Finding a Higher Power
“Made a decision to turn our will and
our lives over to the care of God
as we understood Him.”
Big Book of AA
Life without a Higher Power
In the depths of our addiction, we said, “God has abandoned us.” We stood in the darkness and cursed the light. John Barleycorn and Lady Cocaine were our Higher Powers.
It was quit or die
but we couldn’t quit. The answer to our problem, they said, must come from a power greater than ourselves, from a God of our own understanding, one that we could live with.
There are many ways to find God
Some faiths claim to have the only path to God. Unless I follow their precepts and teachings, they say, I will surely burn in hell forever. But the religion of our fathers could not keep me sober.
In recovery from addiction
we must throw out our old ideas. What we needed was a Higher Power that we could relate to, that could actually help us—here and now—to stop using. This is the “God of our understanding” that we must find.
How do I love something I can’t see
In rehab, our spiritual adviser Father Mick, told me to start by loving those parts of God I could see—sunsets, rainbows, puppies, new born babies, butterflies, and so on. “Soon,” he said, “you’ll be able to see him in the gentleness and compassion of others around you.”
The Higher Power I found lives inside me
“God is not an old man with a long beard sitting on a throne, throwing lightning bolts as us humans below—that was Zeus in Greek mythology. The Higher Power I found lives inside me and I live inside him. As a fish swims in water without recognizing the water, so we live inside him. More than that, he lives within us. "Therefore, that is where I should look for him.”
Steps to finding your Higher Power
First must come ego deflation
On my first day in rehab, they told me “There is a God and it ain’t you.” I’m not the center of the universe, I’m just another bozo on the bus. Only after I recognize MY problem, can I begin to find MY solution. My ego is my own worst enemy.
Second comes acceptance
Acceptance of my place in the universe, of my own failings, and of my need for help. I must trust the guidance of those around me. If I knew how to do it, I wouldn’t be here.
Finding God is not an event, it is a process
Don’t expect a miraculous visitation by the Holy Ghost to convert us on the altar of AA. If I’m looking for gold, I may have to do a lot of digging. More of the God of my understanding will be revealed as my understanding grows.
Seek and ye shall find
Take assurance in these time honored words, that if I seek I will find. Each of us will go about this in a different way. I cannot tell you how to do it because your path to understanding will be unique to you—It is the God of your understanding, not mine.
Keep at it, persevere
Don’t give up because you don’t seem to be getting any results. Be patient. Finding God, like all things spiritual is a journey not a destination. Persistence is the key. If you seek you WILL find.
Be positive—have faith in the process
Expect for the door to open, expect understanding to come. The stronger your belief in the process, the better will be your result. With time and experience, as you come to believe in the process, your faith in it will grow. And the more your faith grows, the better will be the result.