My Higher Power
Okay, let's do this. The question on every non-religious person’s mind, “What about all the God stuff?” Trust me there was no one who believed less in a higher power than me when I started in recovery. I was actively interested and involved in Atheism, this meaning not only did I not believe in a God but I actively tried to show and prove that there was not a God. And that kin thinking ended up with me nearly dead, depressed, anxious, sad and alone. So, when I started my recovery, I decided to try something different. At that point I was given the gift of desperation, so I was happy to try anything. At that point I would've done anything you told me to do to stay sober. If you wanted me to pray I would pray. If you wanted me to meditate I would meditate. If you wanted me to stand on my head for an hour I would have stood on my head for an hour.
Luckily, I pushed all my previous assumptions about a Higher Power aside and continue to work on my recovery program. Until I was ready to deal with all that HP stuff I was just sort of like fake it till you make it. I could happily say the prayers that were written in the big book, spend hours meditating, take time reflecting and writing. I tried to figure out what your higher power looked like and attempted to make that my HP. I would also look at that person's HP or that person's or that person's and try to make all those my HP as well. It took me about 10 months in sobriety to really come to a realization and what my Higher Power was. And that made sense to me.
Unfortunately, my realization of a Higher Power came out of a very painful time. Someone had described me in a negative way and for whatever reason that sent me plummeting into a world of self-hatred. It was like I let that person's words open up this dam of self-loathing that I had been working so hard to contain. I had this false illusion that now that I was sober I wouldn't be what person described me as anymore. Or that no one would have anything negative to say about me now that I was sober. In that moment I realized I was still a very broken person.
I didn't drink. I did all the things that I had been told to do during a difficult time. I went to meetings. I went to work. I went to another meeting. I reached out to friends. I reached out to my sponsor. And I made it through that day sober. But I went to bed that night sobbing dismayed unsure of how to continue in sobriety.
When I woke up in the morning around 4 a.m. I had this insane desire to grab a pen & a piece of paper. Then I just started feverishly writing. And writing. And writing. I didn't know where the words were coming from, but they flowed with intensity to the pages of my notebook. I came to realize what was flowing out of my pen was my Higher Power was and what it meant to me. My HP was love.
Love. Love was something, even in the deepest throws my addiction, that I so strongly believed in. Love was something I always wanted and I knew existed. Love was the reason I was able to get up after hitting my rock bottom. Love was the reason that I had somewhere to go to ask for help. Love is why I stayed. Now even thinking about this moment in my life and verbalizing it still brings me to tears. It was an experience I hold deep in my heart.
I started to realize that all religions were based on love-- Jesus Christ is love. Buddha is love. The Catholic church at the root of it all is love. Where I had once thought that so many variations of religion meant they all were wrong, I finally realized that when you boil it down all religions are about love.
Having this new outlook on my High Power, which I chose to call God, and what that meant to me I was able to go forward in my recovery. That morning I lay in bed praying for God to show me a sign if love really was my Higher Power. I got up opened my bedroom door and at the bottom of my door was a note from a friend, that read, " Hey, you're pretty. Have a good day at work <3." I was so overwhelmed with the feeling of love at that moment I was sobbing. And for me, that note was the clearest sign I could have ever gotten that love was my Higher Power.
I'm not saying that my understanding of a Higher Power makes sense, but that's what it is for me. I called love my God because actions done with love as the intention can't steer me in the wrong direction. Anything done with love in my heart can't go wrong. Having love to help keep me sober is the only path that works for me and I don't know what else would work.