THE GOD IDEA: A DEAL-BREAKER FOR RECOVERY?

Light as the God idea.

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t stand the Christian-sounding language (the “God idea”) at my first 12-step meetings.

But, with few other options for getting sober in 1986, I kept coming back. Most important, I held on to the flexibility offered by the words, “as we understood God.”  

In those first months, I began to wonder if this mysterious “higher power” had something to do with the joy and freedom of my new sober friends. Also, I tried not to judge any language that smacked of organized religion. After all, who was I to condemn this God idea, when I had screwed up my own life so royally?

Something Greater than Myself

Then I read this passage:  “Deep down in every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God. . . For faith in a power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.”
(p. 55, Alcoholics Anonymous)

Up to this point, I had put my faith in the power of high grades and romance to make me happy. But nothing had worked. In fact, I was facing my third divorce! Perhaps something greater than myself could help me out of my misery.

The most user-friendly name I can give the God idea is “positive power;” but we each find many different ways to experience it.

Positive Power as Mother, Master Mind, Love, and Light

After a year of meetings, working the steps, and therapy, I figured something was helping me stay sober. My new friends called it “God.” But, at that point, I couldn’t imagine love coming from a traditional male God. Instead, I felt most comforted by the caring “mother-power” of the women at the meetings. 

But that was only my initial image. Soon, I went to a Unity church in Warren MI led by Jack Boland, a minister in recovery who led a group that referred to the God idea as the “Master Mind.” Using his eight-step process we each made requests, and each day we affirmed them for one another.

After several weekly sessions, I could not believe the “miraculous demonstrations” I witnessed! For one, I had met a man who was healthy and fun, and instead of instantly merging my life with his, I was living alone (for the first time ever!) and taking it really slowly. (Today we’ve been married 32 years! Now, that’s some positive power, aye?)

Soon after this, my sponsor began a Course in Miracles group for sober women. As we studied the lessons, I saw the God idea expressed as love, peace, and connection. But the image I found most convincing was of a “light” within each of us:

“The light is in [you] now. .  .It is the only thing you bring with you from your. . .Source. The light cannot be lost. [It] is shining in you now, and from your heart extends around the world. . .The light within you is sufficient.” (Lesson 188, A Course in Miracles)  

As I discovered this light within myself, I began to see it in others. For example, when a woman walks into a 12-step meeting, I can instantly see the her shining light leading her to a happy, healthy life.

What’s Your Image of Positive Power (a God Idea)?


My images and experiences of positive power continue to evolve, and I’m relieved that I don’t need to define it or understand exactly how it works. I just know that when I let this power into my mind and heart, amazing things happen!

Perhaps you, too, have found a power that works for you, even if it doesn’t conform to a religious standard. ** I’D LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT IT! ** (Click HERE or email me at glanger2202@gmail.com; or comment on this post in FB, TW, or Instagram.

As we share our experiences, I hope fewer people reject the 12 steps because of their use of the God idea. May we each find a positive power that works for our recovery and happiness!

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

Gigi’s award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the negative thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

GIVE ONLY LOVE BY ‘FORE-GIVING

Have you ever considered that the word “forgive” can be seen as ’fore-give?

I think of it as “before-giving”—giving to another before they’ve done anything to “deserve” it. Perhaps that’s the only reason we’re here — to give love and kindness to everyone we meet.

“Fore-giving is merely looking beyond a person’s flaws and seeing only their spirit. Thus, we give love to others, regardless of how they look or act. This, I believe, is what God would have us do. 

Really?? What if They’re a Jerk?!

There IS one caveat, however: Although we may focus on a person’s essential goodness, we don’t have to put up with their unacceptable behavior. Even after setting boundaries, we can still see their spirit as pure and innocent. 

When we choose to ‘fore-give, we expand the force of love in the world, thus dissolving fear and selfishness. We all become free, peaceful, and happy.

Give it a Try!

Just for today (and tomorrow, too!) let’s try to see the goodness in every person we encounter, and treat them with the love and respect befitting a child of God. When you ‘fore-give it make us all feel better!

