Chapter 6: God: When I lost myself in YOU, I found ME

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Get acquainted with God/Higher Power

The 12-step of Codependents Anonymous are as follows:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over others - that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. 
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 
  7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings. 
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. 
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out. 
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other codependents, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Even if you don’t know who or what God is, just accepting there could be a Higher Power allows you to make access. Admitting that YOU don’t have all the answers and admitting that a power greater than yourself to do for you what you cannot do for yourself, opens you up to God’s support and help.

For those who are struggling with your perception of God or you have never had one, the following is an approach frequently shared in 12-step programs, that has worked for many people. 

Make a list of all the attributes you would like to think your Higher Power might have and write them down.  This might be a typical list.

God is:

My very best friend and advocate

Unconditionally loving



All-powerful and uses that power only for good

Fair and just

Light and peace

Willing to help me do what I can’t do and understands what I don’t understand, etc.

Let this list of attributes be your temporary perception of a loving God until it can be replaced by the real one. When you attempt to communicate with God, have your list close by with the idea that God is this attributes. 

Following is an example of a conversation or request you might use. You can kneed down in the traditional prayer fashion or you can simply put yourself in a quiet place. Make sure you are free from possible interruptions.

Here’s what you might say: God, though I don’t know who you are, I want to know that you are there and that you care about me and can help me. Will you please reveal yourself to me in your way and your time. I am putting aside my own self-will to listen to and accept what you reveal to me.

You may be surprised to find that, not only does your Higher Power have all the amazing attributes on your list but so much more.

Because the Higher Power is intangible, you will be receiving your answers on a spiritual, intuitive and emotional level, rather than the rational, intellectual or logical methods. 

Answers come in different ways to different people. You may feel or sense your answer. You may hear intuitive sounds or messages that give you your answer. You may see intuitive things in your mind. You may find yourself overwhelmed with clarity and enlightenment while reading or listen to others words. These silent yet powerful sensory-based indicators can speak to your heart so loudly that know it is the answer you have been seeking. 

Keep in mind when waiting for your answers:

  1. Do not project onto God what you think the answer should be and then feel disappointed when you don’t get your answer the way you expected.
  2. Ask God to reveal himself to you. 
  3. Keep self-will out of the way. Quit thinking. Wait, watch and listen as God reveals himself to you in his own way and time.
  4. Sometimes answers come immediately and sometimes they come over time, but they do come. Be patient. Sometimes certain events or circumstances must be in place for you to get the full impact of your answers. 
  5. God  will  intervene in your life if you ask and  allow it to happen. If there is a part of you that is resisting, afraid, resentful of God, or simply refuses to believe there could be one, you are shutting the door. Connecting with God is dependent upon your willingness to let it happen and your belief that it is possible.
  6. God is not Santa Clause or a gift-list fairy. Rather than telling God what to do, try taking this attitude: “I trust that you (God) know more than I do. So I am giving this problem, (my child, my spouse, my burden, etc.) to you and asking you to take the steering wheel.” Then with all your heart, turn it over to Him. Remember, God will never rob you of your free agency, so if you want the contol back, God will give it back to you. But if you hand everything over and leave it with God, you have just placed your life and problems in the hands of the intelligence in this universe that knows EVERYTHING. If you can give it ALL up, God will give it back to you better than you could ever imagine.
  7. Then LISTEN, pick up on impressions, wait and watch. Notice what happens. Your problem may just resolve so naturally you tend to forget how bad it started out. It’s easy to give yourself credit for the easy resolution, but if you go back to self-will again, you’ll get a harsh reminder that God knows more than you and maybe it really was God that fixed that last problem, not you.
  8. Problems usually cause a person to reflect on higher things. When you turn them over to God, you may realize they were the very best thing that ever happened to you.

Allowed yourself to be taught instead trying to tell God what to do. You may find understanding and knowledge pouring into your life in an amazing way as you open yourself up to be enlightened, strengthened and fortified by a power greater than yourself.

An alone journey: There are only two relationships that will stay with you from the time you are born to the time you die, and that is your relationship with yourself and your relationship to God. Every other relationship, even those closest to you, will come and go. But if you have those two relationships in tact, you will always have the resources to live your best possible existence from beginning to end. If your dependency needs are met by you and God, then you can consider all other relationships, events, possessions, success/achievements that you do enjoy, as bonuses. If they are there and working for you, that’s great! If they are not, you are okay and sustained anyway if you have an intact relationship with your Higher Power!

