My concept of my higher power is nothing like the one I was raised with. I don’t see a being or collection of beings necessarily, but do sense a solid force, source or power. I choose to use the term “God” mostly because it is shorter than higher power, universe, cosmos or dozens of other terms.
My difficulty with Step 2 had to do with very strong feeling about religion, not my true feelings of faith that gives me hope, through the miracles I see in my life. As I go along the merry path of my life, I reserve the right to change my current perspective of who or what God is, but for now, it is good enough that I believe in God.
Because of so many things I experienced in my life I did come to a place where I ceased to believe. I ignored all references to God, especially having to do with religion and at one point didn’t even think about it. One of those life crisis occurred, with the resultant explosion of miracles, I found my faith again. There were so many things that happened, I really could no longer deny something bigger than me was at work. Eventually, I came to discover that people from all over the world, from different religions and faiths were praying for my family. People who didn’t even know my son, in ICU, were praying for him. The power of the combine faith and positive energy and my own faith that Jason was still with us and going nowhere, created an impact that we still feel today. I got my faith back and it continued to develop.
Coming into Al Anon, I have already had multiple opportunities to turn issues and situations over to God. There are things that are just too big for me. Life makes me feel small sometimes, but when I turn things over to God, I tend to wake up the next day feeling lighter and happier. I don’t have to solve everything. I don’t have to be everything to everyone. I just have to tend my own garden and that is good enough. I expect this to continue and improve my life.
It is completely amazing to me how god uses others and things to bring messages to me! For a big instance… Last fall I was a guest at an event where I got to meet someone I have been following on social media for a couple of years. She is so inspirational to me! When she hugged me she said, “I hugged the Dali Llama, so now you have been hugged by his Holiness!” That is the kind of person I am. I share! So I listened to her words and I subscribe to her e-newsletters and I had been thinking about how to make my life, not only transparent, but authentic. How could I bring a genuine authenticity to my life? Through a series of unfortunate events, I found myself in Al Anon. I can’t think of anything that will bring a person to a healthy humility faster than going through the Al Anon 12 Step Program!!! The pretense falls away, leaving the person I truly am.
I can’t even tell you how many times a day I say, “Let go and let God!” When I start to feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, odds are the next thing out of my mouth is “Let go and let God!” When I am beyond what I can do by myself, that is when I release my burden to God.
The higher power I have now, since finding Al Anon is a gentle yet strong, powerful yet compassionate, dear friend and mentor, guiding me through my life, kind of on hyper drive. It is as if it is very important for me to blaze through this program and get all the concepts under my belt so I will understand what others are going through and be there for them, too. I know I have a life purpose and I know it has to do with helping large quantities of other humans! This is a very important process for me to go through and God is helping me do it, every step ‘Step’ of the way! I have faiths God is there for me, as God has been there for me all along and I see that now.
I will share my feelings about God, with most anyone, but I really don’t have a lot of patience when conversations turn dogmatic, didactic and dull.
It is interesting to me that this step uses the term, ‘Came to believe…’ As if there is a path to the realization, that we go through to get to that point. It indicates a process, a journey, which is exactly what it feels like. That also means this isn’t an ending, it is a place along the way and greater understanding is coming…
When you grow up in a situation and you believe, that is all there is, it is quite a gift to see that there is choice. That I do not have to continue to live is such chaos of thinking and emotions. I always wondered who decides what is sane and what is insane. Perhaps in my life, I will be the judge. My life has been a study in insanity. Unbalanced life situations, ugly relationships, very poor choices and/or choices made in survival mode. I kept repeating the same mistakes in the cycle we can fall into.
Distortion of reality is a good way to describe living with alcoholism in the home. What the alcoholic wants becomes the most important thing in the house. We walk on eggshells and bend over backwards to attempt to keep the peace. I begin to not even know which end was up. It took years to breathe again and even longer to feel safe in my own home.
Already, in Al Anon, I see insanity everywhere! I really do. I see it in my past choices, in the tendencies I have and in people around me. When life is out of balance, it doesn’t mean that I need to be out of balance. I can find solace in the fact I am working on being sane in an insane world.
When repressed memories began to surface, it rocked my world earlier this year. But what followed was not what I had normally done before. At first I thought about my siblings and that I should talk to them, but decided not to stir things up. Then I thought about my father, wondering what in the world had happened to him as a child, to cause his compulsive acts towards his own family. I suppose I could have slipped into an insane spiral of horror, but it didn’t seem wise. It didn’t seem healthy. I chose instead to feel compassion for my father, mom and siblings and myself, and also chose to talk to my sponsor and other friends in Al Anon. I did not reveal too much I hope, as why should they suffer the mental pictures. And when it really became a space of teetering on the edge of despair I said, ‘let go and let God’ to myself. I just had to let it go. It has caused enough damage in my lifetime and is too big for me alone.
If I had to choose one word to describe step 2, it might be hope, or understanding or maybe, simply love.