Trusting Our Higher Power
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
—Step Three of Al-Anon
So much talk about a Higher Power, God, as we understand God. So much joy as we come to understand Him. Spirituality and spiritual growth are the foundations of change. Recovery from codependency is not a do-it-yourself task.
Is God a relentless taskmaster? A hardhearted, shaming wizard with tricks up the sleeve? Is God deaf? Uncaring? Haphazard? Unforgiving?
A loving God, a caring God. That is the God of our recovery No more pain than is necessary for usefulness, healing, and cleansing. As much goodness and joy as our heart can hold, as soon as our heart is healed, open, and ready to receive God: approving, accepting, instantly forgiving.
God has planned little gifts along the way to brighten our day and sometimes big, delightful surprises perfectly timed, perfect for us.
A Master Artist, God will weave together all our joy, sadness and experience to create a portrait of our life with depth, beauty, sensitivity, color, humor, and feeling.
God as we understand Him: A loving God. The God of our recovery.
Today, I will open myself to the care of a loving God. Then, I will let God show me love.
A New Lease on Life
I remember trying to hide my mistakes because I didn’t want my spouse to have any reason to criticize me. I attempted to be the gest cook, sexiest lover, and greatest gardener, but it didn’t help. In public my husband praised me and I acted the part-looking happy, successful, and perfect. I thought if other people liked me, my husband would realize how lucky he was.
I took over a lot of my husband’s responsibilities. I also took control of the house and the lives of my three daughters. I worried constantly about my children as I focused on their lives. While the confusion in my life progressed, I became resentful. I argued for hours with my husband, trying to make him see things my way. He thought my problem was that I didn’t drink enough!
It was easy to keep secrets. Both of our families lived abroad and we moved continuously, leaving all of our friends behind. I couldn’t write and tell them I was a failure. My husband was always so fun and charming around other people. I became depressed, sick, and convinced I was as crazy as he said I was.
When I found Al-Anon, I was an emotional mess. The members welcomed me with smiles and hugs. I wanted the serenity I saw on their faces. I listened to members’ honest sharings and slowly found the courage to unlock my secrets. Al-Anon gave back my life and sanity.
I am no longer with my spouse. He chose to continue drinking and found another enabler. It has been difficult for me to let go of the people in my life. The relationships I have with my daughters, however, continue to grow. We have friendship, honesty, and trust because Al-Anon helps me keep the focus on myself.
The program is also teaching me about love. The love and acceptance I have received has given me back my self-esteem. Changes in my life have been profound. I feel human because I can admit my mistakes without fear of being ridiculed. If I feel overwhelmed about life, I can humbly ask my Higher Power for help and guidance. I have a new lease on life. I know my growth and happiness will be ongoing if I work the Al-Anon program and have faith in my Higher Power.
Shea, British Columbia August 2000
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA