Archives for posts with tag: Higher Power

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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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Image courtesy of  Somchai Som/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today, during a guided imagery session, my Higher Power made me aware of a  couple of insights.  One is my Higher Power’s love is always there, has always been there, and will always be there—-even if I have been hurtful to myself or others in the past. But the newest insight for me, the one that really got my attention, was I am able to feel and express that same type of love for those I love in spite of any hurts, real or imagined, that I  believe I have suffered at their hand. Thus, the important lesson I came away from today’s session with is this: Our love for someone is strong enough to withstand the hurt we attribute to that person, just as God’s love is strong enough to withstand the things I have done that I am sure have hurt him.

I’m not talking trivial, little transgressions here. The person I love and chose to bring into today’s imagery session had, when I was a child, tied our family dog to the back of our school bus and had the bus driver drive away so the dog would be dragged behind the bus; the rationale for doing this was to teach the dog not to chase the school bus so he would avoid getting run over in the future. That same person slapped me at the dinner table in front of company and at another time picked me up by one arm while  swatting my “behind” with his other hand—- I literally became a human pendulum swinging back and forth between blows. Remembering those instances of hurt I experienced as a child brought unbidden tears to my eyes—even after all this time. And then I knew that some of the things I have done in the past like driving while intoxicated, practicing addictive behaviors, and engaging in what at the time was  called “free love” must have hurt my Higher Power just as deeply as those childhood memories that are embedded in my soul.  Then I felt the blessed relief of knowing  my Higher Power loves me anyway—-just as I love the person who psychologically and physically hurt me as a child. Those embedded hurts no longer have the power to block the love I have for the person who hurt me. Love is stronger than the hurt.

My writing today is relatively short. Conversely, however, the message “love is stronger than the hurt” is a momentous one for me. Now when I think of perceived hurtful events in my life I can stop investing energy in resenting those instances.  I can, instead,  focus on the love God shares with me and all of us that overlooks and overcomes the hurt. Resentment will never again have the power over me that it has had in the past. To be honest, I don’t yet trust that the resentments I have “nurtured” during my life time to entirely go away, but I know that now I can overcome  the hurt and resentment by focusing on the love I have been given as a gift by my Higher Power. And for this I am grateful.