Monday, March 08, 2010

how it all began with me and HP

I just came back to the office from the noon meeting. I hadn't gotten to a meeting in a couple weeks so it was nice to have a coffee and a seat and listen. The fellow chairing the meeting today had just gotten out of jail. He has been coming around since July, but had to go do a little time for some sort of entanglement. I was really glad to see his continued enthusiasm for meetings. He shared about his difficulty in working out the whole "higher power" thing as he is an atheist. he struggles with what to call HP, open mindedness, willingness and all of that stuff.

I know that for me, I had trouble relating to people of faith. I was pissed at God when I got to AA. He was "picking on me" and that was the long and short of it. I wasn't going to have any sort of organized religion shoved down my throat, and I certainly wasn't going to be told what to believe. Well, much to my surprise, no one in AA insisted that I believe anything in particular. They said I ought to try to be open minded and hang around sober men who have something about them, that I'd like in my life. I did that, and God found me, lurking suspiciously in the shadows. (He knew where I was the entire time, I was the one who was lost, come to find out.)

My first sponsor (and several men in AA) suggested that I use AA as my Higher Power. After all, AA is a group of people staying sober where I could not. They were certainly more "higher powered" than I. There's no mistaking that AA is a power greater than myself, and that is the "acid test" AA suggests. I did use AA at first, placig my faith in the meetings and the men and women I'd met, and it worked. My first sponsor also shared his HP with me, explaining what his HP was all about. He even offered up his HP to me, saying there was room enough for two with his HP. I began to pray (mainly because the calm, serene sober guys told me I should) to John's HP and after awhile, it occured to me that I hadn't thought about drinking one particular day. HP had removed my obsession, just like I had been asking each morning in prayer. He did it and perhaps He could be trusted with more than just drinking, but let's don't get ahead of ourselves!

Well, this young man today reminded me of all that, and I am grateful to him and I told him so as I related that bit of experience to him. Its nice to be reminded of how I came to be where I find myself today. It was a much needed bit of humility for this alcoholic.

I am curious, how did you all come to be where you are today, with regard to your undderstanding of a power greater than yourself?


Steve E said...

Ya know Scott--as far as Understanding, discovering, or even believing in, a Higher Power, it is pretty well answered for us in the (c) (of the (a), (b), (c) listed on page 60 in Big Book:

"c. that God could and would if He were sought."

Someone told me once, "SEE? It doesn'e say 'CAUGHT'...all we have to do is SEEK Him. He will tak care of the rest in HIS time.

At least, that's the way I learned it...


Syd said...

Scott, I had a couple of epiphanies surrounding the death of my parents. I knew after that there was a power greater than me. And today being in Nature and surrounded by so much, has confirmed that my Higher Power is ever present.

Anonymous said...

I think being spiritual and accepting the spirituality of the program is far easier for many of us than trying to wrap it up with some sort of religious perspective. I was raised in a religious home, but my God today is very different from the one that I grew up with. Someone once said that religion is for people that don't want to go to Hell and that spirituality is for people who have already been there. Many of us need to either find or find again our spiritual basis through our programs and the more "free form" and personal that can be, the better I think that it works.

drybottomgirl said...

I have always known God(as I call him) I attended prochial school, went through all the rights of passage, communion, confirmation etc. My children attend prochial school and we attend church on a regular basis. However just because these things are in place doesn't mean you have a personal relationship with your HP. It wasn't until my second week in AA that the bulb went on. The leader was talking about committing to your higher power. That's it I thought, my HP had always been committed to me, I had never returned the favor. The next time I was in church I was so humbled and grateful for all that my HP had done for me, that I started crying and couldn't stop. It blew my mind that he had never left him, he had always been there waiting for me to bring myself to him. I was ashamed at my behavior. I had never let myself get close to him. (This goes along with everything else, control, fear of intimacy etc) and yet here he was ready to walk another journey with me. One of my really good friends said it best,"He forgave you a long time ago, and sometimes when he feels it's necessary he just comes and takes you back". I like that thought.

drybottomgirl said...

I have always known that God was my higher power. I attended prochial school, went through all the rights of passage (communion, confirmation etc) my children attend parochial school, we attend church on a regular basis. Yet there is a huge difference in knowing your HP and committing to your HP. It wasn't until my second week in AA that I realized that he had always been committed to me, but I had never returned it. I never gave myself over to him, because I was too busy in all my own problems, control and fear of intimacy, and of course alcohol. Now for the first time I feel humbled before God, grateful that he never left me. Open to having a close and personal relationship with him. I can't do it alone. I saw how "doing it myself" turned out. I'm just so amazed that he waited patiently for me to get my act together. But like my friend says, "Sometimes he gets tired of waiting for you and just goes and gets you!" A little over a month ago I had no concept of ever stopping drinking. God came and got me, only this time I listened! AA made me take off the blinders and look for what I was missing. I am so grateful that I don't have to do this alone. Syd is right: "the Higher Power is ever present!"