If you lack the security of a good relationship with yourself and God, you may find yourself at the mercy of whatever external influences come your way. All externals come and go. When your are connected with you and with God, it’s like carrying around your own internal battery pack. There is always someone solid and reliable to fall back on inside of you, even in life’s darkest hours.

In the 12-step programs they admonish you to never put your faith in other human beings because we all have clay feet and we humans will all, sooner or later let each other down. But if you put your faith in the power greater than ourselves, we are always supported in the best possible way. We can make allowances for human imperfections if we are not dependent on people. My parents weren’t perfect. My priest made some mistakes. The President of our country set a bad example. Even I can be less critical of my own limitation if I realize that I am only human and doing the best I know how to do. If we humans come through for each other that is a BONUS! But do not become dependent on that being the case every time or you will be disappointed.

If you choose to do this life alone or allow others to be your higher power, you can. That is your right and choice. But if you invite God to be your best friend and advocate in your intimate journey, you have the best resource you could ever have and one that will never let you down or leave you alone.

How do I know who or what the Higher Power is? Let your Higher Power answer that question for you. If people suggest to you who or what your Higher power is, take that information before your Higher Power and ask if it is so. Rather than believing everything others tell you, hold the information on the back burner until you can find out from the source. Become an active listener to all sensory-based, intuitive or spiritual messages that come your way. You have your own pipeline to your Higher Power. Learn to use it.

Let go and let God: Start you day by letting go of self-will. Give God permission to be in charge of your life, problems and burdens. Then go about your day as usual. Do what you normally do. But carry with you the attitude that your day your life and your problems are now in the care and keeping of your your Higher Power, not you or any other person. You may find you day working much better. You may find you have ideas and inspiration come to your mind that work out better than anything you could have ever come up with on your own before. Get yourself out of the way so God can work miracles for you.

Turning your life, will and problems over to God is an attitude. You don’t really do anything different, you just take time to let God know that you’re not in charge any more, God is. Make this your daily mode of operation. When life problems, stresses or troubles come your way, pass them on to your Higher Power and ask him to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. You may find as many others before you, that by giving it all up, you are actually getting more than ever before. This is the paradox of giving your life to God. When you give you to God, you find YOU. You may find you have more peace, serenity, clarity and wisdom than you ever imagined before. You may be surprised what you are capable of. People may make comments that you are doing better than they’ve ever seen before. You can take the complement, but in your hear of hearts, you know it isn’t you making that happen. It’s all due to the act of giving up and allowing God to do what you can’t do.

Paradox: Where ever you find truth, find paradox. (When something is the opposite of what it seems.) The concept of finding yourself by giving yourself to your Higher Power is the greatest paradox of all. If you were to give your life and will to any other institution or person on this earth, you wold consider yourself enslaved. But when you give up your will and life to God, God gives you your life back in greater abundance than you could ever have imagined.

The 12-step program teaches to offer yourself as an instrument in God’s hands to do God’s will upon this earth. When you speak or do anything, offer your self as an instrument in God’s hands to deliver his messages to others. You may be surprised what flows from you.

On the occasions you forget, and return to self will, you may find your serenity shrinking, your clarity diminishing and the weight of your problems returning. The pain of temporarily forgetting is your merciful reminder that it is time to once again let go and let God.

Turning your life over to God on a daily basis is the same as plugging in a lamp. A lamp by it’s self is an interesting and sometimes attractive trinket in a room. But a lamp plugged in fulfills its purpose. There is nothing lost but everything gained by making the decision to plug in the lamp. You have just connected the lamp to it’s power source so it can do what it was created to do.

By giving your life, will and burdens to God you are doing exactly the same thing. You are actually doing plugging yourself into your power source. Remember the power can’t come to you. You have to plug yourself in.

Worthy or Willing? Many people feel they are not worthy enough for God to connect with them or that they need to earn their relationship with God. If a person had to be worthy to ask for Gods help the whole program of Alcoholics Anonymous would be null and void. Because a person who’s been involved in any kind of addiction whether it be alcohol, drugs, sex or overspending, is NOT worthy. Is the drunk laying in the gutter in his own vomit worthy of ANYTHING? If getting the help s/he gets from God is dependent on worthiness, that person is in trouble. If worthiness was a requirement, very few people in this world would actually have a connection with God. 

Some people don’t want to burden God with their troubles. People such as these literally cut themselves off from the best friend and help they could ever have.

To my understanding, here are the rules that apply to connecting to God as taught to me by the 12-step program.

