hurry and wanted it all to happen right away.

Much of this life of sobriety thing takes time.

What I try to tell my sponsees
notice I said *try*
is

one thing at a time.

To you,
since you asked for someone who's worked the steps
(we never stop, really - not if we're going to STAY sober)

my advice first and a good place to be at the start
is to find a sponsor.

We've got these sayings that people cringe at hearing
but after you've been around a while
they suddenly make sense
and one of them is

first things first.

in working toward a solution
working it the AA way, that is -

watch the people in your group.
the woman you see there
who is centered, speaks with knowing about the program
and life
the woman who has some sober time on her side
maybe she's poised, or otherwise shows that she has what you want

is the person you ask to be your sponsor.

Then together -
the both of you will work on the first step.

And that's how it starts.

For now - let the rest take care of itself.

Good for you!
You're actually reading the book!
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:13 PM   #29 (permalink)
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A Higher Power can be anything, for me it's the Universe.

Read The Secret and see how the Universe truly can be and IS a higher power, and can then be used in the context of the 12 Steps, all you have to do is be able to see that there are powers greater (higher) than you and if planetary formation, black holes, the infinity of space, and gravity don't do it for ya, what will you know?

Good luck...read The Secret....
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:16 PM   #30 (permalink)
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ash, some real great replys here,

for me, it was "Footprints"

and that led to what the core of my fears, and addictions were,

then it opened up the door to finding out,

the good that was burried deep within me...

another simple little thing,

"GOD" Good Orderly Direction, as i had lousy no direction before.

whatever you do, please keep that gratitude ash!

whatever God is, i do know what God aint!

the hell i was in, and put everyone esle through...

all good wishes ash
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:33 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Ashleek -

I'm sorry , I'm at work and got a customer in ...

there *was* a point to that big honkin long post -

and that was - the Spirituality thing

happens.

We don't really have to go anywhere seeking it.

It comes... as we heal.

The fact that we can heal at all is proof we're connected to whatever *it* is.
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:53 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Ashleek,

Just throwing something out there for you to think about, maybe the Christian God isn't for you? [I have no issue with Christianity I think it is a beautiful religion]

I was raised to be Christian by my parents and grandparents but it didn't feel right for me. When I was about 12 I started researching other religious and spiritual beliefs. I looked into everything until I discovered paganism and ended up becoming a pagan witch.

I go to NA and no-one there has an issue with my beliefs even though they are very different from everyone else's.

I have a beautiful relationship with the Mother Goddess and draw much strength from her and her love, I never feel alone.

So maybe you could go to your local library and do some research and see if anything resonates for you?

I believe religion is a very personal thing and we all connect with the universe differently. Whether it be Atheist, Catholic, Pagan, Hindu, or whatever.

You will find your higher power sweetie and when you do you will know what is right for you.

Much Love,

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Old 10-16-2009, 08:05 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Okay so today I am reading through the big book for the first time and I am so p!ssed off. I am now feeling mad at myself, mad at others but what I am struggling with right now is I am so p!ssed at God or that I can't find God or that I don't know what God is.

So, for somone who has worked the steps if you would be kind enough to help me on this issue of how did you find your spirituality or God or whatever you found. I don't have a sponsor haven't worked the steps but I really need to work this out and I don't know what to do.

Thanks!!

Im not an AA type, but I suppose you could make yourself the "higher power" or "god", since it is you and only you that will stop your addiction, for now. Just a suggestion.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:15 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I figure that this can go one of two ways. Either I'm the most powerful being in the universe (and if that's the case, be very, very careful) or there's another being out there more powerful than I am. And as the universe has been around long before I got here, then it's safe to assume that some being beat me to it and that being is more powerful than me. I can go with this simplistic route or read Acquinas, Agustintine, St Thomas More, Martin Luther etc. I've done both actually, but somehow the more simplistic approach is easier to deal with.

Now that I accept that some power greater than I exists, I presume that this power is a good being as there is goodness in this universe. From there I make the leap of faith that this being is capable of restoring me to sanity. Note the word capable as opposed to will. I'm certainly not capable of such a feat, although I've tried many times.

And that's all step 2 really is. AA doesn't insist you believe in a diety, and in it's preamble it specifically states that AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. Too many people get hung up needlessly on this step. I recommend that you focus on the word "capable" and move on. This step is one that
a lot of people take bit by bit. As you work through the other steps, you'll find that this isn't as big a hurdle as you thought.

Right now you need to go to meetings and get a sponsor. Trying to work through the Big Book without help is damn hard. You really need a sponsor to guide you. And try and lose the anger stuff. Anger leads to resentment and resentment leads back to the bottle. Recovery is hard enough. Don't complicate it.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:20 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I just don't know what to say! You all are such wonderful people and I did pray today and to what or who or what universe I have no idea I just prayed and I cried a little. It felt good but still really nothing.

I need to trust, I need to not be lazy in finding a higher power, this is something that has always been important to me in my life (some kind of God) but now that I am sober and older I just can't imagine a God, one that I grew up learning about. It's wierd to me that we have to "learn" about a God by others teachings. To me you should just be able to feel that God or higher power in your heart and soul and just know that we aren't alone. I know we aren't alone I just can't seem to get to that place to trust again.

