How did I find my Higher Power?
I think it’s more accurate to say that my Higher Power found me. I already believed in God and had some experience and some ideas from my Christian faith – which I had come back around to after a long process. But I was unable to access that Power to actually stop my insatiable bingeing. I simply couldn’t stop even though I was praying etc. At some point though, I began to experience a sweet, yet burning sense of grace – God was refusing to leave me alone. I began to become aware that He was trying to give me a life that was infinitely better than the one I was living – a life of usefulness, joy, freedom – a gift that He had been preparing specially for me. All I had to do was let go of what I was doing and make the weakest effort reach out to receive this better life. God drew near to me, and I became willing to surrender, and his presence became palpable, and I didn’t need to eat one day at a time. I do believe that I wouldn’t be able to continue in conscious contact without living in 10, 11 and 12 and I also practice my faith in a robust and thriving community outside of OA which makes God more palpable, concrete, real and experiential. I hunger and thirst for more.
I found it in Step 2 when I realized that my Higher Power would help me with everything, including my food choices and decisions. I was then able to recognize that Higher Power was there for me personally. I always thought that my HP was not there for that and it was up to me to control how I ate.
I kept looking for my higher power in the God that I was introduced to as a child. This God was taught to me, told to me, had rules and consequences for me and was to be feared. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work? How is my higher power who I’m figuring must be God, going to deal with my little eating problem when he had so many bigger world issues to deal with? I prayed for support and knowledge on how this was going to work for me, and I remained open minded as recommended by my sponsor. I continued to work the program, had/have a sponsor, study the steps, use the tools, provide service and started writing notes to God. I was patient and allowed my higher power to morph into exactly what I need him to be. My higher power is dynamic adapting to changes in my life circumstances and is always present. Praying for spiritual support means allowing my higher power to be present and to continue to lead my journey. Each day I ask my higher power to give me the strength to follow his will, not mine and allow me to be the message and example he wants me to be in order to fulfill his plan. This relieved me of fear and replaced it with faith just as the promises guaranteed. I thought I was looking for my higher power until I allowed my higher power to find me.
Think my Higher Power found me!
Although I always believed in God, since entering Program, I have nurtured the relationship. No longer is God some distant deity. My HP has become my constant companion, my Director (as the Big Book states), and a loving presence in my life.
How did you find your higher power?
I returned to OA after a 22 year absence. I had completed a weight management program targeted for pre-diabetics, which I was, and I was very successful. But of course I started gaining weight back almost immediately and within a year had regained almost all the weight I’d lost. I came back to OA very aware that I was powerless over food. But my idea of God was pretty general, something “out there” and I just couldn’t imagine a God that had the time or inclination to care about my relatively petty problems. I was stuck on Step 3 for almost a year.
Then one night I had a very vivid dream of my late mother. She was standing in our hallway, looking up the stairs towards my older daughters room with a look of concern. I got so worried that I forced myself awake and ran upstairs to check that her room wasn’t on fire. Later that week my daughter learned she was pregnant and the next day my gynecologist examined her and told us that the heartbeat had stopped. She added that she could tell from the ultrasound that the baby had died 2 1/2 days earlier. I realized that was the night of my dream, and that my mother had come to help the baby cross over.
In the following weeks, I noticed that I was FINALLY able to turn some of my anxieties over to HP. A conversation with my sponsor helped me understand that the visit from my mother, whose love and concern for me was evident during her life, led me to believe in a God that was similarly loving and concerned for my welfare. Since then, I pray to HP ALL the time, and I know he/she is listening.
How did you find your higher power?
Well, fact of the matter is I didn’t. HP found me. Story is…HP’s been lurking around the rooms waiting for me to come back. HP says it’s been 30 years since we first met. Says, “You practically ran out of that long ago meeting.” I don’t remember but my wife says the only thing I brought back was stories about all the ways I heard of people using and abusing food.
HP thinks I might be a slow learner but I showed them my Mensa membership card. HP wasn’t impressed.
HP says, “Well how about all those meds you were taking…16. “That’d cost you $13, 545.61 out-of-pocket if you had to pay retail.” “Yeah”, I reluctantly agreed.
“And, says HP, how about all those medical problems you acquired? Morbid obesity, hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, Barretts’ Esophagus” (I always thought I had Bruce’s esophagus,), “microproteinuria, restless leg syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, hypercholesterolemia and edema.”
Then says HP “How about the restlessness, irritability and discontentedness or the disease of more?”
“So”, says HP, “You ready to go to work?”
Humbled, beaten, desperate…I said “Show me what to do.”
Fast forward 19 months.
Hit my nutritionist’s recommended weight goal; bye-bye 103 lbs. Got my 30, 60, 90 day and 6 month coins. Oops. Mini relapses.
HP says “Did you forget 10, 11 and 12 are to be done daily?”
Oops. Back on the abstinence track.
Down to 3 meds. 1 for diabetes…used to be 2; 1 for hypertension…used to be 5 and 3 medical problems just went away. Restless, irritable and discontent? Don’t have time. Too busy doing service. Disease of more? No longer a disease. I’ve got more friends, more peace, more meditation, more mindfulness and more self respect.
Thanks HP. I’m finally good enough.