the incalculable concept of a god

Electric PlugSpirituality is a controversial topic in general, but a particularly heated topic for newly recovering addicts. If I am a believer it’s a non-issue. If I’m not a believer it can make or break my future. Do I need to see to believe or do I believe to see?

The question: If I don’t comprehend its workings can I use it? I comprehend that the clothes dryer will dry my wet clothes, but only if connected to a power source. Do I disassemble the dryer, study the process of electricity? No, I simply throw in the clothes and hit start.

So, what does this have to do with sobriety?

We get hung up on proving the existence of a Higher Power, God, Source, Creator, or Spirit. We get hung up on believing in and trusting an entity we can’t see with our eyes. So we abandon the idea that we can lean on this entity as a worthwhile and sustainable resource.

To say that nothing is greater than me implies that I created it all. Which, to put politely, is rubbish. Even co-creation implies I am part of the collective whole. The collective is greater than any one part.

So what’s the hang-up?

We reject that which we cannot see. We find it folly to ask an unrecognized entity for concrete a solution. After all, at some point we all prayed to this invisible entity and it never showed up and rescued us. Why would it now? We speculate that it mustn’t be real, that it is the way of weaker humans. We decide not to get caught up in ideas that aren’t proven.

We want proof if we are to step into this type of relationship. We want a guarantee of the outcome. Until such time, we will stick with non-belief and our best efforts at gaining normalcy.

My ‘normal’ wasn’t working. It wasn’t even close to working. Despite my repeated attempts at sobriety, I had failed. The more I tried to hide the deeper my denial of my problem. What seemed ludicrous at age 25 (Who does that?) became completely acceptable at age 35 (Doesn’t everybody?).

It wasn’t until I could no longer bear the pain of my choices that I became willing to see there must be another way. There had to be.  I was dying a slow and painful death. And while I died my family suffered with me.

All of this because I refused to believe there was something out there that loved me and wanted the best for me. All of this because I wouldn’t lean into the unseen and incalculable concept of a god. I chose to do it my way. I had to prove I could drink like you. When I stopped trying to drink normal, I arrogantly tried to stay out of your way and demand that my behavior not bother you.

That didn’t work either.

How did people do it? …

I am doing well. I am living a sober and full life. I found something greater than myself to lean on. I just took that leap of faith. Not because I trusted it, but because I no longer trusted me.

Don’t be afraid to change. Be afraid to stay the same.

Don’t be afraid to trust. Be afraid not to.

After all, truth isn’t predicated on my understanding it.

Truth just is.


17 Responses to “the incalculable concept of a god

  • You, my friend, are an amazing writer.

  • “Don’t be afraid to change. Be afraid to stay the same” hit home. You are one wonderful blogger/writer/person/friend. Love, always.

  • I was one of the fortunate ones for whom it was a non-issue, but I’ll say this: I believed like I never believed before, and therefore, I have seen like I’ve never seen before!

    • That is one of the most beautiful lines I’ve ever read. You really took this to a new level for me. I love how you love God. So attractive.

  • I was one who had to make the leap and accept that a lot of this doesn’t fit with the old way of thinking or make a whole lot of sense. The peace and love I feel more than makes up for this. Love the clothes dryer analogy.

    • I made a leap too, but it was after I cursed my ‘traditional god’. (Thank goodness I have come to terms with that.) I particularly like the word you chose ‘peace’. I used to think of
      God as more, or less, a giver or taker (depending one if I did it right or wrong). I have come to know God as the absence of chaos/worry/depression/judgment/etc. … In other words, God is peace. God is love. I aim for peace now of days.

      p.s. Yay for dryers

  • Lee Davy
    10 years ago

    I was 9-years old when my mother told me that my unborn baby sister Rachel had died in her belly.

    In that moment I stopped praying to God for nice things at Xmas, and for Man Utd to win the league, because there was no God because if there was then surely he wouldn’t kill little babies.

    And that’s the way the world worked for me.

    As I grew up I became even more cynical about God. How could a man possibly walk on water? How could a man part the sea? How can he turn water into wine and why would he want to do that anyway?

    When I quit I didn’t need a God.

    Since quitting I have changed every facet of my life. I have delved into spirituality and strange things started to happen to me.

    Could there really be something out there?

    I now believe that there is something in this universe that I don’t understand. I still refuse to believe in the painted picture of God, and understand this is purely ego.

    It takes no greater energy to believe than it does not to, so for now I do believe in a higher power, just not one with a beard and white robe.

    Great thought provoking post as always Lisa.

    • Lee,
      You stun me with your openness. I love it. I think for me, growing up Catholic, it was a similar situation, just different situation. I have grown to understand that my perspective was limited, as was my parents (my teachers). I feel a fuller, more expanded version of God in my life today. (With 12 years Catholic school too). Today I have a working relationship with a God I get to pal around with all day long. I still haven’t a clue what God is or how he works, and it no longer matters. I lean toward Love and Love leans back. I lean away from Love and Love waits patiently. I recognize it when I’m ready. I like to call it being human. Love your thoughts my good friend, love your thoughts!
      🙂 Lisa

  • We talked about this at my last AA meeting as some of our teenagers were struggling with the concept. I will share this post with our group. Thanks for your insight.

    • What a wonderful topic at the meeting. I was so grateful for those who walked before me and taught me I could have any God I wanted. What a relief to choose something simple, uncomplicated. I seem to relate to my sober God much better than my drinking God, but it took me awhile to find Him/Her. And thank you for sharing the post. Good to pay it forward. My love, Lisa

  • Beautifully put!

  • I too didn’t have to struggle with this…this concept of a power greater than myself. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have to struggle with the concept of handing my will and my life over to it. I didn’t understand what that meant, or what that *looked* like. What do I do? How do I do it? Trusting in the process and doing the work and leaving the expectations behind, and allowing the final results to not be mine. Do the donkey work and let the dice fall wherever He / She / It allows them to fall. My HP loves me and will do what is best for me, even if I don’t see it or even know what is good for me. Hell, I did what I thought was best for me for my entire life, and it landed me in many precarious, dangerous, and desperate situations.

    So what did I have to lose?

    Plug into the juice of that power. Get what I need. Pass it on. That’s the power right there. And oh yeah, that pesky wanting to drink thing fades away like a bad dream.

    That’s the kind of thing that I can share. That’s the stuff that I can’t put on a pie chart, but can point to in my own life and say “Hey – this is what worked for me. And it can for you”.

    Wonderful post, Lisa.

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