How Do I Find a Higher Power?
For many people, relying on a higher power is key to their recovery. But what if your faith has been rocked by tragedy or you are an agnostic or atheist? I was on the tragedy end of the spectrum, so I wasn’t feeling too keen on the whole higher power thing. I learned, however, that there are many ways to define a power higher than myself.
What is a Higher Power?
I learned that in addiction recovery, a higher power is simply something bigger than myself. It doesn’t have to be God. Instead, it can just be something to belong to. And it is human instinct to want to feel connected to something. We all have a desire to belong.
The beauty of choosing a higher power is that you have the freedom to choose who or what that is going to be. You don’t have to believe in something someone else does. Some people look at the sun, moon, and stars and deem the universe their higher power; others follow Mother Nature. For me, the choice was energy.
Since everything in the universe is made up of energy, I realized that we are all connected. That connection became my higher power.
How Does it Help?
Living without a higher power can bring the burdens of feeling pressure for the outcome of things in our lives. However, when we try to control everything that happens, we usually fail. Having a higher power allows me to release that pressure by turning those burdens over to it. Acknowledging that whatever happens, happens, has freed my mind and spirit and allows me to focus more on my recovery and be successful.
It’s like trying to run uphill against the wind. The wind is more powerful than I am, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get past it. Instead of fighting for control, I can simply turn in the other direction in faith that that is where my higher power wants me to be. And whatever happens, happens.
Strength in Numbers
At first, before I found my higher power, I drew strength from believing in my recovery group. If you are not ready to turn your life over to any type of higher power, many people in recovery say that God is an acronym for Group of Drunks. They are saying that this group, or God if you will, has the power to heal their brokenness and keep them on the sober path.
Your recovery group allows you to express:
How to Find your Higher Power
Here are some tips:
- Keep an Open Mind – Take in all the information available to you before deciding if it is right for you or not.
- Meditate – Set aside some time each day to be by yourself in the absolute quiet. Practice being in the moment.
- Talk – Some people pray; I talk to my higher power.
- Serve Others – When I help other people, my fears and anxieties disappear, because I am focused on someone other than myself.
- Don’t Stop Looking – Keep searching for the answers, keep asking questions, because that is how we grow in our recovery.
No one will really care if you don’t drink, just don’t make a big deal about it. Make sure you have a non-alcoholic beverage in your hands at all times during parties to make deter people who might buy you alcohol, politely refuse when people offer you alcohol, and use personal excuses when you are asked why you aren’t drinking. Most people are perfectly fine with you not drinking, they just might be offended if they think you are being judgmental of drinkers. This can be difficult to avoid, so try using non-committal answers like “I can’t have it” when asked why you aren’t drinking if you want to avoid offending the people you’re spending time with. Why? Alcohol is viewed with a mixed sense of shame and guilt, especially in college where most drinkers know that it will affect their memory, cognitive thinking, and performance the next day. If you make your excuses about you and not about alcohol, you can enjoy parties with people drinking alcohol without alienating them.
As I share with my recovery group, I see some of the amazing strides my fellow addicts have made, which gives me the resolve I need to get through another day. They, in turn, witness my progress. That mutual support is what gives the group it’s power, it’s higher power. You are no longer alone, which is the best place to start.
If you or someone close to you is struggling with an addiction, don’t wait. Contact Beginnings Treatment Centers now to speak with a professional who cares. We can help.