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Photo courtesy of K. Farwell

Last night at a meeting a friend gave me a card with a few brief words typed on it. These words were originally hand-printed on a piece of paper slipped in between the pages of a book that had been bought second hand at a thrift store—-one that is used at meetings when a  member needs a book so he or she can follow what is being read and discussed.

Somehow the simplicity in these words by an anonymous author spoke volumes to me, so I want to share them with you today:

“My Higher Power/God:

-Wants my highest good

-Wants me to be my best

-Wants me to live to my potential

-Loves me unconditionally

-Is an unending source of love, support, and energy”

These words describe how I perceive God, and I feel a direct kinship with the person who wrote them. I particularly appreciated the words because every 12 step meeting I attended in the past two weeks seemed focused on turning our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him, and I can’t help but think that perhaps the enlightened soul who wrote these words had sat through similar meetings.  Wherever that person is today, I hope he or she still carries these beliefs in his or her heart.

This unadorned, simple list makes me think of the assignment many sponsors give to those they sponsor when it comes to working this step—–and that is to write a description of the God you want to be you Higher Power. Many members come to 12 step meetings with feelings of unworthiness, shame, and anger at a God who has abandoned them or at least turned his back o them. Many were taught God was stern, punishing, and vindictive when people failed to please him.

I have heard many people who start working the steps  remark that God never left them—-that it was they who left God, and it took involvement in a 12 step program to bring them back to God. A key component of that reunion, I think, is the ability to perceive God as all-loving and always present. When we perceive our Higher Power as loving and as accessible, it is much easier to form a trusting relationship with that source of power. It is possible to form a close relationship that carries us through the challenge of day to day to day living and whatever the future may bring. We become the recipients of a profound gift. Our spirits are renewed and our sense of spirituality blossoms——-much as leafless trees do when spring arrives.

One of the miracles of working AA’s 12 steps is that when one begins to feel loved and accepted by a Higher Power, one can begin to love and value oneself—–and then, and only then, do we have the ability to pass our experience, strength, and hope on to others who need to establish a vital connection with a power greater than themselves if they are to survive the disease of their addiction. It is all pretty much about loving, trusting, and passing it on to others. So, thank you, Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous for leaving your simple yet powerful message in your book for those of us who were to follow in your footsteps.

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