I went to temple as a young girl but more for appearance sake than anything else. I did not grow up in a family where God was a topic of daily conversation. My family did not observe the Sabbath or take part in daily rituals to connect us with God. To me, my parents were God and what they said was law from the highest intelligence. I was taught by their example that a person with intelligence and will power can accomplish most anything on his or her own.
Like many others, I accomplished much on that premise. I was an honor student, Editor in Chief of the Yearbook, Most Likely to Succeed and I enjoyed a relationship with a terrific guy and had a multitude of interesting friends. Yet, somehow, when senior year came around and I wasn't feeling too sure of myself-things started to go sour. Where would I go to college? Would my parents ever accept my boyfriend? Are my thighs to fat? Am I enough? Without a God of my understanding to turn to and parents who found it hard to understand my insecurity, I fell to pieces.
In recovery, I first came to believe in the power of a 12 step program to turn my life around. Later, I came to believe in the love of the fellowship as well. Eventually, I saw how I projected my parents ability (or inability) to unconditionally love and support me on to the God of my Understanding. I limited God's power by viewing God as an extension of my parents rather than a separate entity with all power, all love, all understanding and all intelligence.
Today, I see myself as a hand of God in the human world. When I choose to be a vehicle of his will (meaning less self-centeredness and more giving), my world expands. If I feel forgotten or lost or filled with pain, it is because I have stepped away from the practices which connect me with my inner purpose. Am I still getting to meetings? Am I still reaching out to those in need? Am I doing my personal inventory on paper? Am I asking for help? Am I admitting my errors and correcting them? Am I praying? Am I getting still and waiting for my direction.
God dwells within me as me. If I can't find him, its probably because I am not sitting still.
P.S. Don't miss a great interview all about Addictionland with April's expert of the Month, Monty Meyers from KHLT Recovery Radio.