You asked a bunch of great questions!!!
Anniemac, you gave some really great answers and you gave a bunch of terrific suggestions! Anyone would be real lucky to have you as a sponsor!
Sixkiller wrote:So my question is what acts do others do to sincerely feel that connection to a higher power?
Mike, I can't speak for others... only myself. My feelings are a direct result of the thoughts that I'm thinking. I can't have a feeling without first having a thought. The thoughts produce the feelings.
I don't intentionally do any actions to "feel" that connection. I've been down some long and searching paths to try to "feel" the connection, and when I've done that, sometimes I had good results and sometimes it was pretty frustrating results.
Since my feelings are not always based upon facts.... and my feelings can change faster than the weather ... I can end up in some confusing and undesirable places when I'm depending entirely on my feelings.
When I was new in A.A. and new to the 12 Steps... I thought I was supposed to be searching to find a particular kind of "feeling" and if I could discover that "feeling" then... I was going to be okay.
As I look back on it now... that was much like my alcoholic design for living. I was using alcohol to try to produce certain feelings... and I drank a whole lot of alcohol... producing different kinds of feelings... sometimes, good feelings and sometimes not-so-good feelings. However, regardless of the feelings that I would produce when drinking... my end results were often disastrous.
I don't remember exactly or specifically when it happened... but I do remember an old-time A.A. member planting a seed in my head, by asking me something like "Dallas, you do realize that Step 11 refers to a "conscious contact" and not a "feelings contact" with a God of your own understanding?"
His question to me caused me to step back and re-evaluate and re-think about what I had been attempting to accomplish.
I often had some "feelings like I was connected with God" during some pretty heavy drinking! However, the implication of "conscious contact" would require me to be "conscious"... and to be "conscious"... the only way that I could do that... would be to "be sober!"
So, the first acts that I had to accomplish... was to stay sober!
Of course, to a "non-alcoholic" it might sound fairly easy to stay sober! But, based on my experience... as an alcoholic... I knew that it would be difficult for me to stay sober!
My first objective was to find a way of staying sober. And, by taking those necessary actions... that would help me to stay sober... one day, I discovered that I had a God of my own understanding! Imagine that!
So, to answer the question "what acts do I do to sincerely feel a connection to a Higher Power?"
My answer would be: I do the same things that I've done for the last 20 years to stay sober! I've got a sponsor. I go to meetings. I study the Big Book. I've taken the 12 Steps and I continue to practice them. When I'm helping someone else take the 12 Steps, it almost becomes like me taking them all over again. And, what happens when I do that? It causes â€œan awakening as a result of these stepsâ€