What Is Your Higher Power?

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by Christians with a strong faith in God. The Twelve Steps to recovery which they defined assumed that a similar spirituality would underpin the progress of others.

Very quickly they realised that was not the case and that people’s lives are grounded in all sorts of spiritual visions. They found ways to reinterpret their programme in terms which recognised alternative understandings of the divine but, maybe because they were unable to detach themselves from their own perspective, the founders’ attempts to make good sense to the atheist were never satisfactory.

If we are powerless over our addiction, we have to find a power outside ourselves to empower our recovery.

Those who do believe in God do not need a new perspective of him to support their recovery. They are familiar with the means of seeking and receiving his support through prayer, study (including meditation) and spiritual counselling.

There are others who cannot accept traditional definitions of God but who still believe that “a force” or definable “forces” control the destiny of the universe and individuals within it. If that understanding is to be a secure foundation for recovery, they need to take time to confirm a very clear understanding of what it is they believe, how they relate to this “Higher Power” and exactly how it will support them.

Don’t imagine that those who say they do not believe in God are just confused or pretending or too scared to face him. There are people who, with intelligence and sincerity, reject any possibility of “someone or something” in charge of all life. But the atheist is no more able to conquer addiction without real and significant support. It may be found in the love of family and friends or in the rediscovery of a goal that once drove us to succeed and can again bring a new sense of purpose. We may be empowered when someone helps us see that society, nature, the world will be better if we are free to do more.

Whatever our belief system we need to be very careful, especially when we are talking with others, that we are not thinking “why can’t this person see that his spirituality is just a diminished and confused version of my own?”

There really is Someone or something that can actively empower each person’s recovery. But we do need to take time, now and then, to reassess what it is and to be sure we can trust it to be the foundation of a new structure for our lives.

Please contact Addictions UK now on line or telephone 0300 330 30 40 if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

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