The other day I picked up a 12-Step Addiction Recovery book, and became inspired to invent a really luxurious, awesome, perfect Higher Power for myself – a new God that I would enjoy believing in and fully trust. (Stay with me, I assure you I haven’t gone “off the derech” or created a cult…)
Many people have found serenity and mental health from programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous. The recovery programs are spiritual programs but not religious. You can believe in anything you want, and still find recovery. The programs emphasize having a Higher Power, something or someone bigger than yourself that you can rely on for help and strength. It can be Jesus, Buddha, Hashem, a tree, a chair, a friend, a pet, Love, the Universe, whatever. It doesn’t matter who, it matters THAT you have one. When we rely on ourselves, we run into our humanity, and it fails us, pressures us, comes up short.
I asked myself: If I could invent a Higher Power for myself, what would I would I want it to do for me and be for me? I gave myself the freedom to question what do I really need and want in a God? (What if it’s not the true God? What if it’s wrong? What if I’m offending the real God right now? I put those questions away for a minute to get to know myself a little better.) What type of God would I love to believe in and trust?
As a practicing Jew, I soon realized that the very things I was hoping for and inventing in my “new God”, are actually already found in the Infinite Timeless One of Judaism.
I wanted my God to:
- Take care of all my problems.
- Provide for all my needs.
- Love me unconditionally even when I screw up.
- Lead me on the right path in my decisions.
And that’s about it. What more do you really need in a God? I’m not trying to be sacrilegious here, but maybe I am. Maybe I am trying to shake up religion a little bit. I definitely was trying to do that for myself by daring to ask the question. The thing that works in the 12 Step program is the BELIEF, not the logistics or the dogma. It’s the person’s letting themselves SURRENDER to their higher power. You can’t surrender to something you don’t love and trust, can you? So it’s vitally important to find a Higher Power you can love and trust.
Religion gets us stuck in old viewpoints of God. The punishing God. The mean God. The restricting God. The God who needs us to do so much and be so much in order to be “good enough.” The God of rules and regulations. The distant God far away in the clouds. The God who only lets us have a good life when we’re dead. I’m not talking about a specific religion here – I think all of us could use a refresher when it comes to our views on our Higher Power. We need to make it personal, and we need to make it feel good again. It should feel REALLY GOOD to have a Higher Power! It should feel so good that addictions melt away, that life gets more peaceful, that we actually LOVE our Higher Power!
When I believe that my Higher Power is doing those 4 things from my list for me, when I let myself sink into it, and trust it with my whole heart, soul, and body, life is AMAZING! Worries disappear. I don’t try so hard. I get out of the way and let God do his thing.
I talk about emuna a lot, and having faith changes your life. But having faith in WHAT/WHO makes all the difference. I challenge you to ask yourself the same question I did, and take 10 minutes writing out the answer, feeling how it feels to have your Higher Power do those things for you. If you could create a Higher Power for yourself, what would you want from it, and do you think that matches or conflicts with the reality of your religion’s God?
Please PLEASE share with me your answers on my FB page or in Private Message!!