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One of the hardest things in working the twelve steps, at least at first, is finding and “naming” your Higher Power. Many come with religious wounds that leave little room in their hearts and souls for the words “God” or “Jesus.” Others come with parental wounds carried from childhood into adulthood, and they are uncomfortable praying to “Holy Father” or “Holy Mother.” Some Native American tribes pray to  “Grandfather” or “Grandfathers.” To those of us who have been abused by our grandfathers, this prayer salutation is also difficult to use.

There are alternatives to use that fit individual “comfort levels.” I realize the majority of people are very comfortable using the title they have been taught in their religion and the suggestion that another name be used, especially one that changes gender, can be quite discomforting to them. How we name the God of our choosing is, I believe, between that infinite being/spirit and ourselves. I ask that the words I share in today’s blog not be read as judging how anyone addresses his or her Higher Power. It is my intent to help people give themselves permission to name their Higher Power anything they choose so they can be  comfortable relating to that power on a daily basis. This is, I believe, the intended use of the term “Higher Power” as it is presented in Alcoholics Anonymous’ “Big  Book.”

Until today, I had found two names that are gender and memory “safe” to use when I address the God of my choosing, and those are “Creator” and “Great Spirit.” These names of reverence are borrowed from Native American Spirituality. Today, I encountered another in a prayer that asks for release from food addiction. It is another beautiful prayer found in my guided spiritual quest, and I would like to share it with you:

“Companion of my soul, may I know your abundance. As you feed the little ones, our brokenness will be healed and your community will become our earthly home. Give us this day the food that satisfies hunger, and forgive me in reaching for food that hides my needs, as I forgive myself for losing sight of you. Don’t abandon us when we reach for the quick fix, but do give us the food that satisfies. Our hope is in your community, our lives are in your power, and we rest in your presence. Amen”

Brutz , Judy (2012-06-14). Abuse Survivors: Self-Guided Retreat (pp. 98-100). Pine River Press. Kindle Edition.

I have “friended” this author on Facebook, and her prayers have consistently comforted my soul. I am very grateful for having met her on-line and to have the support of her beautifully worded prayers. This particular prayer speaks to the addiction of food. Food, or one’s compulsive eating pattern of choice, is often used by adults who have been sexually abused as children to provide a “protective layer” between themselves and sexual attention. However, I think the words of this prayer use the word “food” symbolically to mean any substance or behavior to which we are addicted. It is very simple to replace the word food with “alcohol,” “meth,” “marijuana,” “heroin,” “compulsive gambling,” etc. —-the list could go on and on.

One of the things about this prayer that appeals to me most strongly as a person in recovery is the fact that it is addressed to the “Companion of my Soul.” This new title for my Higher Power resonates with my soul as one I can immediately relate to and trust.

I hope my readers will find this prayer and this way of naming “Higher Power” helpful in their spiritual journey. I want to close by thanking Judy for publishing this book, not only for this beautiful prayer, but for all of the spiritual wisdom I discovered as I read it.  Please comment and share  how you address the God of your choosing as you travel your spiritual path. May God bless and keep you.

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