“Higher Power… I pray to keep open my connection with You and to keep it clear from the confusion of daily life.” – 12 Step Prayer Book
I love having a Higher Power. It took many years in recovery for me to get one. My belief that people who believed in God were deceiving themselves by believing in something made up and not real is what kept me from getting a Higher Power for years.
One day, while driving over the Pali on Maui, I heard a radio announcer say “you know what God is folks, it’s a make believe friend for grownups.”
Somehow that resonated. He simultaneously confirmed my suspicions and reminded me that I used to play with made up friends when I was a kid and alone. So why couldn’t I do it as an adult. As long as I realized it was made up, how could it hurt? And by then ( 10 years sober) I didn’t care what others would think of my beliefs – I just wanted what I saw others who had a “God” in the program seemed to have. So I made one up.
In program it says we get to choose a God of our understanding. So I decided mine will be love and gratitude. Along with all the good, wonderful, optimistic, grateful, kind, and encouraging feelings. I also decided he will be a guy, like my best invisible friend in the whole world. Always there, watching my back, rooting for me, giving me the best advice which inevitably is grounded in love – both for me and others. That way, by pretending he is real, it would be easier for me to communicate with my made up Higher Power.
This was one if the best decisions of my life. Instantly I went from not believing in God because I thought God was a made up concept, to believing in God because I knew I was making up my own concept of God. And the great thing was that once I did it, my life was a thousand times more comfortable. Like having the weight of the world taken off my shoulders. Made up or not, it worked for me (and still does)!
But there’s a caveat. Just like at the end of meetings, when we all say “It works if you work it”, the benefits I get from having a Higher Power are only revealed to me when I’m connected to that source of love and gratitude.
When I pray I get connected. When I journal I connect. Helping others for fun and for free does it too. So I spend a lot of hours each day doing things that plug me in (meditation, meetings, exercise, reading spiritual books, etc). And in doing so I allow the sunlight of the spirit of love and gratitude to flow through me and out into the universe where it can touch others. ILML!
– James Q