Now that I've been attending AA for about 5 months and I'm working the 12 steps, I've had to explore the concept of a higher power. Like I've mentioned in my previous posts, anything with the word God attached to it used to make me cringe. I would run far far away from whatever it was. Organized religion and the word "God" still don't sit right with me, but what I love about AA is that it has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with spirituality.
All I need to participate in the 12 step program of AA is the desire to stop drinking, an open mind, and willingness that comes from my heart. Check, check, check. Let's do this! It's easy to get bogged down with the language in the Big Book or the 12 & 12, because you'll often see God, but I've learned to change that to a word that I think is more appealing for me. The possibilities are endless.
My sponsor says the best part about a Higher Power is, you don't have to define it, it can just be. It is just a power greater than yourself, no more, no less. How awesome is that? I am also learning how to let go of the old ideas and prejudices I had against the word "God" and I'm realizing that in this program, God is just a concept. It's not all the big, scary things I've associated with it for years. Either way, the fun part about now having a higher power in my life is that I get to think about what it means to me and how I want to refer to her. If you're thinking about getting a higher power of your own, or you're confused as to what a higher power actually is, read through this list of 10 name concepts and pick the one you like the best!
A fellow AA woman mentioned this name to me the other day and I love how elegant and positive it sounds!
This is just an acronym for higher power, but I think that it sounds short, sweet, and cool!
3. The Universe
I love this one because it really embodies the interconnectedness of everything. It makes you feel small in a big, big world.
I've been getting down with the Buddhist teachings lately and they really know what they're talking about. Plus the images and symbols associated with Buddha and Buddhism are so upbeat and pleasing to the eye. Who doesn't want to rub a sacred fat man's belly?
I've been known to use nature a lot for my own HP. I always feel instantly better when I'm outside breathing the wild air and feeling the breeze on my skin. The ocean is another power of mine. I am a water sign and I'm drawn to oceans and rivers. I believe I was a pro surfer in another life.
6. Your AA group
This is often what AA's tell newcomers to do if they can't grasp the concept of a higher power when they first come in. Does the AA group as whole act as a power higher than you? Than it can be your HP. I think of my home group like this a lot because they are all so wise and the energy is electric in those rooms sometimes.
7. Spirit guides
I love this one too. Spirit guides sound fun, friendly, and helpful. They make me feel like they are here to help me on my path in this life.
8. Mother Earth
It's comforting to think about our big amazing planet as the Mother ship who gives us life. We live on her terrain, we eat her food, and we gather energy from her being.
Energy is a simple term and something all people emit. Having energy as your HP is really understanding the power and connectedness of all people's energies; that feeling of oneness that can be established through a powerful force like energy.
10. Supreme being
I don't know how you guys feel about this one, but it makes me feel like I'm ordering a dollar menu item from McDonald's. It doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy. BUT! It might make you feel comfortable and calm, and this is why I made this long list for you to choose from.
There are no rules on which concept you have to pick or if you have to stick with just one. Typically, I alternate between HP, energy, nature, and universe, and once in awhile I dabble with Mother Earth. They all make me feel hope, love, comfort, peace, and serenity, which I believe everyone is seeking when they take part in a 12 step program. If God isn't your thing, feel free to use any of these terms as your own. Spirituality is innate and your higher power is all around you, tap into her (or him, or it.) :)