  1. Making that connection with God in your life is not about worthiness, but about willingness to allow it to happen. 
  2. God can only be a part of your life if you invite God to be a part of your life.
  3. God intervening in your life is dependent on your willingness to believe that there could be a Higher Power that can do for you what you can’t do for yourself. If you don’t yet believe, you can pray for willingness to believe.

One addict tells the story of the pivotal point in his recovery form addictions: He was homeless, penniless, had lost his family and was at a desperate point. Drugs and alcohol could no longer calmed his fears and sooth his conscience.

While kneeling down, cleaning the shower one day, he thought, “Since I’m all ready on my knees, I may as well offer a prayer for some help.” So while in the kneeling position (which many consider a symbol of humility), this man asked that if there were a God that God would help him out of the nightmare of his life.

Two weeks later, after a series of unexpected events, he found himself in an alcohol and drug treatment center. After the day program to got him sober he followed up with a series of subconscious oriented therapy sessions, which he expressed was the pivotal point in his recovery. He found God and he found the help he needed to stay clean and sober.

He now has many years of solid sobriety behind him. He uses his experience, strength and hope to help others find God in their lives. He states that it all began with that prayer while cleaning the shower. He also states that prayer is now a daily routine for him because he fears what his life would be without it.

So the experience of many recovering people shows that a person need not be worthy to get assistance from the Higher Power. Rather, it is willing to get self-will out of the way and ask God to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. Then let go and let God handle your life instead of you. Do the best you can and then let go and let God.

As a mother I have often thought I could save my kids a lot of pain if they would only listen to me. I’ve already gone through what they’re going through and I know that if they’d listen to me I could save them some pain. But even if they are my kids and I love them more than life itself, they still have their free agency. If they chose not to listen to my wisdom, what am I going to do? I just watch from the sidelines as suffer painful consequences of their choices and try to give them empathy.

Then I think that God must feel the same way about me. He allows me to beat myself up as long as I choose to think I know better than Him. Then when I am bloody and battle worn and I realize that I have had all along, this amazing resource right there with me, which could have saved me a lot of trouble and heart ache, I have no one to blame but myself because I chose to go it alone. Those are good reminders. I believe the most difficult but most beneficial lesson we will ever learn in this lifetime is to become completely dependent on God. When you lose your life to God is when you find your life.

Trust  your feelings and intuitions: When you get communication from God it is often through your own mind, senses and intuitions. Listen to subtle manifestations and feelings so you can be aware when those communications come.  Sometimes inspiration or answers come from outside sources such as other people, books or other things, but even then, it is your own feelings that confirm the event to be the answer you are seeking. Being in touch with your inner senses and being an open vessel to accept what comes from God is as important as turning you will and life to God,

God has been and always will be with you but never intervenes with your free agency unless invited. So, it is up to you to make the invitation to let God in. It is you who has to ask and then be willing to listen and act upon the answers and direction you receive from God. It is you who has to get self-will out of the way. It is you who has to invite God to set in the drivers seat of your life and it is you who has to willingly get in the passenger seat so you can arrive safely at your life destination with your greatest friend and advocate getting you there.  

At any moment you can take your will back and it is only human to do so. It is easy to forget how nice the journey of life can be when God is doing the driving. But when putting your human mind back into the drivers seat is like letting a five-year old drive your car on the freeway. You are headed for sure trouble. All it takes is being beaten up thoroughly a few more times by self-will, to remember that God really does know more than you. A simple act of free-will can restore your peace and serenity. Simply turn the outcome of you life back over to God and there you are, once again in secure care.

Your ultimate act of free agency is giving up your free agency to God. (There’s that paradox again!) Giving up free-will frees you of the ignorance of self. After all, you only have a few years of limited experience on this earth on which to draw and  make all of your decisions. You can’t read other peoples hearts and minds, you don’t know what lies in the future, you don’t even know what is going on with you neighbors house next door, much less what is happening on the other side of the world. Wouldn’t you rather trust an intelligence in this universe that KNOWS EVERYTHING including hearts, minds, past, present and future, than your own limited understand? God will let you manage your own affairs as long as you insist you must. God gives us the reigns and lets us do our own thing until we have so sufficiently defeated that we are wondering how we got ourselves into such a mess. At any time, ANYTIME, you are ready to say, “Enough! I am willing to let you (God) take over my life for me,” God graciously lifts and carries you and does for you what you cannot do for yourself. You still do what you can, but with the understanding that you are limited. You allow God to do the rest.

