Scaredsober wrote:What I need to come to terms with is how I can turn my will and life over to a higher power that is beyond my understanding while also feeling that I have maintained a sense of person and self.
Thanks for sharing. And, thanks for sharing your understanding of of Higher Power, or God, as you understand it.
What more can be asked of you?
You believe in something.... that's bigger than you are, you understand what you
understand, you're openminded and willing to change your mind if sufficient evidence ever presents itself to you.
From reading your sharing, it appears that the only problem I could see, would be your concern about what you might think that A.A. or someone else might want to believe. It's not up to anyone other than you what you believe.
I've seen the demonstration of this saying, over and over, many times in A.A. "A.A. will work for those who believe in God, and it will work for those who do not believe in God... it just doesn't work for those who believe that they are God."
Since you don't believe you are God, I'm sure that it will work for you, also.
I recently read two Grapevine articles that were written by my A.A. Sponsor... the first article was written in 1952 and the second article was written in 1967.
The first article remarked about his strong belief in the A.A. principles.
He returned to drinking, and then got sober again October 31, 1958 (Halloween baby!).
In 1967, he was nine years sober, and came across the article that he wrote in 1952.
He mentioned that "his beliefs did not change." He still believed the same thing that he believed in 1952, when he wrote the first article.
He went on to say that what changed for him, was that he gained an understanding of the principles ... and that the understanding of the principles came later... as a result of his taking actions based upon the principles.
Thus... he is very strong on "it's not about what you believe or dis-believe... it's about the actions that you take."
I understand fully what he means.... my story is very similar to my sponsor's story... and I also relate and identify with many of the same things that you wrote about yourself above.
Over the years of my life... I have had many understandings and mis-understandings about my concept of God. Probably, in the future... I don't rule out that I may have more mis-understandings or understandings. It's no longer a problem for me to change my mind, in one direction or the other.
The problem for me... is if I change my actions.... not if I change my beliefs.
My sponsor sometimes says things to me, that it takes me a while to understand. For example: "If the horse is blind... load the wagon anyway."
The meaning that I get from that, is... doesn't matter if I can "see" something, "hear" something, "feel" something, "believe" something, or "understand" something.... move right along to taking the next right action.
I don't want my message to get too lengthy... so I'll sum it up with:
When I took my 3rd Step, I prayed to whatever Power there was, if there was a Power there... and even if there wasn't a Power... it really wasn't any of my business. I didn't "have to believe in anything"... I just had to make a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of whatever was there." And, then, launch right into my 4th Step.... and get that over and done with so that I could move on through the 12 Steps.
As I often say... the 12 Steps are NOT difficult to take. They are very simple and easy. The most difficult thing about any of the 12 Steps... is thinking about them.
My suggestion would be: Stop thinking about it and just do it anyway.... regardless of what you believe or do not believe.
Haven't you ever taken an action on something that you believed in, and later discovered that you were wrong in your belief? Most all of us have. (I do it often when I reach into my wallet!) ... and it probably started for me, back when I was waiting for Santa Claus, or... taking a test in school, believing that I wrote the right answer... and later discovered the answer was wrong.
Waiting for Santa Clause didn't hurt me. Taking the test didn't hurt me. Being wrong in my answer didn't hurt me. But, I waited... and I took the test anyway... and I lived long enough to be writing this!!!
What you wrote sounds pretty normal to me. I certainly wouldn't have any argument with it. (And, I'm a thinker, too!)
And, it sounds like you've come to terms with yourself.
Best regards to you, and get on with the 4th!