12 Step Meetings Talk About “God”

When I first came into OA, back in 1988, I was a “non-practicing Catholic.”  I actually took pride in that title and felt justified in turning my back on a religion that, aside from the few times I felt caught-up in the choir music, did nothing for me.  At my first meeting, I was not at all happy to see the word “God” in the list of 12 Steps that was hanging on the wall.   And I was really upset when we all held hands and said “The Lord’s Prayer” at the end of the meeting.  To be honest, looking back, I have no idea how I ever went back after that.  I had such a closed mind to all things even vaguely related to the Catholic Church that it is nothing short of a miracle that I continued to go back to that meeting week after week.  For that reason, even now I am not too keen on that prayer being said at meetings.  I am always afraid that newcomers who have negative feelings associated with it will be turned-off and never come back.  Personally I prefer “The Third Step Prayer” or “The Serenity Prayer,” but that’s just me.

The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to the words “God” and “Higher Power” as they are used in anonymous programs is that they refer to “the God of your understanding.”  This could be the God of the Bible, or Mother Nature, or some sort of Creative Intelligence.  I’ve also heard “Him” or “Her” or “It” being called “The Power Of Love” or “The Spirit Of The Universe.”  The point is that you come to a place where you acknowledge the existence of forces that are beyond your limited understanding of the world.  Actually, what you really need to conquer your addiction is a source of energy that is both outside of you and more powerful than you.  As for myself, my God-prejudice was so strong that I had to resort to something even less mystical than any of these titles by simply believing in “The Power Of The Group.”  The more meetings I went to, the more transformations I saw taking place in the people who followed the suggestions of the program, and the more I could feel the power that comes from those who are truly interested in helping their fellows, the more I had to concede to the fact that “Something” was helping these people.  “Something” not of themselves.  And that was all it took.  That tiny seed of willingness to admit that there may be something “out there” that could help me was all that I needed to begin my spiritual journey.

March 6, 2012 This post was written by Categories: I Wish Someone Had Told Me... Tagged with:
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