Some people harbor the misunderstanding that once you give your life to God you do NOTHING after that. That would be absurd. Turning your life and will to God as described in the 12-step program is an attitude. Each day you set your mind to the fact that God knows more than you and you are going to be open to any inspiration that may come from Him. If you receive to particular input, then you go ahead a do as you see fit. But if you get promptings and urges in a specific direction, consider following them. If they are of a negative nature, be careful, it could be you own old programming trying to make your decisions. But if there is peace and clarity associated with your promptings, listen, pay attention and consider moving in that direction.

If you have bad feelings towards another person or a task that seems to big or overwhelming, insecurity about the load you carry, or anything of the sort, this it a perfect time so go through the first three steps of the 12 step program. (1) Admit you are powerless over your life, events, people or emotions, (2) be willing to admit that a power greater than yourself can do for you what you can’t do for yourself, and (3) in your mind, pass the burden, problem, person or situation over to God. Turn the responsibility of the problem to God then commit to yourself that if you have the need to return to controlling the situation you will relent it back to God and if you receive any intuitive instructions combined with peace and clarity, you’ll follow them.

Example: George felt resentment towards his boss but needed his job. He imagined all sorts of ways of getting even with his boss but knew they would only make matters worse. When realizing he had no good choices, he decided to give his resentment to God. In a way he wanted to hold onto it because there was something that felt good about being mad and getting even, but he needed his job and knew it would be best to keep the peace.

So George made up his mind to turn his resentment towards his boss over to God and let God do for him what he couldn’t do for himself. He imagined himself passing his negative thoughts and feelings over to God and even if he didn’t know how all of this was going to work out, he trusted God to figure it out for him.

The next day he went to work. He was halfway through the morning before he realized he had been having pleasant conversation and positive feelings towards his boss. He was sort of surprised when he realized how automatic his reactions had been. He hadn’t even thought about it or tried. It seemed to be happening naturally. At this point he no longer wanted to harbor bad feelings because it felt so good.

It would have been easy to give himself credit because the shift seemed to effortless and natural, but he only had to remember the toxic feelings he harbored the day before to know his new found feelings were not of his doing. Once George experienced the positive outcome, he was much more willing to trust God to handle what he couldn’t from then on.

Anger towards God: 

12-steps not just for addicts

It is this philosophy that has made the 12-step program so successful in treating all kinds of addictions for so long. The medical community, the psychological community and all the will power in the world could not fix the quandary of addiction, but when Bill W. introduced the concept of turning to a power greater than yourself for help, it WORKED!! It is a spiritually based program and recovery and that is why it works

The concept taught by the 12-Step programs are for EVERYONE, not just addicts. They are the concepts for living. Under any addiction is a Codependent. Codependency is a loss of the self. To find yourself, lose your life to God. 

Quotes on Spirituality

“There is no control in life, where ever you go, where ever you hide, there is risk.....People pay for control, even if they have none. Safety is the greatest risk of all because safety leaves no room for miracles, and miracles are the only sure thing in life.” — This quote was the last line from a movie called “Miracle At Santa Anna”, A Movie about World War II. I have watched the movie since and noticed that this last part has been removed.

When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need. (author unknown)

Take Time to Make Time for the ONE who Made Time. ~unknown

Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble; it is a "steering wheel" that directs us in the right path throughout life. ~unknkown

A fifth grade teacher in a Christian school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in 20 ways to communicate ideas about God.

Here are some of the results:

He works miracles.

God is like A FORD He's got a better idea..

God is like COKE He's the real thing.

(This is great) God is like HALLMARK CARDS He cares enough to send His very best.

God is like TIDE
He gets the stains out others leave behind.

God is like GENERAL ELECTRIC He brings good things to life.

God is like WAL-MART

He has everything.

God is like ALKA-SELTZER Try Him, you'll like Him

God is like SCOTCH TAPE
You can't see Him, but you know He's there.

God is like DELTA He's ready when you are.

God is like ALLSTATE

You're in good hands with Him.

God is like VO-5 Hair Spray ;
He holds through all kinds of weather

God is like DIAL SOAP
Aren't you glad you have Him? Don't you wish everybody did?

God is like The U.S. POST OFFICE
Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from His appointed destination.

God is like Chevrolet. . . .the heart beat of America

God is like Maxwell House. .... . Good to the very last drop

God is like B o u n t y . . . .
He is the quicker picker upper. . Can handle the tough jobs. .. And He won't fall apart on you

Isnʼt it interesting that we are always looking on the outside to other PEOPLE and THINGS to provide for us that which only God can provide.


If God is your Co-pilot, swap state!”

“God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

“When you get to your wit’s end, You’ll find God lives there.”

"Many folks want to sserve God, But only as advisers."

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