- HELP ME UNDERSTAND..........

HELP ME UNDERSTAND..........




Personal experiences with a Higher Power of your own understanding.

Postby Dallas » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:31 pm

Welcome to the site Katy!!! I look forward to seeing you around here more often and to reading messages form you!

Best wishes,

Dallas
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Postby GeoffS » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:38 am

For me at first all I had to understand about a higher power or a power greater than me or a god of my understanding was that it exists, and it is not me.

Suspending disbelief, working the 12 steps of AA helped me to come to an understanding of the higher power I need.

Call it god, a shopping trolley, a tree or a group of drunks. Accepting that some power, a power that I dont have, can come into my life and guide has become the most important thing in my life.
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Postby tim-one » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:37 am

This is such a great thread !

I think the BB is quite clear about "finding a Higher Power" ... and I'm grateful for the AA attitude.

Openning just a little mental hole that's willing to see and accept whatever HP decides to show us that we should understand about Him is all it takes.

Open-minded and willing to see.

To me ... it's not so much "God, as I understand Him" - knowing who or what He is and how He does stuff. It's more "God, as much as I can understand Him" with my puny human brain that's all wrapped up in itself as if the world and God should conform to its self-created reality. But that's just me. And WAY too much analytical thinking. The kind that kept me drinking far too much far too long.

Religion is people. People ain't God.

If I don't believe in God, He still is. If He stops believing in me, I never was. He am that he am. And I can't understand that.

RELAX ! Stop struggling and arguing. He's not the one arguing. RELAX ! Just be open to the possibility, give up and get to work. It's through working the steps that we understand ourselves. It's up to God to show each of us what we need to know when we need to know it.

It's HIS job to make me understand what I should. Just me and my own understanding as He presents itto me. No way for me to explain it to you. It's not FOR you. Working the steps just opens me up to Him. "Having had a spiritual awakening as THE RESULT of these steps ..."

I'm really impressed that God thought it so important that anybody be given sobriety and that His names are such a road-block to so many, thatHe ecided to remain anonymous in the BB. His principles before His personalities.

Wow. What a God ! He doesn't care what you call Him. Just call Him. Don't call Him anything. He knows who you're talking to. Just point your mind in His direction and start talking. Shoot ... send out a broadband SOS in any direction.

Then GET TO WORK ON YOUR STEPS. That's where you'll find Him as you understand yourself.

If a religion makes sense to you and you're comfortable with it, do that. Yes, it's great to fellowship with people of the same understanding. Don't like religion? Don't do that. Nothing to argue about. It never surprises me when God pops up in a different shape around here.

Worrying and debating is not helpful. Counter-productive. Stop that. Relax and get to work.

I'm Tim. I'm an alcoholic. And that's just me.

Love y'all,
Tim1
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Not a Power

Postby aorion » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:46 pm

I understand your dilemma. The only way I have been able to work the program so far is to do some interpreting, which gets me in trouble sometimes at meetings because old time purists accuse me of being a newcomer that wants to find a way around things that I really aught to do. F em. AA works for 40% of people, and the philosophy of AA towards the other 60% is "if it's not broke, don't fix it." Anyone who says you have to do it a certain way is not speaking for AA and needs to works on their own program and quite being so co-dependent towards you for validation. The word God means all powerful all knowing being that controls the universe. Like you said, the book is peppered with that word. All these examples like gravity and electricity, or love and good are indeed greater that myself but they're not things that are going to make an action and reach out and change something in my life if I ask them to. They are greater than myself, but they don't have any interest in what I do one way or the other. There not a power, they're just greater. I believe prayer is nothing but an attitude adjustment. It's saying to myself "be open to receive the guidance you need today." That way I'll see it when it's there, not walk right by. What I need is a change of my reality. Other people live in different realities than me so I know that if I can learn to see the world differently my life will be different. I believe any kind of recovery has two things in common: the alcoholic needs to want to stop drinking, and the alcoholic has to accept they need help, they can't do it on their own. Wanting to stop is praying. Accepting help is relying on something higher than myself.
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Postby Tim » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:50 pm

In AA the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing: to achieve and maintain sobriety ourselves and to help others achieve and maintain sobriety.

AA is, as Bill W. aptly described it, a spiritual kindergarten. We need to understand the ABC's of spirituality* in order to become sober in body, mind and spirit.

A Higher Power is basic to AA. The word God is used often in AA's literature, but there are many agnostics and atheists in AA who are contentedly sober.

AA does not discourage or prevent us from pursuing spiritual growth, and many of us discover or re-discover religious faith on the Road of Happy Destiny.

* "Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought." (Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 5)
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Postby RichC » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:36 pm

Religion, God, Allah, Buddha, ect, ect, ect.
It is all a concept of your perception and what you wish to believe.
Or should I say how you wish to describe the concepts you believe.
I have a Higher Power concept that is based in Christianity but whom am I to say I am right and your wrong?
I wouldn't begin to go there.
In my view of my world my Higher Power is the difference between right and wrong and what we should do, and not do to eachother or everything around us.
Can a "God" be proven to be an absolute?
Well I cant prove it but I believe it.
I do not subscribe to any organized religion as being the one and only end all.
I believe there are elements of good and bad in all, and that the concepts have been misinterpreted to fit the needs on man throughout history.
You and I know that saying miss-truths about others, and taking another's life for selfish reasons is wrong.
We don't need a book to tell us this, or another person to preach this to us to know it either.
The willingness to walk the road of good and what is right is a basic concept that we choose to make on our own.
Nobody can make this decision for us.
There is a statement that hits it for me.
"Religion is for those who are afraid of Hell and want to go to Heaven. Spirituality is for those who have been to Hell and don't want to go back."
Something close to that anyway; you get the concept either way.

