This comes up over and over and while I used to fuss at the “God thing” conversations, now I think it makes sense. In Twelve-Step recovery it’s all about having a spiritual awakening. The steps tell us: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps…”
I remember when someone pointed that out to me. We don’t get abstinence or sobriety as a result of the steps—we get a spiritual awakening. And then, of course, as Carl Jung explained to Roland (and later to Bill Wilson) we do get sobriety as a result of that spiritual awakening. It’s a subtle but important point.
The other thing I like to think about is that it doesn’t say God. Thank you to “AA Number Three” who gave us “God as we understand Him” which opened the door much wider then the Oxford Group would ever have allowed. So we have that parenthetical statement and a Higher Power, which lets us choose.
But we do have to choose.
Here’s the other thing that I learned form a spiritual director that I like to pass on to women that I sponsor—and remind myself: Your HP doesn’t have to be a God but it has to be bigger than you. You want a “Bigger” as your Higher Power. It might be Goodness or The Ocean or Nature or Science but with our egos and our insecurity we need something Bigger.
And then—here’s another part I missed for years--you have to put yourself in the presence of your Higher Power. It’s why people who have God as their HP go to church or temple. But if your Higher Power is another kind of being or entity you still have to spend time in its presence. For example—if Nature is your Higher Power do you go on a nature walk once a week? If it’s the Ocean do you get to the beach to connect with it? If it’s Beauty are you making art a priority in your life?
Isn’t this a great question: What is your Higher Power and do you put yourself in its presence—regularly?