Higher Power

A common rebuff by newcomers to AA or those looking at the programme is the “God Thing”.   Alcohol is mentioned only once in the 12 steps in Step One… God or Him meaning God makes several more experiences… by my counting.   “God” – four, “Him/His” – four and “Power” – once.

Now people in AA or following the 12 steps are often quick to point out that it states in Step three that this is “as we understood him“.  That is your own concept of God – whatever you choose that to be.

I was at a step meeting recently where God was talked about – or at least a Higher Power… etc.  In the 12steps and 12traditions book in the essay on Step 3 there is a part where electricity is discussed as this strange power we rely on.  It isn’t a bad analogy but for me still isn’t quiet good enough since the electricity in the sockets and switches I use in my daily life is created by man through power stations.

So I like to think of gravity.   Think about it – you rely on gravity every single second of every single day without thinking about it.  But without it where would we be?  Floating aimlessly in space… well we wouldn’t exist as the Sun wouldn’t have formed as the gravity of the dust particles that stuck together wouldn’t have been there to form the sun … or the solar system … and all the planets we have.  Earth is held in an orbit around the sun that is ideal for life to exist on this luckily blue planet due to gravity.  The water we have here whether it came from ice bearing comets millennia ago when Jupiter and Saturn using their gravity hoovered around the solar system or not stays here and allows us to be alive because of gravity.   I stick to the earth due to gravity which is a bit handy.

So there you go – a power greater than me that I rely on all the time, and have had to rely on for billions of years before I existed just to allow me to exist at all.   Now… tell me there isn’t capacity for anyone to find some power greater than themselves they can just put some trust in?

About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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17 Responses to Higher Power

  1. Gravity is an interesting choice. I have to admit, the higher power thing leaves me cold. I wish it weren’t the case though because I think believing in one would be a relief.

    • furtheron says:

      I have to admit to a sense of slight envy for those that can look at organised religions and say – “Oh yes, get that.” and off they go. I wish I could find it so easy. I once was admonished by someone who said coming up with your own sense of a higher power was a “cop out”. I personally disagree – I think it is harder as you have to work on it a lot harder – well I feel I have had to anyway

      • Yeah, my therapist told me that it’s harder to not believe in a higher power — that believing there is something taking care of you and loving is a comfort. I certainly don’t feel like I’m copping out — it’s just difficult for me to believe something bigger than me is sitting around giving a flip about what I do and don’t do. Sure I think there are things bigger than be in the universe. But do I think they’re taking my urge to drink away or care if I’m living a good, honest life? Not so much. But again, I truly wish I did believe because life would be less uncertain and scary if I did.

  2. I like the gravity analogy, Graham! I might use that one if that’s okay!
    The electricity one is good too, but you make a good point about it being a bit limited. I know of a person or two who used physical laws their HP. The one person in particular is a very keen scientific minded person. He studies the laws of physics down to the sub-atomic level and he wrote up something that, while a bit over my head in terms of technical things, made it clear that the laws of physics in a certain way were his HP, the way you mention that gravity is.

    Thanks for this – awesome!

  3. sherryd32148 says:

    Amen. I remember someone telling me that my higher power could be a doorknob so long as I recognized it as such. I’m a simple girl…I just call Him God. Works for me. Organized religion however? Not so much.


  4. untipsyteacher says:

    This is my first visit to your site!
    I have been sober for 6 months and 4 days! Ha.
    My concept of a HP is what I call my “living angels”. Without all the wonderful supportive people helping me, I would be lost. I am so thankful for them! I am very lucky that way.
    Family, friends, doctors, husband, yoga buddies, AA people, and bloggers!
    Thank you!

  5. Gravity to God is a pretty wide chasm to leap. I still don’t think I’d be able to wrap my arms around the concept. I’ve often wondered about that. How would I survive the program with my agnostic attitudes?

  6. liz says:

    We have to rely on oxygen too. Just being there in the right proportions to everything else.

  7. Pingback: Addiction Recovery Blog RoundUp - 3/13/15

  8. Suburbia says:

    I struggle with the God/religion/faith question regularly – I love this, it’s given me another view.
    Thanks – hope all is well with you?

  9. looby says:

    Gravity and doorknobs won’t help anyone give up the drink. I think it’s a mistaken analogy. The only person who can help you in life in the end, is you.

    • furtheron says:

      Each to their own but I know as a recovering alcoholic there is danger in me thinking I am the sole solution to my problem. I was the major cause of it and barrier to my recovery therefore the AA feeling is that you need to look for something other than you “a higher power”. For me it does actually continue to be my favourite substitute for God … Group Of Drunks. I see the power of all those people getting better, the identification and the unconditional love I see shown for those wanting to recover. That is actually what I tap into to show me I’m not running the show.

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