I know it will take time but you all have no idea how much you have helped me! You have got me thinking in so many ways I don't know which way my brain is going right now. But this is a good thing, this is what I wanted.

The Shack, that is so funny you brought that up because not too awful long ago my social worker teacher was speaking of this book and I was wanting to read it but I was too high to care about anything but getting high and making the dean's list. So, I am going to put that on my list of things to do. I think my higher power might have sent that message to me. That was too much of a coincedence!

I ordered some books online about working the steps, Meditation and something else, gosh I can't remember now. I love to read, I read the BB in one day and a half. I just couldn't put it down no matter how aggervated I got at times.

Thank you all again so much. You have no idea what this has done for me. I was worried about controversy and maybe head butting a little and I'm glad that didn't happen. You all flooded in almost all at once and it was wonderful. I think that too happened for a reason.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:22 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I figure that this can go one of two ways. Either I'm the most powerful being in the universe (and if that's the case, be very, very careful) or there's another being out there more powerful than I am. And as the universe has been around long before I got here, then it's safe to assume that some being beat me to it and that being is more powerful than me. I can go with this simplistic route or read Acquinas, Agustintine, St Thomas More, Martin Luther etc. I've done both actually, but somehow the more simplistic approach is easier to deal with.

Now that I accept that some power greater than I exists, I presume that this power is a good being as there is goodness in this universe. From there I make the leap of faith that this being is capable of restoring me to sanity. Note the word capable as opposed to will. I'm certainly not capable of such a feat, although I've tried many times.

And that's all step 2 really is. AA doesn't insist you believe in a diety, and in it's preamble it specifically states that AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. Too many people get hung up needlessly on this step. I recommend that you focus on the word "capable" and move on. This step is one that
a lot of people take bit by bit. As you work through the other steps, you'll find that this isn't as big a hurdle as you thought.

Right now you need to go to meetings and get a sponsor. Trying to work through the Big Book without help is damn hard. You really need a sponsor to guide you. And try and lose the anger stuff. Anger leads to resentment and resentment leads back to the bottle. Recovery is hard enough. Don't complicate it.
I thought AA said you could make anything your higher power. I thought that was the whole basis of it, was that it is a spiritual disease. Oddly enough, although Im not an AA type, I agree with the premise that AA says one is born with the disease.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:25 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I figure that this can go one of two ways. Either I'm the most powerful being in the universe (and if that's the case, be very, very careful) or there's another being out there more powerful than I am. And as the universe has been around long before I got here, then it's safe to assume that some being beat me to it and that being is more powerful than me. I can go with this simplistic route or read Acquinas, Agustintine, St Thomas More, Martin Luther etc. I've done both actually, but somehow the more simplistic approach is easier to deal with.

Now that I accept that some power greater than I exists, I presume that this power is a good being as there is goodness in this universe. From there I make the leap of faith that this being is capable of restoring me to sanity. Note the word capable as opposed to will. I'm certainly not capable of such a feat, although I've tried many times.

And that's all step 2 really is. AA doesn't insist you believe in a diety, and in it's preamble it specifically states that AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. Too many people get hung up needlessly on this step. I recommend that you focus on the word "capable" and move on. This step is one that
a lot of people take bit by bit. As you work through the other steps, you'll find that this isn't as big a hurdle as you thought.

Right now you need to go to meetings and get a sponsor. Trying to work through the Big Book without help is damn hard. You really need a sponsor to guide you. And try and lose the anger stuff. Anger leads to resentment and resentment leads back to the bottle. Recovery is hard enough. Don't complicate it.

I go to AA on a regular basis! I love AA and the whole power greater than myself....I guess as a child I was taught to not take that very lightly....so that is still in the back of my mind. I couldn't be that person to just chose something and move on bc it is more important than that for me. If I am going to have a pwer greater than myself that gets me through from day to day I would have a hard time praying to M.L.K. Just my opinion (respectfully of course) if it was that easy I wouldn't have put this post up here.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:27 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Talking about 'god' or a 'higher power' is always going to be controversial, but you will find that here on this site, there are many people who will offer their experiences and almost always try and offer genuine help and advice. I find most people here very respectful of other's opinions, and I think you will too, ashleek. As well as good advice and information.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:40 PM   #39 (permalink)
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You're correct in that AA says you can make anything your higher power. I was speaking for myself and my own approach to the higher power concept. You can use whatever you want as a higher power, or nothing at all if that's your belief. AA doesn't insist on having one, it merely suggests that. I'm not sure where you're going with the spiritual disease thing. AA is a spiritual program and alcoholism is a disease. And spitituality in the AA sense is merely your personal relationship with a higher power.

I'm also not familiar with anything that AA has ever said that indicates one is born with the disease of alcoholism. Some folks may feel that way. I don't. One may have a genetic predisposition for the disease, but only alcohol causes one to actually have it. And if you're predisposed yet never drink, then I don't think you're an alcoholic. But I'm gonna leave that one to the scientists. It really has nothing to do with recovery, and recovery is purpose of SR.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:54 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Please lets not go there!
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