My Higher Power is God as I perceive the concept of God to be.
It is my concept alone and can only be perceived by me and me alone.
Yours most likely is different from mine and that is ok in my book.
I cannot see through your eyes as you cannot see through mine.

Crazylion your concept is yours, Dallas has his, Ranman99, GeoffS, tim-one, and anyone else in the world has theirs.
And yes I have mine too.
All different, all as seen through our own perception.
And all based on different life experiences and perceptions.

God, Allah, Buddha, Higher Power, whatever.
Just a way to describe in a few words that we have concepts we believe in.
Nothing more.
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spirituality

Postby aorion » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:02 pm

I like your quote about spirituality vs religion. In my program spirituality is necessary, religion is not. I have a very simple definition of spirituality that I got after someone told me the origins of the word spiritual. It comes from Latin "spiritus" which means "belonging." So when I feel like I belong, or I'm connected to other life, I'm having a spiritual experience. The opposite of isolation, which is where drinking tends to put me. Alcoholic drinks are sometimes called "spirits" indicating an artificial sense of belonging, so it makes sense that a program of authentic spirituality would address an addiction to spirits. Spiritual principles like love, respect, etc. help me feel like I belong.

Religion in the dictionary brings up: "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods." Even though the BB seems to promote such a belief, I don't find it necessary for recovery because when I seek guidance from something greater than myself, I don't find something that is controlling. I like to think of how we develop as children. A hot stove looked like a black box until I touched it enough times, then I saw it as a black box that I new was hot and would hurt me if I touched it. In a big grassy field I felt vulnerable and afraid without my mommy until I learned that grass and flowers wouldn't hurt me, then I wanted to run and play in it. Before then the field, in my reality, was a scary place. I didn't get to the point of playing in it by having my fear taken away magically by something that controlled what I thought and felt. I did get there, though, by following guidance outside of myself. Neurosis is rigid thinking that does not change. If I could not let go of my fears about the big open field, then I would be a neurotic child, which is what I was as a practicing alcoholic, which is why I need to look beyond my old ways of thinking to change my perceptions of the world and change my life in order to stop needing "false spirits" to feel like I belong in my big grassy field.

That's just me, though. I don't think the point here is to debate about what is the right way, and from what I've read no one else here does either. I wanted to reply to the original poster, though, who seemed to be having an issue with "God" and share my experience approaching that issue. Thanks everyone.
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Postby Sermon » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:22 am

Religion is for people that don't want to go to hell

Spiritualality is for the people that have already been there.

The Higher Power Idea was pretty easy for me. I had nothing left but a bunch of garbage that I was trying to call a life.

When I first got to AA I over read the We Agnostics chapter because I didn't understand it nor did I really want to have a higher power. But now it's my favorite chapter. In it it says,

Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider anothers conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. As soon as we admitted teh possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possesssed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. We found that God does not make to hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all me. -Pg 46 Big Book

Also in the 12x12 in step 2 pg. 26, it talks about a man who is agnostic and his sponsor tells him

"Listen, if you will, to these three statements. First, Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its Twelve Steps are but suggestions. Second, to get sober and to stay sober, you don't have to swallow all of Step Two right now. Looking back, I find that I took it peicemeal myself. Third, all you really need is a truly open mind. Just resign from the debating society and quit bothering yourself with such deep questions as wheather it was the hen or the egg that came first. Again I say, all you need is the open mind."

Those 2 paragraphs really helped me when I got stuck on the God idea. I found that I could I still had room to play. Everyone has a different concept of their Higher Power but most of them share common traits. We can't debate and tell another person what his conception should be of a higher power we just need to be grateful when they find one. When talking to a newcomer our group tells them that they don't have to have a higher power right now if they choose not to if they must they can use the group as a higher power until they find their own concept. I never understood that until I read about being open minded. I admitted to myself that when I walked into AA I had a very closed mind. Slowly but surely I was able to grasp my own conception of my Higher Power and since then great things have happened. Not every day but it's a whole lot better than it was. The more I grow the more my Higher Power grows within me. The more I open my mind to be able to seek the more I am able to learn. On the contrary the moment I close my mind to the "sunlight" I loose all conception of a Higher Power and I start to try and run my life again.

Hope this helps you find your "own" concept
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Postby Dallas » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:46 pm

Thanks for sharing.
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Postby november6 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:10 pm

I really like this!!

[quote="tim-one"]This is such a great thread !

I think the BB is quite clear about "finding a Higher Power" ... and I'm grateful for the AA attitude.

Openning just a little mental hole that's willing to see and accept whatever HP decides to show us that we should understand about Him is all it takes.

Open-minded and willing to see.

To me ... it's not so much "God, as I understand Him" - knowing who or what He is and how He does stuff. It's more "God, as much as I can understand Him" with my puny human brain that's all wrapped up in itself as if the world and God should conform to its self-created reality. But that's just me. And WAY too much analytical thinking. The kind that kept me drinking far too much far too long.

Religion is people. People ain't God.

If I don't believe in God, He still is. If He stops believing in me, I never was. He am that he am. And I can't understand that..........
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