So here I was, after years of being agnostic, and dismissing all socialized religion, I find myself in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, where God and Higher Power are mentioned quite regularly. My mind cringed every time I heard it; I hummed a tune during the meeting closing Lord’s Prayer. I refused to even mention the word God in speaking. I would skip the term every time I read any AA literature. I didn't care that people said - It's not a religion, it is a God of your understanding! - I was not going to believe in some God! How could God be in control? I am in control, I have the power! – so I thought…
My power didn't get me very far! I powered thru my drinking and lost every time. I powered thru my finances and had no money. I powered through my relationships and was still single. I powered through people and had no friends. I powered! And inside I was in so much pain that I just couldn't see my way out. Inside I was completely powerless over the craziness in my head and the absolute lack of control when it came to alcohol.
I soon noticed that my misuse of the power/control was just like my alcoholic obsession. I got all wrapped up about who and how, and where, and created mental battles in my head. As long as everything went according to plan, my plan that is, all was good and I was OK. But I was not OK. In fact it gave me a false sense of being "all put together." In reality it left me angry and frustrated because my created plans didn't go as predicted and then I would feel like a failure and I would drink over it, and try to control even more. This became a viscous cycle for me.
Finally, after countless relapses, my sponsor once again suggested that I find a Higher Power; anything that I considered stronger and greater than me. I was still not able to believe in God or anything religious, so my first HP was a big, old tree in my front yard. It was way greater than me - it withstood all kinds of weather. I was always astonished with its magnitude. I spent many evenings sitting under it and talking to it - feeling a bit out of sorts (ha ha – talking to a tree – crazy!), but still willing to try anything to stop the turmoil in my head and heart. My sponsor said to give it all my problems and struggles and it would take care of them for me. OK! - I said - not really sure how that would actually happen. But I sat there every night and I told the tree what was bothering me. And my head and heart started feeling a bit lighter. It was strange – am I crazy talking to a tree!? Lol! - Maybe. Maybe it was just that I was getting rid of the bad thoughts and feelings by saying them out loud, or maybe the tree really had magical powers! Who knows!? I don't care!! It worked!
I still don't have a defined God or HP. I have moved away from that house with my HP tree. Today, I believe that everything and everyone around me has some Higher Power that is revealed to me. I believe that things happen for a reason, that karma does exist, and that people come into my life with a lesson for me to learn. My belief in a Higher Power has taught me that I do not have to be in control, and that the less I try to control, the more freedom I have. That things always work out. And that I can stay sober and I can be a better person and all I have to do is just believe!