The concept of a Higher Power was never foreign to me. I grew up in a religious household, and even though I felt removed from the God of my childhood, I knew there was something out there, regardless of whether I believed it wanted anything to do with me. I had spent twelve years running from that God. I was running from any concept of a Higher Power, even though I desperate wanted (and needed) to be saved from myself.
When I came into the program of recovery, it was hard not to notice the word “God” in all the readings. After all, the steps were full of it, so I decided I would just skip those that pertained to that. (My sponsor had an entirely different approach, and for that I am grateful.) I was still running as fast as could away from God, but still looking up to be saved.
The first time I felt a Higher Power in recovery was at forty days clean. I was with my significant other at the time. I was clean; he wasn’t, and he wanted to use. I mentally debated whether or not I should go through with using a drug I had never used before in a way I had never used any drug before. I decided it was a good idea, but as we were preparing to get it, I mentally heard a part of myself I had neglected before saying maybe I shouldn’t. I decided to call my sponsor instead, and I went to a meeting and left my significant other in the car. A week later, I discovered I was pregnant.
I still didn’t surrender to the idea that there was a Higher Power out there who loved me and wanted the best for me though. I had to first develop my own concept of a Higher Power that worked for me. For me, it’s love. It’s that spark of light I see in everyone’s eyes that gets beaten out of us as we continue to act out in self-destructive ways. It dims and fades but never quite disappears. After I found my Higher Power, I had to develop a relationship with it. It required prayer and meditation. It required doing the best thing for me in any given moment. It required learning to take care of myself and listening to my body. I’m still developing this relationship today. Since I started looking inward, I realized that I am a worthy person who deserves love and happiness. Because of my relationship with a Higher Power, I have learned what self-respect looks like. It has completely transformed my relationships with other people and myself. This relationship didn’t come naturally. It took time and effort, but I never gave up even if I felt like I wasn’t being heard. Now, I can’t imagine not having this relationship. It’s the cornerstone to my day, and I know I can handle anything life throws my way. If a particular concept of a Higher Power doesn’t work for you, keep searching. You will eventually find something that works and will give you the strength to keep going no matter what.
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