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August 18, 2010

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Syd

I like the idea of going through We Agnostics and writing down what the book says and what I think about that. That is something that I will do and perhaps suggest to sponsees. I still have my written concept of a Higher Power that I did on Step Two. It helped me to feel a power greater than myself.

Em

http://emspinkcloud.blogspot.com/2010/06/youre-hired.html


"My sponsor told me to get out two pieces of paper. On the first piece she asked me to write down all of the things I had been told about God in my life, all of the things he could do. On the second piece of paper she asked me to write down all of the things that I thought he should be able to do.


"Now, take that first piece of paper and write on the top: YOU'RE FIRED.


"Now, take that second piece of paper and write on the top: YOU'RE HIRED. Because THAT is what God can do. That is what he is, he is what you think he ought to be and more."

Meribeth


"That which God said to the rose, and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty, He said to my heart, and made it a hundred times more beautiful." --Rumi

I removed the defects of character of the God that was "taught." Anger, resentment, dishonesty, selfishness.....

Rabanon.blogspot.com

This is fantastic, and interesting timing as I just wrote a short piece about my theological journey in my blog...

I consider myself somewhat fortunate in my religious upbringing insofar as I was taught from an early age that we in our religion take a (literally) iconoclastic approach to God, and as such I was able to consciously rework my higher power every step along the way throughout my life.

Unfortunately, my conception of God was usually informed by unfortunate circumstances to which I thought my idea of God had to be reconciled, rather than the idea of a God Who could do for me what my parents or clergy or friends so often could not: hold me and comfort me and guide me through these difficult times. For that, I needed the Fellowship. I found my Loving Higher Power because Recovery People taught me how to look.

Guinevere

This blog is a wonderful resource.

I also had a similar experience with God... I was taught God was "beyond me," God was the great unknowable, infinite, eternal, a strongman--you don't mess with God. You don't get to "choose" about God. God Was, Is, and Ever Shall Be.

My own sponsorship in AA has been fractured. My first sponsor told me meetings would not keep me sober, that only God would keep me sober. She relapsed and went into rehab when I was 5 months sober and working on step 9. She'd been using, I was told, for months. I realized that I'd been taking direction on amends from a person who was not sober. Wow.

I started over with my second sponsor, who asked me to do 90 in 90, call other people every day, leave her voice-mails each day about how I was doing, and speak and bring up topics at meetings. ... And then two months into working with me, she said she had too many sponsees and needed to take care of herself, and she let all her sponsees go.

Neither of these sponsors read the big book with me or asked me to look at the language. I did this with another addict I met online when I first got sober. She taught me how to write proper four-column resentment inventory and she taught me the meaning of "bondage of self" and "agnosticism." She taught me that I needed to figure out a higher power that loved me and wanted me to be happy.

My third sponsor (in two years) says things I sometimes disagree with... She says things like "just don't drink, and go to meetings." This doesn't keep me sober. But it keeps some people sober. She says other things that help me a lot. She has a nose for bullshit. Most of all, she's available; she answers the phone when she hears it--she doesn't screen calls or use the phone as a weapon. She doesn't collect sponsees like charms on a bracelet.

Now that I'm starting to sponsor people I'm trying to teach them what has worked for me. I get them to look at the book carefully. I keep my eyes out for new ways of practicing the tools of the program. Which is why I appreciate this blog so much... Thank you. Thank you.

recovering jezebel

Mr. SP, all your humility aside, I kinda think you knocked this one out of the park. I have to buy a new highlighter, my Qualifier took all mine. But I've got my Third Edition open to "We Agnostics."

Funny how my old HP resembles increasingly a certain more...nefarious and, in our culture, rather subterranean figure.

I'm still really confused by why I would want to be victimized—what could possibly be the rewards of being repeatedly thusly smote—because I can't actually imagine at this point; but I will, as you say, take a look at that. :o)

I want to be a nice old lady someday soon, to whom people are drawn when they need help. I want to be warm and open and useful. I don't want to be bitter and frightened and sad and shut-down forever.

So I just...yeah. Thank you. Thank you.

Bobby D.

Oh man, what a great post (and what great comments). My experience was that when I came to AA and saw steps 2 and 3 on the wall, I thought, There's no way! You see, I believed in God, but I was equally convinced that He didn't believe in me!

Somehow I managed to verbalize that to someone, and that person saved my life. He asked me if my God would mind if I cleared the slate and threw everything I thought I knew about Him out the door, then asked Him to reveal to me who He really was.

I was terrified by that thought, but I couldn't get it out of my head. If somehow I'd latched on to someone else's FALSE ideas about God, would He be offended if I threw those ideas out? Try as I might, I couldn't really see how that would offend Him, so finally (feeling like I was about to commit the "unpardonable sin") I prayed and "told" Him that He was outta here, and asked Him to reveal to me who He really was.

Over the next few days, weeks, and months, a new, loving, powerful, amazing God came into my life. We laugh about that whole process together today. We talk about my "old ideas," and how I had to let go of them. And I share Him freely with those who ask me about Him.

I'm still learning new things about God. Lately, it's been about the Grace of God - which I have read, "will chase you down!"

How cool is that? God chasing me down when I was deliberately running from Him - trying to give me this wonderful gift of sobriety.

That's grace, and that's amazing! I love Him so much for that.

Bill W. used the expression "slip" alot, and one day someone asked him what he meant by that. Most of us know that term to mean that someone went "back out," but what Bill said sticks with me all the time. He said the term meant, "They slipped from the grace of God."
God couldn't hold onto them any longer.

I pray I remember that I needn't slip from His grace. I just have to accept it...

Could I ever help but love a God that has done all this for me?

recovering jezebel

(I forgot to say that I actually always say, Our Mother Who Art in Heaven. I don't, like, yell it or anything, I say it pretty quietly; but it's pretty much the only way I can get through that particular prayer.)

Lincoln

I really cling to a quote from the movie Dogma as my knowlege and experience of God grows:

"Remember that seminary srudent I tried to set you up with? The one who used to mow my lawn? He told me something about faith once.

He said when you're a kid, it's easy to be filled with faith, because your glass is small. But as you get older, your glass gets bigger. The same amount of faith doesn't fill it. But the glass still needs to be filled."

It's a slight paraphrase, as it's been awhile since I've watched that movie. But now that I know my glass grows with me, I'm looking out for ways to develop a bigger spring of faith to fill it with.

Wild Harry

Thank you all of you. What a wonderful post to find in the middle of the night. LOVE the fat people in the tiny boat laughing. It helped deconstruct some of my own negative images. Thank you.

Sophia

Thank you all for these wonderful posts!

It's really important that such things be said.

Thanks again.

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