P.S.  A Course in Miracles teaches that the world’s pain is caused by our selfish egos’ excesses, and that the truth lies beyond these fearful appearances—in the eternal spirit of goodness within each of us. 

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

Our Human Experience: A Message from Spirit

Looking for inspiration and release from worry in these challenging times? Feeling a conflict between your human instincts and your divine spirit? I offer you two beautiful passages that clarify the temporary nature of struggle, and our higher power’s healing presence through it all–even during Covid!

human experience gigi langer

MY VERY FAVORITE WORDS: “Worry not, my child. All earthly experiences teach only one thing: That you are forever a child of a loving God who punishes you not.”

“We are merely rendering the barriers to love harmless by walking through them together.”

The Human Experience, Part 1

Many years ago, my friend Mo recorded several passages from A Course in Miracles (ACiM); the last one was called “The Human Experience,” but it did not come from ACiM. Do you know where it’s from?? I posted the first half of it here: A Mystery Quote: “Songs of Plenty and Songs of Want.” Here’s the second half, a true message of hope and trust. I love it so!

The Human Experience, Part 2

“Worry not, my child. All earthly experiences teach only one thing: That you are forever a child of a loving God who punishes you not.

“You’ve elected to learn these lessons so that you can be free. You can’t be free until you have faced, and then walked through, your worst fear. What your worst fear is changes from time to time.

Walking through your worst fear transforms it into an old meaningless fear. Then a new worst fear will come to take its place. Call the fear poverty, rejection, abandonment, loneliness, death, meaninglessness, or helplessness. Walk through them you will, until they are all gone.

“What you forget is that you don’t have to walk through them alone. I am here and will walk through them with you. Trust me, my child. Ask not that any specific burden be lifted. Ask instead for my presence to walk through with you. We are simply rendering the barriers to love harmless by walking through them together.

“The human experience provides all these lessons to all who walk through them. You walk through them with pain and sorrow if you choose to do it alone. Or you walk through them with peace and joy if you take me along.

The whole point of the lessons is to realize that they are dreams. You only see that when you can see from the place beyond the dreams, after you have awakened. Then you sleep again, and another dream will come to take its place, and we will walk through it. And you will awaken again to see the harmlessness of the dream.

“Ask me to guide you. Ask me not to solve what you perceive as your problems. What you perceive as problems are dreams and dreams are not real.

“Practice fearlessness, my child. Turn over all your fears to me. My way will lead you to discover the light which is already within you.

There is nothing my love for you will not conquer. We have already traveled this path together, and we are at the end. Try to remember, my child, the song of rejoicing we heard when we arrived safely back in the arms of the Father.

“Your mind has wandered from the truth of that memory. You daydream again. The thoughts of the mind are undisciplined but the mind is at home in the heart of God. Only the thoughts drift away for a moment.

Call to me dear soul. When you call from the part of your heart that knows we are together still, I will be there and you will be here in an instant.

Peace and joy to you, dear one. Only joy and peace are eternal. All else is illusion. You have been to joy and peace and you do know the truth. Ask me to remember, and I will. Peace. Peace. Peace.”

Connect with God’s Love and Love One Another

Isn’t that beautiful? We need not fear because comfort and courage walk with us through every experience–even those that scare our pants off! Perhaps we’re here for this very reason: to render “the barriers to love harmless by walking through them together.” Let this be the message of this holiday season.

Gigi Langer Worry Less Now

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in SW Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

Worry Less Now Gigi Langer PhD

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews. Amazon rating: 4.8 stars. Buy signed copy HERE

“Nothing Happens in God’s World by Mistake” REALLY?

Have you ever heard this phrase and wondered how it could possibly be true when you look around and see all the trouble in this chaotic world?

Don’t we all sometimes wonder, “Why do so many bad things happen?”

In this 4-minute video I explain how I think about God’s world and man’s world.

But first, a warning: When I made this video, I woke up, put on my robe, had my coffee, and went to a Zoom meeting. Then I had the bright idea to record my 7-minute share. And here’s what we got!

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews: Amazon 4.8 stars.

Get special offers on the paperback, e-book, and audiobook HERE.

Gigi Langer Worry Less Now

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.