How Can I Conceptualize a Higher Power Specific to Me?

Spirituality and recovery go hand in hand - you cannot possibly hope to achieve lasting sobriety without the help of a power greater than yourself. The fundamental difference between spirituality and religion opens the door for everyone seeking recovery to develop a connection to a god of their understanding, but for some this process is difficult, confusing, and frustrating. For those who have been firmly planted in the idea that there is no God, how can we make the leap and form a concept of a higher power unique to us?

One of the more popular mantras in the rooms of recovery is the acronym KISS: keep it simple, stupid! This is quite applicable to the process at hand, as the only requirement for your higher power is that you are able to believe in it and it is more powerful than yourself. Many in early sobriety who struggle with the God concept establish a more tangible higher power such as their homegroup, the program of AA itself, or even a powerful object like the ocean. The only caveat here is to not make an individual your higher power. No man can be another’s higher power, as we are all equally powerless against the disease of addiction. Trust the process of the 12 steps and don’t agonize over what your higher power should be, focus instead on establishing a connection with a God of your understanding and putting your trust in him!

If you still find yourself stuck on the God concept, perhaps it is time to look inward as to why you are so resistant to the idea of a higher power. Do you have resentments against the religion in which you were raised? Do you feel abandoned by the God of your childhood having suffered through the horrors of addiction and trauma? If so, you should discuss these issues with your sponsor so you can work through them and unblock yourself from the acceptance of a higher power in your life. Without a God of your understanding, there is no path to long term sobriety so it is absolutely necessary you let go of these old ideas about what a higher power is and give yourself a chance to form a new concept of a God who will help you achieve sobriety.

The ability to form a higher power of your own understanding, specific to your beliefs and values, is one of the gifts of the Alcoholics Anonymous program. For some, this blessing feels more like a curse as we struggle to reconcile years of rigid belief in atheism with the task of creating and accepting a higher power into our lives. AA has left the door open for even the most skeptical of alcoholics to come to know God, allowing for limitless combinations of characteristics for your higher power all determined solely by you. As the AA Big Book stipulates, a person “can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.” Armed with the principles of honesty, openmindedness, and willingness, we are all capable of conceptualizing and accepting a power greater than ourselves into our lives, and with their help experience a restored sanity.

ABOUT EVOLUTIONS TREATMENT Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit