When you have a faith, a belief system, like, oh say, a religion, I’m thinking it is super easy to just pray or talk to a religious leader and believe you are in good shape. You don’t even have to understand all the details about who exactly you are praying to or what exactly your religion believes. You can just trust your parents, tradition or habits to take care of this and that as they pop up in life. I coasted for a chuck of my life thinking things would get better if I just kept going to church, paid my tithing, ya know, did everything right. At some point I questioned the whole thing and did my own research and study. Being raised in a quasi-segment of Christianity, I studied Near Eastern writing to understand the meanings put into apocalyptic books and at one point was told by a religious leader that the fastest way to apostasy was scripture study.
I’ll let you think about that one for a moment.
So, when I came to the point years later, where I knew I needed help through Al Anon, a fellowship of friends and families of alcoholics and addicts, working the steps with a sponsor became a very specific challenge. How could I turn those things way too big for me to handle alone, over to a higher power I did not know or believe in or trust?
I tried. I tried to do it anyway. I have a saying I like to repeat, ‘I can’t do it and I’m doing it anyway.’ So I didn’t believe in a god from any religion. I did believe that there were miracles in my life, that I had witnessed things bigger than life happening to me and to those around me. I could not deny something bigger than me was at work, but relating it to the dogma, control and manipulation of organized religion did not fit. Challenge, that one. How do I work the third step in Al Anon, letting go of control or the illusion of control, surrendering absolutely to a god, a higher power, to something I could not define.
In doing my third step, I realized I did not have to define who or what I was turning things over to. I could just do the first part of accepting I had no control over many things. I could do what I could do to make the best choices. Then I could just let go and trust the best thing that could happen, would happen. I could just let go of trying to make things happen with my limited understanding. Without defining god, I could just use the word ‘god’ because it is a short word and realize, just like dancing with a partner, you can’t both lead. (December 15th, Courage to Change – daily reader for Al Anon) With or without a belief in any kind of god, I can let go. Just let go. Just be. Relax. Trust. And life will move forward at it’s own pace for my highest and best good. I set my intention. I am grateful. And oddly enough, without an official god in my life, I am blessed. Namaste’ and carry on! <3<3<3
“Your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be.”
– Raymond Charles Barker