Posts Tagged ‘Higher Power’

“As We Understood God” Part 2

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

I spoke yesterday with a trusted friend who has worked through so many of the same issues as I face. I asked him about “the Third Step” which, for codependents, is:

We…made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

I told him that I was coming at this “turning over to God” thing from a background where that meant “do as you’re told, no matter how much you don’t like it”. This friend already knows that I have a background of being altogether (and often unknowingly) willing to do as I’m told. But this has almost never been to my benefit.

He pointed out that surely a loving Higher Power would not want me doing things that harm myself or others. I had to agree. So, he said, this suggests that part of submitting to God is the act of ceasing submitting to other people, especially those who direct me to do harm. Part of submitting is doing what is good (though this will often not be easy, fun, or comfortable) for myself.

I’m not sure I “get” this, entirely, but I think I can work with it. And that’s good enough for now.

“As We Understood God”

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Twelve Step programs are spiritual at their base. They don’t specify the god one should worship, and I’m not even sure that “worship” is the right word for the relationship these programs espouse.

I grew up with my mother telling me repeatedly, “God is going to get you for ruining my life!” Praying seemed only to guarantee that whatever I’d asked for came back to hurt me, or seemed specifically to be damaged or destroyed. The highest ideals (chosen by others for me) were submission and obedience. “Surrendering one’s life” to God meant doing whatever those in power told one to do, no matter how detrimental or even illegal.

Understandably, I have issues with the whole idea of surrendering my “will and life” to anyone or anything. Granted, I have a tendency to do this anyway, but I’ve rarely ever meant to.

But back when this was required, at least the expectations, some of them, were clear, because I was told what I was supposed to do (or think or feel or believe). I might not have done it, but I knew what “it” was.

How would that work with one’s “Higher Power”? What does it mean to “surrender control” in the Twelve-Step context? What would this Step look like in practice? Because it sounds to me like I’d just be sitting there with my thumbs up my @$$, waiting to hear voices. And I’m pretty sure that this isn’t what’s meant.